The leader of PRS Dragons, as you might expect, is guitarmaker Paul Reed Smith. So it stands to reason the sounds here are just what you’d expect. Crunchy rhythm guitars and big fat leads highlight “She’s the One.” Biting single-line notes combine with seemingly endless sustain on the instrumental “Cold Wind In July.” The title cut is a beautiful instrumental ballad with great sound. You get the idea. The sound is fabulous. Smith and Ralph Perucci on guitars, Hugh Mason on bass, and Bob Mater on drums really hit the nail on the head.
That said, what surprised me was the quality of the songs. They’re extremely well-written, with killer changes, surprising turns, and each and every one of them is precise. There are no wasted moments. Check out “How Bad Is That?” It’s pure pop/rock heaven with great leads, and a hook you could drive a Mac truck through. Great stuff.
That goes for the rest of the album, too. “Portsmouth Calling” reminds me of a Bruce Hornsby tune, without piano. That sounds funny, but it’s a very cool tale with a gorgeous, soaring lead that can only be described as majestic.
This is a fine album – the kind of music most of us grew up with on the radio but has, for the most part, disappeared from the dial. Check out www.prsdragons.com.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s May ’01 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.