Sound — 9
In 1985, a band named GTR formed. The band was a supergroup formed by members of legendary Classic Prog. Rock bands of the 70s and early 80s. The band featured guitarist Steve Hackett from Genesis, guitarist Steve Howe of Yes and the supergroup Asia, bassist Phil Spalding (Mick Jagger & Elton John), and Jonathan Mover (Alice Cooper, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Everlast, The Tubes, Joe Satriani, Joe Lynn Turner, Peter Frampton, etc.) finishing out the line-up is then unknown vocalist Max Bacon. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1986 and was the band's only release as the band broke up later the next year in 1987. When you hear who is in this band you basically know what to expect. First hearing this is just like putting in the first Asia album. Mind-blowing! The album's first track was one of two singles the band released and their only hit going gold. Throughout the album you can pick out all the parts that link to the member's previous bands with Yes and Asia (mainly Asia) really standing out more than the others. With vocalist Max Bacon being a nobody before this releasing this album was long shot for the other guys. It paid off from a music stand point, but not from a sales stand point. On the song "When The Heart Rules The Mind" it pieces together everywhere a classic rock fan wants to hear. When listening to it locks you in and holds on till the very end. Listening to the first track will take care of the rest of the album, since the rest of the has the same clean, killer sound.
Lyrics — 10
Max Bacon being unknown before this album really gives it an extra, powerful element that I loved. He has an extremely powerful voice and it's unfortunate that he is as underrated and underestimated as he is. You can tell who did most of the writing with the lyrics being the kind you would hear out of Asia, as Steve Howe and Steve Hackett did basically all the lyric writing with vocalist Max Bacon and Asia bassist/vocalist and GTR producer Geoff Downes pitching in on a couple of the album's songs. With Asia's Geoff Downes producing it he was able to bring the best out of Bacon's voice so that his part equals evenly with the rest of the band.
Overall Impression — 10
If you're a fan of prog. Rock and/or metal, or just classic rock in general you'll love this album. For all the people that grew up during this time and either forgot or never ended up hearing this band, they're the band you would put in the cassette deck while you were cruising in the summer with the top down on your hot rod. With who was in this band and the major success they had before and after it's a real disappointment that they never became as big as they could have.