EISLEY / GOLDY – Blood, Guts and Games
Album opener “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” has a sense of mystery and melancholy to it while “I Don’t Belong Here Anymore” is a groovy affair filled with sharp riffs. “Love of the Game” is somewhat epic and driven forwards by Goldy’s superb riffs and the prominent keyboards. “Wings of a Hurricane” brings to mind DIO’s classic “Dream Evil” LP in terms of energy and atmosphere whereas “Track Thirteen” is a raw and punchy affair. Closing track “Believe in One Another” is pretty damn horrible and “Lies I Can Live With” is no good either, but luckily, the majority of tunes range from solid to strong. Actually, “Blood, Guts and Games” as a whole reminds me an awful lot of Rainbow’s highly underrated “Bent Out of Shape” album (1983), which is a compliment, folks. The melodies, the way in which the rather dominant keyboards are incorporated into the music, and even the vocals evoke a vision of a cool cross between the Joe Lynn Turner-era of Rainbow, Def Leppard, and Night Ranger. Sure, this is neither inventive nor original, but then why should it be considering the fact that we are talking about two veterans here who actually lived the 80s and helped shape it, musically speaking. The drumming leaves something to be desired, though. The drums lack excitement and energy to my ears and are anything but creative, but they get the job done, I suppose.
I would not go as far as to say that this is outstanding or all-out mind-blowing, but it certainly has its moments and a fair amount of well-written songs on it. Listening to Craig Goldy’s melodic guitar playing is always a treat and “Blood, Guts and Games” is no exception. It does contain a few clunkers that disrupt the flow and momentum of the album, but cuts such as “No More Prayers in the Night”, “Life, If Only a Memory”, and the aforementioned “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” are great throwbacks to the glorious 80s that ought to satisfy any fan of that golden era out there.