Cult AOR hero Paul Sabu returns with his latest album Bangkok Rules. Sabu is joined by Linkan Andersson on guitars, Martin Karlsson on bass and well respected English drummer Lee Morris. Morris was brought in to replace Frankie Benali (Quiet Riot) who was unfortunately busy during the recording process of the album. Z Records go-to-guy guitarist, Vince O’Regan also pops up on here co-writing two songs.
Sabu’s last album Strange Messiah was distinctly lacklustre, so I was hoping for much better this time around, and much better is indeed what we get; this album is a vast improvement on its predecessor. It’s a bombastic and brash collection of tracks designed to get us rocking and is thoroughly enjoyable. It’s not a perfect album – there are a few fillers – but by and large Bangkok Rules sees a return to form for Sabu. The album is full of energy and drive that really appeals; and for melodic rock fans who like their music to have a bit more of a kick to it, this is definitely one for you.
It has to be said, Sabu’s vocals are not what they once were, and he now seems to mostly sticks to a gruffer style. Although the gritty rip-snorting delivery does suit the songs on offer and really matches the energy of the music.
Sabu’s co-written songs with O’Regan are the strongest on offer, both musically and lyrically. O’Regan does get a lot of stick from some circles, and I do feel Z overuse his talents, but the fact remains his contribution to this album is of the highest quality.
‘Bangkok Rules’ provides a thunderous opening; it’s an high octane rocker with a storming chorus. ‘Rock Don’t Run’ has a far more traditional melodic rock feel to it, complete with infectious keyboards and a huge anthemic sing along chorus! ‘Race To Nowhere’ is a driving low slung rocker.
The album closes with the thunderous head banging inducing ‘Back The Jacks’. It’s not Sabu’s finest vocal performance but there is an instant catchiness to the anthemic chant along chorus.
If thunderous, rambunctious, rip snorting rock n roll with a big dose of melody is your thing, then I’m sure this album will get you rocking. Great to see Sabu deliver another cracking album and it’s definitely an album to be played very LOUD!
Rated 7 out of 10