July 17, 2020

Tokyo Motor Fist originally began life as a Frontiers Music project put together as a vehicle for the huge vocal talents of Ted Poley of Danger Danger fame and the mercurial licks of guitarist and producer Steve Brown of Trixter, and their eponymous debut in 2017 was a most impressive melodic rock masterpiece. They brought bassist Greg Smith and drummer Chuck Nurgi on board, and these two sterling musicians have worked for and with an impressive roster of musicians and bands including Joe Lynn Turner, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Blue Oyster Cult and Rainbow, so they most certainly brought a high level of quality to the team. Poley and Brown have trodden the same boards for many years and a combining of their talents was long overdue, and there was a synchronicity about their debut release which delighted all who heard it – now, with Lions, their perfect partnership continues and we, as the audience, are most certainly winners.

Taking ’80s metal as their template Poley and Brown have taken all that is good about melodic rock and given it a modern twist to make an AOR album that pays homage to those great bands of the ’70s and ’80s yet is vibrant, fresh and up to date for today’s demanding melodic rock fans. Ted Poley sounds amazing, there is no other word to describe his immaculate and enthusiastic delivery, with Brown laying down immense licks – plus his keyboard work is absolutely stellar and shows just how talented a musician he is. Just listen to his keyboard runs on Lions to see just what a major player he is. The songs are strong and catchy with all of the expected hooks and huge uplifting choruses, and all played sublimely and with perfectly controlled precision. This is high quality, slick American AOR with obvious comparisons to Danger Danger and Trixter, but there are elements of Warrant, Dokken, Night Ranger and a touch of the glossy perfection that is Def Leppard too. Some projects are fine but lack that little spark which means the difference between good and world class, and it is so obvious that Tokyo Motor Fist has the spark and so much more. Now far more than a project, this is a band that is making thrilling music that demands your attention.

Track List:
Youngblood (3:29),
Monster In Me (4:34),
Around Midnight (2:48),
Mean It (4:28),
Lions (6:41),
Decadence On 10th Street (4:15),
Dream Your Heart Out (4:00),
Blow Your Mind (3:48),
Sedona (5:07),
Look Into Me (4:21),
Winner Takes All (4:28).