From page 75 of Classic Rock Magazine May 1999
'When The Good Times Come'
(Eagle Records EAccoo451 *****
On their second outing as Hard Rain, former Magnum cohorts, guitarist/songwriter Tony Clarkin, and vocalist Bob Catley, take another step further away from their pomp rock origins.
The album kicks off boldly with 'Eat It Up', a raunchy, brassy funk number, before moving on to the feverish urgency of the rockier, 'Who You Gonna Trust'Rock Me In Ya Cradle' lives up to its name, with a good, strong groove, while'No One Can Show You The Way' is one of those emotive ballads at which this partnership excel.The title track brings about a change of pace, with a strong American feel supplied by steel guitar and some spiritual-style female backing vocals, while 'Talks Like A Lady' continues the theme, with its honky tonk, bar-room vibe.'An Ordinary Day' comes as a surprise, as it's sung by Sue McCluskey, but the funny thing is, she delivers the song as Bob Catley might if he'd had a sex change, her phrasing is so close to his, while Catley himself comes on like Michael McDonald on the funky 'Showtime: Long-time Magnum-ites will probably prefer the final three tracks-the ones which most sound like Clarkin and Catley's former band:'Lightnin' Strikes', with its wailing guitar solo and strongly melodic chorus; another great ballad in 'Never Say Never; and 'Step Back', the verse of which wouldn't have sounded out of place on Magnum's 'Wings Of Heaven' album.
The performances throughout are superb, as you would expect from two of the UK's unsung heroes as far as vocals and guitar are concerned. Personally, I would have preferred a little less of the female backing vocals; when you've got a frontman as talented as Bob, you don't need too much clutter, but that's a minor quibble. Yet another classy album to add to the Catley/Clarkin catalogue. Valerie Potter