The blessed sounds of nostalgia. Hair metal is not dead, it lives forever on in White Wizzard‘s “Flying Tigers”. The album has everything that made the 90s fun for metal. What sets this apart is the sheer musicianship by Jon Leon, who played guitar and bass to record “Flying Tigers”. He’s just amazing with anything with strings.
‘Starchild’ is a mega power ballad that has some quiet shades of Heart‘s ‘Magic Man’ and over the top guitar solos and plenty of power chords to make the air guitarist happy. Jon Leon played guitar on the album and he is joined by CJ Cussell. They play off each other perfectly. It’s a song sure to bring out the lighters when played live.
‘Flying Tigers’, the title track, reminds me of a cross between Iron Maiden‘s ‘Wildest Dreams’ and Mars Volta with some Rush bass runs thrown in. Jon Leon‘s bass is definitely stand out on this track. ‘Star Man’ is another complex song that invokes Iron Maiden tones and riffs. ‘War of the Worlds’ has an Alice in Chains musical flair to it. It’s part grunge, part 70s stoner music, with rich and autumnal guitar tones.
‘Night Train to Tokyo’ has the most kitch lyrics I’ve ever heard! “Walking streets on a summer night- See her there under neon light- Lipstick, Leather, Silky skin My body burns- My head it’s spinning.” Seriously! The sound is again very Iron Maiden in the Paul Di’Anno era; all swagger and attitude.
‘Night Stalker’ starts out like a Dio epic and then crashes into a great head banging anthem. It’s got a great pace to it. Another great track is ‘Dark Alien Overture’. Giovanni Durst is just a monster on this track. His drumming is the perfect compliment to Jon Leon on bass. Again, it’s all about pacing and ‘Dark Alien Overture’ does not let up.
The entire album is a great nod and throwback to the halcyon days of hair metal. The difference with “Flying Tigers” is the musicianship is stellar. When you get right down to it, the compositions of the tracks are quite complex. It’s a good listen and the Evil Dj in your brain will be happy.