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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

CD-Review: Stala & So. - "Play Another Round"

Stala & So. is a Finnish glam-rock band, which consists partly of former Lordi - band members. Let me tell you one thing: this record has nothing to do with the Finnish monster rockers. If this is a good or a bad thing, you can read it below.

I'm trying to do this review a bit different than usual. I'll check with you what the promotion lines promise and what you really get here.
So yes, we find two former Lordi members on here: singer Stala was their drummer and bass player Nic Gore was also a member of the Finnish hard rock band. So is this already a sign for quality music? Certainly not, because Lordis music style is much different. It's just name dropping.

Next promotion-note: "Stala & So. can be compared to current glam/sleaze metal bands like Steel Panther, Reckless Love, Crashdiet or Crazy Lixx. Hair Metal fans will be pleased with this record."
This is the biggest lie I've ever read! Nothing on "Play Another Round" sounds like one of those bands and it has nothing to do with Hair Metal or Metal in general. I know, Stala & So. think they are a Glam Rock band, but even this is not really true (beside the look of the musicians): Stala & So. just celebrate pop-rock, where each song is very similar to another one. I was really bored, while listening to this album, because nothing on here rocks!

Songwriting is also very unspectacular. For sure, you get some catchy tunes with hit potential like the single "The Boys Are Having Fun" with a good sing-along-chorus or a beautiful ballad like "All She Wrote" with cool guitar lines in it. "Rock Until I'm Done" (which was produced by Beau Hill - Alice Cooper, Twisted Sister, Euope, ...) is also recommended, but even these songs can't rescue the whole album - it sounds way too cheesy. I can't remember hearing such a slushy album in the last months. I miss real highlights and I miss the power, which glam/sleaze rock bands usually have. Kick-ass-rock'n'roll is what it's all about in this genre and you unfortunately have this expectations on Stala & So. if you read the song titles or believe the advertisement ... believe me, they deliver nothing of that! Big fail!
By the way: the biggest crime is the cover version of Black Sabbath's "Shot In The Dark" ... just bad.

Ok, let's go on: "The musicians play with lots of enthusiasm. It's all about having fun." Really? Can't hear anything of that. For sure, they are playing well, but wihtout any power or creativity. There is no fantastic performance on here, just solid work at least. Singer Stala also sounds just "OK" to me. He has not this kind of attitude in his voice, which would be necessary to be a remarkable singer in this genre.
Please don't expect a punchy production or something like that.

So, the bottom line is that I can only warn you: fans of Steel Panther, Kissin' Dynamite, Crashdiet, ... DON'T buy this album! It can't fullfill its big promises. The whole record just passed me by. Nothing grabed my attention or thrilled me. You can use "Play Another Round" as backround music, but rarely more. It fails to deliver you an intense listening experience. It has nothing to do with metal or hard rock in general ... I wouldn't even call it AOR. You just get simple radio-friendly pop-rock off the shelf.
The most creative thing here are the statements on the promotion flyer. A true candidat for worst album of the year. Sorry, guys!



01. Rock Until I'm Done *
02. Tokyo Delights
03. The Boys Are Having Fun *
04. Never Again
05. Back Together
06. Alrite Tonite
07. Life goes On
08. All Alone
09. All She Wrote *
10. For Your Love
11. Rockstar
12. Pamela
13. Shot In The Dark (Black Sabbath cover)

* best tracks

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