TNT – Taste


Avalon (Japan)
Release date: April 23, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

This is only an EP, so no points will be given. As you might noticed, I didn’t say too much about the new TNT tracks when I reviewed The Big Bang, and the reason was simple; I knew this taster, called Taste – at least in Japan, was on its way to my box. And it tastes pretty good, in fact.

With Diesel Dahl back behind the kit, I am sure most people expect a full blooded Tell No Tales-era album. Hm, well… Taste certainly hasn’t the drumming heard on Firefly” and Transistor, and a great salute for that. That Frode Lamoy dude was a good drummer, just not the right man for TNT. Dahl on the other side, always was the right man. Still is. (Though John Macaluso indeed is the most talented drummer the band ever worked with.) But TNT never tried to repeat themselves, and while Taste is something for the true diehard old school fans (yours truly indeed included), it’s not a rework of Tell No Tales. It is simply TNT for the future, complete with the melodies, impressive vocals and incredible guitar work we always loved the band for. The songs are not as riff-driven as back in the big hair days, Ronni’s rhythm guitars are a little more in the backseat this time around, but with his and Tony Harnell’s incredibly tasty melodies, this sure is a feinschmekker. The guys walk the thin line between development and keeping the identity of the band very successfully.

“Live Today” is perhaps the song that re-unites the old and new TNT best, and therefore a good opener. It has a simple rhythm, with the guitar more or less following the drums and bass, and Tony’s voice is not as high up there as it used to be. The guitar solo is one of Le Tekro’s best (in a TNT context) in a long time, I think. Yes, one of my favorites…

Next is “Hey Love”, which is a power ballad, if any. It shifts between light and massive, has yet a cool melody which grows on you after several listens, and also here Ronni shows he still is his old unique self. It’s not like any other TNT ballad, by the way.

“Satellite” is an up-tempo but not too heavy song. It’s a good summer hit, but I doubt it will be lifted from the EP in time to make it. It is commercial as hell, but the song is so catchy you have to be allergic to good melodies to refuse it. The song has no big riff, like we’re used to from wiz Ronni, but the nice melody is emphasized with his melodic guitar playing. The song fades after three minutes, and it’s simply based around one idea only. (I hate faded songs!)

“Give Me A Sign”, which is the name of this EP in Europe, is perhaps the rockiest moment tasted here. Yet another repetitive (not negatively so) song, it has a good attitude to it. The solo is again stellar, and when Tony shows he’s still 19 years old, I certainly get 11 again… It’s amazing how his voice still is in great shape, though not very surprising. Both Ronni and Tony are unique in their fields, and the two of them together was always what made this band explode more than their likes back in the Reagen-era.

“Magic Little Nightmare” is another ballad, and indeed the mellowest TNT has ever done. Mostly acoustic guitar and vocals, but also a symphonic element, this one requires a few spins. It is a nice piece, by all means…

And finally, it’s time to shelf the old live bootleg tapes from 1986 for a while; the demo of “Destiny”, a song the band somehow didn’t finish up – or was able to get right – during the Tell No Tales sessions. Starting with the only drum intro Dahl ever knew (?), the same as for “Bakgardsrotter”, “Tor With The Hammer” and “Deadly Metal” (on the US version of Knights Of The New Thunder), the song has a killer, no – make that KILLER riff, the melodies (both for the verse and chorus) are breathtaking, and the solo is so high-class words can’t describe it. Now, Tell No Tales was, along with Knights Of The New Thunder, a top 5 melodic hard rock album of the eighties, and with “Destiny” included, it might as well have been THE hard rock album of that decade… (Maybe it was so anyway…)

What more is there to say? If this is a taste of what is to come, I am one helluva hungry wolf that needs to be fed quickly!


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