Usm: Silver Step Child

Usm SKU: 24791786
Usm: Silver Step Child

Usm: Silver Step Child

Usm SKU: 24791786

Format: CD

Regular price $12.22

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Title: Silver Step Child
Artist: Usm
Label: CD Baby
UPC: 786984997023
Genre: Heavy Metal

FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC NEW RELEASE FROM FORMER BALANCE OF POWER VOCALIST TONY RITCHIE, IN YOUR FACE HEAVY METAL WITH EXCELLENT VOCALS,MUSICIANSHIP AND PRODUCTION. TONY IS BACKED BY TWO OTHER B.O.P. MEMBERS GUITARIST PETE SOUTHERN & DRUMMER/PRODUCER LIONEL HICKS. the beginning... In 1997 the world had thrust upon it a new melodic rock outfit by the name of Balance of Power and their debut When the World Falls Down took the band and particularly the singer/songwriter Tony Ritchie to the forefront of the melodic rock field. From his humble beginnings as a bassist in Huntingdon, UK right up to the current incarnation and this new project, he has contributed his artistic flair to no fewer than five rock solid albums with many artists and bands. His bassist days were over as quickly as they began as he turned his attention towards the art of projecting the melody of the band and the singer/songwriter we see today is the result. 'The amount of touring we did was phenomenal. If we weren't touring Germany, or Switzerland we'd be in Blackpool or Wales, it was fantastic. We played the Marquee more than a few times and made videos. We repeatedly came up against brick walls in various record companies sooner or later we'd have to let this horse we are flogging out of it's misery. If we could have carried on for the fans we would, a million flies can't be wrong but we couldn't support ourselves forever! I think it took the end of to make me realize that sometimes you have to go with what you do best and not what you would like to do best!'. Having written innumerable songs in bands such as Rhinehart, Gypsy, Lady Luck, Kid Wicked, Stigma, Praying Mantis, Vandamne and Balance ofPower his ability to turn out a hook with an interesting story line has earned him the recognition he has today. In Lady Luck and Kid Wicked Tony saw the world. Lady Luck toured Europe relentlessly and that tradition continued with Kid Wicked, who saw some domestic success as well as the almost cult status the band still have in Japan to this day. Kid Wicked became the tougher Stigma that packed London live houses with a growing fanbase but with the decline of record company interest in domestic talent a fresh approach beckoned. Having a genuine regret for the situation, particularly for the fans for whom he had the utmost respect, Tony refocused and found a fresh opportunity staring him in the face. Balance of Power was a breath of fresh air for Tony, a chance to revisit his roots and he once again join the ranks of the dreamers and escapists that make up our world of AOR, the place we all live in our hearts. Along with Lionel Hicks, the Kid Wicked drummer, Tony teamed up with Balance of Power, themselves still a fledgling outfit from Brighton, and brought a maturity and depth that helped secure a deal with Pony Canyon International in Japan. A deal in Europe was not far coming and this brought the debut album When the World Falls Down to the worlds attention, Tony's strong melodic contributions again at the forefront. The success of the debut album was the catalyst for the second and with Book of Secrets his lyrical talent was pushed further. 'Working with the guys from Balance of Power is probably one of the most fulfilling times I've Book of Secrets was a real challenge. The guys had read Michael Drosnin's The Bible Code and went on about it so much that curiosity got the better of me. The lyrics are a result of that with an element of daydreaming thrown in. As the recording of the demos for the Book of Secrets album continued Tony realized that another change was on the horizon; his sudden departure from Balance of Power seemed to have been a double twist of fate. 'During the recording of the first five songs on the Book of Secrets demos I remember saying to Lionel (now also BOP producer) that the stuff needed a higher voice and that mine just didn't work as it should. We would try different keys and detune but something always suffered. The band had been listening to Malmsteen and TNT albums recently and given the obvious change in direction of the music it became more apparent that this wasn't working. One or two weeks later Lionel told me that the publishing company shared our view, so I called Ivan (Gunn-BOP keyboards) and discussed the situation'. 'We explored the possibilities and agreed that I should step down as singer but carry on writing the rest of the album. The song is the most important part of the equation. With Lance King (Ex-Kings Machine) handling the vocal duties the end result seems to have justified the means. Lance has an amaizing voice and is everything the frontman of Balance of Power should be and I'll keep writing if he'll keep lending his magic to these songs'. With the fourth album being penned currently, Tony remains as enthusiastic as ever. Usm is what Tony does best with no compromise. No longer in it's embryonic state the raw ideas will chill the spines of hard rock fans the world over. With a work load as demanding as ever, the industrious singer/songwriter is turning to his own talents and ideas to express himself. 'I live near POD so I tend to spend more time there than in my own place. I have a Hard-Disc 8-track recorder which I use to work out melodies, harmonies and so on when I'm home, so it's a non-stop process one way or another. The new project sees me taking more control over the musical side of things. I usually find melodies and lyrics from Pete's (Southern-BoP guitarist) raw ideas. He'll probably play a verse, bridge and chorus idea then I'll take it away and 'Ritchify' it'. 'We would probably look at all the separate parts and maybe change them around. Lionel is a great sounding board, not being so close to the original idea, he can pick out the best parts, and the three elements combine to furnish us with a finished version of a song. Now I'm writing more music as well as lyrics so it's turning out quite heavy but hooky. Lionel and Pete are involved in the new project, I'm now playing bass on this one. In other bands, I've played along-side talents such as Bob Duffy (Kid Wicked, Stigma & The Shock and Chris Dale (BOP & Bruce Dickinson so I haven't dared to get my bass out when they are around! Now I feel a bit more confident and I think it's time to come out, I've been a closet bassist all these years and nobody knew it'. The projects early demos had the interest of some record labels from the start and it came together while mixing with Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69) at House of Audio in Germany. The essence of the music is one that is close to Tony's heart, ballsy riffing, big hooky choruses and 'twisty-bendy' melodies. His love of music and it's creation will no doubt be apparent in this form. His description says it all. Since the BoP days the songs have been coming thick and fast with encouragement from Lionel and Pete. The Usm album is written, recorded, polished and presented for your entertainment. Towards the ending of the recording, an unusual set of circumstances occurred. BoP were rehearsing for their tour with Pink Cream 69 and Axxis when bassist Chris Dale found himself committed to his 'Sack Trick' project leaving Tony to fill in, initially for rehearsals, then finally touring, his return to the ranks of BoP was assured. In the few days near completion, Thomas at Massacre Records heard some the rough mixes develop and promptly signed the project. The rest can be found in the news page! 'During the tour we were talking to Dennis Ward (PC69) about the Usm album ready to be mixed and he agreed to do it, so after the tour, we flew back to Germany to mix 'Silver Step Child'. Knowing Massacres work with BoP, we knew what a good company they were so the deal was done almost there and then. There's nothing more fulfilling musically than starting with a blank piece of paper and ending up with a storyline and a melody with harmonies all from nowhere. It never ceases to amaze me how that happens'.

1.1 Beneath the Low
1.2 Silver Step Child
1.3 Believe It or Not
1.4 The Time of Our Lives
1.5 It's All Over Now
1.6 Kiss the Sun
1.7 The Weird and the Wonderful
1.8 Terrorphobiac
1.9 The Other Side of Paradise
1.10 That Paranoia Thing
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