Pretty Maids - Wake Up To The Real World - 2006 - Frontiers Records
1. Wake Up To The Real World 2. All In The Name Of Love 3. I Am The End 4. As Guilty As You 5. Why Die For A Lie 6. Such A Rush 7. Where True Beauty Lies 8. Brave Young New Breed 9. Terminal Violence 10. Perfect Strangers 11. Another Shot Of Your Love
Pretty Maids may be the best long term band that you haven't heard yet. Racing with a NWOBHM frenzy early in their career, the group has managed to explore melodic power metal, flashy hard rock, bombastic heavy metal, and a good dose of arena AOR in their time on stage. The band has released classic albums like "Red Hot & Ready" and "Future World", both of which could compete with prime era Scorpions or Accept. Pretty Maids shifted to a more melodic, modern hard rock effort with the 2002 record "Planet Panic", a record that was fairly decent but a far cry from even the band's solid mid-era of recording. After a rather long hiatus of four years the members are revamped and recharged for another Pretty Maids rock attack. But will this album find the band making the proverbial comeback record or simply another step edging the band closer to that destined "farewell" tour?
The 2006 version of Pretty Maids has signed to Frontiers Records, the growing label that has already signed big tier acts like Pink Cream 69, Winger, and Primal Fear this year. The group has parted ways with Massacre Records, their label home for the last twelve years. Massacre managed to release five studio albums for the group during that time period. This go around the band's consistent lineup of the last fourteen years has changed. Drummer Michael Fast has been replaced by ex-Royal Hunt skinsman Allan Tschicaja.
Many metal scribes have stated that this new album is more melodic that prior efforts. Many compare this to the group's sophomore album "Future World", but that comparison can only be made in cover artwork only. While this is certainly a melodic record, it really lacks the same appeal and hook that made that record so damn good. "Wake Up To The Real World" has some fantastic cuts, evident with the searing "I Am The End" and anti-war anthem "Why Die For A Lie". Ken Hammer lights up the riffs on these types of cuts, really delivering some bottom end melody and plenty of hook for vocalist Ronnie Atkins to light up the chorus parts. However the album just falls flat when it tries too hard to be hard rock. Songs like the title track just simply fall flat, never escaping the weak riff throughout and very simple songwriting. The same can be said for the disappointing "Such A Rush". The band also check in with their sappy ballad entry, this time offering up "As Guilty As You". Much of this album just simply sounds like weak B-side efforts that were left off of solid releases like "Anything Worth Doing..." and "Scream". The band do hook-up on a fabulous cover of Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers". Beyond that this is really lacking the Pretty Maids memorable magic.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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