Another new band flying the flag for Melodic/Hard Rock are Norwegian quartet TXS who are the second new band to really make me sit up a listen to their album over and over again. The band is Dag Aspen (vocals) Kenneth E Kristiansen (guitar, vocals, programming, percussion), Kjell Reierstad (bass) and completing the line-up Terje Smelfold (keyboards, guitar, vocals).
If the name of Dag, Terje and Kenneth seem familiar they were all in the first version of Hush back in 1996, now in 2009 they return and have brought that love of AOR back with their new band TXS.
TXS are going to be one of those rare bands that crosses over the much loved Melodic Rock genre with the more Commercial Radio Friendly rock that has its love for the likes of U2, Bowie and the like, and TXS fit right in the middle of the two. The album opens up with ‘Who Will You Run To’ and instantly you'll understand what I mean when I say this is some of the most commercial rock I’ve heard to come out of the scene since Harem Scarem for a long time. A great guitar sound mixed with some fine vocals, this up tempo style rocker is refreshing and equally sticks to the old school values of a sound built around a great vocalist and great musicianship.
This same high quality is found with ‘Chameleon Man’, a song that fits right up there with some of the best Melodic Rock tracks around today, with Aspen’s raspy vocals being one of the highlights along with the sterling guitars of Kristiansen.
One thing about this album that makes its mark is the fine production things are crisp and not muddled. The guitars and rhythm sections don’t fight for top spot in the mix. As the first of the ballads ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ shows this is very much a Melodic Rock standard, no one loves a ballad quite like the Melodic Rock crowd and this one should satisfy even the diehard fans of the genre.
But it’s the up tempo rocker that really make their mark with the superb ‘Breathe You Out’ and the band go back to its Hush days when they did covers as well as original material with their cover of Def Leppard’s ‘Unbelievable’.
Things continue with the impressive ‘Kicking Leaves’, the excellent blues filled ‘Rat Trap’ and ballad of the album has to go to ‘Turn Back Time’, a real slice of melodic heaven.
album closes with two great tracks first up it's ‘Bad Reputation’, a
funk ridden masterpiece before saving the best till last with the sublime ‘Stay
‘. This song just oozes class and rounds off a great album that will see
the band in good stead for 2009 and beyond.
1. Who Will You Run To
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