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Estrella: We Will Go On

If there's one thing a party band should never do, it's leave you checking your watch. So having been left looking to see how long it would be before the headline act hit the stage when Scottish four-piece Estrella opened for Eden's Curse a few months back, it's fair to suggest that their "one chance to make a first impression" with me hadn't really been grasped. We Will Go On is the band's second album and having been left with the impression,when I saw them on stage, that Estrella were decidedly attitude over substance, I wasn't really sure what to expect. In essence the press release has it (shock, horror) pretty much spot on, a mix of Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Van Halen, AC/DC and Bon Jovi rubbing shoulders with the intentionally throw away outlook of early Poison and through singer Paul Gunn's nasally rasp, an unexpected blast of Jeff Keith of Tesla. So realistically, if you still hanker after that 80s rock ethos of, we know the world's a tough place, but let's have some fun anyway, then We Will Go On should be on your radar. Whether this band's blip-burrrrr-blip-burrrr on the sonar screen will ping loud and proud in your collection will depend on just how much you're willing to forgive Estrella for shamelessly plundering from the "big party rock book of hooks and choruses". For while "Be There" contains a smart guitar solo, swishing hi-hat and a sing along chorus, there's no denying that it's possible to sing snippets of the Bon Jovi hit "I'll Be There For You" over sections of it. While "Reason" sounds like a power ballad Aerosmith knocked out in their lunch break, strings and all (although, to be honest, it's better than anything off the last couple of non-toxic 'Smith records...).

Singling out Estrella in this genre for not really working hard on originality feels a little harsh, with countless bands following this blueprint just as closely and without the genuine passion the young Scots certainly have. The best example of this is is the chant along of the album's title cut, tribal drums harking back to Slade, as the guitars grate and grind like Skid Row. You know exactly what's coming next, so there's no surprise where the solo strikes and no doubt when the big "Whoah, whoah, who-oooooas" will get an airing and yet it's impossible not to sing the chorus out loud right from the off and (if no one's looking) break out the air guitar and do some fist pumping. Oddly "Rock City" kicks off like a ballsed up "The Heat Is On" by Glenn Frey before adding a burst of 'DC to the mix as Paul gives his most obvious Jeff Keithisms an airing, while "Wheels Keep Turning" would be what the Alannah Myles hit "Black Velvet" would have sounded like had it been written by Def Leppard. Is that a good thing? Well it had me hooked, whether I liked it or not.

If you're into the bombastic 80s rock scene, then there's no danger that you won't find a lot of We Will Go On to you're liking, and if you're not, there's no fear that you won't simply shake your head and move on. Is it the album to take Estrella to the next level? Well of that I'm not quite sure, for while it does have an appeal that at times proves impossible to resist, I'm not fully convinced there's quite enough beyond the overtly borrowed hooks to keep you coming back for more.

Track Listing
1. Here I Am
2. Wheels Keep Turning
3. We Will Go On
4. This Heaven
5. Hard To Get
6. Reason
7. Hold On
8. Rock City
9. Be There
10. Undercover Lover
11. My Own Way

Added: June 14th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Estrella on Facebook
Hits: 1809
Language: english

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