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Fugitive - The Awakening

The Awakening
by Mike "Bitchin" Bourgeois at 26 February 2019, 6:52 AM

FUGITIVE. Turn on your radio in the 80's and you'd hear something similar and with good reason. They've been around that long. The thing is, when you do something that long, you get good at it. Very good. It's the kind of music they'd play at the end of a John Hughes movie as the main character drives off with his/her love. "Serendipity" captures that moment perfectly. The voice of Michael Angel (nope, not going to that thing you think I'm going to say about his name) is velvet smooth and high in range, perfect for this very melodic band.

"Light It Up" continues in this vein, with some very old school sounding guitar noise coming at you, courtesy of Ranko 'Chip' Veltro. Is fact his near perfect sound is throughout the entire album, changing subtly for the feel of each song. "Slave to Love"  compared to "All Fired Up" is a great example. At first listen I was meh, but as I listened more I came to appreciate the music more and more. The harmonies, shown off in the ballad "Two Hearts" (is it a ballad? seems to skirt the edge) are pervasive throught the album, and David Steele shows off his knowledge of how to write a bass line appropriate to the song. The quality of the production and mix of this album comes to the forefront with both parts of "Message"

Al Catraz is the final piece of this puzzle, solid, some great fills, and no gated drums (an evil mix trick that defined 80's music, Phil Collin's  "In the Air Tonight" is a perfect example) My pick of the album though is "Payback", a good rocker that I picture as an opening piece to get the crowd going and on their feet. FUGITIVE's "The Awakening" at first listened seemed to be formulaic, but the more you hear, the more you hear their evolution, and when you've played as  long as them, you get good at everything. Shredders they're not, but skill is oozing from every well placed note, and they are tight! The production is top notch, bands with ten times the budget should listen to this and learn. Overall I liked everything about this album, just a little out of my wheelhouse though. In the 80's, it would have been in my "Girlfriend" side of my tape collection, meaning it was something we could cruise Eighth Street with in my car and both enjoy the music.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 10

Fugitive - All Fired Up (official video) - YouTube

4 Star Rating

1. Serendipity
2. Light It Up
3. The Weekend
4. Slave To Love
5. All Fired Up
6. Two Hearts
7. Message (Prelude)
8. Message
9. Race the Rain
10. Standing at the Edge
11. Moonshine
12. No Resurrection
13. Payback
14.  Awaken
Michael Angel – Vocals, Guitars
Ranko 'Chip' Veltro – Guitars
David Steele – Bass, Backing Vocals
Al Catraz – Drums 
Record Label: Cat Records Music Label


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