Yet another review in this weekend's batch in which JOURNEY is used as a point of comparison and this time the link is a direct one. North Carolina's LINE OF FIRE make no bones about its attempt to make music that mimics the Bay Area group, as well as bands like FOREIGNER and BOSTON, though they sound nothing like FOREIGNER and very little like BOSTON. Unfortunately, said attempt falls short of success. LINE OF FIRE has captured that '80s melodic rock sound, right down to the guitar tone and coloring, as well as Shawn Pelata's (KILLWHITNEYDEAD…crazy, eh?) adequate, sugar-coated vocals. The problem is that many of the songs are at best formulaic and average, and at worst pathetically cliché and poorly derivative of the vintage stuff.
Songs like the up-tempo "Faith in Fire" and the made-for-AOR "Live & Let Go" are rather enjoyable and hooky. Both "Salvation's Edge" and "Falling Down (Hear my Prayer)" are relatively more dynamic compared to the rest, the latter featuring some tough riff-based grooves. Sickeningly sappy numbers like "Can't You See" and "Remind" are just awful, tunes that would not be out of place on those Disney Channel kids' shows. Others, such as "Paradise" aren't bad songs, but remind me of those terrible faith-based rock bands that perform at youth events and high school gymnasiums across the country.
As someone who enjoys the aforementioned classic bands, I can say with some level of objectivity that LINE OF FIRE misses more than it hits. A few minor exceptions notwithstanding, there is nothing here worth remembering. Better luck next time.