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RECKLESS LOVE, Islington Academy, London
26 November 2011

Reckless Love, photo by Joe Black

The eighties glam and hair metal scene was a product of its time, will never be repeated and now lives on only in cheesy musicals featuring washed up former X Factor winners. Correct? No actually, the current success of Reckless Love is living proof that music genuinely does go in cycles. The Finns burst onto the scene last year with a colourful image, catchy if disposable songs and some sparky live performances including at Download.

By its very nature this type of music provides an instant fix rather than revealing hidden layers, so it would have been very easy for them to have been seen as a gimmick and 15 minute wonders. So it is a pleasure to report that in contrast, they have taken a quantum leap forward since last year.

Their second album 'Animal Attraction' has received mixed reviews, but has extended their repertoire and enabled them to keep the set fresh, while they increasingly impress as excellent musicians who keep things tight and punchy without over complicating the sound.

 


...during 'Speeding' I thought I had travelled back in time and was watching Van Halen in 1984, complete with Dave Lee Roth style high kicks from hyperactive singer Olli Herman.


Reckless Love, photo by Joe Black

As they opened with the title track which has a very Def Leppard-ish feel and not only in the title, a healthy crowd at the Academy instantly became a forest of hands, while during 'Speeding' I thought I had travelled back in time and was watching Van Halen in 1984, complete with Dave Lee Roth style high kicks from hyperactive singer Olli Herman.

Old favourites like 'Badass', 'Sex and Romance' nestled comfortably alongside new songs like 'Born to Break Your Heart', 'Dance' and' On the Radio' which tended to have a more melodic bent, coming over like a glorious cross of Bon Jovi, White Lion and Danger Danger.

'Dirty Dreams' - preceded by a humorous reference to 'milfs' was annoyingly familiar (Cutting Crew's 'I Just Died in your Arms' was the closest I could find) , but the crowning glory was the ridiculously catchy 'Hot' which had virtually the whole place jumping in the air and with the right airplay could become the sound of next summer.

Reckless Love, photo by Joe Black

 


There is an uncomplicated joy about Reckless Love devoid of cynicism, or indeed the satirical overtones of a band like Steel Panther.


'Paradise' was another song to get the place jumping and punching the air, before they closed the set with the glam classic 'Wild Touch'. The first encore 'Switchblade Babe' had the biggest 'who-oah' chorus this side of Slippery When Wet before a 75 minutes set finished with 'Beautiful Bomb', which has become their signature tune, and the glam stomp of 'One More Time'.

Reckless Love, photo by Joe Black

While Olli was straining to reach a few notes at times, the backing vocals from guitarist Pepe and bassist Jalle Verne filled out the sound and after all such deficiencies have never held back Def Leppard...

There is an uncomplicated joy about Reckless Love devoid of cynicism, or indeed the satirical overtones of a band like Steel Panther. With a fun attitude and a growing bag of the catchiest songs around, they succeeded in putting a big fat smile on the face of everyone who was here tonight.


Review by Andy Nathan

Photos by Joe Black


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