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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Poodles - Performocracy album review

The Poodles - Performocracy album review
Released on: Frontiers records. Release date: Available now.
Performocracy, is Swedish band The Poodles fourth studio album but fifth album overall, when you include last years excellent ‘No Quarter’ live release. I must also add that last years DVD, ‘In The Flesh’ is very much worth getting hold of. There’s some great fun stuff on that too, good interview material and their impressive live performance as well.

The current band line up features the rather talented Jakob Samuel on Vocals, Christian Lundqvist (Drums), Pontus Egberg on Bass and newest member Henrik Bergqvist on Guitars, rounding things off.

The band have been around since late 2005, starting originally with guitarist Pontus Norgren (Great King Rat, Hammerfall, Talisman), who departed the band around 2007.
They at times bring to mind for me, The Scorpions meets Europe in the latters current harder / edgy rocking style.

The album opens with ‘I Want It All,’ a track that is true to the bands style of hard rocking, with fantastic big hook lines and it does no wrong in my book, a great start!

‘Until Our Kingdom Falls’ next is once more filled with great melodies, hard rock and a stunning big sound.

With ‘Father To A Son’ it just continues on the same path with strong, passionate lead vocals from Jakob Samuel and then a huge big chorus, with a nice guitar harmony line in support and then an absolutely stunning guitar solo.

If you like a more metal edge sound, then next track ‘I Believe in You’ more than provides that from the opening riffs and heavy dark verses and then the pre-chorus and chorus itself throws in the big melodies that this band masters so well.

One of the things that is apparent, is the bands very clever splattering of keyboards throughout and on ‘Cuts Like A Knife’ it’s very obvious with helping the texture of the song, even with some still dark and heavy moments.
Once more, what a huge chorus they muster up. Great stuff, hard rock and metal with such superb melody interwoven!

The excellent big old power ballad that is ‘As Time Is Passing,’ is next and this is simply stunning.
What else can I tell you?!

OK, this isn’t meant as any dig at the band, but ‘Love Is All’ next really makes me think of U2 … Quite a laid back and atmospheric track. Possibly the least ‘jump out at you’ type track here, but still it’s well done.

Back to the mid to up tempo rocking of ‘Your Time Is Now’ which starts hard, then eases back and then of course pick up in the pre-chorus and chorus, before hitting the ballad like bridge that leads into a big old raw guitar solo. A multi-layered track indeed!

‘Action’ next starts quietly, building with keyboards, then guitars and drums and it at times borders on prog metal, which the album tends to do a lot its latter half.

With ‘Bring Back The Night’ it starts simply with just Jakob’s vocal and then it grows into another good track, plenty of musical muscle here.

‘Vampire’s Call’ starts with an almost tribal drum beat and then the track grows into a steady rocker.

I love the intro to ‘Into the Quiet Night,’ clever atmospherics before getting into the track proper and it’s pretty much ballad style except for the chorus where it picks up some. It’s kind of power ballad territory, although the chorus is perhaps a little heavy to be a true power ballad.

‘Don’t Tell Me,’ which is the last track here – Identified as a bonus. – starts eerily before kicking in with darkly laden riffs and then picking up some more in the pre-chorus and then the full chorus, before getting quite dark again.

I do really like the album, but I will say that the first half seems very much stronger than the latter, which almost seems a little experimental musically at times and although it’s still good, it seems to lose a lot of the hook lines early on, that are simply …, GREAT!
All that said, it really does warrant the rating I’m giving here. If the latter half had continued as the first, this could’ve possibly been my album of the year. Still it’s great stuff from a very talented band. Would love to see them live!

Rating: 4 out of 5

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