Review: Hungryheart – Dirty Italian Job
Tanzan Music (2015)
Reviewer: Peter Scallan
This is Hungryheart’s third album, although I haven’t heard any of them. They are an Italian-based four piece with vocals, guitar, bass and drums. Vocalist Josh Zighetti shares lead vocal duties with fellow founding member and lead guitarist Mario Percudani on two songs. The band describe themselves as an AOR band with slightly blues tendencies, which sounds like it could be right up my street – so here goes!
‘There is a Reason for Everything’ opens the album and from the off sounds as per the above description. With vocals sound not too dissimilar to Aldo Nova the songs sounds a little Bad Co and FM. It is a great opening song, but for me could be a little shorter and doesn’t need to be five minutes long. Second song in is ‘Back to Real Life’ and follows in a similar vein with an excellent chorus which reminds me of Eric Martin a la Sucker For a Pretty Face era. It has nice breakdown before the solo and then launches into the chorus and then to an outro, which again for me is just a tad too long, coming in again at five minutes. Next up is the single from the album called ‘Shoreline’. More great bluesy melodic vocals are delivered and another great chorus. Featuring some nice chorus guitar parts this song just oozes mid-1980s class and makes a great single. Although I am assuming there is a single edit as once again the song comes in well over five minutes. Having said that, it doesn’t feel too long and maintains your interest!
‘Nothing But You’ is the first of two songs featuring guitarist Mario Percudani on lead vocals and he sounds pretty hand too. Lead vocals are shared during the verses. The song is an acoustic ballad and Percudani’s voice very much suits the song and maybe could have handled more of the vocal duties on this song. We move back to a more melodic bluesy/funky feel for ‘Devil’s Got My Number’. This grooves allow very nicely on a funky combination of bass and guitar and Zhigetti back on sole lead vocals, this song fits his voice to a tee. The next song is a cover of the Eric Clapton song ‘Bad Love’. And what a great job they do with this song really making it their own from start to finish. From the great opening with the voicebox guitar and harmonies guitars through the stonking chorus and into the solo section. It also really demonstrates the blusier side of the band too very effectively. Excellent stuff!
‘Second Hand Love’ is the second of the songs featuring Percudani on lead vocals and is another acoustic song. There are parts of the song that have more than a passing resemblance to Wanted Dead or Alive from Bon Jovi. Regardless, it is a great song demonstrating perfectly the melodic blues style of the band. And again, Percudani does an excellent job of his vocal duties. The funky blues feel is continued with ‘Time For Letting Go’. Driven by a funky bass line and drums through the verses when the chorus kicks in the Eric Martin comparison is relevant again. Next up is ‘Right Now’ which would fit nicely on earlier Pat Travers albums in terms of the vocals and music through the verses before bursting into a great melodic chorus. There is a return to more straight-forward AOR with ‘You Can Run’ which opens with some nice Fender Rhodes piano and vocals and is almost Toto-esque. The song builds through the verse and the bridge into a great chorus which again reminds me of Eric Martin.
‘Rock Steady’ is next up opening with a bass and drum pattern and a great guitar riff and a great verse. However, the chorus lets this song down for me, especially considering some of what has gone before. Subsequently this probably the weakest of the songs on the album. The final song on the album called ‘All Over Again’ opens with a great 80s melodic riff and drops down into a great verse carried by bass and drums overlaid with some nice clean picked electric guitar. It then bursts into the opening riff for the chorus and normal service is resumed with the chorus in terms of the quality. My only criticism is that like some of the earlier songs the end is dragged out too much with the song coming in at over six minutes and should have faded out on the drum pattern and vocal adlibs before it actually does finish.
In summary this is a good album characterised with some great lead vocals from two good vocalists and covers the AOR/melodic and blues rock bases well. However, for me some of the songs drag out too much. The fact that there are twelve songs on the album, means that the songs didn’t really need to be extended to fill the album as there are enough good songs on this album as it is. Therefore, for me by simply being more ruthless with editing the songs, this album could have moved from being good to great!