Release Date: January 15, 2016
Reviewed by: Todd "Toddstar" Jolicoeur
It is always a pleasant surprise when a new disc or download comes across my email that I had never heard of or expected to enjoy. The latest from Ecliptica, 2015's Ecliptified is one of those discs that has just the right combination of things to keep me listening over and over for days. Disc opener "Welcome To The Show" kicks off with a killer riff and a full drum sound. Soon the guitars are soloing and the vocals are soaring above the mix. This driving track keeps you guessing with the contrasting lead vocals, but it nicely sets the pace for the rest of the disc. "Hate The Pain" is more driving guitar and drums that swirl in the mix with the vocals and a heavy handed bass. The songs rhythm gets the foot tapping and the head banging from the first note to the last. "Need Your Love" is a mellow track that takes on a life of its own and really highlights the dual lead vocals these guys have seemed to perfect on this disc. The raspy female lead runs away and accentuates the male vocal, while the guitar solo keeps the bridge flowing. "Rock 'N' Roll Medication" is a no frills rocker that lets each of the instruments take the lead at different intervals during the track. The vocals are fun and straight forward while the rhythm section keeps the song rolling. The Roxette track "Sleeping In My Car" is a cool CD bonus track that adds punch and power to the 90's track. The vocals are a bit gritty, but add a touch of sexy at the chorus, giving this a rock feel blended with the power pop groove of the track.
"Round 'N' Round" is a cool melodic rocker that allows the guitars to run rampant in the mix. The vocals are different that other tracks, but also pull in sounds and textures from other tracks, keeping a consistent feel to the disc. "One For Rock 'N' Roll" is a keyboard driven track that brings to mind a million different power ballads, without actually getting mushy and soft. The guitars and keyboards play well together in the background while the vocals take the lead. "Persephone" dials up the tempo and energy after a couple lighter tracks. The star of this instrumental track is the guitar - the solos and fret fretwork drive the song and gives the disc a cool rock feel without taking away from anything else on the collection. "Trip" brings the most of the sexy female vocal to the top of the mix and supports it with great riffs and solos, as well as a driving tempo and bottom end. The male vocals are cool and less abrasive than on some of the other songs. "No Surrender" brings a darker mood to the disc, without getting downtrodden or too heavy. The chorus is solid and is built for the live stage. This anthemic groove is punchy and blends a melodic rock groove with a power ballad texture.
"Road To Nowhere" has more aggressive vocals that stand apart from most of the other tracks on the collection, but seems to fall in line at the chorus and bridge. "Hero Of The Day" is a great song that brings the guitar, keyboards, rhythm section and vocals together, with a driving duet that gets added punch from both the male and female vocals. "For Good" is a full-blown ballad that adds depth to the entire disc, even with it placed near the end of the disc. The female vocals are some of the best on the disc and show off different textures in the song. "We Rock" is a head-on rocker that brings to mind a lot of different female-fronted rockers from the 80's - with a killer nod in sound and feel to Lenita Erickson and Sally Cato. This track alone led me to pull out the Smashed Gladys Social Intercourse disc and take it for a spin...
Tracklisting: Welcome To The Show - Hate The Pain - Round 'N' Round - Road To Nowhere - One For Rock 'N' Roll - Need Your Love - Persephone - Hero Of The Day - Trip - Rock 'N' Roll Medication - No Surrender - For Good - We Rock - Sleeping In My Car