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FINAL FRONTIER ‘The Second Wave ’
(Z Records) (2004)

Been a lot of expectation around this release and even though I’ve only heard a few songs by the band I was looking forward to this one. They have a big Journey influence and although many people that ape other bands too much you can’t fault this band. Like last year’s Departure album the Journey song structures is here in spades - big hooks, harmonies overload and tunes that just won’t lave your head. Final Frontier take the classic Journey sound of ‘Escape’ and ‘Infinity’ and bring it a big modern production. It’s like 70’s AOR/pomp all over (and a big nod to Canadian pomp rockers Prism as well).

After a suitably grand opening of keys and OTT guitar soloing it’s off rockin’ with ‘Second Wave’. Sheer aural bliss! Very classic AOR/pomp feel and could easily have come off a Prism album of that time. The song even uses the lyric ‘Wheel in the sky’ - how Journey can you get? Those harmonies - nurse the screens! ‘Runaway’ maintains the high standards, with more guitar and soaring vocals. The song ends on with acoustic guitar and harmony vocal fade out. I could easily rave on about each track as there is only one, possibly two fillers. Ballads are here in the shape of ‘After The Fall’ which is as good as you’d expect, complete with guitar solo and lush production. ‘Sherry’ and ‘Faithful heart’ are also album highlights.

Some will leave well alone as they sound to deritive to Journey - more fool them as they are missing a corker of an album. If you love Journey, 70’s/80’s pomp rock/AOR and melodic rock make this a ‘must have’.

Label website


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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