Lots of promise, little delivery
Over the past few years, the music scene has become increasingly polarized, with bands tending to lean either toward heavy metal or punk/new wave.
So when Hanoi Rocks came out of Finland combining elements of both, it was worth paying attention to. They have a sound that takes the melodicism and strut of metal and meshes them with the disharmonic vocals and in-your-face attitude of punk, while capturing the energy of both.
And so when their album opens with a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Up Around the Bend" albeit an uptempo version of the venerable hit you have to wonder what's going on. In fact, it's not until the first track of Side 2 that the band really hits its stride with "Million Miles Away." Built around a haunting melody and accompanied only by piano, this song is also a bit off from the band's rep, but is so well-constructed and wonderfully performed that who cares.
Still, those two songs are the highlights, and the band never really seems to completely find its footing. There are some moments of great promise here, but no sense that the band is really clicking.
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