WARRIOR-Featuring Vinnie Vincent
Around 1982 Boston based band New England has released three albums by then and is surprised by the fact that guitar player John Fannon says goodbye to them, totally unexpected. In comes their friend Gene Simmons who suggests to jam with a guy called Vincent Cusano, who has auditioned for Kiss but does not stand a chance of joining because according to Gene mister Cusano is too short. Vincent Cusano starts working with the three leftover New England members Gary Shea (bass), Jimmy Waldo (keyboards) and drummer Hirsch Gardner but does not want to relocate to Boston. So the three decide to move to Los Angeles where they surprise Cusano as they already have worked on the songs that he had send them. They work together for a while, even get singer Fergi Frederiksen (Leroux/Toto/Trillion) involved. Frederiksen (r.i.p.) leaves a short time later as he is being poached by Toto for the ‘Isolation’ album. So Vinny (reluctantly) has to take up vocals again. Demo tapes are being cut and then out of the blue Kiss decide to give Vinnie (whose artist name changes into Vinnie Vincent) the vacant guitar position left by Ace Frehley. An offer that is hard to resist so the band Warrior, as the four guys decided to name the group never ever really gets a chance. Shea and Waldo later team up with Yngwie Malmsteen and singer Graham Bonnet to form Alcatraz. About 35 years after the demise of Warrior Gary Shea has made the studio recordings that the band made in those days available. Sixteen songs in total can be heard on this CD. I must say it is nice to hear a very first version of a track like ,,Back To The Street’’ (later covered by John Norum) but in fact these recordings are just rehearsals and try outs. Some songs are even featured in an instrumental version. And there are also five songs with Frederiksen singing, although he was in the band for a very short time. Vinnie Vincent sings on six songs as well, but as talented as a writer and guitarist he might be, as a singer he is just weak and a complete joke. I really do not know why Gary Shea had the guts to state in the booklet that these recordings are good. They are not, far from. Still there might be some Kiss fans that like to assemble everything that has anything to do with them because of the involvement that Vinnie has but be warned and advised. You might just be disappointed.