Italian rockers Fake Idols run a nice line in trad hard rock, rich in melody for sure but possessing a heck of a lot of heft where it matters.

Their second album, Witness, is rammed with catchy riffs, catchy verses, catchy choruses and catchy solos. It’s like a clap clinic in musical form, in fact, but I’ve a very real suspicion that Fake Idols’ music is one form of pox that lots of people are going to be clamouring to catch before very long.

Take second track Mad Fall, for instance; Fast-paced, almost thrashy verses lead the way into the song before giving way to a bridge straight out of a nineteen seventies power pop song. It’s beguiling because you ain’t expecting such an intriguing juxtaposition from a bunch of young Italians… But it’s effective in the extreme. The track is then iced with a great solo from Motörhead’s Phil Campbell, thus making it pretty much essential listening for anyone who reads Sentinel Daily.

Elsewhere the band explore grunge textures – not always something I’m a big fan of, but again they make it work here – with the versatility of vocalist Claudio Coassin shining through. He sings anything and everything with the same grit and character, possessing the sort of sandpapered croon so beloved of bands operating in this area. He never over sings, but he’s definitely got enough going on in his pipes to make everything he does worth listening to.

Likewise guitarists Ivan Odorico and Cristian Tavano, who both contribute immensely throughout; the solo on So Now is worth the price of admission on i’s own, but their tight, syncopated riffscapes are where they score highest on Witness, bringing a freshness and vitality to the job of ear bludgeon that’s often missing in music of this ilk.

At the end of the day there’s nothing earth shakingly original going on on Witness, but there is an awful lot of enjoyable, melodic hard rock to feast one’s ears upon, and sometimes I think that’s enough, don’t you?

Witness will be released through Scarlet Records on September 16.