March 19, 2023

Any new album that features the tremendous Irish hard rock vocalist Robin McAuley is a real cause for celebration as he is one of those ever-dependable singers who can be relied upon for bringing his ‘A’ game to whichever band or project he chooses to grace with his talents. You must surely have come across McAuley or his music throughout his lengthy and star-studded career and it is a real surprise to realise that he recently turned 70 but you would never guess this when listening to his latest solo record.

McAuley first made his mark with Grand Prix and also with the Far Corporation, including singing on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven which charted in the mid-’80s, as well as the McAuley Schenker Group leading to regular appearances with Michael Schenker over the years as well as being the voice with the all-star project Black Swan alongside Reb Beach (Whitesnake, Winger), Jeff Pilson (Foreigner, ex-Dokken) and Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, Mr Big) and that truly is some spectacular company to keep! He has also released several solo albums with Alive being the latest record coming on very rapidly from 2021’s Standing On The Edge.

In truth, we suddenly have a richness of recordings from McAuley as his only other solo release, Business As Usual, was way back in 1999 and it’s almost like he is now making up for lost time. Robin McAuley has always delighted in hard, heavy and melodic rock and Alive keeps up that tradition as he storms through a quality set of sets that allows him to show the full range and power of his voice which, thankfully, the years have not diminished as he performs as though he is just starting out on the path to metal stardom. He has kept the same team from Standing On The Edge so we have Andrea Seveso serving up thrilling guitar with huge, crushing riffs and solos that are searing and precise with Nicholas Papapicco on drums and – yes it’s that man again – Alessandro Del Vecchio completing the unit on bass and keyboards.

Robin McAuley is a name synonymous with hard rock so you should not expect anything outside of this genre but when you have a voice and delivery like McAuley’s then why would you attempt to do anything differently? So, if you want to hear superior hard melodic rock with upbeat, hook laden songs and stunning levels of musicianship then this is exactly what you are going to get with a style born in the ’80s but totally revamped for today’s discerning metalhead. This is a record that you will never tire of hearing with McAuley again showing his trademark power and commitment and with the superior gun slinging talents of Andrea Seveso then you have a match made in heaven. The album starts with a real kick from the title track and the energy never drops throughout the entire 45-minutes as the band plays hard rock in the best McAuley Schenker Group/MSG traditions and proves conclusively that you are never too old to rock and roll!

Alive

  1. Alive (5:14)
  2. Dead As A Bone (3:51)
  3. Bless Me Father (3:53)
  4. Feel Like Hell (3:38)
  5. Can’t Go On (4:25)
  6. The Endless Mile (4:13)
  7. Fading Away (3:19)
  8. My Only Son (4:19)
  9. When The Time Has Come (4:19)
  10. Stronger Than Before (3:32)
  11. Who I Am (3:35)