License - 'License 2 Rock' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     April 19, 2018    
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The absence of variety and originality might ultimately be the sticking point with the feeling that you've heard this all before.

Where else but the wild and whacky world of Rock 'n' Roll and Metal could you get away with the sort of extravagant claim that "you can't buy the license to rock, you have to own it. License does!"

They're the brainchild of local Ludwigsburg guitar hero Steam Thiess who's not going to let a touch of nepotism hold back his ambition. Bringing his daughter Jacky Coke on board on vocals, the License line-up is completed by the splendidly named rhythm section of Pappe (bass) and Sammy Sin (drums).

Their debut is Classic Metal. What they call heavy and melodic and "back to the eighties without sounding dated" – an interesting claim in itself so bear with us for a moment. They follow the strongly emerging trend on 'License 2 Rock' with an introductory instrumental piece, imaginatively titled 'In The Beginning', to lead into the first proper track

'Don't Touch The Light'. It's a down to earth, honest slab of Metal fronted by an extravagant coarse vocal sneer, when the thought strikes that perhaps License are flying the flag for a new genre – TRONWOBHM. Flows off the tongue quite nicely, unlike The Return Of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. All the ingredients are there; big sustained chords, plenty of denim/satin and leather (probably that is as License prove one hell of a difficult band to Google to check on their sartorial splendour) and a rhythm section that keeps things simple and straight on the button.

For a highlight, check out the belter of a mid-album track 'Watching' – a sleazy hard riff matched by a lyric that doesn't hold back, like the music, it's straight to the point. Literal is the word. The sound of a steam engine heralds, yes... you've guessed it, 'Metal Train' and a sense of déjà vu emerges as some random tuning across the frequency dials serves as the intro to 'Turn On The Radio', but by now you're probably one step ahead. Again, there's some musical potential, even if it touches base more than once with Joe Elliott's boys from the Steel City, and if you enjoy digging, a few more influences may surface.

To be fair, the absence of variety and originality might ultimately be the sticking point with the feeling that you've heard this all before, simply because you probably have. The promise of 'Nights Of Pleasure' from License might just be pushing their luck a tad.

Mike Ainscoe

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