Four By Fate, the killer new hard rock band started by Tod Howarth and John Regan of Frehley’s Comet, is releasing its debut album, Relentless, on June 3. Howarth and Regan are steeped in rock and roll history. These two rock veterans have worked with some of the biggest names in the business over the past 30 years, including Ace Frehley, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Cheap Trick, John Waite, Billy Idol, and Davide Lee Roth, just to name a few. The group is rounded out by Patrick James Gasperini (Pound, Flywheel) and former Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso. Other contributors include Stet Howland (drummer for WASP), Sean Kelly (guitarist for Helix and Nelly Furtado) and celebrated Twisted Sister drummer AJ Pero, who recorded six tracks on the album before his untimely passing in 2015. The drum tracks that Pero recorded for Relentless are thought to be his last recordings.
Having listened to Relentless over the past week numerous times (including right now), I can confidently say that it’s an excellent hard rock debut by a new band that has an exciting future. Howarth’s vocals remind me of a mixture of Tommy Shaw of Styx and Jack Blades of Night Ranger. Regan’s bass work is solid throughout and it, along with the thunderous drums and lead guitar, makes for a rib-cracking sound that permeates the entire album. There’s much to love on Relentless including the album’s opening one-two punch of “These Times Are Hard For Lovers” and “Moonshine.” The first song has a great hook and the harmonies at the end of the track are reminiscent of Bad English, a short-lived band that produced some of the greatest melodic rock I’ve ever heard. “Moonshine” is a heavier track with a ferocious vocal and soaring guitar. I’m also a big fan of “It’s Over Now,” which is Four By Fate’s take on the Frehley’s Comet classic. Howarth’s vocals on this song are terrific and the band sounds tight. If you enjoyed the original, you’ll dig this version. My other three favorite tracks on the album are the last three: “Back In The 80s” (probably because I love this decade), “Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo” and “Amber Waves.” I have to point out how awesome “Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo” is. Howarth’s vocals are fabulous on this track, the guitar is killer and the hook is infectious. It’s a phenomenal track you’ll play over and over again. “Amber Waves,” on the other hand, is a patriotic ballad that ends the album on a mellow note, but it does so in a beautiful way. The lyrics are poignant, the vocals are haunting and the arrangement is perfect.
Relentless is an excellent debut album that Four By Fate should be proud of. The guys have performed several live gigs to share the new music with fans and I’m sure many more live performances will occur in the months to come. Pick up Relentless on June 3, and look out for my interview with John Regan in the coming week where we’ll discuss the creative process behind this album, his time working with Ace Frehley and much more.