Fired Up

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper
(Pride & Joy Music, 2021)

Karakter: 5/6

KAASIN-Fired Up_3000px.jpgEver since Kaasin's first digital single release titled "Runaway Train" back in 2019, I have been looking forward to their debut full-length offering and I am thrilled to report that this 9-song effort of theirs (11 if you include the bonus tracks) appropriately named "Fired Up" does not disappoint.

Kicking things off with the fiery rocker "We Are One", Kaasin, which is spearheaded by Come Taste the Band guitar-slinger Jo Henning Kaasin, sets the tone and establishes a marvelous 70-inspired hard rock aura roughly four second in. The tasty riffs and infectious vocal melodies complement each other superbly and those warm-sounding keyboards add just the right amount of texture and atmospherics to the proceedings. The bluesy vibes and massive grooves that permeate the record recall early Whitesnake while some of the heavier and more epic parts of "Fired Up" bring to mind Rainbow in their 70s heyday and also the underrated "Stranger in Us All" LP (1995). The mellow passages are tinged with a sense of longing and heartache, and singer Jan Thore Grefstad handles both the ballads and the huge, barnstorming rockers with verve and vigor. Perhaps it was the overall feeling of enthusiasm that is ever-present on the disc that immediately sucked me in the first time I listened to these robust and elegantly crafted compositions? Well, that and the fact that the tracks consist of so many memorable parts that it borders on the surreal. The sound of the drums leaves something to be desired in that they could have been punchier and also louder in the mix, but other than that, we are in the company of a fine musical output.

"Fired Up" is full of terrific tunes that are explosive and overflowing with energy but never skimp on melody or meaty hooks. Then again, it is also highly dynamic and boasts variety and a few nice surprises. It may be heavily inspired by the giants and legends of old but by no means is it merely a salute to the greatest of times; Kaasin possess a style and identity of their own and deliver the goods and do so in a powerful, convincing manner. A fabulous combination of catchiness and class that fans of Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, and the likes ought to make a serious note of.

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