House of Lords – Big Money (2011, Frontiers Records)
1. “Big Money”
2. “One Man Down”
3. “First To Cry”
4. “Someday When”
6. “Living In A Dream World”
7. “The Next Time I Hold You”
8. “Run For Your Life”
11. “Once Twice”
James Christian – Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Jimi Bell – Guitar
Chris McCarvill – Bass, Backing Vocals
B.J. Zampa – Drums, Percussion
Producer: James Christian
Despite having some excellent songs, I’ve always been a casual fan of House of Lords. It wasn’t until Cartesian Dreams that I became a bigger fan and was finally convinced to go back and acquire the rest of their catalog. It’s a fantastic body of work and Cartesian Dreams is probably my favorite Lords album so I was pretty excited when Big Money was announced.
On Big Money the band continues to blend AOR with hard rock (that darn near borders on metal sometimes) in a spectacular fashion. This is a utopia where the guitars are beefy, the drums are prominent and keyboards accentuate the songs. By this point, James Christian (the one constant factor in HoL all these years) has really hit upon a formula that works time and time again. Great melodies, big hooks, huge choruses, heavy rock ‘n’ roll, keyboards in a supporting role and fantastic production values. Not to mention Christian’s voice is just as good as ever as well.
The title track starts off the album right, letting you know the Lords are back and ready to rock. Really catchy song with a dash of cynicism thrown in. “One Man Down”, a song with a great catchy chorus, is told from the view of a soldier. “First to Cry” is the first song on the album to sound like it could have come from the ’80s, but I mean that in a good way. “Someday When” is a mid-tempo rocker that follows that same slick ’80s style of “First to Cry” and there are a number of more tracks that seem to shoot for that same sound. “The Next Time I Hold You” is the album’s only ballad and it’s a good one. The album wraps up with the heavy dirty rocker “Blood”.
While Big Money doesn’t quite reach the heights of Cartesian Dreams, this is a still very good addition to House of Lords’ already impressive catalog of melodic hard rock. Another prime example that House of Lords is simply one of the best melodic rock bands of all time. Another top album for 2011 and sure to please fans of the band.
Highlights: “Big Money”, “One Man Down”, “First To Cry”, “Someday When”, “The Next Time I Hold You”, “Blood”