SHEA ROXI – 1988 [Special Limited Edition]
Fortunately, these days we are seeing a lot of ‘lost‘ bands / albums long time out of print being reissued for our listening pleasure. Here’s another one from the ’80s that doesn’t count as a reissue because their recordings never were released: Concord, California natives SHEA ROXI.
Five of these tracks, mostly pre-production demos, circulated for years among fans & collectors as hand-to-hand trade, but AOR Blvd Records have along with Shea Roxi main man Adam Moliner ensured the release of this long lost but much praised collection, a total of 14 tracks from the band officially sees the light of day on CD entitled “1988“, the year when these songs were taped.
Shea Roxi’s tracks recorded during their brief time together is sure to please all you classic AOR / Melodic Hard Rock fans out there.
Their music offers touches of well known acts like Danger Danger, Night Ranger, Loverboy and Journey but also lesser known melodic rockers like Mariah, Defcon and Jet Red popped in mind while listening to the songs on offer.
Plenty of sing-a-long choruses are to be found here together with strong melodies and an upbeat feel.
Like a lot of bands of this ilk, Shea Roxi’s earlier demos were their rockiest and most lively, with the sublime ‘Cryin’ Eyes’, the driving beat of ‘Makin’ Me Crazy’ and the nicely arranged ‘My World Is Changing’ having energy and enthusiasm in abundance, whilst the Journey-ish ‘I Got What You Want’ and subtle ‘Can’t Hide Love’ are ballads that show singer Rob Schroder vocal prowess to the full.
Five songs recorded under the auspices of Journey’s Raised On Radio co-producer Jim Gaines show a band moving in a more commercial AOR direction, from the infectious radio-rocker ‘Somebody Like You’ and the lively version of the Van Stephenson classic ‘Fistful Of Heat’, to the keyboard-led pomp of ‘Angel’, ‘Anyway To Treat’ and the exquisite ‘Fortune And Fame’, where Danger Danger meets Journey.
A rough live version of ‘My World Is Changing’ included as bonus would seem to indicate that they were a very good live band, so it’s sad that these songs were never properly recorded.
When listening to Shea Roxi “1988 [Special Limited Edition]“ do keep in mind that we’re dealing with demos and although they’ve been no doubt touched up in places, their overall sound cannot rival that of major label albums from the same era.
But it does not matter, “1988” reveals another great AOR / MHR band who fully understood the genre and those little instrumental and arrangement touches that make good songs into ‘great’ ones.
This CD was released some time ago, so if you are considering a purchase don’t wait too long because it was pressed in very limited quantity.
Classy stuff highly recommended for all AOR / Melodic Hard fans from the heart.
01 – Cryin’ Eyes
02 – Somebody Like You
03 – Mystery At Midnight
04 – I Got What You Want
05 – My World Is Changing
06 – Anyway To Treat
07 – Angel
08 – Wild Girl
09 – Fistful Of Heat
10 – Can’t Hide Love
11 – Makin’ Me Crazy
12 – Fortune And Fame
13 – 1988
14 – My World Is Changing – Live (Bonus Track)
Rob Schroder – Vocals
Adam Moliner – Guitars
Steve Salinas – Keyboards
Steve Nystrom – Bass
Joe Bennett – Drums