Review: Nitrate – Open Wide

Review: Nitrate – Open Wide

AOR Heaven (June 21st 2019)

Reviewer: David Pearce

Nitrate are a five piece rock band who hark back to the days of Def Leppard and Bon Jovi, two groups who still fill stadiums more than 30 years on from their breakthrough albums. There is always room for new bands to update the sound of 80s rock particularly when they are as good as Nitrate.

The new album ‘Open Wide‘ starts with the Bon Jovi style track ‘You Want It, You Got It‘ featuring Philip Lindstrand’s vocals which demonstrate a great range and style together with the lead guitar of Marcus Thurston.

Night Time City‘ demonstrates the smoother side of Lindstrand’s vocals backed by Nick Hogg’s excellent bass work and Pete Newdeck on drums as the song builds into an anthemic Europe style belter. ‘Only a Heartache Away‘ is the kind of rock ballad that Nitrate proved so adept at on their debut album with Def Leppard style lyrics and Rob Wylde’s excellent keyboard work providing a solid base for LIndstrand as he turns in another polished performance.

The driving guitars of ‘Heart Go Wild‘ put me in mind of Judas Priest as Nitrate go into heavier territory to great effect. It will definitely be a live favourite whenever it is played. ‘I Don’t Want To Live‘ is a no frills rock track with a great guitar solo.

Never Surrender‘ has an anthemic chorus that will be sung back to Nitrate by the crowd at every concert. ‘Heartbreak Suicide‘ shows the tightness of the group as each instrument complements the others creating a layer of sound that gives Lindstrand’s vocals a solid base. Musically, it is my favourite track on the album as it’s sound is so brilliantly put together.

In the Night‘ is another gorgeous ballad with a brilliant vocal performance that puts me in mind of the superb Joey Tempest. ‘Bad Girls‘ has a Whitesnake vibe to it from the title and lyrics to the guitar work and it’s a good fun track that will be another live favourite.

Shot In The Dark‘ is a song with Thurston’s great guitar work and Newdeck’s drums once more to the fore as they drive the song along. The final track ‘Waiting On You‘ ends the album on a high quality song that seems to draw together a number of their influences to great effect. Along with ‘Heartbreak Suicide‘ it is arguably the best encapsulation of the Nitrate sound and finishes a strong set of 11 tracks with real style.

Although Nitrate have not strayed beyond the template of their excellent first album, they have developed their sound, and proved beyond doubt that they are the rightful inheritors of the 80s rock mantle.