Wild Frontier

1. 2012
2. To the end of the world
3. It´s all over now
4. Another lonely day without you
5. Why don´t you save me
6. Stay Tough
7. Favorite
8. It´s all up to you
9. Tonight Tonight Tonight
10. Can´t you hear me calling
11. Long gone
12. Why are the good things too hard to find
13. Gimme Gimme Gimme (bonus track)

Jens Walkenhorst (Lead Vocals & Guitar)
Mario Erdmann (Bass & Vocals)
Thomas Ellenberger (Keyboards & Vocals)
Sascha Fahrenbach (Drums & Guitar)
Nico Fahrenbach (Drums)

One way to heaven (1994)
Thousand miles away (1998)
Stick your neck out (2003)
Bite the bullet (2007)


Bob Jensen (Producer)

Released 4/5-2012
Reviewed 14/8-2012

music buy mail

There's already quite a few albums with a name referring to the year it was made and released. Two known examples are '1984' by Van Halen and '1+9+8+4' by Status Quo, and now Wild Frontier have chosen to make an album referring to the year (not 1984, though). It's an album concluded by the classic Abba song Gimme Gimme Gimme and introduced by the title track 2012, the year of the apocalypse.

These Germans has made a habit out of releasing album with a four or five year interval and therefore it's not strange that this fifth album is released a full five years after the last one, making it 18 years since the release of debut album 'One Way To Heaven'. 18 years is the common age when you're treated as an adult in the world, in Sweden 18 years old are allowed to go to the pub and drink alcohol, buy and drink beer, have a drivers license and sign their own contracts without anyones authority, like an apartment or a car. So this band of age are now mature enough to enter the world of possibilities and not surprisingly there's also a birthday involved in this album then, which is the keyboardist Thomas Ellenberger who has his birthday 20/12 (the 20th of December), just one day before the predicted end of the earth.

So let's direct our attention to the album '2012', which begins with a half a minute long instrumental intro track before heading in to the first real song, called To The End Of The World and is a song about the coming apocalypse. As someone that's never heard Wild Frontier earlier I'm first striked by the vocal performance of Jens Walkenhorst as the music is quite traditional hard rock or somewhat slower heavy metal and not particularly different to anything else out there except perhaps the many arrangements with keyboards that appears every now and then. However, Walkenhorst has a very different voice, in my opinion, which necessarily isn't either something positive or negative… but it can work as something of a trademark for the band if they can't distinguish themselves with their music. But what's so different about him then? Well, it's his hoarse yet still not particularly rough voice. It's pretty high pitched, but still a hard and strong heavy metal voice. Best described if heard with own ears.

The music on '2012' isn't in itself particularly special or different from anything else but I still can't help feeling it has something special about it, which makes it very hard to just move on from untouched. Another Lonely Day Without You and Why Don't You Save Me are both really nice songs in the first half of the album, and the following Stay Tough is also a good song with the heavier guitars and, for the genre, dared keyboards. But then, as the band was really heading for something great with this album they start to add some negligence in to the mix. Favorite and a couple of other songs could all have gone really band if they hadn't had the great and catchy choruses to save the day but at track eleven not even that can save Long Gone from being somewhat of a failure. I also think that the first two songs are a bit substandard for the otherwise so high quality songs on this album and clearly To The End Of The World and It's All Over Now are an unworthy way to start '2012'.

WIld Frontiers proudly announce more than 400 live shows in their 22 years they've existed (counting the four years before the debut was released), which gives them an average of 50 shows per year - about one show per week. If you disassemble it like that you might think one live show per week isn't that much but remember that they've kept that average every week in every year for 22 years and also that Wild Frontier isn't Bon Jovi or U2 or some other world act but a band the size of a shoe in comparison and they've still managed to come around that much - that's impressing! And it's clearly made them as tight as a pair of medium size stockings on an XXXL woman as a band. It's All Up To You and Can't You Hear Me Calling in the second half of the album are also great songs and so had the ending been as well if they hadn't thrown in the bonus track cover of Gimme Gimme Gimme after Why Are The Good Things Too Hard To Find. Not that the cover is horrible in any way, they actually makes it pretty good but just not as strong as the song proceeding it, hence both beginning and end is of substandard quality compared to the rest of the album. And also some of the verses are a bit weak - but almost all the choruses are really great!

'2012' gives us a lot of guitars, nice melodies, strong choruses, a good flow and a personal (but not in a bad way) touch on the vocals. They have a lot to offer actually and I think plenty of you will like this album, but to really love them I think you almost need to see them live because I think there is where they will shine the brightest. If I ever get the oppurtunity I'll gladly take a detour to see them if they play somewhere in the area. Quality is better than quantity, which Wild Frontier really proves - top five of the best albums from 2012 so far!



Label: Prime Entertainment/Music Buy Mail/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Bon Jovi/Bonfire/Polution
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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