DEADLINE – Deadline (1992 Deadline Productions)
Old school adherents of the classic Pepsi Power Hour may remember the video for “Donna (Do You Wanna)” by Sarnia Ontario’s Deadline. This self-titled mini-album was not their first release, they did have an indi cassette before this. Their 1992 CD debut was impressive quality for the period. “Friction Addiction” (heard in re-recorded form on Raw M.E.A.T 3) is a cool, innovative hard rock number with a funky lead vocal. The guys were all musically and vocally talented: the Wood brothers Tim and Tom (vocals and drums respectively), Paul Albert (bass), and Shawn Meehan (guitars). “Friction Addition” was exactly the kind of song that could have become a hit in 1992. It was still upbeat, good-time hard rock, but with modern elements that the 1990’s demanded.
“Donna” sounds like an outtake from Extreme’s first album, a bit dated now. It’s a nice shuffle complete with harmonica blasts, and fans of that old time hard rock will still like it. The juvenile lyrics however are way below the quality of the music and playing. “Nothing Left to Lose” is a somber ballad, a cross between Europe’s “Tomorrow” and Dokken’s “Alone Again”. Bassist Paul Albert is credited as the pianist on the track.
“Imagine That” is one of those early 90’s Ugly Kid Funk Metal™ tracks. Paint a visual picture and you’ll probably be pretty close. Regardless of the dated sound, it is still a pretty fun song. Following that is the less-funky “Do You Believe”, a fun hard rocker that even quotes “Bomehian Rhapsody”. How 1992! Once again, Extreme comparisons are apt. Slaughter too, especially vocally. “Set Your Sails” is the “inspirational” track. You always had to have one of those, didn’t you? As such it’s upbeat and plenty good. The tricky guitar solo reminds me of Richie Kotzen in style.
The CD ends with the jokey acoustic jam, “I Hate Workin'”. It has that old Van Halen vibe of the “drunken party” in the background, and the singalong chorus. Their hearts were the right place, but the song is a bit on the corny side. Still, for a first CD? Not bad at all.
After this the band released an EP called So This is Limbo and an album called Tangible Vibe. These releases had a marked change of direction. Guitar solos were chopped and songs shortened; as the 90’s progressed so they did, right into pop punk. Both are pretty good releases, but we’ll have to look at them another time. Deadline, the debut, scores a respectable:
Incidentally, this CD will not rip on any machine. No computer will play it, only an actual CD player. I have had that problem with a few Canadian made CDs from the early 90’s.