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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Monday 31 July 2017

Walkway - 'WWIII' Album Review

Walkway – WWIII

Its bleedin’ criminal how a band like Walkway can go virtually unnoticed in the UK, especially when they are as good as they are. They opened up the HRH AOR festival back in March. I dug out a YouTube vid a couple of days before and was blown away as to how good they were. It turned out they were as good as I hoped they were going to be, probably, no, definitely even better than imagined.

To emphasise how good, they were as tight as a very tight thing at HRH towers. Why? Ill tell you why….when this album was launched recently, Walkway performed their 1000th gig to launch this album. If you follow them on FB, it seems like it was their 1000th gig just of 2017. If they have endorsements, a couple should be Dunlop Tyres, Kwik Fit, and Premier Inn, as these guys are away from home more than a Jehovah’s Witness.

Walkway doesn’t take any prisoners, whether it’s in the recording of the album (just 13 days at Sonic One Studio in Wales and mastered at Abbey Road), or the songs themselves. Walkway is based around the Ready brothers – Chris (guitar lead vocals) and James (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Andy Burlace (drums and backing vocals). The subsequent output from these guys in nothing short of memorable

I don’t have the first two albums to make that contrast, so it’s all on this one for analysis. I definitely wouldn’t class Walkway in the AOR bracket. They just happen to be a very good rock band with a knack for melody and hooks.  ‘Stutter’ has a big dirty riff, that’s up Nickleback’s street. Add in the chorus, and is a good a song as Kroeger can muster up. Its stadium rock at its finest. ‘Best I Ever Had’ again is to grab the listener by the ears and force-feed you with a giant riff and instantly memorable chorus. If this were an established US band like say Nickleback, then the radio play, and plaudits would be all over it. ‘Get A Grip’s’ chorus again is nothing short of ear candy. Add in James’ rolling guitar lick and its song that screams quality. Casey in particular takes some of its lead from Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar…’ – especially the ‘Whoa’s!’ If you are going to nail your flag to the mast, it may as well be a good one. ‘Kiss Me Hard’ falls on the grittier side of their repertoire, such as ‘Stutter’ and ‘GAG’. ‘Holding On To Letting Go’ is Walkways ballad; all good bands should have one. ‘HOTLO’ builds up its pace and is in a similar vein to Skid Rows ‘I Remember You’. It is also included as an acoustical bonus track. Both stand tall in their own way.

The rawk returns for the frenetic ‘Leap Of Faith’ with James Ready letting rip in the soloing stakes and is as good as anyone I’ve heard in some time. ‘Something ‘Bout You’ falls on the heavy side, more Grunge than anything preceding this, and sees James making good use of his wah-wah!

There’s three bonus tracks to take on board….‘Rain’ a great Quo cover and tribute to the late Rick Parfitt, and features John Coghlan on drums, ‘Mission Impossible’, another Leppard-esque air punching anthem if ever I heard one, and finally the afore mentioned ‘HOTLO’

Chris has a bit of Robert Plant in him (oo-er), and is a front man of excellence. Couple this with James’ ability to rattle off huge riffs for breakfast and is in the style of some 80s classic guitarists, and it all makes for a sumptuous experience.

To be honest, this is a good a release as any band you’ll hear this year. The songs are great, performed with a swagger and an experience that only comes from experience and age, and constant touring. Walkway has two of these in abundance (age is on their side). See these guys live, as this is definitely where the magic happens. They tour that much, there’s a bloody good chance they will be hitting a town near you soon!

If there’s any justice, more festival appearances should be on the cards for Walkway, as they would play to many more I’m guessing than playing 3-5 gigs a week in pubs up and down the UK. It’s certainly honing their quality, but they truly deserve to play in front of bigger audiences. Walkway are going places, and its only in one direction….up!

Score 89/100

Tracklisting -

Best I Ever Had
Get A Grip
Kiss Me Hard
Modern Day
Same Old Situation
Holding On To Letting Go
Leap Of faith
Something ‘Bout You
Rain (Bonus)
Mission Impossible (Bonus)
Holding On To Letting Go (Acoustic) (Bonus)

Walkway -
Chris Ready – Lead Vocals, rhythm guitar, keys
James Ready – Lead Guitar, backing vocals
Andy Burlace – Drums, backing vocals

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