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Grand Slam - A New Dawn

Grand Slam
A New Dawn
by YNGWIEVIKING at 31 December 2015, 1:51 AM

GRAND SLAM was founded in 2007 in Malmö, sunny south of Sweden, It’s not hidden in a secrecy that your truly, the French Viking, is known as a fervent devoted henchman, for everything coming from this mighty land, but this time, I’m still lost in an ambivalent state of mind about their debut album. You may feel it in a different way. As it's obviously & definitely set in an enjoyable and interesting listening session, but the very good sometimes is too close from the more average, the uninspired or even the undigested formulaic, and perhaps down to the plain flat category at the edge of the caricatural Hair Metal, the gimmick revival at its worst point. If I leave my inflexible pragmatic mind analyse this CD!

I think “A New Dawn” - which will be released on January 29th 2016 via the excellent German label AOR Heaven-, is symptomatic of a twisted distorted vision of the 80’s, the main protagonists are lost between their belief, their dogma and the reality of 2015. The retro styled structures are too predictable, the vintage method is highly difficult to blend with the exigency of those modern days, tricky or dangerous to be in full tribute mode without falling in the trap of the insipid rehashed gimmicks (“Get High”)!

The tracklisting running order is also guilty for some weird impression, strange choice…If you want to sound old school that’s fine, but GRAND SLAM should understand that their supporters are even more in a Jurrassic state, and the fans surely listen the album from start to finish in the right running order. Something to improve for the next LP guys!!!

"Face" at the slot number three is more coherent with the contemporary sound, still tagged but slightly more clever, same for "One Way To Heaven" that reveal some keyboards arrangements coming straight from the late 90's AOR zone. ”Don’t Leave” if isn’t perfect contains a few updated elements improved for a more recent notion and a different impact,I like that particular one!

Thematically, of course the broken hearted, the betrayed love affairs are the most recurrent subject, mixed with the hymns for the good old Rock’n’Roll lifestyle (“Rock My World”). The aficionados of CRAZY LIXX / GRAND DESIGN / REACH/LANEY's LEGION or OSUKARU will found certainly their vital fix, of Hairspray Melodic Hard Rock. I still think that H.E.A.T. / ECLIPSE / AMMUNITION / SUNSTRIKE / ART NATION or CASABLANCA are head and shoulders way high up above. Well to be fair, GRAND SLAM are not playing in the same league!

"I Wanna Live" is one of the most interesting moment with a stunning hook, a STRYPER's like chorus, same for the closing track “Don’t Mess With Me”. As a subjective old school fan, I should admit its sheer attractivity and humbly kneel to its addictive content!

So, the negativity of the early analysis should be counterbalanced and in my confused mix bag of kinky feelings, the things are not crystal clear in my mind and thanks to these late playing cuts, the final verdict seems to be a little more clement!

I will purchase that one anyway because this music carries loads and loads of the positive memories/Nostalgic flavours of Aquanet in remembrances of the mighty golden era of wild, hot & crazy nights full Sexual frenzy, Peroxided wicks, bleached & coloured hair, black Spandex and white leather Jackets. Similar to a time capsule!


3 Star Rating

1. Light Up The Sky
2. Rock My World,
3. Face
4. One Way To Heaven
5. Don’t Leave
6. Get High,
7. Take Me Higher
8. Waiting For Tomorrow
9. I Wanna Live
10. Don’t Mess With Me
Andy Sinner – Lead Vocals
Andreas Gullstrand – Guitar
Andy Swaniz – Drums
Henrik Hansson – Bass
Daniel Grönberg Svensson – Keyboards
Record Label: AOR Heaven


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Edited 27 November 2022

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