Well, well well; In what must surely rate as one of the most remarkable career resurrections of recent years superannuated LA rockers Great White return with easily their best album in 20 years. What makes this achievement supremely noteworthy is that their last effort, 2009’s truly flaccid Rising, was such a horrible, limp record that not even the most ardent GW aficionado would have placed even a dime on the band to make such a spectacular recovery.
Elation is a quintessential late eighties hard rock record ( I baulk at using the term hair metal as Great White, despite the application of some splendidly ill-advised hairpieces back in the day were never really a hair metal band), choc full of ballsy bravado, fragile hearted balladeering and, most importantly, supreme playing and singing.
Guitarist Mark Kendall has always been a top draw bluesy hard rock guitarist, but his playing here often goes above and beyond the reputation he’s already staked; On the superb Love is Enough he plays an absolute blinder, but the real star of the show here is new singer Terry Ilous. Whereas original vocalist Jack Russell croaked and whispered his way through Rising, at the same time smashing his legacy as one of the LA metal scene's enduringly great vocalists into the process, Ilous sings his snakeskin pants off all the way through Elation, and it is to him that most of the kudos for this astounding resurrection belongs. Ilous is a bit of a nobody, even for a scene that gave a safe, Jake n’Coke fuelled haven to a million and one talent free chancers at its height, and it is an absolute mystery as to why he’s remained an apparent undiscovered diamond all this time. He’s got it all, from bluesy rasping to crooning whistfulness, and he pulls every trick out of his cowboy hat on Elation, making this an absolute must have record if you are a fan of classy, supremely executed hard rock..