Tri State Corner “Hero”

On this incredible journey (yeah, I know, too many occasions when I have been unfortunate to catch sight of some dross laden reality show), I get sent some incredible stuff to check out and provide some thoughts on. So many, in fact, that it does involve  trying to see through the musical filters that fill my head (same as us all really) and I have said before that it is often through a physical link to the band in question that my filters can be removed. Tri State Corner are a case in point in this regard. When you get a press release describing their sound as “Bazouki Rock”, ask yourself, what would spring to your mind? Yeah, me too. However, just before I got sent the release to check out, I spotted that his multi national band were touring in the UK in early May. More significantly, joining them would be one of my favourite bands of the last couple of years,  C.O.P. UK (Crimes of Passion). Better deactivate your filters David – you’re going to be seeing these guys very soon. So, into the studio I went to immerse myself in the sound of the bazouki. What would my innner rock guitarist make of it all? More of that later but who are Tri State Corner?

13 years ago, five guys from Greece, Poland and Germany set off to revolutionize the music scene by integrating a Greek lute, ‘a Bouzouki’, into their catchy rock songs, and by equipping their mainly English lyrics with passages sung in the Greek language. In the meantime, TRI STATE CORNER with four studio productions and 450 live shows under their belts, have long since
become an established force in the musical landscape and have built up a large and still growing fan base, not least because of their unique selling point, the Bouzouki, and their many captivating and entertaining live shows.

In between the last album and the new output lay three years that were used relentlessly by the band and by the individual musicians. Singer Lucky was, and is omnipresent as being the drummer of his second “baby”, the German power metal legend RAGE, TSC. Drummer Christos also plays in REFUGE in the same position, and guitarist Brat was heavily involved in the last studio productions of the before mentioned bands as well as in other projects. Still, TRI STATE CORNER have displayed an increased live coverage during that time by presenting their music at festivals, individual shows and on support-tours. Now the band 100% driven, come forward with their fifth studio production “Hero”, in which the band remains true to its motto “emotion, aggression, tradition”.

“Hero” is the final part of the trilogy that began with the album “Historia” (2011) and continued with “Home” (2014). In this trilogy, the story of a migrant is told, who in the past departed to a foreign country to seek good fortune and eventually found it despite all the adversities – a story that still takes place everywhere in the world today. The album “Home” is the continuation
of this story and there the bands describes the adventures of the descendants in the present, how they experience the world, what moves them and how they deal with it – a reflection of themselves. The new album “Hero” now shows a critical outlook on the future and continues mentally what the previous albums provided as a basis. It is the darkest album of TRI STATE CORNER so far. Not so much concerning the musical side, but the lyrics draw a bleak picture of the future. If people do not quickly reflect on values such as respect and courage, then nothing will change and your hero will remain fiction.

TRI STATE CORNER are contemporary witnesses of today, who have a critical look at tomorrow. They want to encourage to contemplate and place their finger in the wound of ignorance and bigotry, and call people in a time of causal loss of value and a two-class society to discover the hero within themselves, and to actively determine their lives again.
TRI STATE CORNER tell the sociocritical view of the current world events in fictitious, exciting stories and turn them into catchy rock songs with a Greek style. As for integration, being multi-national they have mastered the unexpected, creating a sound like nothing else?

So, you ask, does the album bear witness to these strong statements? Absolutely. regular readers will have spotted me discussing my need for new music to make me think and challenge my conceptions of what is “my type” of rock. I have learned that I am not just the Hair Metal kid, forever stuck in 1987. I am what I’ve always been – a passionate believer in the beauty of art within rock and roll, driven to find the new and interesting to twist and manipulate my musical tastes. That is what Tri State Corner do – the darker imagery, the hard rock sound and the somewhat old-fashioned sound of the bazouki create a totally unique sound (come on, have you heard of one of them used in rock?) and yet they NEVER sound like they’re trying to create an artificial USP. This works on so many levels. Another band that if you take the chance you WILL see the beauty within.

Catch them iat Trillians in Newcastle Upon Tyne (2nd May 2018) and Corporation in Sheffield (3rd May 2018) – go on surprise yourself, this is an amazing band. Now then, where’s my bazouki?


Band Line-Up
Vassilios “Lucky” Maniatopoulos (Vocals, Darbuka), Ioannis “Janni” Maniatopoulos (Bouzouki, Vocals), Markuz Berger (Bass), Christos Efthimiadis (Drums), Christoph “Brat” Tkocz (Guitars, Backing Vocals)

Band photograhy copyright Tim Tronkoe

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