Picks and Pans Review: Here to Stay

updated 02/21/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/21/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

Neal Schon & Jan Hammer

Depending on your sympathies, there are two ways to view this collaboration of guitarist Schon, once with Santana and currently of Journey, and keyboardist Hammer, the Mahavishnu and Jeff Beck veteran. Either they are musical dinosaurs sinking ever deeper into the hopelessly outdated hard-rock ooze, or they are idealists, unfazed by fashion, defiantly perfecting and redeeming the style that most moves them. Minimalist postpunkers, synth-poppers and rappers will lean toward the first view. Nonetheless, you don't have to be antediluvian to vote the other way. Once Schon and Hammer get past the opener, a hackneyed battle cry called No More Lies, they gather steam. Joined by Colin Hodgkinson on bass and with Hammer doubling on drums, they move seamlessly from the taut bump-and-grind of (You Think You're) So Hot to the whip-crack drive of Sticks and Stones to the watercolor sensualism of Peace of Mind. In the last cut, Covered by Midnight, they play all their cards at once: grandstand riffs, histrionic power chords, spangling colors and melodic summations straight out of fusion's heyday. It's a fresh treatment of one of the oldest rock formulas, the slow-moving, euphoric anthem that innocently pokes its head into the clouds while striking its heels menacingly against the pavement.

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