took fourth place in Sweden's scramble to find a suitable entry for the recent Eurovision Song Contest. Hardly an auspicious beginning for this newly formed band, but when you consider that they were ridiculed by the press just for entering, the band's final placing demonstrates that the average Swedish TV viewer took an entirely different view.
The band name was an astute marketing ploy. It certainly grabbed a lot of attention. Along with the album title it infers that this is some campy, glitzy glamrock band. But they aren't.
They aren't a metal band either, despite the album title. Yes, there are some melodic metal moments, but in the main this is unadulterated, high calibre hard rock, chock full of good tunes.
You could argue with some conviction that The Poodles
have successfully grabbed that eighties' melodic rock sound by the short'n'curlies and hauled it kicking and screaming into the here and now. Nu Melodic Rock. A contemporary rock band that doesn't sound like a Contemporary Rock Band.
They nail it down with apparently effortless ease, but it's hard to tell where this comes from. The band consists of Jakob (Midnight Sun/ Jekyll&Hyde ) Samuel, Pontus (Talisman/GKR) Norgren, Pontus (Lions Share/ Zan Clan) Egberg and Christian (Raw) Lundqvist. A few years of experience there, but Lions Share aside, these bands were hardly innovators. Maybe their pasts, running on parallel lines, have allowed them to arrive at a place of collective consciousness. Maybe not.
's name as co-producer is a huge clue. His last album was a blatant attempt to strut his stuff on today's contemporary hard rock catwalks. A passion for fashion, if you will. But it didn't work.
Arguably, it didn't work because the framework of AOR
&melodic rock is a fairly rigid structure. There are plenty who are ready to pounce if you step outside those confines. What the band and Alfonzetti
have done here is stretched and flexed that structure, giving us new angles and new perspectives on the melodic rock song. It works big time. Great songs and a phenomenally inventive and imaginative production from Alfonzetti
deliver a postmodern melodic rock album stacked high with variety, colour and depth
Openers 'Echoes From The Past'
and 'Metal Will Stand Tall'
are anthemic pop songs given a hard rock makeover. That may not sound innovative, but both are passionate and pulse quickening. Put simply, catchy tunes and inviting hooks with a steely eyed edge.
Elsewhere, 'Night Of Passion'
is a rock song with a real grown up resonance. 'Song For You'
blends popular opera with boyband sensibilities, elevated once more by Samuel's expressive, commanding vocals, while 'Shadows'
is reminiscent of Guns'n'Roses at their most immediate, seamlessly spliced to a doomy, gothic rock verse.
Neither does the album lack articulacy. 'Rockstar'
underlines our fascination with junk culture; 'Kingdom Of Heaven'
flies in the face of contemporary mores in an emphatic call to the moral majority.
And to be honest, we're only scratching the surface here. There are another seven tracks that in other circumstances would get a well merited mention.
Individually and collectively, the twelve tracks that make up 'Metal Will Stand Tall'
should thrust The Poodles
into the forefront of the Twenty First Century European melodic rock scene. We'll see.
Written by Brian
Monday, June 26, 2006Show all reviews by BrianRatingsBrian: 7.5/10
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