Alex Grata & Anton Darusso - Bothers in Arms

Alex Grata & Anton Darusso Bothers in Arms cover
Alex Grata & Anton Darusso
Bothers in Arms
Melodic Revolution Records
This is a bit of a bizarre collaborative album between some Costa Rican chap Anton Darusso and a bunch of Russians, including another multi-talented singer-songwriter, Alex Grata. Sounds more like some bad 80s action movie scenario with all the clichés you could come up with, but in actuality it’s a pretty interesting collaboration of people from all around the world, to produce a nice example of modern rock.
The two mulch-instrumentalists also happen to be gifted vocalists and share the microphone is turns but also complimenting each other and are often joined by a multitude of guests mostly of Russian extraction.
If I had to describe their style, I’d say they’re successful in coming up with what Soto has failed to come up with in his various experimental releases, a very contemporary sounding hard rock that might take its original cues from Guns and Roses and AC/DC, but it dresses them up with a lot of American Bravado, without a single person involved being American… really friggin odd, but all the same quite enjoyable…
“Nothing to Hide” feels a bit odd opening the album, a bit of a sappy half ballad, with generous doses of electricity and orchestrations over the top.
“Blind” feels like GNR possessed by a guy with the balls of John Bush, tea bagging the shit out of you, much like Armored Saint around “Symbol of Salvation”, but a little more modern and I don’t mind at all that hybrid, since I loved that album…
Grata takes over on “It’s Time for Love”, a pretty solid ballad, I guess, but certain passages could have been done in a slightly more subtle way… but the chorus is so good that it could get the song off the hook, even from attempted murder…
“Drops of Compassion” tries too hard to be too modern and rhythmical, almost in a “Disturbed” way, but with even some “acoustic” passages and it doesn’t always hit the target… at least it not all that repetitive as the Americans.
“Frozen Tears” is a big cinematic ballad that I would not have a lot of trouble imagining someone like Aerosmith having popped out…
“So Many Ways to Go” is another quite experimental song, but this time the experiment lies in trying to incorporate more “musical” and prog ideas, which doesn’t bode too well with the too modern direction and when an epic lead takes over, it ceases much too soon.
“When the Music’s Over” is another epic piece of ballad, done in a half sung, half scream-o style, not unlike Chi-dem GNR…
“Super Hero” starts as a rap/hip hop track(!), only to evolve into a modern electro-pop/rocker with a beat – while the ideas are not as bad, the mix of styles is too varied and the hooks not as good to excuse it all, so it feels like it doesn’t quite belong on the album.
“Keep the Fire Burning” is a well-intended modern rocker that has some trip hop elements that aren’t too badly incorporated in its break.
And finally the epic closer, “Angel Like You” graduates that style, with female vocals and a huge chorus that really works well.
Bizarrely the CD has 3 extra tracks not present on the digital release: “Ocean”, which is a Gorky Park cover, done very well, a Russian version of “Drops of Compassion” that does sound a little odd, but then again I’m not Ruski and one of “In God We Trust” also in Russian that again sounded a little foreign to my ears, expectedly, but yeah, why not… it’s not taking something away…
Although this could have been a bit more refined, it’s still pretty good and almost succeeds where a lot of others mess up quite badly. JSS – find these guys and have them write for you… :D