Wednesday, April 1, 2015

REACH: ”Reach Out To Rock”

Rating: RRRR

Label: Sun Hill Production/Cargo Records 2015
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

Gotta hand it to them, Swedish newcomers Reach aren’t afraid of doing things differently. I’m not necessarily talking about their music, it’s pretty conventional melodic hard rock, but other things. Like the track listing of this album. The band has done a rock cover of Avicii’s ”Wake Me Up” which as gotten over a MILLION views on Youtube, yet that song is not featured on the album. Neither is their second single ”Black Lady” which has been watched 40.000 times, a respectable number for a virtually unknown band. There may have been some heated discussions about these decisions with the label…

The songs that actually did make it to the album are mostly very good. Based in the Swedish hard rock tradition, you can hear influences from the big eighties’ bands such as Europe and Treat, with touches of Scorpions and even Iron Maiden. The band’s sound isn’t totally retro though, the songs are infused with youthful energy and some modern stylings.

Vocalist Alex Langhorn has a voice with a bit of a sleze-rock vibe, and occasionally he sounds uncannily like Mats Leven (Malmsteen, Swedish Erotica, At Vance etc). There’s plenty of rock vocal power in the band, as guitarist Ludwig Turner is a good singer too. He was a finalist in the  Swedish Idol 2014 competition.

The band has paid a lot of attention to making their choruses big and anthemic, which isn’t a bad thing in my books. Highlights include ”You Called My Name”, ”Tell Me” and ”Make Me Believe”, just to name a few. The two songs I would have replaced with the singles mentioned above would have been ”The Beast” and ”Coming Home”. The former does have a fairly decent chorus but the rest of it just plods along, while the Iron Maiden-meets-Tesla-like ”Coming Home” is okay but a bit forgettable.

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