The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

WHITE FLAME

TOUR BUS DIARIES

 


It’s very rare that you get to hear an album this good by a band that you have heard so little of. White Flame for me came straight out of nowhere.

 

Recommended by a friend on a forum sometime last year after a lot of searching I finally managed to pick up a reasonably priced copy of their first CD ‘Yesterday’s News’. It’s a great album that rocks hard with some killer songs and it and highly recommended but ‘their new release ‘Tour Bus Diaries’ is absolutely astounding.

 

If these guys were from LA they would be the next big thing. If these guys were from the States everyone would have heard of them. White Flame is from Finland and they release on a minor label. The world is unkind but I feel it’s at least part of my job to change that!

 

You know that feeling you get the first time you listen to a really cool song? Well that’s all you get here on every track.

 

At times it feels that you are listening to Aerosmith, but not a watered down ‘Just Push Play’ version but a real live and kicking version that takes the vibe from albums like Draw the Line and ‘Night in the Ruts’ , adds a few handfuls of ‘Pump’ and then mixes in their own modern style of sleaze.

 

The best thing about White Flame is that when the ‘do’ Aerosmith they do it better than the real thing does these days (no new songs in ten years and counting) but when they are content to be themselves they still blast out some extra-cool tunes!

 

At times the guys can sound frighteningly like Aerosmith though, and singer Vince does the best ‘Steven Tyler’ I have ever heard; not only that at times you could swear that you were listening to Joe Perry. I have actually played one of the songs here to two people who thought that it was an unheard Aerosmith track. You can decide which one.

 

‘Tall Thin In’ that kicks things off is as good a song as I have heard all year. This is most certainly 80’s-styled rock but it has a modern gloss that unlike some who have tried the trick before doesn’t detract at all from the music. There’s a lot going on in some of these songs and the sound for a largely self-recorded project is awesome. From the offset you know this will be a helluva live band.

 

‘FU&’ is a solid driving funked up rocker that threatens to blow the speakers; ‘No Good’ could be a song by ‘Pump-era’ Aerosmith with a solo that Joe Perry wouldn’t kick out of bed, in two songs we get to see how confidently the band are at any tempo. Though it’s definitely the next few songs that do it for me…

 

When I first heard ‘Dancing With Her Sister’ I thought I was listening to a great unearthed Aerosmith track I just can’t go past this song, on face value it’s a pretty simple song, but the voice, the guitar, the vibe is all there and just so perfect, then the slide comes in and the solo, I’m not sure it gets and better than this….until I heard the next few songs.

 

‘Certainly Something’ is White Flame being all modern, laid back and melodic and is incredibly catchy and even though stylistically a bit of an odd man out it is just a great song and beautifully put together. Can these guys do everything? If you listen to some of this years great melodic releases this could sit up there with any track on any of them.

 

‘Frontrow Girl’ (Check out the YouTube people) is one of the highlights of the album and a Finnish number one single to boot! I dream of living in a world where songs like this hit number one in every country! Song of the year? It’s close!

 

‘Another Town, another show, another whisky’ the opening line from the rocking ‘The Ground’ and it tells only part of the story of Tour Bus Diaries. It would be hard to call TBD a ‘concept album’ but lyrically the album does focus on a series of tour tales and the lyrics are actually rather good.

 

‘Twins’ is one of my favourite tracks this is great 80’s rock in the style of a band like Big Cock crossed with the big ‘A’. It’s not original by any stretch of the imagination but the backing horns and deceptively simple guitar solo and breakdown make everything good with the World!

 

“Shouldn’t Been Messing’ rocks and swings hypnotivally

 

“2 Become #1’ has a bit of wailing harp and a Tyler-esque swagger from Vince as well as lyrics he would be proud of! It’s not the best track here but you just listen to the way it’s put together and you realise that this is a band who are putting their own slant on things and who could do absolutely anything but who have the vibe and the basics absolutely right.

 

“No Frozen Angels” actually brings to mind another Finnish legend the Hanoi Rocks. A little poppier, punkier slant on the rock that works well.

 

“Life we never had” shows that White Flame can certainly ‘do’ the ballad and really showcases Vince’s vocals. Background vocals are beautiful and lift the soulful vocal. The song itself soars like a great later Aerosmith slow number but without the hired hands brought in to make it work. This is remarkably mature song-writing with an amazing arrangement.

 

“Gone By Tomorrow’ that closes the album brings back memories of bands like Gun who did this up-tempo driving soulful rock so well. It almost seems that White Flame can do anything!

 

In a year of great albums, especially in the later half this album romps home for me. It’s not just the songs on offer or the Aerosmith infused vibe it’s the sheer potential. Plus it is their second album! The always difficult ‘second album syndrome’ has been well and truly buried by these guys.

 

Don’t steal it buy it! Check out the website, listen on Myspace. A band like this deserves to be heard and deserve to make more music.

 

Mark

 

Check out my Interview with Vince and Anthon in the interview section