PAVIC – Is War The Answer? (2014)
Marko PAVIC and his self-named band from Italy released two interesting Hard Rock albums during the last decade, both quite well received but failed to make them an established act.
After some turmoils in the line-up and the departure of vocalist Chris Catena in 2010, PAVIC was put on hiatus but in early 2013 the band was revived with a new drummer and a new lead singer but mostly, a new dynamic, improved sound which is moving into a more straight and contemporary direction, as it’s heard on they new CD “Is War The Answer?” released today.
Since the first seconds of the opening, title track, you can hear the musical change: edgy, post-grunge Americanized modern hard rock with an anthemic feel, a quite promising start to this disc which introduces us to the very accessible and decent vocals of the heavily tattooed Joe Calabro.
Calabro is the perfect candidate for helping the band to uplift themselves with some vocals inflexions that can recall James Michael James (SIXX AM) or Chris Cornell (Soudgarden). The fresh, updated sound of Pavic is enhanced with some sharp riffing by Marko perfectly placed in a sound canvas courtesy of Rick Beato (Furyon) who engineered and mixed the whole recording at Black Dog Sound Studios, USA.
“In Your Eyes” flows in similar style, hard rocking Americana and, again, comes out on top, while “Free Fall” rocks with in a modern style with synths in the background and raspy vocals / melodic chorus upon a staccato riffage.
The ballad “Song For The Rain”, although a tad modern radio friendly, is a stormer of a song which I’d rather listen too than half of the usual duff that gets played time over and again so it’s another tick in the box.
“Your Own Misery” and “Strong Enough” stomps it up again with good mix between energetic down tuned guitars and more progressive elements. The faster they play, they more fluid they become – this is obviously where the band feels more comfortable and it’s a winning combination that they’ve struck upon.
You want a band to take chances every now and again – sometimes it works, sometimes it’s something the band will forever regret – so to stick Duran Duran’s “Notorious” slap bang in the middle of this disc is a gamble. For me, this unexpected cover song is one of the highlights of the CD, the guitar work is highly skilled and the solo spot by Marko Pavik is short but impressive, something in coherency all along the disc.
On their new album “Is War The Answer?” Pavic tries to blend classic hard rock melodies with American mainstream, modern rock radio anthemic tunes, and they succeed for the most part.
I don’t believe they will break up the charts with this ‘new style’, but this fresh CD it’s a more than interesting recording fusing the best of both worlds, something appealing for many listeners. The production of Rick Beato is polished and powerful, really well balanced and with a crisp output.
“Is War The Answer?” is also worth to investigate for those curious minds who ask themselves how the Modern American Rock is digested in Europe, made and crafted by an European band.
01 – Is War the Answer?
02 – In Your Eyes
03 – Song for the Rain
04 – Your Own Misery
05 – Notorious
06 – Every Time I Die
07 – Strong Enough
08 – Welcome to My World
09 – Free Fall
10 – Once Again
Joe Calabro – Lead Vocals
Marko Pavic – Lead Guitar
Aleks Ferrara – Bass
Lorenzo Antonelli – Keyboards
Antonio Aronne – Drums
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