Terry Brock – Diamond Blue (Frontiers/Riot)

Not so much stadium rock as studio rock this is a pretty damn decent slab of good old 80s AOR. If that’s your thing, read on! If not, you may as well stop now.

Terry Brock’s a busy boy – he’s lead singer for Giant, he’s getting back with his 80s band mates Strangeways and he’s fitted in this solo album along the way.Recorded with Mike Slamer (Guitar, Bass & Keyboards) and Andy Bigan (Drums), Brock provides the voice for this solid effort that’s not so much a vanity project as much as a show of strength.

Opening with title track Diamond Blue, a classy, catchy little effort to warm you up, he then hits you with the near perfect pop/rocker It’s You, one of those songs that as soon as you hear it, you sing it. In a fairer world this would be a top ten song and your kids wouldn’t be humming Justin fucking Bieber. 

There’s more to come though with Jessie’s Gone, Broken, Face In The Crowd, No More Mister Nice Guy – all perfectly crafted AOR, all with melodies that hook you, all clean and crisp and, yes it has to be said, safe.  A polished, well-produced effort, Diamond Blue does suffer a little at times from a feeling of having heard it all before, but with songs like these who cares really.

Slamer’s guitar work is pristine and clean, just heavy enough to grab you but he doesn’t overstep the mark. These guys aren’t trying to get the denim jacket crowd on side after all, they want the girls and the money, not the devil’s horns. Brock’s voice has that familiar feeling, Bryan Adams, Steve Perry, even a little James Christian but he’s good at it, damn good. 

In his time, Brock has toured and sung with the likes of Kansas, worked with Britny Fox and Michael Bolton and led melodic rockers Strangeways, clearly he knows what he’s doing and it shows.  A pretty fine effort all round, whether it will garner new fans at all is an entirely different matter altogether, but Diamond Blue is certainly a great slice of Melodic AOR and if it don’t get Brock laid, well, nothing will.

Terry Brock's Diamond Blue is out now on Frontiers/Riot.