RECKLESS LOVE – InVADER

recklesslove-16“Alright, enough already. I give up!”. These are the words that I spoke to myself after reviewing Reckless Love’s last album Spirit (2013). I thought that I wouldn’t bother with this band anymore because frankly, I just don’t like them. Which is kind of strange because I really dig the genre they represent – glammy, sleazy, poppy hard rock with both metal and AOR undertones. So why doesn’t this band cut it for me, then? Well, first of all, after listening to their two first albums, their self-titled debut from 2010 and their 2011 follow-up Animal Attraction, I think they lack every trace of identity. I don’t have any problem at all with not being original, but they just don’t have a sound of themselves. Reckless Love also keeps piling up cliché after cliché, both musically and lyrically until clichés are what makes this band and the lyrics are many times so banal it gets embarrassing to listen to. I mean, titles such as “I Love Heavy Metal” and “Metal Ass” are nothing more than Steel Panther without the humor. So why even bother with the Finns fourth release then, one might ask? Well, for starters, I’m curious if there might be something worthwhile this time around and second, I want to like them. See, I know that these guys truly loves what they are doing and I’m sure they believe wholeheartedly that one day they will join the big league and they’re willing to work their asses off for it. I admire people like that, so I decided to give the guys the benefit of a doubt just once more.

“We Are The Weekend” lets itself loose and it sounds like One Direction on a Def Leppard trip, heavily influenced by Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Wow. To be honest, I really don’t wanna like this, but the damned song gets under my skin for some reason, I can’t help but to smile when I hear it. It’s über-catchy and I just can’t help swinging along to it. “Hands” is even better. This one sounds like a poppier Crashdïet – the band singer Olli Herman once fronted, then named Oliver Twisted – and a bit rougher than usual. “Monster” sounds like Laney’s Legion meets Lordi, a bit on the heavier side, but still catchier than a VD. The riff is pretty much nicked from Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, but it works anyway. The lyrics, this time, are really spot on and brings up the subject of the plastic surgery trend that have gotten completely havoc in later years – hence the song’s title. That’s also a great one. “Child Of The Sun” catches me totally off guard and while we’re on the subject of not wanting to like certain songs, well, here’s another one of those. Really, this one isn’t even a rock song, no this is totally 80’s synthesizer based chart pop, like a Wham or a Pet Shop Boys or what ever. It’s really quite catchy and I guess they will release it as a single towards the summer – it’s really a summer song. For some reason, this one also manage to get stuck in my brain and I’m not even sorry for it. However, the auto-tune is really out of control on this one, something I have a major problem with. “Bullettime” rocks things up again, but unfortunately, this one is just a standard sleaze rocker with a big Steel Panther complex – without the humor. I’ll let it pass as ok. The banal and somewhat embarrassing lyrics visits again on “Scandinavian Girls”. As you might expect, it’s an ode to, well, Scandinavian girls, but the lyrics are a bit overmuch. Musically, it’s a cute pop song, very catchy and I both like and don’t. The auto-tune runs riot once more on “Pretty Boy Swagger”. It’s a total 1988 Sunset Strip groover, a catchy as Hell pop-rocker. Good enough, but the auto-tune gets on my tits. “Rock It” – the title, guys, please… – is the album’s biggest low point. It’s a rap-metal thang, done with glam, sleaze and melodic rock instead of metal. I can’t even begin to say how much I hate crap like this – skip button alert! “Destiny” is, well, if you have heard Reckless Love before, that’s what it sounds like. Not useless, but not that great either – a pretty catchy standard pop-metal number. “Let’s Get Cracking (THWP)” is the closing track, unless you get the U.K. bonus track, and again, the band is going for a Steel Panther vibe. It’s an ok party tune, but it really doesn’t go anywhere and I can’t remember one second of it when it’s done playing. Style wise, this could be any second rate Tuff that came along at the Sunset Strip a year too late, say 1993. The “THWP” section of the song in the end is an acoustic “That’s how we party” chanting. They probably had more drunken fun recording it than we have listening to it. The bonus track is called “Keep It Up All Night” and once more, the auto-tune is on the loose – so pointless. The song sounds like a mid 80’s Bon Jovi recording a song with Def Leppard and Justin Bieber overseen by N’Sync. The whole piece is embarrassingly bad and the whole “oh la la la” thing just makes me cringe. I do not recommend putting up any extra green for that one.

But to sum it up, this album is nowhere as bad as I thought it would be. The fact is, I’m surprised just how good many of the songs on this record are even though there are a bit too many fillers and songs that just don’t cut it for a really high rating. But what bugs me most about this album is the production. First, Olli Herman is auto-tuned for the whole record through which is just horrible – auto-tuning is an abomination. I mean, couldn’t they at least try to auto-tune his voice in a way that isn’t so obvious? On many songs, even a tone-deaf could spot the auto-tune. And I can’t for my life figure out why, I mean the guy can sing, fer Chrissake! Also, the whole production is a bit too slick and mainstream and even if you play pop songs and very hook ridden melodic rock, there’s nothing wrong with a production with a little bite. A little attitude and maybe a middle finger here and there. Because when you play cocky rock this, you need a fuck-you-attitude for it not be lame – and the production here is pretty lame, to tell the truth. Still, InVader is easily Reckless Love’s best album to date and a huge step forward. However, I think that the big league is an album or two ahead of them. But at least, this album brings us hope.

Other Reckless Love reviews:
Spirit

6/10

Tracklist:

1. We Are The Weekend
2. Hands
3. Monster
4. Child Of The Sun
5. Bullettime
6. Scandinavian Girls
7. Pretty Boy Swagger
8. Rock It
9. Destiny
10. Let’s Get Cracking (THWP)
11. Keep It Up All Night

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