Light Up the Dark
DataReleased March 2011
Genre Hard Rock
N of discs 1
Edition date March 2011
Label AOR Heaven
Who had thought that a band like China would ever release a brand new album? Let’s be honest, except for a few die-hard fans… nobody. The last sign of life of the band was in 2008 with the release their second best of album witch includes two new tracks. These tracks also made it to thisnew shiny disc 'Light Up The Dark' of the Swiss five piece. The last regular studio album was released in mid nineties. That’s why they became a little bit a of a cult band in my eyes.
China’s first three albums can be considered as classics in the genre (China-1988/Sign In The Sky-1989/Go all The Way-1991). The band did suffer under with the many band member changes through the years. Also China was the first band of bass player Marc Lynn who made it big time when he joined Gotthard in 1991.
But these are things of the past… right now China is back in your face with a kick-ass album. China sounds fresh and solid without loosing their roots. These Swiss will deliver perfect hard rock songs like the first and also title track 'Light Up The Dark'. A song with heavy guitars, pounding drums and big chorus. So now and then China sounds a little bit like sleazy melodic hard rock ala Motley Crue and Sleeze Beez in their best days. 'Light Up The Dark' is like a candy shop for hard rock lovers. Tracks like 'Light Up The Dark', 'Hey Yo', 'She’s So Hot' (damn, what a super song) and 'Girl On The Screen' are songs you can’t get enough of. Everytime you hear them they sound better and better. Also don't forget to bang your head on 'Deadly Sweet' and 'Trapped in The City'...
For the melodic rock lover China recorded 'Stay', 'Right Here', 'Right Now' and 'Lonely Rider'. Songs still with the heavy rhythms and even heavier guitars. I must say that the (classic) power ballad 'Gates Of Heaven' is very well done. On this song you really hear the beauty of the voice of Eric St Michaels. Very pure and strong. A track like' On My Way' gives the album a light brake. It's a fun song what haves elements of Cheap Trick’s 'I Want You To Want Me'… It is a blend of everything… just listen to it!
China has to thank their producers Chris Johnson (Evanescence) and Michael Parnin (King's X) for doing an outstanding job, because they made them sound very nowadays. If I didn’t know better I thought that China was the god-damn new best thing.
Oh, if you after reading my review decide to buy the album I suggest you buy the limited edition. It includes three bonus tracks. One of these tracks is a cover of Robert Palmer’s classic 'Bad Case Of Loving You (doctor, doctor)'.
Eric St. Michaels: vocals
Claudio Matteo: guitars
Beat Kofmehl: bass
Billy La Pietra: drums
Mack Schildknecht: guitars