Tuesday, August 21, 2018

FRED MIKA: Withdrawal Symptoms

Rating: RR
Label: Rock Company 2018
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Fred Mika? To be honest... it doesn't ring a bell.. but there might be a gong? Oh the sheer joy of making fun out of drummers. Kindly introduce yourself to the audience: My name is Mika. I live on the second floor. I live upstairs from you. Yes I think you've seen me before. If you hear something late at night, some kind of trouble, some kind of fight. Just don't ask me what it was - Just don't ask me what it was - Just don't ask me what it was. Mika, Luka, it's all Vega. Yes indeed. Some of these songs might just remind you of a second rate version of VEGA - the band and not the lovely Suzanne, and it's not music from the point of view of a person who is abused for that matter.

Fred Mika on the other hand is the chap behind the drums in Sunroad, a Brazil based Christian metal and hard rock act credited with six full-length albums and one EP over a twenty-year period. Blimey. Yours truly has unfortunately never heard of Sunroad and thus ending up feeling a bit sad and left out in the cold. It's a project featuring many lead vocalists and the following are singing lead on the tracks. Carl Dixon (Coney Hatch, April Wine, Guess Who). Michael Voss (Mad Max, Casanova, MSG). Steph Honde (Hollywood Monsters). Haig Berberian (Dogman). Andre Adonis (SunRoad). Rod Marenna. Daniel Vargas and Mario Pastore. Where the last five are all from sunny Brazil.

The self-produced album has taken bits from modern melodic rock which might trend towards the rougher end of melodic metal but still allows room for details to shine through. Lyrics... ehem... here's the direct quote from the opening track, 'Wired In' (lead vocals Carl Dixon) - 'I have to find my shapeless soul in this sack. I know it's bad, so bad, weird side effect', end quote. I haven't got a clue to what they're talking about and the same goes for the majority of tracks. The actual 'Wired In' track is a little cracker steeped in commercial AOR and melodic rock though. Carl Dixon is no doubt the best singer on the record closely followed by the 'Mad Max', which in this case is Michael Voss and not some old racist from down under aka Australia. The rest are not too impressive and the songs are frankly not that interesting nor intriguing.

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