No doubt about it: The great musical evolvement of Hamburg sleaze rockers Night Laser can be felt in every single note on their latest studio album, ‘Call Me What You Want’. The five-piece have combined the experience gained from their three previous albums, ‘Fight For The Night’ (2014), ‘Laserhead’ (2017) and ‘Power To Power’ (2020), and more than two hundred concerts. They have incorporated the result into their most varied and powerful studio production to date, a collaborative effort by band founders/brothers Benno (vocals) and Robert Hankers (bass), new additions Felipe Zapata Martinez, Vincent Hadeler (both guitar) and drummer Ingemar Oswald, producer Dirk Schlächter (Gamma Ray, Ross The Boss) and mixing/mastering pundit Eike Freese (Deep Purple, Helloween, Simple Minds, among others). ‘Call Me What You Want’ will be available from 24 May 2024 on Steamhammer/SPV on CD, vinyl and for digital download, with at least four singles including videos (the album’s openers ‘Bittersweet Dreams’ and ‘Way To The Thrill’, the hell-raising ‘Laser Train’ and the anthem ‘Don’t Call Me Hero’) out ahead of the album release.

While there is of course a number of reasons for the impressive result, one in particular stands out: ‘Call Me What You Want’ is based on real teamwork! “In contrast to our previous releases, this time we threw the ideas and visions of everyone involved together, mixed all the different components and then brought out the best in every one of us at the studio,” enthuses bassist Robert Hankers, adding: “This has made the material even more versatile and multi-faceted. In our case, it was really helpful to have so many different cooks from the beginning.”

In addition to the inspired songwriting, which impresses with strong guitar riffs and striking vocal lines and holds some real surprises in store – including the German-language country cover ‘Über-Alman’ and the expansive ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ (a hot mix of power metal and ballad) –, ‘Call Me What You Want’ also thrives on its vibrant studio production. “Dirk is an old-fashioned guy in the most positive sense of the word, he expected our best musical performance, working with him was a bit like going through a school of hard knocks,” says Benno Hankers, looking back on fruitful but exhausting days at the studio. “But the effort was well worthwhile, not least because Eike has achieved such a warm and lively mix.” Eike Freese mixed and mastered ‘Call Me What You Want’ at the renowned Chameleon Studio in Hamburg.

As well as the excellent vocal performance, technically accomplished guitars, including some twin guitar solos, and the tight bass/drums rhythm section, the breathtaking contributions of the three guest musicians are also an integral part of the homogeneous sound. Robert Hankers: “We deliberately opted for slightly more conspicuous keyboards and targeted splashes of colour courtesy of cello and violins to achieve the most multi-layered sound possible.”

In line with this are themes of the songs, which Benno Hankers contributed. He says: “There are only anti-standards on ‘Call Me What You Want’, in other words no lyrics about women, cars or parties, those clichés are all things of the past! Instead, I prefer to play with metaphors and, in addition to some personal topics, I also talk about socio-critical aspects that may open our listener’s eyes.” This goal shouldn’t be overly difficult to achieve for Night Laser, as their fans’ ears are likely to be wide open after the first few notes of ‘Call Me What You Want’.

17 april 2024
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