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Articles Home » 2006 Articles » Pretty Maids - 2006 Wake Up To The Real World
Pretty Maids - 2006 Wake Up To The Real World

ARTIST: Pretty Maids
ALBUM: Wake Up To The Real World
LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2006


LINEUP: Ronnie Atkins - vocals * Ken Hammer - guitars * Ken Jackson - bass * Allan Tsichaja - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Wake Up To The Real World * 02 All In The Name Of Love * 03 I Am The End * 04 As Guilty As You Are * 05 Why Die For A Lie * 06 Such A Rush * 07 Where Beauty Lies * 08 Brave Young Breed * 09 Terminal Violence * 10 Perfect Strangers * 11 Another Shot Of Your Love



This Danish outfit have always struck the right chord with me. Whether it be their 1984 'Red Hot And Heavy' effort or their fantastic 1987 breakthrough album 'Future World', Pretty Maids have remained a permanent fixture on the melodic hard rock landscape for near on twenty five years. The band are not as one-dimensional as many would think with a few 'change-up' moments throughout their career, like the 'In Santas Claws' EP or the mainly acoustic 'Stripped' CD. The band even hit radio with their great hit single 'Please Don't Leave Me (This Way)'. Struggling through the 90's and beyond, the band have still managed to remain viable, with main duo Ronnie Atkins and Ken Hammer still at the helm. Studio wise, the band were last sighted four years ago with 'Planet Panic'. Now in 2006, they return with a new label, and new drummer (Allan Tsichaja from fellow Danes Royal Hunt). The music is not prime-time 80's era Pretty Maids. There is a modern vibe but nothing as blatant as some other bands out there who want to erase their 80's history and chart a new course through the 21st century.. (Europe.. are you listening?).

The Songs
The title track 'Wake Up To The Real World' gives you a good indication of their 2006 style. Great riffs from Hammer and some edgy but melodic choruses. Typical chugga-chugga guitar riffs are a commonality with the PM boys, and it ain't any different with 'All In The Name Of Love'. Something darker, sinister and bordering on prog metal is 'I Am The End', something heard previously by a ton of Euro metal outfits over the last five years. Despite the song being heavily criticised in other reviews, I kinda liked the acoustic/electric 'As Guilty As You', which comes across like a workingman's Gotthard mixed with a southern outfit like Tangier. Certainly not as bad as the Euro reviewers perceive it. Back into the fast paced mode is the Victory like 'Why Die For The Lie', a song about the deception of the war (one can assume in 2006 it is the Iraq war they're talking about). Treading an ebb/flow approach is 'Such A Rush', as a result it has difficulty deciding whether to sit in modern rock or classic rock/metal territory. The semi-ballad 'Where Beauty Lies' meanders mostly, while Atkins stays in a lower register with his vocal. This all changes on 'Brave Young Breed', the accelerator is suddenly devoid of gravity and the PM boyz power into with all the gusto that a outfit like B.I.S.S can deliver. Equally aggressive is 'Terminal Violence' (aptly named I reckon), but the closing track 'Another Shot Of Your Love' steers toward a glossy AOR path. Why it took them till the last track is bemusing. Not to be outdone, a cover of Deep Purple's 'Perfect Strangers' is given a run through the mill. Admirable yes, but I think they should've covered something a bit simpler - not that they made a hash of it, but admittedly it's not the easiest song to cover.

In Summary
After a break of four years, Pretty Maids prove that they are still a valid proposition. Admittedly they are far removed from their glory days material of 'Future World', but at least they are true to the genre they represent without having to undergo a 21st century makeover. So congrats to them of other bands like them (Saxon, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.. all take a bow please..). There are many likeable tracks here, and unlike many of the reviews I've read thus far, this ain't no write-off. Let's hope they can squeeze a few more albums and tours in before they call 'time'.

Related Articles
Pretty Maids - 1987 Future World
Pretty Maids - 1990 Jump The Gun (Lethal Heroes)
Pretty Maids - 1997 Spooked
Pretty Maids - 2002 Planet Panic
Pretty Maids - 2006 Wake Up To The Real World
Pretty Maids - 2010 Pandemonium
Pretty Maids - 2013 Motherland

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