MCA Records 1983
I'm completely floored by this record right now, and that comes as a complete shock. My only previous exposure to SOUND BARRIER was some song on a Metal Blade comp, and I remember thinking it was the worst thing I'd ever heard. Oh wait... KRANK were on that record too, so it mighta been a toss up, but regardless, I didn't have high hopes for "Total Control" when I picked it up a few weeks ago. To say that I'm surprised by how much I like this record is a vast understatement. SOUND BARRIER play the most unoffensive brand of Metal I've ever heard, due in large part to their heightened melodic sense, vocal harmonies, big 80's choruses, and their superlative musicianship. The first 2 tracks on this record are so 80's it hurts... I can't get the image of someone doing that awful 80's dance (the one from the "Dancing In The Dark" video) out of my head when I hear album opener "Other Side", and the title track sounds like something from a Michael Anthony Hall movie. You know the scene, the one where he wanders to the wrong side of the tracks, and into a scary biker bar where there's a cheeseball band playing some kinda Hollywoodized pseudo-Metal. There's a buncha songs that really remind me of MONTROSE and/or Y&T... and there ain't nuthin' wrong with those comparisons! The RUSH influence on the mini instrumental track "Mayday" is painfully obvious, especially in the Geddy Lee-ish bass playing. Actually, the bass playing is phenomenal throughout - Stanley E. incorporates all kindsa tricks (popping, slapping, and loads of harmonics) not normally present in Metal. "Total Control" is anything but predictable: there's lots of odd time signatures, interesting guitar interludes, non-standard arrangements, and it all adds up to a thoroughly engaging and entertaining listen. Don't be discouraged by the first 2 tracks, cuz it's all up hill after that. Love it!
DOWNLOAD: Sound Barrier - Total Control.rar (70.95 MB)
MCA Records 1983