German melodic rockers Pink Cream 69 have been going nearly a quarter of a century now and I remember them supporting Europe back in 1992, yet have gone under the radar somewhat, possibly because of their rather naff name.
Ceremonial is their first album in six years, during which bassist Dennis Ward has established a growing reputation as melodic rock’s go-to producer. Land of Confusion is a rather slow burning opener which, like much of the album, improves with repeated spins, but is followed by a couple of instant crackers- Wasted Years is a up tempo, classically European sounding rocker in the mould of Treat, and Special has an even stronger chorus.
A couple of moody ballads follow in Find Your Soul and The Tide, while Right from Wrong has an excellent chorus, but the band are pink and fluffy only in name and the likes of Big Machine and I Came to Rock have the big riffs of a Bangalore Choir or Bonfire, while the gruff yet still accessible vocals of Englishman David Readman suit the music perfectly. The second half of the album is not as strong as the first, but the album ends with the insanely catchy Superman, whose whole sound and song structure could be an updated version of the Scorpions The Zoo.
While perhaps lacking in originality, this is an extremely strong all-round effort to kick off the new year, thoughtful and bearing repeated listening.
Review by Andy Nathan
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In this two hour special David Randall plays a selection of the GRTR! reviewer choices for ‘Best of 2019′ and announces the results of the popular poll. First broadcast Sunday 22 December 2019.
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12:00-13:00 THE RAGGED SAINTS Sonic Playground Revisited (AOR Heaven)
14:00-16:00 AMBERLY CHALBERG Hi-Line (indie)
Power Plays w/c 20 January (Mon-Fri)
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