ALBUM: Keepers Of The Light
LABEL: Self Released
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Samuel Borén - guitar * Daniel Borén - drums * Magnus Göransson - vocals, backing vocals * Emil Jonsson - keyboards
Additional Musicians: Martin Carlsson - bass * Robin Arnell - backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Shape Up * 02 Never Surrender * 03 Wrong Direction * 04 Hold On * 05 Too Many Nights
A few years ago, we were introduced to Swedish AOR band Turbulence, courtesy of their 6 track EP from 2008. 'Walk Through Fire' was a decent affair, the band have now followed it up with another self-released EP, this time containing five new tracks. Still categorised in the Swedish Underground AOR scene, Turbulence have seen bands like Titan
move one or two steps ahead of them in the exposure and popularity stakes, but that doesn't mean they offer anything less. It's a gritty style of melodic rock smoothed over by banks of keyboards, much like some of my favourite outfits from the past including Roxus
. The latter band is a good fit considering singer Magnus Göransson delivers a constant reminder of Tony Mills
, though without the obvious experience that Mills has acquired. The keys from Emil Jonsson hover about with a noticeable presence making this sound like a product of 1989 rather than 2011!
The opening strains of 'Shape Up' has a paint-by-numbers
keyboard part which has been heard many times before, it floods the chorus on what is an OK song but not really setting the world on fire. 'Never Surrender' includes some cool passages and a great (if not adventurous) chorus, though the lyrics are kinda 80's cheese. 'Wrong Direction' is a much better effort, a tougher sound which is a better representation of their ideas. 'Hold On' despite the well-worn song title also has some good moments which could be Triumph
at a Swedish shotgun wedding! 'Too Many Nights' is the final track on this 5-tracker, it's the slowest song onboard, not exactly a ballad, more of a mid-paced melodic effort which also has a couple of good moments too.
The guitar and keyboard interplay is very strong on these songs. The overall style is very workmanlike, without a lot of flash that other bands operating in this genre have. I think for Turbulence to have any impact on what is becoming a crowded genre, they will need to build more definition within their material and to have a point of difference. I'm not advocating that they reinvent themselves, but perhaps look at what works and drop what doesn't work. The vocals from Göransson are well suited, but on a couple of occasions he gets the speed wobbles, particularly on the higher parts. Still, the overall cohesion of the band is pretty tight. It will be interesting to see where Turbulence go from here, and whether they can step up another notch. I certainly hope so.
Related ArticlesTurbulence - 2008 Walk Through FireTurbulence - 2011 Keepers Of The Light
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