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The Answer - 'Raise A Little Hell' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/20/2d/3e/The-Answer-Raise-a-little-hell-91-1429730494.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 22, 2015    
 
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The sound of a mature band in control of their material but still very much excited by it.

The Answer have always been characterised by an ability to walk the walk and talk the talk. They've always looked and sounded the part and it's been a source of amazement to some that they've not yet managed to really hit the big time.

'Raise A Little Hell' is the band's fifth studio album. It's typically robust, has a big sound and, as usual, finds the guys Rocking like they mean it. If anything, however, the collective weight of the songs is more impressive than on previous outings. This could just be their strongest album to date, and maybe, just maybe, it'll do the business for them.

Opener 'Long Live The Renegades' is infused with the spirit of passionate rebellion and will particularly please those who like to hear a bit of bass. As we've come to expect, the band come storming out of the blocks with energy levels super-charged – and they maintain their enthusiasm through the punchy Rocker 'The Other Side', the astonishingly raucous 'Aristocrat', and the well-constructed 'Cigarettes & Regret'. The latter is notable for Paul Mahon's impressive guitar work and wah-wah soloing.

'Last Days Of Summer' is one of the most edgy, angst-infused tracks I've heard from TA, suggesting, perhaps, that as they continue striving for the top and inching forward, experience is informing their art effectively. In contrast, 'Strange Kinda Nothing' almost sounds like a Tony Clarkin (Magnum) track. You can imagine a young Bob Catley banging this one out – not that he's needed; Cormac Neeson's performance, here and indeed throughout, is exemplary.

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'I Am What I Am' makes good on the Twisted Sister/Gloria Gaynor-style title to deliver a fine anthemic chorus. Musically it's Whitesnake circa 'Still Of The Night' meets Warrant somewhere in the mid to late 1980s. And that's one hell of a drum sound.

Elsewhere, 'Whiplash' is a solid Rocker which features yet more impressive guitar work, 'Gone Too Long' majors on melody and sentiment ("I apologise for all the shit I've done") and 'Red' benefits from a powerful riff and, at times, almost 10cc-like vocal stylings. 'I Am Cured' opens with a smoky Led Zeppelin riff, while in the spirit of saving the best until last, the title track features a monster riff that grooves and swings from start to finish; it's a track of real substance and timeless class.

'Raise...' is arguably TA's most consistent and accessible album. It's the sound of a mature band in control of their material but still very much excited by it. It should matter to us all that bands like The Answer are at all the best Rock And Roll parties. Hopefully 'Raise A Little Hell' will get them invited to more; it's a glorious noise.

Michael Anthony

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