Reviews February/05

Bang Tango / Ready to go / M 7103 2


Bang Tango - Back with a mission! Tracklisting:Ready to go; I came to see you; It ain't easy; rainy day; The other Side; She knows better; Roll me over; Save myself for you; Love the Life; Most important Thing; Tell me; Carry on.

This is why Bang Tango was hyped way back in the early 90's - great riffs, aggressive vocals and an attitude that was "larger-than-life-and-David-Lee-Roth" and rough vocalist Joe Leste as only original member has nowed teamed up with guitarist Alex Grossi to follow up on that concept!
"Ready to go" is very much the two main characters work of art - but with them they have a qualified bunch of real rockers like Anthony Focx on a very sleazy guitar, Chris Roach on bass and Matti Starr on drums. besides they have a co-writer called John Corabi on two songs "I came to see you" and "Tell me" and a guy called Dizzy reed who works the piano and organ on "Rainy Day" ang "Love the Life".
Bang Tango's force in this game is that they have been true to their roots as well as adding new stuff to the music - which is basically the same as then when they terrorised MTV's "Headbangers Ball" with "Someone like you" along bands like Guns 'n Roses, Motley Crüe and LA Guns (Leste was in fact stand in for Phil Lewis at some point). some memorable moment on this very good release are the absolute killer track "It ain't easy" with a lot of showing-off-guitar and a long musical intermezzo, but also "Roll me over" has a great riff and chorus. But not only the hard rockers is great also a "ballad" like "Love the Life" is absolute ear candy as well as "Most important Thing".
Joe Lest hads started a new band called Beautiful Creature up - but this band is put on hold for a while as the reactions on the shows with Bang Tango was so overwhelming. Let's hope this true rock band will make it again - they deserve it!

Erika / In the Arms of a Stranger / MTM 0681-123


Erika - her second album originally from 1992! Tracklisting:6.AM; Wake me up when the House is on Fire; Rock me into Heaven; Games we play; Easy come easy go; In the Arms of a Stranger; made of Stone; Walk into my Heart; Shadows in Rain; Danger in disguise; Fall from Grace.

One time Swedish AOR beauty Erika Norberg was married to guitar maestro Yngwie Malmsteen - that was THE single thing I knew about this blonde bombshell. But Erika's excellent light vocals and strong sense of melody is made for making excellent AOR/Hard rock albums in the vein of Lee Aaron and/or Envy. The "In the Arms of a Stranger" album originally released at the end of 1991 but didn't get as musch attention as the debut "Cold Winter Night" already released by MTM last year. And now MTM has a plan for re-releasing this one through their MTM Classix collection - hope they get the last one "Lady Luck" from 1993 with, too!. Hailing from Northern Sweden - Skellefteå to be precise, Erika originally recorded her first albums for the small Lionheart label, distributed by Virgin in Scandinavia, and the album featured songs co-written by the Alice Cooper-team Ponti and Pepe on the track "Wake me up when the house is on fire" (yes, it's singable!). The musicians on "In the Arms of a Stranger" are Benny Jansson on guitar who was involved with Talisman and Snake Charmer, Bobby Ljunggreen on guitars as well, Håkan Almquist on keyboards and drummers Johan Akerfeldt/Fredrik Lundfeldt! Later Erika broke with the Lionsheart label - but recorded "Planet X" in 1996 and "Ripe" 1998 - Erika officially ended her musical career in 1999 with a farewell tour! The whole album, is filled with light, fluffy, sometimes grand hummable material, ballads and hard rockers in a perfect mix. Just the kind to expect from a Scandnavian artist - there are a whole bunch - reminding me in musical expression of Alice Cooper's "Poison". Songs ideal for a ride in an open car or for the shower for that matter. All very well produced, and arranged. Some of the more memorable moments are the before mentioned "Wake me up ..." but also "Easy come, Easy go" and the grand ballad and title track is great.
Apperently Erika was rather controvercial back then - but I can only speak for myself when I say that both her voice, songwriting talents and looks are remarkable!

Shy / Sunset and Vine / MTM 0681-120


Shy - back with powerful release Tracklisting:High Time; Open your Heart; Soul searching; Where is the Love; You could be dreaming; Don't jump the Gun; First Love; I'll be home tonight; Walk through Fire; Slowly.

Even if Tony Mills reminds me a lot of one of my favorite singers Hugo (or is it the other way around) the British battleship Shy has alway been true to their melodic roots and together with guitarist Steve Harris and bass player Roy Stephen Davis is the back spine of Shy - new guys are Ian Richardson on guitars, Bob Richards on drums and Joe Basketts on keyboards. Mills was at a point in Siam and was replaced with Jon Francis and John Ward - but besides that the band has continued releasing records way back since "Once bitten twice shy" from 1983.
The band has since the start been one of the heavy weights of the game and both musician- and productionwise the have worked with the best - Neil Kernon, Roy Thomas Baker, Don Dokken and they have toured with stars like Magnum, UFO, Twisted Sister and Gary Moore. With "Sunset and Vine" they are back on the right track - and tracks like the pompous "Soul searching" is definitely one of the best tracks around so far this year. But also the more mellow "Where is the Love" is great - Tony Mills really has a range and is so gifted a songwriter and with Steve Harris we have a dynamic duo!. It all culminates in the outstanding track "Don't jump the Gun" - YEEHAA, just listen to the intro and you will know...
I don't know if Shy was big in my world back then - but they are now! Tony Mills voice is so fantatic and the guitars by Richardson and Harris is magnificent - a great pompous melodic album!

© Steen Peitersen 1999-2005