A RISING FORCE – Undertow (2022)
A RISING FORCE is an all-original Minnesota hard rock act which have signed a two album deal with Dark Star Records / Universal, and will re-release their first album ”Undertow” on February 18. A rare beast in the current American rock scene, A RISING FORCE take their inspiration form the classic ’80s sounds from the genre, with songs propelled by big drum & bass grooves, killer guitar riffs, double harmony guitar leads, tenor hard rock vocals (Mark Westlund voice is similar to Eric Martin) and even chants “Hey” “Hey” ”yeah”, like in good times but translated 2022.
A RISING FORCE is formed by seasoned musicians with years of experience and believe me, they sound awesome. At places they bring to mind my beloved Y&T.
Oh, and they did a really good cover of WARRANT’s classic “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.
The album starts with a blast, the arena ready title track. ‘Love and War’ is more classic rockin’ where the vocal comparison that sprung to mind was Tesla’s Jeff Keith and indeed the sound on the latter’s more contemporary mid-2000s comeback ‘Into the Now‘ is as good a reference point as any for the band.
On ‘Black Eyed Suzy’ Leni DiMancari’s guitar sound even has a George Lynch vice, albeit the drier sound of Lynch Mob rather than the sheen of Dokken.
‘Yesterdaze Hell’, with excerpts from various presidents including Nixon and Reagan (his infamous ‘we begin bombing Russia in five minutes’ gaffe) boasts a fine, intricate guitar solo alongside its lyrical message.
‘War Machine’ is by far the heavier number here, a faster change of pace, Mark’s vocals soaring and a gang-like chant of ‘Rise’. The cover of Warrant’s ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ which is faithfully executed, then the chunky chord progressions of ‘Retribution’ that close the album are the last in a series of killer riffs that punctuate the album.
It is harder for a new act in America to break through into a moribund scene dominated by the same established interests. However this accomplished slice of honest to goodness, traditional American hard rock with the odd modern twist has a good a chance as any.
01 – Undertow
02 – Love and War
03 – Crushed
04 – Freaks
05 – Black Eyed Suzy
06 – Yesterdaze Hell
07 – Giza
08 – War Machine
09 – Uncle Tom’s Cabin
10 – Retribution
Mark Westlund (vocals, guitar)
Brian Lorenson (bass, vocals)
Lane Allen (drums, vocals)
Leni DiMancari (guitars, vocals)