We all know what happened with new Melodic Rock / AOR bands after 1993 'til the beginning of the new millennium.
Tons of bands in this style were reduced to small indie labels, self production, practically no promotion / distribution, or directly not recording.
Americans TOWER CITY wasn't the exception, but the band managed to release one of the best albums of the genre in that period.
Fronted by guitarist & vocalist Larry Saltis (ex New Monkees) and his brother, they was previously known as Colorvine and even released an album (not bad at all) under this moniker through an indie label.
Together with Steelhouse Lane, TOWER CITY carried the flame during the second half of the nineties. In fact, both bands were connected somehow.
Steelhouse Lane's mastermind, Mike Slammer, helped this band in the artistic production department, songwriting (co-writing the title track and "Stop Running") and playing some guitars (uncredited).
First track "Talking To Sarah" remains as one of my favorite songs of all time. Sounding like Winger, this tune is simply fantastic.
"Little Bit Of Fire" is another winner. A Def Leppardesque melody with on-the-go guitars and a never ending catchy chorus. "Ain't Nobody To Love" has a strong synth base, this midtempo mixes the best of the classy sound of both aforementioned classic bands.
"I'll Sleep Tonight" is a modern melodic rock ballad with acoustic guitars and keyboards developing an intense, gorgeous melody.
On "Moonlight" the band sounds like the first Giant, "Surrender" as Shadow King, "Closer To The Heart" as Hardline.
Is TOWER CITY a rip-off / clone band? Not at all. I am mentioning the sound and song structure influences to give you the picture of how good this disc is.
"Stop Runnin´" is another monster song in the vein of Steelhouse Lane (Slammer penned), specially on the guitar work. "Hooked On Hope" sounds like a Gregg Fulkerson (Blue Tears) tune, with great ambiance, dense chorus and a very catchy rhythm guitar work.
"A Little Bit Of Fire" is a late 80's MR/AOR arena rock-style gem from start to finish, with trademark hooks, lush melodies and monster choruses. One of the remarkable aspects of this disc is its 'elegance'. The band has meticulously supervised every detail (self produced).
This album never was published in America, and it's pretty hard to find a copy nowadays.
1 - Talking To Sarah
2 - Little Bit Of Fire
3 - Aint Nobody To Love
4 - I'll Sleep Tonight
5 - Moonlight
6 - Surrender
7 - Closer To The Heart
8 - Stop Runnin'
9 - When It All Falls Down
10 - Something About You
11 - Hooked On Hope
12 - Down All Night
13 - Love And Money
Larry Saltis: Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitar
T.P. Weiner: Bass, Backing Vocals
Heath Saltis: Drums, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
TOWER CITY - A Little Bit Of Fire