September 15, 2014 Gotthard – Bang! (Album review)
Swiss rockers Gotthard, from Lugano, Switzerland was founded by vocalist Steve Lee and guitarist Leo Leoni in the early 1990’s. Highly respected and huge in their home country with their last fourteen albums, ten studio and four live, they have reached one selling over 4 million since their self-titled debut back in 1992. The current line-up is made up of Leoni, Freddy Scherer (guitar), Marc Lynn (bass), Hena Habegger (drums) and recording his second album with the band as their lead vocalist, Nic Maeder, following the tragic passing of Steve Lee in a motorcycle accident in late 2010. Gotthard, now release their fifteenth overall album, Bang!, through The End Records, produced by one of their own, Leoni, along with Charlie Bauerfeind, who has worked with fellow greats Helloween, HammerFall, and Saxon.
The kick-off track on this album is the title, “Bang!”, which has elements of a classic boogie to it; try thinking of a more rocking Brian Setzer style. It is the second video/single from the album right after “Feel What I Feel”; a very fun music composition with a poppy chorus of “Bang, bang banging around the world.” There is no doubt that if someone were to hear this track for the first time, and not knowing who the band is, they would want to know as this song can capture the attention of any music fan, whether or not they are a fan of rock-n-roll.
Moving along, it seems Gotthard tried out a new sound path that could surprise long-time listeners of the band. A prime example of such is the song “C’est La Vie”; a soft ballad that starts with intertwining piano and what sounds like a Spanish acoustic guitar, and then enters an accordion which stays an integral part of this song. Very mellow, light, and calming, not only is this song new territory for them, it contains a wonderful message behind it. The message being about dreams, not giving up on one’s dreams, not having anyone taking away their dreams, and possibly someday changing the world. The final tune on Bang!, besides the added bonus tracks, “Thank You” was written as a tribute to one of the band members, whose mother had passed. It is a pretty long song, in fact the longest tune in their entire catalogue, clocking in at ten minutes. The track is very delicate, as any mothers love would be to their children. It is a beautiful one, saying thank you for everything a mother has done and the child saying everything they need to before the fatal moment of losing that important person before it is too late.
In conclusion, Gotthard put out a straight-ahead, no add-on’s rock-n-roll record, with the exception of new instruments in their band’s musical resume. Surely their fan base will not complain with the additions they have not heard before coming out from the band. As a matter of fact, it could be looked at as a welcomed change. Nic Maeder does a fine job on his second full studio album with Gotthard, providing the band’s chemistry is unified as they exhibit their growth. CrypticRock give Bang! 4 out of 5 stars.