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Melodic Rock Round-up - August 2016

Dave Ling on the latest releases from Kissin’ Dynamite, Dare, Q5, Featherstone and Paris

Kissin’ Dynamite - Generation Goodbye

Unafraid of guyliner but, judging by their coiffure, terrified of hairdressers, Kissin’ Dynamite are 20-somethings from Tübingen, a student-dominated town in Germany. They like to call their music “modern hard rock”, and its tight, punchy fizziness certainly complements the group’s flamboyant mode of attire.

Generation Goodbye is KD’s fifth album, and while it’s almost certainly not conceptually based its first video correlates neatly with the title. Hashtag Your Life, with a promo featuring fans gazing at their iPhone screens, oblivious to the band performing on stage, swipes at the inanity and downright rudeness of modern living. Beginning with a drum-and-vocal clarion call modelled on Bon Jovi’s Lay Your Hands On Me, it’s obvious from the off that Kissin’ Dynamite don’t offer anything new, and yet it’s hard not to be swept away by their youthful enthusiasm. Hannes Braun has a strong voice, and song-wise there’s plenty to admire, from the full-throttle Somebody To Hate to the mid-paced If Clocks Are Running Backwards. (810)

Dare - Sacred Ground

Hopes were high that the return to Dare of co-founder Vinny Burns might inspire a return to the classic-sounding AOR of the band’s 1988 debut, Out Of The Silence. And, sure enough, the guitar enjoys more of a presence on new album Sacred Ground, although for the most part the songs follow the windswept, Celtic style of Dare’s latter-day records. (610)

Q5 - New World Order

Seattle’s Q5 released two cult albums during the 1980s yet ultimately fizzled out. Guitarist Floyd Rose (inventor of the guitar tremolo device that bears his name) sat out this reunion, and when he hears this record he will surely be thankful he did. The cod-metal of tracks such as We Came Here To Rock and Tear Up The Night is as lumpen and uninspiring as their titles suggest. (410)

Featherstone - Northern Rumble

After spending time in Gypsy Rose, Last Autumn’s Dream, White Wolf and Bangalore Choir, among others, Rikard Quist was looking for independence. And thus Featherstone were born. The Swede played most of the instruments, sang and acted as producer on this debut record, but it’s no mere vanity project; the good-time simplicity of Northern Rumble is contagious. (610)

Paris - The World Outside

An Anglo-French alliance, Frédéric Dechavanne and Sébastien Montet, aka Paris, are produced by Newman’s Steve Newman. This their second album was made with the Newman band’s rhythm section. The likes of When You Find Love and This Broken Heart are undeniably competent and harmonious but too safe and predictable. (510)