Frontiers [release date 09.07.21]

Laurenne/Louhimo’s The Reckoning is an interesting new release from Frontiers. A musical “lockdown made me do it” marriage of Smackbound’s Netta Laurenne and Battle Beast’s Noora Louhimo.

They’ve written a dozen or so Symphonic Rock songs with Netta’s husband, Nino (Thunderstone supremo/ guitarist/ songwriter), who’s also produced. He’s a musician who emphasises rhythm and propulsion in his music. And that’s the perfect setting for Netta and Noora’s lacerating lyrics.

Much of the material moves away from the kind of auditory spectacle you expect from the genre, and moves closer to a more thematic sense of rock . . . many of the tracks here are fierce expressions of feminism. ‘Tongue Of Dirt’ is harder, grittier than the surrounding material. “That’s how sweet revenge is to me” wails Laurenne as her scorched vocals breathe fire on the man (or perhaps woman) who did her wrong. She further ramps up the rhetoric with ‘Bitch Fire’s scalding hot lyrics, “life belongs to those who burn with pain”. Phew… best check yourself for bruises when these two are over.

L/L go on to surround the hardcore narrative of these key songs with aurally adhesive hooks and vertiginous choruses. Some have slick veneer of grandeur, (Striking Like Thunder, Vipers Kiss), and many aspire to symphonic metal/stadium rock greatness, (The Reckoning, Time To Kill The Night). But one in particular stands out because it cuts hard against the grain of the material on either side.

You could accuse ‘Hurricane Love’ of being an Alicia Keys or a Norah Jones pocket piano concerto, but you could never accuse it of being symphonic metal. Lyrical, lush and sentimental, it’s an absolute peach that should be released to radio. Success in the straight world beckons. ****

Review by Brian McGowan

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Power Plays w/c 8 August 2022 (Mon-Fri)
BORN LOST Take Time (Mouthpiece) (Revolver Records)
JAIME KYLE Driving With The Brakes On (Conquest Music)
SCARLET DORN Born To Suffer (SPV Recordings)
HOLDING ABSENCE Coffin (Sharptone Records)
TYRANNOSAURUS NEBULOUS Get Some (Echoed Past Records)
KROOKED TONGUE When The Beaches Bleed (indie)
SKYPILOT Knifed On The Beach (The Distortion Project)

Featured Albums w/c 8 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 LESSMAN VOSS Rock Is Our Religion (Atomic Fire Records)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. Force Majeure (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 THE SLAMBOVIAN CIRCUS OF DREAMS A Very Unusual Head (indie)

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