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Sunday, May 03, 2015

ALBUM REVIEW: Nelson Say "Peace Out" With New Studio Release.

IN 1990, at a time when metal was giving way to grunge, two fresh-faced blonde fellas burst onto the scene with a little number you might well have heard of. You couldn't pick up a best-of-ballads rock album without finding '(I Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection' somewhere on there.

Gunnar and Matthew Nelson, better known simply as Nelson, set a Guinness world record as the only family to have three generations of number one hits in the charts, with their late father Ricky Nelson considered one of rock 'n' roll's earliest superstars.

So, 25 years later and now more seasoned songwriters, Nelson celebrate their quarter century on our beloved scene with their new studio release Peace Out.

A duo known for their anthemic numbers, Nelson certainly don't disappoint with this latest release. Take the track 'Invincible', for example. And, there's a cheeky wee similarity to Boston's iconic 'Peace of Mind' in the opening guitar lick.
The song itself is well crafted with a scintillating guitar squeal throughout and, as we expect from this dynamic duo, the vocals are pitch perfect.
With plans of a tour on the horizon, Nelson have left themselves with a fistful of new material that would feel at home on the live stage, namely 'Back in the Day'. A song as a hallmark of nostalgia, this track pertains to a golden era of rock 'n' roll, deserving the open air atmosphere and the company of a summer's day beer.

However, the album's strongest track for me is 'Rockstar'. Opening with a bold drum roll and a simple, yet provocative, guitar riff this song is a showcase of what Nelson have to offer fans, old and new. Vocally, this song's chorus is as strong as they come. The harmonising is expectedly succinct and that riff remains throughout, prompting an involuntary tapping toe. A future fan favourite for sure.

Demonstrating a sense of maturity since the release of their multi-platinum After the Rain, this album is full of infectious popular rock tracks, ranging from the grittier 'Bad For You' to the the more gentle 'I Wanna Stay Home' and 'Leave the Light On For Me'.

Two and a half successful decades have passed and nothing here has diminished. This fantastic duo have adapted, coming out and, perhaps, going out swinging. If the aptly named Peace Out truly is to be Nelson's swan song, then the band are undoubtedly going out in style.

Review by Phil Bailie



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