Perfect Plan – All Rise
Before you start panicking, this isn’t the UK boy band Blue under a different name to fool the punters. This is Perfect Plan from that hotbed of melodic rock Örnsköldsvik (a place sooooo metal, it has two umlauts in its name – now that’s what I call metal!). What I meant was, Sweden. Ya see, the Swedes turn out more melodic rock than a bear with the shits, who shits in the woods. It's not as if they are pants either, most are well known across Europe and beyond – Eclipse, Treat, The Poodles, Reach, WET, and about 800 more!
In fact I've long been saying that as soon as these musical buggers leave school, its National Service (i.e. THE LAW) to start up a melodic rock, or a death metal band, or anything in-between. Don’t believe me – then go and Google ‘Swedish Rock Bands’.
Perfect Plan started in 2014, and came to the attention of Frontiers about 12 months ago. It took them nearly three years to dig themselves out of their snow covered bunker. There was a sixth member, but he got eaten when lots were drawn and it was down to band survival. They are Rolf Nordström (guitar), P-O Sedin (bass), Fredrik Forsberg Drums), Leif Ehlin (Keys), and new singer Kent Hilli who’s only output I can dig up is a single from 2016 called Silent Prayer, and is as far away from Perfect Plan, as I am to Örnsköldsvik!
Just listen to opening track ‘Bad City Woman’ and its instantly noticeable that this is going to be something good, nay, special. Hilli has a great voice for melodic rock, think of a Danny Vaughn/Hugo/Dave Bickler hybrid and you’ll not be far wrong. It has all the right bits - Breathy vocals (check), high pitched vocals that only certain mammals can hear (check), an instantly memorable chorus (check, and check again). It (BCW) even has a lengthy fade out which is practically unheard of nowadays. ‘In And Out Of Love’ gets my juices flowing with a nice organ (fnarr!) opening riff. It was a teaser for the album back in February that I instantly fell in (but not out of) love with. A huge song that would have made them a household name had this been 1988 and not 2018. It’s easy to overplay and go all widdly on guitar solos, but Nordström plays it with a straight bat, and doesn’t go for 280 notes a second, and lets the song breathe and has the hallmarks of being a modern classic.
‘Stone Cold Lover’ is a high tempo number that’s very Tyketto like, and recent video ‘Gone Too Far’ draws on Journey and has touches of Bailey in his vocals. ‘Taking Me Down’ s chorus throws all its influence firmly at Hardline’s door. ‘Too Late’ carries on with its catchy, well, everything really. Fad enough? Of course you haven’t, as Perfect Plan what to pummel you into melodic rock submission. ‘Can’t Turn Back’ is a song that is so eighties it was recorded on a beach in 120 degrees with the band wearing leg warmers, and listening to Walkmans. (Look it up Millennials!). It’s a punchy pop rock song that would have ‘No Limits’ (again Millennials, look, Google, etc.,) fans pouting in anticipation. ‘Never Surrender’ is catchy as a UHU covered baseball mitt. ‘1985’ is as corny as they come, and wears it proud ‘take me back, wet me tell you about rock n roll, it’s a part of my body and soul, as all I wanna do is rock n roll with you’ and were gonna rock this city like its 85!’ and lots of other clichés that they have raided from many a hair metal band, and so on. Hell Yeah!! I’m sold. It is clichéd and been done before, but when its done this good, who cares? Not me. It doesn’t end there, both ‘What Can I Do?’ and ‘Heaven In Your Eyes’ round up proceedings very nicely.
I think this could be in the melodic rock Top 3 for many a list come the end of the year. Perfect Plan have pretty much nailed it, an album chock full of catchy, quality tunes that will me the envy, and enjoyment of many.
No doubt other reviewers, particularly melodic rock ones will be wetting their nappies in pure orgasmic delight at this release. Lets be honest here, whilst it isn’t a Foreigner ‘4’, Journey ‘Frontiers’ or Icon ‘Night Of The Crime’, its just bloody good and thoroughly deserves a nine.
Bad City Woman
In And Out Of Love
Stone Cold Lover
Gone Too Far
What Goes Around
Can’t Turn Back
What Can I Do
Heaven In Your Eyes
Released by Frontiers April 20th