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Pain City – Rock And Roll Hearts Award winner

Pain City
Rock And Roll Hearts
by Mike McMahan at 01 March 2020, 11:41 PM

PAIN CITY, hailing from Oslo, Norway, is a straight up, no strings attached, three piece rock ‘n’ roll band. Their sound is very raw, owing to elements of Hardcore Punk from the Eighties, and certainly a huge tip of the hat to the legendary Lemmy and MOTORHEAD. “Rock And Roll Hearts” is their third release and is forty minutes worth of unabashed Heavy Metal fury and fun.

“Heads Down,” the album’s opener, brings that Punk feel in a big way. Checking in at two minutes and twenty-nine seconds, it is the album’s shortest track, and is meant to be played for a live audience, most assuredly. It is an energy-bringing tune, with Krogh’s sandpaper vocals and more than adequate guitar chops on full display.

“Rock And Roll Hearts” is another unforgiving shot of rock testosterone, with great musicianship across the board. The bridge of the song features some killer double bass licks from Haukaas, and the guitar and bass work throughout is outstanding. Krogh shows a lot of ability with a guitar in his hands throughout the entire record.

“Forever,” the album’s fifth song, and “Soul to Soul,” which follows, are also both fine examples of what PAIN CITY seems to be about. They are both very heavy, again, a little raw, and feature the same incredible musicianship from all hands. Krogh’s vocals can get to be a tad irritating from time to time, just due to his rough delivery… but they also add to the fun of this release, as a whole.

Lastly, I would be remiss in not mentioning the album’s bonus track: a cover of none other than one-hit wonder NENA’s “99 Luftballons.” The boys have a great time with this one, making it feel as if it were meant for them all along. You certainly can’t take away from the fact that these guys are ballsy.

I am going to go back and investigate the previous two releases from PAIN CITY as soon as possible. This record has left me intrigued, with a smile on my face.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Heads Down
2. A Night Out With Your Tail Out
3. Rock And Roll Hearts
4. Born Hard
5. Forever
6. Soul to Soul
7. I Play My Guitar When I Want
8. Fake Suicide
9. High Society
10. Glasgow Kiss
11. Made of Steel
12. 99 Luftballons (Bonus Track)
Stian Krogh – Lead Vocals/ Guitar
Petter Haukaas – Drums
Morton Nilsen – Bass/ Backing Vocals
Record Label: Massacre Records


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