Marcello-Vestry - Marcello-Vestry
Stumbling upon Marcello-Vestry is akin to wandering a vast, featureless desert. Occasionally you trip over a pretty bit of desert brush here and there, but the way is mostly covered in mostly the same flat tones and endless dunes. Then bam, you slip and fall right into a welcoming paradise oasis.
Except this one is awashed in neon lights, crawling with a multitude of big hair groupie chicks decked out in garish bright leopard prints and leather, and an endless stream of loud music and good times. And they are skinny dipping in the pool. Yeah that's right, it's the crossroads of wild innocence from the heart of 1990 frozen in time and awaiting you all over again, on this little paradise that has been shuttered away from the world and never knew the devastations that grunge or the alternative emo movements had on the rock radio landscape.
As far as this disc is concerned, it never happened. This is a disc finely poised for maximum hard rock enjoyment. The weight of the world is unknown to it, and thus the music is bubbling with the kind of minutiae that concerned us to the core in our youths. Fast cars, a devil-may-care free attitude, a prevalence of all things fun, and of course, women. Love gone wrong, love in bloom, passionate animal lust. It's all here, etched out in a minimal form by the rather clichéd and simplistic lyrics. Although somewhat silly even at times, they take a distant backseat to the music, which is magnificent in the ways of the melodic.

A potent concoction that bubbles forth in hues of mainly Danger Danger in days of yore - and since the Marcello in the title refers to Rob Marcello who is the current guitarist in Danger Danger - and also Bruno Ravel bassist and songwriter for Danger Danger is on hand here in addition - this turn of musical events is unsurprising. It has the synthesizers, snappy rhythms and flourishing AOR touches from the quite melodic self titled DD debut, and also a dash of the raw rock from "Screw It". You can also hear little snippets of other bands such as Bon Jovi (somewhere between "Slippery When Wet" and "New Jersey", Lynch Mob, Pretty Maids, Y&T ("Summertime Girls"/"Contagious"), Europe's "Prisoners in Paradise" and a liberal splash of Steelhouse Lane.

Vestry's voice is a cross of slight rasp and smoothness, just enough of a roughness to give personality without giving away any of his finesse. He's sounds much like Paul Laine, mixed with the sensual layers of Robert Mason and the inner power of Doogie White. He fits the music perfectly. Rob Marcello is a guitar wiz that lavishes the songs with mountains of gorgeous guitar riffs and solos. Piercing and crystal clean, his sound is bubbly and beautiful, a lovely reminder of an age gone by but still fresh and new.  

The songs are where it means most, and the disc delivers in a big way. Most notable is the spray of guitars and bouncing synth that ushers in the silky melodic opener, "Fireworks". The chorus is absolute delight, opening up the song to a burst of sustained energy. The transition is so seamless that it has a natural warmth that enlivens the song substantially.  That chorus is so sticky you will be singing it in your sleep.  Just a massive AOR masterpiece all around.  

"Gone" is an anthem ballad, driven mainly by the expressive vocals of Vestry, as his soul pours out and shapes the song into an enormous downpour of emotions. "Love Injection" is incomplex and captivating, like a page from the best of Pretty Maids, when their songs were these taut things that were wound tight in the threads of melody. It's animal lust at its base form and a gaiety over the sexual implication of the situation.
"All I Wanna Do Is U" is just as it implies. A breezy relaxation of the verses allows for more play in the guitars and vocals, and works itself up to a higher tempo for the climaxing chorus. The California feel is all over this one, a single minded male, a beautiful woman as a love interest and the highway unfolding before them on one of those crystal clear mid temperature days. The sun beating down, the wind through your hair, the salty breeze of the ocean mingling in that heat kissed air. It has captured that freedom, youthful charm and unbridled energy.
"Without You" is pellucid melodic rock, openly emotive and a soaring sweet chorus and "What You Mean" could have come straight off that first cotton candy Danger Danger disc with ease. A ballad that is not as charged as "Gone" but resonates in affectionate depth. "Live Life" is a positive outlook and a catchy tune, even if it's not something you remember quite as solidly as the others after the first few outings. 

Then there's the rest, which are give and take. Stars that shine not as brightly as the rest, yet still have their own signature twinkle. "Ready or Not" is a lesser version of "All I Wanna Do", but for all of that, it sounds nice, and features some slick guitars. "Gangster of Love" takes the 80s cheese just a little too far, although there is a decent song hidden in there as well.

"One More Night" has a thumping rock beat and a big chorus. It's just not as memorable as the big guns on the album. Finally, the acoustic version of "Gone" is just kind of an added bonus and nothing more. However, it's an entertaining listen once or twice, if only to see just how vocal driven that song really is when they pull out all the stops on it. And Frank Vestry's voice gets a showcase, so you can see that he's not all studio effects and primping behind the layers of instruments. He can belt it and hold his own, an acoustic guitar his only company. These are not songs that make or break an album, but all are worth hearing in their own right.

Marcello-Vestry is a disc that is made with American melodic rock fans that crave those 80s/early 90s releases in mind. It's the perfect complimenting disc to summer's other huge retro rock act, the European AOR themes of Brother Firetribe. These two discs go together like apples and pie, cake and ice cream, beaches and summer nights, watermelons and picnics. The disc is freedom, it's melody, and highly addictive. This high quality melodic rock, married to a solid, loud production and great musical performances make it a keeper on anyone's shelf. "Marcello-Vestry" has heart, one that is gleefully ensconced in a flashback visit to our highly craved past.  

Written by Alanna
Monday, July 7, 2008
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Alanna: 8/10

Members: 9/10 - Average of 3 ratings.

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Profile pictureguitarman

Rating: 9.5/10
I just love this album! Melodies, catchy anthemic songs, a good voice and some really huge... · Read more ·
Profile pictureTommy

Rating: 9/10
This album is simply brilliant. A huge melodic rush of positive energies coming at you wit... · Read more ·
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Rating: 8.5/10
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Comment by mollyhatchet (Member) - Thursday, July 10, 2008
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Comments: 11
Ratings: 8
Sounds good, fresh rock like early 90's. Sure like Danger Danger, or even Ted Poley. If you like the Robert 'Mutt' Lange sound production style (Def Leppard's 'Adrenalize', Brian Adams ' Waking up the...', etc...) this album won't fail you.

Posted by mollyhatchet
Thursday, July 10, 2008

Review by Tommy (Member) - Friday, January 9, 2009
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Comments: 74
Ratings: 31
This album is simply brilliant. A huge melodic rush of positive energies coming at you with full force. So balanced, so crisp and what a voice...incredible. Highlight of the year 2008.

Rating: 9/10

Posted by Tommy
Friday, January 9, 2009

Review by guitarman (Member) - Thursday, October 14, 2010
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Comments: 9
Ratings: 28
I just love this album! Melodies, catchy anthemic songs, a good voice and some really huge guitar work!

Rating: 9.5/10

Posted by guitarman
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review by Alanna

Released by
NL Distribution - 2008

1. Fireworks
2. Ready Or Not
3. All I Wanna Is U
4. Gone
5. Without You
6. Live Life
7. What You Mean
8. Love Injection
9. Gangster Of Love
10. One More Night
11. Gone (acoustic)

Melodic rock/AOR

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