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TALAS – Return to 1985

Buffalo’s TALAS had gone through many changes over their years of activity from the early 70s to the mid 80s. The 3-man line up of Billy Sheehan, Paul Varga and Dave Cosentino had reunited a number of times, but in 2017 Billy Sheehan reassembled the last incarnation of the band he was in (pre David Lee Roth Band; MK 2) – with singer Phil Naro, drummer Mark Miller, and new guitarist Kire Najdovski (in place of Mitch Perry). The band played several shows over the few years prior to Covid shutting down shows, and then the passing of Phil Naro (RIP). But in there the band signed with Metal Blade and recorded a new album. In fact they recorded the album they really intended to in 1985! Almost all of these songs came from that period of the band, with a couple having been included on the band’s 1984 live release Live Speed On Ice. So, for fans one could say this was long overdue and a most welcome album.

1985 kicks off with “Inner Mounting Flame”, a hard driving fast rocker that sets the tone for what’s to come, you’d be hard pressed to find a better album opener IN 1985! The album was recorded in Mark Miller’s house, and it’s very energetic and has a very live feel to it all. Tracks like “Do You Feel Any Better” (originally on the live ’84 album), “On The Take”, “Come When You Call”, “I’ll Take The Night”, and “Close To The Killer” are all enjoyable Talas rockers. Also included is “Power To Break Away”, which pre-dates the Phil Naro years (see youtube), and debuted on Mk 1’s 1998 live album If We Only Knew Then What We Know Now, and “Crystal Clear” – which also was included on the live ’84 album, as well as covered by Jim Crean (on his Velvet Crush album, feat Naro on backing vocals). The one ‘new’ track is “Black & Blue”, which a bit slower paced, near ballad; Phil’s vocal on the verses reminds me a bit of Kiss’ “I Love It Loud”. A good addition to the mix.

A great return album from Talas, though saddened that Phil Naro is no longer here to see it and see the reaction. The guy did an amazing job leaving fans with 2 excellent albums – Talas 1985 and Lips Turn Blue LTB (released a few months ago). Rockers will dig this album, it sounds awesome, probably a bit heavier than Talas’ 2 early studio albums, with lots of cool intros, riffs, and guitar solos. Love the album cover, very 80s, very fitting!

TALAS – Announce new album 1985

TALAS are back with the release of their new album 1985, which will see a September 23, 2022 release via Metal Blade Records. Fans can preorder the album and check out the new single “Crystal Clear”.

Formed in the mid 70s and dissolved in 1985, TALAS may have never reached arena-headlining status but they were an integral part of the early 80s hard rock scene, and their long awaited return does not disappoint. “The time was right and we were all into it, no one needed any convincing, we were all instantly excited to do it,” explains bassist Billy Sheehan, who is rejoined by drummer Mark Miller and powerhouse vocalist Phil Naro, as well as new recruit Kire Najdovski on guitar. “It’s like we never stopped – everything fell together so easily. It was quite wonderful.” Now they return with 1985, 11 tracks of classic hard rock, picking up where they left off, and it is a release that will have old school fans salivating and new followers fired up with its big riffs, seductive choruses and killer soloing – basically everything that could be wanted from a TALAS record.

Najdovski may be relatively new to the band, but his playing is pure Talas. “He’s a great player with great ideas and a joy to work with. Phil had worked with him previously, so I trusted his judgement, and it worked out perfectly.” The band also welcomed former guitarist Mitch Perry to appear on the record, playing on the two songs that he wrote, “Crystal Clear” and “On The Take”, adding an extra dimension and bringing back more of that old school vibe.

Asked why people should be excited for this comeback, Sheehan answers enthusiastically. “Because so many of them were there, with us, and a million other great bands that made the 80s such a special musical experience. And also there are so many who might not have been there but have fallen in love with that spirit as well. We feel a very special bond with them all.”


With all but one song – “Black And Blue” – written in 1985, the album would have been their fourth full-length had they not split, and while they have worked hard to get the best out of them they have not tampered with the tracks or given them a modern twist, letting them live in the era in which they were created. “We wanted a snapshot of our musical life from 1985,” explains Sheehan. “It’s the same spirit, mostly the same people, and it’s bringing the 80s into 2022. The 80s were an amazing time for music and bands, and we were all excited to go back to that, and I would say the record is raw, real, honest, and exhilarating.”

The album was recorded in Miller’s living room, in the house he built, utilizing a mobile recording setup, and according to Sheehan the sessions were “an absolute joy.” Coordinating everything remotely during the pandemic – with Russ Mackay handling the engineering/mixing/mastering from Toronto – was the hardest aspect of recording, but they managed to pull it all together, making a record that sounds cohesive from start to finish, giving no suggestion that it was anything but a smooth process. As well as Mitch Perry’s guest appearance the band also invited Naro’s son, James, to appear on the record, who “sang some harmonies – like father, like son, he sounded really great.” There are hopes to tour the record, though sadly, after a years long battle with cancer, Naro passed in 2021, but thankfully he recorded all of his parts prior to his death, and 1985 stands as a great epitaph to a great vocalist.

1985 will be available in the following formats:
– Digital
– Digipak-CD
– 180g Black Vinyl (EU exclusive)
– Gold Vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
– Clear/Pale Green Marbled Vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
– White/Black Marbled Vinyl (US)

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/talasv2

http://www.metalblade.com/talas