Pin It

8084, The Last Great Train 

Album Review

(GB Music, CD)

Vermont's veteran rockers 8084 recently released their fourth studio album, The Last Great Train, on the independent GB Music label. Since coming together in 1987, the band has toured throughout the East Coast and Canada with national and international talent, including Edgar Winter, Blue Oyster Cult, Toto, April Wine and Aldo Nova. Although its members are now approaching middle age, the band is hardly slowing down.

Featuring lead vocalist/guitarist Randy Smith, guitarist/vocalist Andr Maquera, bassist/vocalist Roy Brown and drummer Gary Spaulding, the disc boasts 13 tracks of driving, melodic rock. Loaded with catchy hooks, blistering solos, atmospheric keyboards and well-placed acoustic guitar, it's sure to impress long-time fans. It may even create some new ones.

On previous releases the band worked with outside producers, including Hirsh Gardner of cult favorites New England, as well as Canadian one-hit-wonder Aldo Nova. The band goes it alone on this one, ably demonstrating the sonic wisdom they have accrued over the years.

The Last Great Train delivers a wide range of styles and textures, from the all-out rock of "Breath," "I Know" and closing cut "Thank You," to the more melodic "Alright" and "Shopping List." For chops-hounds, there's the funky instrumental title track and the aptly titled "Guitsophrenic." As usual, 8084's straightforward pop melodies and edgy riffs walk the fine line between AOR mood pieces and classic rock.

My favorite tunes fall in the latter category. "All That I Need" is reminiscent of Styx's arena-rock classics Pieces of Eight and Cornerstone, while "Guitsophrenic" combines Flamenco picking with soaring, Eric Johnson-like guitar solos and funky bass in a simmering rock 'n' roll stew.

8084's songwriting and instrumental prowess is apparent throughout this release; it's no wonder they've been a local rock mainstay for nearly two decades. Even the packaging is top-notch, with detailed liner notes and quality photography included in the handsome, tri-fold case.

Check online at or for The Last Great Train.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: , ,

Pin It

More by Joe Miliken

About The Author

Joe Miliken


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Albums

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2017 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation