WICKMAN ROAD – After the Rain
A young Swedish band breaking into the melodic rock/ AOR field, Wickman Road came together in its current state in 2014, piecing together the right members and songs to deliver their debut album "After the Rain". A quintet where Carl Ahlqvist’s keyboards set a lot of the key hook aspects to the band’s commercial sound, the group can go from an upbeat "Breaking Free" that has a lot of Toto/ "Isolation" textures to a pure, sensitive ballad in "I Believe in You" that isn’t far removed from Europe with no trouble at all.
As great as the chorus work can be for "I Can’t Wait Anymore" and the dance-oriented "Home", the main struggle for full Wickman Road appeal lies in the pipes of singer Eric Ahlqvist. He doesn’t sound very confident in many of the verses, and when he does rear back to reach for a higher note, it sounds very weak as if still learning what his capabilities are. The great thing about young bands is watching potential blossom as they gain more experience at their craft. Let’s hope Wickman Road make strides in that direction for the follow up – as musically they have a good understanding of the West Coast/ AOR sound.