Blessed By A Broken Heart – Feel The Power by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs

Album line-up:
Tony Gambino – Vocals
Tyler Hoare – Bass
Sean Maier – Guitar
Slater – Drums
Sam Ryder – Rhythm guitar

Album tracklisting:

Shut Up And Rock!
Love Nightmare
Thunder Dome
Holdin’ Back For Nothin’
I’ve Got You
Rockin’ All Night
Scream It Like You Mean It
Skate Or Die
Innocent Blood
Sleepless Nights

Strutting in like the local biker gang of an apocalyptic sci-fi world, Blessed By A Broken Heart (BBABH) have seen a few twists and turns in their eight year trail as a band. Culminating in the release of third album Feel The Power, which has been three years in the making, the band now know a thing or two about guitar-led power metal with more than a hint of glam’s shine.

The strange thing about Feel The Power is it’s erratic nature. An example you say? Almost-album-closure ‘Innocent Blood’ could easily be an Avenged Sevenfold song cooked up during a glam-heavy jamming session, and it’s one of the best songs one offer here – full of tight guitar and itching-to-be-shouted lyrics.

Album opener ‘Deathwish’ also seems to be forging its own path with its exploration of drug abuse, but it’s one that BBABH don’t follow down. Whereas in the case of ‘Rockin’ All Night’ – note the lack of G on Rockin’ – even Kiss might baulk at including it in their classic set list.

‘Shut Up And Rock!’ – which maybe their ‘Death To All But Metal’ but without Steel Panther’s wink-n-grin pastiche – sounds a little too much like the closing number to some High School Musical/watered down Disney Bill & Ted story where on reaching the end of their journey and becoming a ‘band’ the protagonists rip up the school hall and shove one in the eye of their haters.
This feeling was not helped by the fact that my MP3 player decided to shuffle in the tooth-meltingly-sweet ‘I’ve Got You’ ballad in after, which could only have a place in the soundtrack of a teen film… I’ll write the screenplay if you like Mr Mouse.

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with BBABH, and they’re certainly not the first to dabble in cheese, but it’s just that even by those standards this is warm and gooey. Apparently this album is ‘less cheesy and more mature’ than their previous efforts – which if true makes you wonder quite what sugary horrors lurked behind each spin of those discs. Yet the band are clearly capable of more given the musical ability that so often breaks through in the form of solo or riff.

They may wish us to feel the power, and when they muscle up you can almost sense where they’re coming from, but unfortunately for BBABH those 80’s-heyday bands still do it so much better.