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Undress Your Madness - Pretty Maids

It's Danish, it's great

The breakfast in the Pretty Maids have always had a ability to mix clichés from the rock world with lyrics that afflict contemporary folly, as seen from the kakkelbordet in Horsens. So even though the band from the very start, looked out at the big world, they have never quite been able to run from their Danish origin, and it is perhaps what distinguishes them from the large amount of within the melodic metal? No matter what, so have the veterans made yet another solid, albeit slightly routine album, which deserves the seven skulls, and a place in their impressive discography.

Good news and bad news

What are the metal bands that had their origin – and, as a rule, the heyday – in the 1980s, churning out here 30 years later still kvalitetsalbums out with a two to three year intervals? It is not easy to think of very many, but in Denmark we have one, and it is, of course, Pretty Maids, who have just thrown studio album number 16, Undress Your Madness on the street. We reached therefore bad to get us over the shocking news about the lead vocalist Ronnie Atkins' cancer, before which again was something to rejoice about from the Pretty Maids camp.

All the known means...

Pretty Maids found very early on in their career the formal, with few detours have followed ever since: Melodic hard rock but with enough edge and attitude to the, that they also belong in the heavy metal-family. It thus comes no surprise that here on the Undress Your Madness is not much new under the sun, Pretty Maids is quite happy with making music for their loyal fanbase in Europe and Japan. Nothing wrong in it, but if it is to have value for other than the group's hardcore fans, it takes a rather large requirements for both songwriting and execution.

Let's take performance first, for it is pretty simple. Pretty Maids is still a topprofessionelt band that plays and sings very well, and with Jacob Hansen behind the desk is a top-production a matter of course. The experienced producer manages to maintain the classic Pretty Maids sound, but at the same time to get it to sound both modern and vital. So far, so good, but what about the songs? After all, we get to Undress Your Madnes the usual mix of hard rockers, sing-in-chorus in the spitzenklasse and then a couple of ballads, which tend to spill a little over into the saccharine. First single "the Serpentine", which is also the first track on the album, has an almost impertinent iørehængende chorus, a classic heavy riff and an even more classic Ken Hammer-solo on the usual – and best – show combines the mastery and melodic flair. I dare to bet that the "Serpentine" will become a permanent feature on the sætlisten, when the band will hopefully start touring again.

Other highlights are the intense title number and the ultra-melodic "Runaway World" with yet another irresistible "sing-along" chorus. But you can after a while anyway not avoid feeling that the whole thing is running a little on the routine, and therefore is a tad too predictable. All the known instruments are taken into use, and we've really heard it all before. Last number "the Strength Of A Rose" is yet a poppet case, that isolation works quite well, but as the ending it gets a little fesent, and you miss the Pretty Maids who kick ass.

>> Check the songs and lyrics here