Reach – The Promise Of A Life

The Promise Of A Life Album Cover Art

Reach – The Promise Of A Life
Icons Creating Evil Art
Release Date: 23/04/2021
Running Time: 38:17
Review by Beth Jones

Hands up who likes Queen?…(NB, if you don’t have your hand up, leave now, because I don’t need that kind of negativity, and for the record, you’re wrong!) Got your hands up? Good, good. Now keep them up if you also like Muse, and can stomach The Scissor Sisters, Mika, and Lady Gaga, and also quite liked the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s, and all the collective musical genres they had to offer. Anyone who put their hands down can now also leave, as this probably won’t be for you – BUT!!!…Don’t go too quickly, because you never know, and opening your mind to possibilities can be highly enlightening.

Today’s musings from my increasingly unhinged middle-aged psyche are about Swedish boundary pushing Rockers, Reach, and their new album “The Promise Of A Life”. And, my fellow lunatics, if you’ve ever wondered what a soup made out of the artists mentioned in my opening paragraph would taste like, then your answer is right here. (That’s a normal train of thought to go through, right…Come on guys, throw me a frikkin bone; it can’t seriously be only me who thinks about these kinds of philosophical, 3am problems…)

Since their inception in 2012, Reach have achieved critical acclaim, building a unique sound that likes to challenge. This new release is every bit of that. Its individuality shows no bounds, and the band’s willingness to experiment is clear from the start, even in the opening track’s title – ‘New Frontier’. This track begins with ‘Wild West’ whistling, and then starts galloping across the desert bareback on a stallion, carrying a Fender Strat and a large swag bag full of insanity, attempting to connect with Ziggy Stardust and James Bond before they drive Elvis to the moon in a big red bus! (None of that happens in the actual song by the way, that’s just the picture it painted in my head when I was listening to it, inspired by the tones and rhythms that were being put in there by this bunch of lunatic geniuses!)

And that gives way seamlessly to Sister Gaga Scissors, for track 2, ‘The Law’. You get the general idea. The theme for Reach’s sound is ‘Theme? Who needs a theme! What even is a theme?! Flibble.’ It takes the anthemic qualities and showmanship of Queen, and throws a host of modern methodology at it, to create something that really can’t be pigeonholed into a genre. Instead, it simply exists, as a presence refusing to follow any logic, but in the best way imaginable. It’s familiar, but insanely different all at the same time. Every single song is unique, and there’s not one that isn’t an absolutely killer track.

We have 80’s-esque rock rhythms, mixed with chunky guitars, solid bass, synth that’s popped straight in from the New Romantics (See the middle 8’s in ‘Satellite’ for reference), soundscapes that make it undeniably modern, and vocal harmonies that will never die while the memories of early Queen are still kept alive. There’s elements of 70’s prog, and the Woodstock generation underpinning everything, too, as well as the occasional moment of funk akin to the likes of Prince, and the fine line of genius/madness is fully trodden when it comes to orchestration. It’s experimental mastery that just makes your brain feel like a lovely mess. It’s prog without pretention or aloof irritation, rock without safe normality, and pop with eons more talent. I mean this is just ridiculously good. I literally cannot fault anything about it. I would even go as far as to throw the word ‘iconic’ into the mix. If Freddy Mercury had still been alive, he’d have been all over these guys like a rash. Love, Love, Love it!!! I need more. Hell, even the front man’s name – Ludvig – suggests that he was born to be a musical prodigy and impresario. I’m now addicted. I need to lie down. Too much excited lunacy for one day. Everyone needs this in their lives.

‘New Frontier’ (Official Audio)

01. New Frontier
02. The Law
03. Young Again
04. Satellite
05. Motherland
06. The Seventh Seal
07. Higher Ground
08. Cover Traces
09. The Streets
10. Promise Of A Life
11. The Streets

Ludvig Turner – Vocals/ Guitar
Marcus Johansson – Drums
Soufian Ma´Aoui – Bass


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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