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Wickman Road - 'After The Rain' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/6c/4c/00/wickman-road-after-the-rain-94-1474306749.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 19, 2016    
 
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A very welcome addition to the ever-expanding ranks of quality Swedish Melodic Rock.

Well, right now it seems that I can't go a week without seeing a new name coming out of Sweden, playing their very particular brand of AOR/Melodic Rock. I'm in no way denigrating the scene, but it does seem (to me at least or am I just imagining it?) that there is a proliferation of bands from this country at the moment. Add to this fact that the bar in the recent past has been set pretty darn high with top quality releases by bands such as JoNo, A.C.T, Houston et al. So it begs the question, is Wickman Road going to keep up the high standards set by said bands?

To start with the band are young and have time on their side, and what we have here is a solid but on occasions slightly safe set of songs which, in truth, did take me a while to really get to grips with.

The album finds the keyboards well to the fore in the mix and complimenting rather than dominating the sound and there is still plenty of room for some nifty guitar work and tasteful harmonies to keep proceedings mainly on track. Without doubt there is potential here, with a crisp, clear production which serves the songs well, of which only really get going with 'I Believe In You' after a somewhat sluggish album start. 'I Can't Wait Anymore', with it's neat little guitar motif and driving chorus, really does see the band hitting their stride.

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'All Alone' is the big ballad which they pull off with great aplomb and the rest of the album sees Wickman Road dividing their very obvious talents between mid-tempo Melodic Rockers and slower ballad-like tunes, which did at some points find my attention drifting somewhat. But the good definitely outweighs the "not so" moments which are evident in the superb 'Now When You're Gone' and album closer 'Time'.

As a debut it's a very credible release, I'd just like to see the band explore some slightly different avenues and go out on a limb a little more. These guys definitely have a future and they can take their rightful place with the aforementioned acts and are a very welcome addition to the ever-expanding ranks of quality Swedish Melodic Rock.

Malcolm Smith

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