Album Review: Dare, "Blood From Stone"


In 1988 DARE scored a Top Ten hit in my personal long-playing chart with their debut offering, Out Of The Silence. With this new release, Darren Wharton and his compadres have once again tapped into the main artery with a collection of songs that whip the AOR leanings of yesteryear into submission.

Wharton's latter-day membership of THIN LIZZY being well charted, Blood From Stone proudly displays an alluring similarity to the vocalist's previous outfit. Debut single We Don't Need A Reason and Wings Of Fire in particular are infused with the intense, quasi-Celtic, double guitar attack LIZZY made famous. In fact Reason glories in being the most complete song on the entire album. A titanic performance that goes for the jugular with alarming accuracy.

Indeed, where DARE are concerned, the expression "AOR" is now something akin to a dirty word. Wharton's vocals are harder, grittier, filled with passion n' pain, whilst Vinnie Burns and new boy Richard Dews trade lick for lick and run for run with ever increasing levels of panache; all but negating the need for Brian Cox's artistic keyboard additions.

However, the aforementioned tracks and the Brian-Adams-meets-Bon-Jovi-esque Lies and album closer Real Love aside, DARE's heavier approach sometimes becomes a trifle hackneyed. Cry Wolf is just too throwaway for comfort and Breakout is little more than a gonzoid break for the border. But two duffers amongst ten otherwise high quality, daringly emotive, and powerfully performed compositions is no reason to abandon Blood From Stone. As the song goes, DARE will indeed "live to fight another day," and another and another and another. Their pulse has never been stronger! Grade B


Lyn Guy
Riff Raff
October 1991

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