The third album from these British giants of melodic rock sees them return to their first home, Frontiers Records. Not only that “Stereo Messiah sees Vega ( Nick Workman, James and Tom Martin, Daniel Chantry and Marcus Thurston) really up the ante.
With a sound that takes the power of 2013’s “What the Hell” and moves it up a gear, this collection of 12 powerful songs really provides a belter of an album. Strangely, my first listen left me feeling that the new release fell somewhere between the first and second records. In fact what repeated listens proved was that this is an absolutely storming album that transcends the first two and keeps growing.
Lead single and title track, “Stereo Messiah”, makes use of one my favourite lyrical devices and name checks some great rock albums that have influenced many of us, but the hookline of “we know who we are” lays down the marker that Vega are their own men and are here for the long haul.
Lyrically, Vega have always provided something much more substantial (occaisionally darker) than some of their compatriots on the AOR scene and I believe that this counterpoint to the wonderfully uplifting music is why Vega are such a force to be reckoned with. Clearly their magic hasn’t just worked on me – album three has seen them presented with a gift from a friend in very high places.
In interviews, the Vega boys have often made mention of wanting to be as big as Def Leppard. Clearly this has attracted attention (some rather unwarranted criticism too), not least from a certain Joe Elliott. Joe has not just given them the track “10x Bigger Than Love”, he sings on the track too. Add to this playlisting on Joe’s Planet Rock radio show really should point our heroes towards the door marked “Big Time”.
To coincide with the album release, Vega are undertaking a substantial series of live dates. First up sees them undertaking a series of headline shows (ably supported by the equally fantastic Newman) and then they follow this up supporting Je Elliott’s Down ‘N’ Outs. Additionally, already announced is their second appearance at HRH AOR in March 2015 – in other words you have no excuse for not only getting this album but also seeing how the songs transfer to the live arena. Having witnessed their show last year, I know for certain that Vega are a band that you need in your collection.
A fantastically well balanced production enables all the strengths of the band to shine, undoubtedly in a way that could only come from the supportive family at Frontiers. Strong drums, potent guitar, keyboards that truly work on all levels. Pure class from a band that deserve to be as big as …. well, you know the rest.
Catch Vega live in November and December …. I will be!
“Stereo Messiah” is available now from all good outlets and is via Frontiers.