Written by: Blackie Skulless
I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t even realize that Mike Tramp had such a big catalog of solo albums until I stumbled upon his newest, Second Time Around. For those unaware, he was famous for fronting the Danish/American glam metal band White Lion in the ‘80s, before later forming Freak Of Nature, and eventually going solo. The focus has certainly shifted since then, regarding energy. Singers going solo like this can pretty much be hit or miss.
Different doesn’t mean bad, though. Second Time Around is very AOR driven, aiming itself towards songs that are more tame in nature and come from a singer/songwriter life perspective. A lot of this is built around summer-related themes, particularly the fun of highways and driving. Though that obviously leaves room for plenty of cheese, the lyrics have strength in poetic flow. This is usually what I would expect from older artists that once fronted bigger heavy metal acts.
Move aside, typical intro. In a tidy break from the normal band bio hullabaloo, Märvel have brought a genuinely intriguing story detailing the release of their latest. As they tell it: back in the primordial aughts, three Swedish exchange students in Denver found themselves in an exciting situation--after being picked up by a US indie label, the original vers kion of this EP was recorded. And then...it didn't see the light of day. This was due, firstly, to the label not releasing it as planned, and, secondly, the untimely demise of the master tapes in 2008's Universal Studios fire. Thankfully for us slumbering Villagers (and you as well,) the four tracks that constitute Märvellous have been reborn anew.
This current iteration of those lost songs is not, however, an exact replica. In the band's words, "we wanted to play, produce and record the songs as well as we possibly could." And so here we are, listening to the pseudo-original tunes from a band who have since gone on to prove themselves worthy to shoulder the burden of rock 'n' roll revitalization.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!