SKAGARACK - Skagarack +5 [YesterRock Records Remastered] *EXCLUSIVE*
We already posted SKAGARACK‘s second album with special extras, and this first, self-titled debut from the band is also a must have for all AOR fans. Including 5 bonus tracks this is a remastered reissue handled by YesterRock specialists, not credited into the liner notes due to rights reasons.
Originally released in 1986, “Skagarack” is pure melodic Scandi AOR made in Heaven, with that infectious crisp hard rock guitar glorious keyboards, ripe and prepared for a public that never picked it, thus is the story of Skagarack.
All started with the Danish trio Pulze: vocalist Torben Schmidt, guitarist Jan Petersen, and drummer Alvin Otto later joined forces with bassist Morten Munch and keyboardist Tommy Rasmussen to form Skagarack.
The group shopped a demo which caught the attention of Polydor who released this Scandi AOR classic in 1986. Coming out of Denmark like a bull in a china shop, Skagarack were capable of the kind of sound and attention that was tailor-made for 1986.
While their native tundra and the Far East embraced Skagarack with the likes of Madison and Treat, the US was far more smitten with the likes of Bon Jovi and another ‘certain’ band from Europe to take any interest.
‘Skagarack’ should’ve been the kind of album that put Scandinavia on the mainstream map and catapulted these delightful Danes to the top! Unfortunately, it didn’t. But their lack of fortune was made up in superior melodic rock.
Things open up with ‘Move It In The Night’, a tasty little ditty with plenty of keys and infectious chorus to boot. Torben Schmidt has a Lou Gramm circa ‘Foreigner 4’ like delivery which works awesomely here.
Next up is ‘I’m Alone’ which was a major hit in their native Denmark (rightfully so). You could always count on the Danes for amazing hook-filled melodies ‘o plenty with lavish keys decorating the swelling choruses.
‘Saying’ is driben by a smattering guitar riff, while a classic British-like guitar intro sets the tone for the next cut ‘Damned Women’, which is a finely composed thumper with just enough keys to lighten the mood.
‘Don’t Turn Me Upside Down’ is by far the pearler here, how US airwaves didn’t take to this like flies on a rib roast is again beyond me? Infectious sing-a-long qualities make this a bona fide Scandi classic nevertheless.
Melodies keep a coming for another standout ‘Lies’, with synth pulsing keys oozing out from all over.
‘City Child’ just deliver more Scandi Heaven with sugar sweet synths offsetting a maniacal blend of chugging guitars and a little pan flute.
‘Double Crossed’ closes down this Danish delight with swirling synths, chugging guitar, stirring vocals and more hooks than a tackle box off the coast of Kolding.
Skagarack’s follow up ‘Hungry For A Game’ is their masterpiece with ‘Slice Of Heaven’ not far behind in it’s own special way.
But this debut ‘Skagarack’ has something special: that ’86 feeling, that keyboards / synths, that Scandinavian magic…
This remaster sounds great, and we have a very good B-side in “Stand By Me”, a pure 80 extended version on “I’m Alone” and 3 juicy live tracks.
Top shelf Scandi AOR.
01 – Move It In The Night
02 – I’m Alone
03 – Saying
04 – Damned Woman
05 – Don’t Turn Me Upside Down
06 – Lies
07 – Victim Of The System
08 – City Child
09 – Double Crossed
10 – Stand By Me
11 – I’m Alone (Extended Version)
12 – Victim Of The System (Live)
13 – Move It In The Night (Live)
14 – City Child (Live)
Lead and Backing Vocals, Keys, Guitar – Torben Schmidt
Guitar – Jan Petersen
Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Tommy Rasmussen
Bass – Morten Munch
Drums – Alvin Otto