Firenote, Firenote, 2009

firenote - sameIt is time for another band that has managed to “escape” the Finnish waters to bring us this set of hard rocking songs.

And is it any good? Albeit a little short with it´s 41 minutes, it is surely no punishment listening to this. The lead vocals are a little light of tone maybe, but that is a matter of taste.
Okay, is it any fun? Yep, it sure is. If you have played this for a number of times, you will be singing these tunes for days. Another good thing is that they don´t take themselves all too seriously. I mean “she stole my speedos” ….
So what about rocking hard? It does, but with a surprisingly amount of keyboards thrown in. Which only adds to the freshness. Though I would love to hear some more Hammond guys 😉 Preferably a real one!

So this makes me wonder, is this an essential album? Mmhmm, I am not sure yet. No doubt I like it. It is competent, it delivers and I can´t say I have heard every song before. But I also believe they need to stretch their writing a bit. Some songs do tend to become predictable. So I guess time will tell. For now, enjoy it!

Personal play tips: Danger, Love Me Or Let Me Live, Suddenly.

Website

Audrey Horne, Same, 2010

audrey horne - stThis is the third album by hard rocking outfit Audrey Horne. Earlier I reviewed their debut here. Must dig out their second as well, as that is also a clear winner…
They claim this is their best to date and I tend to agree. Though their second is a hard one to beat.

Because of a more diverse sound (besides organ, now also mellotron peeps through), even more melody and more change of tempo between songs, I think this always important third release is the winner by some points.

If you heard the band before, you already know what to do. For those who are unfamiliar with Audrey Horne´s music, let me try to paint you a picture: this is hard rock with guts, but highly melodic as well. In fact most songs have a haunting quality that is very hard to resist. It´s got groove in abundance.
The lead vocals are cleverly accompanied by backing vocals thus adding to the melodic impressions. The vocals are a strong force, though not necessarily sounding typical hard rock, but more alternative instead. As this sets them a little apart, I think it is a bonus!
Another welcome feature is the use of Hammond to colour the sound. People who read my reviews regularly know that is a point scorer.
And last but not least, their songs are vary varied, they do not shy away from a little trickery here or there, so are able to keep things fresh.
So if hard rock does it for you, buy this! Yeah, that simple.

Personal play tips: too hard to choose.

Website

Wicked Temptation, Seein´Ain´t Believin´, 2010

wicked temptation - seein ain´t believinThis is another band my dear friend and drummer extraordinare Hans in ´t Zandt is participarting in. He´s building up quite a back catalogue this way.

From to word go this is melodic hard rock and it sure kicks ass! In the guitar department the influence of Zakk Wylde is obvious. Lots of overtones and heavy riffing here. Another reference might be the Sykes era of Whitesnake. The band managed to write compact tunes with a good ear for memorable choruses. It is catchy, but they did their best to avoid all too much predictability. And succeeded. Due to a lot of  “four on the floor” the rhythms are pounding their way straight into your system. Gotta love that!

I just happen to know that mastermind Peter Wagner likes his Status Quo from time to time, but very little boogie here. This is in your face melodic mainstream metal with a singer with a convincing and a little raw voice. And lots of backing vocals of course ;-). There is a ballad at hand also. At least some kind of me thinks.

My only, but small critisism, is that sometimes the riffs seem not totally in sync with the drums. At least that´s how I feel.  But don´t let me steer you away from this release. If great soloing, riffing and melody are your thing, pick up a copy!

Personal play tips: Money, Liar, Children.

Website