Album: Big City – XX Anniversary
Label: Dracma Records
Release Date: 21 April 2012
1. Rockin’ On The Bad Side
2. Big City
3. Still Remember
4. Latin Lover
5. Fast As An Arrow
6. Escape From The Rock
7. The Riot Of THe Young Guns
9. She Will Be Hangin’ Over
10. Hear It On The Radio
11. Hitman Boogie
12. Fly High (Hero) – Bonus Track
13. Snake ’92 – Bonus Track
Elektradrive is an Italian Melodic Hard Rock band founded in 1983. The band’s third album “Big City” was released by Italian label Dracma Records in 1993. Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the album, the group is re-releasing the remastered CD with some extras. This release includes two bonus tracks, Fly High (Hero) which was originally left off Big City in the ’93 release and Snake ’92 which is a rearranged song from their ’86 début.
The album starts strongly with the opening track ‘Rocking On The Bad Side’; a very catchy and uplifting tune. Next is ‘Big City’; I loved the groovy guitar riff on this one that had my head gently nodding. The mixture of guitars and keyboards make for some really bright and positive sounds. The third track ‘Still Remember’ is a well executed power ballad with powerful melodic vocals and soaring guitar lines. ‘Latin Lover’ is very eighties style with its synth stabs but still some good stuff here, especially the fantastic guitar riff that comes in for the chorus; the ending of this song is very cheesy and comical, you’ll have to listen to find out what I mean.
‘Fast As An Arrow’ starts with a powerful palm muted guitar riff that instantly had me moving. The chorus on this song isn’t so great but the verse parts sound cool; also some fantastic guitar tapping at the end. Next comes ‘Escape From The Rock’ with its up-tempo guitar chugging, catchy vocals and great mode changing guitar solo. The next song ‘The Riot Of The Young Guns’ again starts with familiar sounding eighties synth followed by a tight powerful guitar riff. The song reminded me a bit of early ‘Malmsteen’ with its guitar parts and vocal melodies. The next song ‘Lucille’ opens with a nice arpeggio keyboard part followed by long distorted power chords creating space for beautiful vocal melodies. The guitar solo on this one is very special with a smooth creamy distorted tone.
‘She Will Be Hangin’ Over’ brings more eighties vibes and womanising lyrics. ‘Hear It On The Radio’ sounds very familiar when it starts; not a bad song but I would say one of the weaker points on the album. Next in comes ‘Hitman Boogie’ with its Steve Vai style guitar parts and high paced pulsing drums. I loved the bass solo in the middle of the song followed by tremolo bar madness on the guitar. The song ends with a marvellous jazzy section; this was the highlight of the album for me.
Finally we get to the bonus tracks; the first ‘Fly High (Hero)’ has noticeably lower quality production that everything else I had heard on the album. The vocals sound a bit stained on this one and the chorus is annoying. The last bonus track ‘Snake ’92‘ brings back the higher standard of production as heard on most of the album. The lyrics made me a cringe a bit on this one and made a strong case for leaving out both bonus tracks which for me were the weakest parts of the album.
Overall I think this album is good with strong commanding vocals and excellent musicianship. I’d say this sounded fresh and relevant in the early nineties but in 2012 it is sounding a bit dated. If you like to reminisce about classic hard rock from the eighties and early nineties then you will enjoy this album; even if like me you are not a fan of this genre then there is still some good moments here with plenty of positive energy.
Elio Maugeri (Vocals)
Simone Falovo (Guitars)
Stefano Turolla (Bass)
Eugenio Manassero (Keyboards)
Alex Jorio (Drums & Percussion)