Talon - Talon
Frontiers Records
Melodic Hard Rock
11 songs (47:29)
Release year: 2002
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by Marty

Talon is a five piece outfit from California and offer up a dose of classic straight-out-of-the-80's style hard rock. Either these guys have been cryogenically frozen since about 1986, or they've been living in a cave somewhere for the last 15 or 16 years! I don't hear anything that has the slightest hint of a 90's or current type of hard rock/metal musical style. It has the classic 80's sound with good up front guitar riffing, solid beats and some great lead and harmonized vocals. The band originally started as Voxen, named after Kory Voxen, guitar and keyboards, and enjoyed modest success. After recruiting vocalist Michael O'Mara, the band changed their name to Talon. Other band members include Jim Kee, lead guitar, Phil Keller, bass and John Parker, drums.

The highlight of this album has to be the guitar playing. Most of the tracks have a big fat sustaining power chord sound much like Saxon or Running Wild. The leads are fiesty, very technical and have an attack that reminds me of players like Michael Schenker or Eddie Van Halen. Talon In My Heart finishes off with some very Schenker-like explosive leads right to the fade out of the song and All Is Not Forgiven, has a very Eruption - like sounding intro. The overall song arrangements are very much like the classic style of such 80's bands as Dokken, Scorpions, Winger, White Lion etc. Michael O'Mara has a higher pitched and very strong voice and his vocal style and range shows similarities to Mike Tramp (White Lion), Vince Neil (Motley Crue) and even Geddy Lee (Rush) when he stretches for those high notes! The songs range from mid tempo rockers, a couple of power ballads, and a few fist pumping 80's style anthems. Lots of harmony leads are featured throughout and even gives Fallen Star, a classic Scorpions sound. Rock And Roll Runaway, very Motley Crue-like, has a classic teen anthem feel to it and Calling You Tonight could easily be mistaken for a Poison song. One track, Mother Mary May I has a very U.F.O. type of sound especially during the choruses (U.F.O. even did a song called Mother Mary years ago....coincidence??)

This band shows lots of promise but they don't offer anything new to this genre of hard rock. It's all been done before. The songs are catchy and are very well performed, but have such a predictable sound to them. The production is a bit lacking on this release and the drum sound really could've been better. There's a few decent tracks on this release and some may find the whole album quite enjoyable, depending on your musical taste. The one thing that really saves this release is the lead guitar playing of Jim Kee. I probably would score this review a lot lower without it....awesome leads! This is a pretty good album but with better production, a little more originality and quality to the songs, this band could be of the same calibre as bands such as Shakra, Bonfire or Ten some day. The whole 80's style of hard rock still has a future if new bands like this use their influences to create something refreshing and unique. I definitely will look for future releases by this band as I feel that they could really contribute to keeping this style of music alive and well in the 2000's.

Killing Songs :
Fire In The Soul, Talon In My Heart, Mother Mary May I and All Is Not Forgiven
Marty quoted 76 / 100
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