Wim R. : What happens if you toss four Finnish guys and a Chilean dude in a blender? You get the classic rock band Wishing Well, rooted in Finland. The band released their first album ‘Chasing Rainbows’ in 2016. ‘Rat Race’ is a logical follow up in sound and songs, but on this new album we have Chilean vocalist Rafael Castillo behind the mike. And that is quite an improvement when compared with the singer that was in the band during the first album. Another valuable addition is Hammond organ player Arto Teppo. The man in charge however is guitarist Anssi Korkiakoski (also the manager by the way). All songs were penned by Anssi Korkiakoski, busy guy to say the least. But Anssi knows how to write a classic rock song for sure.
Wishing Well could be best described as the Finnish answer to Rainbow. This is a really great album Korkiakoski is definitely influenced by a certain Ritchie Blackmore listening to his guitar playing and especially the solos. I get the influences, just look at the promotional photo, these guys are all beyond their forties is my guess. After the strong openers ‘Wheeling And Dealing’ and ‘Children Of Paradise’, the track ‘Pilgrim Caravan’ has a different vibe and pace to it, there is also a nice and spooky violin accompanying this song. Well done! It is also crystal clear that Castillo is a strong vocalist and that adding Teppo to add those Hammond parts are great additions to the overall sound and quality. During title track ‘Rat Race’ Teppo gets all the room to showcase his talents. ‘Falling Out Of Love’ is a bit lighter, could be suitable to be a single (if those still exist nowadays?). there is also some female background singing in this one. The ballad ‘Grain Of Salt’ is a bit disappointing and a bit boring. Not that adventurous as the other songs on offering on ‘Rat Race’. The album is closed in style with the strong ‘Day Of Doom’. What a pleasant surprise this album.