Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Alias - Never Say Never

There are some things that never see the light of day. Artists get funded by a label to record an album and if the label isn't happy with the finished product, it can sit on a shelf gathering dust. This happens. The rise of grunge affected many rock releases in the early 1990s including Alias' Never Say Never which through fan fanaticism and bootleg copies has become a veritable 'holy grail.' So the album finally being released after nearly 18 years is well worth reviewing.

Alias' potency bursts out of the gate with the machismo challenge of "Woman Enough" and passing the torch to the Steve DeMarchi guitar-heavy yet chantable "XTCOI." This really does set an energy level for the release heading into the plaintive "How Much Longer Is Forever" which is one of many stand-out songs on the disc. Instead of just back-to-back rock tracks they interject the feel of a Victorian waltz on the ballad "Give Me A Reason" which also makes the next transition to the swaggering "Wild Wild One" more perceptible. "Pleasure And Pain" starts sultry in a David Coverdale delivery yielding into a few Black Crows-like moments -- vocally, this is a Freddie Curci highlight reel as well as a band that can merge genres and deliver solid songs. I could go through each of these 13 (as well as 4 assorted bonus tracks depending on which version you are purchasing) songs and inundate you with too much information.

What you need to know is Never Say Never is a bold rock album that is as diverse as it is deep. No song sounds alike or dated and each shows Alias as an act in their prime. It's a shame the album didn't get released when it was ready but maybe it took some time for people to recognize a good album for what it is. The only negative to the delay is the lack of a follow-up.

4 out of 5

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