Sound: Here is the Swedish rock band Burning Engines with their sophomore release And A Good Time Was Had By All. This act was formed by ex-singer of metal band Embraced Kalle Johansson. As he said, he just wanted to run away from the "growling" and "no-swing" attitude of his previous creative work. Being inspired by the hard rock and metal tunes of '70s-'80s, Kalle -- along with the rest of band members who have come from other bands as well (Evergray, Soilwork and Funhouse) -- formed Burning Engines. They made their stage debute at a local open air festival in 2001 and their debute CD was released shortly after it through German label Daredevil Records. It seems that Kalle Johansson really got his own way to play very easy hard rock with a touch of trash metal germs on And A Good Time Was Had By All. They play their music with a good share of self-confidence -- such music isn't popular these days, and this fact strengthen the overall impressions of the album.
Though that positive vibe has nothing to do with the production level of it -- sometimes it's just terrible. Instruments are absolutely unbalanced and make the effect of a cacophony. Sometimes it looks like it was recorded in the garage with the worst and most cheap gear you can get and with no sound engineers at all. Besides, the album lack of interesting riff material -- it's just a straightforward powerchords with a trite drum beats and absolutely indiscernible bass parts. // 2
Lyrics: Johansson's singing skills doesn't impress me too much either. For the most part, it's a jerky screaming without any expression which could be the consequence of the black/goth background of the band's members. The only decent track with fairly good vocals is "I Think I Hate You" that features smooth and soft voice in verses. Album lyrics has the common rock n' roll themes of '80s -- reckless life and its attributes. Definitely won't touch your soul. // 4
Overall Impression: It's evident that Burning Engines don't seek glory from young audience placing the emphasis on the older hard rock audience -- in '80s this album might be popular. One of the biggest imperfections of And A Good Time is still that terrible sound quality -- I really don't understand how garage-quality record can get outside of a small bar gig?! Last but not least flaw is the lack of expressiveness of their music in general. All in all, I doubt they will ever rise from the underground to occupy anything essential on the modern rock scene. // 2