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Nervous Germans

From Prussia with Love

Review by Gary Hill

This is really quite an interesting set. There’s a lot of variety here. It seems to have a modern tone overall, but it’s laced with all kinds of vintage sounds. It never really gets stale or predictable. That said, I think that lumping several mellow songs near the end might not have been the best idea. The disc would have probably flowed a bit better if they were spread out amongst the more rocking tunes.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Superstars (And Superheroes)

With some definite alternative rock edginess, this is a very classic sounding pop rock sound. In some ways it reminds me of things like The Beatles. Yet, there is an almost shoegaze vibe to it at the same time. This is a great song. It’s catchy and raw at the same time.

Liberation Day
This starts mellower. Overall, the cut is a lot like a power ballad. There really is a lot of epic metal in the mix. Yet, that same alternative rock vibe blended with pop sensibilities lives on here. This is another great piece of music on a very strong disc.
Summer Rain
Although it has a lot of modern elements, in some ways this isn’t far removed from the punky end of power pop from bands like Cheap Trick. I’m not saying that this sounds like Cheap Trick (although some parts kind of do), but I’m saying that this is definitely a cousin of that kind of music. This piece segues directly into the next one.
Living the Dream
A mellower number, this has a lot in common with dream pop. It has great layers of sound built over the top of a great pop rock song structure. There is some great, almost prog rock, guitar soloing later, too.
On Fire
There is some old time rock and roll in the mix here. Add in the usual suspects and you’ll be on the right track. This is a strong tune, really. It’s a bit of variety. It’s more hard rock than it is pop music.
Happy Birthday Major Tom
This is, of course, a continuation of the whole Major Tom concept started by David Bowie. There is a whole album from William Shatner of stuff related to that, and I reviewed it here.   Starting with suitably spacey music, this works out to a great rocker. There is some metal in this along with alternative rock and pop. I can even hear some modern prog. There is definitely a proggy jam later in the track, too.
Hey Mister Sunshine
An edgy alternative rock take on classic pop rock sounds, this is catchy and energized. This cut segues into the next one.
Modern People
I love the blend of modern and classic on this cut. This is one of the strongest pieces to me. Somehow it makes me think of The Bee Gees a bit. The song structure feels like something they might have done – and, no, I’m not talking about the short-lived disco era of that band, but rather the pop rock sound that dominated their career. Add in some of that modern alternative rock sound and you’ll get an idea of what this sounds like.
In My Mind's Eye
This is more like a ballad. It still has a lot of the same influences, but brings a different angle to the proceedings.
Sailing Blind
Another that’s mellower, this is more of a mellow rocker than it is a ballad. It’s catchy and less alternative rock based than some of the rest.
Paradise Lost
With symphonic elements filling the arrangement, this is another mellower cut. It’s pretty and rather like a power ballad. Personally, I think this makes a great closer. The problem is, the other two mellower pieces should have been put in between more rocking numbers to let this one really shine. Lumping all the mellower pieces together just doesn’t allow them to be properly showcased. The thing is, this is actually one of the highlights. The only issue here is the sequence of the songs.
 
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