The Wheel

1. Stand Up
2. Into The Water
3. Love
4. Tellin’ No Lies
5. Sparks
6. Lost Soul
7. Comin’ On
8. Walk On Out
9. Cry Of The Night
10. All This Time

Jan Erik Salvesen (Vocals)
Ørjan Kvalvik (Guitar, Vocals)
Igor Fazlioulline (Bass)
"BOL" Bjørn Olav Lauvdal (Drums)




Released 16/9-2011
Reviewed 23/1-2012


In their biography, this band say something that is all too true - that very few bands today are totally original. None, I would say. Not even the chaotic Iwrestledabearonce, which is a band I claim playing something completely different compared to anything I've heard in music. However, there are still quite a few unique and different bands out there (like the just mentioned as well as the bands Hallowed give good grades). The Wheel claims they are one of these bands, due to their "perfect combination of inspiration from different rock genres". The question is if they are right when they say so?

Before either confirming or denying that claim, let's take a look at what it actually is The Wheel play. The Wheel play a simple rock music, mixing elements from essentially the late 70's, 80's and early 90's. They say themselves that Led Zeppelin are clearly heard as an inspiration to their music, but I canät really see where this is. Must be from led Zeppelin albums I haven't heard. The guitars are dominating the sound, along with the southern rock flavored vocals. I actually think there are quite a lot southern rock in this, especially in the song Sparks which could almost come from a resurrected Lynyrd Skynnyrd - the band that was takes from us way too early when their plane crashed in 1977. If your Lynyrd Skynnyrd knowledge is a bit insufficient, this means we get something close to country-ish guitars playing something that reminds you quite a lot of the film music in a western. The tempo is pretty low and the sound somehow makes me think of a two-toothed Alabamian throwing stones at cars with the text "Nascar sucks!" written on the side (apparently a common problem in that part of the world).

The melodies on 'The Wheel' are often quite slow and the rhythm is heavy, rocking forward like it was riding a horse. I can sense some sort of live-adjustment to the songs, like if the band has planned ahead for the stage and reminded themselves as they wrote and recorded them not to go too far in order for the songs to work live without too much alteration. The music isn't trying to dominate anything or peer out in to directions elsewhere than straight ahead. Instead the band keeps it all tight and together inside their clenched fist until they open it finger by finger until it's fully open, not so fast that anything can distract or surprise us. As the 52 minutes and nine tracks long album comes to an end I'm left with a feeling that they've turned the cards around just the way they wanted the cards to be turned in to exactly the formation they wanted the cars to have. So, in other words… they've made it good? Well… sort of.

Sure, 'The Wheel' is a good album. But what is it that makes it good? Where are the good ingredients? What are the good ingredients? I don't know. The vocals are not great. The instruments are quite modest. The music doesn't call for attention and the songs feels as they tries to be forgettable. To me, this feels like an album that's made to be good, but not any form of favorite album. In other words, an album made to be mediocre. Pretty much like a Swede, despite the band is Norweigian.

I can't say I find anything wrong with the album. Not anything apparent or hidden beneath the surface. it is a good album with good music and good elements. But that's also all there is. Good. Not very good, not really good and not remarkably good. Not anything else than just good. It is good. Period. And in a world where tousands of albums has been released every year in 60-70 years, an album that is "just" good is not particularly interesting. I can definitely hear the album seven days a week, but I'm pretty convinced that the next week I've forgot all I ever knew about the band already.

The wheel has just started to roll, they say. Yeah… roll straight in to nothingness.





Label: Wheel Music/Music Buy Mail/Connecting Music
Three similar bands: Van Halen/Steppenwolf/Lynnyrd Skynnyrd
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Recensent: Caj Källmalm

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