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Bad Baron – Ace of Hearts

Bad Baron
Ace of Hearts
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 September 2022, 6:39 AM

From their EPK, “You might be tempted to assume that you’ve come across yet another Scandinavian Sleaze Rock Band, following a path well-trodden over the past few years by bands like CRASHDIET, SANTA CRUZ, and RECKLESS LOVE. But you’d be wrong. BAD BARON, hailing from the Metal mecca of Finland, do things a little differently. With big looks, even bigger hooks, and more gratuitous key changes than you ever thought possible, BAD BARON set the bar just a little bit higher.” “Ace of Hearts” contains thirteen songs.

“Edge of our Dreams” is the first. Indeed, the key changes are hard to keep up with. The sound is big and full, with all of the elements you want from a strong Sleaze Rock/AOR band. Although the vocalist isn’t shattering any ceilings with his range, it works well with the music. “Breakdown in Communication” is a mid-tempo rocker with big rhythms and drums. The sound is more melancholy, with a distinct sense of loss. Probably, the loss of love. “Rebel Heart” opens with keyboards and a wide open sound. A scream brings in the main riff, which is both catchy and pleasing. The song is patterned around the 80’s Glam scene.

“Lights Go Out” oozes with more energy and sex appeal. The hooks are huge, and will pull the listener in with ease. The guitar solo is heavy with effects. Following a brief interlude, “Our Story Isn’t Over” comes sauntering in. The tender and charming sound reminds me of DANGER DANGER. The slowed down guitar solo follows the melody line very well, and there is another key change leading to the third chorus. “Rock in the City” features some thumping bass guitar and thick backing vocals. This song sounds more like WARRANT, and the keyboards shine here along with the vocal layers. “One Minute to Midnight” is a shorter song with a linear sound, fueled by heavy rhythms, backing vocals, and meaty bass notes. Although the lyrics are fairly cliché, you will find yourself not caring and singing along. “Long Road Home” is a more tender song with acoustic guitars and keys. The message is “keep moving forward in life and stay off the simpler path.” If this song doesn’t bring a smile to your face, nothing will.

“Anthem for Rock ‘N Roll” closes the album. It’s a big, bombastic closer with plenty of hooks. The chorus is rich and full, with the message of forging ahead. “Raise your first into the air, you’ll never be alone” he croons. This was a solid album from start to finish.  The hooks were indeed grand, and the key changes gratuitous. It’s exactly the kind of 80’s sound that pumps you up in the morning and assures your will make it through your day intact. My only constructive criticism would be to change the cover art…it’s not an accurate or lively picture of the band or what lies within the album.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Edge of our Dreams
2. Can you Love Someone (For Just One Night)
3. Breakdown in Communication
4. Hungry
5. Rebel Heart
6. Lights Go Out
7. Interlude
8. Our Story Isn’t Over
9. Going Down in Flames
10. Rock in the City
11. One Minute to Midnight
12. Long Road Home
13. Anthem for Rock ‘N Roll
Lineup:
Lauri Huovinen – Vocals, Bass
Tommy Widdow – Guitar
Alex Kron – Keyboards
Sammy South – Drums
Record Label: Pride & Joy Music
     


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