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Fair Warning - Sundancer Award winner

Fair Warning
by YngwieViking at 06 May 2013, 5:53 PM

For the young's profane and the neophytes let me first going for a quick description of the magnificent musical world ruled by FAIR WARNING: Initiated as a spin-off project related with ZENO and the Uli Jon Roth's family tree, the band from Germany started to making waves immediately with the addition of ex-V2 extraordinaire vocalist Tommy Heart (SOUL DOCTOR) and the release of their first eponymous album in the worst period for melodic Hard Rock. However, the beautiful sound and the superb melodies enhanced by timeless hymns then had all of a sudden, triumphed and looked then like as an oasis in the desert of the stinky flannel shirts morons coming from Seattle - happily now those acts are vanished forever- on the opposite Ule W. Ritgen and Helge Engelke are still going strong and more than never the devoted FAIR WARNING bunch are sharp, competent yet able to provide golden honey to our ears and uplifting melodies for our souls.

Their sophomore 1995’s “Rainmaker” was their first big success break out and it seems to be the blue print for “Sundancer”, the reference point on the stylistic direction and endless artistic inspiration for the musical concept of the new album. Indeed with such an updated vision, featuring 14 superb cuts performed under a down to earth songwriting, maybe a little less bombastic than the “Go!” era or than the 2006’s come-back album “Brother’s Keeper” style. FAIR WARNING went a more direct Arena Rock hooks structures than "Aura", less progressive, more organic, accented by natural maturation yet finely assembled positively in an evident and logical sequence, and…Yes, even the cover art of “Sundancer” clearly referring to this last century respected classic AOR disc named “Rainmaker”: Another huge step forward, that takes its deep roots almost 20 years ago.

FAIR WARNING's identity mark is a rich and polished AOR style, embellished by a rather crisp six strings tone, a sheer crystal-clear riffage package, with a set of delicate multi layered guitar-driven-yet-keyboard / Hammond-flavored accentuated by a smart approach to Elegant Melodic Rock (“Man In The Mirror” / ”Jealous Heart” / ”Cool”) which are building together in a specific touch that leads to their real noble and recognizable signature sound (“Real Love” / ”Troubled Love” / ”Pride”). This strong personality associated with many ultra-well crafted, cleverly designed songs embellished by some of the smartest and tastiest guitar parts, extensively played in the most subtle manner with an heightened virtuosity and an exacerbated lyricism (“Keep In The Dark” / ”Get Real”), in order to reach something higher for a winning effect in transcending the entire classic Rock genre (“Hit And Run” or the Schenkerian ”Natural High”). If you add to those undeniable qualities, the fact that the loud / up-fronted in the mix Bass / Drums duo, is one of the more tighter and more effective in the today’s AOR scene (“Touch My Soul” / “Living On The Streets”), you’ll can perhaps understand, why, I'm a proud / fierce supporter of this beautiful soon to be released album, a CD that could needs probably a few additional spin in order to fully revealed his immense increased potential.

If I had to sum this album up in one word - rather than the redundant use of superfluous adjectives quite characteristic of my reviews - it'd be "classy"… Note: A superbly packaged Japanese Edition that contains the Shm-CD Album + a 4 track Bonus CD, was released in April 24th published by Avalon/Marquee (micp-30040).

4 Star Rating

1. Troubled Love
2. Keep It In The Dark
3. Real Llove
4. Hit And Run
5. Man In The Mirror
6. Natural High
7. Jealous Heart
8. Touch My Soul
9. Send Me A Dream
10. Pride
11. Get Real
12. How Does It Feel
13. Living Oo The Streets
14. Cool
Tommy Heart –  Lead Vocals
C.C. Behrens – Drums
Ule W. Ritgen – Bass
Helge Engelke – Lead Guitar / Keyboards
Record Label: SPV / Steamhammer Records


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Edited 08 February 2023

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