Artist:  Bai Bang
   Title: All Around The World
   Label: AOR Heaven

As much as we like classic melodic rock, the re-emergence of it over the last couple of years will probably slow down, just for another genre of rock to re-appear and get another go in the limelight.  'Hair Metal'? Grunge??  Whatever comes next will, so for now we should embrace today's 'new' scene's 2nd coming while it lasts.  One band who seems to have lasted the test of time one way or another is Sweden's own Bai Bang, who've actually been around for a lot longer than you think.  Their first album was 'Enemy Lines', back in 1989, and have released 6 more since then, the last being 2011's 'Livin' My Dream', all the while supporting such acts as Ratt, Motley Crue and L.A. Guns in the process.

Now, 2013 sees the band releasing their 8th album, 'All Around The World', and if you haven't heard anything by them before, then take the time to get acquainted to Diddi Kastenholt, Joacim Sandin, Johnny Benson, Pelle Eliaz and Jens Lundgren, a.k.a. Bai Bang!  You're bound to be caught up in this smashing 10 - track offering, as it packs a punch from start to finish, the "all together now" chanted intro of 'Everybody Everywhere' an immediate hook-line-and-sinker in the "I can't get it out of my head" stakes as no matter how damn good the guitar solos are, it won't leave you alone, ALL day!!

Probably the most over-used word when writing about rock music is 'RIFF', but you can't escape the fact that there are some blinders here.  'Gonna Make It' is alive with a scorcher that gives the song some welly in that department, 'Crazy' is more of a slowburner, but just as potent with another catchy, harmonised chorus to boot, and the foot-stomping 'Get It On' has the potential to get a room full of people to go quite berserk in one full swoop. (Whoa, whoa's at their best!).

Rocking like a heavier version of Def Leppard, 'Bai Bang' will get you thinking of where the hell have you heard this before? The answer could well be..... it's so similar to the Lep's 'Nine Lives' (track 2....'the Sparkle Lounge' L.P.) it's almost a cover, which is strange in a way as it's the best song on the album, though there aren't any bad ones anyway.  Give it a try and see. There is a slow number to bring down the blood pressure after the whirlwind that surrounds this album, 'How About You' begins with an intricate mix of snare drum and a single-string echo, as the band deliver an atmospheric masterclass of 1980's

Europe-based proportion as a salute to the hand-held lighter brigade out there, then ending as it all began, mission accomplished.

'Raise Your Hands' ( NOT that one!) belts out it's anthemic, hands-in-the-air chorus of '..rocking in the free world" ... like there's no tomorrow, eagerly followed in the same fashion by 'Summertime', both mid-tempo rockers that snuggle up well together as the 'all join in' tracks.

'Slippery...' Jovi-era rears it's head, not in the title this time, but as the pacey, keyboard-led 'All Around The World', that jagged riff which jumps in and out just about recognizable as Ritchie Sambora's trademark on THAT album of 1986, and wouldn't Bai Bang love it if this album got to be just as big!!

Yep, Helsingborg will surely be rocking along to the sounds of 'All Around The World', (yet another feather in the cap for AOR Heaven), so what's the chances of the rest of Europe and these small Isles of ours joining in? Keep yer fingers crossed and watch these pages!

Review by: Robb Baldwin

Tracklisting:

1. Everybody Everywhere
2. Gonna Make It
3. Crazy
4. Bai Bang
5. How About You
6. Raise Your Hands
7. Summertime
8. Now You're Gone
9. All Around The World
10. Get It On

                   

 

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