HARDWARE’ 86 – Hardware ’86 [Limited Edition 500 copies] (2019) *EXCLUSIVE*
Eighties AOR fans rejoice; HARDWARE’ 86 and their self-titled debut album will put a BIG smile on your face. Released by AOR Blvd Records in a 500 copies Limited Edition CD, here’s what the press release says; ‘Hardware ’86 takes you back to the sound & vibe of the late ’80s melodic scene. They celebrate a shameless cocktail of heavy guitars, soft synths, melodic leads and big Eighties-like drums’.
And they deliver what they promise, in spades. Believe me.
The origins of this duo from Norway consisting of multi-instrumentalists Rune Aalberg Alstad & Sigurd Ekle is really curious.
Hardware ’86 started as a study project at the Norwegian University of Technology and Science, aiming to find the true sound of ’80s rock using modern equipment. More specific: classic AOR / melodic rock.
And darn, the couple for sure they achieved their goal.
Let’s start with the cover artwork, then their chosen band name… it can’t be more cool.
After that take a quick look at the song titles… ‘Summer of ’91’, ‘Share This Love’, ‘Arena’, etc. And then push play and you’ll be treated by classic Scandi AOR melodies to die for.
As said, Hardware ’86 origins are curious, because these musicians started this project as a University exercise, but slowly the chosen music genre ended with Alstad & Ekle falling in love with classy AOR.
Take as example the song ‘T L M’. The duo said they wanted to recreate the sound aesthetics of ‘10.000 Lovers (In One)’ by the band TNT. Wow, and they did it! This guitar-driven melodic hard rocker sounds like lost 1988 TNT song. And kills.
A song titled ‘Summer of ’91’ speaks by itself… a sing-along breezy melody and a production sound rarely heard since 1990.
For ‘Share This Love’ think Work Of Art’s smoothness, while the swirling guitars / synths on ‘Arena’ makes justice to its title with a lyric line stating ‘my arena is the place to be’.
Oh, and I need to mention the superb lead vocals on all these songs; all are performed by the late David A. Saylor before his sudden death. The right super-smooth vocalist for the right AOR tunes.
This is a late ’80s inspired album, and Hardware ’86, of course, also dips into movie soundtrack-like stuff with ‘Cheezyfiction’, an instrumental that seems taken from a 1987 flick featuring a ‘heavy sax’ line (which sounds like a guitar) surrounded by something like a ‘synthwave’ instrumentation.
I am in love with Hardware ’86. This is primo AOR / 80s gold that needs to be exposed.
These songs were recorded five / four years ago but just released now on physical CD. I only hope Alstad & Ekle continue working on this project, they are fabulous at it.
Do you need a shot of classy Scandi AOR for the weekend? Look no further; blast “Hardware ’86” on your stereo.
Only at 0dayrox
01 – Arena
02 – Share This Love
03 – Summer of ’91
04 – Sagittarius
05 – T L M
06 – Cheezyfiction
07 – I’m Your Man
08 – Sagittarius (demo version with acoustic guitar)
David A. Saylor – Lead Vocals
Snorre Valen – Lead Vocals on 4
Olav Slagsvold – heavy sax on 6
Rune Aalberg Alstad – all instruments, vocals
Sigurd Ekle – all instruments, vocals