TALISMAN – Cats And Dogs

TALISMAN - Cats And Dogs


Frontiers Records
Release date: May 12, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

“Hey! Hey!! Hey!!!” That’s as good a way to start a CD as any, and if you follow it with a throaty scream and ripping guitars, well, even better. That’s how Talisman’s new release, Cats and Dogs begins. The song is called “Skin On Skin,” and singer Jeff Scott Soto wields some wicked vocal cords.

Talisman is comprised of some competent players. The aforementioned Soto, Marcel Jacob (Rising Force, Norum, Power), Fredrik Akesson (Southpaw) and Jamie Borger (Treat) completely nail what they were shooting for on Cats and Dogs. Well, if they were shooting for a hard rock CD bereft of fluff and just balls-out fun, that is.

“Skin On Skin,” is a bluesy rock song with strong vocals, funky guitar playing and a very sexual chorus. If you have never heard them, the tune will remind you of ‘80s sounding hard rock, but with a completely “today” feel. It just fits.

Soto begins the next song with some more yelling, this time with a “Good God! Yeah, give it!” howl somewhat reminiscent of James Brown. Soto may have been slightly out of place when he sang with Yngwie Malmsteen, but he completely embraces the Talisman sound. This is another chugging hard rock tune that you can’t find fault with.

Talisman can tone it down as well. Check out the 7th song, “Sorry,” the most melodic song on the disk. This is your basic, “I dig you girl,” song, but the chorus is addictive as liposuction to L.A. women: “Don’t tell me it’s over, tell me you think it’s not too late.” Somehow, they don’t sound as cheesy as the words are, and that’s a compliment in and of itself.

The bass line on “Love Will Come Again,” is another funky way to start a song. The guitars, rhythm section and understated vocals create a very cool atmosphere. It’s basically rock that SHOULD be played on the radio.

The arduously titled, “Wherever, Whenever, Whatever” is probably the one time Talisman goes to the well too often. Number one, the title is too much, but number two, the lyrics have to match the title of the song, so the lyrics suffer. It’s just a boring song.

The last song on the CD, “Hell In Paradise” shows you a different Talisman. This song emits a very sinister moan, thanks to the skillful playing of Akesson and the gloomy bass of Jacob. Just the line, “I’m taking you to hell in paradise,” shows that Talisman can not only cheer you up, but make you hit the bottle – over someone’s head.

Cats and Dogs hits the nail on the freakin’ head. The CD is 12 songs long, and only two of them are skip-worthy. So crank it up.

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