Play Your Part


Italian hard rock/power pop power trio SANDNESS took their time with their fourth studio album […]
By Mark Machlay
July 12, 2022
Sandness - Play Your Part album cover

Italian hard rock/power pop power trio SANDNESS took their time with their fourth studio album "Play Your Part" - their third release on their deal with Rockshot Records - and sees them enjoying a more mature and layered sound because of it. The group was formed in 2008 when the duo of bassist/vocalist Mark and drummer/vocalist Metyou joined forces after Mark's previous band broke up when the two were just 16. Guitarist Robby would join just a year later and while the lineup changed a few times, by 2012 they finally decided it would just be the three of them as a power trio. In 2013, their first record "Like an Addiction" would be released through Sleaszy Rider Records followed by "Higher & Higher" in 2016 on the same label. By 2019's "Untamed" they would secure their deal with Rockshot Records with a small Ep entitled "Enter Please" following in 2020. The band has earned their stripes over the years playing alongside and sharing the stage with artists such as LITA FORD, TYGERS OF PAN TANG, and L.A. GUNS.

The new album is produced, mixed and mastered by Michele Guaitoli and features twelve original tracks including a bonus cover version of KISS' "Turn On The Night". The lyrics written for the full length give an insight to how the band kept themselves busy and entertained during the first lockdown in the spring of 2020. The band says that the album "is a different kind of animal from our previous releases, due to the lockdown, we had more time to think and work on the songs. We also worked a lot more with our producer Michele, who helped us bring our music to the next level. The new album is more mature and inspired by different styles: hard rock, classic rock, heavy metal, 70's rock n' roll, but also pop music from different decades. Overall, we want people to feel good when they listen to our songs. We feel our music brings you to a dimension where everything is solvable with some dance moves or some headbanging. Give you the bright side of things to escape the difficult times."

After listening to "Play Your Part" I was surprised by the peppiness and upbeat nature of the band in this day and age, but one thought floated around my brain the entire time: Do we really need more glam rock 30 years after it's heyday? The answer is a tepid 'maybe' as it was refreshing to hear effortless rock and hedonistic lyrics in times like these. The album is certainly a bit poppier than there other releases, but is firmly grounded in that hard/glam rock of the late 80s/early 90s. Opener "High Tide" is fun romp through glam rock tropes and contains enough energy to grab a listener. The second track "Today Tonight" even continues to be carefree, party rock vibe but unfortunately, shows not much poetry from the lyrics. By the third track, "Someone so Bad", the band start to lose its teeth, unfortunately but it still contains some fun lead work with great melodic contour. From there on out, it feels like the album is plagued by a bit too much filler - the misnamed "Supernova", "Give it all", and "Lights On" fail to impress - while still having a banger like "Bad Company" - not a cover - the sleaze rock of "Go With the Flow" and even the decent KISS cover of "Turn on the Night" expose the heavier side of the band that represent the best of what they could do. Next time, they shouldn't delve too far into the pop category and stick with what brought them fame in the past.

7 / 10









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"Play Your Part" Track-listing:

1. High Tide
2. No Filter
3. Someone So Bad
4. Today Tonight
5. Supernova
6. All I've Learnt
7. Be the One
8. Give It All
9. Lights On
10. The One Who Tricked the Devil
11. Bad Company
12. Go with the Flow
13. Turn on the Night (KISS cover - Bonus Track)

Sandness Lineup:

Mark - Bass, Lead and Backing Vocals
Metyou - Drums, Tambourine, Shaker Eggs and Backing Vocals
Robby - Guitars, Lead and Backing Vocals

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