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Hungry Daze - Back to my Future

Hungry Daze
Back to my Future
by Mark Machlay at 21 June 2020, 4:21 AM

“Back to My Future” is the hard and heavy debut from Italian hard rockers HUNGRY DAZE, named after the DEEP PURPLE song off their controversial 1984 record, “Perfect Strangers”. The first lineup consisted of Claudio Rostagno on drums, Luca Bernazzi on bass and Roby Bruccoleri as vocalist. Soon after, Francesco ‘Yackson’ Russo joined the band as guitarist, leaving his previous band SHADOWS OF STEEL only recently. Due to personal reasons, Rostagno and Bernazzi left the group leaving Russo and Bruccoleri to begin writing material that would eventual become their debut album. The band would find studio compatriots in Marco Biggi on drums and Roberto Tiranti (LABYRINTH and WONDERLAND) lending both bass and backing vocals on the tracks. By autumn of 2018, they would finally complete an official lineup with Maurizo De Palo on drums (WOUNDED KNEE, TRIBAR, and COMBRICCOLA) and Fabio Zunino on bass – previously playing alongside Bruccoleri in PROJECTO who were a power metal band that released a pair of decent albums at the end of the 90s. The band soon started playing their new tracks, opening for various bands and still hungry, writing more new material.

After the first two songs - “The Right Way” and “Kiss of Life” – I was ready to write these guys off as a bland melodic AOR group with repetitive, uninteresting riffs, yet possessing a raw talent in Francesco “Yackson” Russo – his solos were very tasty. Even “Rock Paradise” failed to impress, sounding like a mix of a very apparent nod to DAVID LEE ROTH’s “Just Like Paradise mixed with OZZY OSBOURNE’s “Suicide Solution”. Russo owes a lot of his style to Steve Vai and the late Randy Rhoads. It was enough to keep me going and listen to more despite my trepidation. But then the title track came on and I was treated to a distorted, yet elegant arpeggiated intro I struggled to find a similarity to. I honestly was sure I had heard something like it before but could not rack my brain hard enough to remember and that put me in my place, I was captivated. Their title track should have been the opener, it is melodically and thematically interesting bordering on the progressive. “Life on Two Wheels” was similarly attractive, starting out with lounge lizard, bouncy, jazzy 7th chords – very swing heavy – that slowly builds into this amazing power ballad and featuring and absolutely mind-blowingly quick solo. “Tonight Is The Night” is an amazing banger of late 80s melodic rock greatness and closer “Wolf’s Den” is a nice slow burner that amazingly made me long for more.

Unfortunately, the production is not great. Why is there an insistence on continuing the washed out non-clarity mixing that was prevalent in the late 80s and early 90s in heavy metal? It takes away a lot of the greatness of what could be a pretty great record. Roby Bruccoleri gives a great if not particularly unique vocal performance. It’s clear he is a seasoned pro. If I haven’t praised him enough Russo’s intro to their cover of SAXON’s “Mororcycle Man” – in which he simulates the sound of a motorcycle engine with supersonic lead runs up and down his guitar neck – is just one big example of why this is a guitarist that should get more attention. If he made a solo record I would buy it in a second. My advice, skip the first two tracks and enjoy all the ingenuity and genius crafting this band has to offer.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 5

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Right Way
2. Kiss of Life
3. Rock Paradise
4. Back to my Future
5. Life on Two Wheels
6. Now You Can Play
7. Tonight is The Night
8. Motorcycle Man
9. Wolf’s Den
Lineup:
Roby Bruccoleri – Vocals
Francesco ‘Yackson’ Russo – Guitars
Fabio Zunino – Bass
Maurizio De Palo – Drums
Record Label: Diamond Productions
     


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