Steamhammer/ SPV [Release date 28.10.16]
Here’s a collaboration of three significant melodic/hard rockers who in the past few years have worked mainly with others such as Michael Schenker.
Michael Voss (Mad Max, Casanove) has produced many artists from his studio in Germany and was for a time a member of Schenker’s band whilst Herman Rarebell needs no introduction. Completing the trio, Stephan ‘Gudze’ Hinz of German 1990s rockers H-Blockx.
As you might expect this is a supremely well crafted and produced album that offers up some memorable tunes. Opener ‘Rock For The Nations’ is a rallying call but not necessarily indicative of the album as a whole, in fact in truth it’s fairly disposable. Elsewhere ‘Surrounded By Fool’ and ‘The Blame Game’ reveal the band’s darker underbelly but always with an uplifting hook.
Throughout the album there are obvious reference points (Europe on ‘Out Of Time’, Bad Company on ‘I Need Your Love’ ) but overall this will be of great general appeal to lovers of melodic hard rock per se.
Throw in a passable cover of Heart’s 1985 hit ‘What About Love’ and a couple of well-executed mid-tempo ballads this is an almost perfect debut that one hopes will be continued rather than merely mark down time from the band member’s respective projects. ****
Review by David Randall
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