(All Album Reviews by Burgess Penguin)
Compositionally, this has got to be the strongest Brand-X outing, each song has such strong melodic content complimented by the typically sly British wit that had long been their trademark.
The band's sound here is a bit punchier and more colorful, owing to the presence of keyboardist Peter Robinson and all his cool textures, as well as percussionist Morris Pert contributing more compositionally and adding even more cool sounds and various metallic objects. Veteran session drummer Chuck Burgi adds a punchier sound as well, sounding nothing like Phil Collins (who by this point had no time to devote to Brand-X).
All throughout, for me the real star is bassist Percy Jones, not only with his unique stuttering/guttural fretless style but also his compositions. If the disc has one tune that stands head and shoulders above the rest, it would be Percy's "Ghost of The Mayfield Lodge" with its alternately whimsical and spooky melodies and textures. The fun part of this tune is the middle section where Percy and Morris playfully bat spooky phrases back and forth as Peter Robinson conjures up all kinds of cool spook sounds on his synths. Seeing them do this onstage was a real treat!
"Deadly Nightshade" is easily my other favorite track here, with the whole band just firing on all cylinders, spinning out colorful melodies, witty interjections and a rip snortin' last few minutes of sheer fusion bliss with a grand ending!
All the other tracks are great fun as well (love that spooky intro to "Earth Dance" a ton!), not a bad one in the bunch. After all this brilliance, it would be diver down, as Product would demonstrate a year later.