Power of Metal.dk Review

Relaunch II
Style: Hard Rock / AOR
Release date: 8 September, 2014
Playing time: 38:00

The Swedish classy hard rock project Houston is back with a new album. 'Relaunch II' contains 6 cover songs from John Farnham, John O’Banion, One Republic, Rick Springfield, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Gaga and 4 brand new songs from the band. A quote from the frontman Hank Erix: "The band has gone through some changes, we have a new line-up and we want this album to show that we are still paying tribute to the music that inspired us to form the band that is Houston today and that we're experimenting a lot more than ever. We’ve got a brilliant new band both on record and live and we live in such an interesting musical time where we can experiment with different genres".

A very diverse album with some excellent covers of some timeless songs, but I like their own songs the best actually. 'Don't Look Back' is a classic AOR song with fantastic vocals from Hank Erix and very captivating guitars. Next 'new song' is 'Our Love', which is also an AOR soaring song with strokes from Toto, Survivor, Foreigner. The easygoing and positive song 'Downtown' makes you feel good and is a perfect song to have in the ears when you run. The fourth 'new' song is the closing track 'Standing on the Moon'.

The cover songs are well done and the production is flawless, but I wanted to hear more of their own songs. I hope that they return with a full length album with 100% Houston songs. This felt like an EP filled with covers. They can do better than this. 

Current line-up:
Hank Erix (Lead vocals)
Ricky Delin (Keyboards/Backing vocals)
Soufian Ma'Aoui (Bass)
Calle Hammar (Guitars/Backing vocals)
Victor Lundberg (Keyboards/Backing vocals)
Oscar Lundström (Drums)

01. Justice For One (Originally by John Farnham)
Love Is Blind (Originally by John O’Banion)
Counting Stars  (Originally by One Republic)
Souls (Originally by Rick Springfield)
Don't Look Back
Cruise (Originally by Florida Georgia Line)
Do What You Want  (Originally by Lady Gaga)
Our Love
Standing On The Moon
Label: Livewiew
Distribution: Cargo Records
Artwork rating: 78/100
Reviewed by: Patrik Skoglund
Date: 2 September, 2014
Website: www.facebook.com/houstonsweden