The always busy Jorn Lande never seems to let 6 months pass without popping up as either a guest artist on someone else's album, a collaboration with another big name, or putting out one of his many solo releases. Heavy Rock Radio is his latest solo set, a covers album that was meant to be "a sort of jukebox of radio hits", songs that have meant a lot to him as an artist over the years and ones he's wanted to give his own spin to. What we have here is a mix of tunes that you normally wouldn't expect on an album of this nature, as well as a few overplayed classics that Lande gives his always royal treatment on. Frida's "I Know There's Something Going On" is one of those rarely remembered classics, and Jorn lends his powerful delivery to this pop tune, turning it into a hard rock monster complete with some thunderous guitar work courtesy of the always impressive Trond Holter. The same can be said for Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill", while Foreigner's "Rev on the Red Line" keeps a similar tone to the original but Jorn's leather lunged vocals add a nice twist to Lou Gramm's initial take. John Farnham's "You're the Voice" absolutely soars here, as does Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' ", with Jorn's band mixing up the arrangement slightly for a fun twist. The singer does a great job channeling Freddie Mercury's playful vibe on "Killer Queen", while "Hotel California" is given a full on hard rock treatment that is kind of jarring and completely different from the Eagles original, but give Jorn credit for trying something different with this classic rock staple. The back end of the album includes some tunes that you'd sort of expect Jorn Lande to tackle on a covers album, like Dio's "Rainbow in the Dark", which is surprisingly somewhat timid here, a potent version of Iron Maiden's "The Final Frontier", and scorching renditions of Deep Purple's "Stormbringer" and Black Sabbath's "Die Young". The latter two especially are the heaviest tracks here, and probably the ones that most Jorn fans will be clamoring to hear their hero tackle.
While certainly not mandatory listening, Heavy Rock Radio is a fun set of cover tunes from one of the best singers in heavy rock today. As a stopgap to hold us over till his next release, this will do just fine.
01. I Know There's Something Going On (Frida)
02. Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)
03. Rev On The Red Line (Foreigner)
04. You're The Voice (John Farnham)
05. Live To Win (Paul Stanley)
06. Don't Stop Believin' (Journey)
07. Killer Queen (Queen)
08. Hotel California (Eagles)
09. Rainbow In The Dark (Dio)
10. The Final Frontier (Iron Maiden)
11. Stormbringer (Deep Purple)
12. Die Young (Black Sabbath)