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Poodles, The: Tour de Force

This may well be the easiest review in the history of mankind. Here goes; if you like The Poodles, you'll love Tour de Force! How's that work for you? I quite like it; it says exactly what I want to say about the record. It's Poodletastic, all Poodle-related tropes are in place. It's highly melodic yet still forceful and heavy in places. Jakob Samuelsson is still a commanding vocalist and thanks to long time cohort Mats Valentin everything is excellent in the sound department.

I can't conceive that The Poodles will ever hit the heights of their first two albums (Metal Will Stand Tall and Sweet Trade) but they are remarkably consistent even if they don't hit the peaks of Seven Seas or indeed the eponymous Metal Will Stand Tall. If there is a caveat to add it would be that there's precious little difference from the previous four albums but truthfully this is a very solid disc (or download) indeed. Strangely the best track "En För Alla För En" is only a bonus track and was the official theme song for the Swedish team at the2013 World Championships of Ice Hockey. It's ultra-catchy even if I have no idea what the song is about!

Track Listing:

  1. Misery Loves Company
  2. Shut Up!
  3. Happily Ever After
  4. Viva Democracy
  5. Going Down
  6. Leaving the Past to Pass
  7. 40 Days and 40 Nights
  8. Kings & Fools
  9. Miracle
  10. Godspeed
  11. Now Is the Time
  12. Only Just Begun
  13. En För Alla För En (bonus track – physical edition only)

Added: May 26th 2013
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1784
Language: english

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Poodles, The: Tour de Force
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2013-05-26 07:17:48
My Score:

They say never judge a book by its cover and so by equal measure should you (nor I) judge a band by their name... Hence Tour De Force is, unlike my knowledge colleague Mr Bray, my first taste of this peculiar dog. What with the band's name suggesting fluffy hair metal, I was expecting exactly that when I sat down, rolled over and begged for The Poodles for the very first time. In a way what this dog-lead me to believe was indeed true, with choruses big enough to take the roof on my house clean off and hooks so gargantuan in nature that you could land a whale with each and every one of them.

However what the thump and grind of "Going Down" or the bonus outing "En För Alla För En" (which translates to "One For All For One") have in common is that they rock hard, yet loose, while being metal and pop at the very same time. Think Abba meets TNT at a less Germanic or industrial Rammstein convention and you'll have an idea of what I'm getting at. Obviously with the group hailing from Sweden there's a huge Scandie edge to everything cooked up and while the TNT comparison is one I'm comfortable with, I can't help but think Messrs LeTekro and Mills would have sold their, your and my Grandmothers for some of the bouncier, catchier, upbeat numbers on this album.

No one Poodle displays better than another, with this show of obedience being one where team work and understanding is imperative. Although it will come as no surprise when you discover that it is hummable keyboard melodies, crackling riffs and stick in the headable choruses that make "Misery Loves Company", "Shut Up!" and "Miracle" such damn good fun.

Is it up to a par with the previous The Poodle efforts? Well I'll leave that to those better placed to decide. However if you like gently eclectic popping, rocking fare, then you will be far from disappointed by the Tour De Force these dogs have concocted in their parlour.

Good boy!

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