TAINTED LADY (Michael Catton) – Sounds Like Freedom / Feels Like War (2019) *HQ*
After “Point Of No Return”, the stupendous debut album of vocalist Michael Catton featured yesterday, some of you asked for his former band TAINTED LADY. Titled “Sounds Like Freedom / Feels Like War“, this was the last recording of Catton with the group, and what an interesting platter it is.
This Danish band delivers a pretty original sound – hard rock based – however with a lot of things happening in between. This is a self-released CD, but quality is second to none. Having talented Søren Andersen producing, mixing & mastering there’s guarantee of a crisp output.
These Danes open up their second album like a hurricane on steroids with the opening salvo ‘Seven Billion Souls’ setting the stage for this incredible quintet. Get ready for some heart-wrenching lyrics and soaring rock hard music that goes directly to your aural senses… tantalising and exciting one’s ears, heart and intellect.
Tainted Lady are gifted musicians in their playing ability, and equally so in their songwriting and arranging. Yes, they are indeed Hard Rock and they push the limits of this musical style. Tainted Lady constantly display their excellent writing skills with a stylish vocal delivery from the dextritious Michael Catton.
The group are inspired and draw from more than one era of music, interpreting and re-interpreting the “feel” of said music and making it their own. They sing about our social issues and our living conditions, and the intensity of their music often reinforces the points made – at times so forceful that it’ll leave you breathless.
‘Down To The River’ just amazes with their perfect harmonies and poetic lyrics, and they utilise such an emotional blanket of music to deliver this important message; it’s muscular in delivery and executed with excellence, musically staring like Robert Plant solo but morphs into a 2000’s Def Leppard style.
Then ‘Building A Machine’ wouldn’t sound out of place on a Black Country Communion record or Glenn Hughes solo – not stange as Sorensen played / produced Glenn – but all with a modern production.
‘Song Of Reckoning Pt II’ is the longest track and is their ‘epic’ with its dramatic build up; it does have the right ingredients with a hefty riff and screams aplenty. The quiet mid-section pulls back the weight with acoustic and vocal harmonies before we go back to heavy for the conclusion… it may seem formulaic on first listen but it is actually a strongly structured and brilliantly performed song.
Then more retro influences appear, with ”Revolution (Love Pollution)” having some vintage Aerosmith or even Zeppelin, ”Fever Dream” will bring Poison to mind and is slightly fluffy after the previous songs… still, it is certainly a song to bop unskinnily to! ”Flowerchild” veers more towards the world of Lenny Kravitz – when he plays air guitar all alone at home.
‘Lonely Bird’ closes the album with acoustics into the mix (not a ballad) a song that has a lilt and melody that is infectious and you will find yourself appreciating the variation these excursions bring to the album as a whole.
With Michael Catton starting a solo career the future of Tainted Lady is uncertain, but hope they continue as they are so refreshingly good. ”Sounds Like Freedom / Feels Like War” is a great album, one that embraces social justice with the most powerful of musical styles – Hard Rock in all its variations.
Throughout this album you will also hear some interesting vocal arrangements that add an edge to the lyrical content and smother the listener with the sweetest, hardest music we’ve heard in some time.
This release contains an expansive, hard-hitting set of musical gems that are sure to to please listeners eager for something different – and good.
01 – Seven Billion Souls
02 – Hey Mr. Music Man
03 – Building a Machine
04 – Kiowa Warrior
05 – Down to the River
06 – Song of Reckoning, Pt. II
07 – Revolution (Love Pollution)
08 – Fever Dream
09 – Flowerchild
10 – Lonely Bird
Vocals – Michael Catton
Guitar – Anders Frank, Jonatan Shoshan
Bass – Daniel Bach
Drums – Fred Over
Produced, Mixed & Mastered by Søren Andersen