Maze of Souls
When you mention 'hard hitting' and 'female fronted rock' in the same sentence, most people will immediately think of Heart and maybe Pat Benatar. But that would be missing the point. The mid 80s, in particular, were a hotbed for some wonderful big hair rock bands - Saraya, Vixen and Fiona, to mention but three. A glorious and often overlooked era. But Lisa Smith's Powerhaus are about to redress that balance. And as 'real' rock continues to make a welcome resurgence with critical acclaim for great albums by big name acts such as Whitesnake, AC/DC and Saxon, what the world needs is some young pretenders to take on the mantle. And Powerhaus - fronted by Lisa Smith and Chuck Page look ready to pick up that gauntlet, with swagger and poise. Formed in Toronto in 2006, Lisa - inspired by the likes of Coverdale, Dio and Halford - was previously vocalist with goth rock band Exovedate. By contrast, Chuck - with had a handful of self-produced albums to his name - was very much grounded in the blues-rock of Beck, Page and Clapton. The coming together of these two is nothing short of seismic. And if you don't believe me, delve straight into Maze Of Souls at track 6 - Rat - and get ready to rock! Some of the best female rock vocals in an age and searing blues based lead guitar work that will remove your facial hair. Maze Of Souls combines Derek And The Dominoes, with early Sabbath, big hair rock, and ZZ Top and somehow - and here's the trick - sounds remarkably fresh and contemporary. Female fronted guitar rock hasn't sounded this good for a decade or more. And oh, how we've missed it. Highly recommended. ***** 5 out of 5 STARS Review by Pete Whalley---ENGLAND-Get Ready To Rock Lisa Smith's Powerhaus is a Canadian musical group, formed in Toronto in 2006 by Lisa Smith and Chuck Page. The pair have achieved significant local success, as documented by Lisa's profile piece in the Toronto Star and Chuck's 4-star review on jukebo.cx. In addition to the regard of the press, their peers and local crowds, they have each garnered individual worldwide notice for a number of different original projects---Lisa as primary vocalist Daneka for the influential and internationally acclaimed gothic rock band Exovedate, and Chuck with the release of the award nominated "Rockin It Out". Beginning in February 2008, the group goes into the studio to record their highly anticipated debut album. They are currently hard at work rehearsing and writing all-new original material. Lisa and Chuck's creative bond and unique musical synergy shine through clearly on their collaborative efforts---a collection of brilliant, hard-driving rock poised to take the world by storm. Each track is a standout, fuelled by passion and crafted by experts---featuring intriguing contributions from some very "special" guests, this will be the rock album of choice in the coming year. Stylistically, the band draws inspiration from an eclectic blend of hard rock and heavy metal giants---uniquely channeled by one of the finest and most versatile female vocalists in Toronto. Known for unparalleled vocal strength and amazing stamina, where others might shy away from tackling the raspiness of David Coverdale or the extremities of Rob Halford, Lisa pulls it off with power and precision. Indeed, she lists many of the great metal frontmen---Geoff Tate, Ronnie James Dio, and Sebastian Bach, in addition to the aforementioned Halford and Coverdale---among her greatest influences, and has spent years developing similar style and technique. Further adding to their diversity of sound is the complexity of Chuck's playing---a player steeped in the blues, he lists Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton among his favorites---yet equally adept at the hammering riffs and shredding required of their more metallic offerings, he creates a sound unique to himself. The rhythym section is comprised of recent additions Peter Greco---a unique stylist, loved by fans for his power-driven yet intricate and precise drumwork---and bassist Neil Arnott, both accomplished studio musicians and veterans of the North American touring circuit. To learn more about Lisa Smith please visit www.myspace.com/lisasmithvocalist and for more on Chuck Page please visit www.chuckpagemusic.com . As this writer can attest, their show is not to be missed----watch this space for upcoming shows and CD release dates. Contact Info Email: Website: http://www.myspace.com/lisasmithspowerha... Recent News www.myspace.com/lisasmithspowerhaus......Lisa Smith's Powerhaus Rock n Roll Heaven July 24, 2008 What do ya get when ya take Lisa Smith, the winner of multiple singing contests, and add her to Chuck Page, the winner of multiple guitar wars? Powerhaus. Lisa Smith's Powerhaus. Arguably, if you're a guitar worshipper, you could call the band Chuck Page's Powerhaus, but to be fair, you'd have to put in Lisa's name so Chuck n Lisa's Powerhaus would be more fitting. But they say the voice is the defining aspect of a band, so Lisa n Chuck's Powerhaus would probably be the wisest choice. How about I just call em Powerhaus. I don't wanna leave out Lisa OR Chuck in the equation when mentioning the name but for typing purposes and due to my unparalleled laziness, Powerhaus it is for the rest of this review. Opening for the Headpins, this collection of musicians caught my attention immediately not only because of the sexy singer and the voice that filled the room, but the guitar work really blew me away as well. If you've never read my reviews before, you'd know I am definitely a guitar worshipper. You all can blame Randy Rhoads for that. Anyone who can make me stand wide eyed and drooling over their guitar work has gotta be f***in good cuz it doesn't happen that often. Listening to Chuck is like taking in the best old blues guitarists all mashed into one. You can hear it in his style, Hendrix, Santana, Clapton, Vaughn and Page, Jimmy that is... Sure maybe throwing Chuck's name around in that list might be a little ambitious but there's a f***in good reason the guy won umpteen guitar contests and it ain't because he's a pretty boy. So ya take Chuck's finger work and mix it with Lisa's smooth and powerful vocal and you get some pretty accessible tunage. They both do the majority of the song writing and apparently their styles, tastes and feelings about music match perfectly. Currently they're putting the finishing touches to their upcoming album "Maze of Souls" which is looking at a Halloween 2008 release date and party at Rock n Roll Heaven in Toronto. For all you Glass Tiger fans out there, Powerhaus will be opening for them Oct 10 at the Wingshack, so get out there and check em out. To watch them live is really cool, however, The band is a whole different ballgame live. Live is where ya gotta see em for the first time or you might get the wrong impression. I think in production a lotta guys get behind the soundboard with the thought in mind that they're supposed to feature someone in the band so all that band member's stuff is louder and more pronounced but to me it takes away from the whole package rather than add to it. That's just me though. What the f*** do I know, I'm just a listener, and a half deaf one at that. I'm not here to score report cards. That being said, I wanna hear the fully produced album Powerhaus is working on. I just hope they don't downplay anyone in that band. The bassist, Neil Arnott is holding his own there and by the time I met Peter Greco, that night, he was clearly liquored but instantly likable, f***in hilarious, and he stayed solid on the skins holding it all together. So none of these people should be devolumized or held back in any way. Being the first band on stage that night, I was a little distracted with my friends and trying to get some drinks down the hatch, cuz I shoot better when I'm snapped, so I didn't fully immerse myself in Powerhaus. Next time, I'll be posed in front row like the "the Thinker", one eye squinted shut and both ears wide open...Reviewed by Mike Forbes..---------------------------------------Rebel Reviewer Toronto,Ontario,Canada...........---------------------------------------- Well I'll tell you I have been dropping the needle on albums and listening to CD's and Mp3's for over 3 decades now as a Radio programmer, music director, producer and your album has that instant impact of WOW value. It's one hell of a good album. Excellent guitars, mixed nicely and Lisa your vocal has a wonderful mature value to it. What a pleasure to listen to. I hear influences from the past but not so much that one can put their finger on anything but a new direction that you have pointed your rock roll wand of magic. Thumbs up folks! Nice clean guitar work. Creative production. You have created Art not just made another album It's a great New Contribution to the world of Art/Music and will obviously live forever. Stunning Rock works! David ACTRA Toronto News - October 7, 2008 ..................2nd..REVIEW Maze of Souls by Lisa Smith's Powerhaus contains pristine production, sweet and high melodic guitar with gutsy, heart throb rhythms, driving and solid bass lines, solid drumming with blastful journeys and when combined with Lisa Smith's synergetic and hard driving vocals, and added high range lift offs, the entire album becomes a new form of Rock Journey unto itself. Powerhaus has developed their own sound in a world full of imitations. Powerhaus has become it's own self guided Rock tour in a new Rock Universe to be experienced for full effect. The end result of listening to Maze of Souls is pure Rock satisfaction to the point that one needs another injection of this amazing dose of Energy Rock Music fashioned only in the flavor of Powerhaus! John David Hart-Host: Hart of the Music-International Syndicated Radio Broadcasting to over 120 Countries worldwide. We're honored to have Lisa Smith and Powerhaus as one of our featured guests in our upcoming live shows broadcast.