Angeline - 'Life EP Volume 1' (Vegna Music) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz E   
Friday, 08 February 2013 04:00

angelinelifeepIf you're a long-time reader of Uber Rock you should be aware of the Angeline story by now: formed in 1987 before dissolving in the mid-nineties with the sad passing of the band's frontman, the Swedish melodic rockers regrouped in 2007 and released two lauded albums, 2010's 'Confessions' and last year's 'Disconnected', that made even the usual AOR-bashing Uber Rockers, myself included, sit up and cock an ear toward the stereo.


Now, with a one-day-only free download over Christmas to celebrate the band's 25th anniversary, Angeline officially release the all-new extended player, 'Life EP Volume 1'.


Four songs and still, thankfully, none of that generic adult snorientated rock that sends heterosexual men to despair.


I stand by my initial claim back in 2010 when I discovered 'Confessions' - Angeline are the nearest thing to long-lost melodic rock would-be saviours 40ft Ringo and, with the ghost of that great band (whose sole album, 'Funny Thing', remains a masterclass in arena rock woulda-shoulda-coulda been) haunting the Swedish band's sound, 'Life' proves that grown men can still play pop rock like this without make it the gagging, schmaltzy abortion of sound that the majority of keyboard-laden soft rockers scrape off the bottoms of their sensible shoes and slap into the ears of the easily-pleased.


No, Angeline have that suss, that attitude, that throws up a four letter word not in keeping with my usual thoughts on melodic rock bands - cool. That's right, Angeline have an ice cool veneer coating their music so even when they get sensual - in a rocking sense, of course - they still have enough in their locker to convince me that they are just doing it for the benefit of the ladies, rather than rocking out like them.

Yeah, there's still a huge Def Leppard influence in everything Angeline put out but, let's be honest, these tunes of Swedish origin are way better than anything Da Leps have produced in the not-too-distant past, and the singing is definitely high and dry above the current warbling of Joe Elliot who is neck and neck with Paul Stanley as to which legendary rock singer should be put out to pasture first.


'Life', the EP's title track, opens up this four-tracker and, yeah, sounds like it came out of Sheffield rather than Ljusdal. There's a whiff of 'Hysteria' about the opener but, as with all of the Angeline material, it hangs around a couple of great hooks and memorable guitar work. 'Can You Feel It Now?' is a softer-edged song that has a great contemporary feel to it, while 'Into The Fire', as the band likes to do, gets the funk out. Sounding like a modern take on the Dan Reed Network at times, this song falls with ease into another chorus that holds like fly paper. Final track 'Days Go By' is a sentimental sleeper that would be lauded over by all and sundry if it were recorded by someone like Train. Jon Bon Jovi used to write tunes like this before he became a Country and Western-lite joke.


Angeline remains one of the few bands of its ilk that I can listen to without being ironic. They have something about them other than massive hooks and classy songwriting that, even if I can't quite explain it myself, informs me that they are head and shoulders above the kind of melodic rock bands who live by their dry ice enhanced keyboard-intros and limp-wristed power ballad ear rapes. Throw Angeline onto festival bills featuring these types and watch the others sound mortally dated almost immediately.