Beyond Control

1. Rising Danger
2. Fire
3. Live until you die
4. Forever and a day
5. Follow me
6. Prefix
7. The Band
8. War
9. Flying
10. RIP
11. Bite me
12. All-in

Marcel Betschart (Lead guitar)
Andreas Betschart (Bass)
Armin Betschart (Drums)
Matthias Betschart (Rhythm Guitar)
Pascal Gwerder (Vocals)

Overheated (2007)


Produced and Mixed by: Mike Slamer
Co-Produced by: Tommy Denander
Mastered by: Christoph Stickel at MSM-Studios Germany

Released 25/5-2012
Reviewed 1/8-2012


Talk about selling a story. As Escape Music promoted their environmental success band Polutions second album they made a reference to Nickelback, saying Polution has taken a step from their dirty, hardkickin' rock 'n' metal and also added a flavour of modern rock, kicking ass with bands like Nickelback… which seems to be a story selling world-wide around in review-circuits, despite the fact that Polution doesn't sound the least like the Canadians and their only song with some sort of similarity to them is the soft slow-rocker Forever And A Day. So, cheer cheer for the promoters of Escape Music, I don't think I've ever read so many references to Nickelback, and definitely not from a band that's in a completely different vein of the hard rock (and by the way, why would any one want to sound like Nickelback in the first place?).

Polution sounds more like their countrymen in Krokus, Gotthard and Sideburn, they play dirty and their sound is far from the clean and super produced - like those cross-referenced earlier. Polution are Swiss and have four Betschart-jungen in the line-up, they play simple hard rock or heavy metal without making it complicated by overdoing things. Some would call it scaled-down and easy, but doing this kind of music is definitely something that demands competence from those who play it, otherwise it rapidly gets boring and uninteresting. I think Polution succeed quite well in maintaing the interest, though, and even though most songs sound quite similar to each other it never goes to a point where you feel it's repetitive and starts to annoy yourself over the whole things. Polutions songs are simply made with something that could described as 50% melodies and 50% raw energy, not overly produced - as I mentioned earlier - but the rough edges and fribble transitions between things are not things that really bothers you. This is a band that want to play simple, nice hard rock without the fuzz and buzz of complicated things in it, because they never wanted to produce something impressively technical and eco-friendly with lots of performance and no character. They did a Big Foot and left the Toyota Prios to those pop-oriented rock acts that wanted those other things.

I think there are quite a few good tracks on 'Beyond Controll' - like the already mentioned Forever And A Day, The Band And All In. And why not Fire? The songs are both hard and soft, fast and slow and mostly good - despite not being extremely varied and innovative. But is this the kind of music you like I'm pretty sure Polution will do the job more than well! This is well played but uncomplicated music with heavy guitars, battering drums and true rock 'n' roll vocals: a bit heavy and a bit rough yet still comfortable to hear.

However… doing an album like this always feels like something of a dilemma to me, because how will you ever do an album like this original and unconventional? Or at least enough not to become predictable and dull already from the moment it hits the stores? We can turn history over and over, round and round but we still can't escape the fact that this kind of straight to the point hard rock has existed for at least 30-40 years by now and hundreds of bands has released albums within the branch, all playing a kind of music that's pretty hard to vary from the very beginning. So the dilemma is to distinguish yourself despite all this, and do something that feels interesting and not repetitious from previous music. Well, I think 'Beyond Controll' feels a bit familiar all over the album, but I still think Polution has made a good job because they haven't chosen the easiest path but they still comes out at the other end without getting annoying me for their lack of personality. I could gladly play this album again in the future, despite not even being a big fan of this branch of the hard rock tree in the first place.

So if you like the dirt kickin', simple and traditionall rock 'n' metal hard rock… well, then you surely have a good chance to harvest a good album from this band. They may have some rough edges and such "flaws" but their entire point is to be entertaining and they succeed being so. So what difference makes some pollution? Perhaps none, perhaps a lot, but Polution 'Beyond Controll' is something I can live with.



Label: Escape Music/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Krokus/Gotthard/Sideburn
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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