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With a “Bang“, Gotthard are back two years after releasing their last album. “Bang” is the second album with new singer, Nic Maeder, who replaced Steve Lee, who passed away in 2010. When Gotthard released their last record, “Firebirth”, fans were still curious to see how the new singer would fit in – that´s normal. And Nic was perfectly able to prove his worth and most fans were happy. The fresh breeze was good for the band as you could hear on “Firebirth” and now, also on “Bang”.
Besides offering typical Gotthard songs, the guys also had fun again to try new stuff and even take some risks. On “C´est la Vie”, for instance, they are accompanied by an accordion and for “Maybe”, they brought in guest vocalist, Melody Tibbits, who, however, sounds a bit feeble next to Maeder, when they sing together. For it to work at all, Nic really needs to hold back and sing very softly. The song also sounds a bit too much like Disney/Country/Pop, for my taste, I think a rocker voice would have been a better fit for this duet. But still, I think it´s great that they gave someone, who is not well known, this unique opportunity play music with them.
The rest of the album is typical Gotthard – in their best days. Vocalwise, it seems that Nic Maeder is more willing to let himself go on this record. He tries out more things, and no matter if it´s a rocky voice or a slicker one for the ballads, everything sounds perfect. Sometimes I wish the chorus had more ´bite´ – with “Bang” or “Jump the Gun”, for example, the vocals could have been a bit dirtier. And I´m pretty sure, Maeder is capable of delivering that dirt. Otherwise, every song harmonizes 100%: vocals, guitars, bass and drums are perfectly orchestrated and also the re-discovered fondness of trying out new things had a positive effect on “Bang”. So, after the breath-taking Firebirth, we hear a loud Bang. It´s an awesome second record with Maeder, who definitely is a valuable addition for Gotthard in their new era.