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Relentless Garage, Highbury 25 September 2010

Twenty-something Finns Reckless Love are making a big name for themselves with their fun, good-time revival of the best of eighties hair metal.

It was a musical genre many thought would never come back (is that Kurt Cobain I hear spinning in his grave below?) but they are riding the crest of a revival that, on the evidence of a near sold out crowd at the Garage, is attracting fans across the spectrum: from the new generation to those of us who are still, to borrow a lyric, still preoccupied with 19-1985.

Blonde singer Olli Herman (ex Crash Diet) comes on stage looking like a less wasted Michael Monroe, and doing Dave Lee Roth style high kicks, and the DLR era Van Halen influences were clear on songs like opener 'Feel My Heat' and 'So Yeah'. Their musical style is basic, though competent, and at times they do sound like a pastiche of other bands. Notably, 'Love Machine' was the bastard marriage of I Love Rock'n Roll and Pour Some Sugar on Me.

Yet, like most Scandinavian rockers, the Finns can sure write a commercial tune, and the likes of 'Wild Touch', the Bon Jovi-esque 'Romance' and the insanely catchy 'Paradise' had more hooks than a North Sea whaling fleet.

One surprise came with a cover of 'Hysteria', which was excellent and only really failed to match the original in the vocal harmony department, before they finished with two classic pieces of pop metal in 'Badass' (sic) and 'Beautiful Bomb', the crowd at the front going crazy, and an encore of 'One More Time', whose glam stomp almost harks back to the original early 70's glamsters. The set was only 55 minutes long, but certainly whetted my appetite for their Firefest performance next month.

I could have listed Poison, Kiss , Danger Danger and White Lion among other bands that their performance called to mind.  Reckless Love are not in their league yet, but the torch, or should I say the can of hairspray, could be passing to a new generation.

Review by Andy Nathan

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