Published on November 13th, 2019 | by Justin G.
The Defiants: Zokusho (Frontiers, 2019)
The 2016 debut from The Defiants was the surprise hit of 2016 for me, so I’m very glad to see that wasn’t just a one-off project. They’re back with a new album, titled Zokusho, and they’ve brought that classic melodic rock energy with them once again. The Defiants, of course, is made up of three former Danger Danger bandmates: vocalist Paul Laine, bassist/keyboardist/producer Bruno Ravel, and guitarist Rob Marcello (plus drummer Steve West).
Danger Danger was never my cup of tea back in the day, but for some reason The Defiants’ debut really satisfied. Zokusho has a very similar approach and works about as well. These guys manage to take what worked so well from the early ’90s melodic rock sound and add the kind of heart and soul that only experience can bring. This one is all about the melodies and harmonies. Paul Laine sounds amazing as usual, and when those backing vocals kick in it gets even better.
Zokusho is another “top down, volume up” feel good rock n’ roll album that would have been the perfect summer soundtrack had it arrived a bit earlier. It has a fun mix of party rockers like “Drink Up!” and “Allnighter,” and more AOR-sounding tracks like “Alive” and “Hold On Tonight” (which is probably the album’s best song). If you’re looking for the album’s most full-on Danger Danger moment, it has to be the upbeat, ultra-catchy “Fallin’ For You.”
Obviously Zokusho is a must-have for Danger Danger fans and anyone who loved The Defiants‘ debut, but this is an album that any fan of high-energy melodic rock needs to hear. Whether you’re into the classic sounds of Def Leppard, Europe and Bon Jovi, or the newer bands like Eclipse, H.E.A.T. and Art Nation, you will find a lot to love about The Defiants.
Summary: Lightning strikes twice