THE MILESTONES – Higher Mountain Closer Sun (2014)
Finland’s classic rockers THE MILESTONES are back with the fourth album in their 20 year history, “Higher Mountain – Closer Sun”. Not exactly prolific but quality over quantity is a rare commodity in this age.
If you never heard the name The Milestones, this new CD is an excellent slice of what the band are all about.
For true Rock listeners on the classic end of things, this band will bring new joy into your world.
A very live feel is heard throughout, lous responsive guitar tones (with a bevy of Telecaster, Firebird and Les Paul usage) and a rhythm section that clearly knows the meaning of the word – groove – throw on top a vocalist who actually seems to be enjoying his music and its hard not to listen to this and smile.
Opener “Walking Trouble” kicks the album off with high energy, a driving riff collide with gritty vocals and rocking harmonica from frontman Olavi Tikka and you’ll be turning this up loud. These guys are from Finland? Really? They sound born and raised in Britain.
The really melodic “Shalalalovers” continues the theme but throws in a little more commercialism with the chorus hook likely to be in your head days after.
The band prove they have exquisite taste by next serving up a faithful cover of Foghat’s 1976 classic “Drivin’ Wheel”, high energy and a will to make the song their own is displayed.
Next we can catch our breath a little with the southern rock inflections of “Oh My Soul” before the predominantly acoustic “Grateful” prepares up for the Stonesy crunch of “Sweet Sounds”.
A nice Humble Pie meets Glenn Hughes vibe is experienced on “It’s All Right” and this is the first of a couple of corker tracks with the telecaster twang bedrock and laid back delivery (at least for the verses) of “You” show strong songwriting and good maturity from the band.
“Looking Back From Yesterday” sits in mid-tempo waters and does take a few listens to sink in fully before “Damn” ups the tempo with a ridiculously simple yet effective riff drives the song on, it also got a killer chorus as well.
Closing track “Fool Me” seems a little haphazard compared to the majority of the album with riffs that are disjointed and quirky in equal measure, maybe not the killer closing track the album deserves but pleasant enough.
“Higher Mountain – Closer Sun” is an excellent release from The Milestones, deeply rooted into timeless Classic Rock.
How they’ve managed to escape more widespread popularity is beyond me but this album is strong enough to certainly give them a chance of that. Well crafted songs with a vivid spirit fueled by great vintage guitar tones and packed full of strong vocal hooks make this one of the best pure rock releases you are likely to hear in 2014.
01 – Walking Trouble
02 – Shalalalovers
03 – Drivin’ Wheel
04 – Oh My Soul
05 – Grateful
06 – Sweet Sounds
07 – It’s All Right
08 – You
09 – Looking Back for Yesterday
10 – Damn
11 – Fool Me
Vocals, Harmonica: Olavi Tikka
Guitars: Tomi Julkunen
Guitars: Marko Kiviluoma
Bass: Veli Palevaara
Drums: Tommi Manninen
BUY IT !