Coming in hot from Southern California, identical twin brothers and experimental punk-rock duo The Garden …
Swiss rockers Gotthard have very much enjoyed the niche they’ve been filling for the last 28 years, topping the charts in their home country with a formidable consistency and predictability, two traits that describe their music as much as it does their sales performance.
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Their fourth album with Aussie vocalist Nic Maeder – the replacement for the tragically late Steve Lee – #13 diverts little from the furrow they’ve ploughed well since 1992. Maeder’s slightly more melodic voice is the only real change in Gotthard’s sound, style or substance. Their very Euro commercial hard rock remains solidly in place, an unerring devotion to the Scorpions on constant display. At their best, on tracks like 10000 Faces, with its riff reminiscent of Benatar’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot, and No Time to Cry, Gotthard are pure hard rock, slick, infectious and heavy.
Delivers exactly what any fan of their catalogue so far has come to expect
Tunes like Missteria and Another Last Time bring out another side, where hard riffing verses subside under the weight of soaring melodic choruses. Like their German idols, Gotthard devote plenty of playing time to power ballads with results that range from the Bon Jovi-challenging (Better Than Love) to the downright mawkish, almost unlistenable Marry Me and their true Euro-pop colours unfurl with a fairly credible version of ABBA’s SOS, the bright piano complementing Maeder’s strong vocal reading. It makes for a curious highlight on an album that is otherwise a pretty standard Gotthard release – except for Marry Me, there isn’t anything bad about it and while it never rises to any true heights, it delivers exactly what any fan of their catalogue so far has come to expect.
STANDOUT TRACKS: 10000 Faces, No Time to Cry, Save the Date
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Scorpions, Sinner, Krokus