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On disc: Street Legal



Thunderdome - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Bite The Bullet - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


www.streetlegal.no







Bite The Bullet

Bite The Bullet
(Frontiers - 2009)


In April 2000 I've been to Landgraaf (Netherlands) to see Dare live and at that tour they has Street Legal as their openers. The Norwegians were quite good and afterwards I listened a lot to Thunderdome. Since then I haven't heard from them... So it was a nice surprise to see that they are back with a new album called Bite The Bullet. For the album Bjørn and Øystein Boge got a helping hand by guitarists Tore Østby and Rolf Bjørseth.
The opener Loading Up shows that Street Legal are sticking to their roots. The up-tempo rocker is a catchy classic rock tune with great guitars. With the following Somebody Up There Likes Me they offer a balladesque rocker with a slightly modern sound. A stadium rocker you might expect from Bryan Adams... After a few spins this one haunts you! They speed up again for Unconditional Love which has a Thin Lizzy touch - not just because of Bjørn Boge's vocals! With Warriors Of Gengis Khan they leave the classic rock behind and present a heavy metal tune with crunchy riffs and a catchy chorus. A bit like the early 80's NWoBHM stuff... I think this one might scare off some AOR fans who enjoyed the first 3 tracks, coz this shows them quite heavy. With Shadow In My Heart they are back to bluesy hard rock in the vein of early Whitesnake. A beautiful ballad with a symphonic touch. Very cool! Another heavy metal track is Bite The Bullet. Another rocker, but not as heavy as the title track is Starship Trooper, even if there are heavy riffs... Trapped is kicking off very heavy, but they ease off a bit and the Thin Lizzy vibe is back. At The Battle Of Kringen Street Legal present a heavy rocker with a progressive edge and a slightly epic touch. The instrumental sticks out a bit due to the more progressive sounds, usually I'm not a big fan of instrumental music, but here I don't miss the vocals. A real surprise is the Michael Sembello tune Maniac which most will know from the Flashdance soundtrack... I once heard Michael Sembello play this one live - while he was on tour with Jennifer Batten - and this is very close to Sembello's version. I like the heavy version of this 80's pop tune, but I confess, I always liked the tune. The closer is called Silent Tear, a tune which starts slowly and then becomes a melodic heavy rocker. But then an semi-acoustic passage and emotional vocals - and they return to the heavy rock with crunchy riffs - and back. A cool track which combines the heaviness and the melodies. A catchy tune which slowly sneaks into your head - and stays.
Well, the classic rock stuff is pretty cool, and I like the heavy rockers, too. But the album lacks homogeneity... Personally I don't have a problem with the different sides of Street Legal and I can enjoy both, but some classic rock fans won't welcome the heavy ones while heavy metal fans might find the soft side of Street Legal too mellow... Street Legal is walking on the razor's edge and only time will tell, if it works out. I think the heavy tunes show the band like they are live - at least what I remember - and I guess that live the balladesque ones will have a heavy edge... And then homogeneity is back. Check them out and make up your mind!


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Thunderdome

Thunderdome
(Street Legal DA - 2000)


I first heard of the band at the AOR mailing list, then I heard that they will support Dare in Benelux. So I was curious about them. The trio soon made sure that they are following the tradition of Thin Lizzy, Blue Murder and Whitesnake (before they became more and more pop)! Thunderdome is their first release, but they are no newcomers! Everyone was part of the Norwegian metal scene in the past and with this album they proof that melodic metal, hard rock or whatever you wanna call it, is still alive! The Thunderdome comes to you with a real fat sound! You expect a big-name-producer? Wrong! This is done by the band! I can't recommend a track, no way! Btw, listening to this album will make you addicted to the drug Street Legal!!!


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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