The endless flood of new releases keeps me busy, because there’s only so much time I can devote to listening to music. Yet I want to check out everything. And there’s the old stuff I want to revisit or discover… I know, I’m a rockaholic, a music addict. Even when I’m not listening to anything, the radio inside my head won’t stop playing. Some of you may be able to relate…
BAI BANG. They’ve been around since the mid-eighties. Despite never reaching more than a cult band level, they keep on rocking, and this year they’ve released their 9th album ”Sha Na Na Na” (RRRr). I’m not sure whether they can reach the next level with this one, but I applaud their persistence. The only remaining original member, vocalist Diddi Kastenholt has been steering this ship on five decades now! Anyway, on ”Sha Na Na Na” he’s written some rather catchy tunes in the vein of Wig Wam or Sha-Boom. My favourites include ”I Don’t Really Know”, ”It’s Enough”, ”I Know All The Hits” and the title track. There are a few throwaway tracks and a dull Abba cover which lower my rating a bit, but this isn’t half bad.
LORDI have released about 100 songs during the last three years! That must be some kind of a record? ”Screem Writers Guild” (RRRR) is their latest effort, with some kind of a movie theme. On ”Killection” and the 7-album ”Lordiversity” box they explored some new territories, but this one is ”classic” Lordi, 80’s influenced hard rock with big choruses and Mr. Lordi’s trademark rough vocals. He does showcase his softer side on ”The Bride”, a ballad that reminds me of 70’s Alice Cooper. The song most likely to become a Lordi classic? ”The Thing In The Cage”.
MARTIN MILLER has been getting rave reviews for his ”Maze Of My Mind” album. I won’t join the queue, and for me it’s only an RRR album. It’s well executed smooth prog/AOR hybrid but I don’t find it very memorable. Superb musicianship and somewhat LaBrie-like vocals, but the songs are maybe a bit too complicated for my taste.
“Better Days Comin’” was the title of the last WINGER album back in 2014. Well, it wasn’t the best prediction I guess… but better days are finally here, at least when it comes to Winger. Their new album “Seven” has just been released and it’s a good one! RRRR good for sure!
“Seven” is a little darker and heavier than the band’s classic material, but still melodic. Somewhere between “Pull” and the more serious songs of “In The Heart Of The Young”, but then again, something quite different.
“Proud Desperado” (co-written by Desmond Child), “Tears Of Blood” and “Stick The Knife In And Twist” are among my favourite tracks.
After watching the JOHN WAITE movie “The Hard Way” I’ve revisited his solo albums, selecting tracks for a “Best Of” playlist. The first draft of the list seems to concentrate on “Rover’s Return”, “Temple Bar” and “Figure In A Landscape”. Still… my favourite John Waite-sung tracks are on the two Bad English albums.
Another old band whose material I have also revisited recently is FIFTH ANGEL. The Seattle-based melodic metal band released two fine albums in the eighties, then called it a day. They reformed for a couple of successful shows in Europe a few years ago, and released their third album “The Third Secret” in 2018. That didn’t really do anything for me, the songs are okay but mostly not on the same level as the vintage material. However, a new one is to be released in June, and the title track “When Angels Kill” has already been released. It’s pretty good so I have high hopes for the album.
Tomorrow (Saturday 1th of May 2023) it’s the day of the Eurovision Song Contest Final, and I have a feeling that Finland will win. KÄÄRIJÄ’s “Cha Cha Cha” is a goofy, catchy track and it’s already a hit, despite being sung in Finnish. Never mind the fact that Käärijä isn’t really a singer, the competition isn’t about that anymore. I guess it says something that one of his rivals, LORD OF THE LOST from Germany have already released a cover version of the song. I actually prefer their metalized version and it’s somehow endearing when Germans sing in Finnish!