The Rockford Heroes
Light Scares

01. Streets of gold
02. Embrace the moonlight
03. Keep away from the sun
04. Love lies bleeding
05. Devil’s eye

Jonas Arvidsson – Guitars
Dan Hultstrand – Vocals
Marcus Johansson – Drums
Pekka Kiviaho – Bass




Released ??/7-2011
Reviewed 27/1-2012


Swedish Heroes with the love for the classical melodic rock bands, they do count a bucketload of them in their informative text, many of which are bands I enjoy. They have recently released their debut EP in digital format, it is downloadable for free from the band’s website. They say that it is the way that they probably will keep releasing music by recording a few tracks, something like five, and then releasing them and they have practically discounted the possibility to release an album which I think is a sad thing. I enjoy albums and not songs, songs that form a complete unity in a great album is the best of things, I hate compilations of different bands which are mostly pointless no matter how good the songs that are on them. Not dissing the idea with this kind of music releasing but I don’t play any of the EPs I own as I prefer to play an album ahead of an EP and that is true even if the EP contains a great song that isn’t on any album and it doesn’t matter if it is on the iPod, i still don’t play EPs. I do play and review the ones I have to review though and this one felt interesting thanks to the many good influences they say that they have.

If they do have a rather fresh approach on releasing music, it is not as fresh when it comes to creating it. It is a nod to times long gone, times when Illusions were grande, when boats floated on the river (Styx), when Speedwagons were at their primes, when the pieces of eight were gathered and bats flew out of hell and some held the lines and so on and so forth. The vocalist sounds mostly to me a bit like Tommy Shaw of Styx, a bit childish and naive but without the lisp that Tommy has; I do however think that an impression like that is a bit of a matter of opinion and some other guy might say he sounds like Phil Lynnott so maybe he has an authentic seventies rock voice. The sound is also authentic seventies, not that edgy modern AOR sound that we hear from so many bands today, but a bit rougher around the edges and less layered, had I not known I would probably guess it was released in the seventies and engineered by Gary Loizzo. The EP has five tracks and it plays for about 21 minutes in which there is a decent amount of variation.

So, why do we review a free album? Why shouldn’t we, they did ask us to so who are we to turn them down? But is it worth the money? Idiot, it didn’t cost any and it isn’t as bad that you want money for listening so the answer has to be yes. I actually think it is good, I happen to adore the Styx albums from this era and it bears a resemblance to those, but also to many other bands of that time, but namedropping is a bit annoying and I did it in the Swedish version of this review so you don’t need it. But I would say that it is a good EP, the songs are good with catchy melodies and choruses, the vocalist is quite good and the band sounds good overall. I like this EP, it is good.

Still, not all is great, the short playing time is a bit of a letdown as it feels short to play it once and it feels repetitive to play twice in a row so it is useless in the iPod and that’s where I play most of my music. And the fact that they are doing stuff that has already been done, music that we have heard before and know that we have heard it and it has been better than this as well. The lack of imagination in the musical landscape is another letdown. The third song does not only have a lot of Led Zeppelin tendencies, it is a rather poor song as well. But the main issue I have is that it feels unimaginative and old.

But does all music have to sound new, fresh and imaginative? Well, no but there has to be a sense that this is not another album/EP/band in an already overcrowded genre and for that it does not have to be a complete reinvention of the wheel but it has to have something. For this band you have to think: “wow, The Rockford Heroes are good” which you don’t. Instead you think: “fuck, he sounds like Tommy (Shaw), this song sounds much like Zeppelin, are you sure it isn’t Plante singing? Doesn’t it sound like Thin Lizzy or Phil Lynnott? I think this sounds like REO Speedwagon” that is what you think while playing this album, I actually forgot the name of the band when someone asked me what I was listening to and said: “sounds a bit like REO Speedwagon with a Tommy Shaw without a lisp singing” the person didn’t hear what I was listening to as I have in ear headphones from a known manufacturer which is why I had to describe it.

I think it is very good, but I come to wonder where are and who are The Rockford Heroes? The EP called Light Scares does nothing to answer that.



Label: Self Financed
Three similar bands: REO Speedwagon/Styx/Led Zeppelin
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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