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Rio - Borderland

by Grigoris Chronis at 22 September 2010, 6:09 PM

1985 was quite a raw period for what would be developed and labeled as melodic Rock many years later. RIO was one of the bands that emerged from the UK trying to play as Americans, due to the high stream of FM Rock/AOR releases at the time in the States. Britain, virtually responsible for any Metal/Hard Rock subgenre invented the last 40 years, saw enough bands chasing the American dream (even NWOBHM outfits had a metallic debut and a ‘polished’ commercial follow-up). Needless to say, RIO did not make it after a couple of LP releases (I really do not know if they ever recorded something else…) and this re-release of their first recording shall probably make some die-hard melody-Rock maniacs smile wide.

There’s not much to say for this album: it’s an on-the-edge heavy Rock collection of songs that – on second thought – could easily attract the interest of Power Pop/Westcoast fans. The songs are quite typical for this genre and the production is simple and a bit flat (the drums’ sound is as plastic as you can imagine). There are nice melodies all over the album and Jon Neill’s vocals are warm and emotional, on the other hand. Most songs have this mid-pace tempo but there’s not much of heavy keyboards or passionate guitars to make your body shake for a while.

Not being a bad album, “Borderland” sees RIO flirting dangerously with fields outside the wider Rock area (not that this is a problem, of course, but it probably stays off the content of our mag). Nice hooks overall but quite a poppy approach…Many consider this as a UK AOR masterpiece, so give it a try if you like.

3 Star Rating

  1. I Don’t Wanna Be The Fool
  2. Straight To The Heart
  3. Tommy Can’t Help It
  4. Better This Time
  5. State Of Emergency
  6. Shy Girl
  7. She’s A Virgin
  8. Close To You
  9. Borderland
Jon Neill - Vocals, Guitars
Steve Rodford - Drums, Bass, Keyboards
Record Label: Krescendo Records


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