TAZ TAYLOR BAND – Welcome To America

TAZ TAYLOR BAND - Welcome To America


Escape Music
Release date: August 25, 2006

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Guitarist Taz Taylor was born and raised outside of Birmingham, England, and one of his earliest musical memories was, ironically, “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Rainbow. Taz took to playing guitar in the 80’s and had a whole plethora of guitar inspirations to choose from, including Michael Schenker, Gary Moore, Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, etc.

Taz became disillusioned with the music scene in the 90’s, as so many Metalheadz did (especially in the USA), and more or less gave up on playing … until 1995. Suddenly, he became self-motivated, inspired, and turned himself into somewhat of a modern day musical hermit, literally locked up in a Californian practice room until 1997. The fruits of this reclusion was his highly acclaimed instrumental album Caffeine Racer.

In order to promote the album he needed, well … a band. Taz came across Bob Miller, keyboards, and Dirk Krause on bass, and a whole load of drummers. When it came time to record again, the band knew they wanted vocals this time. Taz started at the top and put a call into Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, MSG, Alcatrazz, Impellitteri), who just so happens to be “instrumental” in Taz’s early musical development. The result is Welcome To America, which ends up being ten tracks of memorable Rock that seems to end oh so quickly.

Graham Bonnet is the type of vocalist that falls into that “love/hate” category. There isn’t a music fan that seems to think he is just “okay.” One either likes his singing style or doesn’t care for it at all. Bonnet fans will be thrilled to hear that Graham sounds better then ever on this release. The whole album has that sort of “Bonnet-era MSG feel,” a’la Assault Attack, without the “Schenker-esque” guitar, not that Taz Taylor is a slouch; he’s just an ever so slightly different type of player.

“Fighter’s Fist” opens the Rock-fest with a cool, full, Gibson Explorer riff and a heavy drumbeat, with Graham adding that melodic touch on vocals. “Radio Luxembourg” opens with an almost UFO-like harmony that is very appealing and is capped off by a nice lead by Taz. Both of these tunes could do well as singles. Top highlights are “Happy Hour” with its very melodic, classic MSG feel and several Taz fills, and the title track with its nice Rock tempo stomp and Bonnet “growls.” An easily memorable moment is the instrumental lead-in of the slightly somber “Silent Fall” where Taz “breaks loose” (be it for a very short time) … you might believe that this guy could be able to truly give Michael a run for his money.

There are two covers, sort of, on this album. The first is Gary Moore’s “Parisienne Walkways” (another early childhood memory from Taz’s past). The second is a medley of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Goodbye To Romance” and “Mr. Crowley” that end the release, aptly entitled “Goodbye To Mr C.” As strange as it sounds, it works very well, even with Graham’s vocal range.

Bottom line, this one is a great album with plenty of accessible Rock music for everyone. Don’t be turned off by the MSG and UFO references and similarities. Some of this was bound to happen since Bonnet is involved in the writing. The release is certainly a nice change of pace, and quite frankly there isn’t anything new on the market quite like this one. It has to be said, to justify how good this release is, that Waiting In America is the type of release Schenker fans have been hopelessly clamoring for out of the MSG camp for years!


Taz Taylor – Guitars
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Dirk Krause – Bass
Bob Miller – Keyboards
Richard Livoni – Drums


  • 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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