REACH – Reach Out to Rock
"Reach Out to Rock" is the debut album from Sweden’s Reach, a melodic hard rock quartet that give hope to those who love newer music in that classic 80’s style that brought joy to arena audiences worldwide. Active since 2012, the 10 songs show a remarkable sense of maturity in understanding all the proper facets of catchy choruses, seamless transitions, and hooks throughout on both a vocal and musical basis.
Reference points include Journey in terms of guitar phrasing for "Tell Me", possibly current Europe with their darker, more organic approach on "The Beast", or the current H.E.A.T. commercial sheen as well as ridiculously infectious vocal harmonies throughout "Reach Out". Vocalist Alex Waghorn has a little bit of grit to his otherwise stellar, multi-octave range – everything from Michael Bormann (Letter X, Jaded Heart) to Sebastian Bach comes to mind right out of the gate on opener "You Called My Name" on through to the bluesy, anthem-oriented closer "Coming Home". The band appears very comfortable in a mid-tempo framework, delivering the right amount of punch and polish in 4-5 minute increments.
Bassist David Jones and drummer Marcus Johansson settle into comfortable grooves as a solid melodic hard rock band should – showcasing some of their skills in spots like the quieter moments of "Tell Me" or the down and dirty "Make Me Believe". Reach prove also with this debut record that you don’t always have to develop a syrup-like power ballad to diversify your track listing – the quartet have enough quieter spots built into their template to keep your interest song to song.
Scandinavia continues to be thriving in the melodic hard rock genre, and Reach are another band to investigate if you dig newer artists taking the 80’s foundation to the current generation.