I'm weird when it comes to music. For some reason, I like some bands because they are light and poppy, and I hate other bands for the same reason. White Lion is one of those bands. I liked the light airheaded feel of 80's White Lion while publicly deriding several bands from the era that were striving for that exact thing.
Not that Mike Tramp and those guys were totally wimpy (some songs from early White Lion crunched along quite nicely actually) but Tramp's voice always seemed to lend a pop feel even though the music might have been metal. The new album, Return Of The Pride, loses some of that I think. Not that it's bad, but when I listened to it this morning (and it's blasting through MFA corporate right now, much to Crazy and Joe's chagrin) I felt like Tramp was trying too hard to be hard when everyone knows that hard is not what made White Lion a multi-million record selling band.
The first thing you can tell, as you would probably expect, is that the dude playing guitar for White Lion is not Vito Bratta. That probably speaks volumes as to why this album doesn't appeal to me very much, as it was Bratta's hooks and solos that made me a fan in the first place. It's definitely lacking his touch, and with Tramp's singing style and delivery certainly changed, it seems obvious that White Lion is wanting to go in a different direction with their style of rock and roll.
Nothing wrong with that, for sure, but I guess I was just wishing for some stuff that sounded like the old days. Sangre de Christo certainly stands out among these new songs, as it was one that really got me going. The others are good (don't get me wrong, I don't want to be totally negative) but not good enough to truly stand out to me.
White Lion's new album is Return Of The Pride. We look forward to seeing them out on the road this year and we are certainly glad they are still putting out new music. Check out some audio samples right here
on their website.