Thursday, January 29, 2015

AMMUNITION: ”Shanghaied”

Rating: RRRR

Label: AOR Heaven 2014
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

After the demise of Wig Wam, the band’s frontman Glam aka Åge Sten Nilsen wasted no time in putting together a new group. He enlisted the help of the prolific songwriter Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse, W.E.T., Jimi Jamison…) and put together this set of songs. Musically Ammunition doesn’t stray too far from the path that Wig Wam travelled, but it’s still clearly a different band. Gone are the over-the-top clothes and silly names, and while the band’s lyrics have good dose of humour in them, the overall vibe of the album is more serious than that of Wig Wam.

”Shanghaied” isn’t the most instant album you’ll hear this year. It took me a few spins to get into it. Even though I like it a lot now, I still think it could’ve used an additional dose of catchy melodies. Now, some of the choruses do not elevate the songs to the next level. In fact some of the tracks have bigger hooks in the pre-choruses - take the opening track ”Silverback” for instance: the build-up is great, but the actual chorus is just too simple and monotonous for its’ own good. Then again, I’m just nitpicking here, most of the songs are just fine as they are.

My favorite tracks include ”Give Me A Sign” (very Wig Wam’ish), the Europesque ballad ”Road To Babylon” and the insanely catchy ”Wild Card”. With Mårtensson as the producer, it was pretty much guaranteed that this album would sound good and to no-one’s surprise, it does. So does Åge Sten Nilsen, I’ve always liked his voice but I’m only now beginning to realize how damn good he really is!

This album is a sure bet for anyone into Wig Wam and anthemic melodic rock in general.

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