No Surrender plays like a textbook of modern mainstream rock, drawing mostly from American influences, which makes it a slightly curious affair, since the band itself is Dutch. But this geographic/stylistic mix-up is the most unpredictable thing about the record, which otherwise revels in predictability -- maybe replicating a foreign sound is pushing the envelope enough for Kane, or they are simply OK with following in someone's footsteps. To their credit, Kane seem to like a lot of other acts and don't replicate anyone in particular. The core sound is post-grunge as Matchbox Twenty did it -- simple guitar-based verse-chorus songs with a moderate amount of groove that allows them to sound cool, and a good deal of romantic melodies that don't sound sappy in such a setting. This sort of music is actually less commercialized grunge than heartland rock rearranged for a new musical era -- and as if to prove the point, the band often comes close to Counting Crows on No Surrender, and even seems to dip into pop-country, although of the kind that's virtually indistinguishable from pop/rock anyway. The group also tries to pull off a slick larger-than-life approach that U2 perfected, but while it adds another layer to the music, it doesn't quite work -- Kane are simply no match for Bono's self-righteous abandon. With a set of influences like this, it's evident that No Surrender is bound to be a pleasant affair, but it also comes off as too timid -- the band knows how to play in a given style, but power and delivery are harder to copy, and, with some exceptions ("Scream"), there's just not enough of them on this record.
No Surrender Review
by Alexey Eremenko