7 MILES TO PITTSBURGH – Revolution On Hold (2019)
Despite their name, 7 MILES TO PITTSBURGH is a Dutch based band which really pleased us with their debut album. They are ready to release their sophomore CD “Revolution On Hold”, and let me tell you that if first LP was good, this new one blows it out of the water.
Even more, many ‘big name’ classic rock bands will envy this 7 Miles To Pittsburgh new CD.
“Revolution On Hold” is a quite different beast than 7 Miles To Pittsburgh first effort. In fact, this a completely rejuvenated band.
Originally a power trio comprising experienced musicians, now the band has been expanded to a 5-piece, and this took then to another level.
Vocalist Andrew Elt spent 8 years recording and touring the world with terrific ’80s Dutch melodic hard rockers / Atlantic recording artists Sleeze Beez. He has since Tour Managed and performed with Walter Trout for 18 years, whilst keeping his vocal chords in shape by playing 40+ shows a year with his Led Zeppelin tribute, Physical Graffiti.
Guitarist Joris Lindner is a multi instrumentalist, who played drums, recorded and toured with Komatsu, and Martin Helmantel (bass) is a veteran of the Dutch rock scene. Playing with prog rockers Elegy for 7 years, they released 7 albums that sold across the globe, where their success ultimately led them to the shores of Japan, Asia and the States.
But the trio saw themselves faced with the challenge of performing their music up on stage. With all musicians handling guitars and a mandatory keyboard player to deliver the massive wall of sound presented, the band soon added former Elegy drummer Dirk Bruinenberg, as well as Elt’s bandmate in Physical Graffiti Remco van Zandvoort on Keyboards.
The trio morphed into a full-blown band and their new album “Revolution On Hold” clearly benefits from this shift of shape.
As it turns out upon the first spin of opening the new album, the energy levels have been boosted by the addition of both new musicians, and a true and passionate live feeling radiates off of the edges of this record.
With Lindner’s hands freed onstage, Bruinenberg clearly adds to the turmoil with his versatile drumming, as does van Zandvoort’s impressive pumping Hammond and keyboard swirls. More prominently in the front of the mix, the Hammond whirls heavily, with lead and rhythm guitar firing on all engines.
In addition, Helmantel’s bass lines also are more dominating, likely because of a higher peaking treble that perfectly intertwines with the guitar parts. The rock solid progressive drum patterns are majestically adding to the poise. It simply all blends better than ever and calls for musical revolution.
An organic and classic rooted production emphasizes 7MTP’s influences and blows you off your feet. Raw and fierce ‘Bad Enough’ opens, to plunge deep in a KING’S X-vibe bridge, packed with breaks and sterling riffs akin Nineties RUSH. The Hammond is duelling with the guitars during the impressive mid section that spits turmoil.
Then, you have Andrew Elt’s vocals. His tone and way of singing is very melodic hard rock oriented, think Mikael Erlandsson from LAST AUTUMN’S DREAM. This, combined with the music style mentioned, creates a unique blend.
Mixing all the classic rock ingredients with a melodic approach, on track 2 we have the stunning musical acrobatics of “Olympus”, with its impressive melodies and steep breaks. Think STYX at their prime, mixed with an early Nineties Scandinavian sound we all love. Catchy, and a highlight.
They slow down things for the elaborated semi-ballad “I Feel Your Pain”, a cross between YES and ASIA. The multilayered “Sound” follows, plenty of killer riffs and Hammond runs. However the song is very hooky, with lovely vocal atmospheres.
“Think” storms onwards with loud driven guitar riffage and swirling keys in a true hard rock fashion. Turbulence which is smothered on its chorus and bridge, underlined by some tasteful sweep picking and unloading in another exquisite guitar solo with Hammonds. REVOLUTION SAINTS would love to write this terrific song. A killer tune, and a highlight.
Crafted around a likewise bodywork is the sonic bombardment of “Time”: lots of guitars with loads of reverb and clean picking Lindner reveals his impressive skills, with Elt belting another impressive emotionally packed job. Another monster number.
The impressively crafted “God Only Knows” has a grasping soul embedded with melodic gripping melody and chorus, with some of the early LAST AUTUMN’S DREAM sound on it. On a more intimate and emotional level, 7MTP delves deep with the wonderful “Brave New World” with Elt sounding frail on the verses and unloading melodic grandeur on the multi layered choruses which brings STYX to the table again.
Fusing all benchmark ingredients of 7MTP’s impressive character is the piece de resistance “Only A Fool”, the ominous ending of this second album. Mid-paced it crawls forward with awesome vocal interaction throughout the track, musically RUSH meets DEEP PURPLE, but with 7MTP’s own spin.
7 Miles To Pittsburgh really surprised me with “Revolution On Hold”. Not only do they deliver an impressively crafted new album, the band also managed to inject more power with the addition of the two new marksmen, seamlessly adding up to the magic of the band.
Gelling like crazy, the band fires into orbit to deliver one of the best releases of the year, making many ‘big names’ look rather pale around its nose.
It’s classic and contemporary as well as fresh and modern, fusing 4 musical eras with genuine passion and love for true classic rock music.
01 – Bad Enough
02 – Olympus
03 – I Feel Your Pain
04 – Sound
05 – Think
06 – Brave New World
07 – God Only Knows
08 – Time
09 – Only a Fool
Andrew Elt – Vocals
Joris Lindner – Guitars
Remco van Zandvoort – Keyboards
Martin Helmantel – Bass
Dirk Bruinenberg – Drums