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Melodic Rock Round-up: April 2016

Dave Ling on new releases from Rick Springfield, Rage Of Angels, Last Autumn’s Dream, Resurrection Kings and Nordic Union

Rick Springfield: Rocket Science

Tremors of doubt were triggered when Rick Springfield revealed that his 18th studio album would include what the Australian-born singer, musician, actor and writer termed “country elements”. However, the record begins in typical fashion with Light This Party Up, as potent a slice of power-pop as you’ll hear in 2016. As high-quality tracks such as That One and Best Damn Thing fly by, you begin to wonder what the fuss was about. Miss Mayhem begins with some down-home finger-pickin’, before an electric riff slams in. No problem, this is still great.

The country-isms really materialise seven tracks in with Found, which isn’t a bad tune, though Crowded Solitude is far less memorable. And sadly, it gets worse. The ghastly All Hands On Deck is akin to Big Country and The Pogues supping a final tot of rum together as the Titanic sinks beneath the waves. Normal service resumes with We Connect, one of three decent tunes to close things out. Two-thirds of Rocket Science hits the spot, but really it’s for diehards only. (510)

Rage Of Angels: The Devil’s New Tricks

Former Ten and current Tyketto keyboard player Ged Rylands utilised several singers on this band’s highly praised debut, Dreamworld. Three years later the often high-pitched vocals of solitary singer Rob Moratti (Final Frontier/ Saga) soar above a set of immensely creditable commercial hard-rock tunes. (810)

Last Autumn’s Dream: Paintings

That musicians from Europe, Talisman, Treat and Fair Warning have lined up alongside frontman Mikael Erlandsson in LAD since 2006 speaks volumes about the Swedish group’s calibre. This, their twelfth album, is more of a Van Gogh than a Banksy. (710)

Resurrection Kings: Resurrection Kings

Resurrection Kings are a vehicle for former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy, with the excellent Chas West on vocals. The biography tells us to “think Whitesnake’s 1987 crossed with Dream Evil by Dio and a touch of classic Zeppelin and Rainbow”. Which is ridiculously OTT, but it provides a basic flavour of Goldy’s intentions. (610)

Nordic Union: Nordic Union

Nordic Union are a new alliance between Erik Mårtensson of Eclipse, W.E.T. and Ammunition, and Pretty Maids frontman Ronnie Atkins. Walking the fine line between hard rock and melodic heavy metal, this extremely strong debut album borrows from the pair’s respective styles. (810)

Classic Rock 221: New Albums

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.