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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Angel City - Dark Room

Band: Angel City (The Angels)
Albums(s): Dark Room
Year(s): 1980
Style: Rock, Arena Rock, Hard Rock...with new wave/punk tendencies
Similar Bands: Aerosmith, lighter AC/DC, catchy enough for radio crossover
"One Word" Review: Angst-Arena-Rock
Based Out Of: Adelaide, Australia
Label: Epic, CBS
Angel City - Dark Room Front Cover & Front Slip
Angel City - Dark Room Back Cover & Back Slip
Angel City - Dark Room Side A & B

Dark Room - 1980

1. No Secrets (sample) - 4.17
2. Ivory Stairs - 3.58
3. Wasted Sleeples Nights\Dark Room - 6.05
4. Face The Day - 6.06/
5. Night Comes Early - 4.13
6. Straight Jacket - 4.33
7. The Moment - 4.17
8. Poor Baby - 4.01
9. Devils Gate - 5.31

Album Rating: (1-10)

8

Members & Other Bands:Doc Neeson-Vox
John Brewster-Guitar, Harp, Vox, Producer, Mix & Cut (The Party Boys)
Rick Brewster-Guitar, Piano/Organ, Producer
Chris Bailey-Bass, Vox (Mount Lofty Rangers, The Saints, Guns Up!)
Graham "Buzz" Bidstrup-Drums, Producer (The Party Boys, GANGgajang)
John Boylan-Production Consultant, Mixed & Cut
Mark Opitz, Dave Marret, Dave Cafe-Engineers
Ed Cherney-Asst. Mix & Cut
Recorded at-Paradise Studios
Mixed & Cut @ Westlake Audio
Shoot & Run-Cover Photography
Timewinds-Cover Artwork
Dirty Pool Artist Managment

Unknown-ness:
I'd never heard of these guys, or any of their other aliases (The Angels, Keystone Angels, The Angels from Angel City). I was apprehensive to say the least when I picked it up and looked at the cover. I though that the name "Angel City" and "Darkroom," along with the imagery of a pair of eyes screamed 'Cheezy Metal.' I checked out the song titles, but they were no help. With titles like Ivory Stairs and Straight Jacket, their style could really go either way. At least the back cover helped. It shows a bunch of guys that look more rock or new wave than metal. So with that validation, I went ahead with the purchase in order to really see what they were like.

Album Review: This album is not nearly as heavy or metal-like than I had thought, nor is it near the hardness of their contemporaries. There is a very structured and catchy element to their style on this record. They are not overtly loud and they sing. It is closer in line with rock/new wave, like their band photo on the back cover suggests. "No Secrets" (sample) is a terrffic, catchy single. It has the requisite guitar solo in the middle, but the bridge and chorus are what really sell this song. The songs are full of driving energy, and although they tend to spill into the longer length, they really don't feel that long. "Wasted Sleepless Nights/Darkroom" sounds like a Dire Straits song blended with Squeeze (think "Hour Glass"). It has a talk/sing verse, and rhythmic, repetitive chorus. Then the album shifts gears sounding like something out of a Bob Seger or Steve Miller catalogue with "Face the Day." To push them further away from the metal label, I want to point out that the bulk of "Devil's Gate" sounds like Michael Penn.
Looking at the whole album, it sounds more like a rock record with punk tendencies, rather than a hard rock standard. There is sporadic dosing of a great keyboard sound throug out the record, lightening up any chance of it being considered a heavy, dense record. A solid listen all the way through.

Stand Out Track:
No Secrets

Links:
The Angels All Music
The Angels Wikipedia
The Angels Band (not w/ Doc Neeson) Myspace still touring
The Angels Band (not w/ Doc Neeson) still touring
The Brewster Brothers
The Brewster Brothers Myspace
Angels/Angel City fan page
Youtube No Secrets video
Youtube Face The Day video

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