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Vega - 'What The Hell!' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/e6/37/5f/Vega-What-The-Hell-97-1374104047.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 17, 2013    
 
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There is no reason not to go straight out and pick this up.

It's fair to say that Vega's debut album 'Kiss Of Life' was incredibly well received, and deservedly so. Big hooks, big choruses and big riffs, all tied together with fine melodies and the dulcet tones of former Kick frontman Nick Workman, it was destined for pride of place in the rack of many an AOR fan. Because of this, there's a fair amount of anticipation as we fast forward two years to this, the eagerly awaited follow up that heralds the bands switch from Frontiers to Spinefarm.

Straight off, it's quite apparent that song writing brothers Tom and James Martin haven't lost their touch. 'White Knuckle Ride' was pushed out as a single to promote the album, and a fine choice it was, too. A strong beat, air punching moments and strategic "HEY!" shouting, it encapsulates all that you should like about Vega. It's fun, in your face melodic rock that has you singing along with the chorus half way through the first listen. The title track follows in a similar vein, whereas other songs steer away from the solid thump thump rhythm for a smoother, more traditionally melodic ride, usually with a soft verse that flows into a catchy chorus that allows Workman to showcase his soaring vocal ability. There's more than a few songs that should be great fun live, such as the natural sing-along of 'Raise Ya Game', or the audience baiting 'Hands In The Air', both of which are very hard to shake out of your head once they get in. There's a couple of ballads, natch, and to be honest neither really soar like they should although they are pretty good songs nevertheless. As with the debut, Vega are at their best when they just go for it. When listening to 'Cry', however, I just can't seem to get Bon Jovi's 'Wild Is The Wind' out of my head, so similar sounding are the first chorus notes. Mind you, it's not bad when that's the only real criticism of an entire album, so I guess I'll just live with it.

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Produced by the band and John Greatwood, 'What The Hell' sounds absolutely brilliant. It's crystal clear, sounding excellent through headphones, and the use of Workman as his own backing vocalist is very effectively done. It's one of those albums you can just go for a walk with, lost in your own little world, playing a bit of air guitar and occasionally punching the air until the album ends or you are run over. Apparently, they wanted to make an album where every track was good enough to be released as a single, and it's fair enough to say that they have succeeded.

There is not a duff track on offer, no reduction in quality as you head toward track 13, and no reason not to go straight out and pick this up.

Alan Holloway

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