Dayton, Ohio’s Four Star Revival make the kind of music Avenged Sevenfold WISH they could pull off; riffs that have a classic 80s glam/hair metal vibe and soaring vocals that sound like they belong on a power metal record. The Underdog, Four Star Revival’s latest release, manages to bring glam metal into a modern setting in a way that doesn’t come off as cheesy or gimmicky. “The Underdog,” for example, has a fast and furious opening riff that gives classic bands like Dokken and Ratt a run for their money, while “Liar” has a crunchier late-era Mötley Crüe feel.
The production on The Underdog is pretty solid, with just enough of everything in the mix to make a full, rich sound, while making sure that every musician is on equal footing. The vocals have a slight echo effect, which is mostly noticeable in the choruses, giving them a little bit of a power metal vibe. These vocals are also the one thing that I can complain about; while there is a lot of power behind them, they sometimes sound like they’re in a different key from the rest of the band entirely, which can be fairly distracting (this is very noticeable in the chorus of “Liar”).
The inconsistency in the vocals, which sometimes match the music perfectly and others seem unable to do so, is what really keeps The Underdog from being a great record instead of just a decent one. Still, if you’re a fan of glam metal, Four Star Revival have managed to mix that style with a little bit of a crunchier modern hard rock that will probably get your blood pumping.