MICK WHITE – Something’s Got To Give

As a music fan, I always love to check out new talent. In this case though, Mick White can hardly be described as a new talent even though I have never heard of the guy before. White once fronted the classic Hard Rock/Metal outfit Samson, probably most known for once having Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson as their lead vocalist at one point. At 18 years old, White opened for Iron Maiden – with Samson, of course – on the Somewhere In Time tour but in 1989, White and Samson parted ways. White got down to business directly and formed First Strike, a melodic Hard Rock band with a glammier and glossier outlook. Despite opening for bands such as Giant, Slaughter, Shy, Dare and Uriah Heep and almost landing a big record deal, First Strike split when Grunge came sniffing around the corner.

That said, First Strike’s debut album Just Another Night was finally released in 2019. White formed Seven Days in the late 90’s, released two singles, mixed by Kip Winger, before they too split up and in the new millennium, White took some time off from the music industry. In 2019, White guested on a song called “Better Be Strong” by a German artist called Marty Punch and that got his creative juices flowing again and voila, new music was written, something he could focus on harder during the pandemic. The songs were co-written by White and guitarist Luke Hatton, who also handles bass and keyboard duties with Carsten Enghardt supplying the drum parts on this album.

Opener “Burning Up The Night” is a real show-opener – uptempo, fast-tracked, raunchy with a powerhouse punch. There’s a metal-edge to the Hard Rock with the rough-edged guitars but also some smoother keyboards that gives the song a Melodic Rock approach. the song is direct and brings on a good, catchy chorus that sticks without ever going saccharine on us. Good one. The title-track sports a beefy Classic Rock groove and a rhythmic stomp with the vocal-melodies taking on a more Arena Rock touch and the 70’s twists marries brilliantly with the 80’s hooks in the big chorus. Great stuff, this.

The moodier “Without You” is slower in pace where the verses are more laid-back, going for a ballad vibe but the song goes both rougher and heavier – and the solo part comes with a ballsy metal-edge even. The big refrain throws some pop-hooks our way but it never goes AOR on us. Very good. First single “Emergency On Planet Earth” is a darker piece with a serious message but it also comes with quite a stompy rhythms and an intense main-melody. It’s a live-friendly, foot-stomping rocker with a meaty, memorable riff and another infectious chorus. Great stuff.

“Ordinary Girl” starts out acoustically with nod towards Classic Rock balladry but builds up to a power ballad albeit with an upbeat rhythm. The vocal melodies are close to 80’s AOR with a big chunk of poppiness and even though I can imagine going on heavy rotation on MTV back in 1990 it’s still powerful enough and doesn’t hold any of the power ballad sugar rushes of that time. Also, I smell a hit here. Very good. “Altar Of Desire” on the other hand is a straight forward rocker, quite in-your-face and flirts with Metal here and there, especially when it comes to the riffs and the poundy rhythms. A solid rocker perfect for the stage.

Latest single “Sometime Superman” blends a heavier foundation with some direct and infectious Melodic Rock melodies. The main melody and the refrain is somewhat reminiscent of Canadian melodic rockers Harem Scarem with a guitar riff that reminds me of Dokken, both bands that just like White here can write catchy, hooky stuff without going down the cheese-route. It’s a highly memorable rocker and the chorus sticks right off the bat. Great stuff.

“Hold Tight” is a rerecording of a First Strike tune and that it was written back in the late 80’s. It’s a highly melodic number, very smooth and easily the most glossy track on the album. It’s quite rhythmic, it holds some big keyboards and the chorus is a mastodon hook-fest which more than anything harkens back to said decade. That said, the song has been re-worked (I guess) and arranged to get a more up to date touch. I think this is brilliant – should be a single. “You Poisoned My Love” is a ballsy, robust and heavy number, quite aggressive and hard-edged but it never gives in when it comes to melodies and hooks. The whole feel of the song is “live” and feels like a deep-track that will kick some major ass when performed live. I can’t say it floored me but it’s a good track.

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” was co-written with Paul Samson back in 1988 and is a classic Metal number where the riffing brings both Judas Priest and Dio to mind. It’s a real powerhouse, a fist in the gut kinda tune yet with memorable melodies all over. It’s another live-friendly belter that will kick ass and take names. I dig this.

The closing track is a new version of the Marty Punch song White guested on – “Better Be Strong”. This is an upbeat, straight forward, pop-smelling, AOR flirtatious number dressed in a Hard Rock suit. It’s smooth yet punchy, it’s slick yet crunchy, it’s glossy yet raunchy, it’s catchy yet it rocks. With a chorus that holds more hooks than a fisherman’s hat the song should have been a hit the first time around and it should be one now. Good stuff indeed.

If this album hadn’t been sent to me by a friend, I still wouldn’t have known who Mick White was let alone being aware of this record but I’m glad he did because this record is right in my wheelhouse musically. While there’s nothing really new under the sun here musically, it really doesn’t matter as what counts is the quality of the songs and the songs here are bull’s eye for me. Also, White sports a good voice and his cohorts bring a solid performance to the table. This is a stellar melodic Hard Rock record and if melodic Hard Rock is your thing then I recommend you checking this out. I’m glad I did.



 1. Burning In The Night
 2. Something’s Got To Give
 3. Without You
 4. Emergency On Planet Earth
 5. Ordinary Girl
 6. Altar Of Desire
 7. Sometime Superman
 8. Hold Tight
 9. You Poisoned My Love
10. Don’t Close Your Eyes
11. Better Be Strong