Pretty Maids

Motherland

Written by: HES on 18/04/2013 21:08:26

Pretty Maids are one of those bands that have become an institution more than a band. Breaking through the walls of being old and outdated, the band released “Pandemonium” in 2010 and made reviewers spin on their heels. So now is the time for a follow up. “Motherland” is the 13th album from these guys, having existed for more than three decades. That’s a rare thing in itself – but once you realize this band is a metal band the respect goes up one nudge more.

So for the 13th album would you change anything? Well no, not really seems to be the answer if you ask Pretty Maids. The metal is just as it was back in the 80's; tough, powerful but easy to listen to. It’s a genuine mix of slow songs, hard songs, the fillers and the hardest ones. However the band never leaves the realms of easy listening and non-offending. In many ways Pretty Maids were the metal of the Danish middle-aged men before Volbeat came along and stole the crown. It’s hard and it’s sometimes even fast, but it never pushes the boundaries, rather playing the tangents of 80’s heavy-past.

All of that so far is okay – it’s not great, but it’s not exactly bad either. I had my prejudice towards this band, but I am actually a bit pleasantly surprised. However my enthusiasm is killed by the very banal and even childish lyrics. One of the ballads called “Infinity” goes “This love is shining brighter than a thousand suns. Now nothing can divide us or change the paths we’re on”. And it gets even more cliché on the mid-tempo “Bullet For You” which is lyrically the metal equivalent of Bruno Mars going: “I’ll be your rock. Your knight in shining armour. Girl there’s not a thing I wouldn’t do. And nothing can stop this fire in my heart. And you know that it’s true, I’d take a bullet for you”. It doesn’t help the song that it sounds a little too much like a Bryan Adams song.

But alright. This is not a literature class and we should not only judge bands on their abilities to express themselves without clichés. The band is still able to hit the right spot with songs like “Who What Where When Why” that is straight out of their starting decade but without being a copy of themselves back then. “I See Ghosts” is a catchy song with a great chorus and “Why So Serious” is – in spite of its not-so-well-chosen-name a dark little gem. Ronnie Atkins voice is so iconic and shapes most of this album. The drums, guitars and keys seem a little over-produced to me, but it’s probably over-lookable in the broader picture. This is the way Pretty Maids sound: Metal for the masses – and by masses, I mean masses. But hey! I applaud these guys for still being at it and being so true to their style.

6

Download: I See Ghosts, Why So Serious, Who What Where When Why
For the fans of: Dokken, Van Halen, Volbeat
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.03.2013
Target/Frontiers


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