Another Swedish sleaze? Bet you think what I think, judging by the band's name, would be doubtful if names like Crashdiet, Nasty Idols, or Hardcore Superstar doesn't fly like a floating gas baloon in your brain, but Naughty Boys’ sophomore release, "Destiny Calls" apparently proved me wrong as their music is more of a border between classic melodic metal of Dokken or Keel and the modern melodic hard rock of Jaded Heart or Gotthard. Mikael Sandvik's vocal work is amazing, he plays at the baritone level most of the time, somehow reminds me of Mike Tramp or the late Steve Lee, but the occasional jump to the upper register is effortless and stunning.
The title track burst with metallic riffs, it has a great start but the chorus just needs a slight improvement to prevail. "Walk Away" took over the moment. The Dokken-esque pattern is obvious here, a better song I must say, and together with "Endless Pain", both songs win my heart. "Don't Turn Around"'s piano intro will mislead you into thinking it's a ballad, but then the distorted guitar swept in fiercely and the rhythm blasted into a gigantic chorus, what a song! The sixth track, "Eternity" is the real ballad, I swear it can be Edguy's lost song, the Sammett's inspiration is everywhere, quite predictable but a good one. "Head Held High" is a midtempo champion with infectious hooks while "Runaway Train" borrows Gotthard's element, and another winner in my book.
With a great production and accomplished musicians, and of course with a tight and strong songs selection, Naughty Boys successfully delivered an excellent release that should make them proud. However, I still think tracks like "Broken", "Time", or the closer ballad, "Fly With The Angels" could have done better. They need to spice up the songs with more memorable hooks and stronger chord progression, but overall, I didn't see any wasteful tracks from start to finish so that's already a neat achievement. Very good album indeed and recommended to fans of melodic metal, glam, and European melodic rock.