banner ad
banner ad
banner ad


| 11 July 2020 | Reply

Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l.

Release Date: June 12, 2020

Rating: 91%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Music is all inclusive and universal – the debut from Finnish rockers Smackbound is proof positive of this.  The ten track release is full of rock with hints of punk and a lot of attitude.  Disc opener “Wall Of Silence” comes at you at breakneck speed and attitude that reeks of punk rock with hard rock undertones, but the song shifts and becomes a solid rocker that features soaring vocals, searing guitar leads, and a great cadence and foundation from the rhythm section.  “Drive It Like You Stole It” is one of the most contagious rockers on the disc.  Rolf Pilve’s drumming is monster and the swirl of keyboards and guitars in the mix is a perfect landscape for Netta Laurenne’s vocals.  Her grasp of her range and ability to shift from clean vocals to a gravely rock voice help this track stand out.  Be sure to check out the guitar solo on the bridge.  “Run” features a little more production and keyboard in the mix, but it suits the groove of the track and adds depth to the songs structure.  The vocals on the chorus are thick and build throughout the track.  “Those Who Burn” has some cool orchestration to open the track and soon the rhythm section takes over with a thick bottom end and heavy cadence that set the table for this musical feast, that features some blistering guitar leads and riffs from Teemu Mäntysaari as well as a vocal that is as beautiful as it is pissed off.  Sectioned off with “The Game” and “Hey Motherfuckers,” this is an amazing 1-2-3 punch of rock and roll.  “Troublemaker” comes flying at you from the first note and doesn’t let up for one second.  The rhythm sections punk vibe in this track is perfectly balanced by the rock vocals and guitars and equalized by the keyboards in the mix.

“Close To Sober” slows the pace set by the opening tracks, but only through the verse.  Once the chorus hits and the bands joins the fray, we get another solid rocker that keeps in line with the rest of the disc.  The tempo of the chorus has a classic vibe that gets the foot tapping and head slightly banging along to the rhythm.  “The Game” is a different track sonically, as it has more of a mainstream rock vibe woven into the track, even with a softer sound from the intro and through the verse.  Laurenne’s vocals really shine on this track, as does the keyboard work from Vili Itäpelto.  This song resonates with me each time I listen through; I pick up some nuances and sounds that remind me of another favorite band of mine, Within Temptation.  “Hey Motherfuckers” isn’t as heavy or cliche as the title comes across.  The tribal rhythm of the drums underneath Tuomas Yli-Jaskari’s thumping bass lines provide a foundation and an anchor to keep the track from running away with itself.  The key change after the bridge is a nice touch that lifts this song.  “Date With The Devil” is a track that hits me differently each time I listen through.  The guitar work is great, the drumming is solid, and the vocals are exactly what we have come to expect from Netta after listening to the rest of the disc, but the combination of the parts sounds different to me for some reason; I hear more of a symphonic vibe in the track that differentiates it slightly from the rest of the disc.  Disc closer “Wind And Water” slows things a bit, but takes us out with a wall of sound track that has an epic groove to it.  The shift in tempo and intensity keeps the ebb and flow of the track in check and gives the band a new musical weapon in its sonic arsenal.  I cannot wait to see what the band does next, including a hopeful US tour at some point!

Tracklisting: Wall Of Silence – Drive It Like You Stole It – Close To Sober – Run – The Game – Those Who Burn – Hey Motherfuckers – Troublemaker – Date With The Devil – Wind And Water

Lineup: Netta Laurenne (vocals) – Teemu Mäntysaari (guitars) – Rolf Pilve (drums) – Vili Itäpelto (keyboards) – Tuomas Yli-Jaskari (bass)




20/20 – ITUNES

Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad