Reviews February/07

Wild Frontier / Bite the Bullet / prime 44100


Wild Frontier - Excellent German hard rock! Tracklisting:Anything you want; Don't walkaway; Take a Look at yourself; Good things don't come easy; Lost & Found; Before your Heart will turn to Stone; Everytime (I look around); One Heart-one Soul; Surrounded; Restless; Save yourself; Hole in my Soul; I can't believe (bonus track); I know there's Something going on (bonus track).

Wild Frontier is a quartet from Germany - nowadays featuring the two founding members Jens Walkenhorst on voclas and guitar and Mario Erdmann on bass - the last couple of years they are joined by Thomas Ellenberger on keyboards and young drummer sebastian Gröning on drums. And they are a very steady and powerful foursome. Named after a classic Gary Moore album - and they fully live up to that...
"Bite the Bullet" is their 4th album - and I remember their 2 last records as very very good, and this one is a great one , too. It starts out with a very energetic track called "Anything you want" where the significant voice of Jens Walkenhorst and special handling of the guitar shines - his voice will always remind me of my old friend Martie Peters from MPG and Push and his fretwork has some similarities with guru Mr. Moore. The Celtic influence is very significant on a track like "Before your Heart will turn to Stone" (including the instrumental intro "lost & found" - this is my favorite track, i think. with great guitarwork and a very catchy chorus but also a track like "Everytime I look around" shows new sides to Wild Frontier - with its great keyboard and not to forget the furious guitarsolo. The most radiofriendly track must be "One Heart - one Soul" - it's great. Not a real melodic rock record without the big ballads and Wild Frontier has a thing for these heartwrenching "softies", too;-) "Good thing don't come easy" is a good one with a very catchy chorus and nice guitars.
All in all this is the best record by Wild Frontier so far. On the limited edition there are two bonus tracks - one is a remake of a track from their debut back in 1995. And one is the old Russ Ballard hit "I know there's something going on" made a hit by former ABBA-singer Annifried Lyngstad (Frida) - remember the Phil Collins drums? Here in 2007 the track has got a needed shot of gasoline - a nice cover! Wild Frontier is hard working - and that pays of... Join the club - i'm a huge fan!

Kelly Keagy/ I'm alive / FR PR CD 318


Kelly Keagy - Nightranger drummer with a blast! Tracklisting:I'm alive; Stolen; Blink of an Eye; When nobody's looking; Back of your Mind; Life worth remembering; Re-Imagine; World before and after; Where are we now; Where the Road ends; Everything I need in a Woman; Call in another Day; Half a World away.

Drummer/singer/guitarist Kelly Keagy states on the first track "I'm alive" - and he is, indeed. This second solo offering ("Time Passes" form 2001) has a slightly more rough and tough sound to it. The album is very much painted by the terrific and outstanding guitarwork by The Mob band mate Reb Beach. But also Jim Peterik is very much involved in the production/songwriting and playing a bunch of instruments. Supplied by Mike Aquino, Bruce Gaitsch and Tommy Denander on guitars and Michael Lardie on keyboards the music is delivered with professionalism and accuracy.
There are a lot memorable tracks on this one - the title track is one. Especially the guitar solos are breathtaking. I already played air guitar to it several times. But also "Stolen" has a more industrial twist to it. I like the rougher sides to Mr. Keagy - his voice can easily put an extra touch to tracks like "Blink of an Eye" and others - but even though the tracks has this metallic sound you can still hear the Peterik-influence here and there.
All in all a very attractive album - but with Reb Beach as the real winner here, he is absolutely breathtaking... But also the main character himself - Mr. Keagy surprises me i a very positive way, even though the song writing is a bit "main-stream". Thumbs up!

Hartmann / Home / FR PR CD 319


Oliver Hartmann & Co. in a heavy outlet! Tracklisting:Coming Home to you; The Sun's still rising; My everything is you; Somewhere someday; Just for you; I don't want to know; Higher than me; Why do I; Millionaire; Crying; Lay all your Love on me.

He has done it again - Oliver Hartmann has released a sophomore solo album. 2005's "Out In The Cold" was a great melodic album which got great reviews around the melodic rock/AOR community. I suppose som of the fans from the more metallic At Vance- days was a bit disappointed, though...
Here in 2007 - the vocalist is back with Mario Reck on guitar, Armin Donderer on the bass, Jurgen Wuest on keyboards and Dario Cioccioni on drums. This fivesome is Strongly inspired by their support slot to selected TOTO 2006 dates - and the band HARTMANN has a more stabil and clear melodic profile these days - even better than on the debut. You can say that "Home" is more of a group effort, where "Out in the Cold" was a 100% solo offering.
The album starts out with the energetic "Coming home to you" but becomes more groovy with "The sun's still rising" and to do the full round - track nr. 3 is a lovely semi-acustic ballad "My everything is you" with a very catchy chorus and background choir - almost gospel-esque. These tracks almost sums the whole album up... not that the album is dead after track nr. 3, but the rest is like one of these. My favorites are the almost-Deep Purple-esque track "Millionaire" with great keyboards and a great guitar solo and the country sing-a-long "Higher than me". I like the new style of Oliver Hartmann and Co. This album stuffed with quality melodic rock is highly recommended!

© Steen Elstrup Pejtersen 1999-2007