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SURVIVOR Reach Frontiers (2006)

Now here is a band who I thought would never issues another full studio album (their last one was 'Too Hot Too Sleep' released back in 1988!) and bar Jimi Jamsion's solo efforts and a 'Greatest Hits' with a few new tracks with original vocalist Dave Bickler the band have been very quiet studio wise.

Since 1988 the band are down to the core duo of guitarist Frankie Sullivan and vocalist Jimi Jamison, joined by returning drummer Marc Droubay, keyboards player Chris Grove (who replaces the very talented Jim Petrik) and bass player Barry Dunaway (Deadringer/Dokken).

Question is, without Jim Petrik can the band cut it? Well for me yes and no. Yes, as the two opening tracks 'Reach and 'Fire Makes Steel' rock like good 'uns, harking back to their classic 80's material but with a modern touch. Good to see Frankie Sullivan cranking out the riffs and solos.

Best track is 'Nevertheless' which sounds like a Damn Yankees track! I assume Frankie Sullivan sings lead on this one as it certainly isn't Jimi Jamison. Sadly though after such a positive opening the ballads/mid-tempo songs take over and then some!

Survivor have always done heart wrenching ballads so well but on here there are just too many. 'Seconds Away' (a natural successor to 'Across the Miles') and 'Half Of My Heart' stand out as songs you can listen to repeatedly. Otherwise bar a couple of others they just seem to meld into one.

Long time Survivor fans hankering after an album that follows on from the excellent 'Too Hot Too Sleep' will on the whole be disappointed but do persevere as it isn't a bad album and certainly better than Jimi Jamison's 'Empires' release.

We can only guess how it would have sounded had Jim Petrik still been in the band!


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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