Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Moritz - Undivided


Well fellow melodic lovers, do I have a saccharin coated nugget of a band for you. Hopefully some of you will remember Moritz from a few years ago. Formed in 1986 in London, UK, the band consisted of guitar player and main song writer Greg Hart, bassist Ian Edwards, keyboardist Andy Stewart, guitarist Mike Nolan, vocalist Pete Scallan, but now have new drummer Mick Neaves


Split in 1988 and Ian, Greg & Andy became the core of AOR band If Only while Peter went onto join Samson. The band returned in 2008 after the long awaited City Streets finally gained a release via the Harmony Factory label. The album consisted of the sought after so called Shadows of a Dream EP and some unreleased recordings. It received critical acclaim, prompting the guys to get back together. The band has reformed with the (almost) original line-up, and now MORITZ ARE BACK! Recording for the first time since 1988 with their eagerly anticipated album UNDIVIDED.  Check out the band now and the guys haven’t aged well from the poodle haired mullets of their pics from their debut 20-odd yrs ago. But don’t let the pics put you off as the quality of the songs on offer is pretty damn excellent.

From the opening bars of the Boston-esque and 70s sounding ‘Power Of The Music’ to the utterly catchy title track, Moritz have perfected the long lost art of 80s AOR that many have forgotten. Radio friendly ballads come thick and fast in the form of ‘Should’ve Been Gone’ (reminds me of Phil Christians Big Mouth - another AOR classic), and ‘Cant’ Stop The Angels’. There is also the Laurence Archer penned ‘Can’t Get Away’ which was apparently sung by Phil Lynott originally, which I struggle to get my head around, on hearing Scallan’s version


Yes I know it was released in 2010, but music of this legendary quality deserves its day in the spotlight and I’m trying to make sure AOR releases like this, don’t get the opportunity to fade into the sunset like so many of their contemporaries have in the 21st century. Moritz have proven with Undivided that in this modern technological arena, you don’t need to harp back to the 80s and,  
a) spend half a million pounds recording an album over 2 years, and 
b) waste your time employing a Beau Hill, Neil Kernon or a John Kalodner to come up with the goods. 

The only down side is that, if this was the 80s, Undivided would be heralded as one of the best AOR/melodic rock albums of all time, as it would have undoubtedly sold by the shitload, and today would be a multi platinum selling album, spoken in the same breath as ‘1987’, or ‘Slippery When Wet’. However this is 2011 and AOR, even though this genre is in a major resurgence, the music is still pretty much dead on its arse despite the genres best efforts. But albums like this can change the tone. Moritz did four fifths of fuck all in the 80s when their mega talented EP was released, but now, they deserve all the plaudits that this will undoubtedly bring them. UNDIVIDED is an absolutely superb piece of melodic rock and stands tall against some of the classic albums of yesteryear, even if some of the production values are a little dated in sound. This gives it more of a 80s sound than was probably planned. Despite that smidge of a gripe, UNDIVIDED is utterly aor-tastic!

9.5/10

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