Wednesday, March 23, 2011

R.O.C.K.: "Mirror Ball & Red Lights"

Rating: 6/10

Astia-Studio 2011

Review by Kimmo Toivonen

R.O.C.K. is a kind of a "supergroup" featuring wellknown names from the Finnish metal scene. Famed metal producer Anssi "Anchi" Kippo is the bassist of the band, while on vocals there's Heikki Pöyhiä from Twilightning, and the guitar duties are handled by Lullacry's Sami Leppäkangas. As the name might suggest, they are not a metal band though, they are indeed a rock band. "It's a mix of music played by the evil big brothers of The Rasmus or when Mötley Crue plays Backstreet Boys" is how they describe their sound, and that was what made me curious.

The first time I listened to this album, I wasn't won over by it. The techno-sounding keyboards and some of the other musical ideas sounded a bit pretentious, as if they were added to the songs just to provoke. Having lived with the album a while, I've grown to like it more, although there are a few songs that still sound contrived or simply just not very good. When R.O.C.K. are at their best, they are indeed close to creating the perfect mix of big pop hooks and arrogant hard rock swagger.

My picks from the album would be "Here Comes The Music" (despite the techno keys) and the highly infectious "Venomous". On the other hand, there are a couple of tracks that just don't work at all for me, like the Rasmus-like yet repetitive and dull "No Try Only Do" and the frantic but tiresome "Maximum Emotion". The other songs fall between these "extremes".

Since this is the first effort from the band, they've got plenty of time to perfect their delivery. Maybe the second or third album will take 'em to the charts, if this one doesn't. I like the concept, with a little finetuning they'll make it something extraordinary.



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