Brother Mercy 

Eye of a Storm

Almost any track on Brother Mercy's Eye of a Storm could be straight from "As Seen On TV" compilations like the 1980s or early 1990s versions of Monsters of Rock or Monster Ballads. Depending on your taste, the prospect of revisiting those butt-rock days can be either a horrifying or heartwarming idea. I don't mind saying that I'm a sucker for gratuitous guitar solos and songs that rehash the various ways of livin', lovin' and kickin' ass, and this album embraces all of those things.

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The Alberton-based band knows how to crank out a good ballad. "Dreamer" and "Passion" are wistful and romantic in the way the Scorpions or Europe are: so melodramatic but you can't help raising the lighter anyway. More psychedelic songs like "Healing" and the title track miss the mark, partly because they're not as tight as the others, but also because they go overboard with guitar laser sounds and Black Sabbath-esque cheese without making enough of an impression.

The secret weapons on this album? "Care Free Me" and "Monday Has No Mercy" are two rambling outlaw country songs for which lead singer Ben Abbey's gravelly vocals seem destined. Country rock may be where Brother Mercy rolls it out best.

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