We now come to the full debut album by the American band Ghosts Of Sunset which follows on from the wonderful and somewhat crazy Headed West which came out last year and was an ambitious concept based on the ’80s rock/hair metal scene based around a fictional band making the transition to L.A. and its rise and fall against the background of an ever changing music scene. All was told within the 26-minutes and done, therefore, at breakneck speed but it did mark out Ghosts Of Sunset as a most ambitious band and one to look out for further recordings. In reality, the band is a project put together by the singer-songwriter John Merchant and singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Todd Long both musicians with over 30 years of experience apiece so they certainly know the styles and fads that have come and gone n the American music scene since the beginning of the 1980s. The EP was a rather effective glam metal release supposedly a pastiche of the scene but, in my humble opinion, a love letter to the long gone American hair metal scene.
Merchant and Long have pretty much stayed in the ’80s with No Saints In The City, a lovingly written and recorded melodic album out of the Journey, Survivor, Danger Danger and Winger period so we have a rather fine AOR album with just the right amount of grit so that it is not too glossy or over produced to make quite a hard hitting melodic rock delight.
There is a theme throughout the album but it is not a true concept piece but more a tale of the journeys that people take whilst pursuing their everyday lives with all of the ensuing dreams, desire, actions and consequences of the decisions being made. Take the concept at face value if you wish and just sit back and relish in a collection of delightful rock songs that are so redolent of the 1980s when rock was king and the airwaves were awash with some of the biggest names in metal. I’m sure that this album would most definitely have made waves if released in 1986 and it would be unfair to judge it now as a deliberate attempt at jumping on the retro rock bandwagon and best to see it for what it really is, a classic melodic rock album that pays homage to its roots but is still fresh and vibrant for today’s discerning AOR fan. John Merchant has a fabulous voice so redolent of early Michael Bolton and he stamps his mark all over the album with Todd Long providing a masterclass on just about every instrument he plays. They have been very clever too by bringing in a host of lead guitarists with each also imparting his own little mark of magic on each track.
No Saints In The City is a classic sounding melodic rock delight and will please everyone who makes the effort to seek it out.
No Saints In The City
- Tonight (3:06) feat. Scotty Griffin (LA Guns)
- No Saints In The City (4:22) feat. Alex Kane (Enuff z’Nuff)
- Look Me Up (If You Come Down) (4:18) feat. Eric Jayk (Wildstreet)
- If You’re Not Coming Back (4:20) feat. Mark Tremalgia (Little Caesar)
- Queen Of Used To Be (2:58) feat. Denny Smith (The Great Affairs)
- Love Ain’t Enough (4:11) feat. Lou Musa (The Verve Pipe)
- Bastards Of The Bowery (3:53) feat. Mark Knight (Bang Tango
- Puzzled Heart (3:40) feat. James Stevenson (Gene Loves Jezebel)
- Tonight You’re OK (2:49) feat. John Merchant (Ghosts of Sunset)
- Us Against Them (3:37) feat. Loren Molinare (Little Caesar)
- Something To Believe (4:23) feat. Mark Tremalgia (Little Caesar)