|Honeymoon Suite Clifton Hill||Frontiers Records|
It's great to hear any new material from Canada's Honeymoon Suite. I have always had a soft spot for these guys and still worship classic albums Racing After Midnight and The Big Prize.|
The band took a left turn in recent years with a modern influenced Lemon Tongue, which fell short due to weak songs, while vocalist Johnnie Dee released a much stronger solo effort in the same vein.
An attempt to repackage Lemon Tongue in Europe with some different tracks as the Dreamland record won more approval, but it was news that the original line-up was back together that got fan hopes up.
And thankfully those expectations have been met with the new album Clifton Hill.
But to be clear – I don't think this is an album that recaptures the glory days entirely, rather it updates the bands classic sound to a more contemporary setting without sounding too modern or outside their comfort zone.
There is no mistaking that this is a Honeymoon Suite record. Part Monsters Under The Bed, part Big Prize and part new, this record features some very catchy moments and some great uptempo melodic rock and some of the band's best songs in over a decade.
There are also a number of moodier mellower tunes that surmises the band's sound over the years.
Listeners are hit with a one-two punchy of crunchy melodic rock straight out of the gate as She Ain't Alright and Tired O Waitin' On You deliver knockout riffs and big hooks - the latter being one of the band's best tunes in years.
The curiously titled Riffola harkens back to he band's mid-tempo moody best and Ordinary is a classic ballad in anyone's books.
The House beefs up the tempo with another cool chorus before Why Should I again delivers mood and angst as only this band can.
Down 2 Bizness is a good straight ahead rocking track, but the more left of center and contemporary Sunday Morning misses the mark and doesn't match the quality of the rest of the material.
That's All You Got is a little loose, but the vibe gets the album back on track and the chorus has a strong hook.
The moody and mellow Restless is another class ballad with a great lead vocal from Dee.
The mid-tempo and somewhat dramatic rock ballad Separate Lives is the closer and is a decent track.
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