Pretty Maids

Louder Than Ever

Written by: BW on 16/03/2014 22:52:35

It says on the blurb of the press release that this is in fact a mixture of new songs and re-releases, so it sounds more like a new EP and a best of all rolled into one. Mind you, if you’re new to the band like I am then all of it is new, but I’m just clearing this up for all of you Pretty Maids fans out there. Looking into it though I’d imagine there will be quite a lot of you out there, as the band has been on the go for over 30 years, forming in 1981. This usually means that the offerings will be well polished, highly entertaining and fun. So, is this the case?

The songs that are new are “Deranged”, “My Soul to Take”, “Nuclear Boomerang” and “Heart Without a Home”, so we’ll concentrate on these first. “Deranged” is a decent start to the album as well as the first new track to show itself. A nicely worked intro; as well as some gravelly vocals; provide a nicely made song, one to make you feel happy about listening to the rest of the album. I’ve heard so many other albums give you something that resembles a car crash as their baiting song that it’s good to know that you are prepped with something showing a bit of quality. The tempos are good, the mixture of different musical elements work well enough and you know that there is a bit of maturity throughout.

With “My Soul to Take” we see the pace slowed right down, as well as the years through this particular track. It is a good song, but you do get that feeling of something from past decades rather than the here and now. It is very Bon Jovi-esque in both styling and melody, with the odd cheesy major chord bridging lining up the happy chorus. “Nuclear Boomerang” on the other hand doesn’t have this problem. You normally know something is gonna be fast when you start with an air raid siren and sure enough, this is the case. Some electronic keyboard and some voice recordings about Hiroshima later and we are dropped into a quick and speedy track. Some fast guitars help to keep the toes going up and down.

The final song out of this quadrilogy of new tracks is “Heart Without a Home” although I get the feeling they sent the drummer back there instead, as this is a novelty for a rock album. There is no percussion in this song whatsoever, but there is an eerily nice feel about it. As people may know from other reviews I’ve done, I’m a big fan of having difference in your albums to keep people interested and guessing, allowing senses to be kept fed. This does a nice job of showing three decades of versatility because it sounds like a nicely crafted song without feeling too out of place.

So, other than the 90’s throwback of “My Soul to Take” it is a nice selection of new tracks to get your teeth into. Now we can take a look at the ones that have been chewed for a few years from other albums. To give them their dues, these songs have been re-recorded for this album and to see the actual difference I lined up “Playing God” from both the “Planet Panic” album and this one. I have to say there is a big enough change to see that these songs are more of a reimagining rather than a new recording, although I’d like someone to tell singer Ronnie Atkins how to pronounce technology, as it is a little bit funny when you hear it.

As I progress through mixing original with new version you can see that the new lick of paint on these songs has really made a difference and they’ve been shined right up for a new generation just as much as for fans to see a different slant on possible older favourites. “He Who Never Lived” is one of my picks and really gets down and dirty with an almost filthy riff and some nice work overall, resulting in a belting track. “Virtual Brutality” also makes you sit up and has a lovely bit of keyboard work.

I have to confess I had never heard of Pretty Maids up until this point, possibly because they have maybe kept closer to their native Denmark than some would like, but I’m keeping an eye on them now. I am really liking the stuff I’m hearing and albeit there is the occasional throwback that feels like it already needs a re-recording, the rest of it is pretty much bang on and this is a varied enough album to keep you wanting more, which is all you can ask for from any band. To risk a play on words, this album may be louder than ever, but it is pretty (well) maid.

8

Download:Virtual Buality, Heart Withut a Home, Playing God, Deranged
For The Fans Of: Accept, Saxon, Scorpions, Europe
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 21.03.2014
Target Group Records

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