Back in the 80s many AOR bands just got to record demos and nothing more and many great bands never saw the light of day. Retrospect Records has really taken care of that problem for us AOR-freaks. Here we have U.S AOR band Defcon with their debut album that never was released, the songs were written during a period between 1989-1991 so you can imagine that this is pure 80s AOR/MHR. Mark Matthews, Tony Artino and Nick LePar got help from Freddie Salem (The Outlaws), Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake) and Frankie Sullivan (Survivor). This is a 14-track album that should speak to lovers of bands like Valentine, Autograph, Restless and White Sister.
Yes, they have moments when they are up there in the same league as the big ones. Sure there are songs on the album like "My Time To Fly", "Rock Me" and "Hard, Loud & Heavy" that really are nothing else than album fillers. Maybe it was these songs they haunted for a record deal in the 80s without luck because they are weak and boring hairmetal songs. Ok, to the better part of this album then. Just listen to the opening track "How Close" that is a fantastic pure 80s keyboard driven AOR song with touches of pomp a?la Rox Diamond. "Time Waits" is another winner that reminds of White Sister meets Valentine at their peak, awesome AOR-rocker with big hooks and strong melodies. Pick up your air-keyboards because "Into The Night" is a pure classic AOR up-tempo rocker with huge sound, just enjoy the hooklines and the catchy chorus. When AOR sounds this good - I surrender, classy stuff. "Cold Hearted" is a great rocker a?la Autograph with a powerful and catchy chorus. "Never Too Far Away" is a nice ballad.
The two last songs are live versions of "Rock?n?Roll Machine" and "Down The Road" that we could have been without because the sound is lousy. Ok, the whole album is not classic sounding but there is enough great tracks that should make 80s AOR-fans to check out Defcon?s album. The production is more than good so I don?t have nothing to complain about, sure this is mostly demos put on CD but the sound is good and the booklet is awesome with a short story about the band and lyrics. Great release.