Wednesday, April 16, 2014

LOUD LION: ”Die Tough”

Rating: RRR
Label: MelodicRock Records 2014
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

As if Grand Design's two recent "budget Leppard" albums weren't enough... Loud Lion is taking it a step further - even the band's name is a tribute to Def Leppard. Mind you, the project's main man, producer/songwriter Bleu isn't even trying the sell this as anything else but a homage to DL: "Def Leppard hasn't put anything as good as Loud Lion out in at least a decade! If you like Pyromania and Hysteria (and f**k you if you don't) then you'll love this record - and that's not even taking into account the brain-liquidating shred-fests. An homage has never (ever) sounded so majestic!". Okay... if you say so.

I do like "Pyromania" and "Hysteria" as most of our readers do too, but whether we all will fall in love with "Die Tough" remains to be seen. I already know that I won't. Sure it is a fun record with some good songs, but it's still just a tribute. Despite the advances in recording technology, it's still quite impossible to emulate the larger-than-life sound of "Hysteria". This is a pretty good attempt though... good harmony vocals, fine Clark/Collen-inspired guitar work, not to mention very Joe Elliott-like lead vocals.

With only 9 tracks, the album is a bit on the short side, especially when two of the tracks are more or less "brain-liquidating shred-fests"... Out of the "real" songs, my absolute favourite is "The Hills Have Eyes" from the movie by the same name. It's as Leppard as the rest of the songs, but not quite as blatant a "re-write" as the others. Elsewhere you've got "Die Tuff" ("Love Bites"), "Lion Eyes" ("Photograph" maybe?), "Lion's Den" ("Women"), "Love Will Break Your Heart" ("Pour Some Sugar On Me") and "Sunset Strip" ("Rocket")... the "shred-fest" "None More Fast" with its' narration sounds to me like it escaped from a goofy musical like "Rock Of Ages"...

Fans of 80'ies Leppard will surely get a kick out listening to these tracks, although I'm sure that there's a grumpy fan or two somewhere out there thinking that this is blasphemy... but you can't please everyone.


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