Finland is renowned for its metal bands but has a very active rock scene as well. I have been gradually discovering this scene in the past few years, and now I am adding a new name to the list of great Finnish rock bands – SIXGUN RENEGADES. The Helsinki-based band made its debut in 2018 with “Sixgun Renegades” and has released its sophomore album, “Push,” on December 18th, 2020, via V.R. Label.
This 8-track album has strong ’70s and ’80s rock and heavy metal vibes and can make one feel nostalgic for the likes of WHITESNAKE, VAN HALEN, or THIN LIZZY while still retaining all the musical elements that define the band’s style as portrayed in their debut album. Sound-wise, the record feels like an offering of modern hard rock, as it is adorned with huge guitars that pour out strong riffs and classy guitar solos, punchy drums, and hooky vocal melodies. Single “Push” leads the way with mid-pace guitars and a steady but groovy melody that is well complemented by the vocals. Up next, both “Don’t Take It for Granted” and “Get a Grip” have a more upbeat tempo, perfect for a bit of headbanging courtesy of the guitars, while the vocal melodies are easy to sing along to. The latter feels like modern-day rock and roll, with a great solo to boot. Moody ballad “There Where I Go” follows, bringing the mood down a bit with its somber atmosphere and dramatic vocal delivery, coupled with strumming guitar melodies and percussions.
The album picks up pace and power with “Antidote,” the fastest song on the album and also the most aggressive, as the drum work is intense and the guitars are fierce, contrasting with the rather simple vocal lines. Groovy bass lines are the backbone for “One Night Love,” a song that seems to come straight from the ’80s and my personal favorite on this album, despite being more dance-friendly than headbang-ish. “Conspiracy” has a more preeminent metal edge to it coming mostly from the repeated guitar riffs and drums, while the chorus kicks things up a notch, only to be matched by the guitar solo, the best one I’ve heard so far from them. Power ballad “Set Me Free” has an old-school vibe to it, not just because of the atmosphere but also because of the vocal delivery and guitar solo. A neat way to close the album.
All-in-all, “Push” is an album that is not just inspired by hard rock icons, but shines their craft in a modern light so as to appeal to the younger generation as well as the older one. With a great production value that makes everything sound crisp and lively, these tunes make for a fun and entertaining listening experience that can only be enhanced by them being performed live.
Written by Andrea Crow
2. Don’t Take It for Granted
3. Get a Grip
4. There Where I Go
6. One Night Love
8. Set me free
Niko Räty – lead vocals and lead guitar.
Samu Tuomi – guitar and backup vocals.
Teemu Räty – drums and backup vocals.
Miko Mattila – bass and backup vocals.
V. R. Label