Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

June 20, 2011

D'Priest (London) ~ Playa Del Rock

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Style: hard rock, heavy metal
Label: Noise
Year: 1990
Home: California

Members: Nadir D'Priest ~ vocals
Brian West ~ bass
Sean Lewis ~ guitar
Alan Krigger ~ drums
Vince Gilbert ~ keyboards

Additional: Guy Babylon, Jimmy Greenspoon ~ keyboards
Paul Frank, Bobby Gianetti, Brent Lowe, Vickey Seeger, Shane Smith ~ b. vocals

Antonio D'Priest, or more commonly Nadir D'Priest, might not be a name known to many outside of 80's rock fans but he's a singer well worth investigating. Nadir D'Priest rose to fame as the fifth & so far final frontman of the 70's/80's glam band London which, like the bands Johnny Crash & Badlands, became more famous for its members' future bands than any chart hits, as it included a pre-Motley Crue Nikki Sixx, a pre-W.A.S.P. Blackie Lawless, pre-Guns'N'Roses Slash & Izzy Stradlin, a pre-Cinderella Fred Coury & a post-Mott The Hoople Nigel Benjamin with their second album produced by Runaways creator Kim Fowley. The third & final album, coming 4 years after its predecessor, Playa Del Rock saw the band rechristened as D'Priest, though some releases included the London name. By 1990 no original members remained while the alumni had already hit the peaks of their respective careers & begun the settlement into less exciting but more comfortable positions. The newest London album would keep the fame tradition alive by including notable musicians in drummer Alan Krigger, formerly of the Ike & Tina Turner band, & The Cult's keyboardist Vince Gilbert ... rocking beside lesser known but an equally talented guitarist & bassist. By 1991 the band would break up, though the Playa Del Rock line-up would perform periodic reunions both as D'Priest & London to the present day. Though this final album may not immediately seem like the most obvious choice to discover the London legacy it's actually a perfect introduction. D'Priest is a band that in many ways should have theoretically parted ways by the time they recorded Playa Del Rock after achieving little commercial success, going through 19 members in the tradition of Yes & having only 2 albums with neither featuring any of the future superstars. Playa Del Rock is a band that almost has given up on success & is now just playing music they like & hoping someone else likes it too. Further, it's just far enough away from the mid-80's hair metal peak to give it a more modern edge that sounds like something that could arrive on the shelves today. Though being named after its lead singer makes this appear more like a solo album than a London album. With the 4 year gap between recordings & a line-up change it very well might be on some level ... in the same way that Doro's first solo album is more a Warlock album but with a name change. The band is definetly dominated by its frontman who also had a hand in the songwriting & essentially molding the sound. I want to write 'if you like Sebastian Bach', but Bach is second rate compared to Nadir D'Priest who may go for similiar highs & screetches, let alone attitude, but has vocal control equal to Ronnie James Dio who might be a better comparison. Lyrically the album isn't that exciting, or any more exciting than its 80's peers with groinal love song after love song, but Nadir D'Priest's vocal style carries it to new heights with a superb band behind him rocking out with great arrangements. Yeah, it verges on cliche 80's hair metal but somehow it all sounds new & fresh even if the band was working on its temporarily final gears.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for recognizing core elements of our band objectively. Respectfully, Sean Lewis (guitarist for London/"D'Priest).