Hurricane – Over the Edge (1988)

Asher Maitin, Eastside Staff

Originating in 1985 in Los Angeles, Hurricane is a heavy-metal rock group formed by Robert Sarzo and Tony Cavazo, younger brothers of Quiet Riot’s Rudy Sarzo and Carlos Cavazo. Orginally, the band featured Sarzo on guitar and Cavazo on bass, as well as Jay Schellen on drums, Michael Guy on guitar and lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Kelly Hansen, who is the current lead vocalist for Foreigner. The band released four albums from 1985 to 2001, including 1985’s Take What You Want, 1990’s Save To The Thrill and 2001’s Liquifury. However, the band’s most successful album, Over the Edge, peaked at 92 on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart. The album was released via Enigma and Capitol Records and was produced by Bob Ezrin. The 1988 album propelled Hurricane into the L.A. rock scene.

Hurricane began after Sarzo and Cavazo decided to form a band in 1985, recruiting Hansen, Schellen and Guy. The band released its first self-produced album, Take What You Want, a year after the band’s formation. Only after opening for Christian metal band Stryper was the band recognized and signed to Enigma Records in 1987, releasing Over the Edge a year later. Featuring melodic tunes, a prominent guitar and Hansen’s strong vocals, Hurricane hit a high note with its first album on a major label.

The album tips off with the title track. “Over the Edge” begins by taking listeners deep into a misty, forest ambience. After the guitar and Hansen’s echoed voice are introduced, listeners become entranced by a soft, mellow tone. After several lines, the pace hastens, and lyrics such as “My life is spinning faster/ Like a roller coaster on the run” inform listeners about the singer’s confused stance at life.

The album’s highlight is a track titled “I’m On To You,” written by Jeff Jones. Released prior to the album, the hit single reached 33 on Billboard’s “Mainstream Rock” chart. As opposed to the title track, “I’m On To You” begins with an aggressive guitar riff that is soon accompanied with a drumbeat and Hansen’s angered vocals. Hansen calls out a girl, chanting “You’re holding up your hands / With diamonds on your rings / Is it love or money / That makes you do these things?” and “Can’t you see how hard I try / To keep you satisfied?” clearly expressing the dissatisfaction and struggle that troubles a relationship. The song’s success is undoubtedly attributed to a strong and catchy chorus that will leave listener’s humming for hours to come.

Listeners can find another catchy chorus and excellent blend of hard-rock and soft tunes in “We Are Strong,” a track that expresses how obstacles in a relationship can be overcome. Hansen nails the high notes and grasps listeners with emotional cries, singing “We are strong / You and me / Keep on fighting / Never let it be,” telling his love that they can remain together successfully. Once again, the chorus drives the song and leaves listeners wanting to chant Hansen’s lyrics.

Hurricane faded in and out of activity in the 1990s and 2000s, but recently reunited in 2010 with Robert Sarzo, Tony Cavazo, new lead singer Andrew Freeman and new drummer Mike Hansen. The band announced a tour in 2011, but said that the members are currently on a hiatus. Overall, Over the Edge is a dramatic and melody driven album accompanied by heavy guitar riffs and Kelly Hansen’s empowering vocals. The captivating choruses and aggressive guitar solos will leave listeners feeling confident and powerful, all the while drilling addictive lyrics into their memory that will reappear later on.