Hard Reviews 3
by Martin Popoff

Push-On The Run
(Z Records)

Half the band's changed for this third from Denmark's leading hair metal torch-flamers (although new guitarist Martin DaRic is the band's original axeman), and the result is a tentative shift away from straight riff rockers into greater dynamic, scattering with increased confidence into acoustic, blues, glam, even heavier rock. Once more though, stellar production, carousing drums and highly rhythmic riffing carry the tune, along with Martie Peters' Enuff Znuff vocal style. A very nice cross-stitch of pop metal styles with the idea of metal, slammed home with big bass drums and crackling snare, each corner of the Push quartology doing a personality-projected job with his chosen weapon. Fans of Britny Fox, Danger Danger, GN'R, Chip Z'Nnuff, and Firehouse should have no problem copping to this well-appointed cock rocker. Note: a higher than is usual proportion of strident, southern, Slash-Poisoned power ballads. See www.pushrock.com for more info.
Rating 7

Bob Catley-Legends
(Frontiers/Now & Then)

I was all set to care not a wit about this second solo album from Magnum's Bob Catley. After all, Magnum wasn't the most consequential of acts o'er here, and even so, Ten keyboardist Gary Hughes writes the whole record, causing traces of dodginess even before laser hits silver. This is the man's second solo album, following up The Tower and his other band Hard Rain, and for the Legends project, Catley is backed by most of Ten. On the surface, what you get is truly adult-ish AOR crossed with light power metal. But the secret weapon is the slushy melding between keyboards, drums and above all the veritable mountain of vocal melodies and harmonies constructed by Catley and Hughes. I mean, I couldn't stop playing The Pain, Shelter From The Night, Too Late and the most heavenly Carpe Diem, which soars on delicate wings, full-on hit-worthy, mellow and mature. Medusa picks it up a bit, but again, it's the melted slog that makes it work, the album's homespun production sounding like a moist mix between Sweet and Queen. And it's funny, Catley's voice on its own is a bit gruffly unsuited for the syrupy strains of the arrangements, but his delivery is convincing and theatrical, and the group decisions, like I say, they are key. The lyrics, save for one on Elvis and one on Marilyn Monroe, are based on characters from literature, all "legends" I guess. Normally you might snicker, but it's perfectly suited for the escapist, out of touch vibe of these dreamers and their chosen softie rock directive. It's a surrender of edge I refuse to make with most stuff down this path, but given this duo's bald-faced and gleeful skippery down the melodious, sing-songy lollipop road of pop rock, you can't help but tag along for a bit before those Wolverine Blues bite the seat out of your pants and return you to the dog-eat-dotcom world in which we must do battle.

Hard Reviews Page 4