Crazy World are a new hard rock/prog supergroup from Finland featuring members of Wigwam, Stratovarius, Pekka Pohjola Group, and Five Fifteen. These guys can flat out rock when they want to, in the style of Deep Purple or Uriah Heep, as well as lay down some seriously progressive sounds. The opening cut "No White Marble" starts things off on a high note, with layers of Mellotron & Hammond organ from Esa Kotilainen and plenty of David Gilmour influenced slide guitar passages courtesy of Timo Kämäräinen. After the quick yet rampaging instrumental coda "Welcome to Crazy World" (check out the rumbling bass licks from Lauri Porra) , the band charges into the blistering hard rock of "Long Hair Wildman Rides Again", a heavy number that recalls vintage Heep and Purple, complete with histrionic vocals from Mika Järvinen, raging Hammond organ from Kotilainen, acrobatic drums from Anssi Nykänen, and plenty of meaty guitar licks. Thick Hammond tones meet crunchy guitar riffs on "Out of Me", the band gets a little proggy on the moody "Poor Alice", and digs into a little bluesy rock on "Sweet Little Ugly Duckling", a song that features some nice acoustic & electric guitar textures from Kämäräinen.
Kotilainen's Hammond & Moog work dominate the catchy "Sölvesborg Afternoon", a song that also sees singer Järvinen turn in a powerful performance. While the Hammond fueled remake of Led Zeppelin's "Good Times, Bad Times" is fun, I would have liked to have heard another original piece, perhaps along the lines of "Misery Loves Company", and dark prog-rock piece that also includes some haunting female vocals, Mellotron flute sounds, and a liquid guitar solo. Järvinen pulls off a delicious little vocal on this one, showing that he can handle the mellower pieces as well as the raging hard rock songs. And make sure you listen to hidden track #12-it's a good one!
This is a pretty good album from a band that has not yet hit the radar as far as prog supergroups go, but my guess is that will shortly change. It will be interesting to see if they can continue on this path with another strong outing of 70's inspired heavy progressive rock.
01. No White Marble
02. Welcome to Crazy World
03. Long Hair Wildman Rides Again
04. Poor Alice
05. Out of Me
06. Sweet Little Ugly Duckling
07. Old Tambourine
08. Welcome to Crazy World (Slight Return)
09. Sölvesborg Afternoon
10. Good Times, Bad Times
11. Misery Loves Company