Artist: Stala & So  
   Title:  Play Another Round
   Label: Escape Music  

Stala & So are a Finnish quintet who’ve been around since 1997, but its only recently that their name has reached the far flung quarters of Europe, mainly due to their entry into the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest for their native Finland with their song ‘Pamela’, only to be beaten on the heats and never making it through to the final.

The band are led by Sampsa Astala (Stala), who was the former drummer with Finland’s Lordi under the stage name Kita (Jaws), but who lays down the vocals for Stala & So, along with Nick Gore, another former Lordi member (Kalma) on bass, Sami J on lead guitar, Pete Vaughn on rhythm guitar and last but not least, Hank on drums, who together return with their second album ‘Play Another Round’.

But Stala & So are musically a long way from Lordi, they sway more towards the Glam/Melodic Hard Rock style of things and this is felt straight from the off with ‘Rock Until I’m Done’, a straight up hard rock anthem that sees the band lay down the gauntlet for anyone to pick up and challenge their ability to make likable rock music.

The same feel good factor is continued with AOR inspired ‘Tokyo Delights’, again a track that wouldn’t have been amiss in the heyday of the genre back in the late 80’s.

The band are definitely wearing their influences on their sleeves with the almost 70’s Glam Rock feel of ‘The Boys Are Having Fun’, before bringing that 80’s Scandinavian Rock vibe back with ‘Never Again’ and the pop styled ballad ‘Back Together’.

It's back to the fun filled rock with ‘Alrite Tonite’ and the infectious tones of ‘Life Goes On’, before a touch of modern Melodic Rock with ‘All Alone’, ‘All She Wrote’ and the fantastic ‘For Your Love’.

It's back to the full on fun filled Hard Rocking with ‘Rockstar’, before the bonus tracks, their Eurovision entry ‘Pamela’, before the album closes on very different cover, as they deliver an acoustic version of Ozzy’s ‘Shot In The Dark’, which rounds off a very good album full of glitter and glitz and old fashioned rock n' roll.  Some won't get the band, but I don’t think this will effect the way Stala & So will go on, like the song said ‘The Boys Are Having Fun’ and long may it continue!  We need quirkiness in this business from time to time.

Review by: Barry McMinn 


1. Rock Until I'm Done
2. Tokyo Delights
3. The Boys Are Having Fun
4. Never Again
5. Alrite Tonite
6. Life Goes On
7. All Alone
8. All She Wrote
9. For Your Love
10. Rockstar
11. Pamela (bonus track)
12. Shot In The Dark (bonus track)    



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