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Paul Sabu - Bangkok Rules

posted 27 Jun 2012, 13:57 by Paul Woodward
(Z Records)

Review By Woody

Cult AOR hero Paul Sabu returns with his latest album Bangkok Rules. Sabu is joined by Linkan Andersson on guitars, Martin Karlsson on Bass and well respected English drummer Lee Morris. Morris was brought in to replace Frankie Benali (Quiet Riot) who was unfortunately busy during the recording process of the album. Z go to guy guitarist Vince O’Regan also pops up on here co-writing two songs. Sabu’s last album Strange Messiah was distinctly lacklustre, so I was hoping for much better this time around.

Much better is indeed what we get; this album is a vast improvement on its predecessor. It’s a bombastic and brash collection of tracks designed to get us rocking and it’s thoroughly enjoyable. It’s not a perfect album and there are a few fillers but by and large Bangkok Rules sees a return to form for Sabu.  The album is full of energy and drive and that really appealed to me and for melodic rock fans who like their music to have a bit more of a kick to it this is definitely one for you.

Sabu’s vocals may not be what the once were mostly sticking to a gruffer style on most songs, that said the gritty rip snorting delivery does suit the style of the songs on offer here and really match the energy of the music. Sabu’s co-written songs with O’Regan the first two tracks are for me two of the strongest tracks on offer, both musically and lyrically. O’Regan does get a lot of stick from some circles denouncing his abilities and I do feel Z over use his talents, but the fact remains his contribution to this album is of the highest quality.

‘Bangkok Rules’ provides a thunderous opening; it’s an energetic rocker with a bombastic chorus. ‘Rock Don’t Run’ has a far more traditional melodic rock feel to it, complete with infectious keyboards and it also has a huge anthemic sing along chorus! ‘Race To Nowhere’ is a driving low slung rocker.

I love the keyboard hook on mid tempo rocker ‘Live Or Die Tryin’’, which has a driving chorus with excellent key’s covering the chorus. ‘Love’s Got A Mind Of Her Own’ is a driving mid-tempo rocker with a punchy chorus. ‘Rocked and Loaded’ is a rip snorting energetic rocking track with a bombastic sing along chorus – a thunderous rock n roll song! ‘Read My Eyes’ is a mean and moody ballad and very dark.

‘Black Star’ is a dark mid-tempo rocker with a driving edge to it. ‘Code Blue’ is also a dark mid-tempo rocker with an insistent rhythm. The album closes with the thunderous head banging inducing ‘Back The Jacks’. It’s not Sabu’s finest vocal performance but there is an instant catchiness to the anthemic chant along chorus.

If Thunderous, rambunctious, rip snorting rock n roll with a big dose of melody is your thing, I’m sure this album will get you rocking. Great to see Sabu deliver another cracking album and it’s definitely an album to be played very LOUD!

Track Listing: Bangkok Rules / Rock Don’t Run / Race To Nowhere / Live or Die Tryin’ / Love’s Got A Mind Of Her Own / Rocked & Loaded / Read My Eyes / Black Star / Code Blue / Back The Jacks

Album Rating: 7/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Live Or Die Tryin’