Challenger - 2012 - Train to Hell
01. Train to Hell
02. Fire & Ice
03. Rocket Ride
05. Perfect Girl
Raw, loud and heavy: that's the calling card of Dutch Hard Rock act Challenger. Hailing from Roosendaal Rockcity (near my hometown), the five guys that make up Challenger are on a mission to capture the 80’s Hard Rock vibe with influences like AC/DC, Vengeance and Skid Row. And take it from me they’re doing a fine job! Their sound can be described as a more dynamic AC/DC and the Airbourne-like vocals of Kevin Ritsler will dazzle your head.
Upon receiving it I tore open the loaded envelope that guitarist Thijs Mol sent me and pulled out a CD with vinyl-like album cover featuring a demonic looking train (probably heading for hell?). Great artwork which definitely made me want to put the friggin’ disc into my audio system and cranck it up. But it didn't stop there as far excellent packaging is concerned: the CD itself has the looks of an actual vinyl record, just snatched for a couple of bucks at the local flea market. Even the ‘pops and clicks’ of a real vinyl album are mixed between the songs. So in short: a very professional approach by these rockers and a great way to get my blood pumpin'!
The listening party starts with the title track “Train to Hell”, a raunchy little number that is somehow clean at the same time. Every instrument can be heard very clearly, just like AC/DC intended this kind of music to sound. We continue with “Fire and Ice”, one of my favorites. Just straight forward Hard Rock & Roll. Nothing wrong with that in my book, folks!
Third track on offer is called “Rocket Ride” and includes several television sounds. Although good, it doesn’t stick in my head like the previous two killer tracks.
Up next we have a truly AC/DC inspired song. You can say; “Hey, this is rip-off” or some bullshit like that but Challenger themselves have no problem admitting that “Danielle” is based on “What Do You Do For Money Honey”. Bottom line is that it's a damn fine track that kicks you right in the nuts!
The final two songs are “Perfect Girl” and “Eugenics”. The first one is of the quiet easy listening kind and one of the very best anthems in the Challenger repertoire (besides “Rock ‘n Roll Rebel” off course, not included on this E.P.) while the latter will no doubt be considered pretty good by some standards, to me it feels more like a filler.
Overall I think Challenger has a lot of potential. Too bad gigs are hard to find at this time when bands are popping up everywhere. So for anyone out there who wants to have a hardhittin’ and professional Hard Rock act on one of their parties: go visit them on Facebook! “Train to Hell” is sure to rock your bloody socks off!
Last Updated (Monday, 23 July 2012 16:56)