December 06, 2017

Casablanca - Riding a Black Swan (2013) ☠

Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Hard Rock
Style: Melodic Hard Rock
.FLAC via Mega (Link)
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☠: Selected by Lass
© 2013 Gain, Sony Music
Review by Jack for
This was my first experience hearing Casablanca, a hard rock band from Stockholm. I had heard they were a band that produced good old fashioned anthems and solos and upon listening to Riding a Black Swan, I could imagine myself pumping a fist into the air while watching the band live. The band’s ranks include Alice Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie, a very skilled guitarist I have had the pleasure of seeing live. I was interested in discovering the work of Mr Roxie beyond Cooper though, making the prospect of listening to Riding a Black Swan even more tantalizing.
Opening the album with church bells and a drum beat, first track ‘The Giant Dreamless Sleep’ is a good tone setter for the rest of the album. It’s a fun radio-friendly hard rock album full of great riffs, vocal melodies and sing-a-longs, but there is a feeling of déjà vu running throughout the album. I don’t think this is exactly the album that is meant to be incredibly progressive but come track four ‘It’s Alright’, I started to get an idea of what Casablanca were all about. Not that this was a problem though as Anders Ljung’s voice is just a pleasure to hear. Fifth track ‘Barriers’ showcases his impressive talents. Title track ‘Riding a Black Swan’ will no doubt be a future live track, while the album’s seventh track ‘Some Misty Morning,’ is a jumpy song featuring some impressive guitar work from Roxie and Erik Stenemo. The guitar work throughout the album is consistently impressive even if a bit repetitive, but at no point does it become unlively or stagnant. The band though saved the best track till last for ‘Just for the Nite’, with the anthemic chant of ‘come with me to the other side’ ringing throughout the song – there’s no doubt it will be added to a few party playlists in the future.
For all its (minor) shortcomings, Casablanca has released a straightforward, good, hard rock album. While not entirely a game changer, Casablanca are on the road to international stardom.

tags: casablanca, riding a black swan, 2013, flac,


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