|The Poodles Metal Will Stand Tall||Lionheart|
There is a real renaissance happening in Europe, with some young guns doing great business actually playing traditional melodic hard rock. What a concept!|
The likes of Wig Wam, Brother Firtetribe and The Poodles are uniting old and new fans alike and collectively are kicking America's ass.
The Poodles are 4 of Sweden's best session guys (members of Talisman, Lions Share, Zan Clan, Dalton), who first started playing together as a cover band to huge audiences. Best known to readers to this site will be guitarist Pontus Norgen who is famous for his work in Humanimal and Great King Rat among other things, and incidentally is also Europe's live sound guy.
Metal Will Stand Tall is an apt title. Along with the two aforementioned artists, this album sees the guys deliver the best style and attitude of the classic era of commercial hard rock mixed with an updated and gigantic production sound.
There is no reason why any fan of the old school glory days shouldn't like all three albums as all three are equally brilliant.
Where The Poodles are a little different from Wig Wam and perhaps even The Darkness is their approach to the music.
The Poodles are a little darker, a little more serious and a little heavier than Wig Wam and more guitar orientated than Brother Firetribe.
A few tracks stand out first time around, but a dozen listens in proves there are no fillers present at all. This is a pretty varied album and the change in vibe between tracks takes a little getting used to.
At first glance, you would perhaps deduct that the album is not as consistent or cohesive as the awesome Wig Wam album, but after living with this for a few weeks I'm inclined to think it is every bit as good.
I generally prefer things a little darker and moodier and while there are a couple of great feel-good party rockers here (Metal Will Stand Tall, Number One), the overall vibe is more serious and tracks like Echoes From The Past, Night Of Passion and Shadows all rock hard and feature very memorable choruses, but also have a serious edge to them.
The band has their own way of doing things. Take the intense moody rock ballad Song For You. It features the same dark groove apparent throughout the album, but in a twist features guest vocals from Jonas Samuelsson-Nerbe, who I guess is the Swedish answer to Pavarotti!
The uptempo and anthemic Lie To Me has a strong contemporary edge and Rockstar is a brilliant melodic pop rocker with a slow beat and quirky melody. Even the cover of Ultravox's 80s new wave pop hit Dancing With Tears In My Eyes has a darker, more menacing twist.
The big power ballad of the album closes things out. Crying is a radio hit in waiting and complete with orchestral parts ensures the album ends on the highest of highs.
I love the crunchy guitar sound, I love the very melodic but powerful lead vocals and i love the pounding rhythm section.
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