Album review: PRETTY MAIDS – Motherland

Frontiers Records (Release date 22.3.13)

I was reminded what a long career Pretty Maids have enjoyed when, a couple of years back, a well-oiled singer Ronnie Atkins burst into a curry house after Firefest and regaled us diners with tales of touring with Saxon in the mid eighties. The Danish rockers seem to have enjoyed a new lease of life certainly on the evidence of this, their first release in three years.

The opening tracks Mother of All Lies and To Fool a Nation get the album off to a flyer, taking the melodic hard rock of a Gotthard, but giving it a more progressive, almost epic and metallic edge. The Iceman and the title track are typically fast paced slices of European hard rock, the former with one of the classic duels that have been a Pretty Maids hallmark over the years between Ken Hammer’s guitar and Morten Sandager‘s extravagant keyboards.

Two things strike you about the album- one is a big, but contemporary sounding production from Jacob Hansen that really does the songs justice.

The other is the ease with which they slip into a variety of styles. In successive songs we move from the mainstream melodic rock of Sad to See You Suffer, to Hooligan which is as brutal as its style , to a lush ballad in Infinity.

Ronnie Atkins in particular can turn a rough edged vocal style on and off at will, although i must admit the harsher style can become grating.

Later on they repeat the trick as the commercial hooks of Bullet for You are followed by Who, What, Where which will appeal more to the denizens of Wacken where they are slated to play later this year.

While the diversity of material may be a bit disconcerting, the Danes have produced an album that must rank along their finest and has a streak of quality running through it.

****

Review by Andy Nathan 


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In this show, first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 2 February 2020, David Randall plays a selection of tracks from some of the artists who impressed at this year’s Giants Of Rock event in Minehead (24-27 January).

Featured Albums w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 NEWMAN Ignition (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLACK SWAN Shake The World (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 CORMAC O CAOIMH Swim Crawl Walk Run (indie)

Power Plays w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

SHAKRA Turn The Light On (AFM Records)
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Transmissions (Nuclear Blast)
RYDERS CREED Lost Soul (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FRAMING HANLEY Puzzle Pieces (Thermal Entertainment LLC)
ROBERT HART Mysterious (Escape Music)



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