80sclassicbutton3.gif (5086 bytes)80s Classic for September 200280sclassicbutton3.gif (5086 bytes)

Track Listing
1. I've Got the Power
2. Freeway blues
3. She's no lover
4. California
5. Love killer
6. Light up the sky
7. Cold blooded
8. Fireball
9. Double dealer
10. Gone with the wind

Polygram 1988

mydra.jpg (30585 bytes)


More Releases by Mydra:
Mydra II (1990/2002)
Related Releases (sound):
Dalton - Injection (1989)
Dalton - The Race is On (1987)


I've often lamented over the many bands that had so much potential but slipped right between the cracks despite their quality material and top notch performances, delivered on a sliver platter to the public but landed straight in the dumpster. Britian and the Americas were the main mining places for rock talent through the 80s (and continue so today) and perhaps these foriegn outfits just didn't have the cash backing to push their way across the ocean and find a place on playlists on our local radio stations. More tragic things have happened, true, but its a shame that such wonderful music was virtually unheard of except by the most avid collectors. Hamburg, Germany's Mydra is just another example of a band that could have been big, but were victims of record labels, location and lack of publicity. If it isn't heard on radio or seen on tv, then to the vast majority of the sheep-ish public, it simply doesn't exist. Thus was Mydra's downfall. America and Japan didn't even get a chance to make or break the cd, so the ol song and dance of what could have been echos through the album as a ghost of yesterday.

Their debut was also sadly the last time anyone heard from the band. Unleashed in 1988, right in the midst of the metal crazed world, it was also barely even glanced at before being discarded. It did not exactly enjoy a large printing in the first place, thus sparking the story that has repeated itself tenfold in the past few years. Melodic fans started discovering these gems by word of mouth and a new form of communication known as the internet, and suddenly everyone wanted a piece of this now highly touted 'classic'. Maybe if these latecomers had been all over it in the first place when the disc was hot and new, we would have heard alot more about Mydra and less about Poison, Britny Fox and their mainstream embraced brethren. As good as radio's glammy darlings were, their musical stuff just wasn't measuring up to unknown acts that were swept under the rug such as Mydra. While this lone and lonely debut was the only thing released for over a decade, a second album was recorded in 1990 but sat in the vaults until just recently, where it was made available just this summer (2002).

But is the music any good? Yes it most certainly is, but perhaps not as lofty as the pricetags that have been attached to it in online auctions across the net and back again. But that shouldn't deter AOR enthusiasts, it definitely doesn't mean that it is NO good, in fact, some of it is quite delictable hard rock in various forms, the best being that gooey sweet Scandinavian aftertaste. Musically they have been compared to a mixture of Melidian and Dalton. Vocalist Andre Martelli (ex Rampage) was along for the ride, but left shortly afterwards due to musical differences. His midrange is extremely pleasant, masculine without being too gravelly (although the gritty howls are coaxed up for select tracks) and overall is just a nice set of pipes. Bassist Jan S. Eckert will be familiar to power metal fans, he's now a regular staple in another German based band, the ever popular Iron Saviour.


01.] "I've Got the Power"
"The Power of Greyskull!" Oops OK so this isn't He-Man (or She-Ra for that matter!) but what this definitely IS is an anthem opening that's quite the killer! The chorus is a dream, not as big as the splendidly deep verses hint it to be, but rather it takes a step down and just soars with head nodding goodness instead of the fist pumping one would think. A bit of a disappointment there, but it does take the listener offguard instead of delivering the expected. An impressive array of dueling keyboards and so-cold-its-hot guitar levels the playing field and lets the vocals strut their stuff, from rippling smooth in a laid back style to the rougher edged approach on the chorus, all backed by powerful production and an overall sound that just screams "HUGE!" More hooks than you can hang your hat on, and plenty of key/guitar and all guns blazing melodies thundering with lightning love for AOR fans to rejoice in.

02.] "Freeway Blues"
A-ok hard rock basically by the numbers with some bluesy influences that can be spotted in there. Rough riffing that is set aside for the uneven vocals that bounce up and down the spectrum in a Charlie Daniels "Devil Gone Down to Georgia" way. Instead of breaking out into a hellish fiddle fantasy, it zips into chugging hard rock that kicks a little dirt and grit into the mix. Overall decent, worth a listen but not tipping the scales in the spectacular direction at all.

03.] "She's No Lover"
Dramatics for the opening, with bass and keys dueling in their subdued manner and an ultra addictive electric guitar riff sliding in, monsterous! The chorus is whipped out with a painful unfurling. "She's no" zooms by but the emphasis is based around the word, "lover" which is held onto and twisted up and then swung downward, wrung until nothing is left. And that guitar, it pops up and hypnotizes with its simple riffing that is amazingly haunting, spread thin and cast to the background by the sparkling mystical keys that dance with fire alight. This electric born riff slips back in for a repeat of the chorus, the core focus of the song, turning it from 'just another AOR track' into something that paints the sky with lights made of magic.

04.] "California"
This one kind of reminds me of Van Halen (David Lee Roth era). Cute and summery, the guitar is big and chunky, the vocals raw and loose. The title word is repeated a little too often for comfort, in that near shrieky scream on the "Cali", the "for" held a bit too long, and "nia" wizzing by like a rock through a glass window. Unique and surprising the first time, but irritating on multiple crash throughs.

05.] "Love Killer"
I do believe the band released this as a single, and of course there's method to the madness. Its booming with melodic mastery in that familiar Icon/Dalton way. The sweeping chorus mops the floor with most of their contemporaries, repeated a tad too often but its juicy enough to partake in with glee each go-round. It flows with such smoothness that there's nothing to trip one up on with multiple listens. Well done all around, with its attention to detail and tightened melodies.

06.] "Light Up the Sky"
Not too remarkable, but lots of fun anyway. This is a souped up "California", with more power, punch and extravagance. Highly reminiscent of Def Leppard in their "Pyromania" form but with loads more keyboards and Andre whipping out the verses with a hefty Joe Elliot tilt (the young and higher pitched "High N Dry" Elliot), especially in his run together phrasing of the rushed and linked "sky-tonight". Bouncing with bountiful energy, its a cool sendup of the times. Just hearing them talk about '87 makes the years slide away.

07.] "Cold Blooded"
The guitar is swung to the forefront, and not in the subtle manner seen on "She's No Lover", but truly in your face, the center sizzling with electrical fireworks. Loose with some thunder rumbling, not worth writing home about but still cool.

08.] "Fireball"
Eddie Van.... ah wait! Alic Stephen! This rollicking instrumental is a bit too much "Hot For Teacher". Nice diversion for a couple of runs through but after that, its best skipped. Why prolong the wait for the really great stuff when you can hop right into the middle of it?

09.] "Double Dealer"
A powerful slab of top notch AOR. This song alone makes the cd worth picking up. It has everything a melodic loving fan lusts for: positively massive keyboards, huge guitar chords, and melodramatics abound with hushed sections that abruptly break into full fledged melodic winged glory. It twists our emotional strings, the ease of manipulation of the senses, but is done so skillfully no one cares. The chorus soars, packed to the bursting point with instruments flying everywhere and vocal harmonies let loose with wild abandon. Great stuff.

10.] "Gone With the Wind"
Another big AOR track, this one with the rock boosted to the max. The quieter areas are reminiscent of storyteller musicians like early John Mellencamp fused with 70s acoustic Led Zeppelin, seen in the relaxed singing style and sparse musical background. But all of that is long gone and just as easily forgotten with the blink of an eye and the blinding of sound. A surging burst into the mammoth chorus that lays on the pumping keyboards, multi textured vocal harmonics slamming us into the decadent delights of keyboard flurries frolicking with the scorching guitar meeting on equal ground and killer addicting melodies.


Rumors have circulated of the band re-releasing this sometime in the future for the benefit of those that missed out on it the first time through since it never even made it to US or Far East shores. Its definitely worth a second look for hot shot material such as the easy Scandi influenced AOR of "Double Dealer", the haunting atmosphere of "She's No Lover", the sweeping "Gone With the Wind" and the anthemic opening track, not to mention that 'legend' cult status that hangs over the proceedings like a spirit from the past. For those without deep pockets or lack of patience, there's always "Mydra II", a worthy successor.

Songs - 8.0, Performance - 8.0, Production - 7.7, Lyrics - 7.5
Hot Spots: "Double Dealer", "She's No Lover", "I've Got the Power"
Bottom Line: Never found US shores and doesn't quite live up to extreme cult status, but a solid hard rock release throughout.

Review by Alanna Evans -

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