The Poodles – Tour De Force – CD Review

The Poodles - Tour De Force{plgMFV}
The Poodles are one of those bands that deserve a lot more than they get credit for. 2011’s Performocracy is one of the best albums from that year and is certainly a hard one to follow up. The result is this year’s Tour De Force, a strong and very tough sounding album which hits stores this month.
The music expands The Poodles sound, but is also very familiar and comfortable at the same time. It’s powerful, melodic and fun music that will sound awesome in concert. Jakob Samuelsson’s vocals are fluid, clear and exciting, with the exception of only a few moments, you’d almost forget that this is a Swedish band and English is their second language. The band is certainly a solid unit and after seven years and five studio albums, they have come an extremely long way. Tour De Force has everything you need in a good hard rock album – crunchy riff driven guitars, solid groove based drums and bass, killer production and a great vocalist.

The album really doesn’t lag or give up at any time and contains very little filler material. In fact, the first single, a pop-rock track called 40 Days and 40 Nights, sits about halfway in and follows five hard rockers and a stunning ballad. It’s really only the last two songs on the album that aren’t as strong as the rest of the material, but they are followed up with a Swedish language song En För Alla För En which is a bonus track only available on physical copies of the CD. En För Alla För En is a new theme song for the Swedish hockey team which will be used when the 2013 World Championships of Ice Hockey visit Stockholm in May.

Although the band is clearly influenced by such classic hard rockers as Motley Crue and Aerosmith, they have a very unique and modern sound all their own. This is melodic rock/hair band music for a new generation. Album highlights include the opener Misery Love Company, a melodic crunchy rock track with big vocals and driving guitars; Viva Democracy, which hints at a Metallica black album groove, but doesn’t stray far from the melody; the fantastic ballad Leaving The Past to Pass; the hit flavor of 40 Days and 40 Nights; and the bonus cut En För Alla För En which is the first time I’ve ever heard the band sing in Swedish.

The Poodles deserve to be a contender in North America and Tour De Force is a great album to break out with. It would be a shame for the band to remain the best kept secret for another year. Europe gets it, now North America can jump on board and celebrate a great rock band.


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