Pride of Lions gives anthem to 'Dreamers'

2012-11-16T00:00:00Z Pride of Lions gives anthem to 'Dreamers'Tom Lounges Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
November 16, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Chicago’s classic rock band Survivor racked up a lot of Top 40 hits in decades past and continues to tour and record under the watchful eye of guitarist Frankie Sullivan, who co-founded the group with his former songwriting partner Jim Peterik.

Peterik has since moved on with a variety of musical endeavors in recent years. One of those being the internationally-successful melodic rock project, Pride Of Lions, which teams multi-instrumentalist Peterik with vocalist Toby Hitchcock, a native of Valparaiso.

After a short hiatus - during which Hitchcock released his own 2011 solo album (“Mercury Down”) and Peterik co-wrote songs for his former Survivor band mate Jimi Jamison’s solo album (“Crossroads Moments”) -- Pride of Lions is back with 11new songs and their fourth studio album, “Immortal.” Like POL’s three previous CDs, this collection comes courtesy of Frontiers Records, an Italy-based label with worldwide distribution now home to many former chart-topping ‘80s artists, including Night Ranger, Asia, Rick Springfield, Great White, Nelson, Jeff Lynne and Journey.

“When I was approached by Frontiers president Serafino Perugino to do the next Pride Of Lions record, I knew he wouldn’t settle for less than my very best as a songwriter, so I got down to business. Once I started writing, the floodgates just opened up,” said Peterik

While POL has enjoyed much success in Europe, fame has been more elusive in North America, something Peterik hopes will change with the release of “Immortal.” “I feel really good about this album,” said Peterik. “I feel this is the one to put POL on the map once and for all.”

Joining the Peterik/Hitchcock team on  these tracks are tried and true POL touring band, plus special guests Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger on drums and former Trillion singer Thom Griffin on backing vocals.

The first single (and video) from the album, “Delusional,” is a rocker tackling the topical subject of society’s penchant for “over-medicating” youngsters deemed “different.” It’s a wonderful and long overdue salute to those kids who are “dreamers,” kids cited by Peterik in the song’s lyrics as “the rainmakers, the risk takers and the rule breakers.” "Delusional" decries the medical profession’s rush to slap labels like ADD, ADHD and others on children who don’t fit the mold, and who by medicating are possibly robbing the world of potentially brilliant minds and talents.

Peterik took home a Grammy Award for co-writing “Eye of the Tiger” which has become an anthem for underdog athletes worldwide. With “Delusional,” Peterik and Hitchcock have created an anthem of equal magnitude for those special kids who have to courageously fight every day to fit in with their peers. This song and its video have impact

Power ballads have always been the strength and trademark of Hitchcock as a vocalist and there are plenty of notable ones – “Everything Money Can’t Buy,” “Are You The Same Girl” and “Sending My Love” – found on “Immortal.”

“For me, the pivotal song on this album is ‘Sending My Love’,” said Hitchcock. “I’m a sucker for a great ballad and this one just spoke to my soul. Being a new father, it gets more and more heartbreaking to be away from my loved ones on the road. I love the road, but it’s tough being separated.”

Perhaps a real gem for Survivor fans, will be hearing for the first time here, a song that began as the title track of that group’s classic “Vital Signs” album of 1985.

“I often like to have a song on an album be the title,” said Peterik, citing such examples as Survivor’s “When Seconds Count,” “Eye Of The Tiger,” “Caught In The Game,” and “Too Hot To Sleep” albums. “I started this song ‘Vital Signs, ‘back in 1984 when (Survivor) were making the ‘Vital Signs’ album, but I couldn’t quite finish it, until this year.”

Peterik stressed again his gut feeling that “Immortal” will be the album for Pride Of Lions to finally breakthrough with in America. “When Toby and I walk the streets of Barcelona, the people point and shout ‘Pride of Lions’. I’d sure like to see that happen in Cincinnati,” concluded Peterik. “It’d really be nice to finally break big in our own country.” More: www.aprideoflions.com

The opinions expressed are solely the writer's. Reach him at beatboss@aol.com.

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