Some artists are truly talented and yet they never really get the share of fame deserved. CHRIS LANEY (born Ulf Larsson) is one of those guys. Some of you know him from his work in ZAN CLAN, 17, SCRATCH and as a member of WASP member RANDY PIPER’S ANIMAL.
Chris’ solo CD is a nice mix of melodic hard rock, sleaze and some AOR. The production is very melodic and professional – there’s a lot to be learned by foreign hard rock bands here. Every instrument can easily be heard, just like a production should be. On to the songs, right? It’s no secret Laney likes KISS. So in “Last Man Standing” it surely sounds a lot like his big fave band – even though there’s enough of his own touch not to be too obvious or close to a rip-off. Talking about rip-offs; the chorus part in the opener “Situation” is actually too close to VAN HALEN’S “Jamie’s Crying”, but that’s alright. One of my favourite tracks is “Get U Down”, which will be highly appreciated by fans of DEF LEPPARD. It has the same rocking AOR/hard rock sound that likes to hit you in the middle of your face. Still with a truly melodic sound. The final song “Pride B 4 The Fall” even sounds quite like Swedish landsmen BAD HABIT, aiming in their heavier moments. And “The Stranger In You” should be checked up by those who favour later DANGER DANGER.
I’d say this is an album for everyone in the hard rock world. It’s too sleazy to be dismissed as “another AOR record”, and a bit of enough of AOR to keep the ones on the soft side of these genres. Laney is quite a decent singer – OK, one in or two songs it may sound like he’s normally a backup singer, but the rest of the singing is surprisingly good.
Anberlin band member Stephen Christian has offered the explanations that he planned naming his first daughter Anberlin and that the name was a modification of the phrase "and Berlin" from a list of cities Christian wanted to visit. The one story that Christian asserts is true, however, is that he heard the word in the background noise of the Radiohead song "Everything in Its Right Place".