Lightning Strikes - Lightning Strikes,
Originally formed in 1985, Lightning Strikes were briefly part of the bustling L.A. scene, releasing a now highly collectable 7” single in 1986, before the band went their separate ways in late 1987 despite drummer Karpis Maksudian’s attempts to carry on with a new line-up. Fast forward to 2011 when Maksudian began to assemble a new version of Lightning Strikes, featuring bassist Cat Tate (Snew, Red Again) who was part of the original band, guitarist Rob Math (Leatherwolf, Player), and vocalist Nando Fernandes (Hangar). Adding to the band’s fire power, Maksudian brought in a trio of guest players, keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Kiss), as well as Tony Martin (Black Sabbath) and Japanese visual kei star Noah (Avanchick) on lead vocals.‘Lightning Strikes’ was mixed by Roy Z (Judas Priest, Bruce Dickinson, Helloween) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Halford, Yngwie Malmsteen, Anvil).
Here is a band that is taking the Seventies for inspiration, particularly classic Rainbow, and then building on that. The solos may be more shred-like than Ritchie used to play, but with Derek playing plenty of held-down Hammond-style chords there is no doubt where their influences are from. I’m not sure of the point of “Doki No Sakura”, a Japanese song with a Japanese singer, as it’s totally at odds with the rest of the album, but that aside this is a pleasant listen. I wasn’t surprised to come across a cover, but instead of Rainbow what we have is very close taken on Purple’s “Our Lady” which was on the classic 1973 ‘Who Do We Think We Are’. If you like the old days, brought slightly up to date, then this may be of interest. Tony is a great singer, and this style suits him perfectly.