ARTIST: H.E.A.T (Sweden)
ALBUM: Address The Nation
LABEL: Ear Music
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Eric Grönvall - vocals * Dave Dalone - guitars * Eric Rivers - guitars * Jona Tee - keyboards * Jimmy Jay - bass * Crash - drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Breaking The Silence * 02 Living On The Run * 03 Falling Down * 04 The One And Only * 05 Better Off Alone * 06 In And Out Of Trouble * 07 Need Her * 08 Heartbreaker * 09 It's All About Tonight * 10 Downtown
Always a favourite here at GLORYDAZE, Sweden's H.E.A.T just seem to be getting better and better since their bigtime arrival on the scene in 2008. We've reviewed all of their albums to date, and we weren't going to let 2012 slide by without casting our eyes and ears over their latest effort 'Address The Nation'. Of course, we all recall the departure of former singer Kenny Leckremo around about the time of their second full release 'Freedom Rock', and wondered how the band would survive beyond his exit. Well they have, the talented Erik Grönwall who came to prominence during the 2009 series of Swedish Idol signed on as the new vocalist in 2010, and gave the Firefest audience their first impression during that year's festival. It's taken two years for the band to deliver this new album but the wait has been worth it. At the time, I thought 'Freedom Rock' was a bit of a let-down when compared to their debut, but thankfully 'Address The Nation' returns the band to the 'most favoured status' category, where they rightfully belong. Sure, the knives came out after 'Freedom Rock' with many declaring them as pretenders, and quite rightfully so. But considering where many of the 80's melodic rockers from Sweden are now (non-existent, or barking up the wrong tree.. Europe
.. are you reading this?), I think the pretenders tag can be thrown away. Only a handful of bands are playing this style now, and H.E.A.T just happen to be at the top of the pile for mine..
It's a big boisterous opening on 'Breaking The Silence', Aces High
like riffarama and coupled with that massive wall of stacked vocal shout-outs, it makes for an impressive introduction. Air keyboardists get ready for the dynamic 'Living On The Run', an AOR anthem for the masses. Very cool. 'Falling Down' is another that gets my vote of confidence, a rockin' tune with commercial leanings. The band take the foot off the pedal for the captivating ballad 'The One And Only' which must surely be aimed at radio such is its appeal. It's back to the H.E.A.T-land with 'Better Off Alone', containing the (by now) trademark H.E.A.T sound and style. The keyboard solo from Jona Tee is pretty cool too. Now for something completely different, the band introduce the saxophone as the co-lead instrument for the impressive 'In And Out Of Trouble'. Now before you start condemning this, take a listen and see how they've integrated the sax within the song. It works really well, and the dual lead guitar and sax interplay is fantastic. The song is one of my favourites on the disc. It's followed by the equally cool 'Need Her', which sees H.E.A.T revert to a style that is the Stage Dolls
template. A simply structured song but delivered with finesse. 'Heartbreaker' with its big vocal chants heads into the arena a la Eurovision, it has too much of a generic flavour. 'It's All About Tonight' has a great bluesy rock vibe sort of like Tora Tora
and a whole bunch of bands from that late 80's/early 90's era. The best track is left till last.. 'Downtown' is an atmospheric number with lots of keyboard work providing the dark backdrop. It's anthemic too, the chorus particularly appealing.
The good thing with 'Address The Nation' is that the album is not over-extended. Just ten tracks delivered sharp and crisp. Like a pizza delivery man who turns up on time with the required product cooked to perfection. It's inevitable that the band will still carry detractors with them wherever they go. You can't please everyone. However, I believe this album goes a long way to rectifying the misgivings of those 2010 releases. It might be touch shy of being the album of the year (as stated by Rock Report.be), but it'll still rank highly by the time the end of the year ratings are made. Buy with confidence.
Related ArticlesH.E.A.T (Sweden) - 2008 H.E.A.TH.E.A.T (Sweden) - 2010 Beg, Beg, Beg [ep]H.E.A.T (Sweden) - 2010 Freedom RockH.E.A.T (Sweden) - 2012 Address The Nation
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