Hollywood Rocks

Wheels Of Fire

From the streets of Los Angeles to the midst of Italy, there is no end […]
By Lior Stein
June 29, 2010
Wheels Of Fire - Hollywood Rocks album cover

From the streets of Los Angeles to the midst of Italy, there is no end to the good vibes of Rock N' Roll. Even if the 80's were the royal years for Hard Rock, AOR and Glam, you just cannot rule them out nowadays. Today, when Glam Metal became aggressive (or Punky), Hard Rock became too modern and AOR just faded away, there is a need for an answer. Just face it; there is a need for a high quality 80's mixture of the genres mentioned. The answer is to live in the past, at least for another decade or two.

When I took the first listen to the young Italian band, WHEELS OF FIRE, I found the Euro version of the mid 90's FIREHOUSE, 80's WINGER, and countless of AOR and Hard Rock American Sunset strippers, yet, with an Italian accent. "Hollywood Rocks", the band's debut album, gave me another reason to want to visit the city of angles, especially Hollywood. Of course, I will not find the same strong Glam scene of the good old days; yet, the feeling might change the current perception of things.

The rolling WHEELS OF FIRE, the brainchild of the band's vocalist, Davide "Dave Rox" Barbieri, is trying to compete in a scene, which has been rather forgotten and put aside over the years. Unfortunately, with the large share of modern Metal, both extreme and the new made classic Metal (including Glam and Hard Rock), the necessity for something rather elastic, maybe if its MTV kind of material, is not considered a first pick (or middle). However, it did not stop the Italians from redoing the good and tasty music, which ruled the nights of the 80's. WHEELS OF FIRE is one of those bands who dared to follow something they love and admire without fear, in times like these. I say well done for them, that is why their debut has something to prove.

Their displayed material, as on many acts of this kind of music, is easy to attain, mixing free willing Rock N' Roll with a Rocky and Metallic sense. The catchy side of the album makes a real fun deal and the all star solos are wonderful; it really blew me away with "Hollywood Rocks", "The Reason", "What I Want" and "Everywhere I Go". Although some of their stuff is rather banal, mostly in the lyrical area especially on the second track "You're So Cool", which made me grimace a bit, this is fine remake of a proud era of music. The Italians put on a show for the crumbling American Glam scene and for the rising Swedish aggressive Glam onslaught. Under the curtains of the slight cheesiness, there is a soul behind the tracks.

WHEELS OF FIRE returned the feeling of a good 80's oriented album, both on production (amazing job by the two producers Michele Luppi and Dave Rox) and the fine musical salute for the late 80's. I really wish that this kind of "daring" by this band, sort of charging the Swedes, would take more bands under its wings. "Hollywood Rocks" is a true old school Rocker. Even if has its share of banalism, it still shows rising talents and a true heart for class. It is a good one in my book.

Highlights: "Hollywood Rocks", "The Reason", "What I Want", "Love Nest", "Everywhere I Go", "Rock The World".

8 / 10


"Hollywood Rocks" Track-listing:
  1. Hollywood Rocks
  2. You're So Cool
  3. What I Want
  4. I Can't Live Without You
  5. Everywhere I Go
  6. Live Again
  7. The Reason
  8. Little Prayer
  9. Relax
  10. Rock The World
  11. Love Nest
Wheels Of Fire Lineup:

Davide "Dave Rox" Barbieri

- Vocals
Stefano Zeni - Guitars
Marcello Suzzani - Bass
Fabrizio Uccellini - Drums
Andrea Vergori - Keyboards

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