A little clarification to start. Stala is vocalist Sampsa Astala, formerly the drummer Kita for Finland's Lordi. He was removed from that band because he was becoming to well-known as the person behind the mask (breaking one of Mr. Lordi's rules) with his own band. Stala's band, So, dates back to 1997, but only in the last several years has seen serious activity. Play Another Round is their third album, now with Escape Music.
I quick glimpse at the band picture to the right may give you some clue to Stala & So's music, or not. The image suggests glam rock. The band seems to want to steal a page from Wig Wam's play book. But listening to Play Another Round, this is rather tame stuff, with most songs approaching AOR melodic rock. The closest the band get true hard rock comes with Never Again, Rockstar, Pamela, and maybe Rock Until I'm Done.
Mostly, the songs are upbeat, having a rather good-natured feel to them. They're also intensely accessible thanks to outstanding vocal harmonies (Stala's strength), good melodies, and catchy hooks in the composition and lyrics. The signature song that promotes this is probably Never Again, but others, like For Your Love, Life Goes On and Tokyo Delights, fill the bill also. S&S offer a few ballads as well including Back Together, All She Wrote, and one of the two included bonus tracks, Shot in the Dark. Overall, Play Another Round is simply satisfying melodic rock in an AOR wrapper. Recommended.
Stala & So's Play Another Round delivers some satisfying, if not a little mild mannered, melodic rock in an accessible AOR wrapper.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]