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Licence - N.2.O.2.R. (Never to Old to Rock)

N.2.O.2.R. (Never to Old to Rock)
by Mike "Bitchin" Bourgeois at 22 August 2019, 11:10 PM

When I was in high school, female Hard Rockers were coming of age with Crissy Hyde, Joan Jett, Lita Ford and Pat Benatar. Great Rock icons whose music stands the test of time. Normally I'd ignore the fact that LICENCE's vocalist Jacky Coke (daughter of guitarist Steam Thiess) was female and judge her on merit gender neutral. I still will to the best of my abilities, but they did a cover of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and unless you got something more to offer than the original, like Eddie Van Halen did on "You Really Got Me" don't let them compare you like that. It never ends well.

From the first song "Line of Fire" I was impressed with their ability to create that 80's era sound with modern mixing.  The bass and drums are tight, filling in any holes that are left when a single guitarist solo's, and Pappe and Sammy Sin up to the task. This continued on through the next two songs and it started to get repetitious. There were moments, such as "Hell Freezes Over" where they had an opportunity to come up with an anthem, but missed by allowing that part to be too staccato.

Guitarist Steam Thiess is talented and the band behind him get it for the most part, as shown on the title track "N.2.O.2.R") but the album as a whole offers nothing new, and personally I don't think Jacky Coke is up to the task of fronting them yet. "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" exposes her weakness, but actually offer an opportunity for her to really see what she needs to improve, such as try to cut back on ending every phrase with you.

I've heard a lot of bands recently trying to recapture those early years of rock/metal, but most are just copy/paste and show no real originality. LICENCE "N.2.O.2.R." falls into this category and after listening to it found myself asking why I didn't just pull out an old LP instead. Same music, just I'd know the lyrics to sing along.

Songwriting:               7
Originality:                  6
Memorability:              6
Production:                 8

3 Star Rating

1. Line of Fire
2. From Hell
3. Hot4Ever
4. Hell Freezes Over
5. Rise Up
6. Turn Around
7. N.2.O.2.R.
8. Loud 'n' Proud
9. Make Some Noise
10. House of Pain
11. Never Let You Die
12. Hit Me With Your Best Shot
13. The Rich Should Pay
Jacky Coke – Vocals
Steam Thiess – Guitars
Pappe – Bass
Sammy Sin – Drums
Record Label: Metalapolis Records


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