RED REIGN – Don’t Look Back (2023) *HQ*

RED REIGN - Don't Look Back (2023) - lossless full

American hard rockers RED REIGN follow up their 2021 EP with their debut full-length album “Don’t Look Back“, promising to bring back the ’80s feeling and steer them in a modern direction. The 4-piece influences reach far and wide – from ’80s hair metal through AOR and more than a little ’70s classic rock.
On this first album all is done in fine style and more than a little spirit. Produced by Grammy nominated David Ivory (Halestorm, The Roots) the band sounds tight, confident. Title track is a highlight, featuring as guest talented George Lynch dropping some great soloing elevating the song.
‘Here I Am’ continues with catchiness having a very effective and commercial chorus with a slight Danger Danger feel. The similarly styled “Follow Your Heart” once again has an instant sounding chorus, this time more sleazy in the American way.

Passionate midtempo melodic rock “The Truth” brings to mind mid-Nineties Night Ranger, “Bury Me Up To My Eyes” is tough, grimy and quite uplifting and belies its rather doom laden title, as does the epic and emotive “Darkness of Pain”. All are mid-tempo highlights, among the best cuts from the album.
We’re back on Classic Rock territory though with the full bodied, rocking “Yesterday” that comes complete with more excellent rhythm section work and another fine understated solo from Stevie Shred (yes, really!); and “Changes” that embody tongue-in-cheek horror themed lyrics alongside more effectively on point band work.
The heartfelt and Extreme styled “Open Spaces” seemed a more than suitable album closer too.

The production is helmed by David Ivory best known for his recent work with Halestorm, and offers a crystal sheen on proceedings with Sammy Lee on drums and Larry Moore on bass providing faultless rhythmic support throughout. The aforementioned Stevie Shred is consistently understated and polished, and Carlton “Bubba” McMichael handles the vocal duties with mostly suitable aplomb.
Of course, the appearance of George Lynch will help acquire even more interest from hard rock fans.
A strong, rocking melodic debut album.
Highly Recommended


01 – No Peace No Love
02 – Don’t Look Back
03 – Here I Am
04 – Follow Your Heart
05 – The Truth
06 – Bury Me Up To My Eyes
07 – Darkness Of Pain
08 – Yesterday
09 – Changes
10 – Open Spaces

Carlton “Bubba” McMichael – vocals, guitar
Stevie Shred – guitar
Larry Moore – bass
Sammy Lee – drums
George Lynch – guitar (2)


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