Pretty Maids, Louder Than Ever, 2014

pretty maids - louder than everOne of my favourite Danish bands keep having a go at it. And, what I like about them, ever since they started out in the early eighties, trends have come and gone, but the Pretty Maids are still solid as a rock and ready to deliver another set of blistering rock anthems. Nowadays the keyboards have returned, making the band again a 5 piece, still centred around the mighty vocals of Ronnie Atkins and the power riffs of Ken Hammer.

So how to describe the sound of the band to those of you not familiar with the band?  And I do hope you are not not so many. Well, this is heavy melodic rock, with a singer that seems to suffer from a split personality. Part of Atkins’ singing is clean and melodic and part is rough and raspy and melodic yet powerful. I like both sides of that actually! All songs have catchy hooks and focus on energy and melody over the guitar riffs, rather than spitting out flashy solos all the time. In the early years the keyboard work was more important, then it disappeared and now it is returning, albeit in a more supportive and colouring role. Over time they never disappointed, although I do think they sound more rejuvenated in the last couple of years.

No matter what, if you dig bands like Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Slade, Kiss or Queen, this is one band you cannot afford to miss.

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Classic: Pretty Maids, Future World, 1987

pretty maids - future worldThe Danish dynamite tagged Pretty Maids have been storming the world for decades now. For many people it started somewhere in the Eighties. So I decided to go for this 1987 album Future World.

One of the things I have to share is that it is hard to believe that the lead vocals are all from one man: Ronny Atkins. He not only has parts where he sounds very raw and raspy, but is also able to sing smooth and velvet. Kinda special. Together with his writing partner and guitarist Ken Hammer he came up with 9 metal tunes that are as relevant today as they were back in the day. In this period they also used a lot of keyboards and operated as a 5 piece band. Later they became a quartet and I believe they still are.

One thing is for sure, whether it´s the opening song and title track firing away on all cylinders, the heavy rocker We Came To Rock, the ultra catchy Love Games, war song Yellow Rain or any other track, this gets in your system and never leaves. But it is an innocent addiction. Besides making you want to go out and buy all their other albums that is ;-). Over the years some changes in style became apparent. Yet the band always stayed melodic and rocking. Great band!

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