Martina Edoff: Unity
“I’m a rock chick – guilty as charged,” Martina Edoff said, laughing, to Classic Rock’s AOR magazine last summer as she finally broke away from a career as a pop backing singer to pursue her one true love – melodic hard rock.
Edoff’s self-titled, independently released debut was well received, critics drawing comparisons to Shania Twain and the glossy MTV-era of the singer’s beloved Heart. However, the leap from that album to its successor is pretty spectacular.
Edoff is now backed by hard-rockers and fellow Swedes H.e.a.t, whose keyboard player Jona Tee also handles co-production, in cahoots with Tobias Lindell of Europe/Crashdïet fame. Along with Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse/W.E.T.), Ammunition’s Åge Sten Nilsen and Matti Alfonzetti of Skintrade, various H.e.a.t alumni also contribute with Edoff to the writing process. Unsurprisingly, the results are imbedded with class. From the hook-laden Never Let You Down and World Has Gone Mad to Spirit Of Light and The Moment Of Truth, this is the unmistakable sound of a singer raising her game. (8⁄10)
As leader Marq Torien confirms elsewhere this issue, BulletBoys are no longer a hair-metal act. Elefanté, the Los Angeles group’s first set of original tunes since 2009, is a diverse, thrill-a-minute collection that does them immense credit, and even at the ripe old age of 54, Torien still packs the pipes to do this album’s quality material justice. (8⁄10)
Corvus: *Chasing Miracles*
Those that favour their AOR as mama nature intended, straight outta the 1980s, should chase down the debut album from this Midlands-based quintet. Though the early stages of Chasing Miracles confirm a strong debt to Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, its second half sees Corvus carving out something a little more unique. (7⁄10)
C.O.P.: *State Of Rock*
Comprising three members of the cult Swedish favourites Grand Illusion – Christian and Peter Sundrell, and Ola af Trampe – C.O.P. fuse the slick immediacy of the Scandi scene with pure North American-sounding AOR. Peter Sundrell might have a register so high that only dogs will fully appreciate it, but the songs are excellent. (8⁄10)
Naked: *End Game*
Fronted by the estimable Peter Sundvall and with keyboard arrangements from Alien’s Tony Borg, Naked are yet another high-quality group from Sweden. End Game is not without its blemishes but the likes of Aim For The Heart, Leaving You Tonight and Love Ain’t No Game are as cool and refreshing as the Alpine snow, making this well worth checking out. (7⁄10)