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


The Poodles

Clash of the Elements

Who would be put off if I said that the Poodles were in fact the heavy rock version of ABBA? And no, it’s not two guys and two girls in sequined jumpsuits. OK let me retract that, somewhat. What I mean to say is that there are similarities- for a start both bands are Swedish, both have Eurovision connections and both write songs with more hooks that the World’s best equipped fisherman. Though the Poodles are obviously much more ‘Rock’ despite the deceptively fluffy moniker… are you still reading?

When Jacob Samuel was asked to sing on the song ‘Night of Passion’ (Co-written by Matti Alfonzetti of Jagged Edge, Skin Trade, Bam Bam Boys fame) little did the world realise that the chain of events that would give birth to the Poodles were set in motion. The song itself was in the running to become Sweden’s 2006 entry into the Eurovision Song Contest (If you don’t know trust me you don’t want to know).

Three years later the Poodles have released their third and possibly greatest album. I say possibly because to be honest all three are great albums and if you like one you will undoubtedly like the other two.

The Poodles are a strange beast indeed- think ABBA, as I said, but in a collision with both Slade and The Sweet with extra portions of Queen-style melody, big keyboards, early 80’s rock production values (a good thing in this case) and plenty of big hair and lashings of  cream, with maybe a cherry on top.

I don’t really know what it is about the Poodles that draws me in, usually a band like this would be just a little too mellow for my tastes. What it is I think is the overwhelming brilliance of the song-writing. ‘Clash of the Elements’ is just bursting with songs to get the foot tapping. In the car I was having constant ‘Wayne and Garth Bohemian Rhapsody’ moments…

The opener ‘Too much of Everything’ almost suffers from being too hook-laden; while the classic mid-album ballad ‘One Out of Ten’ is a worthy first single release.  

On previous albums the Poodles have been a little tongue in cheek (but never to the Wig-Wam level), but here aside from the usual minor odd lyric they play it pretty straight but layer on the rock clichés. When you hear tracks like ‘Heart of Gold’; ‘Dream to Follow’ or ‘I Rule the Night’ they do it so well you could be listening to a ‘Best of…’ by a really great early 80’s Rock band.   

 

‘Give Me a Sign’ is a huge song and ‘Pilot of the Storm’ is perhaps my favorite after a few listens, but to be honest there’s not a bad track here. Songs like ‘Wings of Destiny’ just shouldn’t have you getting the Zippo out after just a couple of listens, but it does. The song itself is a ballad with traces of Def Leppard, a perfectly executed closer.

The fact that the Poodles aren’t dominating the world at the moment says a lot about the state of the music industry and the world today (no place for talented artists who write their own songs and don’t do rap or r’n’b). This is great music, and I’d hazard that many a non-Rocker could also stomach this fare if radio ever got up off it’s fat ass and played something original. They may have lost their guitarist to Hammerfall recently but even that hasn’t slowed them down, the Poodles loss is certainly Hammerfall’s gain. They may well be legends in Sweden, and constantly bothering the charts: but in the outside world it just doesn’t click. Image means a lot these days and most of the ‘critics’ out there seem to have not even heard the recordings just looked at the stage clothes. That is a shame but another depressing fact about music today.

So do yourself a favor and head off to their website, listen to a few songs and tell me you are not going to buy that CD!

One of my albums of the year. Honestly if these songs were any more addictive they would be certified Class A drugs. 

 

Mark