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Reckless Love – Spirit [Review]

MI0003628603

Reckless Love – Spirit
2013, Spinefarm Records/Universal Music
Buy the album

1. Night On Fire
2. Bad Lovin’
3. I Love Heavy Metal
4. Favorite Flavor
5. Edge Of Our Dreams
6. Sex, Drugs & Reckless Love
7. Dying To Live
8. Metal Ass
9. Runaway Love
10. So Happy I Could Die
11. Hot Rain

Band:
Olli Herman – Lead Vocals
Pepe Salohalme – Guitar
Jalle Verne – Bass
Hessu Maxx – Drums

Producer: Ilkka Wirtanen

Reckless Love is one of the better bands from the current crop of the glam/pop metal scene. For the record, they refer to themselves as “merry metal”. Spirit continues to prove the band’s worth as they continue to offer up their own blend of ’80s glam, heavy metal and danceable pop tunes. Unfortunately, it took me awhile before I could listen to this album. It was released in the summer of 2013 but the CD has only been available in the United States as an import and it isn’t being offered digitally in the States either.

Reckless Love’s last album, Animal Attraction, saw the band going in an even poppier direction but Spirit features a few more bare-knuckle rockers. “Bad Lovin”” is a sleaze rocker, “I Love Heavy Metal” is an ode to all kinds of ’80s hair metal hits and bands and “Metal Ass” is the heaviest song the band has recorded yet. Maybe opening for Black Veil Brides inspired these guys to get a little dirty.

That’s not to say the band has adopted a completely heavier style. “Night On Fire” is a great example of what the band is all about — big pop hooks, guitars, huge gang vocals and a beat you can dance to. Fans of the band’s first two albums will not be disappointed by Spirit.

Highlights: “Night on Fire”, “Bad Lovin'”, “Edge of Our Dreams”, “Sex, Drugs and Reckless Love”, “Runaway Love”, “So Happy I Could Die”, “Hot Rain”

The Metal Excess Awards: 2011 Edition

Last year I said 2010 was a better year for music than 2009 was. I went on to wonder how 2011 could even begin to top it. Well, guess what… 2011 did indeed top 2010! I’m looking back at my Top 25 list for 2010 and while those albums are all still good, this year’s Top 25 list is much stronger top to bottom.

2011 was a great year that saw classic rock/metal acts like Whitesnake, Warrant, Riot, Alice Cooper, Journey, Black N’ Blue and King Kobra deliver some of the best albums of their career while younger acts like Steel Panther, Reckless Love, Savage Messiah, Evile (who missed the list by this much) and Black Veil Brides have shown that they are more than capable of carrying rock & metal into the future.

Top 25 Albums of 2011

1. Whitesnake – Forevermore
2. Sixx:A.M. – This Is Gonna Hurt
3. Riot – Immortal Soul
4. Warrant – Rockaholic
5. Alice Cooper – Welcome 2 My Nightmare
6. Steel Panther – Balls Out
7. Megadeth – Thirteen
8. Anthrax – Worship Music
9. Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming
10. Reckless Love – Animal Attraction
11. Edguy – Age of the Joker
12. Hurtsmile – s/t
13. Journey – Eclipse
14. Chickenfoot – III
15. Mike Tramp & The Rock ‘N’ Roll Circuz – Stand Your Ground
16. Black Country Communion – 2
17. The Poodles – Performocracy
18. House of Lords – Big Money
19. King Kobra – s/t
20. Saliva – Under Your Skin
21. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
22. Black N’ Blue – Hell Yeah!
22. Savage Messiah – Plague of Conscience
24. George Lynch – Kill All Control
25. Joe Bonamassa – Dust Bowl

Best E.P./Single
In light of a few non-album singles being released this year, I’ve decided to make this a hybrid category.

1. Sixx:A.M. – 7
2. Black Veil Brides – Rebels
3. Who Cares – Out of My Mind / Holy Water
4. Wildstreet – II …Faster …Louder!
5. The Last Vegas – The Other Side E.P.

Best Compilation/Cover/Live/Reissue Albums
Kind of a catch-all category this year. Instead of listing each category individually, I decided to lump them all into one list and rank them that way.

1. Black Sabbath – Born Again [Deluxe Edition]
2. Stryper – The Covering
3. Vains of Jenna – Reverse Tripped
4. Whitesnake – Live at Donington 1990
5. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy – Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11
6. Hell – Human Remains
7. Scorpions – Comeblack
8. Def Leppard – Mirrorball: Live & More
9. Eric Carr – Unfinished Business
10. Black Sabbath – Dehumanizer [Deluxe Edition]

Want to read more about the year in music? Check out some of the fine sites & blogs listed below! And be sure to keep checking back for more Year-End posts here at Metal Excess!

All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/

Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/

The Crash Pad of Ray Van Horn, Jr. – http://www.rayvanhornjr2.blogspot.com/

Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/

Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/

Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.com

Heavy Metal Addiction — http://heavymetaladdiction.com/

Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/

Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/

Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/

Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/

The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/

Reckless Love – Animal Attraction

Reckless Love – Animal Attraction (2011, Universal Music/Spinefarm Records UK)

1. “Animal Attraction”
2. “Speedin'”
3. “Born To Break Your Heart”
4. “Hot”
5. “Fantasy”
6. “Dirty Dreams”
7. “Dance”
8. “Fight”
9. “Switchblade Babe”
10. “On The Radio
11. “Coconuts

Band:
Olli Herman – Vocals
Pepe – Guitar
Jalle Verne – Bass
Hessu Maxx – Drums

Producer: Ilkka Wirtanen

Reckless Love came out of nowhere last year and delivered one of my favorite albums for 2010 so I was pretty enthusiastic when I heard a new album was coming in 2011. Fans of the band’s self-titled debut will not be disappointed with Animal Attraction.

Olli & the boys have given the world another great collection of slick ‘n’ polished glam & pop-metal. Whether it’s the sleazy “Animal Attraction”, the anthemic “Hot” & “On The Radio”, the Euro-pop of “Dirty Dreams”, the hard pop groove of “Dance” (seriously, this could be a club hit in the U.S.), the hard rockin’ “Fight” or the somewhat quirky “Coconuts” (channeling Diamond Dave?) Reckless Love have proven themselves as kings of modern glam metal.

This album is just so darn catchy that I think I would rank it slightly above the debut (the album cover & new logo are certainly an improvement) but the guys really haven’t changed their style a bit. Anyone who likes the melodic hard rock/pop acts of the ’80s (Danger Danger, Def Leppard, David Lee Roth, Bon Jovi, KISS, etc.) is going to dig Animal Attraction.

These guys are a hit in their native Finland. Too bad albums such as this one go unnoticed here in America. Someone like Def Leppard or Poison or KISS needs to step up and take them out on the road next summer.

Highlights: “Animal Attraction”, “Speedin'”, “Hot”, “Fantasy”, “Dirty Dreams”, “Dance”

http://www.recklesslove.com
http://www.facebook.com/RecklessLove

Buy ‘Animal Attraction’ on Amazon.com

The Metal Excess Awards: 2010 Edition

I’m really surprised by how many albums I enjoyed this year. I have a pitiful memory so I had to go back through my blog to remind myself what came out this year but I was floored when my Top 10 list was changed to a Top 20 list, then to a Top 30 list! I knocked it back down to a Top 25 list to make it seem a tiny bit more exclusive.

If you haven’t checked out any of these 25 albums, I wholeheartedly recommend you do so. 2010 was an amazing year for rock & metal, much MUCH better than 2009. I don’t see how 2011 can compete!

I’ll keep it short and sweet with my awards. As always, check the links for full reviews.

Best Albums of 2010

1. Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare
2. Buckcherry – All Night Long
3. Scorpions – Sting in the Tail
4. Halford – Made of Metal
5. Slash – s/t
6. Black Country Communion – s/t
7. Avantasia – Angel of Babylon
8. Avantasia – The Wicked Symphony
9. Accept – Blood of the Nations
10. Hinder – All American Nightmare
11. Jettblack – Get Your Hands Dirty
12. Reckless Love – s/t
13. Bad City – Welcome to the Wasteland
14. Stone Temple Pilots – s/t
15. Iron Maiden – The Final Frontier
16. Krokus – Hoodoo
17. Helloween – 7 Sinners
18. Sister Sin – True Sound of the Underground
19. My Darkest Days – s/t
20. Stereoside – s/t
21. Y&T – Facemelter
22. Danko Jones – Below The Belt
23. Grave Digger – The Clans Will Rise Again
24. Jon Oliva’s Pain – Festival
25. Ratt – Infestation

Top Cover Albums

Seems like every year a few established artists like to cover a few *other* established artists, not to mention all those various tribute albums that small labels will slap together. Well, here’s my official ranking of the three cover albums I bothered to listen to this year. Luckily, all three albums were good fun and I think they all deserve another mention.

1. Jorn – Dio
2. Vince Neil – Tattoos & Tequila
3. Joe Elliott’s Down ‘N’ Outz – My ReGeneration Vol. 1

Top Live Albums

Again, I don’t buy a lot of live albums, but here’s how I rank what I listened to this year.

1. Dio – Dio at Donington UK: Live 1983 & 1987
2. Heaven & Hell – Neon Nights: 30 Years of Heaven & Hell – Live In Europe
3. Megadeth – Rust In Peace Live
4. The Michael Schenker Group – The 30th Anniversary Concert: Live in Tokyo

Top EPs

1. Razorwyre – Coming Out
2. Skull Fist – Heavier Than Metal
3. DesDemon – The Awakening

Most Disappointing Albums

1. Ratt – Infestation
The album was good, don’t get me wrong. It landed at #25 on my Best Of list for Dio’s sake! But… most of the songs had trouble living up to the promise of “Eat Me Up Alive” and “Best Of Me”.

2. Armored Saint – La Raza
A bland album from a band that has done so much better. They seemed to be going through the motions (to which John Bush has basically admitted in regards to himself). Symbol of Salvation this ain’t.

3. White Wizzard – Over The Top
The High Speed GTO EP garnered this group a lot of hype and buzz. We all fell for it, I know reviews for this album have been positive and it’s not bad but I expected more. Hopefully a second album will get these guys where they need to be.

4. Raven – Walk Through Fire
The terrible cover art should’ve tipped me off that this album was nothing special.

 

Check out these other sites for even more lists and year-end awards:

All Metal Resource — http://allmetalresource.com/

Bring Back Glam — http://bringbackglam.squarespace.com/

Hair Metal Mansion — http://hairbangersradio.ning.com/

Hard Rock Hideout — http://hardrockhideout.com/

Hard Rock Nights — http://hardrocknights.wordpress.com/

Heavy Metal Addiction —  http://heavymetaladdiction.com

Heavy Metal Time Machine — http://metalmark.blogspot.com/

Imagine Echoes — http://www.imagineechoes.com/

Layla’s Classic Rock — http://laylasclassicrock.blogspot.com/

The Metal Minute — http://rayvanhornjr.blogspot.com/

Metal Odyssey — http://metalodyssey.wordpress.com/

The Ripple Effect — http://www.ripplemusic.blogspot.com/

 

Reckless Love – Reckless Love

Reckless Love [European Import] (2010, Universal Music/Mercury Records)

1. “Feel My Heat” … 3:46
2. “One More Time” … 3:37
3. “Badass” … 4:05
4. “Love Machine” … 3:44
5. “Beautiful Bomb” … 3:13
6. “Romance” … 3:16
7. “Sex” … 4:03
8. “Back To Paradise” … 3:57
9. “So Yeah!!” … 3:26
10. “Wild Touch” … 4:09
11. “Born To Rock” … 3:29

Band:
Olli Herman – Vocals
Pepe – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jalle Verne – Bass, Backing Vocals
Hessu Maxx – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Ilkka Wirtanen – Keyboards

Producer: Ilkka Wirtanen

Having originally formed under the name of Reckless Life (as a Gun N’ Roses cover band), Reckless Love is a Finnish hair band that’s been garnering LOTS of positive reviews from all over the place. I’ve wanted to check them out for awhile, but high import prices kept me from doing so. Finally, I was able to get my hands on this disc at a reasonable price.

Their original music is a far cry from the GNR songs they would cover in theirs infancy. There’s really not even much of a sleaze influence, this is pure glammed-up pop metal cheese with an AOR influence. While lead singer Olli Herman (who sat in with Swedish sleazers Crashdiet for an album a few years back) may be trying his best to look like a cross between the 80s versions of Vince Neil and Bret Michaels, the band I think they closest resemble in sound would be Danger Danger. The entire album is backed by a slick, glossy, shiny production. The band and songs don’t come across as particularly raw, sleazy or dangerous like some of the ’80s glam masters did, but who cares? The songs are good and extremely catchy and frankly, I’ve been getting tired of some of the modern sleaze bands anyway. A lot of them have their heart in the right place but the music is becoming a bit bland, I think. It’s good to hear a modern band take up the more slick AOR qualities that the hair genre had if for no other reason than a little bit of variety.

The band seems to be doing pretty well for themselves. The album has been a success in their home country, they’re getting good reviews and they’re on a major label. Good for them, I say! Can’t wait to hear what they come up with next but in the mean time, I’m really enjoying this offering the band has presented to the Gods of Glam Metal.

Highlights: “One More Time”, “Badass”, “Love Machine”, “Beautiful Bomb”, “Romance”, “Sex”

http://www.recklesslove.com/
http://www.facebook.com/RecklessLove
http://www.myspace.com/recklessloverocks

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