Frontiers Records
Release date: January 27, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Unruly Child’s third release, aptly titled UC III, changes to yet another vocalist, Philip Bardowell, their third singer in three releases. They change singers as often as Van Halen, but without quite the fanfare. In the early ‘90s it was Mark Free, and then they brought in Kelly Hansen (Hurricane) on Waiting for the Sun. But like always, they don’t miss a step, creating another AOR gem.
The album starts with a surprisingly unmelodic song called “Tear Me Down.” The vocals are almost shouted, and with this song being the lead-in, you might find yourself questioning if this really is Unruly Child. You’ve heard the saying “save the best for last.” In this case, they saved the worst for first.

Unruly Child’s sound is always compared to other bands. Waiting for the Sun was often compared to Journey, mainly because of Hansen’s unquestioned vocal abilities. When song number two starts, “Falling,” you wonder if they had Lou Gramm (Foreigner) fill in. The guitar, the vocals, everything about the song screams Foreigner. But the melody is back in the music at this point, and it does sound like an Unruly Child song again.

By the time you reach the fifth song, “Sleeping Town,” you quit comparing the vocals to other bands and start hearing the strength of Unruly Child – the songwriting. When the chorus hits and Bardowell is singing “But no one ever says a word, in this sleeping town,” you realize what a perfect fit Bardowell is for the band and that Bruce Gowdy and Guy Allison write some of the best music published today, in this genre. Lyrically, the poesy in lines like “and under a crown of thorns, he deigned no reply, and the mob of reckless lust began to fade before his eyes,” cues you in that Unruly Child’s music works on more levels than your average rock band. But the best song on the CD by far is “Kings of Tragedy.” It starts with the chorus, no music, a cappella in three-part harmony. This is the kind of song that needs to be played over and over, loudly, but only if you like good music. They have a couple of ballads on the CD as well, “Shades of Love” and “Something.” Since you have by now quit comparing the vocals to other bands, you probably won’t notice that the first couple of lines of “Something” sound remarkably like Sammy Hagar.
Besides rockers and ballads, the song “Vertigo” is a bluesy tune that mostly just emphasizes the versatility in the band, musically and vocally. Show-offs. Of course, the song “Unruly Child” needs a couple of words. Like the first song on the disk, it doesn’t work well with the rest of the CD, although it is much better than “Tear Me Down.” When Bardowell screams, it’s worth missing.

Overall, UC III is an impressive CD. Barring a couple of misses, Unruly Child has once again proven that they should be a force to be reckoned with, and hopefully with this release, they will be. Instead of comparing Unruly Child to other bands, this CD could put them at the forefront, so you’ll be comparing other bands to them.
If you are already a fan of Unruly Child, then you won’t be let down. If you are not a fan, well, you should be. Check out UC III; it’s worth your time.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.