When you think of melodic hard rock in the 80’s and you hear the names Danger Danger and Trixter you immediately know what to expect; Huge Hooks, catchy melodies, big guitars and a monster power ballad thrown in. Once you perfect a certain style there is no sense in changing it, it just needs to be polished to a nice clear chrome that stands out (hence the TMF album cover.) The chemistry for just such a melodic hard rock album has been united to form Tokyo Motor Fist. Long time friends Ted Poley (Danger Danger) and Steve Brown (Trixter) have had the idea of forming an alliance for many years and the time has come to make good and boy have they made good. Poley and Brown along with Greg Smith (Ted Nugent, Rainbow, Alice Cooper and Chuck Burgi (Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult, Joe Lynn Turner) have pulled together a rock solid lineup and together they have released another excellent piece of melodic hard rock for the ages.
Right from the start the album rips into a pure wall of guitar and a catchy, hook-driven melodic rock as expected with “Picking Up The Pieces.” The song has the perfect balance of vintage Danger Danger and classic Trixter. This is pretty much the same formula for the entire album and it is seamless throughout. “Love Me Insane,” Track #2 combines all of the big and catchy hooks and it is very easy to jump on this riff-driven tune and drift right back into the 80’s. This is just a flat-out fun tune and the same for track #3 “Shameless.” With Poley sounding better than ever its hard to imagine that its been 28 years since the release of the first Danger Danger album. Poley just maintains the style, delivery and precision that exemplifies what a vocalist of this genre represents and he does it to perfection.
Throughout the album there is just excellence track after track and as any big hair metal album there was a classic power ballad and this one is no exception with track #4 “Love.” This is a very nicely written tune that is sung flawlessly by Poley and the groove is finely orchestrated to the classic sound. More of the flawless mega-hooks and giant wall of sound with “Black and Blue” and “You’re My Revolution.” “Revolution” musters a faster paced groove and Brown’s guitar fills carry a very fiery twist throughout.
Another classic power ballad hits with track 7 “Don’t Let Me Go” which has Poley delivering a stronger and more aggressive vocal that reminds me of Hardline and Johnny Gioel. The power and the melody standout with “Put Me To Shame” that combines a faster paced, heavier power rocker that drives forward with speed and Massive hooks. The rhythm section of Smith and Burgi pound out the thunderous roar and Steve Brown rips out an extremely well orchestrated guitar solo that perfectly accents the big hooks “I Ain’t Playin Your Game. The Way You Shoot Me Down, You Put Me To Shame.” I find myself singing the hooks thru and thru and isn’t that what this is all about? Get used to it as there are more of the hooks to sing along to with a slighty slower, off-beat and heavy rocker “Done To Me.” Powerful guitar and rocking melody carried through and through.
“Get You Off My Mind” is another semi-heavier power ballad that combines more of the vintage style and that leads into a heavier power rocker in “Fallin’ Apart.” This song gives me a touch of the Billy Idol Rebel Yell sound with the big, catchy hooks and huge guitar oriented style that stays consistent throughout this album.
Being a huge fan of the 80’s melodic hard rock bands I can say that Tokyo Motor Fist brings it all back to me and it brings it back in style. Ted Poley, Steve Brown, Greg Smith and Chuck Burgi have combined to release one excellent piece of big-hooked rock n roll. This is definitely and album that you can play through and through and never get sick of it. Its like a movie that you enjoy so much that you can watch it and enjoy no matter where you pick it up at. Pick this one up and just relax, you will only have to hit play once.
Tokyo Motor Fist track listing:
- Pickin’ Up The Pieces
- Love Me Insane
05. Black And Blue
06. You’re My Revolution
07. Don’t Let Me Go
08. Put Me To Shame
09. Done To Me
10. Get You Off My Mind
11. Fallin’ Apart
TOKYO MOTOR FIST is:
Ted Poley – Vocals
Steve Brown – Guitar, Vocals
Greg Smith – Bass
Chuck Burgi – Drums