7th Heaven is an Illinois band whose latest release is called U.S.A. – U.K. and no matter how hard they try there is no way these guys are going to be able to avoid comparisons to Def Leppard. To be blunt U.S.A. – U.K. is quite possibly the best album Def Leppard never released. Anyone, who listened to the songs on this album and didn’t know who the band was would be hard pressed to tell the difference between Joe Elliot and 7th Heaven’s Keith Semple. But it is not only Semple’s vocals, but also the background vocals, the music, and the production itself would make you think Mutt Lange was at the helm for this project, everything is top notch.
The band also comprised of Richard Hofherr Lead Guitar & Keyboards, Mark Kennetz Bass, and Michael Mooshey on Drums have been releasing albums and touring, playing in the neighborhood of 200+ shows a year, since 2000, but this is their first release with Irishman Keith Semple handling the vocals and what a way to start this chapter of the band’s history off.
U.S.A. – U.K. is filled with 18 songs, which in itself is almost unheard of today, but if you add the fact that any of these 18 songs could easily find its way to radio and the Top 40 charts makes it even more amazing. I’m almost cringing as I type this, because I hate this term, but this is “pop-metal” at its finest. The first six songs on this album all sound like vintage Hysteria era Def Leppard, if I had to chose a favorite I would go with “Better This Way” , but “Cellophane”, “Gravity”, “Still Be Here”, and “Gave You My Word” are all just as good, background chrouses, great solos, that will have you tapping your feet and singing along. On track #7 “This Summer’s Gonna Last Forever” the guys change direction a little but not by much, instead of Def Leppard it seems they took after another Mutt Lange disciple, namely Bryan Adams. It would fit nicely on any of Adams early albums, especially “Reckless”. The band takes another slight twist on the song “Winning It All” , this is the first and only time when Semple doesn’t sound like Elliott or Adams, but the song does not lose anything from that fact either.
Like I said earlier there are 18 songs on this album and not one could be considered “filler”, but a few other songs that really standout are “Ghost of Me”, “Undone”, “Take Me Back”, and “Oh So Really Old”. Any fan of Hysteria era Def Leppard should already have U.S.A.-U.K. in their collection, but any fan of “pop-metal” would be crazy not to add this album to their collection.
You can check out 7th Heaven and listen to all of their albums by visiting http://7thheavenband.com/
You can also check them out on myspace at http://www.myspace.com/7thheaven
1. Better This Way
3. Still Be Here
5. Gave You My World
6. Kill The Cycle
7. This Summers Gonna Last Forever
8. Ghost Of Me
9. Save Your Life
10. Hand On My Heart
11. Winning It All
12. Oh So Really Old
15. Dream Of A New Day
16. Electronic Karma
17. Take Me Back
18. While You Dream
7th Heaven is:
Keith Semple – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Richard Hofherr – Lead Guitar / Keyboards / Vocals
Mark Kennetz – Bass / Vocals
Mike Mooshey – Drums