Release Date: 22nd August 2014
Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke
Crashing out of Stockholm with an essence reminiscent of LA party legends Mötley Crüe getting it on with some European-based melodic rockers, a quintet featuring lead vocalist Tave Wanning from a pop duo called Peaches and a bad band name! Once you get past this curious amalgamation of observations the music really is glorious if you are so inclined.
The music in places is certainly youthful and energised with an adrenaline-flavoured quality, but I'm convinced that with a little more time a better name for their band could have been discovered. First single 'Change' is immediate and undemanding as it belts the listener with a chorus that exemplifies simple. The official video can be viewed here.
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Highlights are like a torrent of falling stars as the ears are battered and bruised in candyfloss thanks to 'Generation Left Behind', 'Girls Gone Wild' and the opening 'Black n' Blue'. The go-faster stripes are then replaced for a different design once 'When We're Gone' arrives. Starting out with bombast, it settles down to reveal a sensitive heart. The instrumental section is pleasant and is comfortably nestled in amongst the arrangement.
The band is made up of lead guitarist Ludvig Turner, Alexander Hagman on guitar and backing vocals and Soufian Ma'Aoui tackling bass and backing vocals with drummer Marcus Johansson providing a solid and competent beat. They are important to the final product which assaults the senses as you digest tracks like 'Want It All' and 'Too Young To Die'.
They avoid the pitfall of being too one-dimensional as they mix up the sound with various textures of slow and driven, without losing sight of a melody. 'Oh Yeah!' is the longest track on offer and starts out briefly with some bluesy guitar before exploding into the familiar wall of crisp sounding distorted guitar. Clocking in at just under six minutes, it shows some minor progressive elements in conjunction with wearing the coat of Melodic Hard Rock that is so evident on the previous tracks.
'No No No' and 'Playin' To Win' both add some bounce to the party with 'Playin' To Win' investing a subtle nod to a Celtic influence. As you feel the calories fly off your lurve handles, the final track pumps some iron in the form of 'Hit You Like A Rock' making sure you leave this event with a spring in the step.
I guess it's easy to dismiss this album, but for me it felt like a guilty pleasure – a reminder of my youth and the heady days of prancing around the house playing air guitar and feeling to the very core the lyrical content and energy contained within. Even though I'm no longer a spring chicken, it hasn't diminished the enjoyment and appreciation of a well executed collection of 11 tracks which all wear chocolate knuckle-dusters and exhibit shameless amounts of sing-a-long moments.
Black n' Blue
Generation Left Behind
Girls Gone Wild
When We're Gone
Want It All
Too Young To Die
No No No
Playin' To Win
Hit You Like A Rock