As we enter 2015, it is quite simply remarkable how many of us – including me – reminisce the days of classic rock [late ’60s to the late ’80s, primarily focusing on the commercially-popular hard rock sounds of the ’70s] – and remain firmly entrenched in a time warp. Thank goodness for that as even the sounds of this generation have got their priorities right, even though none of them were probably born then, such as the Los Angeles based quintet – consisting of Nik Phoeniks [vocals, keyboards], Ramon Ryder [rhythm guitar, vocals], Karan Parikh [lead guitar], Martin Fredriksson [bass], and Stanley Love [drummer] – who are known together as Dream Alive. They have been slogging it out in and around their hometown areas, building up a sizeable audience because they deliver live too and, now, Dream Alive has delivered an album that not merely summarises their strengths, but captures everything that was good in those days of classic rock. This is unabashedly mainstream rock, but there is a real urgency to the songs and the performances that provides the album a real emotional core, including the tight production – courtesy guitarist Karan who triples up as the album’s engineer and mixer too – that keeps the sounds tied to the early, pre-visual ’80s. Among the surging tracks, some standing out more than the others, are “Don’t Say No”, which has a marvellous, brief interplay between bass and keyboards, then there is “Waiting For So Long”, which contains some remarkable guitaring from Karan and, far from taking it easy, the rockier “See You Tonight”. Many albums may have scaled to the top of the charts, many of them not so good but, in ‘Before The Dawn’, here is a band that is a hands down winner!
Listen and Download the songs here: http://www.artistaloud.com/dreamalive
– Review by PARAG KAMANI