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Nubian Rose - 'Mountain' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/07/c1/42/2941_nubianrosemountain_1352147987.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 05, 2012    
 
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Hard-hitting, up-tempo female fronted rock with tons of attitude.

It’s been a while since I heard such a female-fronted rock album as this, and Nubian Rose have certainly been a pleasant surprise. Their current under-the-radar status is sure to change the more people get a chance to hear this wonderful debut.

The band is based around the vocal talents of one Sofia Lilja, who happens to be the vocal coach on Sweden’s TV4 show, Idol. But Sofia can certainly do more than coach, as she has co-written eight of the ten songs on offer here, one of the others being a cover of the Ozzy/Lita hit ‘Close My Eyes Forever’, where Mats Leven takes the Ozzy role.

The bio – and thus several reviews – state Ann Wilson as a point of reference, but personally I find that lazy journalism. Sofia has an added grit to her voice, and for me comes across as an amalgam of Gudren Laos (LAOS) and Debbie Davis (Witness). The LAOS reference is also strengthened through the hard hitting music, with guitarists Christer Akerlund and Thomas Lindgren (both also main song writers) playing up a virtual storm, and keboardist Fredrik Akerlund adding delighful flourishes that simply scream LAOS.

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This is not AOR, this is pulsating melodic hard rock with attitude aplenty. Just listen to ‘Get Ready’ with its opening riff on the Scorps ‘Rock You Like a Hurricane’ which then rushes into a pounding hard rocker that is equal parts Witness and LAOS. Absolutely wonderful stuff! ‘Your Love’ is the type of song Lita Ford would have been singing in her prime, while ‘Reckless’ opens up like something Da Vinci would have been proud to call their own before Sofia takes the lead vocal by the throat and makes the song her own. In fact, the previously mentioned Ozzy cover is the only track that I really don’t dig so much; it just doesn’t seem to have the verve and drive of the other songs, although that’s probably down to the actual song rather than any drop in quality of performance.

Luckily ‘Sisters’ closes out the album in full-throttled style, and sees normal service resumed. Special mention must also be made for the mix by Tobias Lindell, one of Sweden’s most eminent producers (Europe, Hardcore Superstar, HEAT, Crash Diet) who has created a work with immense power and clarity.

Bottom line, for any fans of hard-hitting, up-tempo female fronted rock with tons of attitude, you simply must buy this album. This Nubian Rose is surely going to bloom into something just a bit special before long!

Bruce Mee

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