Since late 2013 my taste in music has changed somewhat. I’m still a full-on metalhead and will be till I die, but along with power metal and death metal (which I’ve soaked up like a sponge) I also haven’t been able to get enough of the good ol’ fashioned Melodic Rock put out by European bands such as L.R.S. and ADRENALINE RUSH, along with the latest from HOUSE OF LORDS, X-DRIVE, and NIGHT RANGER. I swear every time I get an e-mail from Frontiers Records I jump for joy like I did with my latest new discovery, WORK OF ART. The Swedish trio is set to release album number three, Framework on September 23, but I have had it close to a month now and it gets played at least once daily. I have to; it’s such a feel-good record and a delicious piece of ear candy that my day just doesn’t seem right if I don’t.
Opener “Time to Let Go” right away shows that classic AOR feel pioneered by bands like JOURNEY while channeling Fahrenheit-era TOTO. Track two and my favorite “How Will I know” has more hooks than a bait and tackle shop and I defy you to listen and NOT have it swimming around your melon for days! Vocalist Lars Säfsund absolutely shines on this chorus and I will be sending him a bill for breaking my REPEAT button, that’s for sure. Heavier guitar riffs permeate “Shout till You Wake Up” in places and the rich, layered vocal harmonies really give it that extra something. Pick your favorite 80’s underdog movie and think of that part, the montage when he goes from lame to cool, or trains to beat the bully all while winning the heart of the girl. Got it? OK, now tell me “Can’t Let Go” wouldn’t be the perfect backdrop. You can’t, ‘cause it is!
Robert Säll shows off his prowess on both the guitars and keyboards to go with the tight drumming of Herman Furin throughout, but it’s especially evident on “How Do You Sleep at Night” and “The Machine” two of the faster numbers on the record. Another instant favorite was “Over the Line” a song that was made for tape decks from L.A. to New York and everywhere in between. “Hold On to Love” is just one of those songs that I can picture singing into my hairbrush back in my teens, it’s funky, airy, and happy and never fails to put me in a great mood. The TOTO influence rears its head hardcore for “Natalie” not just by being the name of a woman but musically as well. More sweet hooks abound with “The Turning Point” and for the closer the group takes things down a notch with “My Waking Dream” which although slowed-down in temp it’s not a cheesy ballad or anything.
All told Framework by WORK OF ART is yet another home run from one of the Frontiers roster. These guys have been making some serious noise since their 2008 debut and they deserve every accolade and bit of praise heaped upon them. If you consider yourself a Melodic Rock fan then you NEED this one!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM