Jack Russell’s Great White – He Saw It Comin’
2017, Frontier Records
- Sign of the Times
- She Moves Me
- Love Don’t Live Here
- My Addiction
- Anything for You
- He Saw It Comin’
- Don’t Let Me Go
- Spy vs Spy
- Blame It On the Night
Jack Russell – Vocals
Tony Montana – Guitar, Keyboard
Robby Lochner – Guitar
Dan McNay – Bass
Dicki Fliszar – Drums
Just as Great White enters the studio to begin work on a new album, Jack Russell’s Great White releases their first album. Confused? In short, Great White vocalist Jack Russell parted with Great White a few years ago and won the legal rights to record as “Jack Russell’s Great White”. He had previously toured under that name on and off over the years. Meanwhile, the original Great White continues on with XYZ vocalist Terry Ilous (to mixed results, IMO).
It’s so good to hear Jack Russell’s voice again as he is one of my favorite vocalists to come out of the ’80s hard rock scene. Despite all of his health problems over the years, he has not lost one single step when it comes to laying down some killer vocals. On one song you’ll find him upbeat and the life of the party, yet it’s the amount of emotion and range he displays on a ballad like “Anything for You” shows that Jack is one of the best of his generation.
It’s good to see this band isn’t afraid to take chances either. While “Sign of the Times” and “She Moves Me” have that vintage Great White sound, “Don’t Let Me Go” is something quite a bit a different. It has breezy, slightly funky vibe to it. My initial reaction was negative, but the more I’ve listened to it, the more I’ve come to appreciate it. “Godspeed” is another track that is a bit out of the norm. Kind of ’60s pop from the California scene with the vocal harmonies.
Further cementing this group’s connection and legacy in the overall history of Great White is Tony Montana. He was the bassist for Great White from 1987 to 1992 and played on their …Twice Shy, Hooked, and Psycho City albums. He has switched to rhythm guitar for this incarnation of the band.
Overall, while the album doesn’t consistently rock as hard as Russell’s Great White work in the ’80s, it’s still a very enjoyable. It’s definitely a step above the very mellow Rising, which was the last album Russell did with Great White, and superior to Elation, which is the first Terry Ilous fronted album. Great White is one of my favorite bands from the ’80s scenee and with He Saw It Comin’, Jack Russell continues to prove his worth and ability to create good music.
Highlights: “Sign of the Times”, “She Moves Me”, “Anything for You”, “He Saw It Comin'”, “Godspeed”
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