KARDANG – We Ain’t Dead Yet (2022)
After releasing several singles and a mini-album, Norwegian melodic rockers KARDANG are presenting their full-length album “We Ain’t Dead Yet“. The band is already touring all over Scandinavia taking their infectious brand of rock music to a wide audience.
”We Ain’t Dead Yet” packs eleven effective rocking tracks with a strong American feeling at places bringing to mind Nineties Night Ranger, at others with more straight riffage, some Seventies acts, all with a modern sound. Very well recorded & produced, songs like “Face to Face”, “Guilty Pleasures”, “Woman Like You” and “Touchdown” have a great summertime vibe to it, filled with cool choruses and you can’t help but sing along.
Things get off to a solid start, after a twinkling twin guitar intro, with the chugging “Turbo Prince” before the gears are immediately stepped up for the title track. Perhaps this should have opened the album as it is instantly infectious with a very Sunset Strip sound.
The boogie styled “Guilty Pleasures” is up next with its fun bluesy rhythm; while another favorite is the mid-tempo “Woman Like You” which, to me, had a real Night Ranger feel to it.
“Roll Baby Roll” is a lascivious party anthem which features a neat backing vocal from female pop artist Cindy Kvinlaug and wouldn’t be out of place on a Jackyl album (if they ever did party anthems). Hearing her and Kardang’s lead vocalist Owe Wilhelmsen together really makes the song a winner. It just works.
“Junkie Jane” is a full on Ratt-like tale of lust on the streets with another strong vocal performance from singer Owe. Up next is the rather stadium rock-by-numbers “Piece Of You” which, although a bit of a slight blip in the proceedings, is nevertheless seamlessly done, with the guitars of both Henning “Boogie Silver” Sirnes and John “Jonke” Kare Werdel again in fine virtuoso form.
The southern fried “Black Sky” has a .38 Special flavor to it which is definitely no bad thing, and no mean feat either, and this continues into the summertime roadhouse joy of “Touchdown”, before changing into the stomping arena styled “Magic”, another winner.
The consistency of Terje “Terry Hammer” Hamer’s bass and Fredrik “Freddy” Gyland’s drums also merit a mention as they are solid throughout and shine further on the shambolic, defiant encore of “Face To Face.”
The production is clean, the album cover is cool, the band members are practically faultless throughout, and in vocalist Wilhelmsen, they certainly have an exceptional sounding frontman. The influences are apparent, so if you remotely like any of the ones mentioned, then you will almost certainly like this.
And even if you don’t, just wind the window down, turn it up and enjoy the ride because this is a mighty fine album indeed.
01 – Turbo Prince
02 – We Ain’t Dead Yet
03 – Guilty Pleasures
04 – Woman Like You
05 – Roll Baby Roll (feat. Cindy Kvinlaug)
06 – Junkie Jane
07 – Piece Of You
08 – Black Sky
09 – Touchdown
10 – Magic
11 – Face To Face
Owe Wilhelmsen – vocals
Henning Sirnes – guitar
John Kare Werdel – guitar
Terje Hamer – bass
Frederik Gyland – drums