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MADISON PAIGE ‘Famous Last Words’ (Without The World Records)(2004)

Debut release from the band that consists of Will Arkosy (bass), Paul Caroul (vocals), Richie Rivera (drums/vocals) and Damon Valley (guitars/vocals). It's a melodic rock record with a nod to classic Bon Jovi and Winger but with a healthy does of modern rock of say Nickelback and the excellent Escape Music signing Panik. The sound of the drums sounds a tad under produced to my ears in parts but as we all know big budgets and music rarely go together nowadays.

Plenty to enjoy including `Hold Me Over', showing another band strength in the harmonies underpinning the choruses of songs and heartfelt balladry of `Heaven In Hand', where vocalist Paul Caroul shows his worth. My personal favourate track on here has to be `Nothing Denied' that lends itself to airplay - the sort of song Bon Jovi should be doing nowadays. Curveball of the album goes to `Any Day Now' which rattles along with double time drumming and metallic guitars - have I stumbled into a power metal album? Seriously, it is a welcome change of pace and a cracking song - love the drums and guitar riffs.

An exceptionally strong debut release that will please fans of 80's melodic hard rock and those who hanker for a more modern sound. Good to see them striving for their own sound and style as well, rather than mimic current `flavour of the month' sounds. In the current climate of all things rock and with a bit of luck this band could go far.

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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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