Hartmann – Hands On The Wheel – Pride and Joy Music
I was a little surprised to realise that this is the fifth Hartmann album I have in my collection, and yet again Oliver has done exactly what I expect of him by now, namely producing an album containing immaculate vocals, with a depth and breadth that is often sadly missing from this style of music, while there is still that edge to every song. They are commercial and radio-friendly yet still maintain the power and authenticity that one demands from music without it being overtaken by the sappiness that some melodic rockers feel that they need. The guys have built a reputation as an outstanding live band and has been called to tour with rock legends as Toto, The Hooters, Uriah Heep, Edguy, Mother’s Finest, Y&T and others, and this comes through in the music which definitely sounds as if it is ready for the band to take on to the stage.
This is hard melodic rock, no room here for over the top sugariness, but commerciality that is grounded in a band that can trace its influences from bands such as Bad Company, and then bringing that right up to date. The production is strong, musicianship spot on, hooks aplenty, the vocals are full of depth and breadth, while the guitars haven’t been sanitised out of existence. This is yet another incredibly solid and enjoyable album from Hartmann, well worth investigation if this is your style of music.
– Kev Rowland