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Emergency (Holland) - 1988 Martial Law



ARTIST: Emergency (Holland)
ALBUM: Martial Law
LABEL: Ariola Benelux
SERIAL: 209.771 (LP), 259.771 (CD)
YEAR: 1988

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Pete Lovell - vocals * Frans Limonard - guitars, vocals * Coen Van Hoof - keyboards * Jos Antonissen - bass * Hedwig Spijkers - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hiding In The Shadow * 02 All Runnin' Wild * 03 Reaching Out * 04 Please Say Please Me * 05 Maybe It's Love * 06 Across The Desert Sands * 07 Running Out Of Miracles * 08 Upside Down * 09 Just One Precious Moment * 10 Dangerous


Background
Just recently, we reviewed the band Emergency and their album 'Boys Will Be Boys'. That particular outfit was Swiss, this lot were based in Holland and happen to share the same name. As it happens, they also share the same genre of music. And that is: full-on, bombastic guitar/keyboard based melodic rock. Production chores were handled by the very able Erwin Musper (credits include Paul Laine, Scorpions, Danger Danger, Craaft, Zinatra), so he knows a thing or two about handling keyboard oriented bands and how to bring the best out of them. To these ears at least, Emergency sound like a cross between Swedish melodic rockers Dalton and Dutch pomp favourites 1st Avenue. The band weren't solely Dutch by make-up however. Singer Pete Lovell is British, and has some singing credits with Dutch band Picture, while keyboardist Coen Van Hoof came from south of the border; out of Belgium. Limonard had also done some work with the bands Helloise and Rancid. There is a uniqueness to their sound, in particular the awesome drum work of Hedwig Spijkers, who is unique in the same way that Jos Zoomer was for Vandenberg, and the dexterous keyboard work supplied by Van Hoof. What is it about keyboardists out of Holland?


The Songs
There are plenty of excellent songs to get excited about. The band set it up initially with the pomp blast that becomes 'Hiding In The Shadow'. An easily memorable effort with a recognisable chorus. 'All Runnin' Wild' is to this album what 'Cherokee' was to Europe's 'The Final Countdown'. You can easily hear the Natrive Indian tribute in the chorus: 'cherokee, blackfoot cheyenne sioux.. all runnin' wild'... 'Reaching Out' shifts back to standard melodic rock fare, followed by the power-ballad 'Please Say Please Me'. The band shift up a gear into the faster-paced 'Maybe It's Love'. The sharp incisive keyboard bursts adding the colour. The second half of the album continues on with no let-up. 'Across The Desert Sands' takes on an epic flavour, the imagery of Egypt and the Pyramids hard not to avoid. They then tip the album on its head with the fantastic pairing of 'Running Out Of Miracles' and 'Upside Down'. Both strong keyboard dominated rockers, the musicianship working real well within the band. 'Just One Precious Moment' is another power ballad where things ease up a bit, but thankfully it's only fleeting as the album closer 'Dangerous' finishes things off with the right intention. a sonic blast rather than a whimper! Dangerous indeed..


In Summary
So, if Dutch pomp a la Zinatra, 1st Avenue and Wild Ride are your cup of tea, then add this version of Emergency to your wants list. It is a much sought after album now, so if you grab a copy I'm sure your collection will be better off. Not so sure about your credit card though..


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