Admittedly the best songs on Von Groove’s ‘Chameleon’ come at the beginning of the album, but the remainder is still high quality melodic rock, although this third album may not have the overall quality to stand in the same light as the debut, it certainly doesn’t deserve to be completely overshadowed by it either.
Written by: Luigi
ARTIST: Von Groove
LABEL: MTM Music
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada
LINEUP: Michael Shotton – vocals, drums, percussion, keyboards * Mladen – guitars, vocals * Matthew Gerrard – bass, keyboards, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Calling The World * 02 Two Nights In Tokyo * 03 Chameleon * 04 Mission Man * 05 When Love Comes Back * 06 The Snake * 07 April May * 08 All For Rock N Roll * 09 Without You * 10 Disbeliever * 11 Propaganda * 12 Stop Sleeping Your Dreams Away * 13 Soldier Of Fortune * 14 Barely Human
As mentioned in the review of their debut, Von Groove provided a monstrous album in 1992. In 1995 they got caught up in the ‘grunge thing’, not exactly sure how to adapt to the changing face of music. Their choice of direction certainly didn’t please fans as their second album ‘Rainmaker’ had a modern and alternative sound to it.
A few years on and the band rediscovered what attracted the fans in the first place – Von Groove’s knack of writing great melodic hard rock songs. While many consider their debut in 1992 a classic, and I’m not arguing with that, ‘Chameleon’ rocks just as hard and shows the maturity that you would expect with six years having passed since the debut.
The album opens up with ‘Calling The World’ and Mladen providing some scintillating lead guitar work. Very melodic and not a tuned down guitar in sight. A short intro and then we’re into the belting ‘Two Nights In Tokyo’, rocking hard and a huge chorus. The debut comes to mind on the title track, huge guitars and Mladen just goes off. You’d think it’s about time for a ballad, but no it’s another heavy rocker ‘Mission Man’ in true Von Groove tradition.
When we do get the first ballad you expect something pretty special from this Canadian trio and they certainly deliver with ‘When Love Comes Back’. ‘The Snake’, along with ‘Propoganda’ are modern sounding melodic rock and are the albums weakest tracks. ‘April May’, ‘Without You’ and ‘Stop Sleeping Your Dreams Away’ are again, quality ballads. Not in the same league as the brilliant ‘When Love Comes Back’, but very good nonetheless. There are still some more high energy moments to come with the generic but fun ‘All For Rock ‘n’ Roll’, the catchy ‘Disbeliever’, brooding ‘Soldier Of Fortune’ and aggressive ‘Barely Human’.
Admittedly the best songs on ‘Chameleon’ come at the beginning of the album, but the remainder is still high quality melodic rock. Although Von Groove’s third album may not have the overall quality to stand in the same light as the debut, it certainly doesn’t deserve to be completely overshadowed by it.
Von Groove on Video
Calling The World
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