HIGH ROAD EASY – Drive (2012)
HIGH ROAD EASY is the project of German musician Sven Horlemann, responsible here for all instruments and songwriting, while the vocals are handled by Jan Knopf.
Their second, just released self-produced affair “Drive” features a punchy European Melodic Hard Rock sound.
Horlemann is an expert rock orchestrator, making all the music sound compact and impactful. Mainly guitarist, the six-strings take the major role on this recording, but there’s abundance of bass grooves, keyboard swirls and although most the drums are programmed, the beats are strong.
The mid-range vocals of Jan Knopf fit perfectly to these Melodic Hard Rock tunes with an unmistakable Euro feeling, no accent at sight.
“Fire In The Hole” opens with style and a quite hard sound, yet very melodic thanks to the polished guitars and background keyboards. The solo is hot and fast.
“Loving You” is the first of the pure MHR tracks on the album, which gets harder during the chorus for good effect. Other good songs in this melodious way are the sweet midtempo “Emily”, the catchy “Mysterious” and the anthemic “Here I Am”.
Things get harder with the uptempo keyboard filled rocker “Love Lies Bleeding” and the bluesy “Setting Our Sights”, but High Road Easy also can produce well crafted ballads as the AORish “Come To Me” and the quite powered-up “Beat of My Heart”.
High Road Easy has rounded a stong CD plenty of punch and fine melodies.
“Drive” delivers straight, classic Euro Melodic Hard Rock with catchy choruses and good hooky lines. In places the disc shows the feel of a one man band, specially in some programmed drums, but Sven Horlemann is very skilful on all instruments and all are smoothly well played and arranged.
Jan Knopf has one of those pipes agreeable at first listen, and the guy complements himself with fine harmony background vocals.
For an independent release, “Drive” has an impressive production and the crisp sound needed for this genre.
Except some minor flaws, it’s a recommended listen.
01 – Fire In The Hole
02 – Loving You
03 – Emily
04 – Fly from Here
05 – Love Lies Bleeding
06 – Come to Me
07 – Setting Our Sights
08 – Mysterious
09 – Here I Am
10 – Memories
11 – Beat of My Heart
Jan Knopf – lead & background vocals
Sven Horlemann – guitars, bass, keyboards, drums
Stefan Wurz – piano & Hammond B3
BUY IT !