Gotthard are probably the next best thing out of Switzerland since Krokus.
Written by: gdmonline
SERIAL: 74321 21055 2
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Switzerland
LINEUP: Steve Lee – vocals * Leo Leoni – guitars and vocals * Marc Lynn – bass
Additional Musicians: Vivian Campbell – guitar (Tracks 3 & 6) * Pat Regan – keyboards * Neil Otupacca – keyboards * Hena Habegger – session drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Standing In The Light * 02 Downtown * 03 Firedance * 04 Hush * 05 Mean Street Rocket * 06 Get Down * 07 Take Me * 08 Angel * 09 Lonely Heartache * 10 Hunter * 11 All I Care For * 12 That’s It (CD Bonus Track)
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Gotthard are probably the next best thing out of Switzerland since Krokus. And though our AC/DC inspired mates haven’t been on-song since 2010’s ‘Hoodoo’, Gotthard meanwhile still keep their fires burning.
Especially after the unfortunate passing of vocalist Steve Lee in a motorcycle accident over in the USA a couple of years ago now. Gotthard have rebuilt their kingdom with new lead singer; Aussie born Nic Maeder, but really the whole party started way back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, with a band called Forsale.
A 1988 album release from that band introduced us to Steve Lee, and by 1992 with Gotthard’s debut out in the market, the whole world sat up and took notice, even if the industry timing wasn’t quite right. In fact, Gotthard were one of the few bands to sail right through the grunge era without taking too much damage, and released a bunch of albums all through that timeframe. But really, the buck starts here with this album. Let’s take a look.
A big production thanks to Krokus‘s Chris von Rohr, and big guitars announce the kick-ass intro for ‘Standing In The Light’, the riff is as familiar as cold beer, and tastes just as good. Seguing into the monstrous ‘Downtown’, Gotthard know how to ramp up the action judging by this raucous rocker! ‘Firedance’ runs at a slower tempo, and builds up steadily over its 6 minute run time.
‘Hush’ is another big-sounding affair, with a nice tempo accentuated by a steady metronomic rhythm. I’m sure Deep Purple will be proud of the way Gotthard rip into this cover. The word ‘impress’ is now starting to hit home, and if the first 4 songs weren’t enough, Gotthard turn it up a notch for the mighty ‘Mean Street Rocket’, a real rabble-rouser bar none. The Swiss maestros turn their hand to a blues and boogie routine on ‘Get Down’, but still their trademark hard rock is apparent.
‘Take Me’ never eases off the gas, it’s full frontal rock n roll, Steve Lee delivering a command performance thus far. Perhaps their most recognisable ballad over the years is the heaven-sent ‘Angel’, a gorgeous song which takes some beating. Two rockers follow; ‘Lonely Heartche’ and ‘Hunter’, an acoustic ballad ‘All I Care For’ showcases their other side, while the closer ‘That’s It’ is bombastic heavy rock with loads of double kick drums that bows out at 1min 16sec. And that is literally that!
An impressive album for 1992, and the beginning of a legacy that carries through to today. The album made it to #5 on the Swiss charts, and from here on in, every album has made it into the top 5, making Gotthard one of the most successful Swiss acts of all time. The band followed this up with 1994’s ‘Dial Hard’, which continued their aggressive style of melodic rock.