After White Lion and Freak of Nature, Mike Tramp put out a couple of very solid solo albums that sadly went unnoticed by even die-hard fans. Then, he toured as Tramp's White Lion for a while releasing the album Return of the Pride to mixed reviews, possibly due to the absence of original members (especially Vito Bratta). Recently, Tramp returned to his homeland Denmark and formed a new band: Mike Tramp & The Rock'N Roll Circuz.
Stand Your Ground features Tramp's trademark songwriting vision melded with a more blues-tinged formula by his Danish band mates. Unlike his recent solo material, the album consists of rhythmically dense tunes (great bass tone) and a hard-rocking vibe permeating the majority of the songs like "Don't Let Them Put It on You" and "Got Me Crazy" as well as more personal tracks like "Straight from the Look in My Eyes" and "Wish You Well." I personally believe Tramp's finest solo albums are still his debut Capricorn and the very dark yet wonderfully written More to Life Than This, which features songwriting input by the amazing Oliver Steffensen as well as other greats like Steve Lukather and Eric Johnson. This album, on the other hand, is more of a band effort and, thus, it rightly sounds different to his prior work. Check it out to explore Tramp's current musical world. There is plenty of high-velocity drum and bass work underpinning Soren Andersen's blazing guitars. Andersen's playing is neither as flashy nor as unique as Tramp's earlier guitar counterparts, but he injects an undeniable live feel to the pieces and renders them all the more energetic. Tramp's vocal style is more in the vein of "Livin' on the Edge" rather than his more heartfelt singing heard on songs like "Have You Ever" or the impossibly beautiful "Darkness," songs that are predominantly defined by Tramp's personal lyrics, and an ingenious mix of subdued instruments with clear, powerful vocals.
I just saw Tramp live last night with his great band and they put on an awesome show playing most of this album, a few White Lion songs, a Freak of Nature tune, and Tramp's tribute to Ronnie James Dio, "A Hymn to Ronnie." They're a great band live, so don't miss the chance to see them if the opportunity arises.
- Don t Let Them Put It on You
- Alright By Me
- Gotta Get Away
- Straight from the Look in My Eyes
- Got Me Crazy
- Wish You Well
- World Is Changing
- Prettiest Girl
- Say What You Will
- The Soldier Never Started a War