Covered Call - Money Never Sleeps

Year of Release: 2009
Label: Blistering Records
Catalog Number: BR019
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:00:00

In another case of the cover not what to judge the insides by ? although in this case, it was judging a CD by the label it's on ? if you were expecting Covered Call to be prog metal, they aren't, though you might think so, sort of, with the album's opening track "All Because Of Me," which comes across initially as more alt-metal with a wall of chunky fuzz. But the rest of the material isn't really of the same nature as that first track. If you were expecting modern rock, a la something akin to Green Day or? well, college rock, they aren't that either. Nor are they alt-metal, which makes that opening track the anomaly.

In fact, Covered Call are something of a throwback to the rock of the late 70s-early to mid 80s. If I were to give you the? stocks in their portfolio it be a mix of? oh, Deep Purple, Journey, AC/DC, Whitesnake, Loverboy, KISS, .38 Special, with a few shares of Asia (some harmonies). It's hard rockin', accessible, full of what we've come to expect of classic hard rock. Fiery, screaming throbbing guitars and bass (Joel Carlsson, Thomas Thulin); booming, pounding drums and percussion (Ronny Svanstr?mer); and mid-range vocals (from ex-Candlemass and ex-Therion vocalist Thomas Vikstr?m) that can also reach for the rafters (though not cringingly). It's the heavier side of AOR. It's not quite arena rock, yet their sound could easily fill one.

No, Covered Call is a solid rock band. I don't know if they're getting radio airplay ? while my classic rock station bit the dust and I became a turncoat in listening to the Jack station that replaced it ? they easily could. If it were the late 80s, at least. I mean, it's radio friendly, "Shine" being of the easy going, sing-along type. The opening track is more bluesy and "Never Again" has a bit of a country rock feel to it. That midwest bar band kind of country. Yes, that's what CC are ? a bar band. Not a lounge, a bar ? noisy, crowded, TV silently displaying some sporting event, beer sloshing and frothing - mostly American with a few Beck's here and there (Wall Street investors knocking back a few with the college crowd). All this sweats out from this band's sound, which doesn't make for a pretty metaphor, but there you have it. The best example of the whole bar band vibe is the scorching, throbbing rave-up title track "Money Never Sleeps."

"Anything You Want" is the ballad, a sparse keyboard (piano) and vocal piece. It's too hurried to be described as longing or pleading, and yet lyrically that is the case. "I Wanna Be Free" is a muscular and punchy piece with tons of swagger that contrasts bluesy, ballsy verses with a more "sensitive" pre-chorus. There's a bit of raw sexuality to it, but? well, it's tempered. It's not quite their "Rock You Like A Hurricane," but that's the song that came to mind. "Nothing At All" is their take on the Bon Jovi style of hard rock.

So we get this American bar-band rock from, surprisingly, a Swedish band. And yet not so surprising that they're Swedish ? isn't everyone nowadays? And, of course, the label is based in Sweden, so naturally, they're going to pick up local talent. Formed in 2006, after a few line up changes, they released Money Never Sleeps, their debut, at the beginning of 2009.

I won't even begin to try to explain what their name means, but it's a stock market related term. From the official bio, however, we learn that "[s]everal of this band's musicians and backers also work in the tumultuous stock market, hence the name, Covered Call [an investors term referring to having a long position in an asset combined with a short position in a call option on the same underlying asset]." Yeh, if you're like me, you were lost at "investors term"? And even as the album's title ties into the whole stock market theme of the cover artwork, the songs themselves are your basic rock 'n' roll themes of romance 'n' sex, not balance sheets 'n' stock tickers [You mean there's no "Ooh baby, show me your large caps"? or "Baby, I?m more than just a P/E ratio"? ? ed.]

It's not prog rock, it's not prog metal, but it is likeably infectious AOR that sounds very good and unless your tastes run exclusively to the more experimental/avant-garde or classical corners of the music spectrum, you can't help but find yourself at least liking this, find a finger or foot tapping in time. It's a buy that will yield some dividends, and thus a worthy investment.

All Because Of Me (4:13) / 'Til The End (4:15) / Shine (3:44) / Never Again (5:20) / Anything You Want (4:23) / I Wanna Be Free (4:06) / Nothing At All (3:20) / Money Never Sleeps (4:11) / What About Us (3:50) / Let's Make It Real (4:36)

Thomas Vikstr?m - vocals
Joel Carlsson - guitars
Morgan Rosenquist - guitars
Thomas Thulin - bass
Ronny Svanstr?mer - drums, percussion

Money Never Sleeps (2009)

Genre: Rock

Origin SE

Added: October 5th 2009
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1749
Language: english


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