Hailing from France, Voodoo Smile’s approach to melodic metal is especially appealing to fans of bands such as Dokken and Fifth Angel. Strong melodies, memorable hooks and overall solid songwriting are the keys to this release. Lead tracks “Hard Times” and “Far Away” would have fit perfectly on Dokken’s “Back For The Attack”. Even on the ballad “Your Number One” Voodoo Smile retains their heaviness instead of going for the sappy power ballad. The other ballad “How Can I Say” may call to mind Guns N Roses’ “Patience” and vocal harmonies along the lines of Saigon Kick’s “Love Is On The Way”.
“Forever” features some extremely impressive guitar work ala George Lynch and is probably the best song on the entire CD. It features wonderful vocal harmonies and no hint of any accent from the singer. “Stay” recalls Firehouse’s heavier compositions and is another extremely melodious track.
Voodoo Smile pulls out an edgy cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” that features enough shred guitar to make Steve Stevens smile. The instrumental track “Flyin'” once again owes a tip of the guitar to the previously mentioned Mr. Lynch and features an extremely bluesy break in the middle. Closing track “Waitin'” ends the CD in fine fashion with many similarities to Fifth Angel.
It is rare these days to find a release that blends such strong melodic song writing with heavy guitars and solos. The vocals throughout the CD are perfect and the harmonies are most impressive especially considering the fact that none of the songs are shorter than 4 minutes in length.