Tuesday, January 8, 2013

TALISMAN: "Genesis"

Rating: Re-issue
Label: Sun Hill 2013
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Originally released in 1993, the book of Genesis (not to be confused with the Bible nor the U.K. prog act), the sophomore release by Talisman is a long and hard tale of delays and disappointments due to bankruptcy of their former record company, and various other problems such as finding new band members and the much needed record deal. JSS aka Jeff Scott Soto went back to America in search of money and fame with the band EYES, and Marcel Jacob recorded demos with Jagged Edge and Bam Bam Boys vocalist Matti Alfonzetti.

However, the EYES project went quickly overboard and off the rail thanks to dodgy management/record company and not to mention the birth of grunge. JSS returned to Sweden in late 1992 and Talisman managed to score a new deal since you could still rock in Sweden only not quite as prominence as before the arrival of Nirvana. "Mysterious" - this time it's serious? Believe it or not, the song was inspired by Disco group Chic and there's a small change in the overall structure and songwriting formula. Slightly more "funk" and "groove" than their debut and the worst/best of John Norum's sound is by now gone. Funny though, JSS - no doubt the funk/R&B dude, but the funkiest/grooviest toon (I'll Set Your House On Fire) was co-written by Leif Sundin of Great King Rat and later MSG fame.

For this re-release, former Talisman members Jamie Borger, Fredrik Åkesson and Pontus Norgren, honour Marcel's legacy with newly recorded drums and guitar solos on the original demo tapes and also bonus tracks: "Give Me A Sign", "Comin' Home", "U Done Me Wrong", "Time After Time". It's a shame they didn't use proper/real drums on this album either since it's the only real downer with the first two albums. The programmed drums of 1992 were simply not "fat" enough for the otherwise fine compositions by Jacob and Soto.

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