Fourth album out for Stockholmers BAD RADIATOR, cleverly entitled ”IV”. They are still a very good band, with an almost unique sound. Secondly, their way of mixing AOR, melodic hard rock, pop and even some westcoast elements is also pretty unique. Some of you probably know that these guys emanate from the well-known band GRACE back in the 80’s, so no wonder there is quality to be found.
All the way through their career they have shown a bunch of strengths: the solid lead vocal from MIKAEL LUNDGREN, the aforementioned rich sound and always truly fine productions. Musically they are solid enough for this rather professional genre, too.
On this 10 song album you will absolutely recognize the quartet if you’ve heard them before. They have a softness that shines through even when they add some lightweight hard rock in the arrangements, and it makes it cozy somehow.
There is one sole thing in the way of these guys taking it to the very top: BAD RADIATOR needs a lot more variation. Many of the songs are built up around a cool groove and a melody, but often used both in the verse and the chorus – sometimes even in the pre-chorus. There’s a job to be done here! An improvement could mean a step from real good to super.
However, there are some really nice moments – especially in the softer tunes. Try “Lonely” with quite obvious westcoast vibes in the verse. This song also has got more variation than most other songs; it is a really good one. I also like the TOTO:ish beat á la “Straight for the heart” in the song “Waiting for you”, with a cool keyboard solo from Lundgren. The beat in “I could have been happy” is also nice. Another quite soft one is “Learn to let it go”, reminding me a little of British act RADIO SILENCE’s first album.
I will settle for 3 and a half in grading here. BAD RADIATOR has a special place in my heart, and I hope my wishes will come true on album number five!