When thinking about 80s AOR, there are a few bands that immediately spring to mind: Journey, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, and Survivor. Legends all, but rock’s most radio-friendly subgenre spawned a truckload of other great bands, and during the 80s, this most American sound even influenced a few British musicians. FM remain one of the best known and most successful exponents of the UK contingent; much has been said about Magnum’s most commercial period from 1986-90, and at the end of the decade, Little Angels scored chart success by taking an AOR core and injecting it with a couple of rockier influences. For all the hitmakers, there are several great bands that aren’t mentioned anywhere near as much. And the greatest of those? That, without doubt, would be Scotland’s Strangeways.
Despite some over-excitement by many aging rock fans, Strangeways supposed “comeback” album, 2010’s ‘Perfect World’, was far from perfect. So far from perfect, in fact, it couldn’t even stretch to being called average. The record featured eleven tracks which had the little life they possessed sucked from them courtesy of one of the most appalling production jobs to ever grace a melodic rock disc. The sound of a band desperately trying to be heard through a muddy dirge, ‘Perfect World’ was an insult to melodic rock fans and a bigger insult to vocalist Terry Brock, lending his great voice to the band for the first time since the 1980s.