• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Punky Meadows – The Angel Guitarist Returns With His Solo Album, Fallen Angel!

In the 1970s, Punky Meadows was Angel’s lead guitarist. The legendary classic rock quintet fused elements of pop, hard rock, and progressive sounds, and was one of the most unique of their era. Unfortunately, they never quite got the commercial breakthrough they deserved. The Casablanca-signed band disbanded quietly around 1980, after five studio records and one live album.

But what happened to Mr. Meadows? He largely disappeared from the public eye, like many of his fellow Angel members, aside from a brief appearance on a 1999 Angel semi-reunion record.

Meadows recently resurfaced in a number of press releases and interviews, making claims that he would be returning with a new solo album. For the album, which was finally released in May of 2016, Meadows recruited a band of talented musicians, including former Angel bandmate/bassist Felix Robinson.

 

The band with which Meadows recorded Fallen Angel. Official press photo, copyright to the original photographer.
Official press photo: The band with which Meadows recorded Fallen Angel.

 

Having been hyped up for the past year, not to mention the fact that this rock and roll fan absolutely adores the old Angel records, this is quite possibly the most eagerly awaited release of 2016 for me. Angel was a band that never had mass mainstream success, but were truly ahead of their time, and to this day they still have a cult following of sorts.

The real surprise on this album was Meadows going with a band of relative unknowns. Aside from Meadows himself and former Angel cohort Felix Robinson, I had never heard of any of the musicians on this release! That said, this release is a long time in the making, with plenty of hype being generated over the course of the last year. Do Mr. Meadows and his new band succeed with the release of Fallen Angel?

I admit to having my doubts and being somewhat pessimistic with this release initially; after all, it had been a very long time since the world had heard from him, aside from that semi-reunion Angel album in the late 1990s.

Initial doubts be damned! Meadows kills it on Fallen Angel. Wild, diverse, and unpredictable in its duration, this could very well be my favorite rock album of 2016 so far.

 

Punky Meadows returns to the music world with Fallen Angel, his solo album.
Punky Meadows returns to the music world with Fallen Angel.

 

The album starts off with a bizarre, outlandish voice speaking from the heavens to Meadows, as he departs for Earth to rock, which longtime Angel fans will recognize from their classic concerts. From there on out, it becomes a powerful and deserve variety of rock and roll sounds from start to finish. Some tracks stand out more than others, but after giving it a listen you will agree that none of them are weak. This is not an Angel album; the sound is decidedly different from those glory days of Meadows’ career. But when the songs here are this good, do you really care?

There are modern style rock songs. There are melodic AOR tracks. There are classic hard rockers. There are pop songs. There are ballads. And throughout it all, Meadows kicks ass on the guitar, remaining the centerpiece of the band and the focus of much of our attention. His playing and solos will grab your attention and leave you wanting more. Chandler Mogel, who I had never heard of prior to this CD, handles the vocal duties, and does not disappoint, with sounds that are appropriate for what all of these tracks require. This album covers all the bases, and Meadows’ backing band is perfect for everything at hand.

Punky Meadows – if you are reading this review, welcome back to where you belong. You were gone too damn long. And you were missed. With the release of Fallen Angel, you have thoroughly rocked us all.

Needless to say, with its diverse sounds, superb guitar work, and great backing band, Fallen Angel gets my absolute highest recommendation. Do not hesitate to add this one to your collection. And expect to see it show up on my “Best of 2016” list when the time comes!

 

 

By Taylor T Carlson

Taylor T Carlson Assistant Editor/Senior Staff Writer Taylor T. Carlson was born August 17, 1984, and has called the Vegas Valley home his entire life. A die-hard fan of classic rock and metal music, Taylor has been writing album and concert reviews since he was 16 years old, and continues to do so, having done well over 1,000 reviews. He is also a fan of video gaming and cinema, and has reviewed a number of games and films as well, old and new alike. His thorough and honest (some would say brutally honest) reviewing style has won him the respect of hundreds of music fans and musicians alike, both local and abroad, and the ire of just as many others. Despite being one of the youngest attendees at classic hard rock/metal shows around Vegas, he is also one of the most knowledgeable, having gained the unofficial nickname of “The Eddie Trunk of Las Vegas.” In addition to reviews, Taylor has written and self-published three books on classic hard rock bands, and is a regular participant in rock and roll trivia contests. Taylor also holds a masters degree in special education from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), and has appeared on the hit History Channel television series Pawn Stars. His dream is to be able to one day make a living from writing music books and reviews.

One thought on “Punky Meadows – The Angel Guitarist Returns With His Solo Album, Fallen Angel!”
  1. An excellent return to the fore front ex-Angel vocalist Frank D. Doing his thing rocking out with much melodic bravado!

    “Rock on Frank!”. ???

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