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Lofton - Straight Between The Eyes (Reissue)

Straight Between The Eyes (Reissue)
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 02 February 2018, 2:16 PM

From their Reverbnation page, LOFTON was “a heavy hitting Metal Band from 1982 to 1991 that that never disappointed their audiences in Baltimore Maryland and up and down the eastern seaboard. Opening for acts like CHILDSPLAY, KIX, WRATHCHILD, L.A. GUNS, and many more. LOFTON was always sure to deliver a great live performance. “Straight Between the Eyes” was their only album, produced in 1986, and contains nine tracks.

“Sooner or Later” has that classic mid 1980’s Metal sound. The song is driven by the guitar riffs, and the reverb laden vocals of John Lofton. He hits high notes for accents throughout. The production is very gritty, but that is about what you might expect for the time. Baker’s lead guitar work is impressive as well. Some of the progressions remind of early QUEENSRYCHE. “Take a Chance” could be something you might have heard from KIX or even RATT at the time, though with a bit of a sleazier edge. Perhaps more like ROUGHCUTT.

“These Boys” has a groovy swing and again features mostly the guitars and vocals. I think the song could benefit by having some vocals harmonies in the chorus to thicken it up a bit, but as it stands, a solid party type track. “Heroes of the Future” is the almost obligatory softer song on the album. As fan of the genre back in the day, I always looked forward to hearing the ballad on the album. For me, it showed the softer side of these tough Metal bands and was usually a fan favorite. I wouldn’t call this a ballad straight out however. “Fade to Black” is a strong track that hears the guitar branching out a bit from the usual riff and bringing some more melody into the fold.

“Your Love gets me High” sounds like it would have made for a good single off the album. It has a heavy enough sound overall but also a fun and energetic sound, like a good POISON song. “Life” closes the album. It seems like a lot of the earlier elements of the album made it into the final track the best. It’s a good start for a debut album in the genre, at a time where there was a lot of competition out there. The foundation of a vocalist who can hit the high notes and a more than competent guitarist could take a band far in those days, and this is not to diminish the bass and drum work. Lofton’s voice could get a little pitchy in the lower ranges though, but I would bet their next album would have been much better, and if they caught on, a good producer could have taken them far as well.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Sooner or Later
2. Take a Chance
3. Dead Than Red
4. These Boys
5. Straight Between the Eyes
6. Heroes of the Future
7. Fade to Black
8. Your Love gets me High
9. Life
John Lofton – Vocals
Kevin Baker – Lead Guitar
Jeff Reid – Bass Guitar
Clinton Brown – Drums 
Record Label: Lost Realm Records


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