John Murray on a new album from an old school rock band
Like meeting an old friend after many years it is equally comforting to hear a band you followed years before. In my case the rock sounds of Boston came as they debuted in 1976 amid many metal bands of the time. US rock with Foreigner, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Aerosmith and Kansas ruled and the British equivalent with The Who, Thin Lizzy, Nazareth, Deep Purple and the ever growing Queen kept their own agendas avoiding the progressive new boys like Genesis and the reborn Pink Floyd. Boston though had a bass fuelled steady beat with soaring guitars and the voice of the late Brad Delp with songs by Tom Scholz. When ‘More Than A Feeling’ hit the airwaves they would go on to sell 17m copies of the album, the biggest for any rock debut even today. This week they return with a limited single ‘God Rest Ye Metal Gentlemen’ featuring Tom and Kimberly Dahme on vocals and it works on all levels while drawing attention to the new album Life, Love & Hope (Frontiers). Tommy DeCarlo is the main vocalist these days but the band remain close to their origins especially on ‘Didn’t Mean To Fall In Love’ and the lead track ‘Heaven On Earth’ with David Victor on vocals. The instrumental ‘Last Day Of School’ has a fine retro feel too. Taking 10 years to produce they have carefully kept up the standard set and still with a characteristic sound although Delp would commit suicide in 2007 before completion. They close with ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ an anthemic power ballad with multi vocalists and not the old standard with the same title. The Wonder Stuff were formed in 1986 and peaked with their ‘The Size Of A Cow’ single in 1991. They split in 1994 and reformed in 2000 and with their current double album Oh No Its…The Wonder Stuff (IRL), they have lost none of their passion.