Were they metal?
Were they pop?
The band had metal looks and guitars, strong female vocals, lyrics and hooks.
Mercury Records thought they had a blockbuster.
The band is Siren (later called Red Siren). I vaguely remember the early promo hype Mercury Records made over this 1989 album. First, it was supposedly the very first major label studio album that wasn't mastered on tape, but totally to digital hard drive - something that would be eventually be standard in the recording industry.
While the ELP-esque cover artwork might suggest a progressive rock album, Siren's sound definitely falls into the mainstream pop/rock style of the late 80's. I hear a lot of similarities to artists like Private Life, Robin Beck, and 80's era Heart, and singer Kristin Massey's vocals sound like a cross between Stevie Nicks and Belinda Carlisle.
video for it though. Both the bassist (Jon Brant - ex Cheap Trick) and drummer (Gregg Potter) are rocking out way too hard for what they’re playing. The barely moving guitarist has it just right.
While I don't necessarily advocate this album is worth a 5-star rating, it's still a very solid pop/rock album. When it's good (see "All Is Forgiven", "One Good Lover", "Stand Up", and "Master Of The Land"), it's very good. Unfortunately some of the more laid back songs like "How Dare a Woman" and others on the B-Side kill the momentum a bit and give the album a sense of unevenness. And while the musicianship is very tight, you can't help but wish they had come up with some better guitar hooks to really grab people's attention. It was the 80's after all.
I do agree that this album was sadly overlooked. Given some of the similar artists that made it big in that era, Siren definitely deserved more success, and would have if the record company had done something - anything - to promote the band. Instead the band's legacy lies with those who were either with them from the start or people like me who ran across the disc in a cutout bin and decided to take a chance.
After a second single "One Good Lover" stalled in the lower reaches of the rock charts, they disbanded. Red Siren's bassist Jon Brant played in Cheap Trick briefly, but not much is known of the other members of the band. That's how it goes in rock n' roll sometimes. So enjoy this little chestnut.....
This post is an MP3 rip (320kps) ripped from my vinyl copy and includes full album artwork for both LP and CD. Sound quality is exceptional.
For more information about Red Siren and their latest release 'Recovered', take a look at their website HERE (thanks to Pete Zaria for the heads up)
01. All Is Forgiven 4:01
02. One Good Lover 3:53
03. Don't Let Go 4:15
04. Master of the Land 4:00
05. Stand Up 4:25
06. Good Kid 4:41
07. How Dare a Woman 4:40
08. Rock-A-Bye 4:01
09. Love Shut Down 3:21
10. So Far Away 4:16
Kristin Massey - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards
Robert Haas - lead guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboards, Synclavier, background vocals
Gregg Potter - drums
Jon Brant - bass guitar
Red Siren Link (125Mb)