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Allison - They Never Come Back

They Never Come Back
by Chris Hicklin at 28 March 2022, 2:49 PM

ALLISON are a once quite popular Swiss Melodic Rock act that have been dormant for over twenty-five years now. Around the time Grunge came along and laid waste to the musical landscape bands such as this had inhabited they had achieved some measure of success across Europe, securing opening slots with a number of Hard Rock giants such as ASIA and at one gig THUNDER, VAN HALEN and BON JOVI all on the same bill, not to mention supplying German national TV with the theme tune for the 1994 Football World Cup (that’s soccer to our Hand-Egg loving friends in the USA). This LP was originally issued in 2020, impressively making no.6 on the Swiss charts, but the band have just inked a shiny new contract with Massacre Records to distribute the LP internationally, and so here we are.

As we get cracking with the LP one of the first things to note is the vocals of Janet La Rose, who has a quite unconventional voice for the Melodic Rock genre coming across a bit like a snarling Cyndi Lauper. It takes a moment to get used to, but it works. First track “The River” is a little heavier than some of the rest of the album, while following tracks “Edge of Golden Days” and “Crank It Up” feature more blues driven guitars, the former complemented by some very digeridoo sounding Jew’s Harp, and the latter with a little Southern Rock flavouring. Blues and Southern Rock are combined on tracks like “Blackbird,” with its nimbly performed slide guitar it is probably the most Blues-heavy track on the album, while the pristine ballad “Hang Tough” brings to mind the soulful guitar playing of Gary Moore.

The album never strays too far from the mid-tempo Melodic Rock formula, some tracks such as “Rock High” and “Merry-Go-Round” have noticeably stronger choruses than others, the latter utilising a Richie Sambora style talkbox, a nice touch that brings the 80s vibe in spades. Tracks such as “Can You Hear Me” occasionally surprise with a more driving, powerful delivery, but these are outliers as the overwhelming thrust of the album is towards the mid-tempo foot stompers. The guitars are always well performed, with the odd quality solo (see “Beautiful World “), but often take a back seat to the vocals, as they have in Janet La Rose a very unique performer who has a distinctive voice and judging by the band’s videos a commanding stage presence to boot.

This is not a challenging collection, but it is a well written and performed collection of middle-of-the-road Rockers, there’s Blues, Soul and Country influences abound which lift the pedestrian song structures to a higher level, and La Rose’s presence is never less than engaging. It didn’t blow my mind, but I found it a very satisfying album.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. The River
2. Edge of Golden Days
3. Crank It Up
4. Hang Tough
5. Beautiful World
6. Blackbird
7. Merry-Go-Round
8. Rock High
9. Can You Hear Me
10. Open Water
Janet La Rose - Vocals
John Cassia - Guitars
Robi Würgler - Guitars
Dani Feusi - Keyboards
Pierce Baltino - Bass
Sean Evans - Drums
Record Label: Massacre Records


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