'The Independent Music Show Magazine' July 2017 - Page 9

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09th June 2017

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Ivory Tower Project  specializes in the majestic power rock of the 1970s and early 1980s. The songs burst with stirring vocal melodies, soaring vocal harmonies, polished musicianship, heartfelt lyrics, and imaginative arrangements.  The band is part of a new breed of classic rock purists preserving the traditions set forth by masters such as 1970s  Styx,  Queen,  Foreigner and Boston.  ITP has garnered praise from a variety of sources, including  The Entertainment Bank, The Ripple Effect,  Mossip,  Indie-Musician.com and  Boom Boom Chick, among others. The group’s debut: 2008’s ‘Red Hot’ (Guerilla Records), has received rave reviews and airplay on over 600 radio stations in 32 countries. As a result, tracks from that CD earned them nominations in a few categories in both the 2015 and 2016 Nashville Universe Awards.


Much like  Boston and  Steely Dan, and other purveyors of exquisite pop-rock,  Ivory Tower Project  is not so much a band as it is a collective of songwriters.  Mark Regula  and lyricist Johnny Jace  have been the creative core since the 1980s. In 2003, Johnny passed away, and the lyrics on ‘How Much More?’ are some of the last he’s written. In 1983, original drummer Sal DiAngelo also passed away. And in 2009, Mark Regula  survived a car accident that has since left him barely able to walk, and currently battling chronic pain.

In the face of it all,  Regula  has valiantly upheld  Ivory Tower Project. In the wake of all the loss, longtime collaborator and, hotshot studio guitarist,  Tony Novarro  has emerged a central creative force.

Currently,  Ivory Tower Project  is:  Mark Regula  on vocals, keyboards, guitar, bass, and percussion, with  Novarro  functioning as recording engineer, guitarist, backing vocalist, and co-songwriter.

The title of  ITP’s latest CD; ‘How Much More?’, references the band’s own challenging journey. “In life, you sometimes find yourself waiting for a good thing to happen or a bad thing to end,”Regula  says. “It’s like ‘How much more can we take?’ That sentiment resonated with me and Johnny  [former songwriting collaborator]. ” He continues:  “The struggle can be tough, but it can also be important in that, if you don’t give up, you learn something. ‘How Much More?’ posits a query and provides a comforting prescription of answers in song. The album manages to be soothing, seething, and stirring.  The title track unfolds from a boldly vulnerable piano ballad with smoldering emotionality to an anthemic climax with burly classic rock guitars. “That’s a song about being frustrated with a friend. In it, I ask, ‘How many times must I be a victim of your lies?’  The feeling is how much more can I take or should I take,” Regula  says.


On "The Ides of March (Et tu Brute) " ITP  manage to create their own niche of Shakespearian rock through melding classic texts with classic rock in the grand theatrical tradition of  Queen.  Guitarist  Tony Novarro  turns in the touching soulful rock gem, “Please Tell Me,” a tribute to a long lost friend, original drummer  Sal DiAngelo.  The tracks “Ring Around Rosie” and “Way Too Late” are visceral and uplifting. “Ring Around Rosie” is a stately love song overflowing with amorous vibes and lush production touches.  The invigorating “Way Too Late” is a hard driving pop-rock song with galloping guitars that evoke 1970s  Styx,  Billy Idol  and  Survivor.

Up next, Ivory Tower Project  is working on

new music. Reflecting back on  ITP’s

journey thus far,  Regula  says: “ Music is what has kept us going.  It’s been

our light during the darkness of

loss. This album is a memorial

to those no longer here with

us. I hope this music is as

healing and cathartic for

others as it has been for

us. I hope it gives

people a chance to

escape their pain

and fears, and feel


Written by: Lorne Behrman