Tokyo Motor Fist – “Lions” (Frontiers Music)
Battle Helm Rating
Well, it doesn’t come finer than this – take the talents of Danger Danger singer Ted Poley and combine it with those of guitarist/producer Steve Brown of Trixter – and the result is this kick ass debut that is sure to have any melodic rocker of the 80s rejoicing! The hugely catchy melodies are only one aspect of this amazing band, so if you also like big hooks and a ballsy rhythm, then that’s where Greg Smith (Ted Nugent, Rainbow, Alice Cooper) and Chuck Burgi (Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult, Joe Lynn Turner) make up the rest of this awesome package known as Tokyo Motor Fist. Opening through the brilliance of ‘Youngblood’, whose title is definitive of the 80s, you don’t even need to ask if the sound, riffs and of course melodies are authentic because you’ll know they are as Poley’s deep vocals immediately capture your heart as do the harmonies and man, that main riff is such a monster it could shake a stadium just as Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Cheap Trick did back in the day. Ramming it home on ‘Around Midnight’ with heavy guitars and a hard rhythm, Poley’s soul shines as it leads the song into its ultra-catchy harmony laden chorus that simply soars through your soul before Brown’s amazing warbling solo adds his pièce de résistance to another brilliant track. Adding to that, his raw ‘n’ cranking guitar sound on ‘Decadence On 10th Street’ along with Poley’s rock god vocals definitely bring a massive 70s groove immediately evoking thoughts of Page & Plant, albeit with the street hustle of 80s LA – superb. Even creaming on the ballads like ‘Blow Your Mind’ with its gentle chiming guitars, the flowing melody just softly works its way to your heart and thanks to Poley’s lead vocal awash with love and even more crooning harmonies, keeps it there as Brown’s guitar breaks bring tears to your eyes, so just make sure the box of tissues are handy. Man, you simply can’t go wrong here, cos “Lions” is everything its pedigree suggests!