We have already seen on our ‘Eurorock’ trip that melodic rock is alive and well right across the continent. Hungryheart who hail from northern Italy are flying that banner high with their self-titled debut album released recently on the Free Mood label. Formed back in 1997, following an amalgamation of two local bands, they consist of lead singer Josh Zighetti, guitarist Mario Percudani, bass player Lele Meola, and drummer Emilio ‘Pingo’ Sobacchi. It was not all smooth running though and the band nearly ceased to be when all its members decided to pursue solo interests.
However, they got back together and went about putting down an album that would underline the reputation they had gained on the Italian tour circuit. With an obvious passion and talent for AOR and heavy melodic rock, they have come up with a highly impressive first album. Hungryheart by name and hungryheart by nature, their enthusiasm and commitment to the cause radiates from every note.
For lovers of melodic rock Hungryheart is a welcome addition indeed. Basing their inspiration on 80’s and 90’s bands such Whitesnake, Bon Jovi and Giant, Hungryheart not only pays homage to the era but also adds their own stamp to it along the way. Melodic rock is still a huge seller and the market most definitely remains out there. If a band can come up with a killer airplay favourite then the moment is there to be seized. The album opens with just that, a radio friendly romp through a wonderfully catchy “Rock City”, which has just the slightest hint of Def Leppard about it. It is nicely balanced, never over forced, and as a result the track acts as a positive statement to what they can produce.
“Stealing The Night” opens with all the purpose and power of an eighties classic resulting in another memorable track. “River Soul” is soaked in Bon Jovi and, if anything, builds successfully on the strength of the opening of the album. When Mario’s guitar kicks in and the chorus leads you on a sing-along you could easily convince yourself that you are listening to an established classic rock track from days gone by. However, it has to be said, that these are no mere imitators and to suggest that would be doing them a great disservice.
The first ballad “Hang On To Me” is highly impressive with Josh in great form. The nicely stripped down band gives him the perfect space in which to deliver an album highlight. The band put their foot back down on “The Only One” which contains some scorching guitar from Mario, whose playing throughout varies from the intricate to highly impressive solos to some powerful riffs. “Innocent Tears” takes us back into Bon Jovi territory and opens out into a chiming and superbly written song. “Shadows” shifts us down with some beautifully performed acoustic guitar. “Hard Lovin’ Woman” gives us another memorable track and a further example of the exceptional song writing. Suddenly it kicks off into a well worked riff and chorus that none other than Whitesnake would have been proud of.
“Breath Away” keeps the quality flowing before the catchy “It Takes Two” and final track “Gina” brings this highly enjoyable and consistently good album to a close. Hungryheart absorbs and, more significantly, adds to all the key elements of great melodic rock from those heady days. It took them over ten years to release this album and the result is definitely one that should be explored and, no doubt, enjoyed by the vast army of fans of well written rock music.