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High Road Easy - 'III' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/fe/0d/c7/high-road-easy-III-57-1443559172.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 29, 2015    
 
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'III' feels very dry and undernourished, like a collection of works in progress.

German duo of vocalist Jan Knopf and guitarist Sven Horlemann are High Road Easy and the imaginatively titled 'III' is their third collaboration. Previous reviews and descriptions given about this band indicate that they should be right up my street, but after giving the album a spin, I just don't hear many of these comparisons; they definitely lack the polished commerciality of many of the bands that others claim High Road Easy are akin to. They are very raw and have an unfinished quality to their overall production that is sparse and unadulterated, that puts them a million miles away from the highly polished and produced Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Toto comparisons.

While they are without doubt a driven Melodic Hard Rock band, they have a rawer Hard Rock vibe and driven Rock and Roll energy than I would associate with your average Melodic Rock band. I just find the overall feel of 'III' to be undefined with lots of varying influences from Prog Rock structures to more standard Hard Rock punches to some Metallic guitar riffs and, to be honest, it doesn't always blend well for me and makes the album, at times, hard going.

It's not a bad album. I can't point out different flaws or specific problems that make that so, it is just very mediocre (to me) as it doesn't leave a lasting impression; it literally goes in one ear and out the other. There are some nice ideas that do stand out in a few songs which do indicate that, depending on an individual's own preferences, there is a lot to be enjoyed here. But for me, the consistently weak choruses make it an extremely forgettable album.

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'III' feels very dry and undernourished, like a collection of works in progress, and the lack of any serious hooks only highlights this. There are some songs that do stand out; these are the mid-tempo Rocker 'Higher Ground', with its atmospheric vibe and cool vocal melodies, the "no nonsense" Rocker 'Haywire' due to its energetic guitar riff and 'Wings' which has some cool laid back keyboards during the verses and an effective atmospheric tone.

'III' is raw and dirty Melodic Rock and definitely not for people who like things highly polished and a production that has everything plus the kitchen sink thrown at it. But if you like things a little rawer, the driven guitar riffs and Rock 'n' Roll energy displayed here could possibly appeal to you.

Paul Woodward

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