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Lessmann/Voss – Rock Is My Religion

Lessmann/Voss
Rock Is My Religion
by Phil Tyler at 05 October 2022, 5:42 AM

LESSMANN/VOSS is a musical collaboration between two well-known German musicians who collaborate in PHANTOM V. Lessmann (Ex-BONFIRE (Fireworks being one of my favourite albums at the time) and Voss (Ex-CASANOVA and Ex MAD MAX and producer of acts such as MICHAEL SCHENKER) have created a nod to the 80s with Rock Is My Religion (a retro name if ever there was one!) released on Atomic Fire Records. Well when I say ‘nod’ more a bow down to the altar of 80s rock.

It starts off well enough with “Medicine Man” introduced by some shamanistic chants. There’s a nice rumbling riff in the verse and some Whoa Whoa Whoaaa chanting that doesn’t sound out of place. With a catchy chorus to boot and a clear production, it’s a promising start. “Smoke Without A Fire” is a power ballad and whilst the chorus is catchy, the lyrics are a bit cringe but not as cringe as “Fight For Our Love” which has the horrible couplet

“Love is more than an illusion…if you just believe
When two hearts had a fusion – what a gift to receive.”

NOOOOOO!! Pass the Barf-Bag. Then after the equally annoying “Take My Heart and Run” which has the same pace as the last song, we have the slow paced “Slow Dance” with more cringe lyrics:

“This is a slow dance…for romance
This is a slow dance…move to the beat
This is a slow dance…some magic is all I ever need.”

STOP IT! I mean were 80s rock lyrics really THIS bad. I do like ballads when they’re done right and “What You Give” and “Love Song” by TESLA are great examples of how to write a love song. Fortunately the album does improve past the mid-way point and “Rock Is Our Religion” is a relief after the previous ballads though apart from the chorus, it lacks bite. “Look Around” however is a highlight with an interesting funky riff adding more variety in the verse. The chorus reminded me of ELECTRIC BOYS and is very catchy and will get stuck in your head with its sing-a-long mantra.

“Stay” is a real homage to the 80s with an intro sounding like BON JOVI, a chorus sounding like a slowed down Kickstart My Heart by MOTLEY CRUE and a lead guitar which runs to the verse of BLONDIE’S “Call Me” – not sure if the latter was intentional but certainly fits the 80s feel. I really enjoyed “Sister Golden Hair” (an AMERICA cover song) which has a country vibe but works really well and the final track “What Feels Right” is one of the better tracks with a strong chorus and some nice lead work.

LESSMANN/VOSS have produced an album that is effectively 80s hair metal and whilst some of the tracks have a rock spirit, there are too many uninspiring ballads with real awful lyrics which disengaged me and a lot of it seems one-paced. The album does redeem itself with the last few tracks and the first one, but there’s nothing here that would warrant repeat listens and if I did listen again, I’d be skipping past a number of tracks.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Medicine Man
2. Smoke Without A Fire
3. Runaway Days
4. Fight For Our Love
5. Take My Heart And Run
6. Slow Dance
7. Rock Is Our Religion
8. Something Is Better Than Nothing
9. Look Around
10. Stay
11. Sister Golden Hair
12. What Feels Right
Lineup:
Claus Lessmann - Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitars
Michael Voss - Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Electric Guitars, Bass Guitar, Keyboards

Guests:

Vincent Golly
Kenny Lessmann
Martin Huch
Record Label: Atomic Fire Records
     


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