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MORITZ City Streets Harmony Factory (2008)

I vaguely remember reading about this AOR band in Derek Oliver's excellent 'Wimpwire' column in Kerrang! back in the 80's and they released a four track EP which is very collectable. The band consisted of Peter Scallan (Vocals), Greg Hart (Guitars), John Metcalfe (Drums), Andy Stewart (Keyboards), Mike Nolan (Lead guitar) and Ian Edwards (Keyboard bass). After Moritz called it a day vocalist Peter Scallan joined Samson and the rest of the band formed If Only (whose debut was producerd by Asia's Geoff Downes if my memory is correct). Greg Hart is still active musically fronting Hartless and even better news Moritz are back recording an all new album for release next year!

Unlike fellow British based AOR/melodic rock bands like Shy, FM, Terraplane and Virginia Wolf, Moritz never got signed which is very surprising when you take a listen to the fantastic tunes on here. As a lover of OTT keys and harmonies these songs are the best I've heard this year bar Brother Firetribe. 'Can't Stop Loving You' is pure US AOR class a la Journey and something FM would have loved to have done back in the day I am sure. 'Place In Your Heart' and 'Break It Up' (you could easily imagine this one featuring on an 80's film soundtrack) feature immense keys coupled with catchy choruses bringing to mind Balance and White Sister. For a nice riff driven rocker look no further than 'Caught Up In The Action' which would sounds good despite the limited budget this must have been recorded on.

This is pure keyboard led 80's AOR and streets ahead of some of the bands who actually had labels backing them back in the day. Certainly worth getting and I for one can't wait to see what their new album will sound like.


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** 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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