Formed in 1999, Loudguns comes from Tampere Finland with their second album Sunset Runaway on Germany's Rock It Up Records label. But it arrives with some personnel issues. Vocalist, for this album, Lassi Vaaranen has recently left band for personal reasons.
Being my first experience with, and having know foreknowledge of, Loudguns, I didn't know what to expect. The band name suggested hard and heavy rock boogie rock band in the vein of AC/DC. Not exactly. Mostly their sound leans heavily to classic melodic hard rock. Like straight out of the Eighties, and the sways between the accessibility of AOR and the edge of heavy metal. Often the swing between the two is so dramatic, you may wonder if Loudguns is unsettled in their style. For instance, the first two songs, Line Of Fire and Loud 'n Proud, with their arena groove and synth embellishments have a less heavy AOR feel. With We Need A Hero, the third song, things get heavier, the riffs large and sharper. Yet in the middle, there's this old school Hammond that gives the song a late Seventies. After this, they drop in this long ballad, Silent Cries, again going after that AOR arena vibe.
Conversely, the following War Remains, Siren's Call, and Sail Towards The Sea are more blistering metal-edged hard rock. Actually, War Remains could simply be called heavy metal with it's bold riffs and crushing rhythm section. Alternatively, Wicked Lover has this beat and groove at the start that makes it sound like a hard rock dance number. While that remains underneath, it develops into another riff heavy song. More AOR stuff, like the beginning two, come with Rain Keeps Falling and So Close To Home, songs that blur the line between anthem and ballad. Along the way the songs are filled with an abundance catchy refrains and frisky guitar solos. Some mention should be made of Vaaranen's vocal style. He sings clean, yet also has this screech to his voice, something that, at times, reminded me of fingernails on a chalkboard. It will be interesting to see who the band gets to fill his position, if the person will have a similar style or something different. All in all, I found the variety of songs and sounds within Sunset Runaway an interesting and entertaining aspect to the band's sonic character. Yet, at the end of the day, and as I said earlier, Loudguns plays classic AOR melodic hard rock, straight out of the Eighties for the new century. Recommended.
I found the variety of songs and sounds within Sunset Runaway an interesting and entertaining aspect to the band's sonic character. Yet, at the end of the day, Loudguns simply plays classic AOR melodic hard rock, straight out of the Eighties for the new century. Recommended.
How does a Hollywood band end up on a Swedish record label with Swedish distribution and then have promotion from a German public relations joint? Beats me. But LA's Warner Drive may be the best band I've never heard of this year. Maybe for you too ... [ Read More ]