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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Cooper Inc - 2009 Pulling The Trigger
Cooper Inc - 2009 Pulling The Trigger

ARTIST: Cooper Inc
ALBUM: Pulling The Trigger
LABEL: Christones Music
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: John Cuijpers - vocals * Christian Tolle - guitars * Matthias Rethmann - bass * Hans in't Zandt - drums
Michael Voss - backing vocals, keyboards * Doug Aldrich, Vinny Burns - lead guitar solo

TRACK LISTING: 01 All Of You * 02 Never Let You Go * 03 Rain * 04 Deja-Vu * 05 Weep * 06 Pulling The Trigger * 07 Who Gives You The Right * 08 On The Cover * 09 Rock My World * 10 Who Is The One * 11 Let Me Out * 12 Voices Within



Sort of coming out of left field is this two parts Dutch - two parts German combo called Cooper Inc. I say left field because this lot snuck up on a lot of people, using the power of MySpace and Point Music Distribution to get their new CD 'Pulling The Trigger' out to the public. The reality is quite a lot different to my perception, as Cooper Inc have actually been around the scene for a couple of years now.. 2004 in fact. Cuijpers (Ayreon and in't Zandt (Vengeance, Mad Max) put the band together and released a 5 track demo in a short space of time. Meanwhile, over the border in Germany, guitarist Christian Tolle (well known to guitar tech-heads and members) was looking for a new singer to record on his second solo album. Up stepped Cuijpers. The musical bond between these two was so strong, resulting in Tolle joining Cooper Inc. After supporting Toto throughout Europe, the band enlisted Michael Voss to help out with the production of the debut Cooper Inc CD. Joining the band was German bassist Matthias Rethmann, known to Voss through his involvement with the band Silver. As a result, 'Pulling the Trigger' is a highly entertaining bout of hard rock - with loads of energy, interesting arrangements

The Songs
The Michael Voss involvement is quite telling on this record. You can hear traces of his previous work filtering through the mix, whether it be Casanova, Demon Drive or Silver.. Less so Mad Max. The jangly lines of 'All Of You' lean toward a modern hard rock sound, something like Alfonzetti achieved with their material. The piano and synth work behind the scenes are subtle but apparent on 'Never let You Go', though the song punches out as it progresses forward. The chorus has Voss written all over it! Harder edged, 'Rain' shifts through different phases, but it is a modern rocker for the most part. 'Deja-Vu' is also quite a fiery track, with an 80's guitar riff while Cuijpers sings with a Coverdale tone. 'Weep' is the most different song here, though not as Beatles oriented as some other reviews suggest. In reality, the Fab Four never sounded like this. Perhaps a better comparison might be Jellyfish. Big riffs are the order of the day on the title track, plus the gang-chant choruses fill this one out. Cuijpers dominates on 'Who Gives You The Right', giving another Coverdale like vocal performance. This guy can sing the pages off the Phone Book. He's that good! 'On the Cover' is a strutty kind of track, it's followed by the riff fest that is 'Rock My World' - this one contains organ, plus some interesting sound effects. Some modern keys introduce 'Who Is The One', this one comes across a lot like one of Tommy Denander's projects, a smoother track altogether. Apart from what sounds like a barking dog at the start of 'Let Me Out', this track has a mournful aspect to it, perhaps it's a psychological reference to being trapped, both physically and mentally, as you hear references to 'voices in the head' within the lyrics. The concluding 'Voices Within' may be a continuation of 'Let Me Out', again, there are moments which are soft and gentle before breaking out in a parade of rocking guitars and bullish vocals.

In Summary
There is certainly a load of talent within this band, Cuijpers and Tolle in particular are world class. I wouldn't say the music here is of a similar level, as mentioned, it's quite entertaining, and only time will tell where the music will eventually take this band. I'd like to see them try new styles (west coast, prog) as I believe this lot are good enough to give it a go. Check them out, see what you think.

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