AMMUNITION was founded in 2014 by the songwriting duo Age Sten Nilsen and the multi-talented Erik Mårtensson, releasing the acclaimed debut album "Shanghaied" in 2015, independently. The guys then teamed up with bassist Victor Cito Borge, keysman Lasse Finbråten, drummer Magnus Ulfstedt, and the exceptional guitar player Jon Pettersen, to create Ammunition as we now know them, a band who have made a name for themselves as an incredible live act. The first single from the album made the Norwegian charts and the Norwegian Eurovision grand finale in 2017.
The album opens with an upbeat stomp 'Time' which will transport you straight back to the 80s and is reminiscent of Aerosmith in both vocal and guitar. This is a delightful tour de force which will really get you moving. Following this, we have 'Freedom Finder' which is so damn melodic it seeps into your brain. The vocal is rich and warm, there is a slick pulse and some impressive bursts of guitar. This track gets better after each play for me. 'Virtual Reality Boy' I'm not so sure of; there's an interesting retro style but I found this track a little too dated for my tastes. 'Gung Ho (I Told You So)' has a very nice resonant beat and is a little more complex and textured; this is a song to get lost in. There are some impressive bass hooks, a short lead guitar solo and the overall experience is rousing.
The first ballad, 'Eye For An Eye', unfolds into pure unadulterated melodic rock at its finest. The lush vocal is embroidered with fine musicianship. Just sumptuous. Next, my favourite track on the album, 'Tear Your City Down'. I love the strong drum intro, the dirty riffs, and there are two sublime guitar solos. This track is modern and original, anthemic and exciting. There is more of an alt rock feel which I love, and which shows the band are adaptable. I also love the intro to 'Caveman', how it builds; it's tempting and exhilarating. This song introduces yet dirtier riffs, and there is a gruff quality to the vocal which conveys emotion and character.
The first single released was 'Wrecking Crew' which has a glam rock quality. The track is harmonically-rich and has a strong guitar lead throughout. At the 2 minute mark, the song slows and leads into a strong guitar solo which sounds like it has an oriental twist, then climbs again to the finale. The second ballad, 'Miss Summertime', is simple and understated, and leaves me a little underwhelmed to be honest. The best part is the guitar solo which is too short. 'Bad Bones' is another track to watch out for; there is rhythm and attitude in abundance, and the bass simply pops! The sound is evocative of Europe - retro but in a very good way - and there is some masterful guitar work; this is what I've been waiting for. The final track is 'Klondike' which has captivating riffs, two epic solos on lead guitar, and a very distinctive gospel choir towards the end. This has to be one of the most intriguing tracks and works really well as a closing song.
To conclude, the musical direction of this album isn’t surprising and should please fans of Eclipse and WIG WAM. There are guitars, keyboards and hooks everywhere you look. It’s big, loud, and lives up to the hype. The combination of songs and exquisite production make for a strong album. Standout tracks: 'Eye For An Eye', 'Tear Your City Down', and 'Bad Bones'.
Virtual Reality Boy
Guns Ho (I Told You So)
Eye for an Eye
Tear Your City Down
Erik Martensson (Eclipse, W.E.T., Nordic Union) - guitars, bass, keys, backing vocals
Victor Cito Borge (TNT and Jack In The Box) - bass
Jon Pettersen - guitars
Lasse Finbrathen (Circus Maximus, WIG WAM) - keyboards
Age Sten Nilsen (former WIG WAM singer) - lead and backing vocals
Magnus Ulfstedt (Eclipse) - drums
GENRE: Glam Rock, Melodic Rock
FOR FANS OF: Eclipse, One Desire, Jeff Scott Soto, W.E.T., Wig Wam.
RELEASE DATE: January 26, 2018