Re-posted as requested, expanded and augmented
Extraordinary vocalist Gary Barden left the Michael Schenker Group at their peak of its popularity in 1984, aiming for solo career. He spent some time auditioning musicians for his back-up band and composing new material.
The opportunity of a record deal arrived next year, but the label wanted a real band, with Barden as frontman. So he called long time friend drummer Bruce Bisland from the very good hard rockers Wildfire to join in, who also suggested his bandmates.
Soon STATETROOPER born with Gary Barden at the mic and the full Wildfire crew at charge of the instruments.
Statetrooper recorded the pre-production demos while waiting for the record label deal, but as happened many times in the musical industry, it never arrived due to management troubles.
Anyway, the Statetrooper self-titled LP was released in UK through the legendary FM Records, though, in limited quantities. There was also a Belgian edition but via a small label too, so "Statetrooper" become a collectors piece in years to come.
Despite of being pre-production tapes, the quality of the recording is very good sporting a vibrant rocking edge, and according to the times (1986), with a very melodic AORish punch.
Great Melodic Rock / AOR songs like the awesome "Shape Of Things To Come" driven by sharp guitar riffs and stabbing keyboards, or the extremely catchy "She Got The Look" are mixed with harder rockers such as the six-string layered "Set Fire To The Night" or the killer "Veni Vidi Vinci".
Over the tight instrumentation, Gary Barden's pipes are fantastic, fuller, plenty of power and melody. "Statetrooper" finds Gary at his best.
To complete the LP release, the band added two tracks recorded live at the Marque Club in London, including a terrific version of MSG's classic "Armed And Ready".
"Statetrooper" was remastered and reissued in 2003 (now out of print) with the addition of two worthy studio bonus tracks - "How Does It Feel" is great - plus a bunch of songs recorded live but in studio during the '86 sessions.
Statetrooper is a superb exponent of the boiling UK mid-Eighties rocking AOR scene. You need this one in your collection.
01 - Shape Of Things To Come
02 - Set Fire To The Night
03 - Dreams Of The Painful
04 - Stand Me Up
05 - Veni Vidi Vinci
06 - Last Stop To Heaven
07 - She Got The Look
08 - Too Late (Live)
09 - Armed And Ready (Live)
10 - How Does It Feel (non album track)
11 - Juliet (non album track)
12 - Faster Than Light (Live bonus Track)
13 - Set Fire To The Night (Live bonus Track)
14 - She Got The look (Live bonus Track)
15 - Too Late (Live bonus Track)
Gary Barden - Vocals
Jeff Summers - Guitars
Martin Bushell - Guitars
Steve Glover - Keyboards
Jeff Brown - Bass
Bruce Bisland - Drums
STATETROOPER [remastered + bonus]