Swedish band LAST AUTUMN’S DREAM is one of many bands that have escaped my attention so far, but I understand they have managed to make a strong name for themselves in the 15 or so years they have been active. “Paintings” is their 12th studio album, and was released by German label AOR Heaven in 2016 (a Japanese market edition was issued by Japanese label Avalon at the tail end of 2015).
What this band is successful at is recreating the melodic hard rock and hair metal sounds that was popular back in the 1980’s. In this case with something of an emphasis of the former, LADS are closer to the likes of Bon Jovi than they are to the likes of Twisted Sister. Fairly smooth and mostly radio friendly hard rock in other words. The song structures, arrangements and melody lines doesn’t bring anything new to the table as such: This is music made for those who enjoy this specific type of rock music, and will have what I may diplomatically describe as a limited appeal to those in need of something new and innovative.
It is a good album however. Especially the uptempo songs makes a strong impression, where the band manage to combine firm guitar riffs, pumping bass and contrasting delicate keyboard arrangements excellently, with occasional occurrences of a more majestic keyboards and guitar combination to add punch and depth. The chorus sections are appealing with strong singalong qualities, and the band does know how to add the occasional unexpected detail to the table as well. An Eye for an Eye a good example of just that. That they manage to transform Reo Speedwagon’s Take It On The Run into an Americana flavored affair that wouldn’t have been out of place on one of the classic Bon Jovi albums is also fairly impressive. Still, as far as I’m concerned they key track from this production is the stomping, uptempo and anthem-oriented Bring Out the Heroes. A more powerful composition through and through, and a clear highlight for being just that, as well as positive, vibrant and uplifting.
Melodic hard rock featuring edgy guitar details and a raspy lead vocal to contrast and supplement the otherwise more careful and smooth elements of the songs appears to be the major strengths of Last Autumn’s Dream, and those who feel compelled to check out an album based on that summary should find Last Autumn’s Dream’s 12th studio album “Paintings” worth giving a spin.
My rating: 8/10
My Mistake to Make; Bring Out the Heroes; Out of Love; Too Late; Take It on the Run; Won’tcha Stay the Night; An Eye for an Eye; Bitter Blue; In Case of Landing on Water; Rock Star Crazy
Jamie Borger – drums, percussion, vocals
Ulf Wahlberg – keyboards
Mikael Erlandsson – vocals, keyboards, guitars
Nalle Påhlsson – bass, guitars, vocals
Peter Söderström – guitars
Christer Falk – saxophone