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Tainted Lady - How The Mighty Have Fallen Award winner

Tainted Lady
How The Mighty Have Fallen
by Anna Chase at 24 July 2017, 3:27 PM

When I first heard of the band TAINTED LADY, I knew they were (as described in their bio) “Rebel-Rock.” Just the name itself screams Rock n’ Roll sleaze, and the band is comprised of five young guys who are in the midst of their invincible twenties. The band’s sound is an eclectic mix of Classic 70’s Rock and technical guitar work. Vocalist Michael Catton, who joined the band in 2015, explained the title of their newest album in an interview with Mighty Music. “The title comes from one of our songs, which sort of ironically pokes fun at the lack of originality in the rock genre today, especially among the established rock bands. But we found that it actually reflects well on most of lyrics on the album,” he said, “and at the same time it refers to the state of the world in 2017.” Catton actually has some notable musical accomplishments in the past, since he performed spontaneously with STEEL PANTHER at a show in Denmark and was recruited for backup vocals on their album “Lower the Bar”. The band as a whole have also played at countless live shows, such as Jelling Musikfestival and Fredericia Rock in Denmark, and have opened for groups as legendary as DEEP PURPLE. The band has poured years of work into their debut album, which was released on May 26th, and judging by the many accomplishments they’ve made already, have many great things to come.

“The Witness” starts out the album with half a minute of poignant isolated vocals by Catton. His vocals don’t immediately evoke a Rock vibe, they’re very high and clear, unlike what would normally be expected of a singer within that genre. However, this intro highlights how truly beautiful his voice is and exposes the musical talent Catton has. In “Set Us Free”, the entire tone does a complete 360. The guitars and drums meld together to create a tone that’s 100% Hard Rock, and the bass adds depth and a rhythmic component that makes the piece cohesive. Catton’s voice is probably the most surprising part. His singing takes on a gritty, swinging attitude that embodies what Rock is all about, and combined with a set of cynical, indignant lyrics, this song establishes the band as rebels.

“Ampburner” opens with a chanted intro before pumping into a drum-heavy Trad-Rock anthem. The chorus is pure, shrieking Rock, and adds a heavy edge to a song which sounds like it could be a surefire radio hit. The guitar work here stands out immediately. The solo is mind-blowing. Both Roxx and Frank are insanely talented, and work together like a well-oiled machine to create the perfect blend of rhythm and lead. In “Song of Reckoning”, the drums and vocals take center stage in a song which has a definite Folk influence. This song is slightly less Hard Rock and more 70’s Rock. There’s a DEEP PURPLE vibe in there for sure, and Catton’s isolated vocal melodies combined with the multi-toned, rollicking guitar riffs makes the whole song a rollercoaster ride, which has something new around every twist.

“Loverman” is a sexy, fast-paced track with a chugging central groove that underlays the sleazy holler of the vocals. The chorus here is catchy enough to be a radio hit, and the percussive quality of the guitar emphasizes Over’s drum work, which takes on a classic, almost Jazzy beat as the song progresses. “The Best Days” is a slower, more melancholy song that uses both acoustic and electric guitar riffs in order to establish a clear power ballad feel. Much like the opening song on the album, the vocals are the star of the show here as Catton demonstrates his shocking range. He manages to flawlessly hit notes many female singers can’t. The mournful wail of the guitars here also adds levels of complexity and depth which take this song to the next level.

In “Open Minded”, TAINTED LADY roars back into their gritty, high-speed style of Rock n’ Roll with a barrage of aggressive lyrics and relentless drumming on the part of Over. The chorus here is catchy, rhythmic, and screamingly cynical, everything any good Rock n’ Roll song should have. One of the best things about the band is their anger as a whole: toward the music industry, towards the government, toward society, it gives them an edge and a realness that many groups don’t have. “On the Loose” is another song that starts out slow. However, this one hooks the listener in with pinch harmonics, chunky guitar riffs, and a tight rhythm which provides the perfect background for Catton’s Bluesy vocals. This track is a classic Rock anthem about those bad, nasty girls, and TAINTED LADY does it well. The verses draw the listener in, and the song goes through so many changes that it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

“Sons of Guns” is a definite throwback. It’s got that classic feel, especially with the tone of the guitars and the addition of a tambourine to the percussion. The vocals take on a familiar swing, and the entire song culminates in a blast of twin guitars and an explosion of drums. In the last song, coincidentally named “Last of Our Kind”, the guitars and vocals take on an upbeat tone; almost hopeful. The plucked guitar riff adds an extra element of interest to the track, and the chorus is catchy as always. The guitar solo here is probably one of the best on the album, and the band definitely kicks things up a notch to end the album with a punch of energy.

Overall, I’m extremely impressed with the work TAINTED LADY has done, especially for a fairly new band. They have boundless raw musical talent, and know how to write a kick-ass groove into a song. Though their musical style doesn’t really introduce anything new in terms of Rock n’ Roll, they know how to play their brand of music and play it well.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. The Witness
2. Set Us Free
3. Ampburner
4. Song of Reckoning
5. Loverman
6. The Best Days
7. Open Minded
8. On the Loose
9. Sons of Guns
10. Last of Our Kind
Michael Catton- Vocals
Jon Roxx- Guitar
Anders Frank- Guitar
Daniel Bach- Bass
Fred Over- Drums
Record Label: Mighty Music


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Edited 25 October 2021

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