• 8/10
    CHRIS LANEY - Pure - 8/10


Metal Heaven
Release date: March 27, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Chris Laney (real name Ulf Larsson) has a vast past as musician, songwriter and producer, but for most readers his recent years combining these traits are possibly most commonly known, and his importance as producer and songwriter in the making of Zan Clan’s We Are Zan Clan…Who the F**k Are You and especially Randy Piper’s Animal offerings, Violent New Breed and Virus, becomes even more apparent on Pure, the man’s first solo platter. Fans of said outings can be sure to enjoy this, and the wide array of influences that are represented makes the work enjoyable throughout. Pure sees Chris Laney taking on lead vocal duties as well, with aid courtesy of Randy Piper’s Animal colleagues Nalle Påhlsson and J. Koleberg on bass and drums respectively. The three also share stages together in KYSS, possibly Sweden’s longest running KISS tribute band. The KISS common is further tied with former KISSer Bruce Kulick amongst songwriters involved, add to that, involvement of fellow Polar studios producer Lennart Östlund as well as vocalist Mats Levén (past in Therion, Yngwie Malmsteen, Treat and countless others).

The lyrics seem written from a more personal perspective this time around, which isn’t strange for a solo work obviously. They are based on different relationships issues, coming off with a sense of retribution and strive for standing on one’s own legs. A trifle angry at times, such as “Pissed at What You Missed”, but the constant up-lifting nature of the music doesn’t leave a bitter impression; case in point would be “I Hate Yer Guts”. And, although, the nature of the material is pretty straight forward, the release follows the detailed production values of Laney’s past works, such as piano tinkering amongst the Rock in “Make You Cry” for example.

“Last Man Standing” has a general 80s KISS vibe to it, coming out like a mixture of sorts of classic KISS tracks from this period such as “A Million to One” and “Crazy Nights”. “Get U Down” on the other hand, manages to practice Def Leppard territory without exactly ripping off any particular track of said group. However, execution, melodies and layered hooks pretty much nails the Leppard formula down, and the result is one of the highlights on offer.

“Skin on Skin” is the ballad as well as the slight oddity here; it’s grand in its Queen-based scheme and also Bob Ezrin’s works with KISS on songs such as “Great Expectations” can be traced.

Whether it’s the hard hitting “I Dunno”, or the occasional slower atmospheric tune such as “The Stranger in You”, every track on offer serves memorable hooks and the celebrated, but all too forgotten in this day and age, crucial choruses. Pure will mark a sure highlight for listeners yearning for mentioned characteristics amongst releases this year. For fans of spectacular gents in make-up that has already been mentioned more than once in this review, W.A.S.P., Rough Cutt, early Ratt, or 80s Hard Rock in general, this is a no-brainer purchase indeed!


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