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'State Of Rock'
(AOR Heaven)
Release Date: September 28th 2015

Brian Boyle

brian boyle

c o p

As well as excelling in flat pack furniture and producing the finest meatballs known to man, Sweden is pretty damn nifty when it comes to melodic hard rock. Now with the emergence of C.O.P. that tag is set to be well and truly enhanced.

Hardcore followers of AOR will have no problem telling you who Peter and Christian Sundell are. The brothers work with Grand Illusion who are highly regarded within the genre, so much so that guitar legend Steve Lukather (Toto), didn't think twice when asked to guest on their stunning ballad 'So Faraway'. Now branching out with C.O.P. and along with the ridiculously talented Ola af Trampe, debut album 'State Of Rock' will give their loyal army of disciples a giant slice of melodic slickness to sink their teeth into.

Reminiscent of Foreigner's classic 'That Was Yesterday', opener Loner sets a tone of huge expectation. Sundell's imperious yell, along with the dangerously addictive chorus, makes you give this album your full attention right from the get go. The next couple of tracks are pretty standard fare, but pack a meaty punch all the same. The prog infused 'I Want The World To Know', followed by the turbo charged 'Nightmare', still keeps the album's pulse flowing at a bullish rate.

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Let's face it, you can't beat a good old AOR ballad, you always know what you're going to get; tunes overloaded in their corny, cheesy bucket reaching meaning, but yet, they always work. Bands like Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx pretty much cornered that market. The saccharine dripping 'Without You' is far from breaking new ground, but it is glorious in its dated vibes and predictability.

No doubt a future single release, 'On The Run', has all the moves to seduce the hard rock airwaves with relative ease. Yet another heavyweight chorus is matched with Trampe's fret board gymnastics on a track that is quite simply a melodic master class.

Don't let Christian Sundell's tender intro to 'In My Dreams' fool you. The song bares its teeth with a razor sharp riff that would give Kerry King a run for his money. Although the chorus is annoyingly one dimensional, its relentless pace and fearsome delivery more than mask that flaw.

c o p

One thing you can say about C.O.P. is that they avoided the temptation to sneak in a couple of lightweight fillers. Clearly wanting to put their best foot forward with this debut album, arresting gems like 'She's Gone' and 'In The Night' more than highlight the fervent quality of the songwriting.

Going out in a blaze of glory with the attitude laden 'Broken Heart' and ballsy closer 'Darkness', C.O.P. have thrown down the gauntlet to their fellow AORsters with this record.

If you've always turned your nose up at this genre of rock, there's nothing on this album that will turn you, but if you live for classic melodic rock served in its traditional formula then jump right in and enjoy.

I Want The World To Know
Without You
On The Run
In My Dreams
She's Gone
In The Night
Broken Heart

C.O.P. are:
Peter Sundell-Vocals
Ola af Trampe-Guitars/Bass
Christian Sundell-Drums/Keyboards

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