Great White – Rising (2009, Frontiers Records)
- All Or Nothin’
- I Don’t Mind
- Is It Enough
- Last Chance
- Danger Zone
- Down On The Level
- Only You Can Do
- My Sanctuary
- Let’s Spend The Night Together (bonus track)
Jack Russell – Lead & Background Vocals
Mark Kendall – Guitars & Background Vocals
Audie Desbrow – Drums
Michael Lardie – Guitars, Keyboards, Mandolin, Sitar, Harmonica, Percussion & Background Vocals
Scott Snyder – Bass & Background Vocals
Producer: Michael Lardie
Total Time = 58:51
Great White is back again with a brand new studio album, RISING, the follow-up to the 25th anniversary record BACK TO THE RHYTHM (2007). When Great White released BACK TO THE RHYTHM back in 2007 it was the first newly recorded material since 1999 and the first album after the tragic Station Nightclub fire. The album was full of passion and bluesy grit and it marked a serious comeback for the band that had hit the lowest of the lows. Now the band delivers RISING and it’s not quite what I expected…..
The first three songs (‘Situation’, ‘All Or Nothin’, ‘I Don’t Mind’) all sound like vintage Great White and/or the previous record’s direction but the balance of RISING falls into a slow to mid-tempo groove. The bluesy Hard Rock sound we expect from the band that brought us ‘Rock Me’ is almost completely missing for subdued acoustic based balladry. Some of the songs (‘Last Chance’ & ‘My Sanctuary’) have almost a Country sound to them and only ‘Danger Zone’ really comes close to a true Hard Rock sound. The bulk of the album sounds more introspective and emotional, the band is obviously in a totally different mindset after The Station Fire and the songs reflect that. Of course there is a bonus track for this European version: a cover of ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ by The Rolling Stones. It’s a good version that stays safely in the same direction of the original but a real bonus track would be another original song…..I hate covers!
On the upside, the band turns in a solid performance. Jack Russell’s voice sounds as good as it ever has with a bit more soul and depth and Mark Kendall still plays in that blues based tone. Drummer Audie Desbrow and new bassist Scott Snyder keep the back end running smooth and guitarist/keyboardist Michael Lardie is on the board again and the production is absolutely flawless, the band just sounds phenomenal.
This album is going to be a grower for most fans that expected classic Great White or a Hard Rock record. RISING is acoustic based mid-tempo Rock with a dash of subtle Blues and Country, there really isn’t any of the uptempo sleazy ’80s Hard Rock the band made their reputation on. The whole album reminds me of 1994’s SAIL AWAY where the band basically had the same musical direction and acoustic base. SAIL AWAY has turned out to be one of my favorite albums and, after a ton of spins, RISING is beginning to follow the same path for me. I am disappointed that the band didn’t build on BACK TO THE RHYTHM’s success and went for a softer sound but they still turned in a decent record. For most fans, this won’t be the Great White they recognize. For me, RISING will sit alongside SAIL AWAY as a change of pace.
‘Situation’, ‘All Or Nothin’, ‘I Don’t Mind’, ‘Danger Zone’, ‘My Sanctuary’