Berggren Kerslake Band - ‘The Sun Has Gone Hazy’ (AOR Heaven) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Johnny H   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 03:20

BKB SunBerggren Kerslake Band is the coming together of Swedish singer, guitarist and keyboard player Stefan Berggren and legendary UK drummer Lee Kerslake in a project that sets the hard rock dial firmly to “classic”. Also joining the duo on the band’s debut record is bassist Tomas Thorberg and on two songs (‘As Time Goes By’ and ‘Rock`N`Roll Gangsta’) Joakim Svalberg picks up duties on the organ and Moog.

 

So what does ‘The Sun Has Gone Hazy’ sound like? Well the simple fact that Berggren met Kerslake back in the mid noughties when the former was still singing for M3 and the latter was still drumming for Uriah Heep might give you a hint as to the answer to that question, plus for anyone needing it spelled out to them my opening classic rock gambit is probably as close a descriptor as you will get of this highly accomplished sounding ten track album.

 

M3 of course featured the talents of Moody, Marsden and Murray from “proper” Whitesnake and ‘Walkin’ Tall’ the opening track from ‘The Sun Has Gone Hazy’ is a song very much moulded in the image of that once great British rock institution. In saying that though almost all of the songs on this record recalls images of any of old Dot Coverdale’s bands, largely due to the fact that Berggren does have an uncanny ability of sounding a hell of a lot like the once great singer, which in itself is both a plus and negative for the record. So on the likes of the uptempo ‘Super Sonic Dream’ where the song is in a lower register Stefan exudes a cheeky Deep Purple era Coverdale vocal, and likewise on the bluesy intro to ‘My My’ you almost get the feeling you are back in the stall of the Hammersmith Odeon in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s watching Whitesnake at their creative peak. It’s just that when Berggren goes for the higher notes like on the swaying ‘Free’ and the album’s big ballad ‘As Time Goes By’ he does tend to overdo things a bit. It might just be my ears, who knows, but I do know I don’t have the same issue when it comes to Peter Shoulder or in fact Chris Ousey, two other singers very much of the same mold. Like I say it’s only now and then he wobbles and goes a bit “jazz handsy” on us, otherwise the musicianship is faultless, but it just niggles me that a good rock record could have been a great one if just a bit more work had gone into the vocals or perhaps if someone like Pete Lyman of Rival Sons fame had been brought in to oversee the whole album instead of just mixing opener ‘Walk Tall’.

 

Fans of classic Whitesnake and Mark III Purple, should certainly listen out for tracks like ‘Fools Asleep’ and ‘Back On The Road Again’ and I feel a slot at one of the HRH festivals would do the Berggren Kerslake Band a world of good profile wise in the UK. Me, I’ll stay walking in the shadow of the blues with my old Whitesnake albums, for now at least.

 

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