Pretty Maids - 'Louder Than Ever'

 


THE BAND:
Ronnie Atkins (Paul Christensen) - lead vocals
Ken Hammer (Kenneth Hansen) - guitar
Rene Shades - bass
Allan Tschicaja - drums
Morten Sandager - keyboards


TRACKLISTING:

1.) "Deranged" (New Song) - This track opens with a very intense rhythm guitar arrangement.  Underneath the arrangement, there is what sounds like an electric drum crack keeping time much like what a click track would do.  Underneath the main rhythm guitar Ken overdubbed a second rhythm guitar riff.  This second guitar was mainly done with a fill-in rhythm.  There was a snare crack connecting the musical intro with the musical verse.  For the musical verse there was a rhythm guitar change.  It was at this time both guitars switch and begin playing the same rhythm arrangement.  Underneath the lyric lines the guitar, bass and drums are playing the same rhythm.  Instead of using a hi-hat rhythm for this section Allan plays a rhythm on his tom-toms. The musical chorus along with the way the band arranged the lyrics gave the chorus a very nice heavy hook.  Allan switched his drum line connecting the first chorus with the second verse throwing in several double-bass drum licks.  There was a lead guitar solo connecting the second and third choruses.  Ronnie's vocals on track have a mid nineties sound to them.
2.) "Playing God" - Taken off of the CD 'Planet Panic' released in 2002.
3.) "Psycho Time Bomb Planet Earth" - Taken off the CD 'Scream' released in 1994.
4.) "My Soul To Take" (New Song) - The intro to this semi-ballad (I refuse to say power ballad) opens with two seperate rhythm guitar arrangements one atop of the other.  Underneath these two guitar rhythm's Allan keeps time with his hi-hat and bass drum.  There is a small vocal accent over the top of the musical intro.  The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement for the musical verse as the one they used for the intro section.  The way the lyrics were arranged was very reminiscent to eighties Bad Company.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus.  The vocal lines of the musical hook attached to them.  There were several lead guitar licks connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  The major lead guitar solo section connects the second and third choruses. 
5.) "He Who Never Lived" - Taken off of the CD 'Planet Panic' released in 2002.
6.) "Virtual Brutality" - Taken off of the CD 'Planet Panic' released in 2002.
7.) "Tortured Spirit" - Taken off of the CD 'Carpe Diem' released in 2000.
8.) "With These Eyes" - Taken off of the CD 'Two Originals' released in 2002.
9.) "Nuclear Boomerang" (New Song) - This track opens with the ambient noise of a cold war siren.  This war siren leads to a warning announcement.  The musical intro of this track has a huge intense feel.  This is mainly due in part to the double-bass drum pattern.  There was an arrangement change for the musical verse.  The choruses of this song had a huge Pretty Maids hook attached to it.  After the second chorus over the top of the musical arrangement there was a spoken vocal section.  The band slowed the musical arrangement down for the lead guitar solo section. 
10.) "Snakes In Eden"- Taken off of the CD 'Two Originals' released in 2002.
11.) "Wake Up To The Real World" - Taken off of the CD 'Wake Up In The Real World' released in 2006
12.) "A Heart Without A Home" (New Song) - This was an amazing Pretty Maids ballad!!



      Apparently taking a break is not in Pretty Maids vocabulary.  After the release of their successful 2013 CD titled, 'Motherland' while the boys were still on their European leg of the tour.  They found time on their days off to hit the studio and record 'Louder Than Ever'. The CD consists of twelve tracks, eight of which are re-recorded songs from the '95-'06 era with the other four are new songs.
     Much like the early nineties when bands were re-recording their music acoustically the fashion today is for bands to go into the studio and either re-record or re-mix some of their older material.  Usually I would have a problem with this.  The reason being is take Mötley's re-recorded version of "Home Sweet Home '91" taken off their ' Decade of Decadence' CD.  What the Crüe added really done nothing to enhance or make the song any better. 
     However, in the case of 'Louder Than Ever' the re-recorded songs made since.  Primarily outside of Ronnie Atkins and Ken Hammer this is a different band.  Secondly Pretty Maids has a little bit of a different sound than they did during the era between '95 and '06.  So I have no problem with the re-recording except for the fact they could have added more songs from different eras.  With that being said you really have to be either a die-hard Pretty Maids fan or a fan of the Masacre Records releases to play the CD alot.  Outside of that you will find yourself mainly just playing the four new songs.  In which you can save money and just download those from Itunes.  The only thing of real interest for fans is the bonus DVD that comes with the release.  This DVD features a Motherland Tour retrospective as well as vintage footage and interviews.  Amazon has the CD going for $14.67 plus S&H. Therefore, if you are a die-hard fan $15 may be worth spending just for the four new songs plus the DVD.  It will be up to you to make that decision all I can say is the four new songs are killer and worth buying.