May 02, 2020

Shout - It Won't Be Long (1988)

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 9 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hard Rock
.FLAC via Mega (Link)
.AAC 256 kbps via Mega (Link)

© 1988 Frontline Records
Review by Andrew Rockwell for Angelic
Ken Tamplin got his start in the mid-eighties while a member of the melodic metal band Joshua.  After completing a tour of Europe in support of the 1986 release Surrender, Tamplin departed Joshua when he felt the Lord leading him in a different direction.  He proceeded to put together Shout with former Idle Cure guitarist Chuck King (recruited through an ad in a Los Angeles area classified paper) and bassist Loren Robinson (Joshua).  The three arrived at the name Shout, in Tamplin’s own words, due to the fact, "We're supposed to shout and make a joyful noise unto the Lord. We're definitely shouting it out and saying what the Lord wants us to say." It Won't Be Long is Shout's 1988 debut on Intense Records. 
It Won’t Be Long, Shout’s 1988 Frontline Records debut, is a sleekly produced work combining the best aspects of melodic metal and commercial hard rock with pop-rock sensibilities.  All these elements can be found on hook driven pieces “Never Stop” and “Winners Or Losers” in addition to the albums acoustic laced title track.  “Shout”, the bands signature number, comes across in the form of a metal anthem, while “Find A Way” is a piano driven ballad.  The polished “Showdown” highlights Shout’s penchant for lush vocal harmonies.
Tamplin has always been one of my favorite rock vocalists.  His smooth and warm sounding presence – tinctured with occasional touches of grit – aligns well with the music at hand.  He also joins with Chuck King for the albums guitar duties.  The two prove particularly deft with their tight melodies and harmonies but can also cut loose in the lead guitar department, as demonstrated on “Winners Or Losers” and “Showdown”.  Guitarist Lanny Cordola (House Of Lords) makes a guest lead guitar appearance on “Shout”.
Rounding things out is the rhythm section of drummer Dennis Holt (AD) and bassist Loren Robinson.  Mark Hugonberger adds extra texture on keyboards.
Things get underway to the slick hard rocker “Never Stop”.  With its big hook chorus (accented by keyboards) and low-key verses (in which the rhythm guitar plays a reduced role), the song ranks with the albums finest.  “Never Stop” is a song of perseverance:
Now can't you see, Oh that I'm racin' time
It's on with the goal
Another uphill climb
Follow the heart, satisfy the soul
I'm movin' on, headin' along well you know
Never stop, nothin’s gonna stop us now
Aint givin’ up, we hear it calling
Now we know love is gonna show us how
“Winners Or Losers” heads in the heavier direction.  A crunch heavy rhythm guitar drives the song its distance, interweaving with a punchy bass line to put in place an environs bordering on the anthem-like: the chorus is over the top while a blistering guitar solo adds to the resounding feel.  Love and acceptance is the message at hand:
In God's eyes, winners or losers we're all the same
Can't we try loving each other without all the blame
In a world so cold, life’s bought and sold
No time to love, just go for the gold, oh no
Now one man’s loss, is another man’s gain
Counting the cost and it adds up to pain I know
The albums title track begins to a beautiful Spanish influenced acoustic guitar solo.  The rhythm guitar that kicks in after a minute pushes things forward in upbeat fashion, prodigious backing vocals playing a leading role until a polished chorus laced with an acoustic guitar is obtained.  More defined lead guitar is added to a song about the second coming:
No it won't be long,
When all the clouds roll back and we'll be gone
Yeah we'll face it one by one
Oh come on and sing along
It won't be long, when all will be made known
It won’t be long, yeah we'll face it one by one
It won't be long, give your hope to carry on
Are you ready
“Find A Way” is a customary (and very well done) power ballad.  Keyboards make their presence felt on this one, upholding its airy verses while interweaving with a crisp guitar for its commercially influenced chorus.  Tamplin really stretches and exhibits the full range to his voice.  “Find A Way” makes a statement of God’s love:
As I recall the years that all slipped by
I can't deny
My foolish pride
Well someday I'll hold You forever
And never let go
Lord I'll be Yours
Love I know will find a way
I hear it's voice I can't escape the call
Into my heart
Love I know will find a way
Don't make me wait
We'll sail away sail away
Love is gonna find a way, find a way,
find a way
"Dancin' Round The World" fails to cut it.  Yes, the song brings a touch of groove with its upbeat momentum, but a weak pop flavored chorus and trite lyrics hold things back:
There's groovin' dancin' to the beat tonight
And we will set those feet to flight
There's swingin' and swayin' to the music tonight
Get our hands and feet blazin' like a firelight
When performing “Dancin’ Round The World” at Cornerstone 88, Shout pulled members of the audience onstage in order to have them “dance around”.  Think I will pass…
A drum solo gets “Shout” underway.  A powerhouse hard rocker, this one takes an energy-laden propensity and merges it with an upfront guitar sound and Lanny Cordola’s shredding soloing abilities.  It all adds up to a great hook, great performance and ultimately a great song.  “Shout” talks about taking a stand:
We won't take it, Lord we've gotta
shake it
Running for our lives
We'll raise our voices loud n clear
Like thunder n lightning for all to
Shout it out, never let it take you down
Shout it out, livin's what it's all about
“Showdown” maintains the quality.  Slowing the tempo but not the guitar driven proclivity, “Showdown” projects a refined feel as a result of its abundant backing vocals and scintillating chorus warning of the second coming:
Showdown comin’ round
Runnin’ for cover when the trumpets all sound
Yes, a ghost town’s what’ll be found
We’d better slow down
Tamplin steps to the place with several seconds of the albums best high-octane lead work.
“Timeless Love” can best be described as above average to good mid-paced commercial hard rock.  No, not quite filler but not quite on the same level as the albums better material.  The hook is decent but I cannot bring myself to listen to this on a consistent basis.  “Timeless Love” focuses on God’s faithfulness:
Lay it on the line
You know it had to take some time
Seemed nothin' I could
Oh could get close to You
You never failed
And oh how Your love prevailed
Nothing I could say
I want to be with You someday
Timeless love
Standing against the hearts of pain
Timeless love, Oh, Oh
Faithfully remains
“Without You” ads up to filler track number two.  A restrained feel is put forth by the song, mirrored in its watered down guitar sound and quirky chorus backed by a way to prominent mix of keyboards.  The one bright spot is the instrumental section driven by a seventies influenced blend of guitar and organ.
It Won’t Be Long adds up to six great songs and three that struggle to receive a passing grade.  Yes, the album is a bit inconsistent but its better material more than justifies the final 75% score.  With a few more along the lines of “Showdown”, “Shout” and “It Won’t Be Long” this would easily rate in the 80% or 85% category.  But as it stands It Won’t Be Long still comes recommended and would prove a worthwhile addition to your collection.

tags: shout, it wont be long, 1988, flac,


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