Thursday, April 18, 2013

AIRLESS: "Changes"

Rating: RR
Label: Lion Music 2013
Review by Kimmo Toivonen
It's time for album number four for Spanish band Airless, and apparently there are "Changes" in the air. Don't know about that... I was pretty sure that I hadn't heard this band before, but I checked our archives, and found out that I have actually reviewed the band's second album "2nd Round". I wrote that "I'm not too fond of this album, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Airless releasing a killer album one day" about that one, and I actually could write that about this album too. They are competent musicians, but something about their songwriting just doesn't appeal to me.
Vocalist IƱaki Lazkano still has a bit of an over-the-top style which seems to be favoured by several Southern European singers. Think Jon Bon Jovi's early style but with more vocal acrobatics, or if you're familiar with more obscure acts, Russell Arcara during his days in Surgin'. Anyway, he has toned it down or I've gotten more used to it, because it doesn't annoy me as much as it seemed to do back in 2005.
As for the songwriting, somehow I get the vibe that the band isn't completely sure of their chosen style. It's as if they're a progressive rock band trying to be Bon Jovi... trying hard to create melodic rock hits, but lacking that pop sensibility required for it. The prog side pushes through, and there's just too much widdling, doodling and whatnot. Especially the drummer Pako Martinez sounds a bit too busy for this sort of music sometimes - he's very good, but maybe "less would be more"...
The album's best songs for me are "Rescue Me" and "Start Again". The album's title track features Danny Vaughn sharing the vocals with Lazkano, but that doesn't rescue the song, even though it's always nice to listen to him.
For the next album, I'd like to see some "Changes" indeed. A more direct approach to songwriting, less tricky rhythms and bigger choruses. Or maybe an even progressive style would suit the band, if that's what they want to do?

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