Melodic Round-up: March 2015

Dave Ling on new releases from Sweet & Lynch, Ammunition, Impera, Zero Zero and Care Of Night

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Sweet & Lynch: Only To Rise

The birth of Sweet & Lynch represents something of a dream team for disciples of melodic hard rock. While so many of his peers have deteriorated with age, Michael Sweet of Stryper and Boston fame retains a signature voice that’s immediately recognisable. Still sounding strong, clear and rich, he represents the perfect uplifting foil for George Lynch, the guitarist with a glittering catalogue of work that includes Dokken, Lynch Mob, T&N and, most recently, a somewhat unlikely King’s X/Korn collaboration, KXM. Bolstered by a gritty and propulsive rhythm section – bassist James Lomenzo (ex-Megadeth, White Lion, David Lee Roth and Ozzy Osbourne) and sometime Whitesnake drummer Brian Tichy – Sweet & Lynch have crafted an album of groove, integrity and no little hummability. Eschewing Stryper’s religious fixation, tunes like Hero-Zero are more inspired by everyday life. September is a fine song, along with Dying Rose, Me Without You and the YouTube track The Wish. If you’re a fan of these two guys, you’ll probably dig them in cahoots. (810)/o:p

Ammunition: Shanghaied

Åge Sten Nilsen, also known as Glam, the former mouthpiece of Norwegian veterans Wig Wam, has bounced back quickly following that band splitting up last year. Ammunition come on like a runaway freight train, though with Erik Mårtensson (of Eclipse/W.E.T. fame) assisting as a writer, guitarist and producer, the results are instant and rarely less than memorable. (810)

Impera: Empire Of Sin

Impera were formed by a drummer who dreamt of a band that “sounded like a cross between Kiss, Whitesnake and Van Halen”, and the band drew rave reviews for their album Legacy Of Life, which was released in 2012. With vocalist Matti Alfonzetti on board for this successor right from the beginning, the Swedes have once again delivered the goods. (810)

Zero Zero: Heroes Live Forever

A band with connections to Strangeways, The Almighty and (tentatively) AC/DC, glasgow’s Zero Zero were commonly fêted during the 1980s but somehow they never quite made it. Newly exhumed from that era, these 11 songs remind us that Stevie Doherty was one heck of a singer, and they constitute a very listenable curio. (710)

Care Of Night: Connected

It may have taken these guys more than a year to capitalise upon their well-received self-titled four-song EP, but their blend of great musicianship, excellent vocals from Calle Schönberg and an exuberant collection of typically Scandinavian-sounding tunes ensure that connected is a full-length debut album of which care of night can be justifiably proud. (710)/o:p