Lover Under Cover – Into The Night (2014, Escape Music)
- A Fight
- Into The Shadows
- Toy Soldier
- Crushing Stones
- Life Is Easy
- Playboy No 7
- The Game Is On
- Fantasy Man
- Closer To The Truth
- No Place Like Home
Mikael Carlsson – (Rain) Bass, Guitars, Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Mikael Erlandsson (Last Autumn’s Dream/Salute) – Vocals, Keyboards
Martin Kronlund (Gypsy Rose, Phenomena, Salute) – Guitars
Perra Johnsson (Coldspell) – Drums
Producer: Martin Kronlund
Total Time = 45:20
One of the things I love most about running this website for the last 8 years is that I get to discover new bands and new music on a daily basis. Sometimes an album crosses my desk and it completely takes hold of me and captures my complete attention…..Into The Night from Sweden’s Lover Under Cover is one of those albums. Lover Under Cover is a name I’ve heard before but never really investigated. The band is a Swedish melodic rock “supergroup” of sorts with all the members being in well known bands like Coldspell, Last Autumn’s Dream, Salute and more but the music put to record is not a bunch of guns for hire playing their respective parts but an actual band rocking it hard and playing flawlessly.
Opening track ‘A Fight’ kicks the album off in high gear with a quick keyboard intro that rolls straight into some blazing guitar work. Mikael Erlandsson’s voice immeadiately commands your attention and he kind of reminds me a bit of Tony Harnell (TNT/Westworld), very melodic sounding and forceful when needed. ‘A Fight’ is infectious with it’s big harmonies on the chorus and I found myself singing along right away. ‘Into The Shadows’ continues the initial assault with another infectious chorus and plenty of harmonies, the song takes me right back to the ’80s when I was growing up when Rock music was an art of perfectly blended musicianship. And the melodic assault doesn’t stop because ‘Miracle’ is high energy powerhouse that reminds me of a combination of Westworld, Treat and Bon Jovi and it’s definitely my favorite song on the record. Martin Kronlund has some great solos on this track but the main riff, combined with the keyboards complimenting, really drives the song.
Time to slow it down a little with the album’s first ballad, ‘Toy Soldiers’. Now I’m listening to the album in the car when I first heard this song and I knew most of the words…..what? Turns out this is a cover of ‘Toy Soldiers’ by Martika from 1988 and, as a high school teenager glued to MTV back then, I remember that song well. Actually, my wife loves the Martika song. So I’m thrown off a bit by the Martika cover but it’s done really well so I can’t really fault the band for recording it. I’m not a fan of cover songs on studio albums but this is a really good one. ‘Crushing Stones’ goes back to the solid melodic rock of the first three songs and I especially like the keyboard line that holds it all together but it all comes down to the guitar for me and I’m really enjoying another great performance that brings a bit of an edge to the track. ‘Life Is Easy’ is a Bon Jovi sounding song but absolutely better than anything Bon Jovi has released in a decade (Jon take notice!). It’s just another great tune, an album favorite for me, another catchy song that immeadiately grabs you but it’s a bit more mellow, more mid-tempo, and I like the way the band has mixed it up. ‘Playboy No. 7’ is another uptempo Hard Rock song and it’s good but it sounds a little repetitive of what’s played before it.
A second song with a bit of a crunchy edge is ‘The Game Is On’ and ‘Fantasy Man’ follows ‘Life Is Easy’ a little as far as that easy melodic tempo goes. Both are really great songs but ‘Fantasy Man’ joins ‘Miracle’ and ‘Life Is Easy’ as my stand out tracks. Add ‘Closer To The Truth’ to that list as well because that’s another effortless melodic rocker that has me singing along and doing my air-drums. This is another example of an great old school ’80s sounding song done perfectly. Ending the record is a cool mid-tempo/ballad style track, ‘No Place Like Home’, that Jon Bon Jovi wishes he could write (steal!) and, even though it ends Into The Night on a softer note, it’s a great song.
If your a fan of good melodic Hard Rock with a lot of ’80s influences, great vocals, great guitars and sing-a-long lyrics, then Into The Night is definitely for you. The entire sound of the album is excellent, great production by Martin Kronlund, and it sounds like what I remember from my younger days…..an album from a bygone era maybe? This is my first proper album review for 2014 but I’ve listened to a lot of albums so far this year and Lover Under Cover has captured my listening time more with this new album than other new albums I’ve acquired so far. It’s really that good and, like I mentioned earlier, I love it when an album crosses my desk and surprises me by hooking me in immeadiately. I highly recommend people picking this album up.
‘Miracle’, ‘Life Is Easy’, ‘Fantasy Man’, ‘Closer To The Truth’