Bag Of Bones
Produced by Kevin Shirley
UK Release date: April 30, 2012 CD | MP3
U.S. Release date: May 8, 2012 CD (Import)
Love it or loathe it, the fact is Swedish rock band Europe will always be the band responsible for “The Final Countdown.” Twenty-six years on from making one of the most iconic rock songs of all time, new album Bag Of Bones demonstrates a significantly different band.
The current line-up of singer Joey Tempest, guitarist John Norum, bassist John Leven, drummer Ian Haugland, and keyboard player Mic Michaeli have been together since 2003 (but also played together for most of the ’80s) and have worked hard to make the transition from hard rock hair metal to a hard rock blues band. Songs like “Riches To Rags” with its superb guitar solo – a sonic sugar-rush as the tempo kicks up a level and Norum shreds – and lead single “Not Supposed To Sing The Blues” are the perfect example of Europe’s hard rock blues.
Bag Of Bones is their first since 2009’s superb Last Look At Eden and now they have truly found the ‘new’ Europe sound. Never fear, Europe still comes with those huge guitar riffs delivered by ex-Dokken guitarist Norum and Tempest’s unmistakeable lead vocals. The sublime trio of “Doghouse,” “Drink And A Smile,” and “Demon Head” ooze hard living and good times gone bad.
Produced by Kevin Shirley it has his distinct style throughout sounding similar to Black Country Communion, that kind of aggressive blues. Furthering the BCC connection Joe Bonamassa lends his expert hand to play slide guitar on the fabulously layered “Bag of Bones” with its mix of blues and AOR.
Over a quarter of a century since the countdown begun, the clock has run down. This is zero hour – Europe’s finest one.
Europe play Download Festival in England June 8, 2012 with a UK tour to follow in November. See our previous coverage for more info.