Title: GroundbreakerLabel: Frontiers Music Srl
When you put together the best British Melodic rock singer going and the go-to-man for anything that is good about that genre, then you know you're in for a treat, so Ladies and Gents, welcome to GROUNDBREAKER, the new musical project featuring F.M.s (and other collaborations!) Steve Overland and Robert Sall of Work Of Art/W.E.T. fame, who, under the watchful eye of a certain Alessandro Del Vecchio, have released a cracking self-titled debut album on the Frontiers Music label that will have you drooling at the mouth, it's that good!
The British/Swedish combo entwine their Rock
traditions for a perfect sound that showboats the best of
both worlds, shown perfectly on the opener 'Over My
Shoulder', the punchy keys on the intro submitting it's hold
to the driving guitars that push the song on, Steve O simply
doing what he does best, that unmistakable voice of his note
perfect, as it is straight from the off on the more tougher
guitar sounding 'Will It Make You Love Me', very F.M.-based,
with a stonking short, but impressive solo from Robert S,
showing exactly why he was bought on board for this venture.
'Eighteen 'Til I Die' skips along at a cheerful tempo, the keys bringing that Euro-Rock vibe to the track, with another soaring solo in tow, and I'm sure Steve would've been panting like a dray horse when he finished singing this 'un, so God knows how his lungs felt after the drum-fested Rocker 'Only Time Will Tell' came to the end! Luckily there is some respite for him when Sall takes over, though yet again, there's still no rest for the poor bugger on drums, Herman Furin, who must be related to an octopus, such is the tempo of his drumming!
Fortunately there are there are a couple of
ballads to help conserve some much needed energy, 'Tonight'
being the first to come along, neat touches of harmony
flitting in and out with tender trickles of keys just to add
their 'lighter-in -the-air' mode, Steve O so at home here,
and then the Eastenders-ending drumbeat intro to the
atmospheric, heartfelt 'Something Worth Fighting For', not
so much a lighter, but a flame thrower-in-the-air affair
if there was ever one!
As good as these 'slowies' are, it's the more uptempo ones that catch the eye, or ear in this case, 'Standing Up For Love' with the pumping groove and chorus that will go down a storm live, (whoa-whoa's at the ready, chaps 'n chapesses), then it's the turn of bassist Nalley Pahlssson to come to the fore on 'The Sound Of A Broken Heart', where the keyed intro suddenly gets a Frankie Goes To Hollywood going over with his rumbling bass, Sall's riffs adding to that chunky feel of the song that really belongs to Nalley, though Alessandro's keys do also play a big part, but the bass wins this one!
The bass stands out cannily on the smooth, uber melodic gem 'The First Time', where the riffage is used sparingly for once on the album, it's mainly the sound of rimmed drumming, ever-so-gentle guitar and angelic keys accompanying that lush voice that make this song so damn good, before it gives way to ... well, there's been uptempo songs earlier on, but 'The Days Of Our Lives' is the Usain Bolt of all songs! Great Scott, if this got any faster they'd be going back to the future (ahem!), but this is the vehicle to show exactly how exceptional this group of musicians are if they can perform like this, at such a romping tempo, while our fave singer tackles it with ultimate ease.
Fortunately for all, the album is bought to it's end with the mid pacer 'The Way It Goes', and as the album started off on a Euro Rock vibe, it also ends on that outlook, the keys central throughout, steady choppy riffs and for the final time, Steve O on top form as usual, which is probably why Frontiers President Serafino Perugino contacted him about this collaboration in the first place. Class from start to finish, simple as that!
Review by: Robb Baldwin
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