hardlineHardline – Can’t Find My Way (Johnny Gioeli/Joey Gioeli/Schon) b/w In The Hands Of Time (Johnny Gioeli/Joey Gioeli/Schon) 1992

Hardline? Perhaps it should have been hard lines. Had this merry gang of melodic rockers hooked up a few years eralier then commercial glory would have been theirs for the taking.

As it was even the input of Journey’s Neal Schon (credited as musician, songwriter and producer on this record) was not enough to save the Gioeli brothers from the brutal assault that was Grunge. The right band at the wrong time is how best to describe Hardline and this hair metal classic says it all.

A tune which features on the soundtrack of action thriller Rapid Fire, starring Brandon Lee, it’s a perfect snapshot of the band’s polished debut album Double Eclipse.

With Schon able to call on some serious songwriting muscle to complement the creativity of the Gioelis, it’s easy to understand why Hardline became instantly popular with melodic rock fans everywhere – even if changing tastes elsewhere meant this single disappeared without trace.

Schon may no longer be part of the Hardline family but the decision to recruit Josh Ramos ahead of 2009’s return to form Leaving The End Open appears to be paying dividends. An album very much in the vein of the classic Double Eclipse it suggests the band could yet make it big after all.

Hopefully they’ll choose better artwork than the disastrous fuzzy focused river bed image which adorned Can’t Find My Way – possibly the worst seven inch sleeve you’ll see on The Vinyl Countdown. And that’s saying something.