Airless - Changes (Lion Music)

Y viva Espana!
Release Date: 
14 Feb 2013 (All day)

Spanish AOR, eh? Well, why not? Melodic hard rock seems to be on the rise EVERYWHERE at the moment so the Iberian Peninsula’s as good a place any, n’est pas?

Sorry about that French, I don’t know any Spanish but Airless are certainly getting me in a CONTINENTAL mood… In fact, and I don’t know whether I’d be thinking this if I hadn’t read the band’s Bio before listening, but Airless kinda remind me of Spanish AOR aficionados Niagara, albeit that band washed up on the shore of rock’s forgotten heroes in the eighties and Airless have a more refined, modern feel to them… maybe it’s the impassioned Latin vocals of the excellent Inaki Lazcano that have put me in a Spanish state of mind, who knows? Whatever, his vocal on the hair-raising radio rock of I Don’t Care are a thing of wonder and a joy to behold, as is the perfect Tony Harnell-style shred solo from Robert Rodrigo. One listen to this song and it literally had me, to paraphrase the godlike Jean Beauvoir, missin’ the young days  - priceless stuff I can tells ya!

It ain’t all NOSTALGIA though; Upstream is a whole lot more aggressive, despite carrying another radio friendly refrain and some more shred, and you do get the notion that Airless have at least one ear cocked on what’s going on these days rather than living wholly in sepia tinted reveries, which ain’t a bad thing, even for a troupe that definitely likes looking back as much as forward.

Dead Inside, despite it’s rather mopey, emo-sounding title, ends up sounding a bit like Journey thanks to another wonderful solo from the constantly IMPRESSIVE Rodrigo;  and then it happens. Sitting back to some nicely choppy guitar work and a groovy vocal from Lazcano, you then realise that ain’t his voice seeping from the stereogram. Listen harder… and then it dawns on you – that’s Danny Vaughn! DANNY FUCKIN’ VAUGHN! Oh yes. The former Tyketto/Waysted man is here and he’s making an already good song even better, his honeyed pipes augmenting the grittier Lazcano throat in perfect harmony. A surprise highlight happens right in front of your naked, steaming ears and if you’re wearing one, your hat will be heading skywards in delight at this point!

Elsewhere there’s more AOR (Till the End of Time), some CHUGGING power metal (Rescue Me and the supremely melodic Gone too Far) and a whole lotta good ear pleasing tuneage for fans of hard rock everywhere – nice work Spanish fellas!