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Monday, June 21, 2010

Face Dancer - This World

Artist: Face Dancer
Album: This World
Year: 1979
Style: Rock / Prog / Power Pop
Similar Bands: Yes, Bad Company, Cheap Trick, Queen, Journey, Black Crows, J. Geils
"One-Word" Review: Bar Room Rock
Based Out Of: Washington DC
Label: EMI, Capitol
This World - Cover & Sleeve
This World - Back & Sleeve (autographed!)
This World - Record

This World (1979)
  1. Red Shoes 2:30
  2. Can't Stand Still 2:37
  3. Change 3:39
  4. If I Could Kiss You 3:22
  5. The Sphinx 3:31 /
  6. Cry Baby 4:59
  7. Heart's At Home 2:48
  8. Hard To Please 2:46
  9. Time Bomb 3:20
  10. When You Said 2:38
Album Rating (1-10): 7.0

Members & Other Bands:
Carey Kress - Vox (Hi-Fi)
Scott McGinn - Bass, Keys, Vox (Growing Up Different, The Sleepwalkers, Fidders)
Billy Trainor - Drums (Growing Up Different)
Jeff Adams - Guitar (Starkey Drive)
David Utter - Guitar, Vox (Fast Eddie, Fidders)
Richie Wise - Producer (Kiss), Mixer
Robert Aiss - Exec. Producer, Management
Doug Rider - Engineer, Mixer
Ron St. Germain - Engineer
Bob Merritt - Engineer
D.C. Snyder - Engineer
Joe Chiccarelli - Engineer
Ira Leslie - Asst. Engineer
Mike Beiriger - Asst. Engineer
Linda Corbin - Asst. Engineer
Sherry Klein - Asst. Engineer
Mitch Gibson - Asst. Engineer
Ken Perry - Mastering
Roy Kohara - Art Direction
Art Sims - Design
Ron Slenzak - Cover Photo
Jim McCrary - Group Photp
Daniel Catherine -Color Effects

Unknown-ness: I never heard of these guys, but the definite prog cover...a metaphoric flat earth, trapped in a Superman-like 2-d jail hovering in space over a digital longitude and latitide earth (presumablly), amde it interesting. As most music from 1979, it can be quite the suprise package, of good rock hidden beneath packaging nightmares, but I have a feeling this is going to be an arena, AOR, rock record. Dreams of a sell-out stadium, but only half-filling a club seems to be the idea i'm drawing.

Album Review: Apparently these guys were local favorites in the Baltimore/Washington DC area, and have even recently (10 yrs recently) performed successful reunion shows. But they were your basic rock/prog/guitar rock band with catchy layered songs and no record company push to make them big. The kind of band that seems to have been a dime-a-dozen back in the late 70's. Oh, and the name comes from the Dune universe. Totally Prog.

“Red Shoes” is a powerful introduction to the band. It is full of swagger and a bar room rock band feel. It contains confidence, and a chorus of shouts mixed in with the smooth vocals for the verse. Its like a jangely Black Crows or J. Geils Band. The end of the song features a long and meandering guitar solo.
“Can't Stand Still” is full of 70’s power rock. This is a little more dark and lurky than the opening track. The guitar solo is used in the middle of the song, and feels much more a part of the song this way. The build into the chorus is catchy, if anything, a little too short.
“Change” begins with an organ, sounding slightly carnival in nature. And the song picks up with the style and creeks into a slow groove. The vocals remind me of Queen here. It feels like it is building toward something more powerful. When the power does come, it is still with the same slow groove, not a change of pace like I was hoping for. Until we get to the 2:10 mark, the song takes off and feels like Queen still, but covering a Twisted Sister song. And it stays rocking out to the end.
“If I Could Kiss You” notes their power-ballad. It has strong power pop hooks, and emits a confident tempo. It feels like a Journey song: something I suspected they would eventually get around to sounding like, but finally, here it is.
“The Sphinx” returns to the dirty & gritty bar band sound. It just sounds sleazy. Even the chorus, which features a nice harmonized group effort, reeks of spandex and hair. The guitar has the same tone and quality as the iconic “Money For Nothing” guitar. A lead guitar solo wraps the song and the side up nicely.

“Cry Baby” was the favorite track from a couple of fan reviews I read. It begins with a section that sounds like royalty entrance music. Then the bass line comes in and the tone drastically changes to be darker. The instrumentation seems simpler in this song. The bass carries a nice and fun groove through out the song. And the synth brings back the royal treatment. It is a clash of two styles, and it is meshed well together. It is a little drawn out with the guitar and extended repetition of the chorus, but it too finishes well.
“Heart's At Home” is another ballad-type. It is begins quiet and the vocals are sung over faint guitars. Then it kicks in a little with drums, and over all, the feel of the song is sadness.
“Hard To Please” immediately sounds like another song I can’t quite place right now, but the melody is racing through my head…wait…it’s a Phil Collins song…”That’s All”…actually a Genesis song. This song has the same sound to the background, it is just executed a little differently. Actually, “That’s All” is a few years after this, so perhaps it was stolen that way. I cannot review this; because I just keep thinking that it’s gonna break into the more familiar melody. But over all, it feels like it breaks style for the band/album a little.
“Time Bomb” blends right into the end of the previous song, and this song starts as only vocals and bass. The vocals have a bit of augmentation on them, where they ring out in reverb in the back. Then the chorus hits in duplication, and it feels like a straight forward head-banging metal track. The guitar in the instrumental section is really fun, and feels video-gamey. The back and forth rhythm really stands apart and is a shining moment on this album. They could just stick with the simple head banging stomp, but they change and do more with the melody and that is a fun and great thing. And at the end I just got a slap in the face that the bass line reminds me of Led Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop.”
“When You Said” sounds like a Bee-Gee’s pre-disco post 60’s ballad. It is quiet, whispy and poppy. It is a nice orchestral, mood softening closing song.

Stand Out Track: Time Bomb 

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