Album Reviews

Gotthard – Homegrown : Alive In Lugano Review

Released By : Nuclear Blast Records

Genre : Melodic Rock

Link : http://www.gotthard.com/


Tracklist:

01. Intro (1:04)
02. Unspoken Words (4:29)
03. Gone Too Far (3:58)
04. Top Of The World (5:26)
05. Need To Believe (5:00)
06. Hush (6:10)
07. Unconditional Faith (5:22)
08. Acoustic Medley 2010 (6:42)
09. Shangri La (3:52)
10. I Don’t Mind (5:34)
11. Heaven (5:18)
12. The Oscar Goes To… (4:27)
13. Lift U Up (4:32)
14. Leo vs. Steve (guitar /vocal solo) (3:31)
15. Sister Moon (4:24)
16. Anytime Anywhere (5:30)
17. The Train (Studio Track) (3:48)


In October of last year the world lost one of the greatest Melodic Rock singers of all time when GOTTHARD frontman and all around nice guy Steve Lee was killed in a motorcycle accident. After much soul searching the remaining members of the band have decided on the seemingly impossible task of finding themselves a new vocalist, but before the next chapter of GOTTHARD begins the band have released one last swansong for lost mate Steve Lee titled HOMEGROWN : ALIVE IN LUGANO.

The album is a recording of one of the last shows Lee ever did with the band and fittingly it’s in the town that the band feel was their big starting point all of those years ago. Being that this particular show was a part of the NEED TO BELIEVE tour, the set list borrows quite heavily from that album with five tracks featured. This is absolutely fine by me as I thought that particular 2009 release was one of the band’s best albums to date and the versions here are easily on par with the studio versions, sometimes they even sound a little better. There’s also the obligatory bunch of fan favourites with tracks like ANYTIME ANYWHERE, LIFT U UP and SISTER MOON all receiving rocking renditions, a three song acoustic medley that is really cool, a great live version of their cover of HUSH which features some awesome crowd participation and a cool three minute or so interlude called LEO VS. STEVE which features lead guitarist Leo Leoni playing little Angus Young-like lead guitar licks followed by Steve Lee using his voice as an instrument and copying the melody…..Anybody that is unsure as to why Lee was and always will be one of the most respected rock vocalists of all time just needs to have a quick listen to this track as it’s a clear example of just how much the man could do with those vocal chords. There’s also closing track THE TRAIN which is a previously unreleased studio track that was set to be a part of the band’s next album. I didn’t really like the song, but it’s cool to have one more Steve Lee track before the new era begins.

Unlike a lot of live recordings, HOMEGROWN : ALIVE IN LUGANO features a great, thick & meaty production that really does capture the spirit of the show. The band was in fine form at the time of this concert and as always Steve Lee is singing like not many men can. Fans of the band will find much, much joy in this release and for those of us unlucky enough to have ever seen the band live this is a pretty good constellation prize. The only small gripe I have with the album is that a lot of the between-song banter between Lee and the very receptive audience is spoken in Swedish, which means unless you speak the language it’s pretty hard to know what’s being said, apart from that though this album is a pure gem and a fitting swansong for one of the greatest voices in rock music history.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 9/10

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