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Wild Side - 'Speed Devil' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/cc/31/58/654_wildsidespeeddevil_1285704406.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 28, 2010    
 
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Plenty of powerful rock songs with some interesting riffs and a genuinely exciting sound but for me the vocals are a real deal breaker.

Hailing from Norway, young hard rock band Wildside were put together in 2005 by drummer Ronni Arntzen and former Pagan’s Mind guitarist Thorstein Aaby after Aaby had seemingly recovered from cancer. As members came and went Aaby became ill again and sadly passed away in 2007 and an almost completely new line-up recorded the ‘Indication’ album that was released late in 2008. ‘Speed Devil’ is their second album and builds considerably on the debut with a host of catchy riffs, thumping drums and bass and a stellar production by the band themselves; although I assume that Andy LaRoque’s mix has a lot to do with that too.

The strange intro aside, ‘Speed Devil’ hits its stride early on with the frantic ‘Live Forever’, the slow and moody ‘Mine Tonight’ and the powerful rocker ‘Play With Me’ as an opening salvo, with inventive riffs, explosive guitar solos and good choruses all over the place. ‘Won’t Let Go’ is another classy hard rocker with excellent twin guitar work from Jon Aarseth and Tom Grana whilst the title track is a good time Motley Crue style rocker that brings the album to a raucous close.

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There’s a bit of filler in the grinding ‘Eagle’ and the semi-ballad ‘Love For You’, whilst the unremarkable ‘Need To Deliver’ can’t be saved by the killer guitar solo. However, the songs aren’t Wildside’s main problem. Singer Joachim Berntsen has a similarity to Vince Neil, which in my book isn’t a bad thing, but he also has a really strong accent that I’m having trouble getting my head around. The chorus of ‘Wild One’, for instance, is totally unlistenable to me, and ‘I Will Always Be Me’ just doesn’t hold together despite some good parts. If he sang everything as well as he does the killer ‘Devil In Disguise’ then it wouldn’t be a problem, and it’s a real shame because the album has plenty of powerful rock songs with some interesting riffs and a genuinely exciting sound. For me the vocals are a real deal breaker. Sorry!

Phil Ashcroft

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