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Bangkok Dollars - Lost Souls

Bangkok Dollars
Lost Souls
by Hutch at 03 January 2022, 2:47 AM

The sophomore release from Finnish quartet BANGKOK DOLLARS left me colder than a polar bear’s genitals on an ice flow. Described as a breath of fresh air after their first release “Roses and Ravens” in 2019, I admit that this fresh release is not something that got me in the least bit excited. I suppose the country with the largest number of metal bands on the planet is occasionally going to present something a little lacklustre. I give you BANGKOK DOLLARS as exhibit A.

Mixing melodic hard rock with the worst elements of hair metal (although you’d not get that from the band’s photos), there’s very little to enthuse about over the 40 or so minutes of music that is presented. The title track for example, is flat, with average vocals that do nothing. The song is routine, and there is nothing that does what I like a song to do: grab you by the lapels and shake you hard. Instead, it’s cliched and insipid.

As the album plods its way forward, you are confronted by one of the worst songs of 2021. “Metal to Rust” is ponderous in the extreme with a tired chug of a riff, but the song is dominated by an horrific vocal performance which tries desperately to take elements of BLACK SABBATH’S “Heaven & Hell” but fails abysmally. The symphonic elements merely accentuate the awfulness of the track, and you can only pray silently for it to end.

By now, you should be wondering who gave this band a second go in the recording studio. The first couple of tracks were reasonable by comparison, but when the next stinker is served up, with more dreadful singing on “Stout”, you must question whether the label has more money than sense. “Stout” tries to adopt an industrial riff, but once more the vocals are shot to bits. A swirling synth isn’t any saving grace and as the ears start to bleed, the final three songs suddenly present an Everest of a challenge to get through.

One more track, the sluggish “Wild Ride” and it was game over. With so much good music to listen to, I’m afraid that BANGKOK DOLLARS were binned. If you fancy listening for yourself, it’s out now on the usual streaming forums. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Song writing:  4
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 3
Production:  5

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Free
2. Only Devil Knows
3. Heat of the Night
4. Lost Souls
5. Metal to Rust
6. Stout
7. Mugshot
8. Wild Ride
9. Save Your Prayers
10. Fighters
Lineup:
Tino Veijalainen: Lead Vocals
Janne Savolainen: Guitar/Backing Vocals
Max Salkovuo: Bass/Backing Vocals
Mikko Salminen: Drums
Record Label: Sliptrick Records
     


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