Dare was formed in 1985 by keyboard player Darren Wharton after Phil Lynott dissolved Thin Lizzy.
By 1987, they got a record deal with A&M and “Out Of The Silence” was released in 1988.
The line-up for this album consisted of Darren Wharton (vocals/keyboards), Vinny Burns (guitars), Martin ‘Shelley’ Shelton (bass), James Ross (drums), and Brian Cox (keyboards) better know these days as Brian Cox, the physicist and TV star!
A keyboard riff that reminds me of soundtracks starts it off and then the guitars kick in. It’s a great piece of AOR rock.
Into The Fire
Press play to hear the verses on this which are better than the Chorus.
Nothing Is Stronger Than Love
It’s hard to describe this song. It’s heavy on the keyboards but it has some cool guitar bits.
Jonathan Waite comes to mind when I think of the keyboard riffs and Boston comes to mind when I think of the cool guitar bits.
A great melodic rock song which reminds me of Rick Springfield.
Under The Sun
My favorite song on the album.
As soon as the keyboard arpeggio riff and vocal melody started I was thinking of Marillion. And then I was thinking of Pink Floyd.
Another great song which reminds me of the Celtic influenced work that Gary Moore did on his last few hard rock albums of the 80’s.
King Of Spades
This song wouldn’t be out of place on the “Days Of Thunder” soundtrack. Stick around for the harmony guitars.
It’s also a tribute to Phil Lynott, who had died two years before the album was released.
This song is a hit.
And it should have been.
But their label was shit. Terrible at promoting and marketing hard rock acts even though they had some good ones.
Return The Heart
It’s a skip.
Don’t Let Go
An early ASIA like track which also wouldn’t be out of place in the “Cocktail” movie.
In the end the sound is dominated by the double keyboards but there is enough guitar to make it rocked
The follow up album “Blood From Stone” was more hard rock but the label advertised it as “Hair Metal’. Another shit decision by A&M. And when it didn’t sell, they dropped the band.
But Dare survived and is still in the game, touring and releasing new music.
Bjorn Strid did an interview on Robb Flynn’s “No Fucking Regrets” Podcast and Flynn explained em as “80’s Miami Vice Pop”. You can check it out here on Spotify.
Guitarist David Andersson is the main songwriter in TNFO (and he’s also the main songwriter in Soilwork), bringing in his influences of Swedish Pop, Brit Pop, Funk, Disco and Strid’s love of late 70’s, early 80’s radio rock into the mix.
Two of my favourite Kiss albums are “Dynasty” and “Unmasked” because they brought in other styles of music into the Kiss rock sound and they still made it sound hard rock. So I wasn’t surprised to hear that “Dynasty” and “Unmasked” are also favourite albums for Strid and how Strid sees the song “Easy As It Seems” from Kiss as the foundation of Disco Rock and the blueprint for a TNFO song.
Kiss cops a lot of flak for those albums from their U.S fan base, but those two albums basically set up a new sound in different parts of the world. It’s no surprise that Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway liked em along with Australia.
The late 70’s and early 80’s had a certain way of writing and performing songs, which has been lost as the years have gone on.
Strid now feels balanced creatively. He can’t do Soilwork if he can’t do TNFO and vice versa. And by doing TFNO which is out of his comfort zone, has made him a better singer overall.
They missed out on touring the “Aeromantic” album because of COVID-19. Actually they were one week into the tour before they had to go home. And the promoters wouldn’t cancel the shows because they would be up for costs, so they waited until the last minute until the government shut everything down, putting the band into a difficult predicament.
The whole band also got COVID-19. No one went to hospital but David Andersson coped it bad.
And because the band wasn’t done with “Aeromantic”, they remained within the “Aeromantic” vibe and zone.
Recorded at Nordic Sound Lab, 90 minutes from Gothenburg, they do their albums by booking studio sessions and they just write for those sessions. By the end of the writing, they have about 40 songs down. Quantity equals quality.
Originally the core audience back in 2012 was Soilwork fans and general metal fans curious to check the band out, but 9 years into it, the audience is made up of different people who are not generally metal fans, but fans of good crossover rock music.
For Strid, his Mum listened to hard rock music and popular acts like Eurythmics and Bruce Springsteen.
Iron Maiden and WASP was an early experience for him. But Twisted Sister “Stay Hungry” album was very big for him.
A guy in his class had a few compilation tapes from his Tennis coach who was into extreme music and Strid borrowed those tapes and copied em. When he was asked which artists he liked, it was always the fast songs and that’s how he got his nickname “Speed”.
So on to the review.
TNFO are Bjorn Strid on Lead and Backing vocals, David Andersson on Guitars, Sharlee D’Angelo on bass, Sebastian Forslund on Guitars and Percussion, Jonas Kallsback on Drums, John Manhattan Lönnmyr on Keyboards and Anna Brygard / Anna Mia Bonde on Backing Vocals and known as the “Backing Anna’s”.
If you like Whitesnake, just think of those big chord synth chords at the start of “Slip Of The Tongue”. Well the chords at the start here are even bigger.
Each album has a track like this. “West Ruth Ave” on the first album. “Living For The Nighttime” on the second album. “Star Of Rio” on the third album. “Turn To Miami” on the fourth album and “This Boys Last Summer” on the fifth album.
And “Midnight Marvellous” is just as impressive.
Check out the interlude breakdown just before the solo when bassist Sharlee D’Angelo grooves and new keyboardist solos.
Strid described this song as “90s Deep Purple on cocaine”. And he’s not wrong.
The Chorus is excellent, but it’s the guitar playing and leads that make me a fan.
The ending is smashing.
Burn For Me
As soon as this song starts you will either think of “Modern Love” by David Bowie or “Straight For The Heart” by Toto or “I’m Still Standing” by Elton John or “I’m So Excited” from The Pointer Sisters.
And it’s a favourite to me because of those familiarity.
It’s going to be a good night of drinking and kicking back. Instead of chardonnay, my poison is Shiraz or Cabernet Merlot.
How good is the intro?
Genesis (their song “That’s All”) comes to mind, but the Chorus is perfect AOR Melodic Rock.
Amber Through A Window
This feels like a New Wave rock cut, for driving in the night, with the window down in summer.
I Will Try
“Everybody Wants To Rule The World” from Tears For Fears comes to mind in the verses.
The Chorus is like 80’s Journey and Cher circa 1987. The guitar work feels like its Neal Schon. Brilliant.
You Belong To The Night
The TNFO sound has a Rolling Stones influence and Mick Jagger solo influence. This song is evidence of that.
Listen to “Tattoo You” and “Just Another Night” which TNFO covered for “Amber Galactic”.
Songs from Michael Jackson come to mind listening to this and it’s a great piece of pop rock song writing.
And just listen to it for the joy of Sharlee D’Angelo’s sultry bass lines.
The first single released as part of the album pre-release. I think it hit Spotify about 12 weeks before the album drop.
Can Judas Priest and ELO be combined?
In the world of TNFO, it can. Everything goes.
And that Chorus. Brilliant.
Also check out the clip for it as it’s hilarious.
What a closer.
As soon as you press play, the intro just takes you away. It reminds me of “Edge Of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks and those guitar lines of something else and I like it.
BONUS TRACK – Reach Out (Cheap Trick cover)
It’s worthy of inclusion on the proper album. Musically is like new wave hard rock and vocally Strid merges Robin Zander with Rick Springfield. Brilliant.
As Strid said in his interview with Robb Flynn, the album is a continuation of “Aeromantic”. And I became a fan of TNFO first and then went back and became a fan of Soilwork.
Maybe one day in the future we’ll get a gatefold issue of both “Aeromantic” albums together.
And if you grew up in the 80’s listening to hard rock and melodic rock, then you need to listen to this.