Jorn - Bring Heavy Rock to the Land (Frontiers)

Jorn lets no-one down with another batch of rock solid rockers, but is that enough?
Release Date: 
31 May 2012 - 11:30pm

Norwegian throatsmith par excellence Jorn Lande. Where does he fit in these days? It’s a relevant question to ask, I think, given the dependably solid likes of this, his latest release on Frontiers Records. Lande appears to have been freeze dried in 1985; At the very least he’s a man born tragically out of time, unable (or more likely unwilling) to move on from the comfort of a decade where every whim that he’d doubtless cherish was accommodated without even the blink of an eye.

How else can you explain the presence of a clunker like the title track on an album that bears the release date of 2012? Songwise it’s enjoyable enough, a plodding hard rocker that carries a nice chorus and some convincing riffage under it’s coal-black wings, but the sentiment espoused in the title and lyrics therein would have made even Ronnie James Dio in his heyday choke on his rogan josh, even though the man himself was churning out such classic leather n’studs designs for living as We Rock and Stand Up and Shout.

A Thousand Cuts is a better song, a great one even, but again it brings with it a chest-clogging patina of eighties vintage dust that gets in the way of the listeners ultimate enjoyment. Look, I’m as mired in the legend of singers like Dio and David Coverdale as the next man, I really am, but those two names guarantee top notch songwriting at all times and, for all his magnificent vocal prowess, Lande just cannot match them when it comes to a hummable tune. Ergo the presence of a cover on this album like Christopher Cross’s Ride Like the Wind, which is almost indistinguishable from Saxon’s mid eighties attempt at same (minus the hilarious video, natch. You get the sense Jorn is deadly serious about all of this.)

All of which leaves us in a difficult position. As a fan I love Jorn Lande unconditionally; I love the fact that he still, apparently without irony, wants to creare music like this, and I love listening to it. It’s just that, every time I walk away from one of his releases it’s with a sense of slight disappointment that he once again hasn’t quite lived up to my expectations in terms of goods deliverance. That may be my fault as much as Lande’s, but this album is no different to the man’s last four or five outings in that respect. Great voice, good album, and that’s it.