Too Sophisticated - The Sweet Kings of Rock n' Roll

These guys formed in the early 90's in Finland. After getting the line-up nailed down they recorded a couple of demos and self-released a 7" single and 5-track EP, they've also had tracks on some compilations. They play straight hard rock 'n' roll with no frills or pretences. This release sees them trying to break out of Finland and hit a wider audience.

First track, 'I'm Loose' starts with a good climbing riff and some punkish vocal delivery. The guitar sound reminds me a lot of the guitars on the Spinal Tap soundtrack, which makes it sound quite dated. A good chorus fails to rescue the song though; it ultimately feels a bit flat. 'Down On My Knees' starts well, maybe by now I'm more used to the guitar sound but this one really doesn't sound as dated and dull. A much better song and the EP really starts to find its feet. Next up, 'I'm The Sweet King Of Rock 'n' Roll', is a more mid-tempo number than the first two. Vocalist Sativa Sunrise has hints of Donnie Vie about his voice on this and the following track, which can never be a bad thing. '$20,000 A Day' is up next, another mid-tempo track, which proves that these guys really have an ear for some great melodies. This is the best track on the EP; you really can't beat handclaps in a chorus! Unfortunately on the final track, 'Iguana Song', it all goes horribly wrong. A 2 minute acoustic track with bongo's that remind me of Pantera's cover of Sabbath's 'Planet Caravan', it never really goes anywhere leaving you waiting for a bit of life to the song that never comes.

In all honesty, the first time I listened to this EP I instantly disliked it. Just couldn't get into it at all but after listening to it a lot more it's grown on me. Apart from the first and last track, there are some good songs here and I really like the vocals on tracks 3 & 4. Well worth a listen.

by John Baxter

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