Melodica is a combined effort from Ted Poley (Danger Danger, Bone Machine) and Gerhard Pichler, an Austrian born guitar hero. On their debut release, keyboard player Charlie Calv of Shotgun Symphony performs on piano and strings as a special guest on “Take Me Away,” and the rest of the studio band includes Willie Horvath (drums), G.P. (bass), Michael Wassermann (keyboards), and John “Rattlesnake” Rutkiewicz (backing vocals, tambourine).
Since it had been said that Melodica was setting out to release a “melodic hard rock bomb in the style of Bad English and early Danger Danger,” one would hope for tracks to stand up and shout the fun and sexy groove that one expects from Danger Danger like “Cherry Cherry” and “Grind” from the band’s latest release, The Return of the Great Gildersleeves, had done. However, it seems that unlike his former bandmates, Poley has forgone the pop mystique almost altogether and reached for an even more mature, melodic sound.
While the similarities in his vocal delivery are undeniable, especially on tracks like “Playing with Fire” and the up-tempo opener “Its Not Enough” it is otherwise difficult to offer a comparison to Poley’s releases with Danger Danger. His new music draws its strength from a strong keyboard presence that blends with smooth harmonies and soft melodies that drive ballads like “Best Friend” and “Take Me Away.” But, with the overall subdued sound of the album, it is disappointing to hear tracks like “Never Let You Go” lose their steam when the vocals kick in.