LAST CALL TO PARADISE
Released 2002 (CCCP Red Records)
01. Wont You Mind Me Leavin’
02. Prince Of Prophets
03. ‘Bout A Thing Or Two
04. All I Wanna Do
05. Midnight Mission
06. No Compromise
07. Moonlight Avenue
08. Vanilla Skies
Stefan Sterta Byrstedt – vocals and guitar
Slim Tannberg – guitar and vocals
Ron Rozen Johansson – bass and vocals
Peter Trunken Forsberg – drums and vocals
G’vnor – piano (8)
Produced and arranged by Stockholm Showdown.
Despite having roots in the earliest incarnations of Princess Pang, the debut album from Stockholm Showdown is a much more mature effort. Gone is the slickly produced pop metal, exchanged in favor of a more soulful hard rock sound.
The band at times comes across as a combination of Cheap Trick and Dogs D’amour, with a dash of the London Quireboys for good measure. Vocalist Stefan Sterta Byrstedt has a gritty voice similar to that of Rod Stewart (before he started crooning lounge tunes). The music is mid-tempo hard rock, complete with killer guitar solos and a killer rhythm section, a sound that would have easily found a place on radio playlists of the early seventies. A touch of punk is added into the mix, but not enough to make the songs boring and one-dimensional. The disc kicks off with the exceptional “Wont You Mind Me Leavin'”, which is reminiscent of Cherry Street‘s “Deuces Wild”–complete with it’s laid back vocal approach and dueling guitars. Although the record never gets better then the first track, it doesn’t let the listener down either.
The bass rhythms are always rolling, and the guitar sound crisp and clean. The disc is mostly mid-tempo, but if your looking for a ballad you will have a hard time finding one, “‘Bout A Thing Or Two” coming closest. The real pleasure of the album though is the fact that even if a song doesn’t grab your attention, the catchy and sing-a-long choruses will be sure to, case in point “Moonlight Avenue.”
The lyric “I may take a chance, but I won’t sell my soul” pretty well sums up this album. The members of Stockholm Sweden have broadened their horizons without spewing forth the usual commercial drivel, choosing instead to sacrifice fame for musical integrity. Last Call To Paradise is an entertaining listen and worth the price of admission.
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