BAD RADIATOR – Hypnotize (2013)
The Swedish music scene has a new cool band making some waves in Scandinavian adult radio (and charts): BAD RADIATOR, with their debut album “Hypnotize”.
However, this quartet isn’t a group of newcomers; all these talented musicians have been in the business for more than 25 years, formerly known as Grace.
Many AOR collector’s surely treasure in their vaults Grace’s single ‘Ingen Kan Alska Som Vi’ (No One Can Love As Do) used in the Swedish movie of the same name from 1988, which also featured another great track from the band entitled ‘The Deal’.
Well, Bad Radiator are the same guys, that are Klas Bergvall on guitars, drummer Roger Hansson, Janne Persson on bass and conductor & main songwriter, keyboardist Mikael Lundgren who now handles the vocals as well. Former singer Krister Linder isn’t on board as he has a performer career in the US now.
But seems that Lundgren has perfected his vocal abilities because the man’s singing in this recording is top notch, and his keyboard fills together with his bandmates musicianship have rounded a soaring product here.
We’re talking about superb melodies, catchy hooks, breezy harmonies and quite catchy moments. Bad Radiator plays stylized lite AOR / Melodic Rock with class and finesse in the best pristine Scandinavian tradition.
Comparisons an influences abound; put on the table Street Talk, Spin Gallery, Cutting Crew, Richard Marx, Terra Nova, Deacon Street Project, Chris Antblad some Toto and you have Bad Radiator, yet this band has a really, really distinctive style.
The melodies crafted on this disc are truly awesome.
As said, lite AOR with smooth arrangements abound in this recording such as the gem that is “Closer” (plenty of keys), the ethereal “I want to believe”, the indeed hypnotic midtempo title track “Hypnotize” (love this one) and the extremely elegant “So cold”.
But Radiator has ‘other side’ as well, and it is pure Melodic Rock with the inclusion of sometimes crunchy guitars and meaty solos. “Want you out of my life” is simply irresistible, with a superb catchy chorus – which reminds the great and quite unknown Dutch act Aquila.
“Does anybody know” has a pulsating melodic rock vibe in the Germans Casanova vein, while “Do you still think of me” recalls Terra Nova in the really melodious line and the swirling keyboard solo.
More WestCoast sounds impregnate the Richard Marx-like “Don’t walk away”, the te-rri-fic piano ballad “Missing you badly”, the uptempo “Alexandra” and the smooth “I know what I want”, all with a strong AOR feeling.
“Hypnotize” is a little gem to my AORish ears.
I am a sucker for this kind of classy material, arranged until the minimum detail an performed with extreme wisdom. At times is light as the thin air and then is balanced by catchy, pulsating melodic rockers.
Production is excellent: crisp, glossy, surgical in detail but vibrant and earthy.
I can’t believe Bad Radiator is selling “Hypnotize” on physical CD only in Scandinavia. You can get it digital via major retailers, but it isn’t the same listening experience.
For me, “Hypnotize” is already occupying a slot in my best album of the year list.
01 – Want you out of my life
02 – Do you still think of me
03 – Closer
04 – Does anybody know
05 – I want to believe
06 – Don’t walk away
07 – Alexandra
08 – Hypnotize
09 – Think twice
10 – So cold
11 – When she smiles
12 – Nothing’s like the first kiss
13 – I know what I want
14 – Missing you badly
Mikael Lundgren: Vocals, Keyboards
Klas Bergvall: Guitars
Roger Hansson: Drums
Janne Persson Bass
BUY IT !