Formed in late 2014 in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, these guys came to the attention of Frontiers Music in 2017 who immediately signed them up, and now here they are with their debut album. The band features singer Kent Hilli together with Rolf Nordström on guitar, P-O Sedin on bass, Fredrik Forsberg on drums and Leif Ehlin on keyboards, and what makes them so very interesting is the way that they are combining classic Scandinavian AOR (such Work of Art, Treat, early Europe) with nods to legends like Giant, Foreigner, and Journey. In many ways, it feels as if we have been taken back to the classic days of AOR, yet it also feels very now, polished but not with too much sweetness. It is a given that Jeff Scott Soto has had a major impact on their sound, and there are a few times when it could almost be a modern Talisman strutting their stuff. That at times they also use a good old fashioned organ also gives their music depth and passion. I know that everyone had to be having a blast in the studio when this was being put together, as it shines through in the final product.
Everyone thought that grunge would kill this style of music forever, but Perfect Plan demonstrates that it is very much alive and kicking nearly 30 years after ‘Bleach’ made such an impact on the world. There are times when they do veer a little too close to Michael Bolton-style power ballads, but when they get it right these guys are a force to be reckoned with. Their more up-tempo songs such as “Stone Cold Lover” gives Kent a real chance to shine, and the eighties-style synth bubbling away in the background definitely provides additional charm. These guys are going to have a quite a future in the melodic rock genre, and this is well worth hearing.
- Kev Rowland