Mike Tramp_ NomadNot that the plethora of throwback retro-thrash bands wasn’t evidence enough, but the 80’s happened. Fashion was horrendous and hairstyles were worse. Nintendo had kids blowing into their cartridges the world over. And on MTV, for every Iron Maiden and Metallica video that was played, there was a gaggle of hair bands saturating the airwaves to the point of ozone layer depletion from all that Aqua Net used. White Lion was one of those bands, enjoying success after success until Kurt Cobain came along and ruined everything for them. Thankfully, times haven’t changed much since the halcyon days of spandex and pink guitars. Fashion and hairstyles are still atrocious. Man is still killing man and the most popular guy in White Lion, who is unfortunately not guitarist Vito Bratta, has a new album coming out. Yes, little child, dry your cryin’ eyes, because Mike Tramp has thrown down Nomad, showing the world that he’s ready to rise again, little fighter that he is, and it’s not good. Oh dear god, it is so not good.

Things begin on an awkward foot when “Give It All You Got” starts playing. Immediately, I’m hearing Tom Petty‘s “I Won’t Back Down” with Tramp yarling over it. Not singing… yarling. Somehow, in the last twenty years, Mike went from singing to becoming the frontman for Lifehouse. His accent hasn’t diminished too much in his years living in Australia and the United States, so for Mike to be singing a country rock tune is a bit off. Further exacerbating the experience are the lyrics, which are as cliché-addled as they get. (“Have you ever had someone you trusted/stab you in the back?”) No, Mike, that’s never happened to everyone in the entire world.

The scary part is that song is probably the best tune on all of Nomad. “High Like a Mountain” requires you to be in a similar state to listen and not laugh hysterically, featuring a very bizarre spoken word piece halfway in where Tramp gives an anti-drug monologue with a fake Texas accent. “No More,” the song which summed up how I felt listening to this album, is actually a very uplifting tune about how the world’s gotten horrible, and has the stirring verse “So if you see me jump off a bridge, don’t worry about me, I’ll be okay (I’m okay, I’m okay).” Not since Hootie & The Blowfish has an uplifting song made me want to not only eat a gun, but also crank some Funeral to help cheer me up. The rest is either soft rock throbbing with bad lyrics (“Bow And Obey”), or country balladry with bad lyrics (“Live To Tell,” “Moving On”).

Mike Tramp_2015

And I just know someone will call me out for reviewing this, knowing my tastes. That said, Europe‘s “The Final Countdown” was my gateway into metal. After a bit of Jameson, I’ve been known to belt out this song while karate-chopping myself in the throat for added vibrato. And yes, “When the Children Cry” does have a soft spot in my blackened heart, hokey lyrics and all [Leave the hall.Steel Hall Monitor]. This is just a very flat “hard rock” album that’s actually more like adult contemporary music, which itself went stale a decade ago. The punchless production didn’t help matters any either.

When I was given this album to review, I admit I didn’t have the greatest of expectations. Even then, Nomad tripped and fell flat on its face, not even clearing the ankle-height bar set for it, and if anything, I feel sad having listened to it. “No More,” indeed [Wait…wait! You never had a chance to love this!Steel Druhm].


Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 160 kbps mp3
Label: Target Group
Website: miketramp.dk
Releases Worldwide: August 28, 2015

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  • I kinda dig that embedded song, though it would be much better with Jorn yarling over it.

    • RDGEEK

      To me, the embedded song isn’t a celebration of individuality. It’s a can’t-face-the-reality-that-I’m-really-fucking-lonely song. A prettier version of a Chris Holmes song…

      • Poor Chris Holmes, forever stuck in my mind drinking vodka and floating in his mom’s pool.

        • RDGEEK

          Yeah, but most people would have worked their way back to some amount of respectability in the 30 years since that was filmed (even Ozzy is doing better). But no, he just keeps getting worse. It’s more like “poorer Chris Holmes” at this point.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Ozzy is doing better? He is little more than Sharon’s trained money-making pet ape!
            I was going to say “house trained money-making pet ape” but it is also very likely he has to wear adult diapers.

          • RDGEEK

            Better than Chris Holmes? Yes.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Well, it´s likely Sharon has hired someone to feed Ozzy and wash him before he goes on show. I guess that counts as better than Chris Holmes?

          • basenjibrian

            Chris Holmes can afford to live in CANNES. Not doing TOO badly! :)

        • Dr_Fisting

          I read the other day that most of that vodka was fake?! It was like finding out there’s no Santa Claus.

          • You’ve ruined my entire worldview. There is no God!

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            SHHHUUUDDD UP

    • Didn’t I fire you like 5 years ago?

      • No, that was Steel…Oruhm.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          I’ll have to google that; but I’m afraid of what I may find.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          LOL best Jorn pun yet!

      • Monsterth Goatom

        So all these reviews of his are done pro bono?

        • Eh, it’s alll pro-bono, man.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            As a New York lawyer, I didn’t think he would stand for that. ; )

          • I’m a lawyer with a heart of gold who only wants to help his fellow man. That and I get a shitload of free promos.

          • He does it for the lurve.

  • Vice-President of Hell

    The Final Countdown was metal?!

    • At the time, sure.

      • Iain Gleasure

        well my introduction was probably April Wine’s Sign of the Gypsy Queen or Ballroom Blitz by Sweet. You can say they aren’t metal but they did lead me to it.

        Granted, my first full album was Appetite for Destruction by GNR. Ah, My Michelle as a six year old who didn’t get the lyrics…

        • “Sign of the Gypsy Queen” is long overdue for a death metal do over.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Never heard “Sign of the Gypsy Queen”. Going to fix that right now.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Now I have listened to “Sign of the Gypsy Queen”.
            As for the studio version, nice guitar work.
            As for the live version, awesome guitar workout

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Ballroom Blitz kicks ass. The whole U.S. release of “Desolation Boulevard” by Sweet kicks ass.

      • Don’t let Jay Goodwin read that or we’ll have a revisionism inti-fada as we had in the MF forums.

        • Carlos Marrickvillian

          I love it when he gets cranky

    • Grymm

      When you’re 10 in the 80’s, it is!

  • Dr. A.N. Grier

    His kickstand down tells me he’s planning on staying there for awhile. That might just be his problem…

    • Pagliacci is Kvlt

      * rear stand*

      • Dr. A.N. Grier

        Tomato. Potato. Same thing.

    • Martin Knap

      standing there and touching himself, apparently…

  • It’s like he’s going for a hybrid of outlaw country and the same offbeat folk stuff Conny Ochs does. Weird.

  • Hideous destructor

    Haha. The final countdown is so awesome. Have good memories of playing whisky bottle guitar in the campsite at hellfest in France as that was playing.

  • Iain Gleasure

    As a huge soccer fan and metalhead it was great for me to hear The Final Countdown redone as the Football Countdown on Youtube for the Premier League Launch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCzhkBCujtE

    • Hideous destructor

      That’s quality! As a Leicester fan, the manager’s handbook on not calling a journalist an ostrich etc is spot on.

      • Iain Gleasure

        as a Swansea fan, know that you will have the support of one Canadian fan in all Leicester games except those involving the Swans.

        • Hideous destructor

          Nice one squire! You’re looking strong the year – should have another good season. Hope you stuff Sunderland tomorrow.

  • sir_c

    Is it me, or do the reviewers have something going recently with the word “throbbing”? I have read at least three reviews in row a today where it is being used. You’ve all been watching Last man standing maybe?

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      No chance. Pure coincidence.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      “Thrust” is another of those wink wink, nudge nudge words. As E.B White writes, “[t]his showy noun, suggestive of power, hinting of sex, is the darling of executives, politicos, and speechwriters. Use it sparingly.”

      While we’re on the topic:

      Cleopatra:
      “Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
      That long time have been barren.”

      That’s what she said.

      • Pervert!

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Blame the old fart from Stratford on Avon. He corrupted me.

          One more! One more!

          “O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!”

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      I noticed that throbbing trend too…

    • Does it make you feel a bit tingly?

      • sir_c

        No it merely complements the videos i watch on my secondmost visited site 😉

  • Wow, this embedded track is pretty good!

    • Who lets you write here, even?

      • It’s a Title IX thing.

      • Dr. Scorpion

        Control your minions!!

        • Unfortuantely, she’s the one with the whip…

          • Dr. Scorpion

            That’s kinky.Hehehe.

          • Things get a little weird around here at the AMG offices.

          • Dr. Scorpion

            But you had gotten yourself a Wife !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • I wasn’t talking about me. I was just talking about how the new guys get to experience real submission before I start editing their texts.

          • The editing process is always painful.

          • Dr. Scorpion

            Madam X isn’t new. I want HMG.

          • You want to be whipped by HMG? How much are you willing to spend?

          • Dr. Scorpion

            More than i spent on the new Trials. Probably twice as much. However, me likey They Became the Falling Ash (Ethereal Shroud for the the numbnuts) more and it was priceless, literally. So in conclusion i think a fair pay would along to exactly *nothing*.

          • Eh. Yeah, that’s unlikely now that he’s [redacted].

          • Dr. Scorpion

            Does she like DT.I mean the other one. Yes, Dream Theater.

      • And the HR roulette says….. “Unindentured servitors are also YOUR responsibility.” Take a card from the Corporate Retirements stack and put it on your weekend slot.

  • If we’re breaking out cheesy ’80s ballads, I just thought I’d leave this one here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa-y5RjL1vg

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      Kill me…

      • You’re just jelly of Seb’s massive pipes.

        • Dr. A.N. Grier

          Oh that must be it. Was wondering what all this throbbing was about.

          • Seb actually made to Broadway as a singer so I guess his pipes are rather massive.

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylbmc1hAofg

            You and I… together in our liiiives.. sacred ties will never fraaaay…

            He’s singing to you, Dr.

          • Seb and Doctor sitting in a tree….

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            He has a rather hypnotizing voice…

          • She caaught the meeelting skyyyy.. it buuurned but still the winter passes byyy and byyyyy… to the ooother siiiiiide…

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8fYiqKbv7g

          • Why is this happening??

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            I blame people that bought these albums. That’s right, it needed to be said.

          • De2013

            First the madness in the Tomb of Finland thread and now this. There really should be a limit on the level of abuse that’s going on on this site.

          • Take the bitter with the sweet, cookie puss!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            THANK YOU, SIR, MAY I HAVE ANOTHER!?!

          • Idle hands are the devil’s plaything!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            I’d like to request some John Denver, please. Thanks.

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Oh yeah, got my Mojo working now. Thanks of muchness.

    • Were we breaking them out?

      • I regret nothing.

        • Oscar Albretsen

          Skid Row. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Makes me think of turning to MTV and every time being annoyed because they were playing one of their music videos.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Cute girl!
      Wait… that´s Sebastian Bach!
      One of the awesomest singers ever in Hard Rock. And I said Hard Rock just not to ruffle any feathers about Skid Row not being Metal.

      • Shangsean

        His vocals were awesome on Frameshift’s Absence of Empathy. Great album.

        • dblbass23

          Yes they were!! Now I’m gonna have to go did that album out and give it a spin or two. Thanks for that!!!

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Now I have to check that album.

      • basenjibrian

        Ironic given how manly man homophobic Mr. Bach is!

        • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

          Maybe he’s trying to compensate for looking SO MUCH like a girl. Even now that he´s older he still looks like an older lady.

    • Martin Knap

      “To be extreme so it seems is a mental crutch
      To cover up for those that are completely out of touch” Chuck S

  • Chris Timbó

    I always mix up Mike Tramp and Tony Harnell and White Lion and TNT. I slept through a White Lion concert in Brazil. Woke up when someone threw the skin of a tom in my direction. What an odd thing to do. Still have the skin though my wife keeps bugging me to throw it out.

    • Harnell had the far better voice. His stuff with Starbreaker is pretty impressive.

      • Chris Timbó

        I have the first album from Starbreaker. I agree. Some tunes from that album are great. The opener is a killer track.
        But in TNT, Harnell was irritating sometimes with his high pitched vocals. Some songs are beyond okay, but I can’t get past how high he sings.

    • dblbass23

      I’m SO jealous of all the stories you guys have. Concerts in Brazil, France….etc. You guys have had such kick ass musical experiences all over the world. And I’m stuck in a backwoods town in NORTHERN GEORGIA. That sucks.

      • Chris Timbó

        Actually, in Rio de Janeiro, we only have a handful of hard rock and metal concerts – or even club shows – a year. We’ve had this year Mr. Big, Winger, Slash, Epica, Judas, and Accept, that I can remember. We’ll have Rock In Rio later, so it’s been a good year so far. Mr Big put a hell of a show and even brought Pat Torpey!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Only because you posted a link to Nirvana´s “Smells like..”
    Am I the only one who hears a lot of Boston’s “More tha a feeling” in that riff?

  • It’s the FINAL countdown…do do, do-do-dee-do….do do, do-do-dee-do…it’s the FINAL countdown…

  • Lasse Momme

    this fucking guy.

    THIS. FUCKING. GUY

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    Hey AMG! You should post an article about 80s nostalgia and let us all have fun in the comments section!
    You could even do it for every decade!

    • Monsterth Goatom

      That would be, like, totally awesome!

  • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

    I feel like I should be in a mediocre bar drinking terrible beer when listening to the embed, but instead I’m sitting in front of my PC attempting to write a wedding speech and drinking terrible beer while listening to this song. Funny how life works out sometimes.

    • Iain Gleasure

      Your first mistake was the beer. Stick to fin la Monde!

      I remember.

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        Last Fin Dude Monde, but you made it 20x more metal with that tiny error. “End the World”!

        • Monsterth Goatom

          I’d drink that.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Me too, Monsterth. Me too.

        • [not a Dr] Gonzalo Salazar

          That’s more kvlt than you realize: end the she-world
          with the she-world itself possibly being the end.
          Crap. I don’t know how to translate engrish. It must be a case of FSL

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Your words sound like the start of a Blues song.

  • even the .dk domain for his site seems to have fallen out of a geocities backup tape.

  • Matt slatz

    Great, now I want to listen to skull fist to get my cheese on……. Thanks

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    High like a mountain could be a John Cougar Mellancamp song … one of his really boring small town blah blah blah songs…Sorry Mike

  • 85 comments for Mike Tramp. That’s the 6th Sign of the Apocalypse!

    • 105. omfg.

      • You’re part of the problem. And now so am I.

        • Grymm

          My third article with over 100 comments on it this year.

          #NotBragging #FuckItImTotallyBragging

  • Doomdeathrosh

    Ok, so if you need to crank some FUNERAL to cheer you up, then yes there is a problem!

  • It was going on pretty well, then the spoken word portion started….. Now I hear why it got a 1.5.

  • Óðinn

    Holy shit. The embedded track is hilariously bad.

    Grymm’s review, however, is well-written and fair.

  • José Luis P.

    Hello, yesterday I listened a song from Mike which said “until the sun comes down on me ” , maybe, something knows the name of the song?, I want listen again that song.Thanks from Colombia.