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02 Mar 2017 

LIONVILLE - II [Expanded Special Edition +2] (2017)

LIONVILLE - II [Expanded Special Edition +2] (2017) full

Capitalizing the recent, new LIONVILLE album, their previous record label are re-releasing the band's two first CD's in an Expanded Edition. This 2017 "Lionville II Special Edition" includes 2 must have collectors bonus tracks.

After their excellent debut, the mighty Italian AOR act returned with "Lionville II", another slice of high class AOR / Melodic Rock with a touch of Westcoast, featuring most of the top flight musicians performing on the debut also onboard, and their performances are top notch.
Lars Säfsund (Work Of Art) shows again that he is one of the most versatile and talented lead and backing vocalists of our time, also Stefano Lionetti delivers a very solid performance at the mic in addition to his melodic guitar playing and an occasional contribution on the keyboards.

Let just take one example of the album quality: “Higher”, one of the album’s many highlights, presents one of the year's best vocal arrangements and performances on a Rock song, seeing the two young European singers unite with one of the AOR and Westcoast genre’s American legends, the two-time Grammy award winning Bill Champlin (formerly of Chicago) with his signature vocals.
The trio trades off the lead vocals and Bill’s wife Tamara Champlin joins them on backing vocals.

The excellent band playing on all tracks was also the Lionville live band for the celebrated Firefest performance in October 2012. The line-up includes the Italian musicians Mario Percudani (Hungryheart, Issa, Shining Line, Mitch Malloy), Anna Portalupi (Hardline, Mitch Malloy, Issa, Steve Lukather), Alessandro Mori (Mitch Malloy, Moonstone Project) as well as producer and keyboarder Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of Forever, Hardline, Issa, Mitch Malloy). 

On the album they are joined by guitarist Bruce Gaitsch (Richard Marx, Chicago) on seven songs, as well as guest guitar players Robert Säll (Work Of Art, W.E.T.), Sven Larsson (Street Talk) and Peter Friestedt (Williams Friestedt, L.A. Project).
The invitees are completed by drummer Herman Furin (Work Of Art) on percussions and Italian saxophone luminary Joe La Viola.

Stefano‘s songwriting partners are again Pierpaolo “Zorro” Monti (Shining Line, Charming Grace), Robert Säll, Lars Säfsund and Alessandro Del Vecchio and a new co-operation was started with Miqael Persson (Eclipse, Toby Hitchcock, Giant).
The only song originating from outside writers is a cover version of Boy Meets Girl’s catchy '80s Pop-Rock gem “Waiting For A Star To Fall”, written by George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam. Lionville's version is really fun and catchy.

This Special Edition includes a quite different version of 'Another Day (AOR Remix)' brighter than the original, and a more pumping mix of 'Higher (AOR Remix)'

LIONVILLE “II” turns out to be a more mature and homogeneous sounding affair than the band’s debut, paying even more attention to the musical arrangements and production details resulting in a very well balanced mix.
This is a must for Melodic Rock / AOR fans. Period.


01. All We Need 
02. The Only Way Is Up
03. Another Day 
04. Higher 
05. No Turning Back 
06. All This Time 
07. Next To Me 
08. Waiting For A Star To Fall
09. Don't Walk Away 
10. One In A Million 
11. Shining Over Me
12. Open Your Heart
BONUS TRACKS:
13. Another Day (AOR Remix)
14. Higher (AOR Remix)

Stefano Lionetti: guitars, keyboards, vocals
Lars Säfsund: Lead & backing vocals
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards, backing vocals
Bruce Gaitsch: Electric and acoustic guitars
Mario Percudani: Electric guitars
Anna Portalupi: Bass
Alessandro Mori: Drums & percussion
Very Special Guests:
Bill Champlin: Lead & backing vocals on “Higher”
Tamara Champlin: Backing vocals on “Higher”
Robert Säll: Guitars & keyboards on “All This Time”
Sven Larsson: Guitars on “One In A Million”
Peter Friestedt: Guitars on “Another Day”
Joe La Viola: Saxophone on “Waiting For A Star To Fall”
Herman Furin: Percussions on “Open Your Heart”
.
Admin · 12 views · 0 comments
02 Mar 2017 

LIONVILLE - Lionville [Expanded Special Edition +3] (2017)

LIONVILLE - Lionville [Expanded Special Edition +3] (2017) full

Capitalizing the recent, new LIONVILLE album, their previous record label are re-releasing the band's two first CD's in an Expanded Edition. "Lionville", the group's first self-titled release, in this 2017 "Lionville Special Edition" includes 3 must have bonus tracks.

Founded by guitarist Stefano Lionetti, LIONVILLE was created to bring back the pure AOR from the '80s to the new generation. With the help of such prominent musicians as Pierpaolo "Zorro" Monti (Shining Line) and Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge Of forever, Eden's Curse) onboard, they went in the search of a lead vocalist to fit the band's style.
The inclusion of one of the best new singers in the scene - Lars Säflund of Work Of Art - was the best choice they could have done.

Some of the other notables guests are Bruce Gaitsch (Richard Marx, Chicago, Peter Cetera), Tommy Denander, Eric Martensson (W.E.T., Eclipse), Sven Larsson (Street Talk), Arabella Vitanc (Alyson Avenue) and more. 
The tunes on Lionsville's self-titled debut are all lead unwavering with a bouncing oomph featuring great vocals and lead guitars from all the special guests. 

Where to start... if you’re a Melodic rock / AOR fan you will have much to enjoy on this fantastic, very well done record.
Opener "Here By My Side" is a melodic rock dream from star to finish, featuring a radio-ready friendly hook and killer harmonies."With You" is a terrific melodic mid-tempo with some Bad English-like keyboards but definitely European, while "Center Of The Universe" is a lovely AOR throwback to the '80s TOTO with some nice guitar leads.

And now comes one of the gems (in fact all are bright gems!); "Thunder In Your Heart", a cover of the marvelous AOR song performed by John Farnham for the Eighties movie RAD. Lionville's version is harder, guitar fueled but extremely melodic. A track to die for.
Another homage or tribute to the classic '80s AOR sound comes on the Richard Marx ballad "World Without Your Love". Superb vocals and arrangements here. 

"Power Of My Dreams" rocks again, with a more predominant presence of keys and a passionate vocal performance. "Chosen Ones" is just a brilliant intricate duet between Lars and new Alyson Avenue's Arabella Vitanc vocalist, a fast and upbeat modern melodic rocker with all the magic of Tommy Denander through it. Awesome.
"Dreamhunter" is more relaxed, very Swedish, reminding you Thomas Vikström / Talk Of The Town stuff.

The bonuses o this 2017 Special Edition are true collectibles: 'No End in Sight (AOR Remix)' resulting more midtempo and radio friendly, 'World Without Your Love (Modern AOR Remix)' adds subtle synths to the background, while 'Say Goodbye (Acoustic Remix)' is pretty different in this stripped version.

"Lionville" is remarkable debut, essential for all fans of classy Melodic Rock / AOR with that special '80s touch. All songs are fully equipped with the essential attributes for this type of music; melody, hooks galore, terrific harmonies and great musicianship / production.
Lionetti wrote most of the material but also received help from master Tommy Denander and Robert Sall from Work Of Art. Lars Säfsund shines on vocals and all the super guests give this recording a top notch plus.
A Must Have


01 - Here by My Side
02 - With You
03 - Centre of My Universe
04 - Thunder in My Heart
05 - World Without Your Love
06 - Power of My Dreams
07 - No End in Sight
08 - The Chosen Ones
09 - Over and over Again
10 - Dreamhunter
11 - Say Goodbye
BONUS TRACKS:
12 - No End in Sight (AOR Remix)
13 - World Without Your Love (Modern AOR Remix)
14 - Say Goodbye (Acoustic Remix)

Lars Säfsund - Lead Vocals
Stefano Lionetti - Lead & backing Vocals, Guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio - Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Pierpaolo "Zorro11" Monti - Drums
guests:
Bruce Gaitsch
Tommy Denander
Eric Martensson (W.E.T., Eclipse)
Sven Larsson (Street Talk)
Arabella Vitanc (Alyson Avenue)
Mario Percudani
Andrea Maddalone
Anna Portalupi
Amos Monti .
Admin · 8 views · 0 comments
02 Mar 2017 

SONIC STATION - Next Stop [Expanded Special Edition +4] (2017)

SONIC STATION - Next Stop [Expanded Special Edition +4] (2017) full

Record label Avenue Of Allies has just reissued "Next Stop", the second album by the Swedish AOR band SONIC STATION in a '2017 Special Edition' including 4 bonus tracks. 
Bringing Eighties AOR / Melodic Rock forward to the 21st century, the project of guitarist and composer Alexander Kronbrink has been called by the press 'the Toto of the new Millenium'.

They might be on to something with that description. 
With more than a little Westcoast breeze, "Next Stop" is likely AOR / Melodic Rock in it's purest form. It's also a platform for Kronbrink's elegant guitar playing which offers an easy blend of rock edge to smooth, delicate AOR sounds. 
His next strength is found in the depth of song composition. Kronbrink is definitely well-versed in his chosen genre and it comes through as he moulds melody and harmony, instruments and voice, into polished Melodic Rock. 

Sonic Station also offers two lead vocalists, one male and female, with Johan Boding getting the lion's share of the vocal duties.
The album gets off to a rocky start with "Amelia" finding Sonic Station trying to sound too much like AOR stalwarts Toto. The following "Catch Me If You Can" is more energetic, not the least of which is due to Kronbrink's powerful solos. 
You get more of that airy Westcoast vibe with "Stopped Beating" and "Where Are You Now", one of three songs to feature the suave, clear voice of Marika Willstedt.

For ballads - on the truly traditional side of the genre - there's "Fool For Your Love"; on the anthem side, "Broken Man", with one of the most moving vocal arrangements of the entire album. 
For a rocker with a deeper sound "Love Clash" fills the bill. It has that right mixture of groove, melody and catchy refrain to tickle your ears and, surprisingly, it's done without a Kronbrink guitar solo. What's up with that? But wait. 
The solos are pretty fandamntastic in the last two numbers "Last Goodbye" and "Hide And Seek" with both songs offering Kronbrink masterful melding of AOR and Westcoast into his Melodic Rock. Marika Willstedt is particularly passionate on the latter song.

This "Next Stop / Special Edition" includes no less than 4 bonus tracks; a more FM Radio reworks of 'Love Clash (Extended AOR Mix)' &amp; 'Broken Man (Extended AOR Mix)', plus 2 previously unreleased demos titled 'Brighter After Dark' and 'Half of My Heart', both with a very good sound production.

"Next Stop" is a wonderful AOR / Melodic Rock record with a Swedish Westcoast touch that will be a true delight for purists of the genre. Everything sounds pristine, clear and... really melodic.
Sonic Station has strengthened its songwriting here compared with the debut CD, with more polished melodies and rough around the edge riffs.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


01 - Amelia
02 - Catch Me If You Can
03 - Brighter After Dark
04 - Fool for Your Love
05 - Stopped Beating
06 - Where Are You Now?
07 - Half of My Heart
08 - Broken Man
09 - Love Clash
10 - Last Goodbye
11 - Hide and Seek
BONUS TRACKS:
12 - Love Clash (Extended AOR Mix)
13 - Broken Man (Extended AOR Mix)
14 - Brighter After Dark (Demo) (prev. unreleased)
15 - Half of My Heart (Demo) (prev. unreleased)

Johan Boding - Lead &amp; background vocals 
Marika Willstedt - Lead &amp; background vocals on 3,6,11
Alexander Kronbrink - Guitar, synths, background vocals
Jonathan Fritzén - Keyboards 
Erik Metall - Bass
Thorleif Robertsson - Drums
additional musicians:
Mathias Garnås - Bass on tracks 2,4, background vocals
Arvid Svenungsson - Additional synthesizers on track 5
Andreas Ekstedt - Percussion
Conny Lindgren - Strings on tracks 4,8,11
Matilda Bådagård - Background vocals 
Matilda Lindell - Background vocals
Rebecca Petersson - Background vocals
Uffe Söderberg - Background vocals
.
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01 Mar 2017 

COASTLAND RIDE - Distance (2017)

COASTLAND RIDE - Distance (2017) full

Swedish AOR act COASTLAND RIDE and German record label Avenue Of Allies continue their partnership with the release of the band’s third album “Distance” on March 10th, 2017. 
Originally a studio project, almost 20 years after the foundation stone for the band was laid, Coastland Ride made their live debut as a six-piece band on the 2016 edition of Rock Weekend AOR in Stockholm in front of an absolutely delighted audience. 

Few days ago, Coastland Ride celebrated the release of the digital single 'Winds' and the upcoming release of their brand new album with a concert in their hometown and with the new set of songs under their belt, the guys are ready to enter the stage again and fly the flag of classy AOR from Sweden.

Delivering perfectly arranged catchy Scandinavian AOR with L.A. Westcoast influences is still the game of the three gentlemen from Sundsvall, who started Coastland Ride back in 1997: Markus Nordenberg (lead & background vocals, keyboards), Anders Rybank (keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, background vocals) and Mikael Bohlin (guitars, keyboards, programming).
However, on this new album I can hear a beefed-up sound.

“Distance” is a highly enjoyable affair kicking off with the hook laden “Winds”, including a guitar solo by Lars Chriss (Lion’s Share). 
The lead guitar work of Sven Larsson (Street Talk, Sapphire Eyes, Lionville) is featured on the mid-paced tunes “Saviour”, “Eye Of The Storm” and “Reasons To Try”. Sven can as well be heard on five more tracks, also changing over to the acoustic guitar for a solo on the ballad “Here In My Heart”.


To spice up their sound, the band added some harder rocking guitars on tunes like “Dead For Seven Days”, "Nation Of Grace" and “Princess’ Little Wonderland” and invited their local musical friends, Tomas Lundgren and Hansi Fellbrink of the band Roulette, to add background vocals on “Higher Ground”.

Coastland Ride's motto always has been 'elegance', and they still maintain this characteristic, but now, for their 3rd album “Distance” they have added a welcomed 'edge' to the proceedings. 
Having talented Sven Larsson providing almost all the guitar solos (some of them really on fire) is a clear proof of the band intention for a more rocking approach.
If you like you Scandi Melodic Rock / AOR honed with attention to the minimum detail and served with a crisp production, Coastland Ride's new effort is a must to your ears.
HIGHLY Recommended


01. Winds
02. Saviour
03. Love Is on Your Mind
04. Dead for Seven Days
05. Here in My Heart
06. Eye of the Storm
07. Nation of Grace
08. Spotlight Sun
09. Higher Ground
10. Princess Little Wonderland
11. Hardcoded Life
12. Reasons to Try

Markus Nordenberg (lead, background vocals, keyboards)
Mikael Bohlin (guitars, keyboards, programming)
Anders Rybank (keyboards, guitars, bass, drums, background vocals)
guests:
Lars Chriss (Lion’s Share) - guitar
Sven Larsson (Sapphire Eyes, Lionville) - guitar
Tomas Lundgren, Hansi Fellbrink (Roulette) - background vocals
.
Admin · 9 views · 0 comments
01 Mar 2017 

COASTLAND RIDE - On Top Of The World [retail]

COASTLAND RIDE - On Top Of The World [retail] full

With the recent new COASTLAND RIDE album, one of you asked for their previous which has become pretty hard to find in good quality or physical CD copy. "On Top Of The World" is Coastland Ride's second effort, as always with this band's recordings, immaculately arranged to detail with a pristine production.

Whether it's by purpose or chance, Coastland Ride's name gives you a hint to their musical style. These three Swedes deliver stylized AOR / Melodic Rock with an elegant West Coast touch in the classy L.A. tradition. 
Coastland Ride was formed in 1997 by three friends and musicians, Markus Nordenberg (lv,bv), Anders Rybank (k,g,b), and Mikael Bohlin (k,g), wanting to record and publish the tunes they've accumulated over the years. 
The first result was their eponymous debut in 2003, recently reissued in a remastered form plus 3 bonus tracks, also featured on this blog (follow 'Labels' below).

It took some time for Coastland Ride to get this "On Top Of The World" ready, and that's mostly because Nordenberg & Co. are true perfectionists. Expect classic AOR / West Coast in the Scandinavian style here: breezy, easy melodies, lush vocal arrangements in harmony, catchy hooks and choruses, and some elaborated guitar work. 
That last characteristic truly brightens, even over shadows, this album. Guitar solos were provided by Sven Larsson (Street Talk, Lionville) and Leif Eriksson (Winterlong), and all are truly excellent.

Ultimately, Coastland Ride lets the music do the talking. 
The easy, feel good vibe of West Coast AOR comes through on "Wait", title track "On Top Of The World", "Strange Confusion" (lovely keyboards), and the quirky, sometimes funky, "Jericho Falls". For inspiration, a sax rises in the euro AOR of "Second Chance", a very nice touch. 
Coastland Ride balance the album with more rocking tunes such as "Made Up My Mind" and the finale "Nail Me To The Cross", whilst opener "Act Of Faith (One Million Reasons)" and the semi-ballad "Sandra" are Melodic Rock oriented.

Coastland Ride is one of the finest acts out there cleverly mixing light Melodious Rock high on harmony, melody and accessible friendliness with a classy AOR / West Coast sound revisiting the '80s.
Few do it better than the Scandinavians, and Coastland Ride are one of these.
HIGHLY Recommended


01 - Act Of Faith (One Million Reasons) 
02 - Wait
03 - On Top Of The World
04 - Second Chance
05 - Made Up My Mind
06 - Sandra
07 - Save You From Yourself
08 - Lodestar
09 - Strange Confusion
10 - Jericho Falls
11 - Nail Me To The Cross

Markus Nordenberg - Lead & background vocals, add. keyboards 
Anders Rybank - Guitars, keyboards, bass & programming 
Mikael Bohlin - Guitars, keyboards & programming  
guest musicians: 
Sven Larsson (Street Talk, Lionville) - Guitar solos on 1, 2, 5, 7, 11
Leif Eriksson (Winterlong) - Guitar solos on 3, 8, 10
Morgan Östlin - sax solo on 4
Patrik Norman - guitars, bass, keyboards, drums on 7, 8
Mikael Cederholm, Benka Jansson - Backing vocals on 5
Maria Ritzen - female vocals on 10
Mark Woznicki - the voice on 10
.
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20 Feb 2017 

SINFUL KIXX - Midnight Fantasy [Remastered] (2017)

SINFUL KIXX - Midnight Fantasy [Remastered] (2017) full

SINFUL KIXX were another glam / melodic hard band that never made it big, but for sure had the songs. Their indie release "Midnight Fantasy" has been digitally remastered by Demon Doll and Metal Legacy Records to deliver some over the top early '90s glam metal / melodic hard rock right to your door.

Here’s one of those band’s that was, at one point, fetching upwards of $1200 for a CDr copy of their original '92 indie release. Thanks to Demon Doll Records, now we have a quality silver pressed official release remastered from the master tapes, and available at a decent price.

These sinners weren't rocking the Sunset Strip bars, as in fact they were from UK, but perfectly learned the lesson of how to cook good, catchy melodic hard rock tunes.
Part Slaughter, part Tigertailz, part Warrant, the band slams the sledgehammer down with tracks like "Midnight Fantasy", "Dead Or Alive", the power ballad "Once In a Lifetime" and the sure to have been radio favorite "Sinners Boulevard". 
A few listens to this album will have everyone lighting up a pack of smokes and hitting the liquor store for the that sweet bottle of Jack Daniels.

SINFUL KIXX - Midnight Fantasy [Remastered] (2017) back

Sounding pretty American but with that special British melodic touch - check the melodic hard rock oriented "Inside of Me" - Sinful Kixx shows solid musicianship and a bunch of very catchy songs.
If you love your glammy melodic hard rock with some attitude and a whole lot of catchiness, "Midnight Fantasy" will delight your ears for sure.
Highly Recommended


01 - Midnight Fantasy
02 - Dead Or Alive
03 - Sinners Boulevard
04 - Watcha Gonna Do
05 - Alright All Night
06 - Breakin' Out
07 - Only Child
08 - Shootin' You Down
09 - Askin' Myself Why
10 - Too Much Fame

Vocals – DD Foxx
Guitars – Ian Michael
Drums – Gary Hunt
Bass – AJ
.
Admin · 21 views · 0 comments
20 Feb 2017 

BACK ALLEY SALLY - Back Alley Sally [remastered] (2017)

BACK ALLEY SALLY - Back Alley Sally [remastered] (2017) full

After more than 20 years, BACK ALLEY SALLY finally got digitally remastered their one and only self-titled rockin' album, originally released in a time when this type of music was almost profane.

Back in 1995, vocalist Mark Stone, guitarist Michael Sexton and drummer Martin Gaboury didn't care about the depressive rock sounds ruling the airwaves. Their motto was dirty, Sunset Strip fun hard rock like it used to be in L.A. circa 1988, and founded Back Alley Sally in 1993.
The boys certainly brought some serious piss and vinegar to the gritty streets Hollywood, and managed to get a strong fan base faithful to the fun rock n' roll days.

Mixing classic bluesy hard rock riffs with the swagger of bands such as Salty Dog, Rock City Angels, Junkyard and a bit of Motley Crue, Back Alley Sally recorded their self-titled debut in 1995, released via the small label Big Bang Records.
Kick ass rockers like “Candy Cane”, “Gone for Good”, the riff monster “Dreamer”, “Cocaine” or "Walking Down The Road" could have been hits some years before. And they save room for a bluesy ballad, “Ain’t the Same”.

BACK ALLEY SALLY - Back Alley Sally [remastered] (2017) back

Get the neighbors ready, lock the doors, and let it rip... Back Alley Sally are once again reeking the havoc this release did more than 20 years ago. 
Digitally and fully remastered, the sound is darn good.


01 - Walking Down the Road
02 - Changing Me
03 - Woman for Me
04 - Candy Can
05 - Things Are Gonna Change
06 - Number One
07 - Gone for Good
08 - Waste My Time
09 - Dreamer
10 - No Love
11 - Ain't the Same
12 - Don't Kill Yourself
13 - Cocaine

Mark Stone: vocals
Michael Sexton: lead guitar
Mike Thomas: rhythm guitar
Cory Dom: bass
Martin Gaboury: drums
.
Admin · 11 views · 0 comments
20 Feb 2017 

LIXX ARRAY - Reality Playground [remastered] (2016)

LIXX ARRAY - Reality Playground [remastered] (2016) full  

With the original indie edition fetching over $200 on auction sites, it was time for a reissue of LIXX ARRAY’s "Reality Playground" to be reissued, and digitally remastered.
Demon Doll and Metal Legacy Records have teamed up with founder and guitarist Blake Hastings to finally unleash the 1992 debut album that, if released three years before, would have taken the world by storm.

In 1992, Lixx Array was the talk of the town, sold out shows at The Roxy, The Whiskey and The Troubadour headlined the music press, celebrity sightings at their shows was the norm (appearances by Hollywood celebrities such as Mick Jagger, Alan Thicke, Sam Kinison, Kristy Swanson and Michael Anthony of Van Halen were frequent occurrences).
The owned their home turf of Orange County, CA and their record was practically made out of gold as "Reality Playground" proved to be the best independent melodic hard rock release in the area.

With songs like “Bad Man”, “Inside Of Me” and the catchy Warrant-like “Table For Two”, there was no wonder they were one of the hottest acts in Hollywood. Lixx Array was one of a few bands in the U.S. to be added to the play-lists of top "P1" radio stations, which are typically dominated by the major labels. 
Over 50 rock stations nationwide had them in regular rotation with several singles appearing on regional top ten lists. The boys also graced the pages of the Los Angeles Times, BAM and Metal Edge as well as scoring four songs in the movie "Animal Instincts".

LIXX ARRAY - Reality Playground [remastered] (2016) back

Now many years later, the record is back and stronger than ever, digitally remastered and repackaged with new artwork.
Despite its indie origin, production is truly professional from the inside out, while Lixx Array’s high quality guitar layered grooves, powerhouse choruses and catchy harmonies made this release a very strong melodic hard rock with a true 1989-91 sound.
Fans of Warrant, Trixter, Steelheart, etc, need to check out this one.
Highly Recommended


01 - Bad Man
02 - Inside of Me
03 - Table For Two
04 - Really Hits Home
05 - Right From the Start
06 - Ready or Not
07 - Thrills Behind the Wheel
08 - Once In a Lifetime
09 - Good Life Groove
10 - Hearts on the Line

Rusty Dades: lead vocals
Blake Hastings: guitars, backing vocals
Rob Swanson: bass, backing vocals
Barry McGill: drums, percussion, backing vocals
.
Admin · 10 views · 0 comments

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