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Mattsson, Lars Eric: Take Me Home

Continuing the journey into the musical vaults of his early years, guitarist extraordinaire Lars Eric Mattsson takes us back to his bands Joe Cool and Eternity and the songs he wrote for them between 1985 and 1987. With some of the tracks demo’d back then and others given live workouts, Take Me Home is the first, full studio outing for the 16 tracks included here. Well known for his fret prowess, it would be more of a surprise if that didn’t remain a major feature on this re-recorded retrospective, although that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty other things going on within these career forming pieces. That said, if you enjoy some tasteful shredding or even just the guitar soloing that was liberally peppered over the majority of the hard rock world back in the mid-80s, then the tapping and string bending that can be found on this album’s title cut will feel like a welcome return to those heady days.

Style wise the album also falls neatly into the harder rock of that era, with catchy choruses forcing their way out of some more earthy verses. However, along the way there is also quite a chunk of variety thrown in for good measure, what with the upbeat melodic rock of “Run From Yourself” and tongue in cheek good times of “Let Me Rock You” adding a lighter touch, with the latter falling somewhere between neo-classical workout and 80s teen movie soundtrack stomper. “Always Get Burned” proves to be a much more serious slice of Deep Purple infused but commercially aware fare, whereas “Clowns” wouldn’t have been out of place on an Alcatrazz album.

As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of Mattsson’s work, I must admit that the (to my ears anyway) quite heavily treated vocals give an odd, electro-voiced flavour that I personally struggle with. Something that always makes me wonder exactly how these songs would have been elevated by a truly forceful frontman, but even with that in mind, there’s still plenty to get your teeth into. Long term Mattsson fans will find these recordings fascinating, with the era leading up to his 1988 debut album being covered in a way that helps unearth the guitarist’s early influences and ideals. How much further the appeal of Take Me Home will reach beyond those circles I’m not sure but those who have taken an interest in Mattsson’s previous outings will undoubtedly be intrigued to get a glimpse of where it all began.

Track Listing
1. Leave Me Alone
2. Crusaders
3. In Your Crystal Ball
4. Open Up Your Heart
5. Stormchild
6. Take Me Home
7. I am the Torch
8. Run From Yourself
9. I am the Torch
10. When it's Time foe Me to Go
11. Clowns
12. Witches Burning
13. Kiss the Sky
14. Let Me Rock You
15. Always Get Burned
16. The Final Poem
17. I Love to Rock

Added: September 13th 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Lars Eric Mattsson online
Hits: 426
Language: english

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