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Simmonds (1985)

The long hard toils of labour in putting together a class heavy metal / hard rock act have been rewarding to guitarist Kim Simmonds. As some of you may or may not know, Kim Simmonds had been the force behind the legendary Savoy Brown for 15 years. Perhaps a little tired of being remembered for past glories, Kim is determined to once again bring his axe to the attention of his old fans in addition to their younger brothers. In doing so Kim has formed a new band called Simmonds, with a new modern metal sound and a class line-up of some old and new blood.

Complimenting the guitar expertise of Kim Simmonds is a solid background of rockers, whose credits speak for themselves. On bass is a name not unfamiliar to Metal Forces readers, ex-Rods member Gary Bordonaro. On lead and rhythm guitar is Duck McDonald. Duck has toured with Shakin’ Street and his own short-lived Bible Black. He will also be featured on the Carl Canedy solo LP, Thrasher. On drums is Joe Hasselvander. Joe has pounded with ex-Virgin Steele member Jack Starr, and has a solo LP of his own on Pentagram Records. Finally, on vocals is Jimmy Kunes. Jimmy’s last outing was fronting ex-Riot members in the short-lived Silent Partner.

As one can guess from the ingredients, New York-based Simmonds is a tight outfit. This fact is exemplified on their latest demo. The songs are blues born but mature into heavy driving rockers with phenomenal guitar solos shown in tracks like ‘Fast Life’. Kim Simmonds has successfully made the transition from the mid-60s through to the mid-80s as only few have done before.

This winning formula shines throughout their demo showing a diversification rarely found in today’s younger talent. ‘Man Of Stone’ is a Rods-type rocker, relying on raw power and rough edge vocals. ‘Right On The Money’ cruises along, building into a crowd pleasing anthem. ‘On The Rocks’ is the guitar showcase instrumental proving the Simmonds / Bordonaro combination is a natural one. This is the number that can bring Kim back into the glory of his halcyon days. ‘You’ll Always Live On’ is a slow starting, soft sung ballad that climbs to the pinnacle of crooning and guitar accompaniment.

Simmonds are currently touring with Savatage in the Midwest USA, and are negotiating deals which could bring them to English shores within a year.

Philip DiBenedetto

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 12 (1985)

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