Published on September 23rd, 2016 | by Justin G.
By Guest Reviewer Wes Haskins
Wildcat is the debut full-length album from American melodic rock band Idora. When lead guitarist/co-lead vocalist Mike Floros starting putting Idora together he shared many of the early mixes from the debut EP (2015’s Above the Law) with me. I was fortunate enough to be able to hear them before the release and I remember how excited he was but I also know how much more excited he was by this new release, telling me how much better it is than the debut (doesn’t everyone say that?). Like many indie artists that don’t have a label behind them it can be a struggle to release quality product, but with Mike playing most instruments and handling the songwriting among other duties, he did a great job. Of course the production could be better but it’s a huge step up from the debut and I expect by album number 3 there will be more growth in both production and songwriting. There is a great mix by the talented Johnny Lima this time around
So what do these guys sound like? Well Mike is a big Vinnie Vincent and Ace Frehley fan so the guitar playing is a big part of Idora’s sound, but overall Wildcat is a strong mix of melodic hard rock in the ’80s “hair metal” vein mixed with classic hard rock. There are two different vocalists, with Mike handling the higher vocals and Brian Colkitt taking the more classic rock style songs. While both vocalists do a solid job overall, I do wonder what it could sound like with one vocalist who could handle both styles. That’s not to take anything away from either vocalist, who each have some standout moments on Wildcat. Here’s a song-by-song breakdown:
1) Intro – Nothing groundbreaking here just a quick intro to the title track.
2) Wildcat – the title track that seems inspired by Mike’s youth in Ohio. I love the music and solos but the vocals on the chorus don’t work for me with the higher background vocals being out of place and I wonder what it would sound like with a gang type background vocal.
3) Go for the Throat (Y&T cover) – holy smokes this one rocks and Mike does a great job handling vocals, and Meniketti would be proud. Great cover!
4) Lil Miss Rosie – Best song on the album hands down wow what a great melodic hard rock song with a great fun sing a long chorus and Brian’s voice fits perfectly here.
5) Silver & Black – Instrumental where Mike lets it rip and the title is most likely inspired by Mike’s questionable choice of football teams (that would be the Raiders).
6) Simple Man (Bad Company cover) – I had my doubts about this cover I mean who dares try to cover Sir Paul Rodgers? But Brian makes it his bitch and doing a great job on this and it seems to fit his voice better than a couple of the originals.
7) Greased and Primed – I believe this one is from Mike’s past in Ohio and it’s one of my favs and is pure fun hair metal and Mike does a solid job vocally.
8) Heaven 17 – Brian on vocals and this one is very good with a big chorus and the drums stand out on this one too.
9) Saints & Sinners – Pure rock and in your face with Mike on vocals and it’s just fun 80’s no nonsense hard rock with big gang vocals in the chorus.
10) Medusa – Easily my least favorite song. It’s solid and musically ok but overall the song doesn’t work for me but the solo is solid.
11) Superman – A great closing song with Mike on vocals and fast and furious drumming and guitars with a good chorus. Nice ending to the album.
Overall Wildcat is a big leap forward from Above the Law, with some really solid songs and two very nice covers. There are still a few things for Idora to work on, but overall I have really enjoyed this CD. If you’re looking for a modern band that appreciates the classic melodic hard rock sound, Idora is definitely worth checking out.
Where to get it: http://idora.bandcamp.com/music
Wes Haskins is the Mayor of the Melodic Mafia.
Summary: There are still a few things for Idora to work on, but overall I have really enjoyed this CD.