Review: ERIKA – Deaf, Dumb & Blonde – Escape Music – Release: Out Now.
Erika Wagenius was born on a cold winter night in Skelleftea, Sweden where she started her own band at just 12 years old. In the late 80’s she dated and later married guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen. In 1989 Erika was offered her first record deal and recorded “Cold Winter Night”. An album she co-wrote which proved to be a resounding success. Her marriage with Yngwie ended in 1992 and she found herself back in Stockholm and recorded two more successful albums. Her later albums were only released in Japan and were a big success in the land of the rising sun. In 2014 Erika started to record the sixth outing “Deaf, Dumb & Blonde”. On this recording are band members from Europe, Candlemass and In Flames.
Opener ‘Killer’ shows a great combination of catchy dance keys and short riffs. Erika’s voice still sounds powerful and she knows how to rock. Her new style isn’t as melodic as her first album and also not like the naughty girl pop-rock from her Japan releases! Now she stands for decent melodic rock with an emphasis on her voice, but where the guitar has some input as well.
‘Suckerpunch’ has some modern metal influences and shows the more rocking side of Erika. The chorus with the almost happy keys adds an AOR touch. Her darker vocal style emerges during ‘Drama’. I’m pleased that the keys are always present besides the crunchy guitars. ‘Sleeping With A Memory’ is a good example of that symbiosis. She walks the sensual, mysterious path with ‘Once Upon A Time’ and takes a turn to the heavy side with her aggressive vocals in ‘Go Down’. ‘Us Fools’ starts very sensitive and this track follows the well-known power ballad format. ‘One For The Road’ comes close to her early work! Yeah, the girl is blonde, but I won’t call her deaf or dumb in a million years!
Score: 3,9 out of 5
Text by: Rik Bauters