THE WHEEL – The Wheel
Oslo, Norway’s The Wheel aren’t reinventing much in the hard rock landscape as much as taking a series of movements through the decades and emitting an addictive, down to earth catchy style. Imagine if you love Led Zeppelin and Van Halen as much as Badlands and Alice In Chains – those are the four quickest reference points when hearing these 10 songs.
Singer Jan Erik Salvesen has that deep, earthy vibe that Chris Cornell evokes and mesmerizes the ears right from the start on “Stand Up”. The guitar work from Orjan Kvalvik certainly has the early 70’s bluesy hard rock ethic in mind, with slide guitar effects bringing “Love” to that Zeppelin comparison while not overstaying its welcome. The rhythm section hold down the groove parts with straight ahead resolve, they aren’t going to dazzle you with fancy fills or intricate changes – everything is made for the sake of great, good time songwriting. You’ll enjoy some bright acoustics against a “Wheel In The Sky”-like driving riff in “Sparks” where Jan again impresses with his up and down runs and personal bluesy high range.
Building their name in the live scene playing alongside UFO and the Quireboys, The Wheel have all the tools in place to develop a long, healthy career with their sound. Seductive and slithering, sonically the quartet are primed and ready for people who live for basic hard rock and need to just let go. Synthesizing three decades of great acts into their own approach to music, there’s plenty to cheer about this self-titled debut and hope for this consistency to stay on future recordings.