It’s hard not to admire what the brains behind BlancaWhite are trying to do on this debut studio album, Resurgence of Rock. The brainchildren — Ken Savage (an international lawyer and songwriter ), and brothers Rick (executive producer) and Austin Schell (producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist) have a passionate sincerity about promoting the genre of good time rock ‘n’ roll — giving rock listeners a nice break from the all-too-serious sermons from some of today’s most popular bands. Let’s face it, when is the last time you’ve read an issue of Rolling Stone without a dose of whiny politics. Music that represents good times can be a breath of fresh air nowadays. And the “good time rock ‘n’ roll” displayed on Resurgence of Rock is specifically in-tune with to the sounds of the ’70s and ’80s hard rock bands such as Motley Crue, Def Leppard and especially Van Halen.
However, BlancaWhite’s songs are not nearly as good as the aforementioned bands’ classics — even with the help from professional, veteran vocalists like Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot, Rough Cutt). Terry Ilous (XYZ, Great White) Lorraine Lewis and Jeff Paris. And that is because BlancaWhite’s songs are tributes rather than trendsetters.
BlancaWhite’s Resurgence of Rock is still loads of fun. For instance, the title track (sung by Shortino) is a solid hard rock song, and a real blast — fun to the last chord and verse:
I remember one night on a Mexican beach
I remember Cabo Wabo being released
I decided Van Halen couldn’t be wrong
And given where I was, I’d be acting out the song.
Witty, and like many of us, it longs for the past. “Livin’ It Up! (In a Mexican Bar)” and “Another Hotel Bar” could easily be rockin’ Sammy Hagar numbers. “Still Turnin’ Heads” — sung by Lorraine Lewis — has an unusually haunting guitar riff for a party tune (a tip of the cap to the guitar playing of Austin Schell). And the Deep Purple-tinged “One For the Ages” may be the real sleeper, it may be the best song on the album.
There are only a few stutters: “Your Boyfriend is Lame” sort of slips a bit too much into stunted adolescence and “Hundred Years War” is somewhat of a downer — it means well but sadly misplaced on this disc.
Bottome line: the package of Resurgence of Rock is fun to listen to, fun to read along to the lyrics while listening and, as a whole, fun to root for its cause. Let’s hope they keep this flame alive and make it brighter in years to come.