a l b u m r e v i e w s


PANGEA / MANCHILD
LABEL: FRONTIERS FRCD 016
OVERALL: 76%
Produced by: Richard Jensen & Torben Lysholm
  1. Time Runs Out
  2. She's Like A Steamtrain
  3. Lost In You
  4. I Thought I Knew
  5. The Sound Of Music
  6. Johnny's Got A Girlfriend
  7. Manchild
  8. I'm Falling For You
  9. Pan Jam Shuffle
  10. The Phone
  11. Do You Know
I never got around to reviewing the last Pangea album - the Frontiers guys re-released it late last year. But it was chock full of catchy and fun hard rockers.
They also don't mind the odd comparison with Van Halen and Extreme, which is funny, as VH are now Van Cherone.
I liked that album a lot and after running through this new one a few times have to say I don't think it is as good.
There are still the odd comparisons to VH and there is still plenty of funky moments a la Extreme. But it is a heavier and more serious tone in play here and unfortunately many of the songs sound the same. There is a worrying lack of good hooks through the album.
And with news that they plan to get even heavier, things don't look like improving!
Time Runs Out opens OK and She's Like A Steamtrain is a cool hard rocker and is still prime Eddie Van Halen, although heavier than he normally would be. A shuffling guitar riff and pounding rhythm section, I really like this tune.
Lost In You is more like the last album - a hard hitting number still, but with a more melodic AOR chorus and catchy feel.
I Thought I Knew appears to be the first soft ballad of the album - a mainly acoustic / vocal number.
That is however, until things change half way through and it becomes a dark hard rocker. A couple of times you think it will burst into an anthem, but it doesn't and stays dark and heavy until the end.
The Sound Of Music then appears to be that first ballad. I am weary of it taking off, but no, it stays soft and slow throughout. Not bad, but no real hook to it.
Johnny's Got A Girlfriend returns to the heavy guitar and rhythm feel of the first few tracks. Again not bad, but no real hook besides the pounding bass and drums. A big Eddie VH solo.
Manchild has a good rhythm to it. The sound is hard and tough, but the hook is again missing.
I'm Falling For You is hard rocking again, but offers much of the same.
Pan Jam Shuffle is kinda cool, it varies the pace a little and is a little more spontaneous.
The Phone kicks in with a looping synthetic drum beat, but soon turns pure hard rock. These guys sure have a fat sound, but there is a real lack of hook on this album.
Do You Know has a more promising guitar lick to start it off. The verse is moody and more melodic also. At last a great hook and a chorus that is pure a AOR anthem and more in line with what one hoped for at the start of the album.
But alas! It is the last track and the album is over.
An album with a monster hard rocking sound and great production, but with only a handful of songs that stand out or beg for more.
The remaining songs leave no real impression, rather they blend into each other by offering no hooks and much the same sound on each.
Checkout tracks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 11. That's about what does it for me.
PRODUCTION: 85%SONGS: 69%VIBE: 75%ATTITUDE: 74%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Most Pangea fans. Some Extreme fans and a few Van Heln fans.

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