WISHING WELL – Chasing Rainbows (2016)
Finnish hard rockes WISHING WELL are presenting their debut album “Chasing Rainbows”, a true mixture of genres ranging from the melodic hard rock of the title track to classic Seventies blues based hard rock.
The album includes a track featuring legendary Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Alcatrazz) on lead vocals, the classic rocker titled ‘Hippie Heart Gypsy Soul’, which already released as a single two weeks provided some publicity to the band.
But Wishing Well show their credentials all over the record, blending many styles with ease.
The title track ‘Chasing Rainbows’ is first to air and it is very much in the classic early Eighties melodic hard vein, and it takes all of about two bars to realise vocalist Peter James Goodman’s voice is clearly suited to that genre, hints of a young Bruce Dickinson come through from his tone although a lot purer.
This isn’t just about the vocals though – from the first chord Anssi Korkiakoski’s guitar crisply delivers some great melodies and fine fretwork to give the album a more than fine start. This one is a very catchy affair, well crafted, well written and definitely leads you to want to know what else is to follow.
‘Science Fiction’ is next up and beefs proceedings up although still very much in the same vein as the opener – thundering drums light up the chorus powering it forwards, vocals over the top again pure and shrill. The guitar is again doing its part, its sound more natural than a lot today, with effects kept to a minimum rather than being the guiding light. One listen and I can guarantee the chorus will be stuck in your head – it is loud, fast but never loses the hook of its predecessor.
‘Hippie Heart Gypsy Soul’ as you know by now features Graham Bonnet and although his voice isn’t as powerful as it once was he can still mix it with the best of them. Melodically it is in a way what you would expect and that isn’t to do down the song at all, in fact quite the opposite. Bonnet himself puts some great melody on the vocals and the guys in the band deliver a stirring performance adding to the whole feel.
‘Sacrifice’ has a darker feel to it, and the eerie intro sets that mood well. The guitar is more on the Metal side rather than hard rock but the vocals are very clean, powerful and purposeful. There is even a touch of the Ronnie James Dio about both lyric and delivery, and I don’t say that lightly. The guitar lines are full of poetic doom, driving forward the track, rhythm section gathering pace behind it all.
‘Luck Is Blind’ goes back to the more classic rock side of things this time with a more than cool bass line. It chugs along at a nifty rate, reining itself in when at times it seems like it is about to run away with itself. Definitely old school rock but certainly not sounding dated.
‘I’ll Never Let You Go’ reinforces thoughts that this is a very retro influenced opus – the once upon a time apparently compulsory ballad. The song has a very different feel to anything that has come before, vocals taking on a whole new personality, some Spanish-esque guitar adding more than a little to the mid-section, thought provoking lyrics and delivery full of sentiment. Some nice fluttering keys complete the sound perfectly and the last minute or so sees an inspiring, and surprising, change of tempo.
‘Sands of Time’ bursts into life with a drum intro before the guitar lends a helping hand on this an out and out rocker and if you need something in your mind to compare it with, think Uriah Heep.
‘Holy Mountain’ again has a very nifty bass line punctuating a different feel to this one. Musically it doesn’t depart from the theme of the album but the vocals have more of a purpose about them, forcing home its point in a very determined and uplifting way. Again the guitar does more than its job in the breaks and is the driving force for the accelerating message in the chorus. And that bass line just keeps grabbing you by the dangly bits.
So to the closer ‘Fire In My Soul’ which starts off in more subdued mode and as much as Goodman has a cracking voice that would do any song in this genre justice, it is on this sort of track that he really shines. There is an art to combining power and feel whilst keeping the whole thing under control and he does that perfectly with an infectious tone full of feeling.
Wishing Well is a quite different beast in the present hard rock / metal scene.
Musically, their debut “Chasing Rainbows” is heavily influenced from the past but it is never in danger of sounding dated, and the guys have put their own stamp on the sound so it is very much them.
There’s melody, heavy riffs, groovy atmospheres, a cool mixture to enjoy here.
1 – Chasing Rainbows
2 – Science Fiction
3 – Hippie Heart Gypsy Soul (feat Graham Bonnet)
4 – Sacrifice
5 – Luck Is Blind
6 – I’ll Never Let You Go
7 – Sands of Time
8 – Holy Mountain
9 – Fire in My Soul
Peter James Goodman – vocals
Anssi Korkiakoski – guitars
Rip Radioactive – drums
Richard Becker – bass
Graham Bonnet – guest vocals
BUY IT !