Not For The Innocent CD Review by Joe Milliken for Limelight Magazine-8/30/2009-Dartmouth, Massachusetts-USA. This appeared in the Summer 2009 Print Edition. A version of this online currently doesn’t exist.
A screen shot of this article can be seen in the CAROLINE BLUE KUDOS PHOTO ALBUM ON FACEBOOK
CAROLINE BLUE POISED TO TAKE ANOTHER STEP FORWARD
-Caroline Blue, a melodic-metal band hailing from Syracuse, NY, is well, not so much a traditional metal band during the recording of their disc Not For The Innocent, as it is mostly the brainchild of one singer / songwriter / guitarist (and now) bassist Wayne W. Johnson.
-Reminiscent musically of perhaps a current LA Guns or Dokken, while vocally most certainly that of KISS’ Paul Stanley, Johnson wrote and recorded the 12 original tracks on Not For The Innocent almost entirely on his own, due to mostly scheduling conflicts with band mates Joe Boyle (drums) and Johnny Sniper (bass). Not an easy task, when you consider the project took over a year to complete.
-Recorded, mixed and mastered by Scott Patnode at Strangeland Audio Studios in Phoenix, NY, Johnson handles not only the guitar and vocals, but also takes over bass duties as well. “Monster” Mike Merrifield also pitches in on drums.
–Not For The Innocent certainly runs the gamut of metal textures, from fist-pumping anthems like “Our Love is Wasted” & “Love Me or Leave Me”, to the slowed-down & heavier “Pain” and “Deny to the acoustic power ballad “Stay”. The Track “Far Away From Home” seems to even have a classic 70’s, acoustic UFO feel to it, althpough the vocal aspect falls a little short. However the effort to change things up is there.
-Overall Not For The Innocent is certainly a step up in style for Caroline Blue, who in the past have been pinned as a “KISS clone.” Yet Johnson gets kudos here for creating different textures and tempos, showing that he is not only willing, but capable of expanding his repertoire.
-Vocally it needs to get stronger in order to match the power of the songs, but this band is on the right track. Oh, and the man can also cut one hell of a guitar solo! Caroline Blue seems poised to take another step forward, so lets get the whole band in there and perhaps a guest vocalist for some stronger vocal harmonies and let’s see where Johnson and Company can go next.
Joe Milliken is a freelance writer and music journalist based in Vermont. Check out his website at http://www.jemwriting.com/