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Spinefarm (2013)
Rating: 3/10

Finland’s Reckless Love is a band you’ll either love or hate. They are very much part of the whole metal revival scene, with numerous bands – of varying genres – from thrash to glam. These bands hope to reinvent the steel and bring back those glorious days of the 80s back to the masses. The main problem with so many of these bands, however, is that there is something so overtly plastic and almost manufactured about their sound.

Reckless Love have been in existence since 2001, but their debut self-titled opus didn’t emerge until 2010 and was followed up by the more successful 2011 offering Animal Attraction.

As one would expect from bands of this ilk, they are fronted by the charismatic blonde bombshell Olli Herman, who once sang for Swedish sleaze metallers Crashdïet. Herman is accompanied by Pepe (guitar), Jalle Verne (bass) and Hessu Max (drums)

On this new opus Reckless Love tread that oh so familiar ground that original bands such as Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, Poison, Ratt etc. had worn so thin back in the mid-to-late 80s. The big question with bands such as Reckless Love, Crashdïet and Steel Panther, is “Do we really want to hear this sort of stuff again, and yet played with less sincerity?” The answer has to be a resounding “No”.

Reckless Love are one of a number of acts playing glam-by-numbers heavy rock that simply takes all the best bits from the 80s hair metal scene, throws it all together, and then expects us to take it seriously. I guess if you’ve never heard the bands I’ve mentioned, then Reckless Love may prove to be a rewarding experience. There’s only so many clichés I can take though, because not only is Spirit so lyrically inept, but quite often it’s extremely irritating – ‘Favorite Flavor’ and ‘I Love Heavy Metal’ for instance. And that’s without the Shakira-inspired glam rock chants of ‘Night On Fire’, with its sprinkled keyboards and those “fire” rhymed with “desire” lyrics, as the band transform into any number of 80s mimics ranging from Def Leppard to Mötley Crüe et al.

Musically, Reckless Love are a mere parody, whatever their talent, and I don’t personally see how this type of metal can be taken seriously. While Steel Panther perform with tongue firmly in cheek, I’m convinced that deep down Restless Love consider themselves a serious glam rock band. When you hear the atrocious lyrics to ‘Bad Lovin’, the formulaic sways of ‘Edge Of Our Dreams’ or the bubble-gum strut of ‘Sex, Drugs & Reckless Love’, even the biggest lycra-wearing glam disciples among you will surely find this album one sickly dessert too many.

I’m not falling for the look either – again, the band lack any type of sincerity. It’s as if they’ve strolled off the “Glam Rock X-Factor”, such is the pristine pout. Why this cheesy, derivative brand of hair metal is proving so popular I’ll never know, but hopefully just one spin of the Skid Row-aped ‘Metal Ass’ or the sickly ballad ‘Hot Rain’ will have you reaching for your original vinyl that you saved from the 80s. Reckless Love need to decide whether they are a joke band or not, but either way I’m not really interested. For me, this is the music equivalent to pissing on the grave of those great times and bands of the 80s.

Neil Arnold

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