Switzerland is a beautiful country where such is the peace and tranquility that time can seem to stand still. There was a danger of that happening to local band Charing Cross, who despite forming in 1993 have just released their first full length album, We Are Charing Cross.
It wasn’t a period of inactivity though and Charing Cross were busy building up a reputation out on the road, earning support slots with Nazareth and Suzie Quattro among others. Demos and EP’s followed but without any real break through until they signed to Metal Heaven and finally got their hard-earned chance to record an album.
So We Are Charing Cross (Metal Heaven Records, August 2008) finally arrives and at last the Swiss rockers have a platform on which to show the world what they can do. Sitting between melodic and heavy rock they have come up with an impressive album that underlines their potential and shows great promise. The band has gone through a near revolving door of line up changes over the years, but for this album is, lead singer Peter Hochuli, twin guitars of Pascal Zwyssig and Andy Dormann, drummer Tommy Pfiffner, and bass player Markus Flury.
We Are Charing Cross launches with “Final Day” a track so solidly constructed you could build your entire reputation on it. With this they clearly know where they want to go and how to get there. It is strong arm stuff held nicely together with a melodic vibe. “Kick Ass Rock n Roll”, is what it says in the title, continuing the strong start to the album with, unless its just me, slights nods to Iron Maiden. “Burn the Sun” is melodically powerful and the impressive “Voices” is one of the most effective tracks on the album.
There are momentary slips and slight dips but all in all it is a highly promising debut, albeit fifteen years late. The world of melodic to heavy rock can leave you sounding a bit predictable and that happens here with “Goin’ Down” but overall they come up with some impressive moments. The intro to “Can’t Have It All” has a Skynyrd type vibe, while the ballad “Long Time Ago” divides the set nicely with a strongly written and delivered song. “Forever Rockin’” is a sure fire foot stomping live track.