David Glen Eisley. That’s a name that have been popping up in my head pretty often in later years. I first heard this very underrated singer when I got a hold of Giuffria’s self titled debut back in 1984 and was immediately floored by his voice, more that than the actual music, to be honest. Giuffria also included guitarist Craig Goldy, bassist Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot), drummer Alan Krigger and of course the man who gave the band its name, keyboarder Gregg Giuffria (Angel). Eisley lasted for two album before he got the boot when they were recording their third album, to be titled Pleasure Palace, for Simmons Records. Simmons decided that a new singer was required, so the band brought in James Christian and changed their name to House Of Lords. Eisley then formed the band Dirty White Boy with guitarist Earl Slick (David Bowie, Little Caesar) and Keni Richards (Autograph) and released the very underrated album Bad Reputation (1990) but they fell apart shortly after. In 1996 he recorded the self-titled debut album by Murderer’s Row with Wright, Bob Kulick (guitar), Jay Shellen (drums – Unruly Child, Hurricane) and Jimmy Waldo (keyboards – Signal, Alcatrazz) but nothing came of that either.
Apart from a couple of solo albums in the early 2000’s, it has been dead quiet around Eisley’s musical career but he did show up as an actor in movies like Die Hard. Giuffria made a short come back (without Gregg…) in 2014, but this album is his come back on record, his first in some 15 years. Craig Goldy, on the other hand has been around, playing with Dio on three occasions – 1987, 2000 and 2004 – and is now touring with the Dio Disciples. But apparently Goldy thought it was time for him and Eisley to get together again for some new music – and the fact that this album also features both Chuck Wright and Alan Krigger, I guess they were aiming for a Giuffria reunion but when Gregg didn’t participate, they decided to go under their own names. So what have the duo come up with this time, then? Well, I have my suspicions how this might sound and after a few spins, this what I have come up with.
Opener “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter” is a straight-forward melodic rock number that holds a heavier edge. The Giuffria sound shines through all the way and it actually sounds like an updated version of their debut album. A good tune that bodes well for the rest of the album. “I Don’t Belong Here Anymore” is big, rough, ballsy and tough but the song’s repetitive chorus makes it a standard rocker that falls on the way-side. I can only hear Eisley chant “I don’t belong here” so many times. Next up is “Lies I Can Live With”, an uptempo ballad with a very memorable melody and a big pop vibe. The classic Giuffria sound is all over the song and they have even managed to clone Gregg Giuffria’s keyboard sound here. Great tune.
“No More Prayers In The Night” goes into more heavy and dark territory in a mid pace and there’s a good rhythmic punch involved as well. Still, the vocal melody is very memorable and the refrain sticks without getting an “aiming for radio” tag – very good. “Love Of The Games” is another mid tempo tune, a melodic rocker that contains a heavy beat and some fat, metal-like riffing. All in all, it’s a pretty good song but the chorus falters as I just don’t find it catchy enough and it never really takes off. “Wings Of A Hurricane” is a punchy and rough hard rocker with a melodic rock vibe and a twist of AOR added to the mix. There’s a Rainbow / Blackmore influences in there as well, especially in Goldy’s solo. It’s an ok tune, but a bit on the forgettable side. The heavy and punchy ballad “Life, “If Only A Memory”” also comes with some symphonic and orchestrated undertones and the AOR-ish chorus is catchy enough. It’s a good tune without being exceptional.
“Soul Of Madness” holds a big, fat keyboard riff in the vein of Gregg Giuffria, meaty and chunky guitars and a distinct and steady rhythm but I do miss the catchiness, the stuff that grabs you and won’t let go. It’s an ok song while listening but fails to remain with me afterwards. “Track Thirteen” comes with a ballsy, bouncy and tough rhythm, a very fist-in-the-air kind of thing in a somewhat slower pace. The tune is reminiscent of Giuffria’s “Dirty Secrets” from the Silk + Steel (1986) album even though Goldy wasn’t on that record. A pretty heavy melodic rock tune that sticks right away. My favorite track here. The closing track “Believe In One Another” is a huge, epic, melodic hard rock ballad, fat in both arrangements and sound and the 60’s sounding organ gives it its own identity. A bombastic and florid tune – awesome!
To judge by the sound of this album, it’s not a wild guess that Goldy and Eisley’s intentional idea was to resurrect Giuffria because that’s exactly how this album sounds – the debut Giuffria album seems to have been the template for the direction here. Yes, even the keyboards sends a nod to Gregg Giuffria’s sound. And I’m more than ok with that since I really like that band. But it’s not only the 80’s that runs this album, it also holds a big chunk of 70’s melodic hard rock. It’s heavy and pretty tough but at the same time very smooth, slick and melodic but it never turns cheesy or syrupy. But unfortunately, the duo falters in the song writing. There are no bad songs on the album but the filler alert are present on too many songs and even most of the good ones aren’t memorable enough. At the same time, it’s great to hear Eisley’s voice again and he still got what it takes to put on a great performance and hopefully he and Goldy will continue their musical journey together. Or better yet, get Chuck, Alan and Gregg onboard for a real Giuffria reunion.
1. The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
2. I Don’t Belong Here Anymore
3. Lies I Can Live With
4. No More Prayers In The Night
5. Love Of The Game
6. Wings Of A Hurricane
7. Life, “If Only A Memory”
8. Soul Of Madness
9. Track Thirteen
10. Believe In One Another