SCORE - 55%
Sweden’s Reach have straddled the line between classic rock and modern melodic rock for their first two records, but album number 3 sees them go completely overboard…or completely AWOL. Take your pick.
Gone are any anchors to the traditional melodic rock sound, with the band fully embracing modern experimental rock, with touches of electronic rock (Muse), pop (Coldplay) and falsetto rock (The Darkness). Add in the most flamboyant aspects of Queen’s experimentation with pomp-rock and some 70s symphonic ELO and you might get some idea of what’s going on here.
I have tried and tried and tried again with this album, but its not for me. And I think for those that followed the band as they trod a similar path as One Desire, Palace, Wildness and the like will probably find this album too ‘out there’ to appreciate.
There are some lush orchestral parts to the album, almost symphonic in the elaborate production and the layers of programming included. To the perfect audience, it is a really well-made record.
The guys have made a clear determination of their musical path with this record and it’s not 80s rock. For that reason, they might find themselves picking up a completely new fanbase – ones with an appreciation of modern commercial alt-rock and retro rock acts like Cats In Space. I’m not sure how many fans of the first two records will follow them into their third.
You have to admire the lads for their bold musical exploration here. But they aren’t The Darkness or Muse and I was personally thankful for that.
Their bio now describes themselves as an alternative rock band. Fair play to the guys, but I’m not a fan of alternative rock.