Likely one of Austria's most legendary hard and heavy acts, No Bros is back with a new album Metal Marines. The lion share of their success occured between 1982 and 1986, but they made a comeback album 20 years later with Hungry for the Good Times in 2006. The very title of that album betrays more than a little of the band's nostalgia and sound of the Eighties.
As does the opening track of Metal Marines, Legends of the Eighties. It's more than nostalgia or an homage to past music. It's No Bros calling card, a definition of their sound. They were one of those band that melded sharp guitar riffs and leads with old school Hammond organ, equally dueling and in duet. It's a sound you don't often hear anymore, and I'm sure there are plenty of potential listeners who would call their souund old. For me, it's familiar, like a bastard child of Deep Purple and mid-period Rainbow. Rainbow, when Blackmore was less concerned with classical ineese and began to channel again his Purple rock guitar. As it is, No Bros guitarist Klaus Schubert is similar in approach, somewhat in style. His fret work is no nonsense, straightforward: bold, rough and ready riffs, and then embellished with meaty and direct leads.
In the sense, No Bros and Metal Marines is most definitely a guitar-centered album. A great majority of the songs get their start, and forward momentum, from Schubert's crisp fret work, nobable are Dance of the Black Tattoo, Metal Marines, A Night In Touch City, and the aforementioned Legends of the Eighties. The rhythm section supports by adding groove to his guitar's harmony, vocals help identify and carry the melody each song. There are some slight exceptions like the (very) short bass and drum set up at the start of Devil With An Angel's Face, as the riffage rips in rather quickly. Another is Dark Chamber, where the guitar is significantly dailed back and the vocals take the lead. There's also the ballad where the song is cast upon piano and vocals, then Schubert comes in later to add the quinessential ballad guitar solo.
So, this is all well and good, if you like casting your musical sentiments backwards 30 years or so. No Bros is definitely writing and playing for the fifty-something crowd that remembers when, and not the modern harsh and hardcore heathen or alt rock hiptster in his skinny jeans. The former audience is dwindling and the latter audience, well, they'd probably just be bored with this. But if you get the sound, whatever your era, you'll dig No Bros' Metal Marines. Recommended.
No Bros offers a sound you don't hear that often anymore: sharp guitar riffs melded with old school Hammond organ, equally dueling and in duet. Somewhat of a bastard child of Deep Purple and mid-period Rainbow.
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