“We sound like cocaine”
If you have stopped by the blog previously, you will know of my appreciation for The Night Flight Orchestra.
“Amber Galactic” is their third release and their big label debut on Nuclear Blast.
It all started in 2012 with the excellent debut. “Internal Affairs”. It continued in 2015, with “Skyline Whispers” and in 2017, we have “Amber Galactic”. While we live in an era where the big bands don’t even take the stage without a huge investment up front from promoters and what not, it’s good to hear a band jamming and having fun.
“For me personally, song writing is one of my favourite jobs. This is something I do very often in my spare time. That’s why I always have a lot of songs lying around waiting to be realized. This time, I wrote half of the songs of “Amber Galactic”, Sebastian Forslund, our second guitarist, wrote three, Björn wrote two and “Domino” we wrote together when we were on tour bus in Austria.”
“When you find yourself on a night flight across the oceans, you’ve just left everything you love behind and once you land you know that nothing will ever be the same. You’ve got nothing left to lose, and you just want to escape reality, no matter the cost. A melancholic over the top party anthem, about the deep personal insights you can only get at 36,000 ft. with a stiff drink in your trembling hands, and the mysterious beauty that you hope will be there waiting for you when you arrive.”
It was the first song recorded for the album, the first single released to promote the album and it kicks the album off in a frantic style.
From the start, it reminds me of a cross between “Highway Star/Speed King” from Deep Purple and “Death Alley Driver” from Rainbow. The drum groove reminds me of a steroid versioned “Immigrant Song” from Led Zeppelin.
I remember reading an early interview that Deep Purple’s “Made In Japan” and “Made In Europe” are favourites and you can hear it in “Midnight Flyer”, how it builds from the keyboard intro, similar to how “You Fool No One” builds on the “Europe” live album or “Speed King” on the “Japan” live album.
I’m not leaving
I’m just going somewhere else
Far from the sighs and whispers
And the weakness of myself
Now is not the time
To think of all I’ve lost
There are skylines left to conquer
There are oceans left to cross
The work ethic of the TNFO members is high. Multiple bands mean more touring, more time in recording studios, more time song writing and lots of champagne. Meanwhile they are all trying to keep relationships going or families going.
I’m a midnight flyer rushing through the storm
I got lost without your loving and I can’t find my way home
I can’t function and get lost when all hell is breaking loose in my family/love life. We are all creatures of love and acceptance.
Star Of Rio
The guitar riff is infectious and the up tempo drums remind me of early Kiss like “Shout It Out Loud” and “Deuce”. Actually this drum groove appears on this album a few times as well as their previous albums. Refer to “Sad State Of Affairs”.
The chorus on this song is full on rocking, with gospellish female vocals and what not.
My Star Of Rio
You always light my empty skies
I have no idea what the star of Rio is, except for being a cool song title and an excellent song.
“Amber Galactic” takes place in a future in where humanity explores and conquers space. The twist is that the commanders are actually commanders, just like the leaders on Earth are all female. The men are mainly responsible for mundane tasks. They worship the women. They also always fall in love with the women of the highest rank, although they are always out of reach for the men. “Jennie” and “Gemini” are both such stories, which in the case of “Gemini” is also presented in the form of the animated music video.”
On each album they have a disco pop metal rock track. “West Ruth Ave” took the spot on the first album, “Living For The Night-time” took the spot on the second album and “Gemini” takes the spot on the third album.
“I just looked to the sky and sought for a sigh of glimpse of you”
In a time of terror and reality stars as leaders, all we can do is look to the sky and dream away of being with the person that doesn’t want to be with you. Brilliant.
“Bodies in orbit and a signal from a far
As I look to the skies I’m dying to be right where you are”
Relationships drive us forward.
“I’m fighting not to lose control”
It doesn’t take much for humans to lose control.
So many influences are present in this song, like Styx, The Police, Divinyls and Blondie.
Sad State Of Affairs
The drum groove from “Star In Rio” is back and musically the song reminds me of “California Morning” from their debut album, “Internal Affairs”. Additional influences that come to mind are the Rolling Stones “Jumpin Jack Flash”, “Unmasked” KISS era with a bit of Steely Dan thrown in. When the song hits the bridge its Steely Dan meets Billy Joel. Brilliant.
It’s a sad state of affairs now that my heart aint going anywhere
Lyrically, it’s a song about being in love and not being able to get out of being in love.
It’s got a bass groove influenced by “Burning Heart” from Survivor and some strong influences from Supertramp and Elton John.
It’s one of those mysterious women the band likes to write about.
Any other day I would long for the sound
Every little noise that was you
But it was silence we used to come by
Just simply sharing the truth
Relationships are a tough gig. We love being in one and we hate it when it doesn’t go as plan.
And I saw your face on the screen just tonight
Telling us all what to do
Is Jennie one of those female leaders that the men are all in love with but can’t have?
The keys are superb and the bass playing is groovy and brilliant. The whole song has this vibe from the Sylvester Stallone directed movie “Staying Alive”. The intro also reminds me of “Lorelei” from Styx and there is a Toto “Africa” vibe happening as well under a disco pop rock feel.
I was lost in Vienna with the devil on my trail
I just arrived from Venice, got your letter in the mail
The scene is set.
For games we play I fell away
It’s time you know
You can’t play with my heart
Gene Simmons had a man size predicament about Domino. I guess it still continues.
Here is a song about another mysterious woman. According to the guys in the band the song has this “Hill Street Blues” TV theme happening. And I don’t disagree.
Trying to get me some action
I was drunk and lost in a dream
I was asking the DJ to play
Edge of Seventeen
“Edge Of Seventeen” is a Stevie Nicks song. Love the reference to it and how trying to get some action meant playing a song that the opposite sex would like and dance to.
Your song was written long ago
Digging the guitar solo and Richard Larsson rocks the keys on the outro.
There’s that drum groove again that appears multiple times throughout the album.
It’s the best groove in town.
And the riffs just enhance it.
Like a shadow in your sunset
Radiating from your gaze
I could feel you in the distance
“Space Whisperer” is about being alone in space.
A satellite transmission from a world I didn’t see
The section before the guitar solo that’s like a drum solo reminds me of “Radar Love” and the guitar solo is one of those “songs within a song” guitar solos.
The intro is a cross between “Reason To Live” from Kiss and “Burning Heart” from Survivor. But when the verse rolls around, it’s full on like “Burning Heart”. It’s fantastic how they tie up so many influences into a super catchy song.
“Light up the sky like something mysterious”
Plus it’s got a cool retro 80’s film clip to go with it.
Saturn In Velvet
The normal epic closer and a verse riff that reminds me of another song and it’s killing me because I cannot come up with the title.
What ya trying to do with me
I never saw it coming
You left me dragging my own misery
Around the circle of habit
I am pretty sure Bjorn sings the above. Maybe he doesn’t sing it, but my ears want to hear the last two lines in that way.
Remember back in the day, when you would get music dubbed from a friend and then you would spend hours deciphering/writing the lyrics of the song. Well, we are back to those days with streaming. You see, with less physical product doing the rounds and access to music at all-time highs, the lyric sheet is a thing of the past. Yeah I know the bigger artists have their lyrics all over the web and eventually the lyrics to this song would also get there, but a week has passed since the album release and still no lyrics.
Just Another Night
A cover of Mick Jagger’s solo hit from “She’s The Boss” released in 1985 and to be honest it bloody rocks. In saying that, I am a fan of Jagger’s original version as well. It was a song that crossed over to the hard rock audiences.
Just another night
Just another night with you
Just another kiss
Just before the dark breaks through
On a final note, David Andersson churns out basically any guitar style and for me he deserves special praise here. Bjorn Strid on vocals cements himself as the most versatile and fun-loving singer on planet Earth. The rhythm section of Sharlee D’Angelo on bass and Jonas Kallsback is tighter than a G-string tuned to A. Keyboardist Richard Larsson has become an important cog in the TNFO machine while newest member Sebastian Forslund delivers any other instrument needed plus he wrote a few songs for the record.
Overall, it’s one of the best listens I have had since their debut “Internal Affairs” caught me by total surprise and suckered punched me into fandom.