The Defiants - 'self-titled'


THE BAND:
Paul Laine – vocals
Bruno Ravel – bass guitar, guitars, keyboards
Rob Marcello – lead guitars
With on
Van Romaine – drums




TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.) "Intro (For A Few Dollars More - Carillon's Theme)" - Instrumental

2.) "Love And Bullets" - This track opens with a Paul Laine vocal line.  The verse automatically kicks in after the opening lyric line.  The musical verse was very reminiscent to the stuff Paul and Bruno wrote when Paul was with Danger Danger.  Bruno's keyboard arrangement gave the musical verse a more full sound and fit nicely with the guitar arrangement that Rob wrote for this track.  There is several vocal accents over the top of the musical arrangement connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus.  There was a musical rest underneath the first lyric line of the chorus.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus.  The lead and backing vocals of the chorus consisted of a huge hook.  There was a blistering minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  For the second verse Rob overdubbed a minor lead guitar solo underneath the vocal lines and over the top of his rhythm guitar arrangement.  After the second chorus Rob plays a major lead guitar solo.  This second solo is not as long as the first one however it is more intense.  After the third verse there was a short breakdown section.  At the end of the breakdown leading into the third chorus Rob played a small lead guitar rhythm that had a build-up sound to it.  Underneath the fourth chorus Rob overdubbed several lead guitar licks.  Rob played these little lead guitar licks underneath the vocal lines of the rest of the choruses of the song.  There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of the coda.
3.) "When The Lights Go Down" - There are times when Rob's rhythm riffs of this intro had a George Lynch (formerly of Dokken) feel to them.  Much like some of the rhythm riffs George wrote on Dokken's 'Back For The Attack'.  Over the top of the rhythm guitar of the intro there was a minor lead guitar solo.  Rob used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one he used for the intro.  Rob changed the rhythm guitar arrangement for the second measure of the verse.  There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus.  The vocal lines of the chorus consisted of a huge hook.  Underneath the rhythm guitar of the chorus there was a keyboard arrangement.  There was a drum fill connecting the second measure with the second pre-chorus.  After the second chorus there was a rhythm arrangement change that lead to the lead guitar solo.  Rob's lead guitar solo was amazing.  After the lead guitar solo there was a drastic musical change where the band slowed the music arrangement down. This arrangement change consisted of lead vocals over the top of a minor lead guitar solo.  After the third lyric line there was a huge Paul Laine vocal scream over the top of a backing harmony.  It is at this point the band kicks the song back in.  Underneath the vocal lines of the coda there was a minor lead guitar solo.
4.) "Waiting On A Heartbreak" - This track opens with a keyboard underneath the band singing, "you have me waiting on a heartbreak".  Bruno added a vocal effect to the vocals giving them a small vocal effect.  The musical intro consisted of a classic Danger Danger sound.  There was a small arrangement change for the musical verse.  At the end of each lyric line the last lyric faded.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus.  Paul's vocals on the chorus are amazing!!  Rob's guitar arrangement was very simple.  Bruno's keyboard arrangement really filled the song out.  It sounded like Van added a few percussion instruments to the drum line.  After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  Pal sings a few vocal accents over the top of Rob's lead guitar solo.  After the solo there was a very cool musical change that included an acoustic guitar arrangement.  The coda consisted of a minor lead guitar solo.    
5.) "Runaway" - This was an amazing semi-ballad that was very well structured and shows the writing talent these guys have both lyrically and musically!

6.) "Lil' Miss Rock 'N' Roll" -  This intro consisted of two repeated minor solos that were overdubbed.  Underneath these overdubbed lead guitar rhythms Rob played a very simple rhythm guitar arrangement.  The musical intro had a very melodic hook to it.  Rob changed the rhythm riff connecting the musical intro with the musical pre-verse.  For the musical pre-verse Rob used the same rhythm guitar arrangement as the one that was underneath the lead riffs of the intro.  Paul spoke the last lyric line of the first measure.  Underneath the rhythm guitar of the verse Bruno played a keyboard arrangement.  This keyboard arrangement fill-in the musical rests of the rhythm guitar.  The chorus consisted of a huge Bruno hook.  The backing vocals were amazing.  The lead guitar solo was a cross between melodic metal and blues.  After the led guitar solo there was a classic breakdown arrangement.  Throughout the song the lyrics consisted of song titles.
7.)"Last Kiss" - Instead of a musical intro this track opened with a Paul Laine vocal effect.  The musical verse consisted of a very simple rhythm guitar arrangement.  The drum line of the first measure consisted of just a snare/bass drum pattern.  There was a tom-tom fill underneath the lead vocal line connecting the verse with the pre-chorus.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical pre-chorus.  In between the two lead vocal lines of the pre-chorus there was a backing vocal.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus.  After the first chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  The way Rob arranged the lead guitar solo made it sound as if there was two different guitarists.  After the lead guitar solo there was three lyric lines over the top of a musical arrangement that consisted of several musical rests.  Paul carried the vocal line out for the last lyric line of this musical section.  Rob played several lead guitar licks underneath the lead vocal lines of the choruses of the rest of the song.
8.) "Save Me Tonight" - This was an amazing ballad!!!!
9.) "Take Me Back" - This track opens with a vocal accent before the musical intro kicks-in.  After the first measure of the musical intro there was a second vocal accent.  Over the top of the musical intro there was a minor lead guitar solo.  The minor lead guitar solo connected the musical intro with the musical verse.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse.  The musical verse had a very simple Danger Danger sound to it.  The last lyric line of the second measure of the verse consisted of a backing vocal.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus.  Underneath the lyric lines of the musical verse there was several lead guitar licks.  After the second chorus tere was a music arrangement change.  The drum line for this arrangement change consisted of several tom-tom fills.  Rob wrote a huge yet short lead guitar solo for this track.  After the solo there was a short musical rest that consisted of a rhythm guitar arrangement.  There was a minor lead guitar solo underneath the chorus of the coda.
10.) "We All Fall" - This intro opens with a snare drum fill.  Bruno added a studio effect to the snare drum.  There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the intro with the musical verse.  The musical verse consisted of a rhythm guitar change.  For the musical verse Rob double-tracked two separate rhythm guitar arrangements.  There was a snare drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus.  The musical chorus consisted of a huge hook.  There was a lead guitar effect connecting first chorus with the second verse.  After the second chorus Rob's lead guitar solo opened with a twin lead guitar solo then after a few notes it switched to a single lead guitar.  The lead guitar solo section in its entirety completely blew me away!!!!  After the lead guitar solo there was an arrangement change.  This music arrangement consisted of lead vocals over the top of a strumming guitar rhythm.  Over the top of the coda in between the music arrangement and lead vocal lines there was a minor lead guitar solo.    
11.) "That's When I'll Stop Loving You" - Lyrically and musically this was a jaw-dropping ballad that really highlights every band members talent!
12.) "Underneath The Stars - This intro consisted of two separate rhythm guitar arrangements.  There was a rhythm guitar arrangement change for the musical verse.  After the first measure of the verse there was a lead guitar pick slide effect connecting the first and second measures together.  The full band kicks-in for the second measure.  There was a backing harmony opening the musical chorus.  The musical chorus consisted of an arrangement change.  There was a minor lead guitar solo connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  The rhythm guitar arrangement had a very up-temp feel to it.  After the second chorus, there was a blistering lead guitar solo.  Rob double-tracked his lead guitar solo to give it a twin lead guitar feel.  After the lead guitar solo there as a breakdown section.  All in all this was a very simple song.


    First off, I've been a fan of some of the members of this band since 1987 when I heard that the original guitarist of Danger Danger, Andy Timmons was from Evansville Indiana which, is about 45 minutes fro where I live.
    So to properly review the Defiant's - 'self/titled' release we must turn back the clock to 1987 and to the formation of Danger Danger.  Danger Danger was formed in Queens, New York by former Hotshot members vocalist Mike Pont, bassist Bruno Ravel, and drummer Steve West along with guitarist Al Pitrelli and keyboardist Kasey Smith.  Vocalist Mike Pont left the band and was replaced by Ted Poley.  Al Pitrelli left the band and was replaced by Saraya guitarist Tony "Bruno" Rey.  However during the recording of their 'self-titled' CD Tony returned to Saraya and was replaced by Andy Timmons (both Tony and Andy play on Danger Danger's freshman release).  While the band was in the studio recording what would be their third release titled, 'Cckroach' Bruno and West fired Ted Poley.  Ted Poley blocked the release of the CD.  During this time Andy Timmons chose to leave the band and was replace by Rob Marcello.  The band consisting of Bruno Ravel, Steve West, Paul Line and Rob Marcello.  This will be the final Danger Danger line-up until 2004 when Paul left the band.
    The Defiant's self-titled release consists of Bruno Ravel bassist, songwriter and co-founding father of Danger Danger, Rob Marcello longtime Danger Danger guitarist and former Danger Danger vocalist Paul Laine (my favorite Danger Danger vocalist).  Along with studio drummer Van Romaine (played on Vinnie Moore's - 'To The Core')The only member of Danger Danger not involved in this project was D2 drummer Steve West.  So is it really any surprise by looking at the band members on who this self-titled release is going to sound line?  Or do I have to spell it out?
    Every song is full of huge harmonies, great melodies, along with song of the best songwriting I have heard in a very long time! The album was produced by bassist Bruno Ravel and the production value is amazing!!!  In many ways it is like Bruno, Rob and Paul took the best parts of all the Danger Danger songs and rolled them up into twelve tracks.  This is one hell of a CD!  There absolutely is not a bad song on the release.  It is only April and I may have just reviewed the CD of the year!  If you are a fan of Danger Danger or a fan of eighties hard rock then this is an absolute must buy.  In fact, if you are buying this at a music store or online you might as well pick up two copies because I guarantee you will be heavily rotating it!