CD REVIEW: HEARTBANGER – Through The Dark
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
7 ½ /10
Bursting on to the scene with an impressive melodic AOR debut album is Heartbanger, a ‘musical project’ led by Spanish guitarist Xavi Méndez.
Pitched around the radio-friendly goodness of Foreigner, Loverboy, Survivor, Journey, et al, Heartbanger successfully evoke those ‘80s chart-topping sounds and sound much more cohesive than a ‘project’ usually does.
Méndez plays guitar throughout, as well as writing or co-writing all but one track. Joining him is Alberto Fernández on keys, Paco Muñoz on drums, and bassist Luís Álvarez on all but two tracks. Shy & T.N.T. singer Tony Mills guests on the Intro and title track; Gabrielle De Val and Angel Rubin on a track apiece; with Manu Esteve handling the rest of the vocals.
As was the ‘80s way, Heartbanger are very much a guitar band – but the keyboards ride high in the mix on several tracks, with The Last Chance Night, the haunting You Came On Time and the anthemic In Heaven proving extra-special.
Méndez has obviously invested a lot more than mere money into Heartbanger: from the clever cover, soaring melodic songs to the impeccable playing and production, this is an album which deserves a wide audience.
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