‘Money Never Sleeps’
2009 release from Blistering Records.
Thomas Vikström – Vocals. Joel Carlsson – Guitar. Morgan Rosenquist – Guitar. Thomas Thulin – Bass. Ronny Svanstromer – Drums.
Artist location: Sweden.
4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- All Because Of Me.
- Til’ The End.
- Never Again.
- Anything You Want.
- I Wanna Be Free.
- Nothing At All.
- Money Never Sleeps.
- What About Us.
- Let’s Make It Real.
The now, presumably, disbanded Covered Call released two albums in their seemingly short career, this one in 2009 and their sophomore record, ‘Impact‘, in 2013. This debut, ‘Money Never Sleeps‘, is easily the strongest of the two (though both are great) and delivers some excellent, very 1980’s influenced, melodic rock.
I’ll be honest, I really don’t know that much at all about this band as a whole. I remember ordering this album off of NEHrecords back when it released in 2009 simply because I knew that vocalist Thomas Vikström was attached to it and I have loved his voice since my first introduction to it on the great 1988 self titled Talk Of The Town debut album. Anyone remember that one? Perhaps another one I need to pull back out and review.
So I knew the front man but little else and to my recollection I do not recall ever really reading much about the band, or the album for that matter, at that time and honestly I had actually forgotten about them until recently when I was combing through my albums and saw the record there on the shelf. I pulled it out and gave it a spin and instantly I was brought back to when I first heard it seven years ago and knew that I needed to get something posted about them.
What I did know about them at the time was that Vikström was the lead man. I knew that a few of the band members had jobs of some sort within the stock market, hence the band name and pretty off-putting album cover (seriously, would any of us actually see this album while perusing in the record store and be lead to pick it up from that cover?). I knew they hailed from Sweden. And I knew that they put out one fantastic record as a debut.
I hadn’t listened to this record in about three years. I pulled it out when ‘Impact‘ released in 2013 but that was the last time I listened to it. I didn’t purposefully shelf it and forget about it. I distinctly remember quite liking the record when I first got it and I enjoyed it again when I listened to it those three years ago, but it somehow got lost in the shuffle and forgotten about since that time. With the amount of albums I own that is to be expected I guess, but this is exactly the type of album I look for when I think about reviewing past records for the site so I am a little embarrassed that it took me so long to unearth this little gem, dust it off and get it reviewed for you.
Anyway, enough about that, let’s talk about the music.
This is some very radio friendly melodic rock. Very catchy melodies, some big hooks, a lot of guitar solos and of course the outstanding vocals of Thomas. Now Vikström is likely most highly known for being the ex-Candlemass, ex-Stormwind and Therion vocalist. He even did a short stint with Brazen Abbot in the mid 90’s if I recall correctly. While I love his voice I am by no means a fan of any of those bands so I have not followed his career too closely to be quite frank. But this guy can sing and personally I think this is the genre he belongs in. His voice suits this style perfectly and he has an amazing voice. A fantastic range, excellent control and he just sounds absolutely great.
The band sounds fantastic but I know next to nothing about these guys. I recognize the names but sitting here right now typing this up I am drawing a blank and I can’t pull anything out of my head about them. I may have to do a quick search and reacquaint myself with them (probably something I should have done before writing this up! lol). But they are a talented lot and sound excellent in every way.
The songs, as mentioned before, are all extremely catchy. The album opener, ‘All Because Of Me‘ starts the record off and it sets the pace for almost the entire album which never lets up save for the sole ballad of the record.
‘Til’ The End‘, ‘Shine‘ both follow suit as the first track with their upbeat, rocking melodies and are both excellent songs.
‘Never Again’ is one of my favorites of the album. Awesome song with a fantastic chorus and one of the best vocal deliveries of the album.
‘Anything You Want‘, the ballad of the album, sits squarely in the middle of the record at track five and it slows things way down for a beautiful, piano backed love song. Great vocal.
‘I Wanna Be Free‘ and ‘Nothing At All‘ find us right back to the catchy, upbeat music of the first four tracks and gives us a great, almost Geoff Tate sounding, high note from Thomas at the end of ‘I Wanna Be Free‘.
That leads us into probably my favorite song of the album, the title track, ‘Money Never Sleeps’. One of the harder tracks of the record and a terrific, very catchy chorus. Great vocal delivery from Vikström here as well.
The final two tracks, ‘What About Us‘ and ‘Let’s Make It Real‘, are, again, both rocking numbers and end this short record on a high note and will find you reaching to hit play again to start the second spin.
This is just a great record. I’ve said it many times in this short review, but it is catchy as hell! Awesome vocals, some sweet guitar solos and some killer hooks. Such an underrated, little known album really and one that will not be finding itself sitting back on my shelf again anytime soon.
As stated before, the band released one more album in 2013 but with two line-up changes. First, and most noticeably, gone is Vikström. Enter Göran Edman. Another excellent vocalist, and he does a terrific job on the record. Also we find bassist Thomas Thulin exiting the band and in his place is Andy Loos. Again, this second album, while I feel is not as strong as the debut, is still a great album with some very good songs on it.
If you haven’t heard these guys then click on one of the three links I provided throughout the review. All three are excellent songs and they are a great introduction as to just what to expect from this outing. If you like those songs then you will love the whole record!
Fans of radio friendly melodic rock, catchy melodies, big hooks and great vocals, check this one out.
Very highly recommended.
‘All Because Of Me’.
‘Til’ The End’.
‘Anything You Want’.
‘Money Never Sleeps’.
‘What About Us’.