When I first read the promo regarding Groundbreaker, a new musical project, featuring vocalist “Steve Overland” ( FM) and guitarist “Robert Sall” (WORK OF ART) and (W,E.T) I was somewhat intrigued as being a fan of all 3 bands the thought of the 2 melodic styles combining was well worth a listen. With a Swedish and British combination of melodic rock and soaring hook lines the eleven tracks on this release should easily conjure up something entertaining.
“Over My Shoulder” kicks things off with typical “Overland” vocals which are totally effortless and almost soothing, very catching with a big chorus and layered keyboards the drums drive the song along before a short but affected guitar solo from “Sall” a perfect feel good opener and addictive in the fact that when you start listening to track 2 you still have the previous mentioned song going round your head.
On to track 2 “Will It Make You Love Me” starts off with an almost “extreme” Nuno Bettencourt” stab of the guitar then it breaks down into a lighter softer ride with backing vocals and back up piano filling the song with again a hooky as hell chorus. The first thing that strikes me about the album so far is although a million and one bands have released melodic rock music over the years its always refreshing to hear a group do this but sound fresh and not stagnant “Groundbreaker” achieve this very comfortably.
“Eighteen Till I Die” is a toe tapper with “Overland” singing in a higher key and pulling it off in great style. I really enjoyed this feel good track and obviously with that title you can guess that its going to be uplifting with soaring guitars reminding the listener that its not all about the amazing voice on offer.
“Tonight” is such a classy ballad with a simple drum beat and soft keyboards with the story line being of a couple reconnecting their love for each other and simply put its a quality stand out moment on the album and a shame when you begin to hear it fade out as you just want it to continue for a little while longer.
“Something Worth Fighting For” again another ballad starting of with a familiar Bon Jovi sounding intro and a stunning pleading storyline of never giving up when love runs dry. ”Overlands” vocals are not just singing he is also telling a story of hurt and pain and the result is astonishing his delivery is just like he’s experienced the subject matter.
“The Sound Of A Broken Heart” begins with a single note keyboard backed with a solid bass line before it all breaks down to the isolated keyboards again and the vocals join in to produce a resounding up tempo track that has everything bar the kitchen sink thrown in with layered backing vocals pounding drums keyboards etc etc all the band members stepped up to the plate to contribute to the song.
Heaviest song on the album is “The Days Of Our Life” with a rollicking groove and some headstrong drumming and some fancy guitar licks this shows the other side of “Groundbreaker” and very welcome it is to as its always appreciated when a band throws in a meatier track again it contains a catchy hook and a even catchier chorus.
Album closer is the AOR friendly “The Way It Goes” and 30 years ago would have made a great single as its typifies everything that’s so good about this band with “Robert Sall” saving his best solo until last its such a good time song and just reiterates to me why melodic rock when done right is a fantastic genre of music. I hope that the band can see fit to try and play a few shows to highlight what’s on offer here and if all goes well we may get another album of material somewhere down the line. Cracking stuff !!
Review by Steve Bruty
Groundbreaker came about when a conversation between Frontiers’ President Serafino Perugino and Overland revealed that the latter was eager to collaborate with new and exciting musicians from the mainland European melodic rock scene. The idea to involve Robert Sall (Work Of Art, W.E.T.) and the production abilities of Alessandro Del Vecchio was conceived and the trio started to work on songs together. The end results were so good that everyone involved thought the name Groundbreaker was the right way to describe the power and vibe of the music.
Overland states: “We are all very proud of this album. If you like melodic rock with memorable tunes, then it’s a must have record. Of new single ‘Will It Make You Love Me’, he says: “It is a riff-driven song with a fantastic chorus. It is also my favourite song on the record and we had a great time making the video.”
Sall adds: “I had the basic idea for this song, the riff and chorus, for years, but it wasn’t until now that I actually finished it. It turned out to be my favourite song on the album too! I’m very excited about the release of this record. It has been getting great reviews already, but I can’t wait to hear what the fans think of it, as that is what really matters.”
Steve Overland – vocals
Robert Sall – guitars
Nalley Pahlsson – bass
Herman Furin – drums
Alessandro Del Vecchio – keyboards