Vile Caliber - Tomorrow's For Those Who Dare
Inverse Records
80s-style Hard Rock
8 songs (34' 31")
Release year: 2015
Inverse Records
Reviewed by Andy
Surprise of the month

Listening to some streamed online album promos, I came across new Helsinki hard rock outfit Vile Caliber. Reeking of 80s party rock, their first LP Tomorrow's For Those Who Dare is slightly clumsy and endearingly enthusiastic, bristling with overdriven solos and plenty of falsetto screams.

The production is biased quite a bit towards the guitars, which have a chugging two-guitar attack that reminds me of the way Stryper sets up their production. Vocalist Artturi's clean tenor has a slightly sleazy sound to it with a slightly plugged-up voice that makes him sound like the lead for an alternative rock band, but in the first few minutes of Dare to Love & Lose Control, it's clear that he can effortlessly hit a high-pitched scream whenever he wants -- and does often. The intro is clearly Judas Priest-inspired, but this is its own sound, and though the lyrics are filled with the party and love-song themes that most metal bands would turn up their collective noses at, it's more than heavy enough to enjoy, especially on Animal, one of my favorites; after all, it's hard to dislike a hard band that puts more heavy overdrive into their guitar playing than many metal bands.

The soloing is indulgent and there's lots of it, but Vile Caliber's ability to write a melodic hook is what drives the songs. When things don't quite come together (such as on Black Karma, where the band's individual melodies don't mesh properly into a cohesive song), it's as forgiveable as when the local garage band flubs a note. There are other weird contradictions; the murky singing on the clean parts of Intertwine to Inspire, with Artturi sounding like he's having trouble keeping from laughing, changes when the heavy part comes in at the end, but still sound like the lyrics are being sung in a foreign language, but others would have been contenders for 80s rock charts had they debuted back then, like For the Sake of Romance, which boasts a killer chorus hook as well as some of the best soloing on the album.

Like a The Darkness album, Tomorrow's For Those Who Dare is a slightly tongue-in-cheek retro album that is still easy to enjoy and take seriously. There are quite a few missteps and weird moments on the track list, but in many ways they add to the quirky charm of the band's first album.

Killing Songs :
Animal, For the Sake of Romance
Andy quoted 77 / 100
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