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The Poodles
May 2011
Released: 2011, Frontiers Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

PERFORMOCRACY is the fourth album by Swedish hard rock sensations The Poodles (a “WTF?” on par with Chinchilla). The band formed back in 2005 and immediately shot to fame on the back of their song “Night of Passion”, which almost won the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest (oddly, that’s the year that Lordi won!). The band does have some pedigree behind them, as singer Jakob Samuels used to play drums in Jeff Scott Soto’s Talisman, while bassist Pontus Egberg used to ply his trade in Lion’s Share.

Right off the bat with the anthemic “I Want It All”, it’s clear that The Poodles are about catchy riffs, melodies, and sing-along choruses. No, this is not a cover of the classic Queen song, although it is the start of an odd trend on the album of reusing classic rock song titles (“Cuts Like a Knife”, “Action” etc.). Anyway, it’s a perfect introduction to what the band is all about. Throughout the album the band stays firmly within established melodic hard rock territory, but the results are usually pretty damn good – you just can’t argue with the driving riffs on “Father to a Son”, the stomping verses and gang vocals of “Bring Back the Night” or the lighter-waving balladry of “Into the Quiet Night”. Give them credit – the Poodles know exactly what they are and make no attempt to hide it.

All is not perfect however; the album does have its share of clunky songs. Given the band’s obvious love of ‘70s and ‘80s hard rock (when albums were often packed with filler), this is no surprise. I’d argue that a good four or five of the thirteen songs on the album could have been cut out, but your mileage may vary.

It doesn’t matter though, as PERFORMOCRACY is simply a likeable, enjoyable album. Whether you still listen to your ‘80s favorites, or enjoy the new breed of rockers, The Poodles have something on the album for you.
Track Listing

1) I Want It All
2) Until Our Kingdom Falls
3) Father to a Son
4) I Believe In You
5) Cuts Like a Knife
6) As Time Is Passing
7) Love Is All
8) Your Time Is Now
9) Action!
10) Bring Back the Night
11) Vampire’s Call
12) Into the Quiet Night
13) Don’t Tell Me


Jakob Samuels: Vocals
Henrik Bergqvist: Guitar
Pontus Egberg: Bass
Christian Lundqvist: Drums

Next review: » The Poodles - Tour De Force
Previous review: » The Phoeron - The Absu Meditations

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