Released to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary this fourth studio album is ten brand new songs written by the all original members and it’s pleasing to report this is an album which will keep old school fans of the band very happy indeed. Melodic hard rock in the tradition of Y&T, big energy, Bay Area sound, if you are going to wait this long for a band to bring out a new studio album it helps if it is this good and true to the original sound.
‘Crash and Burn’ has an insistent urgency about it, the subject matter being a car chase. It’s a high energy start, but with tracks ‘Fool on Fire’ and ‘Tears’ we know we are back with the Babylon AD of old as the slightly slower tempo allows all the nuances of Derek Davis’ voice to reassuringly show themselves in the emotion of the song and extended guitar solos give us all the elements of what made the band originally great. ‘One Million Miles’ is a love song subtlety wrapped up in a catchy radio friendly sound. ‘She likes to give it’ is a fantasy song dressed respectably as a song about the girl at home, but the throbbing pulse of desire written right through it illustrates the eternal dilemma of the travelling man. Babylon AD have always taken an uncompromising look at the price to pay for anything at the end of the day perfectly exemplified by ‘Rags to Riches’. It’s not a world of fairytale endings, but that why there’s always been more depth to their songs than your average party style sunset strip band. ‘I’m No good for You’ is about the human propensity to want the opposite of what is good for them and the haunting and unusual guitar melodies show us just how good Babylon Ad are, not only in lyrics, at putting their finger on the agony and ecstasy of human existence also with the atmosphere their music creates. Even their party song ‘Saturday Night’ sees through to the core of what is really going on. ‘Don’t Tell me Tonight’ is about how corruption even for the sweet is inevitable in our modern world. If you don’t like your truth sugar coated, but prefer the grit of the streets, this is for you.
While their first album is still my favourite and has a special place in my heart it is great to see the band enhancing their name with a sterling effort adding positively to the band’s legacy and ensuring a healthy vibrant touring future.