Skagarack - 1988 Hungry For A Game

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ARTIST: Skagarack
ALBUM: Hungry For A Game
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: 835 608-1 (LP), 835 608-2 (CD)
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 1997, Elap, 46700CD * 2007, Polydor, TSPCD 2

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

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

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hungry For A Game * 02 Joanna * 03 Somewhere In France * 04 She's A Liar * 05 Boys * 06 Outrageous * 07 This World * 08 Take Me Home Tonight * 09 Always In A Line * 10 Facing The Truth

Background

Like Treat, Fate, Da Vinci and Alien, Skagarack should be listed amongst the best Scandinavian melodic rock/AOR delights of the late 80's, if not the best from Denmark.

With the success of Europe, the market became ripe with a whole slew of Swedish melodic AOR groups with over the top choruses, smooth melodies and plenty of the trademark keys that either heightened or hindered their lure.

Skagarack's lure or appeal is Torben Schmidt, who in my opinion was vocally superior to the frontmen of his Danish counterparts, singing his heart out on their 1986 classic debut.

Skagarack toured with TNT and found a loyal audience ala the far east and within the Scandinavian market.

When the group entered the studio in 1987, they opted for bigger production values, faster guitar oriented bents, huge choruses and lyrical late 80's decadence - the result is another pugnacious platter that's on par with Skagarack's AOR classic debut.

The Songs

Nothing short of an AOR powerhouse, the title track kicks things off on a major high note. Never has a song about 'gambling addiction' sounded so appealing-with an intoxicating dose of scrumptious guitars and pumping keys.

Up next is 'Joanna', the sugar sweet melody and Torben's impressive vocals make up for it's chorus which is somewhat repetitive.

Track three is one of Skagarack's finest, 'Somewhere In France' is an AOR dream come true and up there with Fate's 'Can't Stand Losing You' as one of the best songs from these Glory-Daze of Danish AOR.

'She's A Liar' proves that Skagarack could shred with the best of em, with crunching guitars elevating the band out of Europe and onto the gutters of the Sunset Strip in terms of sound!!

Despite showing some flare for lyrically diversity early on here, 'Boys' gets lost in same 'cheese' quagmire many of the bands of this ilk were caught in at the time.

Thankfully 'Outrageous' gets things back on track, with a sound akin to Foreigner's 'Agent Provocateur' era. Even Torben sounding similar to Lou Gramm at times on this killer cut.

Things slow down for the endearing ballad 'This World', showing the band at least attempted to branch out lyrically while not losing their AOR appeal.

Most of the songs here are very good but 'Always In Line' is my personal favourite - a top notch AOR corker that once again proves Torben was perhaps the finest Danish frontmen of this era.

The album's closer 'Facing The Truth' is reminiscent of many of the radio ready 'power ballads' of the time. Although I would of preferred another synth soaked AOR jewel, considering the consistency of the material it's really silly to complain.

In Summary

Surely to satisfy the appetites of scandi AOR fans, Skagarack's 'Hungry For A Game' is a slab of essential AOR up there with Fate's 'Matter Of Attitude' and Treat's 'Dreamhunter'.

The 1990 follow up was tougher in sound thanks to Michael Wagner and Klaus Mack's heavy handed production.

Torben would record a solo album 'A Bit On The Side' in 1991 and eventually return for Skagarack's final release 'Big Time' in 1993. All of Skagarack's catalogue is worthy of praise here at Glory-Daze.


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