Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Sonic Station Next Stop
The 23rd Of May sees the release of Sonic Station's second cd who are the project of Swedish guitarist and composer Alexander Kronbrink. Playing a near perfect blend of Toto infused AOR for the 21st century every song captures a moment in time in keeping with the current heatwave.
Every song feels upbeat and with a crystal clear mix you can hear each instrument perfectly and with the quite exquisite vocals of Johan Boding in the forefront of every song. A real star has been found. Johan takes lead on 8 songs with Marika Willstedt taking the lead on the other 3.
First single " Amelia " gets us off to a fantastic start with an uptempo catchy riff and keyboard early riff from Johnathan Fritzen with Johan showing his class from the start in a song that has Toto written all over it.
The following song " Catch Me If You Can " is a slightly different beast with a harder edge to it that leads into a song that has a stop start riff and some inspired soloing from Kronbrink that shows he can shred but also pick a solo with the best of them and always with a melodic edge to it. The extended second solo towards the end of the song is quite superb.
" Brighter Than Dark " sees the first lead vocal from Marika who impresses with her range and tone on this breezy AOR number and again Kronbrink adds guitar fills where required and another solo from the top drawer.
A huge ballad follows " Fool for Your Love " with an acoustic picked guitar riff all the way through and Johan showing his class on a song made for radio.
"Stopped Beating " has a pure Westcoast vibe and I love the backing vocals from Marika around the chorus giving the song added depth.
" Where Are You Now ? " sees Marika taking the lead on an atmospheric AOR number with another superb chorus.
" Half Of My Heart " is a more uptempo number that reminds me of Italian band Lionville, with swathes of keyboards and some hard edged riffing and a huge layered chorus that you can imagine being sang by all on a live stage.
" Broken Man " is the second ballad and the start reminds me of Toto's "Africa " with some added percussion and the long chorus leads to a crescendo. A quite beautiful song.
" Love Clash " has another great chorus with some keyboard flashes that reminds me of early FM. A jabbing guitar riff drives the song and no solo on this one.
" Last Goodbye " is the longest track on the cd at 6 minutes with Johan at the lead with Marika helping out at the chorus with some lead vocals and backing too. A very Steve Lukather picked solo leads into some vocal / guitar interplay before the song finishes with an extended guitar solo and band workout.
"Hide And Seek " ends the cd on a high with Marika delivering a vocal with passionate intensity on a melodic masterpiece and again some vocal / guitar interplay and another fine guitar solo from Kronbrink that builds to a climax.
I love cd's where every song stands alone and you could listen to it in any order and still love it.
Sonic Station have taken a huge leap forward with a cd that will be on many peoples best of lists come the end of the year.
Just when you think the genre stalls along comes a masterpiece that defines it.
Labels: Album Review