The Rockford Heros – Light Scares

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Review by Andy Boden

The Rockford Heroes have chosen a different path to follow rather than the conventional ‘stock pile material, release album, repeat every twelve months’ formula. Opting instead to release three or four EP’s per year of fresh, quality music, thus capitalising on their creativity and living ‘in the moment’, they maintain that they will probably never release a full album.

So, here we are, EP number one, which is essentially a re-recording of their previous demo tracks. But is it any good?

Opening track – ‘Streets Of Gold’ – is very much in the musical style of Deep Purple, opening with a Jon Lord ‘Child In Time’ intro which continues as the theme for the rest of the track. Without resorting to plagiarism, there are plenty of influences evident, ranging from the almost self-dulgent intricacy of the very best of the seventies rock bands to the pomp and hairspray of the late eighties stadium fillers. Really rather good.

The keyboards take more of a backseat in ‘Embrace The Moonlight’, thus allowing Dan Hultstrand to show his vocal prowess. He has the power and range of a young Joey Tempest, effortlessly moving through the scales in what is another heavily eighties-infused track.

‘Keep Away From the Sun’ is more of a Rainbow-meets-Led Zeppelin song, well paced and with classic rock structure.

‘Love Lies Bleeding’ falls a little short in terms of quality when compared to the other tracks on offer. Whilst in itself it’s a decent song, it comes across as more of an album track than as a song that could stand in its own right.

EP closer is ‘The Devil’s Eye’, with its drum machine and synth rhythm, we are very much back in the 1980’s ‘Glenn Frey/Miami Vice soundtrack’ territory. Not quite as satisfying as the ‘Streets of Gold’, this is nonetheless an enjoyable slice of nostalgia with a modern day feel.

Light Scares is very much an EP for those with a penchant for intricate guitar and keyboards, and for those with a liking for smooth, clean powerful vocals overlaying a crystal clear production. It may be seen as a bold move to abandon the time-honoured release pattern of new material, but only time will tell if this proves to be their destiny. One twist of fate and these bad boys could be playing decent sized halls and festivals, this being the case then the pressure to release an album may prove too much. No bad thing, twice the goodness in one release! Handsome!

Rating 7.5/10

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