The story so far….
The Night Flight Orchestra (NFO for short) are what happens when members of various metal bands in Sweden decide to have a bit of fun. Founded by 2 members of Soilwork (Bjorn Strid vocals and David Andersson guitar) back in 2007 due to an idea they had whilst in the US. As they were driving the many miles between shows they tried to put together the perfect rock soundtrack for the journeys. They eventually thought they should create their own so invited others to join in creating some music that would make that soundtrack.
They are a band that has passed me by until now on the release of what is their fourth album since 2012. The word “soundtrack” is very appropriate as virtually all the songs on the album sound like they could have come from television shows and movies that came out in the 1980s!
General View Of The Album
The songs at times are ridiculously cheesy but in the most fun of ways. The musicianship is absolutely top-notch throughout and the production crystal clear and the vocals clean and strong. Due to the clarity of the voices, the lyrics are easy to make out making a singalong an absolute breeze.
There are lots of nods winks and direct lifting from older songs but done in such a way it becomes like a game of “I’ll name that song in….” at times. The influences are obvious in some places but not others. Including Deep Purple, Kiss, Reo Speedwagon, Springsteen, Rick Springfield and (whisper it) Wham amongst others. If Miami Vice ever do another movie then I reckon they could just use this album throughout it.
Some Of The Highlights On The Album Song Wise
Highlights for me include album opener “This Time” which could have been a track from “Perfect Strangers” era Deep Purple (although with more than a hint of the opening of “Fireball”) mixed with latter-day Rainbow. Terrific opening track which should kill live onstage.
“Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough” is the ultimate pop rock type track. With a huskier vocal than the rest and an extremely bouncy chorus which has a hook large enough to catch the biggest of whales, this is joyous. Ok, it is not metal, but that is kind of the point. Parping keys and melodies but yet with great guitar soloing to keep in on the right side of rocking.
“Speedwagon” is another track that merges that 80s pop rock with hard rock. Not sure if this is a direct name check of the band of a similar name, but the guitar at one point is all Celtic in the “Wild Frontier” Gary Moore type way.
“Lovers In The Rain” opens with a guitar motif that is so reminiscent of something else which I cannot work out (to my annoyance), has the cheesiest of chorus (you will end up singing it, even the black metal fans reading this, it is so infectious that no vaccine could stop it happening) and has dynamics and a sound that is very Ultravox.
“Barcelona” would easily win the Eurovision Song Contest if it was entered. A mix of Europe and Avantasia but with the pop sensibilities of Abba. If this is played in a rock metal club after a few beers watch the floor fill up with folks singing their heads off. If it doesn’t make you smile you are dead on the inside.
I could go on but hopefully, you already have the idea. This is the perfect album for chilling outside on a sunny day at a barbeque, for driving around in an open top sports car (if anyone can afford one) or half pissed on a dance floor on a Saturday (actually ANY day) night.
Have fun with friends spotting what comes from where, and if anyone works out where the opening guitar melody on “Lovers In The Rain” comes from please let me know.
I won’t spoil it but keep your ears open for definite nods to Kiss’s“I Was Made For Loving You”, guitar work from a section of Pink Floyd’s“The Wall” and Springsteen’s(made famous by Patti Smith) “Because The Night”. There are more and I am sure I have missed some as well as I hear stuff on every play of it.
Great fun all round. Would be easy to be a bit po-faced due to the cheesiness but there are times to have fun. This album by the NFO delivers that in abundance.
Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough is out June 29, 2018, on Nuclear Blast Records.