Synth heavy, hard hitting, and filled with lyrics that give the listener pause, creating thought, Pretty Maids latest album, Motherland is a solid, enjoyable effort from this Danish rock band. While their last effort, 2010’s Pandemonium was a harder edgier affair, Motherland is a strong musical journey and a great next chapter for this band’s long history book.
On first listen, it may appear that Pretty Maids are leaning more toward the album oriented rock melody in their song crafting. Yet, after a few more spins, it is easier to tell that this disc is still based on a solid foundation of shredding guitars, strong and steady stomp drumbeats, and massive guitar solos. Overall Motherland is a little mellower than its predecessor, but it still delivers the hard rock hits.
Motherland is one of those atypical albums where the disc must be played through a few times for the whole effect to take hold. On first listen, I thought that Motherland was a decent record with the stronger songs placed at the end of the album. Then I played it through a few more times only to learn that the songs at the beginning of the record were pretty decent as well.
Loaded with great hooks and shredding solos, Pretty Maids have delivered a fine piece with Motherland. Lead singer Ronnie Atkins’ voice is in top form throughout the record, never wavering or weakening. Ken Hammer continues to deliver on guitar with some exceptional work and fantastic solos. And while the keyboards from Morten Sandager receive plenty of spotlights, they never overtake the music entirely, allowing for a perfect blend of synthesizer, guitar, drums, bass, and vocals. It creates a synthesis of symphonic sound parading through the eardrums with delight.
Motherland reminds me of great synth-rock albums from the 80s, balanced with mid-tempo melodies, hard rockers, and a ballad or two thrown in for good measure. Think Styx, Trixter, Europe, or Winger for a good point of reference. And while Motherland may not be as strong a release as their last record, it is still a decent album worthy of investing your listening time into. Pretty Maids may be heading in a mellower direction, but that doesn’t make them any less grand. And given enough time (and plays) Motherland may overtake any of the bands releases in the last ten years as the record to listen to.
Rating: Out of 10
Mother Of All Lies
To Fool A Nation
Sad To See You Suffer
Why So Serious
I See Ghosts
Bullet For You
Who What Where When Why
Pretty Maids Are:
Ronnie Atkins – Vocals
Ken Hammer – Guitars
Rene Shades – Bass
Allan Tschicaja – Drums
Morten Sandager – Keyboards
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
Pretty Maids, Pretty Awesome! Pretty Maids have released a new video “Mother of All Lies” in support of their up and coming album, Motherland.
Check out the clip below!
Frontiers Records is excited to announce the release of PRETTY MAIDS anticipated new album entitled « Motherland » on March 22nd in Europe and March 26th in North America.
After their successful and highly acclaimed 2010 album “Pandemonium”, Danish melodic Hard Rockers, Pretty Maids celebrated their 30th anniversary with their debut visual release “It Comes Alive (Maid in Switzerland)” in 2012. “Pandemonium” showed the world that Pretty Maids were in a creative spring again, with the band in their finest moment. The melodic approach brought a return to the “Future World / Red Hot and Heavy” era of the eighties, but with an updated sound and freshness that consolidated Pretty Maids as strong as ever.
In late spring 2012, the band gathered to finally write the follow up album. Singer Ronnie Atkins tells: “We knew it was going to be a tough one to follow ! I remember back in the day when we had to follow up albums like “Future World”, we tried more or less to copy the songs from the previous album to keep the same kind of balance. But this time we just wrote what came natural to us and that’s what became “Motherland”.
The band teamed up again with producer Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Amaranthe) for the new album. Ronnie says: “Jacob was a natural choice since we had a great experience with him producing the “Pandemonium” album. The recordings went smooth to begin with, but then we had to start touring again during the weekends and this created some stress. Though I really feel strongly about “Motherland”. In my view it has all the ingredients of a good Pretty Maids album, maybe even more melodic than “Pandemonium” and absolutely, as far as I’m concerned a worthy follow up”.
Founded in early 1982 by guitarist Ken Hammer and singer Ronnie Atkins, Pretty Maids soon established themselves as a band to be taken seriously in the early eighties, having their breakthrough with the release – in April 1987 – of the album “Future World”. This record soon gathered a universal recognition as a “Classic”, which endures to date, and allowed the band to perform in from of large audiences thanks to their tour with Deep Purple and their appearances in the “Monsters of Rock” festival. The following album “Jump The Gun” kept the momentum for the band, particularly in Europe and Japan.
Throughout the nineties Pretty Maids continued to release albums, usually followed by European and Japanese tours with the band still maintaining a very high songwriting and production standards. The release of “Wake up to the Real World” in 2006 started the band’s relationship with Frontiers Records.
“Motherland” will include the following tracks:
Mother Of All Lies; To Fool A Nation; Confession; The Iceman; Sad To See You Suffer; Hooligan; Infinity; Why So Serious; Motherland; I See Ghosts; Bullet For You; Who What Where When Why; Wasted.
The release of the new album will be preceded by the release of the single / video “Mother of All Lies” which will hit the streets on January 22nd 2013. A sample of the single can be heard following this link:
Pretty Maids will play numerous festivals this summer such as Wacken Open Air and Bang Your Head !!!, followed by an extensive world tour in support of “ Motherland”.
Pretty Maids are stronger than ever – don’t miss them on tour !!!
Ronnie Atkins – vocals
Ken Hammer – guitars
Morten Sandager – keyboards
Allan Tschicaja – drums
Rene Shades – bass