Expect the Unexpected

Label: Roar! Rock Of Angels Records
Three similar bands: Krokus/Sideburn/ZZ Top

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Diggin’ Up the Dirt
2. Chasing Utopia (feat. Billy Sheehan)
3. Monkey
4. Highfalutin’
5. Glory and Pride
6. Down at the Water Below
7. Roller Coaster
8. No More
9. Hallelujah
10. Son of a Gun
11. Not My Part
12. Two Words One Finger

Martin Schaffrath – Vocals
Matthew Sting – Guitars
Adrian Seidel – Guitars
Simon Simon – Bass
Sammy Sin - Drums

Disadvantaged (2017)
Colourblind (2019)

Billy Sheehan - bass

Produced by Matthew Sting & Claudio Jans
Recorded at Stingray Studios Germany
Mixed & Mastered by Claudio Jans at Crownjam Studios

Released 2022-05-13
Reviewed 2022-06-12


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Stinger tells us to expect the unexpected, it could be a good sign because to rarely we get something unexpected in a new album or a new movie, usually the world is like expected with few surprises. Musicians are probably those that most rarely present anything unexpected, I wonder if they imagine that anyone would suggest that the purple cover with a formula on it is unexpected. It isn’t to me; I never expect anything from a cover, so I haven’t experienced one that feels unexpected yet and this one doesn’t change that notion.

When I listen I don’t hear anything I didn’t expect, from the style of the logo and name I was expecting simple rock music akin to bands like Sideburn, Krokus, AC/DC, ZZ Top and that style of music, and that is what we get. They don’t even make songs or add things that feels unexpected in that setting, I think they are probably just stealing from songs as they see fit to produce their own songs. The singer is a typical hard rock singer, the production typical of the genre, the songs are the variety you can expect from an album of this style. The production is modern and good, the style accessible and easy to grow tired with.

They are easy to like, that showcases in the awards they have earned, like winning best hard rock album in Germany a few years ago – I am sure it was an undeserved winning as I can assure you that several German bands released better albums that year. But people want to buy and throw away, fast fashion, cheap appliances, simple movies, simple music, listen and discard. Perhaps then you don’t have time to notice how shallow the songs are, and how little originality this album offers. You might find it appealing the first play, it sure is made according to format by good craftsmen – so the album is good but after this review I will throw it away.

You will probably not be disappointed with this album; it is accessible and easy to like for a while. It is cowardly though; the band just takes the simple roads and never dares to follow their hearts. This feels like a strictly commercial album, inoffensive to reach as wide an audience as possible, simple songs to give instant access, I believe it is from the school of Max Martin, just use the elements that gives a hit, spend two or three minutes to write, an hour to record, and you will sell a gang of albums and amass a few plays on Spotify. But eventually no one will care about Stinger’s albums as they offer very little of consequence, kind of like Hallowed.