Debut Review has taken us on a long and winding road over the past few months. We’ve visited everywhere from Synth Metal City to Jazz Guitar Grove with layovers at Electronica and Popville along the way. And the next stop on our new music freight train takes us all the way to Finland with the 80s inspired rock anthems of The Nights. This Finnish four piece’s self-titled debut is an unashamedly kitsch affair, but one that’ll have you reaching for your air guitar right from the first track. Here’s what we thought.

It seems as though everywhere you go nowadays, you can’t move for 80s nostalgia. A decade synonymous with shoulder pads and phones the size of small countries has become the darling of modern pop culture. Everything from Stranger Things to Star Wars is positively dripping in the stuff. And this album, with its swirling guitars and stadium inspired anthems, is no different. Taking cues from classic acts like White Snake and Skid Row, The Nights plays like a love letter to the forgotten genre of old school melodic rock.

All the ingredients are certainly there. From billowing keyboard lines that swirl like cyclones to face melting guitar solos, The Nights rattles through the power ballad check list with aplomb. Frying Aerosmith vocals? Yep. Twangy Bryan Adams guitars? You bet. Fist-pumping, air-grabbing whoah-ohs? Don’t even ask. Throw into the mix some pitch perfect choruses and you’ve got a record that is not just refreshingly polished but oddly satisfying.

But what of the tracks themselves? Well, In a Blink of an Eye is prime lip-pouting head-bopping territory while Hold On sounds like it was recorded on top of a mountain to a legion of leather vested devotees. Keep your ears peeled for Juliette, which should ideally be played over slow motion footage of Steven Seagal opening can after can of red hot whoopass. Yes the lyrics are, for the most part, a little cringy (‘So far away/ So far away / I miss you more than I can say’) but, let’s be honest, you’re not coming here for poetry.

This album could’ve all gone horribly wrong. The Nights are paddling in a genre that runs deep with parody and pitfalls. However, the energy and enthusiasm of these Scandi songsmiths is immensely contagious. Sons and daughters of the noughties may struggle to comprehend this record but if you’re looking for a dose of Journey-esque feel good, look no further.

There’s not one drop of irony in this debut and the result is a collection of guilty pleasures fit for gorging on. Think of it as the musical equivalent of scoffing a whole box of Celebrations. Not the finest quality but, good heavens, it’s tasty. So unwrap my friends, and chow down on some sickeningly sweet 80s power ballads.

ArtKompetes says: 3/5

Standout Track: Juliette

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