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Reckless-Love-InVader-Review-2016

RECKLESS LOVE - INVADER -Review

Spinefarm Records | Release Date: March 16 2016




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When Reckless Love released their first album back in 2010 they were a breath of fresh air – borrowing the cheesiest of Glam from the sunset strip and injecting it with a big baste of fun, pop, big choruses and real joy. They could have been the next big Rock band, I hinestly believed that.


By ‘Animal Attraction’ they still had the songs but a couple of warning bells had been triggered – production-wise the dial had hit ‘rather overproduced’ and worse than that there were a couple of numbers (‘Dance’ and ‘Dirty Dreams’) that you would only find in a Euro-Pop dance club.   When ‘Spirit’ hit in 2013 I was disappointed, more pop than rock, full of cliché, rather uninspired it offered only a few highlights and the dance revolution was in full swing.


So here we are album number four by Finland’s self-styled ‘Merry Metallers’ and the question is are we going to rock or do we get dragged kicking and screaming to that disco again?


The first question is – if you put a guitar in a pop song can it ever be a Rock song? Opening track ‘We are the Weekend’ begs that question, it’s a song very much Euro-pop in DNA, the sort of song you imagine a modern-day Roxette would play, but it does have nice guitar.
‘Hands’ on the other hand is a rocker, made to get fists pumping and the blood boiling; it’s a song which overcomes a rather plodding verse structure to soar to a huge chorus. Two songs in you find yourself cautiously thinking that this might be the album that eschews that garishly-colored disco-nonsense as the guitar wins the battle?


‘Monster’ starts off like 90’s Danish pop band Aqua and doesn’t get much better, if you like your Rock sounding like Eurovision outtakes maybe, but it’s not for me and thick with glossy production. It would be splitting hairs I guess to debate whether this is Pop dressed as Rock or the opposite but Britney Spears would have rejected this one out of hand.


‘Child of the Sun’ is a new low and reverts back to 80’s Synth-Pop- I don’t know what more you can say, I wouldn’t have listened to crap like this back in the day and had to force myself to now. It’s the sort of song you imagine a young Madonna rejecting for being too soft or nightmare 80’s pop band ‘Tight Fit’ writing. It is the most distasteful song I’ve heard this decade.


Just to take the piss ‘Bullettime’ that follows is a balls out rocker with punky overtones, sure it’s got a slicker than slick chorus but it’s what I’d like to hear Reckless Love doing more of. Sadly of course it’s only part of their armoury and actually taken in isolation it’s not the greatest song but it’s solid enough.


The great failing of Reckless Love is that the band seem to think that people who like their Rock will love their Pop, the issue I have with that is that it’s patently not true: Reckless love may see themselves as “…bringing together two completely different musical worlds, creating a fresh new sound” but my point is that the dance music they push out is overproduced, substandard and doesn’t even capture the essence of what made some 80’s pop listenable, it just recreates the gloss, and loses all spirit in intense overproduction.


‘Scandinavian Girls’ is a good case in point, synth-pop, overproduced, reasonable hook, but instantly forgettable. ‘Pretty Boy Swagger’ is a horrible mish-mash – starting out as a pop-rap before injecting some rock to the verses and a big disco chorus that is only made more confusing by the guitars. It’s like crossing an elephant with a fiat car – it makes you wonder why anyone thought it would work, and even if it had it would have been completely pointless!  


‘Rock It’ raps over a guitar riff… badly, before bursting out a sweet but far too light pop chorus. It’s awful, and has no idea what it wants to be, like a lot of the tracks here someone has taken a danceable Pop sound and thought let’s put some guitar on that!


I don’t know how I made it to track 9, but by the time ‘Destiny’ kicks in you wonder if the band are taking a perverse pleasure in doing this. The song is a decent light subtle almost Pop-Rocker that has a good groove, nice light vibe and without the overbearing disco beat just works. But it sounds like a different band entirely, one that wants to keep reeling you in before you walk away entirely. It’s one of the best songs here, but still not a patch on their first album.


A Metal riff kicks off ‘Let’s Get Cracking’ the sort of song that is completely and utterly the antithesis of a track like ‘Child of the Sun’ to the extent that you can’t imagine anyone wanting the band that made each of those songs in the same building let alone on the same stage. Sadly it’s the paucity of the Pop that came before that perhaps makes ‘Let’s Get Cracking’ sound better than it really is, it’s a decent party rocker but just a little light of a real fist-pumper. The songs should have ended just before the four minute mark though as the tagged on acoustic singalong that follows sounds contrived in the context of the rest of the album.


We close with ‘Keep It Up All Night’ a Pop-heavy Rocker high on cheese and decent enough till the Euro-Pop chorus suffocates it to the extent that even the wailing guitar and Rock verses can’t quite bring it back to life.


Reckless Love conned us all, they may make the sort of Rock music Pop-lovers imagine is ‘out there’ and ‘edgy’ but this real Rocker is walking and not coming back, I’ve done with these guys. It’s not enough to give us glimpses of Rock in a sea of mediocre pop – and you know why? Because even the rock isn’t quite up to scratch these days…

 

 

 

by Mark Rockpit

 

 


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