Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Forgotten Gems: Tindrum-Drums Of War


Tindrum was a obscure Norwegian melodic hard rock act that was active during the late part of the eighties. The band was formed when drummer Morton "Diesel" Dahl decided in October of 1987 that, after three albums with the band, it was time to move on from TNT. Along with a female vocalist by the name of Tove the band was rounded out by bassist Sid Ringsby (who would later play in with TNT himself on the album "All The Way To The Sun") and guitarist Trond Ojen. "Drums Of War" was the group's debut album and the lone album to feature Tove (she would be replaced by TNT's own Dag Ingebrigtsen for the follow-up album "How ´Bout This"). It is also the only album I have by Tindrum as I was never quite sold on the band's other releases. Now, for what it is worth supposedly Dag wrote half of the material for "Drums Of War" (according to online sources since all I have is the MP3s of this album-more on that later) so there is a bit of a TNT vibe going on with Tindrum, but this debut album is so much more to me. I've always loved female-fronted hard rock/heavy metal and this release was a real treasure find. Lead-singer Tove (who must have sung on some other release with her amazing voice-does anyone know?) gives the album that extra spark. Without her this would just be fairly typical AOR/melodic hard rock. She has one of those voices where you try to place it (on the cut "Stranger In Paradise" she definitely sounds like one of Heart's Wilson sisters), but in the end all you can say is that she has this wonderful style. I've read where some people say she sounds almost masculine in style, but I have to question whether they are listening to the same album that I am. Yes, she sounds like she should be fronting a eighties hard rock band with her forceful voice. But, if you can't tell she is a female singer then maybe you need to get out more of broaden your opinion of powerful woman rockers! They can (and do) pull of the same sort-of high pitched vocals that their "guy" counterparts achieve in hard rock/glam metal. When they sing like this you have to take notice. Anyway, opener "Drums Of War", which was a national number 1 hit for the band in Norway, is so freaking catchy it's unreal. How did I live without this album? "Horoscope" is next and it is here where you get that "that sounds a bit like TNT" vibe going on. Other than TNT (and the beforehand Heart reference) you can hear some Night Ranger, Europe, Scandal, Headpins (great band by the way!), Survivor and Hardline in the bands superb sound. Most frequent readers of our blog will know that I am not that into AOR/hard rock, but with a singer like this it's an easy listen! Tove just makes everything sound better. Now, I already mentioned the cool "Stranger In Paradise" so moving on you have "Midnite Dynamite" (just plain fun) and the killer TNT-like "Rain". As I type up this review I'm listening to the album again and, even if it just screams eighties rock, I just love the next cut "Hello, The World Is Callin". There are so many cool cuts on this album though. I actually like all of them and could listen to the album straight through without hitting skip once (a rare feat for me I admit) with the exception of one song choice. I can take or leave Tindrum's cover of the Bad Company track "Can´t Get Enough Of Your Love". It's a bit dry for my tastes so thankfully Tindrum close out the album with three great tracks in "Miracle Of Love", "Keep Runnin'" and the (no it isn't another cover) heavy rocker "Once Bitten, Twice Shy". Simply put this is a classic album and one that never gets old for me. As much as I would love a copy of this on CD it has achieved cult-status (as it is OOP) and fetches a high dollar amount on Ebay. When I say high I mean high ( if I remember correctly the CD has sold for well over $200.00 before if not much, much more!) . It was due for a re-release, but that was some time ago so who knows if that will ever happen. Thankfully you can download the album off of Itunes or Amazon for under $10.00. As I said I'm not to into the band's follow-up as honestly it comes off as just TNT with a different name. This album though is quite excellent and I would love to find out what became of Tove after "Drums Of War".

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