SCORE - 93%
You’d have to be almost dead not to get caught up in the infectious fun that is Tokyo Motor Fist. The name might conjure up thoughts of an ancient form of Japanese bondage, but at least they didn’t name themselves Trixter Danger.
Yes, the most talented Steve Brown (Trixter, Guitar) and the always flamboyant Ted Poley (Danger Danger, vocals) team with the rhythm section of Greg Smith (Ted Nugent, Rainbow, Alice Cooper) and Chuck Burgi (Rainbow, Blue Oyster Cult, Joe Lynn Turner) for what amounts to a meeting of the New Jersey chapter of the Melodic Rock Mafia, to create an infectious slice of classic 80s melodic rock that you just have to rock along with. While the album may not have the polish of a major 80s budget, it does pass the crankability test and shines when at maximum volume.
Following his great recent solo album, Ted Poley again delivers a powerhouse vocal while Steve Brown provides the backbone of the sound, his soulful guitar playing filling the air between hooks and choruses. The album is also a tribute to his songwriting prowess.For the most part this delivers exactly what you’d expect – a mix of modern day Trixter’s smart melodic rock and Danger Danger’s hands in the air party anthems. Look no further than the opening salvo of Pickin’ Up The Pieces, Love Me Insane, Gimme Your Good Lovin Shameless and Black And Blue to deliver plus the moody feel good ballads Love, Get You Off My Mind and Don’t Let Me Go work to balance the record and provide breathing space between the rockers.
You’re My Revolution brings out the double kick drums for a rousing tempo boost, but its Put Me To Shame and Done To Me where Steve Brown’s connection to Def Leppard seems to get dialled up. For a minute I thought I was listening to Sweden’s Leppard loving Grand Design.
How could fans of the two principle artists not be happy with this? It delivers exactly what you might have been hoping for, perhaps exceeding expectations with the strong hooks and great performances.No complaints here and given the positive fan reaction so far, one would have to think that this will develop further just as the ‘other’ D2 side project The Definants has.