Frontiers Records
Release date: October 24, 2005

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Tape Recording: “Good Morning, Mr. Tramp. Your mission, Mike, if you decide to accept it, is to bring the classic sound of White Lion to all the people across the world that still live for that music. As always, should you or any of your bandmates be caught, Frontiers Records will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Mike.” While this might sound vaguely familiar to the opening of the late 1960’s – early 70’s hit TV series, Mission: Impossible, part of it was actually taken from the release’s promo sheet and paraphrased from Mike Tramp himself off of the new Tramp’s White Lion live release entitled Rocking The USA.

If you grew up during the mid-eighties and were at all into MTV and “Hair Metal,” then there’s no disputing that you probably already know something about the band White Lion. From lead singer Mike Tramp’s blonde locks and boyish pout to Vito Bratta’s Van Halen-esque guitar work on such MTV video classics such as “Tell Me” and “Wait,” there was no denying that the band caused magic to happen on their 1987 Pride album.

Well, it’s eighteen years later, the band broke up in 1991, and leader singer Tramp is trying to renew, or is it recapture, the hearts of aging White Lion fans. In the here and now, Mike returns with a double live “White Lion” CD, a new image (a ferocious Red, White, and Blue Union Jack lion’s skull, with monstrous fangs, as the band’s “mascot”), a legendary Producer (Michael Wagener), and a new band that would make the United Nations proud. The band features “fresh talent” from around the world (Australia, Denmark, Germany, and the USA), all with the sole intention of staying true to the White Lion sound.

Now, every White Lion fan will tell you that there are two distinct pieces to the “classic” White Lion chemistry that are going to be hard to replace; the first is Mike Tramp’s vocals and the second is Vito Bratta’s (one of the coolest sounding names in Metal) distinct guitar playing. Well, the latest incarnation is Mike’s band, so the first concern mentioned shouldn’t theoretically be much of an issue. Sure, Mike has aged and his vocals aren’t as smooth as they were in the late 80’s, but he still delivers this live White Lion material with heart and soul. The second “must have” is Bratta’s guitar work. Here’s where the Australian guitar player, Jamie Law, enters the fray. “No,” he’s not a Vito Bratta copy and “Yes,” through the first few listens of this double CD you’ll duke it out with your inner self that this is not Vito Bratta and you’re not going to like it. But, give the release a few spins, and you’ll forget that Vito isn’t in this incarnation of the band. Law does a good job of maintaining those portions of Bratta’s solos that made them sound distinct, while at the same time adding his own personal nuances. As far as the material goes, each of the four White Lion releases are adequately represented with those from the popular Pride release being the highlight moments. The Production and Mix are crystal clear, thanks to Mr. Wagener (whose amazingly “partial” discography credits include Accept, Dokken, Mötley Crüe, Ozzy, Alice Cooper, etc.).

The end result is an acceptable live White Lion release that will have you clamoring for your studio collection of White Lion CDs. The music contained within brings back memories of those Golden MTV years when times seemed much simpler. Now that the “easy” part is done (i.e., mostly recreating the classic White Lion sound), it will be interesting to see if this new band makes it into the studio to create new magic with a sense of its own “Pride.” Stay tuned!

Track Listing

Disc 1:
1. Lights And Thunder
2. Hungry
3. Lonely Nights
4. Love Don’t Come Easy
5. Broken Heart
6. Fight To Survive
7. Cry For Freedom
8. You’re All I Need
9. Little Fighter

Disc 2:
1. It’s Over
2. Living On The Edge
3. Tell Me
4. Wait
5. Lady Of The Valley
6. When The Children Cry
7. Radar Love


Mike Tramp – Vocals
Jamie Law – Guitar
Claus Langeskov – Bass
Troy Patrick Farrell – Drums
Henning Wanner – Keyboards

Mixed by Michael Wagener


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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