Coastland Ride
On Top of the World

1. Act Of Faith (One Million Reasons)
2. Wait
3. On Top Of The World
4. Second Chance
5. Made Up My Mind
6. Sandra
7. Save You From Yourself
8. Lodestar
9. Strange Confusion
10. Jericho Falls
11. Nail Me To The Cross

Markus Nordenberg - Lead & background vocals, add. keyboards
Anders Rybank- Guitars, keyboards, bass & programming
Mikael Bohlin- Guitars, keyboards & programming

Coastland Ride (2003)

Sven Larsson- Guitar solo on 1, 2, 5, 7, 11
Leif Eriksson- Guitar solos on 3, 8, 10
Morgan Östlin– saxophone solo on 4
Patrik Norman– guitars, bass, keyboards, drums & programming on 7, 8
Mikael Cederholm, Benka Jansson: Backing vocals on 5
Maria Ritzén– female vocals on 10
Mark Woznicki– the voice on 10

Produced by Coastland Ride
Mixed by Coastland Ride & Patrik Norman
Mastering by Jonas Ekström

Released 9/12-2011
Reviewed 4/12-2011

avenue of allies

The are actually not that far from where I live, Coastland Ride who are one more Swedish melodic rock band of which you know there are quite many these days. I guess it is something in the water, if you are from Östersund that is quite literally the case but I do not think that something did well for the song writing last year (for you who wonder it was a parasite infestation in the drinking water last winter around this time). Coastland Ride are not from Östersund so it is no problem for them I guess and they have managed to find quite an attractive cover art for the second album. Not the most active band when it comes to releasing albums, they formed in 1997 and released their debut in 2003 and now many years later comes the sophomore effort which is called On Top of the World. The band will also be releasing their debut album remastered with three bonus tracks on the same day and that one we will have reviewed later on. They have also promised that they will not take the same time between this and the next album, I guess only time will tell if that is correct, they don’t really need to hurry if they want the next album to come within a shorter space of time from this anyway.

Musically it is melodic rock or as many like to say AOR and it is quite typical of the genre in its disposition with the catchy choruses the guitar driven melodies, the keys all of it falls within the parameters without really stepping out of line in any way. The singer may not be as clean in his voice or high pitched as the Joseph Williams type singers of the really Toto-inspired bands but it is not that far from it either. Overall the songs fall within the classical AOR genre but there is one song that stand out as quite different and a bit out of place in scope of how it looks, we’ll pass on that later on in the text. The sound is as clean as you can expect from a swedish band of this genre, no more no less so adequate production is probably the thing to say about that. This album plays for 47 minutes and has eleven tracks.

What strikes me first when I listen to this album is how good the opening track is, the chorus and the melodies in that track called Act of Faith (One Million Reasons) are simply brilliant. And the few tracks like Wait and the title track that follows this opening tracks cannot really be said to be worse either, it all shapes up to be something really good and I begin formulating positive remarks for a five of seven rating. Thing is though that somewhere down the line during the second half of the album it is as if it just dies, the songs don’t grab me anymore and I become increasingly bored with what I hear. It is as though they just lost the inspiration to write good songs towards the end of the album, maybe they thought that half of it was okay and they didn’t need any more good tracks just some noise to fill out the album. I actually have a hard time staying awake when I listen to the end of this album as it is just mind bogglingly dull.

Why do they have the second to last song even on the album, the spoken word singing is terrible and it reminds me of the quality of Zapp Brannigan’s sining in Futurama the led to a crash of a space borne restaurant because of how bad he was, that is what this song is mostly remnant of. Sure the chorus of it is good but the spoken word singing sucks more than an S3 by Nilfisk. It is just a horrible track that I can’t understand why it is on the album. But sure the fact is that the last part of the album is really poor, especially compared to how good the first part of the album is.

So in the end it is an album that starts excellently and surprises me with that and then it ends in an awful way which makes it a bit of a Harvey Dent in the end and I would say that the two sides equal out quite evenly. Still, the album ends up being good on the end as the excellent start is just enough to hold it on an approved level. So in the end it is an okay album and great if you don’t play it too far beyond the halfway mark.





Label: Avenue of Allies/GerMusica
Three similar bands: Big Life/Afterhours/Soul Seller
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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