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Angels Or Kings - 'Kings Of Nowhere' http://mail.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/59/84/97/angels-or-kings-kings-of-nowhere-23-1416258454.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 17, 2014    
 
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The quintessentially perfect British AOR album.

They say everything comes to those who wait…  Back in 1988 A.O.K. (as they were simply known back then) were a staple of the Manchester Hard Rock scene.  Gigs with the likes of Danger Danger and Dare along with the usual record company showcases kept the band firmly in the spotlight, yet the search for that elusive record deal was unforthcoming. As the eighties turned into the nineties and the musical climate surged towards an era of tuneless songs, moroseness and checked shirts (namely Grunge), A.O.K., along with thousands of other bands in the same predicament, were swept away in the ensuing tidal wave. Gone, but not forgotten…

Some twenty-odd years later, Melodic Rock is in the ascendancy again, so what better time to resurrect the band for another shot? Original members Tony Bell (guitars), Rob Naylor (bass), Steve Kenny (guitars, keyboards) and Andy Chemmey (drums) are back with a brand new singer in the shape of Yorkshireman Barrie “Baz” Jackson and now using the full moniker of Angels Or Kings to finally release their debut ‘Kings Of Nowhere’. And if any further proof was needed of the respect that AOK have earned themselves over the years, they have been awarded with the prestigious, fan-voted, unsigned band opening slot at this year’s “Final Fling” Firefest. Okay, they’re not exactly unsigned anymore since AOR Heaven picked them up to release this album, but I don’t hear anybody complaining.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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 ‘...Nowhere’ is the quintessentially perfect British AOR album – and then some.  From the shimmering opener ‘Any Other Girl’, the moody ‘Ice Turned To Rain’, the power-ballad ‘Real Life’, the gloriously melodic ‘Same Star’, the expertly arranged ‘A Night Like This’, the full-on Rocker ‘Same Old Love’ to the majestic title-track that closes proceedings, this is an album that oozes class and sophistication from every pore. There are similarities to FM, early Ten and Dare, but Jackson’s obvious likeness to a certain Harry Hess throws a classic Harem Scarem element into the mix – no bad thing in my book. And while the guitars meld seamlessly with the subtle keyboards on some of the catchiest AOR tunes you’re likely to hear this millennium, it’s the captivating performance of Jackson that lifts this album from “accomplished” to “absolutely stunning”. Sure, there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done a thousand times before, but when it’s done with this much passion and conviction, it’s nigh on impossible to resist its charms.

On this evidence, Angels Or Kings fully deserve a shot in the spotlight again. Twenty-six years is a long time from a band’s inception to release their debut album. Is it worth the wait?  Absolutely!

Ant Heeks

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