Norwegian sophisti-poppers The Opium Cartel decided to kick-start the recording of a follow-up to 2013s critically-acclaimed Ardor with something that would be pure fun and enjoyment. So, armed with a drum machine, a DX7 and other period pieces they decided to do a synth-pop cover of a hair-metal B-side, Ratt’s What’s It Gonna Be.

“It’s Flashdance meets the Sunset Strip”, says The Opium Cartel’s Jacob Holm-Lupo. “Me and singer Alexander Stenerud had a blast recording it, we got to combine some of our favorite musical elements without concerning ourselves too much with good taste or genre rules”.

Drenched in phasing 80s polyphonic synths and carried by Alexander’s new romantic-esque vocals, the track also gives the occasional nod to the song’s metal origin.

“We wanted to stay true to the actual song, even if we took it in a different direction, because like so many of Ratt’s songs, underneath the power-riffing there is a cracking good pop song. That’s really what set the best LA metal bands apart from the rest – the ability to craft perfect pop tunes”, says Jacob.

“What’s It Gonna Be” is scheduled to be released on February 23rd 2018 through Norwegian label Apollon Records.

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