1989, Victoria (Spain), VLP-339 (LP only)COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: LINEUP:
Chris Holm - vocals, guitars * Jan Stolpe - lead guitars, backing vocals * Tom Jansson - bass * Putte Jansson - drumsTRACK LISTING:
01 S.O.P.H.I.A * 02 Frozen Hearts * 03 Take Me Far Away * 04 It's Been A Hard Time * 05 Holiday On The Radio * 06 Play It Loud * 07 I've Been Runnin' Away * 08 Don't Rush Your Future * 09 You Give Me More * 10 I Want You To Stay * 11 No Guarantee * 12 S.O.P.H.I.A (Freak Mix)
The origins of this Finnish band go back as far as 1983. They took their name from a movie. Funnily enough the movie didn't eventuate but the band did. But it took them a few years to get their sound and image right, plus the release of a few 45' singles to generate interest. The two band instigators were singer Chris Holm and guitarist Jan Stolpe. The other two members joined up a few years later after the typical revolving door band membership had settled down. By 1985, the band released its first single, the following year it released a second single, plus it had won a local rock-band competition - generating a greater degree of interest in their musical offerings. In 1987, Wild Force signed up with an independent label called Lace Factory - the band also released a third single, but more importantly, a debut album was in the making - the WF team heading to Sweden to record it under the guiding hand of Dan Sundquist.
Wild Force deliver us superb Scandi based melodic rock in the mould of Treat
, Bad Habit
and Bon Jovi
- the latter a good example when you hear the vocoder overkill on the opening 'S.O.P.H.I.A' - a terrific opener I gotta say. You know you are listening to an AOR album when a song title called 'Frozen Hearts' pops up. This one was heard earlier as one of the band's prior single releases - and reinforces the band's claims as an excellent prospect. 'Take Me Far Away' features an overall smooth delivery and a big memorable chorus. 'It's Been A Hard Time' is an attempt at party-rock, though the compressed nature of the production doesn't help. 'Holiday On The Radio' is more party styled rock with Bad Habit
flavours running through the mix, while the style of the first couple of tunes returns with the excellent 'I've Been Runnin' Away'. Wild Force pick up the pace with the mainly guitar-rocker 'Don't Rush Your Future', another one of their earlier singles releases. Again, the comparison to Bad Habit
is made after listening to 'You Give Me More', surely a good thing, and not to forget the obligatory ballad - 'I Want You To Stay' puts in an appearance toward the end of the album. Keeping up the high quality thus far is another classy rocker 'No Guarantee', with lots of swirling keys and stinging guitars.
Keyboardist Hexa Elo would join the band soon after as the principal keyboardist. The following year Wild Force went to L.A to record a couple of videos, and while there, were one of a rare bunch of Finnish bands to ever play the Whisky A Go-Go club. In 1990, they released their second album 'Jungle Of Love', but by 1992 the dream was over - the band breaking up soon after. Not to completely disappear off the map - Wild Force returned for some reunion gigs in 2005 and 2006, which by all accounts, may see some renewed activity in their camp. We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, Scandi lovers should acquire this rare effort as it really is quite good.
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