Charm marks a welcome return from Helsinki's The Empire Strikes. The quartet's third album is again jam packed with big Rock. The album is very similar to an 80's Rock band doing 70's songs. The beauty is that there are so few doing "Rock" now that this feels original.
There will be comparisons with The Darkness, but there are no histrionics or high voices. There is no Tongue In Cheek here, the album is here for your enjoyment and it works. The vocals are more new wave than you'd expect and so comparisons with The Faces and any of the US Late 70's New Wavers are more apt at times.
Blinded By The Light is played at break neck speaks with a fantastic over the top guitar solo, Theme From Roky is a ballad that is almost Jigsaw. Blackheart is NWOBHM, think Saxon, even Scorpions. The key feature of all these songs are the big choruses, which are as catchy as hell.
Miss Margaret Collins could be Dr Feelgood, Leeches, Lies And A Mighty Hoax could be compared to a sped up Triumph. The End kicks off the album with an indication of what to expect, it's endearing air guitar material.
The Empire Strikes might be accused of a lack of originality, but Charm is so beautifully played and faithfully done that makes this accusation irrelevant. There are great guitar solos and keyboard runs. I can imagine this to be big in Europe, but it really deserves a wider audience. The whole album is great fun.
You can listen to and buy the album by following any of the links here. You can also discover the band's back catalogue here.