Lover Under Cover
Set The Night On Fire

Label: Escape Music/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Impera/Phenomena/Last Autum's Dream
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm
1. My best friend
2. Angels will cry
3. Too good to be true
4. Hero
5. Flash in the night
6. Set the night on fire
7. Who needs love
8. Crazy for you
9. Crime in the line
10. Through the storm
11. A Nice day

Mikael Erlandsson (Vocals & Keyboards)
Mikael Carlsson (Bass, Guitars, Keyboards & Vocals)
Martin Kronlund (Guitars)
Perra Johnsson (Drums)


Ged Ryland (Keyboards)
Tor Erik Myhre (Guitars)
Michael Larssons (Guitars)
Katarina Häger (voice in 4)

Drums recorded in JM Studio Mölnlycke, Sweden.
Bass, guitar and keyboard recorded in Studio LUC Partille, Sweden.
Vocals recorded in JM studio, Mölnlycke, Sweden, Studio LUC, Partille, Sweden and studio ME, Kungsbacka, Sweden
Martin Kronlunds Guitars recorded in JM studio Mölnlycke, Sweden & Tor Erik Myhres guitar recorded in Studio Of Sins, Stathelle Norway. Michael Larssons guitar recorded in studio Kalltsomfaaan, Kiruna, Sweden.
Engineered by Ronni Rockers Arntzen. Wild `n´Wicked
Cover art by Andrés Orena, Talcahuano, Chile
Band picture by Elin Kronlund.
No cry babys was hurt during the recordings.

Released 2012-11-16
Reviewed 2013-03-14


escape music

It was easy to hear that it was an album from Escape Music when you heard the album. If you're familiar with the British label then you more or less know what to expect from this release, it's the same kind of sound, music and album that's normally released there. If you haven't got to know the label yet, then you'll definitely know after this review.

You seldom hear really bad albums released from Escape Music, but it's also quite unusual to hear really good albums from the label. The most common is to hear average album that neither disappoint or shine and Lover Under Cover is no exception. Sure, they have a few moments on 'Set The Night On Fire' that shines but when it all comes around it ends like it so often do when Escape Music release an album - so-so and not particularly eye catching. A few shiny moments are never enough to save an album when most of the music isn't.

It's pretty common for Escape Music to go with familar faces on their releases - they almost never go for completely new faces even if the current band haven't released anything and Lover Under Cover is more or less the textbook example of the Escape Music way - they haven't released any albums as Lover Under Cover but the members are all experienced. Just a few weeks before this album was released we saw another similar Escape Music release from another debuting Swedish band with plenty of experience in the Impera album 'Legacy Of Life'. The similarities with Impera are many, except for the concept mentioned both bands play some sort of melodic rock with a touch of AOR and partly heavy metal and they also have very similar sound from the production and vocalists with a similar singing style. Despite the similarities, though, there aren't any members from Impera in Lover Under Cover (or the other way around) and everything isn't alike either. Like Erlandsson here in Lover Under Cover is a bit more hoarse and rough in his voice compared to Imperas Alfonzetti and to be honest it's not Impera that I think of first when I hear this band despite all the similarities (check out the Impera review here if you're interested in that album).

Let's get to the point, what do you actually get from this album? Well, as I've already mentioned it's a melodic rock album with heavy metal influences and some touch of AOR. Some of the songs feels like pretty typical west coast rock and that kind of adult rock while others are more towards the british melodic rock. Then there are a few songs that sounds more like traditional hard rock and some even touch the sleaze area. When you describe it like this it might sound like Lover Under Cover are a bit all over the place but the band isn't as fragmented as you might think from hearing this. Most of the material tends to move in the same direction and even though there are a few differences between songs that makes the album go a bit here and there it's still not chaos. They also have a cover on the 80's hit Flash In The Night by Secret Service but honestly I would have guessed that there were more than one cover on this album from all the stuff they copy more or less directly from other bands like a big fat music Xerox machine.

Most of the album is either slow or at most mid-tempo but there are also a few faster tracks on the album, like the clever Hero where Mikael Erlandsson sings the line "From your greatest hero to less than a zero" with his hoarse but surprisingly expressive voice and this is so funny that I can't help myself from rolling on the floor laughing (ROTFL, as they say). Another fast track is Who needs Love and yet another is Crazy For You. Something I don't really get my hear around though is the keys because they tend to start songs in a completely different way than how the songs then actually go, like in both Hero and Crazy For You as well as some other songs.

So… how to sum up this album? We better do that before it turns as long as the Bible, so I'll throw us all in to the positive: we have how the instruments are played, how the vocals sound and also a few really good songs. I said already in the beginning that the album do shine in a few tracks and it's especially the faster songs that does so but they really need to work on their choruses - especially the choruses in the faster songs. Further on the negative side we'll find that anonymity that most Escape Music albums have and that everything just sounds like an overdose of deja-vu. I think the production is another problem, it sounds more or less like all Escape Music album - like they only have one producer and one studio where they send all their bands to records.

All in all, Lover Under Cover do gets a few songs really right on 'Set The Night On Fire' but in the end the album still tends to get that mainstream average feel that most Escape Music albums have. It works really well to have in your ears but any further enthusiasm than that is something that at least I have a hard time feeling.



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