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Touch - Tomorrow Never Comes Award winner

Touch
Tomorrow Never Comes
by Mike McMahan at 28 March 2021, 7:49 PM

In 1978, three former members of AMERICAN TEARSMark MangoldCraig Brooks and Glenn Kithcart reassembled to form the AOR rock band TOUCHDoug Howard soon joined on bass, and the band lineup was complete. That same band lineup, who recorded the first two highly respected TOUCH albums, has reformed recently to record “Tomorrow Never Comes”, only their third release since that original formation in ’78.

TOUCH was quite the attraction in the late seventies and early eighties, charting with “Don’t You Know What Love Is?” and “When The Spirit Moves You”, from their eponymous debut release. They also served as the opener of the inaugural 1980 Monsters of Rock Festival at Castle Donington, alongside such acts as SAXONSCORPIONSJUDAS PRIEST and RAINBOW. A live cut of “Don’t You Know What Love Is” is featured on the album documenting that particular festival. The band, however, split after their second release. Mangold and Brooks later helped to write the seminal Michael Bolton hit “Fools Game”, with the latter playing guitar on the track in the studio; and Howard went on to work with acts such as Todd Rundgren and Edgar Winter.

In 2014, Mangold was approached about doing some TOUCH songs at the Firefest Festival, with a group of Swedish musicians including Goran Edman. In 2020, Mangold announced that the four original members were reuniting in the hopes of recording new music, which leads us to “Tomorrow Never Comes”.

The title track, which opens the album, is simply a slice of AOR heaven. The song begins with a nicely intricate keyboard line from Mangold, with Brooks’ guitar layering in over the top. The musicianship, as was expected going in, is top shelf across the board. The vocal harmonies are splendid, as well; and I had the feel it hadn’t been nearly as long as it has since these guys worked together. The song was highlighted for me by a sweet, tandem guitar/keyboard solo.

“Let It Come” is up next, and features more of the same, with a tad heavier feel. A nicely distorted guitar riff on this one, and again, Brooks’ solo is a screamer. There are also more fantastic vocal harmonies featured on this cut, probably more so than the opener. There are several really good tracks to speak of here, from all out rockers like “Fire And Ice” and “Lil Bit Of Rock ‘N’ Roll” to the more subdued and piano driven cuts like “Glass” and “Frozen Ground”. The songs are well written and well produced, never touching on the “over-produced” feel I have heard in some similar fare.

It’s great to see these guys together again. As far as an overall album full of great AOR music is concerned, “Tomorrow Never Comes” is a fantastic continuation of a great and, sadly, often overlooked band.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Tomorrow Never Comes
2. Let It Come
3. Swan Song
4. Try To Let Go
5. Fire And Ice
6. Trippin’ Over Shadows
7. Frozen Ground
8. Lil Bit Of Rock ‘N’ Roll
9. Glass
10. Scream At The Sky
11. Wanna Hear You Say
12. Run For Your Life
Lineup:
Mark Mangold – Keyboards/Vocals
Craig Brooks – Guitar/Vocals
Doug Howard – Bass/Vocals
Glenn Kithcart – Drums/Vocals
Record Label: Escape Music
     


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Edited 14 May 2021
 

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