Thursday 24 January 2019

Inglorious - Ride to Nowhere (2019)

Country: UK
Style: Hard Rock
Rating: 7/10
Release Date: 25 Jan 2019
Sites: Facebook | Official Website | Wikipedia

Next up on my ongoing exploration of the New Wave of Classic Rock that's becoming a major movement, especially in the UK, is the third album from the rising stars known as Inglorious, even though it's a record made by a group that mostly doesn't exist any more.

Reports online vary, so I can't be sure exactly what the line up was during recording but, at some point, perhaps right afterwards, bassist Colin Parkinson and guitarists Andreas Eriksson and Drew Lowe all left the band. Given that Parkinson and Lowe were founding members and Eriksson has been there for both their prior albums and all of their success, that seems like a big deal indeed. So, your guess as to what they'll sound like on tour over the next couple of weeks is as good as mine.

All that said, the good news is that this is a solid album, a good sendoff for those gone and a promising sign for those still there. If anything, the biggest problem is that the variety on offer is mostly on the instrumental side. Without ever cloning, Queen has an Aerosmith vibe; Liar has clear Led Zeppelin influences and Time to Go unfolds with a Lynyrd Skynyrd accent. While She Sleeps could almost be a Danzig song, of all things, albeit one performed by Whitesnake because vocalist Nathan James has trouble not sounding like David Coverdale, whatever he's singing.

Now, if you have to sound like someone else, Coverdale is hardly a bad choice and James does that really well, especially on bluesy rockers like I Don't Know You or While She Sleeps, two of the real standout tracks here. It isn't just the tone, it's the way his voice can soar with the birds when things need to escalate. And check out Glory Days, a real vocal workout of an acoustic ballad that showcases just how good he is. If you pick up the Japanese release, you'll get another track with a similar effect, a piano version of I Don't Know You sung as a duet.

The problem is that he isn't singing covers on reality shows here, he's leading a band, especially now most of it has been replaced, and he needs to keep searching for his own voice. There are points here where he manages to escape the Coverdale sound. Some of the phrasing in Ride to Nowhere is more like what Ozzy might do and there are points in Where are You Now? and I Don't Know You that remind of Geoff Tate. This is great to hear and I'm eager to hear what he's going to sound like in a few years.

With the line up substantially switched up, it's hard to see where the band are going here. This is a good third album and it should be able to stand on its own merits. I hope that it doesn't just become a solid placeholder to keep us happy until the new incarnation of Inglorious puts together something new or, if that doesn't happen, it ends up as simply an enjoyable last ride to nowhere.

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