Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Hunter

Song: The Hunter
Artist: Melody Club
Album: Human Harbour

Awash in glorious synths, glam rock pomp, and a healthy dose of (un)ironic 80's cheese, Sweden's Melody Club is a band on the edge... edge of something pretty magical and Duran Duran-ian, but also on the edge of seriously goofy.  "Human Harbour" is the band's sixth full length album and was released earlier this year.  They recently participated in the Eurovision song contest, which cost them a member out of protest (Andy A.)  They competed in the fourth semi-final in February but went out when they came in 7th place.

I'm not familiar with any of their other work, but it's hard to deny the punchy Journey-esqueness of "The Hunter," the first track off the album and the one they took to Eurovision.  It's anthemic, souring, and hits all the right notes for fist-pumping down the highway.  Again, it's a little cheesy but I like it.  In a way it has a refreshing lack of pretentiousness, basking in big hooks and post-breakdown euphoria.  It's not for everybody.

"Dreamer's Wasteland" brings back the child's choir to emphasize the hooks and recalls Europe a bit somehow.  Things downshift mildly for the mid tempo "Sweet Disaster," which marries some sublime acoustic and electric guitar, only to give way (and give in) to another sing-a-long chorus that actually is quite pretty and gives me a little Suede.  "A New Set of Wings" sounds like the unholy union of a Disney pop star and fellow countryman The Ark... it's glam pomp might not be 100% convincing due to that chorus, but given that we're four tracks in... it's clear they just can't help it.  They need every chorus to be big, big, BIG.

If that 80's cheese factor doesn't bother you, "Human Harbour" will absolutely be a not-so-guilty pleasure.  I can't say it has me itching to go back through their catalog, but I do like this record, despite as I re-read my backhanded review.  Maybe I'm just trying to manage expectations... after hearing indie-electro bands bite the best obscure moments of 80's New Wave, I kind of like this return to/embracing what made the 80's a little too silly.  I've been hearing too many complaints in terms of Gaga's embrace of goofy 80's sounds.  But... it's about fun and unbridled sing-a-longs minus the guilt.  What's so wrong with that?


The Hunter
Sweet Disaster/Dreamer's Wasteland Live
Palace Station - The bands best known hit taken from 2002 album "Music Machine"

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