Pure Tonic - 'Bliss N' Bleakness'

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Pure Tonic - 'Bliss N' Bleakness'

A very good debut.

'Bliss N' Bleakness' is the debut album from Pure Tonic, a five-piece group from North Germany. The band formed in 2010 and have been active on the live circuit, but other than an EP released in 2013 this is their first full-length studio album. It consists of ten songs that were recorded over a five-day period at the GAGA studio in Hamburg with the speed of the recording to my ears giving a real raw, almost live edge to the sound. The group likens their style to Airbourne and Rise Against, although to my ears the only comparison to Airbourne is the pure energy displayed in every track. There are plenty of catchy riffs, melodic intervals and some thunderous drumming throughout the release with Pascal Sievers vocal contribution ranging between a gentle ballad-like tone on 'Show Me Your World' to a full-on gruff metallic scream on 'Last Goodbye'.

The opener 'On A Raid' reminded me initially of My Chemical Romance due to its very Indie Rock-like style, whereas 'Roll The Dice' is a rocker that immediately opens with a heavy guitar riff which doesn't let up for the whole song, sounding a bit like the Foo Fighters crossed with Lordi. 'Show Me Your World' starts off as a ballad through a simple riff and vocal part which increases in pace with each chorus before a full Rock-out finale. 'Caraway Brandy' is a heavy Blues track that would have been at home in the late-sixties, while the 'Last Goodbye' is a real rocker right from the opening riff through to the finishing note. 'Rise' has a similar structure to 'Show Me Your World', whereas 'Dance In Hell' and 'Bad Game' lean more to the heavier side of the band's repertoire. 'Old Familiar Fantasy' has one of those catchy riffs that stick in your head long after the song has finished, and the final song 'All My Life' is another offering that owes a nod to the Foo Fighters.

All in all this is a very good debut and I recommend listening to 'Show Me Your World', 'Last Goodbye' and 'Old Familiar Fantasy' if you want to hear the best of what Pure Tonic have to offer.

Chris Mee

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