There have been some seriously high-powered supergroups over the years whose respective genius blended perfectly to conceive some memorable music. Widely regarded as the first-ever, Cream with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce set the bar nearly beyond reach with genre-spanning gems line White Room and Sunshine Of Your Love.
Iconic – Second Skin (Frontiers Music Srl)
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Brian Boyle
Then, of course, the Traveling Wilburys featured music royalty, including George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan, who laid down their egos and made their mark with two fine albums.
As far as hard rock goes, the last one worth mentioning was Velvet Revolver which flaunted Guns N’ Roses front of housers Slash and Duff McKagan alongside the late Stone Temple Pilots frontman, Scott Weiland.
So it’s no exaggeration to say that the heavyweights that make up the new band Iconic are redefining the word supergroup.
Feast your eyes on this lineup. A rhythm section with Whitesnake tub-thumper Tommy Aldridge, who reunites with bassist Marco Mendoza. You also get a twin axe attack of ’80s Christian rocker Michael Sweet who helped spread the good word with Stryper and another Whitesnake man in Joel Hoekstra.
The cherry on the cake is Inglorious commander-in-chief Nathan James, whose big presence shows shrewd recruitment for this high-end gathering.
And the songs aren’t too shabby, either. The album roars to life with a freewheeling Fast As You Can, which features Sweet and James sharing vocal duties that unfortunately dilute the track.
Ready For Your Love see’s James go it alone, and the result is a fantastic nod to bona fide classic ’70s and ’80s rock. Another co-lead vocal, this time, works a treat and compliments the title track Second Skin with Sweet emptying everything in his locker.
All I Need is as good a power ballad as any from the era when they were en vogue. Nowhere To Run and All About are invigorating and generically macho and feature Aldridge sounding like a man on a mission.
Being a product of Frontiers Music, stable boy and multi-instrumentalist Alessandro Del Vecchio was always going to be involved in such a weighty project as this.
As well as co-writing and performing keyboard duties his co-production with Sweet gives the album a mammoth and expansive sound. The musically AOR of This Way really benefits from this and is drenched in warming melodies that, in an ideal world, would be a stone wall hit.
Another fully leaded ballad in Let You Go once again ticks all the boxes and features some fine fretboard tapestries from Joel Hoekstra, who should be regarded as a modern-day guitar hero.
Given the massive Whitesnake connection, it’s apt this album should finish Enough Of Your Love, a track worthy of the tonsils of Lord Coverdale. But this is James at his best, totally bossing it and loving it too.
A great ensemble of talent and tunes. They’re not called Iconic for nothing.
For more details, visit orcd.co/secondskin
Iconic – Second Skin
1. Fast As You Can 4:37
2. Ready For Your Love 4:11
3. Second Skin 5:41
4. All I Need 4:12
5. Nowhere To Run 4:10
6. Worlds Apart 4:43
7. All About 3:36
8. This Way 3:52
9. Let You Go 4:22
10. It Ain’t Over 3:57
11. Enough Of Your Love 4:25