Johnny Bronco

Blind Ambition

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AllMusic Review by

Johnny Bronco opens up a can of melodic heavy metal whoop ass on Blind Ambition, spitting out songs that recall '80s arena rock with a dash of Southern-fried boogie. The arrangements on this overtly retro disc burst at the seams with sonic layers of synthesizers, bluesy guitar riffs, staccato bass licks, and screeching lead vocals with call-and-response choruses that display hedonistic panache and a penchant for rowdy behavior. "Don't Scream" is a thundering shuffle featuring the polyrhythmic prowess of drummer P. Cance, while axeman J.D. shines on every cut, pumping out pentatonic riffs that will send air guitarists everywhere into ecstasy. But the star of the show is clearly Bronco and his bravado, which evokes the rock star posture of Robert Plant and Axl Rose in timbre and phrasing. Bronco often lashes out against injustice ("The Mission," "Loose") or gets caught looking for love in all the wrong places ("Blind Ambition"). When he waxes romantic in the intro of the ballad "The Skies Are Blue" before breaking into a parody of Queen in the second verse, Johnny Bronco proves that Reagan-era rock & roll will not rust nor fade away.

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