At it’s best, on the glorious stripped-back pomp of Power of Love or the honk-fuelled strut of Head Troubles, Cleveland’s Dreamstreet draw a direct line back to the glory days of Midwestern AOR when bands like Survivor were Lords of all they surveyed.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the band’s prime mover, guitarist Ron Redfield, is a child of that time; It’s clearly a style of music that’s in his blood, in his very marrow indeed, and you can feel the sincerity ooze out of every supremely constructed pore of Dreamstreet 2.0. Love Is Alive, for instance, is the sort of song you sense would have set Ohio’s FM radio stations alight had it been released in 1978, and if such success is beyond this band’s reach now we should at least give praise that we are able to enjoy it pounding out of our speakers nonetheless…
But, as Survivor reminded us on their magnum opus Vital Signs, it’s the singer not the song, and Redfield’s songwriting smarts are given full chance to flourish under the vocal stewardship of Steve Segetic, who puts in spine tingling (dare I say Bickleresque?) performances throughout. His singing on the martial, heavy AOR of Heartzone is, well, heart stopping in it’s excellence, as is Redfield’s majestic solo mid song. This is truly amazing stuff to be hearing from a ‘new’ band in 2023, let me tell ya!
As the old Gods of AOR wither on the vine amongst an ever more weakening farrago of retirements, lineup changes, ego-fuelled bickering and the sound of collective artistic wells running dry, it’s genuinely exciting to hear music this good appearing as if from nowhere. If you count yourself a fan of chunky, guitar-driven AOR of the old school then permit me to introduce you to what is certain to be your fave album of 2023. You can thank me later!
Dreamstreet 2.0 is out now.