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The Roads: Simple Man
The Roads - Simple Man Album Art

The Roads: Simple Man

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR
5.0/5.0

The origins of The Roads has us returning to Escape Music and Khalil Turk's Turkish Delight album. Turk need some guitar work for the song Get Out Of Hear, so he contacted Gary Pihl (Boston/Sammy Hagar). Pihl wanted to play with the groove but needed a drummer so, in turn, Turk offered Josh Devine (One Direction, Levara). This led to Pihl wondering who the vocalist for the song was. It turned out to be Josh's father, Mick from the band Seven. Turk, who has the gift of both recognizing talent and musical chemistry put Pihl and Mick on to a collaboration, and The Roads was born.

Mick Devine Click For Larger Image

The Roads' Mick Devine

Pihl and Devine would write the songs and produce the album, yet with a host of fine musical guests. These would include, to name just a few, Josh Devine on drums, Tracy Ferrie on bass (Stryper/Boston), Paul Taylor on keyboards (Alice Cooper/Winger), and Lawrence Gowan from Styx on keys as well. With this cast of characters, and their musical pedigrees, you can expect one thing: quality AOR melodic rock.



By very definition, that is what you get across this album. Some darn fine catchy songs with plenty of song melody, vocal harmony, rock groove, catchy refrains, and muscular guitar solos. After one spin, but only at the start, the songs seemed lighter, more Westcoast-ish, taking the "hard" out of the melodic hard rock. I felt that way about Promise Me, Simple Man, and It Will Be Alright. The song How Long has infectious rhythm merged with an up beat, almost pop, beat underneath. The chorus is also remarkably sweet, like ear candy syrup.

But then Now Way and Avalanche move the knobs a few numbers up, rocking harder with some tougher riffs and heavier bottom end. A ballad comes with Love So Strange, moved politely by voice and keyboards. Perhaps my favorite cut is Love Lives In Promises. It has AOR groove and accessibility written into it's arrangement. It's groove has bounce and rhythm; the vocal arrangement is lush; and the guitar lines fire up and linger long throughout the tune.

All in all, with The Roads, featuring Gary Pihl and Mick Devine, Escape Music may have created another AOR super group. Simple Man is bursting with finely crafted and entertaining AOR melodic hard rock. Get it. Easily recommended.


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The Take Away

All in all, with The Roads, featuring Gary Pihl and Mick Devine, Escape Music may have created another AOR super group. Simple Man is bursting with finely crafted and entertaining AOR melodic hard rock. Get it. Easily recommended.

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