It’s entirely possible you’ve never heard of hard rock act Gotthard, however, in their native Switzerland these guys are superstars.

They’ve released 14 studio and live albums, eleven of which have reached number one in Switzerland, making them one of the country’s most successful bands ever. However, after over 20 years of world-wide touring with greats such as Deep Purple and Bon Jovi, the band hit a major setback with the tragic death of their frontman Steve Lee. Latest effort “Bang!” is their second album without him, and shows that Gotthard remain a lean, powerful force in the world of hard rock.

Kicking off the album is the title track “Bang!”, a funky hard rock number with a downright filthy guitar riff underpinning it. Never has a song been so well suited to dirty dancing in dive bars, within three bars of this song you can practically feel the saw dust under your feet and see the bartender wiping out a glass with a grubby rag. It’s superbly atmospheric and a cracking start to the album. However, the band have got more than one trick up their sleeve, as evidence by polished radio rock number “Feel What I Feel”. It’s one of those anthemic songs that slowly builds to an absolutely stadium sized chorus, and might well be the best track on the album, I’m not surprised that it was chosen as a single. It’s an entirely different beast to “Bang!”, as it shows off Nic Maeder’s strong vocals to perfection and demonstrates that Gotthard can make just as good a fist of high-quality AOR as they can gritty, funky hard rock.


The album as a whole is mostly focused on bringing the sort of high quality hard rock bangers thatíll get a festival crowd jumping and banging their heads, and if those are what you want Gotthard have got a plentiful supply for you. Tracks such as “Jump The Gun”, “Get Up ‘N’ Move On” and “My Belief” all seem to provide the perfect soundtrack to ruining one’s hairstyle with some over enthusiastic head-banging with Gotthard’s trademark massive choruses keeping things interesting and pacey. There’s a couple of ballads thrown in for good measure, of which “Maybe” is definitely the prettiest. The addition of female vocalist Melody Tibbits lends the track a lovely softness, and provides a unique change of pace from the slamming metallic hard rock which makes up the rest of the album.

Overall, “Bang!” is a fantastic album. Gotthard have struck a perfect balance between sticking with the sound you do best and adding in too many genres and turning the whole thing into a confused chaotic listen. The result is an album that’s varied, catchy and a welcome addition to any rock fan’s collection. With “Bang!” Gotthard have proved that they’re still capable of making fresh, fun and enjoyable music that’s far more exciting than anything produced by a 20 year old band named after a mountain range has any right to be.

Get Up n’ Move
Feel What I Feel
C’est La Vie
Jump The Gun
Spread Your Wings
I won’t Look Down
My Belief
Red On A Sleeve
What You Get
My Ticket Man
Thank You

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Review By Elinor Day.