This Sleaze Rock outfit from the land of ice and snow will bring the heat to our hearts with their incendiary debut album.
You might be tempted to assume that you’ve come across yet another Scandinavian Sleaze Rock band, following a path well-trodden over the past few years by bands like Crashdïet, Santa Cruz and Reckless Love, but you’d be wrong as Finnish Melodic Rock act Bad Baron does things a little differently. With big looks, even bigger hooks, and more gratuitous key changes than you ever thought possible, Bad Baron set the bar just a little bit higher with their new album Ace Of Hearts, a thrilling Rock N’ Roll party by vocalist and bassist Lauri Huovinen, guitarist Tommy Widdow, keyboardist Alex Kron and drummer Sammy South. “I’m a massive fan of the AOR and glam metal that came out of the 80s,” commented Lauri, “Whitesnake, Journey, Mötley Crüe and so on, so it was amazing to find people who want to keep that flame burning in a time where rock musicians have to try harder than ever to cut through.”
The album couldn’t have had a more Hard Rock start than Edge of Our Dreams, where the keys by Alex will take you back to the 80’s while Lauri fires his Bret Michaels-inspired vocals and Tommy kicks some ass with his old school riffs and crisp solos. The Van Halen-ish keys by Alex walk hand in hand with the headbanging beats by Sammy in Can You Love Someone (For Just One Night), perfect for their upcoming live concerts, whereas keeping the atmosphere as thrilling as possible it’s time for another straightforward Hard Rock tune titled Breakdown In Communication, where once again the quartet is ready to rock like there’s no tomorrow. Hungry brings forward pure Sleaze Rock and Hair Metal for lovers of the genre, being tailored for singing it along with Lauri while Sammy pounds his drums in great fashion; and ethereal sounds ignite the Glam Metal extravaganza entitled Rebel Heartache, showcasing another solid job done by Tommy and Alex with their respective riffs and keys. After such fun party, get ready to rock together with those Finnish boys in the incendiary Lights Go Out, displaying a very pleasant “Eye of the Tiger” vibe thanks to the classic beats delivered by Sammy.
After a brief Interlude the band offers our ears the very melodic and whimsical Our Story Isn’t Over, a classic 80’s Hard Rock tune with Lauri being flawless on vocals supported by his bandmates’ spot-on backing vocals, and the rumbling bass by Lauri dictates the pace in the Sleaze Rock extravaganza Going Down In Flames, while Tommy brings fire to the music with his riffage, sounding dense and piercing while alternating between more delicate moments and sheer adrenaline. Then an amazing bass and keys combo by Lauri and Alex respectively will inspire you to raise your fists in the air in the name of Rock N’ Roll in Rock In The City, presenting all elements we learned to love in the genre, whereas although One Minute To Midnight is obviously not “Two Minutes to Midnight”, it lives up to the legacy of 80’s Hair Metal, and you better get ready to sing along its catchy chorus together with the band while Tommy is on fire with his stringed axe . The album’s second to last song, the power ballad Long Road Home, is not bad at all but it lacks the extra punch from the rest of the album, and finally the quartet offers us all an ode to rock music (straightforwardly) titled Anthem For Rock’n’Roll, where Lauri and Sammy will make the stage tremble with their groovy kitchen supported by the electrifying keys by Alex.
After all is said and done I’m sure you’ll get addicted to the music by Bad Baron, especially if you’re a longtime admirer of Sleaze Rock with an European touch, with Ace Of Hearts representing more than just the first step in their promising career but an amazing addition to the Finnish rock front. Hence, don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and on Instagram, to stream more of their music on Spotify, and to purchase your copy of Ace Of Hearts from the Pride & Joy Music webstore or from Apple Music, keeping the flames of Hard Rock burning and, consequently, bringing some heat to our hearts and obviously to the land of ice and snow.
Best moments of the album: Edge of Our Dreams, Going Down In Flames, Rock In The City and One Minute To Midnight.
Worst moments of the album: Long Road Home.
Released in 2022 Pride & Joy Music
1. Edge of Our Dreams 3:11
2. Can You Love Someone (For Just One Night) 3:15
3. Breakdown In Communication 3:47
4. Hungry 3:48
5. Rebel Heartache 4:54
6. Lights Go Out 3:57
7. Interlude 0:46
8. Our Story Isn’t Over 4:04
9. Going Down In Flames 3:20
10. Rock In The City 4:27
11. One Minute To Midnight 3:20
12. Long Road Home 3:50
13. Anthem For Rock’n’Roll 4:39
Lauri Huovinen – vocals, bass
Tommy Widdow – guitar
Alex Kron – keyboards
Sammy South – drums