It’s almost uncanny just how much vocalist Martie Peters’voice resembles that of Mike Tramp from WHITE LION. So much so that if they performed back to back, without looking, even the most seasoned ear would have a hard time telling them apart… and that’s exactly what happened when Martie Peters actually opened for Mike Tramp on his 2004 European tour. Instead of being insulted by the comparison as SOME vocalists would have been, Peters embraces it… but how could you not? The new self-titled, debut release by the MARTIE PETERS GROUP (MPG) brings out all the best of what the original WHITE LION once was.
This is exactly the kind of album WHITE LION or Mike Tramp should have put out years ago. Peters’ melodic and tasteful… yet harsh compositions bring back the glory days of WHITE LION albums like “Fight To Survive” and “Pride.” Without blatantly mimicking the band, MPG guitarists Martin Slott and Anthony Lledo add their own unique styling which can actually be compared to the heavy riffs of George Lynch or the brilliant, layered guitar sound of IRON MAIDEN rather than to those of Vito Bratta (WHITE LION).
The opening track, “The Beast Inside,” just builds from the opening guitar riffs through the pounding drums, to the soulful chorus and also features a sweet guitar solo. “Riot On The Fifth Floor” is a prime example of what I spoke about earlier. It starts off with some Dokken-ish riffs overshadowing some powerful double-bass drums, compliments of Jakob Schlein, but then kicks into that powerful, dual guitar harmony that MAIDEN is famous for.
“Take Me Over The Edge,” “Heart Is An Empty Space” and “Only Dreaming” are solid AOR tracks featuring some really nice melodies and chorus’. “Number 1” is a bit more laid back and almost has that heavier, power ballad feel to it but really kicks into gear with some very nice guitar work, an intelligent, well-balanced solo and some tasty keyboard fills making this one of my favorites on the CD. “Bird On The Wire” is a great track as well and almost reminds me a little bit of THE OUTFIELD in the beginning just before the vocals kick in.
“A World Without You” is another soothing power ballad. Very melodic with some very good acoustic parts as well as some nice electric overtones and it almost sounds like it could have been an outtake from “Big Game”… which wouldn’t surprise me if Tramp actually passed this along.
Finally, tracks like “Hard To Choose” and a cover of Rod Stewart’s 1974 hit “Dixie Toot” really compliment the CD with their more bluesy rhythms but still have that groove to them which works well with the rest of the CD.
This is a great release. Fans of WHITE LION or AOR in general will absolutely love this. MPG definitely fills in that void lost with the demise of WHITE LION so many years ago and stands out as one of the better MTM releases this year.
- Martie Peters - vocals
- Martin Slott - guitar
- Anthony Lledo - guitar
- BJ - bass
- Jakob Schlein - percussion
- The Beast Inside
- Riot On The Fifth Floor
- Only Dreaming
- Number 1
- Takes Some Time
- Heart Is An Empty Space
- A World Without You
- Take Me Over The Edge
- Bird On The Wire
- Hard To Choose
- Dixie Toot (Rod Stewart cover)