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High Road Easy - 'III'

posted 6 Jul 2015, 10:00 by Paul Woodward

(Shore-Music)

Review By Woody

German duo of vocalist Jan Knopf and guitarist Sven Horlemann are High Road Easy and the imaginatively titled ‘III’ is their third collaboration. Previous reviews and descriptions given about this band indicate that they should be right up my street, but after giving the album a spin many of these comparisons I just don’t hear and they definitely lack the polished commerciality of many of the bands that others claim High Road Easy are akin to. They are very raw and have an unfinished quality to their overall production, sparse and unadulterated but that puts them a million miles away from the highly polished and produced Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Toto comparisons.

While they are without doubt a driven melodic hard rock band, they have a more raw hard rock vibe and driven rock and roll energy than I would associate with your average melodic rock band. I just find the overall feel of ‘III’ to be undefined with lots of varying influences from prog rock structures, to more standard hard rock punches to some metallic guitar riffs and to be honest it doesn’t always blend well for me and makes the album at times hard going.

It’s not a bad album I can’t point out different flaws or problems that make that so, it is just very mediocre to me as it doesn’t leave a lasting impression, it literally goes in one ear and out the other. There is some nice idea’s that do stand out in a few songs which does indicate that depending on an individual’s own preferences there is a lot to be enjoyed here but for me the consistently weak choruses make it an extremely forgettable album.

It feels very dry and undernourished and feels like a collection of works in progress, the lack of serious hooks only highlights this. Songs that do stand out are mid-tempo rocker ‘Higher Ground’ which has an atmospheric vibe and some cool vocal melodies, no nonsense rocker ‘Haywire’ is one of the stronger tracks with an energetic guitar riff and ‘Wings’ which has some cool laid back keyboards on the verses and has an effective atmospheric tone.

‘III’ is raw and dirty melodic rock and definitely not for people who like highly polished and a production that has everything plus the kitchen sink thrown at it. But if you like it a little rawer the driven guitar riffs and rock and roll energy shown on this album will appeal to you.

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