Sunday, April 10, 2016

Quick Bits : Treat, Soto, Был замечен

Treat - Ghost of Graceland (2016) The king has left the building but the audience remains
"Ghost of Graceland" is the first album from Swedish melodic rockers Treat since "Coup de grace" (2010), in my opinion the best album of their career.
With a hit like "The Final Countdown", Treat could´ve been just as popular as Europe around the world because they´ve got a really strong back catalogue but it has always felt like Treat have been standing in the shadow of Europe´s success.
When Europe more or less has left the melodic rock/AOR scene behind them, Treat continue to release impressive melodic rock albums fully armed with splendid 80´s AOR in a modern package.
There are plenty of great songs on their new album such as "Better the devil you know", "Do your own stunts", "Inferno" and "Alien earthlings".
Well done!
(+) This is what the pleasure principle is all about.
(-) It feels like yesterday when their first hit Get You On The Run ruled the airwaves in 1985, where did the time go?

Soto - Divak (2016) The band swings into high gear on album no.2
Jeff Scott Soto realised how much he missed the heavier side of his career so this time around he´s inviting you to the 2nd album "Divak" (pronounced dee-vock) from his new band Soto.
After the first really good album "Inside the vertigo" from 2015, Soto isn´t quite ready yet to hop off the train and return to the melodic rock platform.
Together with the six string force Jorge Salan, they make a great team and continue to deliver modern hard rock cast in iron and steel. Where the riffs should be performed on a 7-string guitar and 5-string bass.
My thoughts go to a blend between Harem Scarem´s "Voice of reason" and The Winery Dogs when I listen to these 13 new tracks on "Divak", fans of the first album won´t be disappointed.
The pompous Led Zep-ish "In my darkest hour" is the cousin to the masterpiece "End of days" from the first album but it´s not as great.
(+) As always, it´s a treat to hear Soto sing no matter what genre it is.
(-) This type of music doesn´t need dueling guitars/bass a la Kotzen/Sheehan.

Был замечен - стало ещё только хуже (2016) Available on C-90 cassette
Welcome to the dungeons of 60´s psych-rock, you can check out anytime but you can never leave.
The album title is translated into English as "It became even worse" and for fans of 3 minute pop songs, this is absolute horror.
But for those who are eager to open the door to the unknown and explore music for the strenuous intellect, you are good to go for 1 hour of escapism.
Please welcome the 2nd album from the Kharkiv, Ukraine based trio Bil Z´s lo-fi psychedelic band.  
They call themselves a tape-band and conceptually releases their stuff only on tape as a physical format, the songs are in Russian but with the help of Google translate, the titles are 1."Orbit" 2."Encrypted" 3."One way" 4."They" 5."Silent space".
Imagine if Iron Butterfly was in the same room as Brian Eno and got to re-write the music for the Clockwork Orange Soundtrack from 1971, the result could very well be this album.
Best track : "They". 
(+) I am amazed over how retro and contemporary it sounds.
(-) Even the lengthy "Silent space" is quite a test for a progrock fan like myself.

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