Skagarack - 1986 Skagarack

edited August 2 in year-1986

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ARTIST: Skagarack
ALBUM: Skagarack
LABEL: Polydor (Europe), MCA (North America)
SERIAL: 829 446-1 (LP), 829 446-2 (CD), MCA-42014 (LP)
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2007, Polydor, TSPCD 1 * 2008, Yesterrock, TSPCD 1 (reissue)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Torben Schmidt - vocals * Jan Petersen - guitars * Tommy Rasmussen - keyboards * Morten Munch - bass * Alvin Otto - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Move It In The Night * 02 I'm Alone * 03 Saying * 04 Damned Woman * 05 Don't Turn Me Upside Down * 06 Lies * 07 Victim Of The System * 08 City Child * 09 Double Crossed

Background

Insanely melodic Scandi AOR, with that infectious crisp hard rock guitar, ripe and prepared for a public that never picked it, thus is the story of Skagarack.

Originally forming as the Danish trio Pulze, vocalist Torben Schmidt, guitarist Jan Petersen, and drummer Alvin Otto later joined forces with bassist Morten Munch and keyboardist Tommy Rasmussen to form Skagarack.

The group shopped a demo which caught the attention of Polydor who released this Scandi classic in 1986.

Coming out of Denmark like a bull in a china shop, Skagarack were capable of the kind of sound and attention that was tailor-made for 1986.

While their native tundra and the Far East embraced Skagarack with the likes of Madison and Treat, the US was far more smitten with the likes of Bon Jovi and another 'certain' band from Europe to take any interest.

'Skagarack' should've been the kind of album that put Scandinavia on the mainstream map and catapulted these delightful Danes to the top! Unfortunately, it didn't. But their lack of fortune was made up in superior melodic rock!

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The Songs

Things open up with 'Move It In The Night', a tasty little ditty with plenty of keys and infectious chorus to boot! Torben Schmidt has a Lou Gramm circa 'Foreigner 4' like delivery which works well here.

Next up is 'I'm Alone' which was a major hit in their native Denmark (rightfully so). You could always count on the Danes for amazing hook-filled melodies 'o plenty with lavish keys decorating the swelling choruses.

'Saying' is clearly a group finding they're footing, as Skagarack were clearly not experienced songwriters yet. Thankfully a smattering guitar riff aggressively saves things from ruin.

Doom Iommi-like riffing sets the tone for the next cut 'Damned Women', which is a finely composed thumper with just enough keys to lighten the mood.

'Don't Turn Me Upside Down' is by far the pearler here, how US airwaves didn't take to this like flies on a rib roast is again beyond me? Infectious sing-a-long qualities make this a bona fide Scandi classic nevertheless.

Melodies keep a coming for another standout 'Lies', with synth pulsing keys oozing out from all over! 'Victim Of The System' is another attempt to find an identity, although a foray into over the top-heavy metal-bombast would thankfully not be in the cards for Skagarack.

'City Child' gets us back into Scandi Heaven with sugar sweet synths offsetting a maniacal blend of chugging guitars and !gasp! pan flute!!

'Double Crossed' closes down this Danish delight with swirling synths, chugging guitar, stirring vocals and more hooks than a tackle box off the coast of Kolding!

In Summary

Skagarack's follow up 'Hungry For A Game' is their masterpiece with 'Slice Of Heaven' not far behind in it's own special way.

Unfortunately, the 'Big Time' was not in the stars for Skagarack literally, as their 1993 release of the same name being their death knell.

Top shelf Scandi AOR can be found in 'Skagarack' though. Essential.


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