Review: Hit The Ground Running – Sudden Impact
AOR Heaven (February 14th 2021)
Reviewer: Grant Foster
Philadelphia quintet Hit The Ground Running. Ever heard of them? No, nor had I, but they hold the title as being one of the most sought after indie CD’s on Ebay, with this original debut release fetching in excess of £1000. This was mainly due to the original 1989 release only being available in limited quantities, on a small Canadian subsidiary.
This re-release on AOR Heaven, remastered and as a 2 CD set with 10 bonus tracks in total, it begs the question, is it worth the money being ask for on Ebay?
First of all, HITGR’s local compatriots were Cinderella, Tangier, Britny Fox and Heavens Edge, but, HTGR are strictly AOR. If you like it light and decidedly fluffy, then this band are definitely right up your strasse. It’s clean and it’s polished. The production, even for the time, is of the era, but professional.
‘Magic’ has hints of Loverboy and singer Blair Ramsey’s voice has hints of Kevin Cronin from REO Speedwagon about it. The REO comparison does tend to run through the whole album, but not as a direct copy, but with hints here and there.
‘Moment to Moment’ recalls Starship, ‘Slow Motion‘ and ‘Don’t You Look Back’ have that pristine Candian AOR sound from the era of the day.
‘Too Late’ is all power pop and ‘While It Lasted‘ has all the arrangements you’d expect of a balled, complete with vocal harmonies.
You do wonder why, this release didn’t lead to greater fame and fortune for HITGR. There’s strong melodies, very cool arrangements, all the right kind of vocal harmonies and some very slick guitar work courtesy of Alan Augunas.
Well, far from it for me to know the answer, as we are all aware of bands who have released a strong first album and disappeared without trace.
However, thanks to AOR Heaven, this rare release now sees the light of day in all it’s glory and for me, it’s probably one of the best AOR releases outside your Journey/Toto/ REo Speedwagon ‘big boy’ acts, that I’ve heard. Now is the time to add it to your collection!