Review: Reckless Love – Turborider
AFM Records (February 25th, 2022)
Reviewer: Chris O’Connor
Has it really been half a decade since Reckless Love released any new product? After releasing no less than four studio albums in quick succession, the talented Finns almost dropped out of sight after the excellent ‘InVader’, now, thankfully, they are back with a vengeance. The line-up remains unchanged with Olli Herman still fronting the band, with Pepe Reckless on guitars, Jarle Verne on bass guitars, and Hessu Maxx on drums. ‘Turborider’ is also the band’s first album for their new label AFM Records.
First things first – this album may divide fans. Why? The band has pretty much dispensed with acoustic drums, and now employ a fully electric kit – which personally I have no issue with, put purists may be offput, my advice is don’t let it spoil what is a splendid release. In many respects this album is Synthwave in attack, – so harkens back to the mid 1980’s – so again, the synthetic drum sound works faultlessly. Jarle’s bass also has an equally ‘80’s feel/sound to it, almost synthetic, but again, in this context, it works perfectly.
‘Turborider’ is beautifully melodic, but with a nice crunchy guitar, and showcases the band’s wonderful writing abilities to perfection. The production is spot on too, smooth yet with plenty of warmth, this really is the complete package. Erupting out of the starting blocks with the title track, the band instantly hits their groove, Pepe lets rip with some killer riffing and his solos are absolutely dazzling, while Olli’s voice is absolutely pristine.
‘Eyes Of A Maniac’ could be the best song Hall & Oates never wrote, with a simply wonderful chorus, it is a perfect slice of Melodic Pop Rock with a huge chorus, and a hook that simply insinuates itself into your subconscious effortlessly. Again, Pepe lays down a brief but sublime solo, while Olli sings his heart out. ‘Outrun’ has a kind of late ‘80’s Toto feel to it, and as you will no doubt rightfully expect, has a massive chorus. What a song!
‘Kids Of The Arcade’ is a heavier number that for me anyway – kind of reminds me of H.E.A.T. in sound and feel, and is very cool indeed – lyrically it pays homage (obviously) to the computer arcade games and gamers of the mid ‘80’s. What follows next kind of surprises me – a cover of the Ozzy Osbourne classic ‘Bark At The Moon’. My initial thoughts were that it is a straight cover, however, listening closely, the band does in fact add enough of their own sound to make this interesting. Well done chaps.
‘Like A Cobra’ is a good song, but it’s probably my least favourite on this album, it somehow lacks the sparkle of the others, it’s by no means filler, but it’s also just not special. On the other hand, ‘For The Love Of Good Times’ is a flawless gem with a great big chorus that I’m certain will be a fan favourite ‘live’ – it has a wonderful melodic sheen yet has enough punch to. Make it really work. Next up is the funktastic ‘’89 Sparkle’, a song that evokes Dan Reed Network circa ‘Slam’, it grooves along effortlessly, and is the perfect ‘beach’ song – it’s both fun yet dreamily hopeful with it and has a truly uplifting chorus to boot!
‘Future Lover Boy’ is a stone cold classic and is my personal favourite song on the album. Think Billy Idol circa ‘Rebel Yell’ jamming with Danger Danger and you’ll get what this is, it’s nothing short of transcendent. The chorus is to die for, and the song leaves me wanting to hit ‘repeat’ over and over. Finally, we have ‘Prodigal Sons’, a stomping and anthemic number with a pounding chorus that demands you sing along lustily. I love ‘Turborider’, and I love the boys in Reckless Love for creating an album that simply makes me smile and feel good from beginning to end. Absolutely marvellous!