TALAS (Billy Sheehan) – ‘1985’ (2022)
Throw on ”1985” and it only takes a few seconds of opening track “Inner Mounting Flame” to make it abundantly clear that TALAS are back, and sounding every bit as good as in their heyday. Formed in the mid 70s and dissolved in 1985, they may have never reached arena-headlining status but they were an integral part of the early ’80s hard rock scene, and their long awaited return does not disappoint.
Love the cover art – that Back To The Future / DeLorean – love the music. “The time was right and we were all into it, no one needed any convincing, we were all instantly excited to do it,” explains bassist Billy Sheehan, who is rejoined by drummer Mark Miller and powerhouse vocalist Phil Naro, as well as new recruit Kire Najdovski on guitar. “It’s like we never stopped – everything fell together so easily. It was quite wonderful.”
Now they return with ”1985”, a new album with 11 tracks of classic hard rock, picking up where they left off, and it is a release that will have old school fans salivating and new followers fired up with its big riffs, seductive choruses and killer soloing – basically everything that could be wanted from a Talas record.
Talas wastes no time as they kick into retro style with the imposing “Inner Mountain Flame”, this one is a speed killer with Naro’s high-rising pipes taking over as the ultra tight rhythm/bass just crushes with precision. The frenetic pace continues with “I’ll Take The Night” with another up-tempo sultry number, killer guitar licks, and Sheehan’s monster thumping crushing it, memories of early Mr. Big previews for free here. The Police inspired number “Crystal Clear”, sounds like it was pulled straight out of an 80’s time capsule, another prime number with addicting rhythm and chorus and hooks all over dripping with nostalgia.
When listening to “Come When You Call”, this nitty and burner of a tune kicks it into high gear, with an addicting rhythm, and the verse here sounds like something straight out of a UFO – Stranger In The Night – same vibes. The bass play by Sheehan is again majestic, and the vocals by Naro are outstanding here.
The only song not recorded in 1985 was “Black and Blue” and it plays very well in the overall scheme of the record, with a more laid-back groovy/bluesy rhythm that pulsates with freshness. The last song on the record features a Sheehan bass solo, what brass on the guy, super cool ending to an outstanding album.
The album artwork was conceptualized by legendary artist Hugh Syme (Rush, Fates Warning) who provides the classic DeLorean from the Back to The Future Movies, perfectly portraying the whole core of this album. Even better Naro’s son, James, makes a guest appearance on the record also singing some harmonies, in a superb tribute to his late father who passed away last year, and ‘1985’ is one of his latest recordings.
This album features so many hooks, tight grooves, sharp machination that was left mostly untouched, as Billy stated most of the songs have been left as they we’re in 1985, what a treat.
The musicianship is flat out outstanding which you come to expect from Billy, the drum work by Mark Miller is marvelous, and the vocals by Phil are lofty and magnificent, RIP to a great vocalist.
01 – Inner Mounting Flame
02 – I’ll Take the Night
03 – Crystal Clear
04 – Don’t Try to Stop Me Tonight
05 – Do You Feel Any Better
06 – On the Take
07 – Come When You Call
08 – The Power to Break Away
09 – Black & Blue
10 – Close to the Killer
11 – 7IHd h
Phil Naro (vocals)
Billy Sheehan (bass guitar)
Kire Najdovski (guitar)
Mark Miller (drums)