Being a huge fan of Melodic Hard Rock bands like THIN LIZZY, MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP, and HAREM SCAREM, I was incredibly surprised and impressed with GLYDERís "Playground For Life" album.
Guitarists Bat Kinane and Pete Fisher do a fantastic job of writing catchy riffs and infectious harmonies that capture the spirit of the classic aforementioned bands. Songs like "Gamblers Blues," "Sweets," "Puppet Queen," and "Walkin' My Own Ground" are filled with THIN LIZZY-esque melody lines, upbeat riffs, and absolutely killer lead guitar playing. The solos on "Playground For Life" are powerful and have the same type of melodic stylings made famous by guys like Michael Schenker and Gary Moore. Youíll also find a ton of cool melodies and harmonies all throughout this album. Adding to all the great guitarwork, Tony Cullen does an excellent job with the vocals as well. His voice is very fitting for this style and he has his own original sound going on which manages to strike a nice balance between both modern and old school styles of Hard Rock vocals.
Another thing thatís incredibly well done here is the overall production of the album. The guitars have that classic overdriven Marshall rock tone with a more modern type of polish and clarity. The drums are crisp and full sounding while the bass helps thicken up the guitar tone. Of course this kind of excellence is to be expected when you have someone like Chris Tsangarides mixing the album. For those not familiar with Tsangarides, heís worked with the likes of THIN LIZZY, BLACK SABBATH, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, GARY MOORE, JUDAS PRIEST, KING DIAMOND, and HELLOWEEN, among others.
The only negative thing I can say about "Playground For Life" is that a couple of the slower, ballad type songs are pretty uninteresting, namely the closing track "The Merrygoround." This shouldnít deter you from picking up this album though, because the rest of the tracks are absolute gold. "Playground For Life" is easily one of the best albums Iíve heard this year.
(Online December 30, 2007)