Linda & The Punch – Obsession (2014) review

Linda & The Punch - Obsession (2014)

Linda & The Punch – Obsession (2014, Escape Music)

  1. What A Shame
  2. Cold Cold World
  3. Welcome To London
  4. Wake Up Dreaming Of You
  5. Nothing Of Anything
  6. Bite
  7. Looking Out For Number One
  8. Kill The Lights
  9. Lost For Words
  10. Love Kills Me
  11. Because The Night

linda-punch-1

Band Lineup:
Linda – vocals
Torsten Asemann – bass & vocals
Tim Edler – keys & vocals
Ralf Heyne – guitars & vocals
Oliver Ross – drums & percussion

Producer: Michael Voss

Country: United Kingdom

Total Time = 39:50

Linda & The Punch on Facebook
Escape Music

Buy the digital download at Amazon.com

When Obsession, the debut album from Linda & The Punch, crossed my desk I wasn’t really sure what to make of it. I read the press release and it described Linda’s singing as a cross between current Pop superstar Pink and Rock icon Pat Benetar…..reading that made me unsure if this hardened Metal heart would enjoy that type of combination. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

Just a quick rundown of some of the major players here: Linda is a fresh faced 21 year old that has a serious voice, the kind of Rock singing that you wished was on today’s radio, she is definitely the focal point. The rest of the band, The Punch, provide a solid musical foundation that blends early ’80s Rock, Pop, Melodic Rock and a slight Punk edge. I definitely hear that early ’80s Rock sound from having grown up listening to the radio back then so I can understand the Pat Benetar comparison. The producer here is Michael Voss, who you can hear on Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock album, and he also adds in his writing skills along with ex-Scorpions drummer Herman Rarebell, Tommy Denander, and the talents of songwriters Jeff Franzel and Steve McEwan. That’s a pretty solid team.

As I mentioned, this is straight up melodic Hard Rock with a Power Pop and Punk feel to it. I can hear contemporaries like the Hard Rock band Halestorm, Pink, Kelly Clarkson and some of the other Pop princesses out there but Linda has a Rock ‘n’ Roll grit and power to her voice that channels Pat Benatar  or even Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders. The band plays a great contemporary style of guitar driven Rock and the melodies and grooves just stay stuck in your head! The opening track ‘What A Shame’ has that Pop-Punk sound to it with an infectious chorus that reminds me of a musically superior alternative to The Donnas crossed with Pink. My favorite tracks are the melodic ‘Welcome To London’ and ‘Looking Out For Number One’, two songs that had that instant sing-a-long quality to them and I really haven’t been able to stop repeating those songs on my iPod. I just like that melodic ’80s Rock sound both tracks have but they are complete rockers. I also really like the ballad ‘Wake Up Dreaming Of You’, a song that could easily be a hit on any Billboard chart, a real showcase for Linda’s vocals. I’m not really sure I like the addition of a cover song at the end, especially Patti Smith’s ‘Because The Night’, a song that everyone seems to do. Everytime I hear the original song, the Natalie Merchant version, this version, any version…..all I think about is Keel doing a cover, and a video, for this track. At least the song was left to the end so it can be skipped but I will say that the band does a slower powerful version that’s not too bad.

Bottom Line:
Linda & The Punch are definitely a new band that will be on the rise. Out of the ten original songs on the album, I really like eight of them and would pull them up in my daily music playlist for months to come. Strong band musically, solid beautiful vocals and catchy well written songs…..what’s not to like? This album is definitely one of the biggest surprises of 2014 for me!

Favorite Songs:
‘Welcome To London’, ‘Looking Out For Number One’, ‘What A Shame’, ‘Wake Up Dreaming Of You’, ‘Nothing Of Anything’

 

Battle Beast - self titled (2014)

CD Scavenger Hunt – March 2014 update

Another late update but I’m catching up…..here’s the hunt for March…..

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Newbury Comics

House Of Lords – Precious Metal (2014) – $14
Battle Beast – s/t (2014) – $12
KXM – s/t (2014) – $10
GWAR – Battle Maximus (2013) – $10 used
Gus G. – I Am The Fire (2014) – $12
Savage Messiah – The Fateful Dark (2014) – $13

March was a slow month for record store trips, I only made two and I only went because I was in the immeadiate area. Call me old, call me lazy but I don’t leave the house unless I really have to in the winter. March was still nice and freezing here in Rhode Island and I hate the cold so I spent most my time watching online prices and waiting. I had to run some errands so I ended up being so close to the record store both times that I just went in. The first trip netted me the new House Of Lords, Battle Beast and KXM. The prices were just about the same as Amazon, they were all at sale prices so I saved $12 total. The second trip was a week later and I scored  a used copy of GWAR’s latest album, Battle Maximus, from last year and the new albums from Gus G. and Savage Messiah. Again, the Gus G. and Savage Messiah albums were on sale and the prices were comparable to Amazon so I saved a total of $9 off regular price. The GWAR album was a bargain at $10 used because I’ve seen it as high as $17 regular price and $12 used.

Ebay

Filthy Lucre – Popsmear (1997) – $23 used
Cutty Sark – Die Tonight (1984/1997 reissue) – $22 used
Cutty Sark – Regeneration (1998) – $31 used
Overdrive – Metal Attack (1983/1997 reissue) – $15 used
Overdrive – Swords & Axes (1984/1997 reissue) – $13 used
Railway – s/t (1984/1997 reissue) – $10 used

Ebay was an expensive outlet for my CD addiction this month, no serious savings here! First up was the Phil Lewis (L.A. Guns) project, Filthy Lucre. I remember seeing the album, Popsmear, advertised in one of the old Metal zines I used to buy and I read something online about the album real quick…..that’s all it took, I needed it. Two copies were on Ebay, I ended up high bidding this CD at $25 and won it for $20 + $3 shipping. The next five CDs were all bought from the same seller, all were low starting bids and four were High Vaultage reissues that I have been collecting since 1998. The two Cutty Sark albums I got into bidding wars for so I paid top dollar. Die Tonight was a bargain at $22 (price includes shipping) because I’ve seen the same CD copy for at least three years from another seller listed at $69.99 and, for some strange reason, it never shows up on Ebay. You can buy it on vinyl but never the High Vaultage reissue. Regeneration was Cutty Sark’s last album from 1998 and I never see that around so I wanted it and paid and expensive $31 total. The two Overdrive CDs and the Railway disc were all High Vaultage reissues and I got them for decent prices with the shipping, nothing like the Cutty Sark discs!

When it’s all said and done, I bought 6 CDs at the record store and 6 CDs on Ebay…..but I only spent $71 at the store and a high $114 on Ebay!

Totals

Total (March) = $185

Total (year) = $800.10

Average Price (per item) = $11.60

Total CDs (year) = 66

Total LPs (year) = 3