Promising to evoke classic TNT and Yngwie Malmsteen, The Nights’ self-titled debut almost does the job. More AOR than metal, it’s somewhat hamstrung by singer Sami Hyde’s super-clean vocals – at times the pitch-perfect Finn is just too smooth for his own good.
But he is good. And it should come as no surprise that fans of H.e.a.t and Reckless Love (and maybe, even, Savage Garden) will fawn over the frontman’s delightfully sweet tone – evident right from the start on Welcome To The Show.
So where are the Malmsteen moments? They come thick and fast courtesy of guitarist and producer Ikea Virtanen – almost every tune here features a flashy solo that wouldn’t sound out of place on 1988’s Odyssey. Unfortunately many sound out of place on this potentially divisive debut.
Ultimately The Nights aren’t the new dawn of speed metal. Or even a fresh take on Scando hard rock. This is pop with guitars – nothing more and nothing less. But if you like your ‘rock’ wrapped up in a shiny package with inoffensive lyrics and instantly catchy choruses then The Nights are a welcome wake up call.
On Juliette it’s not difficult to imagine Richard Marx relaunched as a Finnish Pop Idol finalist. Really.