Well, blow me down like a feather; I seem to have been sent an absolutely amazing set of new and recently released albums. Perhaps, it is because I am still catching up with so much already released this year, that I have got so many gems. Whatever the reason it’s a great problem to have but it does mean I’m giving out my second 10/10 in a row.
I’m not really a fan of the term ‘Supergroup’ but from a personal point of view; Black Swan has to be seen as such. However, if you have heard their debut album, “Shake The World” (released in 2020), you’ll already know that Black Swan are not relying on their individual names, as it was an excellent slab of 80’s influenced Hard Rock that took many by surprise and second album “Generation Mind” is arguably even better, proving these guys have still got an awful lot to say.
If, like me, you were listening to this type of music 35-40 years ago, then having vocalist Robin McAuley (McAuley Schenker Group, Grand Prix), guitarist Reb Beach (Winger, Whitesnake), bassist Jeff Pilson (ex Dokken, Foreigner) and drummer Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, Mr Big) together in a band in 2022 is something to celebrate and “Generation Mind” does that in a fantastic way.
Robin McAuley is incredibly, less than a year away from his 70th birthday and I don’t think his vocals have sounded better than they do here. He always had an instantly recognisable voice and, listening to this for the first time, I was transported back to 1987 when I heard the first McAuley Schenker Group album “Perfect Timing”. Likewise, Reb Beach is on blistering form. He has always been a hugely talented guitarist and his solos on this album are likely to take the skin off your face at 30 paces. As usual Jeff Pilson is superb on the bass, without ever making it sounding complicated and his rhythm work with Matt Starr is absolutely on point.
It’s another of those albums without a filler track in sight and, as a reviewer, that is most definitely a good problem to have, but it does mean picking out particular songs to highlight tough. Just believe me when I say that if you are a fan of any of the bands mentioned above (and many more of their ilk) and have a love of huge sounding 80’s thumping Heavy Rock with plenty of melody and singalong choruses then you will absolutely love Black Swan and both their albums.
Frontiers may get stick for putting these sorts of bands together on a fairly regular basis, but when the result is this damned good then there is absolutely no need to complain. Just be thankful that all four of these guys are still around and releasing music of such quality. Fingers crossed we get album number three!
01. Before The Light
02. She Hides Behind
03. Generation Mind
04. Eagles Fly
05. See You Cry
06. Killer On The Loose
08. How Do You Feel
09. Long Way Down
11. Wicked The Day
12. I Will Follow
Robin McAuley – Lead Vocals, Background Vocals
Reb Beach – Guitars, Background Vocals
Jeff Pilson – Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Keys, Background Vocals
Matt Starr – Drums, Percussion
This review is purely the property of Richard Tilley and The Metal Asylum