Wednesday, October 22, 2014

DALTON: "Pit Stop"

Rating: RRRR
Label: Frontiers 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Vrooom! After spending close to 25 years in the Pit Stop, the race is finally back on as the Swedes are finally ready (or not) to impress the Scandi-Rock fanatics with their latest offering to the Gods of AOR. Indeed. Pedal to the metal and kindly move/step aside H.E.A.T. as the geezers are back in town and this time it's personal.

Originally formed in very late 85/early 86 when drummer Mats 'Dalton' Dahlberg decided to leave TREAT, the band recorded two albums in the eighties before grunge came and swept it all away. Now they're all back together (the original line-up) and the sonic display and production by Eric Mårtensson (Escape, W.E.T.), one of the better sounding records to come out of the Italian label as of lately.

Opening track, "Ready Or Not", Scandi-Rock and classic Dalton meets AC/DC and Bosse Lindmark sings better than ever with just a hint of barbwire nowadays. Rather typical AC/DC-like background vocals too. The parp attack of "Hey You" gets you in the eighties mood in no time as Ola Lindström really let the keyboards rip. There's plenty of retro keyboards throughout the album and there's absolutely no need to worry about any weird influence or sound on Pit Stop. In fact. Most songs are from 1989/1990 and originally intended for the third Dalton album. Well. This is the third studio album by Dalton, but you know what I'm getting at.

The classy "Don't Tell me Lies" was on the RAW debut album and the same goes with 50/50 and TGIF. "Follow Your Dreams", smooth Dalton rock at their best. "Up & Down", catchier than the plague (ouch!). "Bad Love", yet another keyboard shocker with a retro sound. "One Voice", simply just one of those perfect sing-a-long melodic rock anthems with a message and touching lyrics. "Here We Are", starts up right away with its massive choir and the nearly British sound of the 80's (U2, The Alarm, Simple Minds) meets the traditional Dalton style. The rhythm section (Dalhberg & Anders Lindmark), tighter than ABBA-Agnetha Fältskog's pants in the 70's and the guitar work by Leif Westfahl adds plenty of attitude and spark to the compositions.

Final verdict: The third biggest melodic hard rock act out of Sweden in the eighties has certainly recorded an album better than any Europe album post-reunion. Oi! Tempest. I believe it's time to get back to your roots (Wings Of Tomorrow, Out Of This World) and stop messing around with your second rate '90's Dokken' sound. Give the people what they want, the lads of Dalton are now officially in the race and way a-head of you suckers.

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