California's Storm came together in early 1976, quickly fashioning a sound unlike anything else springing from the region. Led by the powerhouse vocals of Jeanette Chase, the band built a strong reputation while slugging it out in the trenches of the gritty Los Angeles scene. Soon, The Troubador became regular host to many of the band's legendary shows, which ultimately led the band to producer, Roy Thomas Baker. Though Baker was unable to produce any recordings with the band, he did manage to land the band a recording deal with ABC/Dunhill Records in 1977. Just before the band were set to begin sessions for their debut, a major shakeup at the label prompted MCA Records to take ownership, effectively halting the band's progress. Luckily, MCA agreed to keep the band aboard & after another year of contractual negotiations, Storm completed their self-titled debut, which hit the stores in 1979. Though the album was met with critical approval and european success, the band's unique sound fell upon deaf ears in the states and "Storm" sunk like a stone.
Unfazed, the band spent the next four years securing another contract, and soon Capitol Records were shuffling the band into the studio for their followup in 1983. That year, their sophomore album (another self-titled release) "Storm" hit the streets. In the wake of the burgeoning "hair metal" scene on the west coast, the label spent most of their efforts securing the "next big thing", leaving Storm with little promotion or distribution. As a result, Storm were homeless by 1984 and quickly ceased operations later that year. The whereabouts of band personnel are foggy, but Jeanette later found regional success as a country artist. The band's cult following prompted a mini-resurgence for the band several years ago and now Storm have reformed with the intention of recording a third album.
"Storm" is an incredible piece of cinematic AOR hard rock. Sounding like a heavier female fronted Meat Loaf, the tracks here burst with majestic grandiosity. Track after track the band's sound swells with energy, conviction and an epic power that beckons Queen, Led Zeppelin and Sweet. Gone are the quirky pseudo new wave tendencies and in their place, an edgy hard rock sheen has emerged. With precise production, monolithic arrangements and pitch perfect vocal harmonies, "Storm" sounds like something from a hollywood epic film. Perhaps this over the top sense of perspective was just too much for audiences who were falling in love with three chord glam metal, and it's a real injustice that this band and album were overlooked when it counted. In retrospect, Storm and their body of work have earned accolades of not only diehard obscurophiles, but also industry insiders as well. Not enough can be said about this fine album. Though their debut is also excellent, this release trumps it in every sense. I HIGHLY recommend everyone download this unsung jewel, brought to you by 'daz', and appreciate the brilliance of Storm. Better late than never...
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