Swedish outfit The Poodles is back with their 5th studio album which is called Tour de Force. They kick off with riff-based rocker Misery Loves Company, a catchy one with a metallic edge. With Shut Up! they change direction a bit, but it's an ear catcher with a sleazy note. The first time they slow down is a song called Leaving The Past To Pass, but I think an acoustic version would have been even stronger...
As usual all songs are solid, but not every one is a winner. Some songs will work live much better than on disk... But Godspeed isn't among them, this one offers everything you look for in a Poodles tune. A symphonic tune with tempi changes is Now Is The Time, one of the highlights for me.
The physical copy has a bonus track called En För Alla För En, and to be honest it like the Swedish tune a lot! Perhaps because it sounds a bit exotic due to the Swedish lyrics, but I think live this one will rock and so I hope they play it outside Sweden, too.
Fans of the Swedish band won't regret getting a copy of Tour De Force, coz the guys stick to their guns and once again deliver a good album.
The Poodles are back with Performocracy, their 4th studio album. The album is produced by Mats Valentin and mixed by Tobias Lindell. The title is combining the words 'performance' and 'democracy'.
They kick off with I Want It All, a catchy rocker with a dash of glam metal and spiced up with a light Oriental touch. For Until Our Kingdom Falls they speed up a bit, a melodic metal tune which gets ennobled by Jakob Samuel's voice. Father To A Son is a heavy, riff-based rocker - but lyrically it shows them more mature... reflective. Time for guitarist Henrik Bergqvist to show off his skills, even if only for a short solo part. The opening of I Believe In You reminds me a bit of Bon Jovi... And is a very heavy, modern riff-based rocker with slowed down passages. A sonic roller coaster ride.
A piano leads you into Cuts Like A Knife, but then they head into a melodic rocker with slow piano-based passages. Somehow this one sounds familiar... Anyway, you can check out this one yourself, coz they did a video for Cuts Like A Knife.
With As Time Is Passing they deliver a ballad with a symphonic touch and powerful vocals. Nice but somehow they can't touch me... Love Is All starts with excerpts from a speech of Martin Luther King - 'I've Been To The Mountaintop' speech which he held a day before his assassination - and becomes a modern rocker with a U2-ish vibe and a memorable vocal line. Touching! For me one of the highlights of Performocracy!
After this remarkable tune Your Time Is Now is a bit shallow and the slow passage isn't making it any better. The following track Action! I wouldn't have missed at all - make me think of Poison... -, luckily some stronger songs should follow. Bring Back The Night sounds familiar once again. It's on the tip of my tongue... Pretty cool is Vampire's Call, would have made a good video... The closer is Into The Quite Night, a catchy mid-paced rocker. Performocracy has some highlights as well as some average tunes, at the end of the day it's an entertaining piece of music which fans of The Poodles should well come.
The Swedish band The Poodles has just signed a deal with Frontiers Records and as they are best live on stage, band and label decided to first release a live album / DVD before presenting another studio album. No Quarter is the title of the live album, the DVD is called In The Flesh.
As on the live show I saw they kick off with the power ballad Too Much Of Everything, not every band would choose such a track as an opener. Anyway, with Caroline and Seven Seas they revive the concert memories - if you saw them live. If you haven't experienced a live show yet, then this live album will make sure you won't miss them next time around. The awesome foursome keep the party alive with Metal Will Stand Tall and other infectious rockers. One Out Of Ten is one of the highlights, the Queen-ish balladesque track is enchanting and live even more touching - thanks to Jakob Samuel's performance. After Lullaby For Jimmy you'll get Christian Lundqvist's drum solo which usually is used to change the outfit, but I could have done without it on the album. On DVD it's a different story. They continue with Echoes From The Past and Thunderball. I Rule The Night is always one of the highlights - and the place is on fire. At Night Of Passion the audience is loudly singing along - and one is tempted to join in. Two more songs and it's over. Too soon.
The live album / DVD is a good way to bypass the time til they are back on the road with their next studio album. A must-have for Poodles fans - and highly recommended to fans of glam metal in general. Fans of powerful hard rock who likes to party, get a copy!
Too Much Of Everything
Metal Will Stand Tall
Like No Tomorrow
One Out Of Ten
Lullaby For Jimmy
Echoes From The Past
I Rule The Night
Night Of Passion
Flesh & Blood
Line Of Fire
This is the 3rd album of the Swedish band The Poodles and in the 80's it was the 3rd album which means you make it or break it... So let's see what Clash Of The Elements has to offer!
The start slowly and with piano they head into the album with Too Much Of Everything. Later they add some power and a bombastic edge to it. A mid-paced tune with a catchy chorus and some orchestration... For Caroline they speed up a bit and offer a rock tune... An ear catcher. Somehow this one reminds me of some late 80's tune... The semi-ballad One Out Of Ten could have been a Trixter song, just the string arrangement wouldn't match the Americans sound.... The majority of songs is mid-paced or balladesque and always full of harmonies and catchy melodies. Quite heavy is Sweet Enemy, an emotional song driven by heavy riffs. 7 Days & 7 Nights starts with an old sounding intro... incl. the crackling sound of old vinyl, but then the song explodes into a retro rocker... A dash of Whitesnake can be found, but there are other elements... Heavy riffs dominate Pilot Of The Storm, a happy chorus after some moody opening part. Actually the darker sound was pretty cool... The keyboard melody is a bit annoying and I would wish they would allow the song the have an overall dark atmosphere... Next in line a balladesque tune with acoustic guitar and emotional vocals - Can't Let You Go. Later the song becomes a typical power ballad - and again the mighty backings. Am I back in the early 90's? A heavy rocker would be nice, but even Dream To Follow isn't going the full distance... They stick to mid-tempo and the keyboard takes off the edge of the heavy riffing. Spoken words which sound like being taken from a movie kick off the closer Wings Of Destiny, another balladesque tune. Bombastic with string arrangements and the typical late 80's / early 90's backings.
I think the fans of the Swedish will be satisfied with this album, coz The Poodles haven't changed much. The songs are on a high level, but personally I miss variety, some faster tunes... Some raw rocker.... Too many happy refrains for me. Anyway, a quite good album!