By JAY ROBERTS
The Cassette Chronicles is a continuing series of mini reviews and reflections on albums from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The aim of this series is to highlight both known and underappreciated albums from rock, pop and metal genres from this time period through the cassette editions of their releases. Some of the albums I have known about and loved for years, while others are new to me and were music I’ve always wanted to hear. There will be some review analysis and my own personal stories about my connection with various albums. These opinions are strictly my own and do not reflect the views of anyone else at Limelight Magazine.
LION – DANGEROUS ATTRACTION (1987)
How often have you come across this dilemma? You are a fan of either a band or a particular musician but when you go back and listen to some previously unheard earlier material, you find it rather unsatisfying to say the least.
After I listened to the full-length debut album from Lion, I had that exact feeling. I’m a big fan of Doug Aldrich from his time with Dio, Whitesnake and his current gig with The Dead Daisies. Heck, I even met the guy when the latter band opened for Kiss on their “Freedom To Rock” tour.
But listening to Dangerous Attraction left me feeling pretty cold towards the majority of the music. Released in 1987, the album’s material comes off to me as run of the mill stuff that a number of bands did far better.
The songs range from out and out rockers to slow burn pieces and every stylistic choice in between. But there are glaring examples of eye rolling choices such as “Death On Legs” which moves along briskly but is quickly forgotten once the song ends. Even the more anthemic tracks like “Hard And Heavy” due little to get my adrenaline pumping.
There are nine songs on this cassette but the first side is definitely the weakest part of the album. The song “Never Surrender” is actually quite enjoyable with its rocket fuel pacing and anthem like chorus. But it is side two that features songs that are at least a tiny bit more appealing overall. “Powerlove,” “After The Fire” and “Shout It Out” are all rocker tracks that will peak your interest, even if only for a little while. Sadly, the same can’t be said for “In The Name of Love”. That track hits all parts of the song spectrum, starting out slow and steadily increasing its pace until it is a full blown rocker. Not quite a power ballad in my book, but probably close enough to it. What would’ve been more interesting to me was if the song had been something more than dreadfully boring.
Singer Kal Swan wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the album. The liner notes credit the band as a whole for producing the album but the Wikipedia page lists Swan as the sole producer. As for how he sounds, it’s fine but I just didn’t connect with his vocals that much save on that “Never Surrender” song.
I wanted to like this album because Lion was one of those bands I remember from back in the day but never actually got around to checking out. But the album really doesn’t rise to much beyond a nod of the head to the nostalgia for the musical era that it came from and a shrug of the shoulders as I move on to other musical adventures.
NOTES OF INTEREST: There was a 10th track on the album (I’m guessing the CD version but I could be wrong about that called “The Transformers (Theme)”. The band recorded it for the animated Transformers movie, but it was not included on the cassette that I have.
The release of Dangerous Attraction in the US came via Scotti Bros. Records. The label was the longtime home of the melodic rock band Survivor.
The band broke up in 1989 after the release of their second album Trouble In Angel City.