Night Laser – Power to Power Review

Allow me to be upfront with you all. I only took this promo to stop Holdeneye from getting his grubby, overly generous meat mittens on it and awarding it a Skelatorian 4.0 regardless of intrinsic goodism. Such selfless promo blocks are required of the one who bears the title of Lord Protector of AMG’s Metal Cred, and I’m just doing what other mighty heroes from history would do in my stead. It takes a toll though, as Night Laser burns brightly with cheese-tastic awfulness on third album Power to Power. A self-proclaimed “heavy glam metal” band hailing from Germany, Night Laser attempt to “take the Sunset Strip to Hamburg” with a kind of goofy quasi-hair style that sounds like it was written for inclusion on a Saved by the Bell episode only to be watered down further by some overweening, PMRC-esque government committee. These night lights only had one job, yet they still forgot the heavy portion of their “heavy glam” attack, offering only lifeless sorta-metal tunes as awkward as a 12 year old boy at his first school dance. The band does incorporate elements of power metal at times, but it’s all so much weak sauce pablum with a side of cringe-slaw. This hero business is for the fookin’ birds, kids.

Your disaster warning lights will go into overdrive as soon as opener “Street King” kicks off with a decidedly hokey and awkward chorus. It’s like 3rd tier Gwar without their sly sense of humor – heavy metal at its most brainless. They did however get Gerre of Tankard to add guest vocals, which seems just about on brand for those German drunkards. The title track jumps into a haphazard blend of hair metal and Euro-power that’s bad enough to make you cry black tears of wengeance, despite a chorus that isn’t awful. The lyrics are absolute dreck though and they embarrass me on a subatomic level. The power metal fetish reappears on “Satao” and it’s not much of an upgrade, though at least it sounds more like actual metal. Things get far worse on “Kiss Me Today” which is shamelessly awful cock rock full of juvenile sexual innuendos so bad that the song should be memorialized in carbonite Velveeta as a warning to future generations.

Things do not improve as we slog along. “Prime Minister of Rock and Roll” is like lobotomized Saxon trying to be sassy, and “Energy Man” is an ode to coffee and stimulants that makes me want to take a fistful of sleeping pills with a pitcher of hobo wine. Surprisingly, Night Laser are actually capable of writing a somewhat decent song, and “The Game” is serviceable heavy metal. It’s not anything special or essential, but it’s not utter shite either. Power ballad “Comet” isn’t a total dumpster fire either, though the repeat refrain of “here comes the last day on Earth” makes me wish it was true after an extended stay with the glowsticks.

At 50 minutes, Power to Power comes dangerously close to a violation of U.N. human rights law, and I can’t manage it all in one sitting because I have my pride. The album also lacks any sense of cohesion as the band tries to deliver hair, glam, cock, power and heavy metal, managing to do none of them well. Sole guitarist Tony can actually play and uncorks some respectable solos and riffs here and there, making me wonder why he sticks around. Frontman Benno tries to straddle the line between Vince Neil and Kai Hansen and fails spectacularly in the process. He would be a workable hair metal singer, but his upper register wails make my eyes leak spinal fluid and his often silly delivery induces homicidal ape rage. I can’t say the band is composed of talentless hacks, but I can say they don’t take their career as song writers seriously.

It’s difficult to avoid viewing Power to Power as anything more than a ham-fisted parody of metal. If it’s not a parody, it’s just really, really awful. Listening to this album multiple times was on par with any five of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, and I’m left jaded, bitter and bewildered by the experience. Laser burns are painful and I need a sabbatical, suspicious or otherwise. Run from the light.

Rating: 1.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Out of Line Music
Releases Worldwide: August 28th, 2020

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