Album Reviews
Band: C.O.P.

Title: State Of Rock

Label: AOR Heaven

Can you hear me out there, I SAY, CAN YOU HEAR ME OUT THERE??!!  Yeah, I know that you really can't, but after listening to this album, that's exactly how you'll go about for a while, 'cos the vocalist from this 3 piece unit from Sweden hits notes that probably only dogs can hear from a distance! I've more than likely used that term before somewhere, but this takes the biscuit!!  C.O.P. are made up of brothers Peter Sundell and his brother Christian, and Ola af Trampe, who all have an infinity with AOR band Grand Illusion, so you can expect something special with 'State Of Rock', which isn't  too far away from the truth.

Kicking off with the smouldering intro'd 'Loner', it builds up into a fine melodic thumper with quite an infectious chorus, followed by the slightly proggy sounding 'I Want The World To Know'.  It's dancing keys the main reason for that, but be prepared for some REALLY eardrum bursting vocals! Now, is there such a genre within Rock called Power/Melodic? I ask, because that's the only way I can describe the 100 mph tempo head-banger that is 'Nightmare'.  Each member must've slipped some speed in their tea when playing this, they play their instruments so-o-o fast, and as for the piercing yell P. Sundell emits at one point, he's obviously caught himself in his zip! Extraordinary!!  

Rock ballads are usually well known for their 'cheesiness', so it should come to no-ones surprise that 'Without You' falls full fat into that category.  The meaningful lyrics at the point where even the Laughing Cow would have a field day with them! To be honest, it's nothing spectacular as far as ballads go, and if I'm honest, the high-pitched vocals near the end kill it off for me.

'On The Run' pumps along with some fine rifferage and keys that are straight out of the Journey songbook that would make it a fine choice for a single, very radio-friendly this one, AND not too on the screaming vocal side either, so any pets wouldn't suffer too much, but never, ever play 'In My Dreams' when they're in the same vicinity, or they'll probably explode! This is another example of that Power/Melodic style that has just been invented, (??), huge racing riffs galore the source of this track, Trampe showing the young pups out there how it really should be done, and C. Sundell beating his skins to within an inch of their lives. 

Relentless 'til the end!! Down just a notch or two and along comes the two stand-out tracks on the album, firstly the uber-melodic gem 'She's Gone', where C. Sundell's keys are the heartbeat to this body of work.  Trampe's guitar work for once taking back seat and hardly a squeal on the vocals for a change! The next starts off with one hell of a high pitched yell but settles down to maintain the melodic feel that came just before it, this time C. Sundell's riff central to this track, and another possible single in the future?

'Broken Heart' (or should that be broken ears!), screeches it's way into play, (so don't wear earphones like I have!), attitude on full show here as P. Sundell asks 'Who are You?'' or 'Who am I?' throughout the song, the music matching that mood all the way, then to finish off the album, the pompous keys-led  'Darkness' still gives us time to wince in ear-shattering pain when P. Sundell hits those powerful, mega-high pitched notes as only he can, going out in a blaze of glory, as one J.B.J. once claimed! 

For a debut album, 'State Of Rock' is up there with some of the best in melodic rock this year, but, and it's a BIG but, be prepared for the vocal style of Peter Sundell, as it won't be to everyone's taste or hearing senses, though the music that each band member combine to make cannot be faulted, fats or slow. Maybes next time.... wear some loose fitting trousers Peter!

Review by: Robb Baldwin

 

Tracklisting:

1. Loner 
2. I Want The World To Know 
3. Nightmare 
4. Without You 
5. On The Run 
6. In My Dreams 
7. She's Gone
8. In The Night 
9. Broken Heart 
10. Darkness 

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