WHITE LION

"Return of the Pride" (Airline; 2008)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

This band should be named Mike Tramp's White Lion 2008, not White Lion, because sans Tramp's trademark vocals, there's nothing about this incarnation related to the original NYC metal troupe. No Vito Bratta, no James Lomenzo, no Greg D'Angelo. Still, despite this questionable marketing ploy, "Return of the Pride" portrays a decent mix of AOR rock with touches of hard rock elegance (particularly on the curious eight-minute pseudo power metal affair "Sangre De Cristo") throughout the duration of this 10-track endeavor. 

Loaded with commercial hard rock tunes and a couple of slow dance, heartstring-tugging ballads for the perfect 80s metal wedding song ("Never Let You Go"), this disc is watered down with an unbalanced weight of generic rock leanings and at times sounding downright desperate to recreate the 80s at any cost. 

"Return of the Pride" yields a passable, updated version of hair metal and showcases Tramp's welcome vocals, but it comes nowhere near the original lineup's songwriting prowess and overall musical aptitude, thus rendering a disappointing return to form for the new version of White Lion.

For more information, check out www.myspace.com/returnofthepride

"Pride" (Atlantic; 1987)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This was White Lion’s second disc. It produced the hit singles “Wait” and “When The Children Cry.” MTV picked up “Wait” and that helped to push the sales of this guitar driven disc over the two million mark. White Lion was started by pretty-haired Mike Tramp and guitar virtuoso Vito Bratta.

Most people didn’t even know who White Lion was until their singles were played continuously, and then everybody knew who they were. Most notably was Vito’s obvious grab at Eddie Van Halen's cape. Like it or not, Bratta could play like we all wished we could. He has some great acoustics on this disc and that helped to give White Lion a softer tone, but it never watered down his incredible guitar work. 

White Lion was different because they didn’t always rely on the sleaze factor to bring in the fans. They were socially conscious rockers who tackled issue such as apartheid in Africa -- “When The Children Cry” was such a statement. They didn’t create the political band; they just took it up a notch. I was impressed with their lyrics at the time; I remember thinking here’s a band that has talent and doesn’t waste it just to get groupies.  

If you have this CD and haven’t listened to it in a while then by all means revisit the glory days of White Lion. I think you might have forgotten how high this rocket flew.

White Lion: Mike Tramp – vocals; Vito Bratta – guitars; James Lomenzo – bass and vocals; Greg D’Angelo – drums.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08 Oct 2017 14:52:21 -0400.