PAUL RAYMOND Project – Terms & Conditions Apply [Extra Tracks] (2013)

PAUL RAYMOND Project - Terms & Conditions Apply [Extra Tracks] (2013) mp3, download


British musician PAUL RAYMOND was part of the most glorious era of Hard Rock legends UFO supplying the melodic keyboard flourishes (but also as rhythm guitarist and songwriter) appearing on 11 albums including the classic ‘Lights Out’ and the incendiary double live ‘Strangers In the Night’.

Raymond also has been a key member in Waysted, Michael Schenker Group and Savoy Brown to name some, yet in parallel he developed his own band; the Paul Raymond Project, now releasing their brand new album “Terms & Conditions Apply”.

Though many might not know it, but this is actually Paul Raymond Project’s sixth release overall, and it’s a damn good one.

As you could expect, “Terms & Conditions Apply” is a Classic (Hard) Rock recording with much of the music recalling early UFO, mixed in with some MSG, The Black Crowes, Quireboys, Mott the Hoople and many classy Brit acts.

Raymond’s vocals are actually pretty strong sounding like a raspy Phil Mogg, the songwriting is razor sharp and his band is tight, polished and kicking, especially longtime cohort axe-man Andy Simmons.

The guitarist seamlessly switch his tone and style from Jim Cregan to Paul Chapman, then Michael Schenker to Gram Parsons to ultimately suit the songs varying moods, whilst also turning out some of the finest solos in the genre since many years.

“Born & Raised On Rock and Roll” – you bet he was – and this gritty rockin’ opener sounds like the perfect primer for what’s on tap.

Follower “End of Life as We Know It” is reminiscent of that MSG most melodic moments, while “C-List Celebrity” could have been a fine addition to any UFO album past or present, delivering a crunchy rhythm with some sizzling guitar work.

“Deeper Shade of Blue” is a mid-tempo chugging riffer that will have you singing along almost immediately, and “Whiskey Mac” is a wonderful, metallic blues-rock instrumental again featuring some killer guitar playing.

The atmospheric piano ballad “We Will Be Strong” has perhaps Raymond’s best vocals on the CD, along with some elegant ivory playing and melodic guitar fills.

Title track “Terms & Conditions” comes out of left field with strummed acoustics and a sweet string pad – then Raymond and company kick into a groove as he lays down a tale that is typical for his legacy.

Michael Schenker appears as guest on the remake of “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)”, an interesting rock take on this R&B classic with Michael’s trademark licks front and center.

Reuben Archer (Stampede, Lionheart) stops in for a cameo lead vocal on another lovely piano ballad, “Love Is Blind”. He sings the hell out of this number, his voice is as wide as a super highway and his phrasing is superb. This is all voice, piano, some strings and a boatload of tasty harmony guitars: sweet.

Another strong piece here is the smoldering blues-rock of “If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody”, highlighted by some outstanding Hammond organ from Raymond, and the final cut “Partners In Crime” has a super ’80s UFO feel, complete with powerful vocals, a catchy hook, spark guitar riffs, organ and harmonica.

“Terms & Conditions Apply” is a fun Classic Rock album, stronger and arguably more rocking in spots than anything recently appeared from the UFO camp and around.

Certainly if any UFO fan out there pines for the heady days of Schenker, Way, Moog, Raymond and Parker, then this album is where it’s at. It’s actually like finding the Holy Grail after the band’s last albums, that’s for sure.

But musically here’s as well enough variation to please any Classic Rock / traditional Hard Rock fan, ranging from uptempo hot rockers to sweet intense ballads.

Strong songs, some great instrumentation and ‘that’ classic feel is the motto here. Production is good but I don’t like the drum sound on several tracks. However once you do get past this annoying distraction what you actually find is some pretty damn good Classic Hard Rock music.

And that’s something not easy to get these days.

01 – Born & Raised On Rock ‘N’ Roll

02 – End Of Life As We Know It

03 – Deeper Shade Of Blue

04 – C-List Celebrity

05 – We Will Be Strong

06 – Terms & Conditions

07 – Whiskey Mac

08 – Bright Lights

09 – Reach Out [I’ll Be There] (feat. Michael Schenker)

10 – Love Is Blind (feat. Reuben Archer)

11 – If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody

12 – Still The Same (Bonus Track)

13 – Drifting Apart (Bonus Track)

14 – Partners In Crime (Bonus Track)

Paul Raymond – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards

Andy Simmons – guitars, keyboards

Mark Coles – bass, backing vocals

Tony Steel – drums, backing vocals

Michael Schenker (ex UFO) – guest guitar

Reuben Archer (Stampede, Lionheart) – guest lead vocals

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