MAJOR INSTINCT – Roots & Wings
Handpicked musicians from M.ILL.ION founder / bassist B.J. Laneby, Major Instinct is a Swedish quintet content to spit out an addictive brand of melodic, bluesy hard rock with sweet chorus action. Considering the man’s recovery from illness last year that almost cost him his life, the decision to start a new band is appropriate given the second chance. "Roots & Wings" has a lot in common with Deep Purple, Kiss, and Whitesnake – the band equally engaging from an organ standpoint as they are from the blues-based hard rockin’ guitar licks and soulful vocals.
You don’t get many 22 year olds willing to lay down a thick Hammond Organ sound as Gabriel Glamheden does right out of the gate for the infectious title track – proving Major Instinct will use the ivory keys in a leadership manner or at least on par with guitarist Magnus Mild’s bluesy chords choices and clean dynamic licks. Almost gospel oriented background vocals aid the cause for "High Five", while "316" features slower, layered guitar harmonics during the instrumental section and you get some playful, Thin Lizzy action during "Here and Now".
The problem with full recommendation for Major Instinct lies in the serviceable yet unspectacular range of vocalist Stefano Marchesini. Sure the man has an impressive register and personality, but knowing when to use your voice to wail versus control the melodies seems to be a struggle – as "Kicked to the Ground" and the mid-tempo swinger "One in a Million" straddles that bluesy hard rock nature of David Coverdale if taken to a Sunset Strip tussle, a la Mark Slaughter.
We shall see if things improve on the singing front next time – for now "Roots & Wings" is decent but could have been so much more.