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Stala & SO. - Stala & SO. Award winner

Stala & SO.
Stala & SO.
by Kevin Gillespie at 09 September 2015, 1:42 AM

Finnish Glam giants, STALA & SO., are back for round three with the recent release of their third full-length, self-titled, studio album. Rocking the set since ’97, we’re probably most familiar with the band from their 2013 release “Play Another Round” which featured a solid line-up of glam-fabulous power tracks, each designed and destined to melt the paint from your walls. And who could forget their stellar performance in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, where they performed their track “Pamela”, later released in their debut album “Is It So” (3rd Strike Music).

STALA & SO. has returned to the scene with another musically astounding album which features ten tremendous power tracks, each equally as special and memorable in their own right. The album opens with a track fittingly titled “I Need More” and I say “fittingly” because I think the band knows exactly that. From the start we’re met with an immediate, full-time flurry of energy and as somebody who doesn’t listen to a whole lot of glam rock, I must admit how instantly drawn in I was. This is a definite album opener!

The album goes on to produce some of the finest guitar riffs and fattest basslines you’d expect from these guys. It’s the tracks such as “Living for Today”, “Headlong” and “Now N’ Everyday” which remind us of that by-gone generation of big hair and bad attitude. “Headlong” with its mellow verses backed by crunchy choruses is definitely one of my favourites from the album. And how could I forget those angelic vocals in “Living for Today” courtesy of Stala and backing vocalists/guitar and bass players Gore and Vaughn who also paint quite a colourful picture on the track with their prominent yet disciplined playing styles.

However, STALA & SO.’s third rounder doesn’t always quite ring Glam Rock. I sensed a more contemporary approach, just etching for exposure in tracks like “Shine Out” which opens in a speedy tempo with a certain fast-paced aggression to it or in “The Girl with Guilty Eyes” where, once again, the listener is met with that surprisingly high tempo. There did come points when listening to these songs where, for a moment, I forgot whom I was listening to. I’m not in the slightest way surprised by this. After all, Stala drummed his way through five albums for Finnish Hard Rock group LORDI, dressed in a completely different attire no less, drumming completely different rhythms than STALA & SO.’s current percussionist Rudy Fabritius.

I think it’s safe to say that Stala has found his true self in STALA & SO. His damn-near angelic performance coupled with the divine delivery of Sami J., Nick Gore and Pate Vaughn’s backing vocals, all to the rhythm and bounce of Rudy’s textbook glam-style drumming, packs this album with some serious punch! For lovers of Glam and glam-dabblers alike, as somebody who tends to keep their distance from Glam/Melodic Rock, I couldn’t stay away from this one. Give it a whirl boys and girls, you won’t regret it!

4 Star Rating

1. I Need More
2. When the Night Falls
3. Headlong
4. Now N’ Everyday
5. I Can See it in Your Eyes
6. Shine Out
7. Living for Today
8. The Girl with Guilty Eyes
9. You Don’t Mind (Devil in Disguise)
10. Goodbye
Stala a.k.a. Sampsa Astala - Vocals
Pate Vaughn - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Sami J. - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Nick Gore - Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rudy Fabritius - Drums
Record Label: Escape Music


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Edited 27 June 2019

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