CD Review: Tango Down / Charming Devil
Reviewed by: Roger Scales
Two years ago when Tango Down released Identity Crisis, I called it my favorite album of 2012 in my review. It was full of everything that puts a smile on my face and it exceeded the standards of what I call the “Three H” method when judging a record: harmonies, hooks, holding power. That record still gets heavy rotation on this “80’s Guy’s” Listening Machine. ,24 months later, Tango Down is back with Charming Devil and I read a quote from Scott “Rif” Miller that TD has once again “raised the bar” and an expectation level from TD fans waiting to hear if the band can surpass 2012’s monster release. Did they indeed put on the jet packs and head even higher than they ever have before? “Charming Devil” has done just that with a 10 song selection of well written, well produced melodic gems full of harmonic flavor, a dash of metal and a smattering of memorable guitar riffs that just may put Mr. Miller on my personal pedestal of current guitar gods.
“Bad Reputation” kicks off the album with a flurry of hooks and harmonies right out of the gate. The riff reminds me of “Takin’ Me Down” off Hardline’s masterpiece “Double Eclipse” of 1992. Nice work Mr. Miller! Love how the chorus sort of just builds and builds with rich harmonies from David Reece.
“Charming Devil” has some interesting voice box effects from Miller and some serious bass groove laid down from Ronnie Parkes. Strong chorus with some clever lyrics make the title track worthy of its designation.
“Tunnel Vision” continues with even more heavy harmonies from Reece and company. Another classic Miller riff during the bridge although I was hoping for it to be longer! Such demands you’d think I was some righteous analyst of riff lengths, quality and tone. Miller you pass with flying colors..
“Too Many Roads” certainly slows down the tempo for the first time on the album. Giant harmonies and a well-constructed chorus make this track one of the strongest on Charming Devil. Sometimes mid tempo or ballads can get boring. Not here.
“Change My World” has the hardest nastiest riff from Miller found on the entire record. Not crazy about the tempo of this track on the whole though. Although the enjoyed the harmonies especially on the bridge immensely the track needed a bit more speed. Very minor consideration but I just think maybe live it will have a different feel.
“Heaven’s Falling” sounds a LOT like Dokken’s “It’s Not Love”. Not the entire track but particularly as the song starts to build towards the chorus. I mean that as a compliment gentleman. Such a throwback track there is even a hint of Lynch harmonics thrown in for good measure. What a delight!!
“New Addiction” has some interesting moments but like “Change My World” might have benefited from a more up tempo style. It has moments where it just feels flat. Maybe it will grow on me..
“Tomorrow Never Comes” grabbed me right in the first 10 seconds! That marks the potential of being a stellar track. This is the type of song that could be on the soundtrack of a movie. Wait..let me think. 1978..Susan George, Raymond Burr..there is a movie already with this title. Needs to be added in an extra on the Blue Ray..I’m writing to the production company this instant! Lyrically it’s the best on the record.
“I’m Done Lovin You” has a heavy dirty nasty riff right from the first few moments of the song. Now this track actually benefits from a slower tempo for me and has more Miller riff magic. Well done.
“Nothing But Rain” Reece does his best Coverdale ever and this track just has a Whitesnake feel to it..sort of in the “Is This Love? “ mode. I think this might be my favorite track. Over the top, very anthem laden and just a tremendous vocal from Reece. What a way to close out Charming Devil.
Except for a few minor (very minor) pace issues Charming Devil is delightful to the ears, pleasing to the eyes and appealing to melodic rock and metal fans alike. Filled with top-end production, first-rate songwriting and supreme guitar work from Scott Miller “Charming Devil” is a must have for fans of their past releases, hard rock fans in general and anyone who wants a real vivacious album in their collection. Gene Simmons thinks Rock Is Dead..well it’s alive and well in the Kivel Kamp. Grab your tents, dust off those sleeping bags and get ready to roast as many marshmallows as you want but one warning as you enter Kamp and sit around the fire..Charmimg Devil is scorching so make sure you bring protection not from Lucifer but from the heat that this album produces.