Pearls & Flames - Reliance

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited December 6 in Reviews 2020-2029

Pearls & Flames might appear to be a new name on the Swedish scene, but they are ostensibly an older band: Coastland Ride - with a new paint job.

Pearls & Flames - Reliance
ARTIST: Pearls & Flames
ALBUM: Reliance
LABEL: Pride And Joy Music
SERIAL: PJM13149
YEAR: 2022

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Flag Sweden
LINEUP: Markus Nordenberg - vocals * Sven Larsson - guitars * Tomas Coox - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Can We Find The Love * 02 Temple Of Lust * 03 Love Can Heal Your Heart * 04 We Will Meet Again (Cross My Fingers) * 05 Goodbye * 06 It Never Took Away Your Smile * 07 Secret Love * 08 Wires And Frames * 09 Follow The Road * 10 It Won't Get Better * 11 (I Don't Know Who I Am) Anymore * 12 Heroes Of Our Time

RATING: Score of 80%
WEBLINKS: Site Link | FB Page

Background

Pearls & Flames might appear to be a new name on the Swedish scene, but they are ostensibly an older band: Coastland Ride - with a new paint job. There are indeed some very recognisable names on board here, all too familiar to GDM regulars I'm sure. One name we should add is Tommy Denander who handles the production chores mostly this time around.

If GDM regulars are familiar with our yesteryear content, then these three blokes have a history steeped in Swedish Rock, but more significantly Swedish west coast. It would be easy to connect this new band to all those historical linkages, as the sound on offer here is close to what went before, with a decent quota of classic rock and AOR added for good measure.

Pearls & Flames Band pic 2022

The Songs

'Can We Find The Love' is a solid scene setter, Sven's guitar is like a welcome home for me. 'Temple Of Lust' sits comfortably in that middle zone of Swedish AOR which is topped by a killer solo from Sven. 'Love Can Heal Your Heart' is the feelgood tune of the album. Yes, this is what the world needs to hear more of. 'We Will Meet Again (Cross My Fingers)' is an album highlight for me. Overall it sounds like Grand Illusion lite, a ringing endorsement if ever there was one.

'Goodbye' meanwhile has a shuffly rhythm section in the vein of Toto and Bill Champlin. That was an easy comparison. Things slow up for the very cruisy 'It Never Took Away Your Smile'. I was reminded somewhat of Swiss singer Jay Miles who featured previously among our 2005 reviews.

'Secret Love' is an adequate tune, it's followed by 'Wires And Frames', a guitar instrumental mostly which could've been an offcut from one of Sven's previous solo albums. 'Follow The Road' is likeable too, close in style to Frédéric Slama's AOR project.

The soulful ballad '(I Don't Know Who I Am) Anymore' touches on despair, personally I reckon the trio should have kept the songs bright and breezy. This seems out of place. I'm guessing that the final track 'Heroes Of Our Time' is pitched at being an anthem of sorts. The brash drum work is notable, if anything, though it's not really representative of the band's overall identity.

In Summary

Perhaps I'm out of the loop somewhat, but I don't hear too much of this style these days so it is a welcome sign for me to actively engage with this genre, now that this website is back in action. It was great to hear the guitar master Sven Larsson once again, let's see if we can find more west coast goodies from the land of ice and snow to review.

Video

Follow The Road


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