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GOTTHARD ‘Lip Service’ Nuclear Blast (2005)

Gotthard have been one of a few hard rock bands that have weathered the grunge boom of the 90’s and had considerably sales success.

In their native Switzerland the band regularly top the album charts and their easily one of their best. The first two tracks are veritable hard rock classics with ‘All We Are’ featuring rampaging guitar breaks and the classy vocals of Steve Lee, whilst ‘Dream On’ has a big guitar riff and equally big chorus. ‘Lift ‘u’ Up’ tips a nod to Slade and the Glitter Band with its repetitive drum beat. It is one of those songs you keep singing for days after hearing it.

Gotthard know their way around a ballad as well with the Leppard like harmonies on ‘Everything I Want’ streets ahead of Def Leppard or Bon Jovi’s latter-day ballads.

In fact the only slight drawback with this album is in the running order as you hit a glut of mid-tempo/ballads after three barnstorming openers (although this is easily remedied by the programme button on your CD player!).

Production-wise it is listener’s dream as all the instruments have their place and none overwhelm at the cost of others in the mix. Steve Lee is never in danger of getting drowned out in all the hard rock-riffing and he is a very underrated vocalist.

Another ‘must have’ for lovers of hard rock and good to see this type of music is alive and well in the hands of Gotthard, TNT and Harem Scarem. Go buy!

****½

Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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