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The Cards - The Cards Award winner

The Cards
The Cards
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 30 March 2019, 7:24 AM

When musicians with deep experience start musical side projects for express something different from what they usually do in their main bands, the fans always wait for some similarities. That’s the right way to get distressed and feel the bitter taste of deception, for no musician wants to play something that is exactly equal to what they already are doing (or had done in the case of those that left their main bands). That’s the way of “The Cards”, the first release from the English trio THE CARDS.

The names of Paul Quinn (guitarist and one of the founding members of SAXON) and Harrison Young (vocalist and multi-instrument that worked with UDO and DORO) could point to a Heavy Metal or Hard Rock based musical work. No, that’s not the case, for “The Cards” presents a Classical Rock with Blues influenced work, done with charming and tender melodies, and a refined (yet simple) instrumental. It’s not a form of music to turn your nerves and to make the adrenaline levels explode your top, but that introspective and melodic music that is the right one to be heard after a long time of stress. This album is indicated to relax the listener, and it’s really a rare thing to hear such type of music today, and it their hands, it gained an inner identity.

The band produced “The Cards”, having the hands of Dan Swanö on the mix and mastering (a bit strange due his past works with extreme Metal bands), but all work in a way that sounds clean and alive, organic and new. So, the sound quality joined the old simple sound with a modern and living outfit. And some additional bass guitar on “Pitfalls” was played by Pim Koppen, and violins on “For You” were played by Judith Van Der Klip.

The Bluesy Rock ‘n’ Roll double dose of “No Soul” and “Bandit on the Run” (the tender feeling on the guitars is amazing), the Country Rock influence on “The Process” (very good vocals and backing vocals), the nasty and melodic weight on “Pitfalls” and on “If I Had You”, and the introspective and seductive “Long Way to Go” are the ones that will hook you. But all the songs of the album deserve to be fully listened (and applauded). And after such set of good songs, my hope is that THE CARDS won’t stop on just one album.

Originality: 7
Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. No Soul
2. Bandit on the Run
3. Rock & Roll Rocketship
4. The Process
5. Pitfalls
6. Ride the Freight Train
7. Sweet Lowdown Dirty Love
8. If I Had You
9. Agent Orange
10. Long Way to Go
11. For You
Lineup:
Paul Quinn - Guitars, Harmonica, Backing Vocals
Harrison Young - Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Koen Herfst - Drums, Backing Vocals
Record Label: Independent
     


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