Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Phil Rudd - Head Job (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label - 

Track listing:
01. Head Job
02. Sun Goes Down
03. Lonely Child
04. Lost In America
05. Crazy
06. Bad Move
07. No Right
08. The Other Side
09. 40 Days
10. Repo Man
11. When I Get My Hands On You 

AC/DC drummer PHIL RUDD is releasing his first ever solo album, entitled "Head Job". Though still active with AC/DC (who are soldiering on despite the ill health of guitarist Malcolm Young) Rudd has harnessed his talents as a songwriter for this first solo effort.
Phil Rudd is one of rock’s most seasoned musicians, drumming for AC/DC from 1975-1983 and again from 1994-present. When you're the drummer in AC/DC's engine room you don't hook up and play with anyone in your down time.
As such, Phil Rudd's first solo album has been two decades in the making; a labour of love he's crafted in between tours in his adopted home of New Zealand.
Long-time friends Allan Badger and Geoffrey Martin chipped in lyrically and provide the strings, while Badger and Rudd's throaty vocals come with honesty, guts, a wink and a nod.
"There are no tricks or sequencing or samples ... it's all real," Rudd said about the recording.
AC/DC-like chords? There aren't a lot of them, but you can’t deny the swagger and groove of the bluesy classic rock contained in the album's ten tracks.
While the more high profile numbers including the rocking lead single "Repo Man" and the title track are related to his main band, it’s the album’s deeper cuts like the slightly funky "No Right" and the infectiously catchy "The Other Side" that really define this record.
Rudd’s drumming is of course rock solid, and the man also does a fine job behind the boards giving "Head Job" a sound that is sleek (really clean) but doesn’t remove the raw passion of the band.
The title for Phil Rudd’s first ever solo album has nothing to do with an act of intimacy, but instead relates to a state of mind. And this isn’t meant in a pejorative way.
Just as people don’t expect extended guitar jams or prog rock epics from Rudd’s day band, the solo release from AC/DC’s drummer sounds exactly how you’d expect it to sound; "Head Job" is an exercise in straightforward classic rock played from the heart.
As said, production is pristine and wide open, to enjoy these solid ten tracks at considerable volume.

Well Worth Checking Out!

Rating 9/10

Buckcherry - Singles Club Pt 3 (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Sleaze
Label - Pledge Music / F Bomb

Track listing:
01 - I've Done Everything For You ( Rick Springfield cover)

Buckcherry's Singles Club continues with their cover of Rick Springfield's I've Done Everything For You a song that was actually written by Sammy Hagar.
Here the guys have done a great job updating and eighties classic, really rocking it up so to speak. They have given the song a more contemporary edge. This is probably their best interpretation so far!
Bring on the others!

Rating - 9/10

Robert Plant - Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Global / Ethnic
Label - Nonesuch

Track listing:
01 - Little Maggie
02 - Rainbow
03 - Pocketful Of Golden
04 - Embrace Another Fall
05 - Turn It Up
06 - A Stolen Kiss
07 - Somebody There
08 - Poor Howard
09 - House Of Love
10 - Up On The Hollow Hill (Understanding Arthur)
11 - Arbaden (Maggie's Babby)

Unlike so many of his contemporaries who've held on to their glory days like they’re the very lifelines keeping them alive, ROBERT PLANT has managed to stay relevant after Led Zeppelin.
Now the legendary vocalist is releasing his new solo album on September 8th, "Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar", the first with his new backing band The Sensational Space Shifters, although the name of the band is not mentioned in the front cover.
By shedding his Golden God image, and Led Zeppelin‘s mythical standing in the process, Plant has remade himself as a genuine anomaly: an authentic Americana roots artist born and bred in England.
While his old cohort Jimmy Page breathes new digital life into Zeppelin’s old catalog, Plant is half a world away, figuratively at least, exploring African beats, pan-global rhythms and the many intricacies buried deep in music that has little to do with American blues.
"Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar" expands the territorial boundaries of music while working flexibly within their confines. This is a worldwide music album, but in a sense that has influences from many cultures.
This is NOT a 'world music genre' garbage, Plant has enough good taste (and a rocking heart) to do that.
Not that those who've written off Plant as a stuffy, stodgy old man who gave up his rock ‘n’ roll past for deadly serious grownup music will be swayed to come back around. But now that he’s let the dust settle on his Americana recordings, he’s globetrotting with a musical thirst of someone a third his age.
From the stripped-down and acoustic sway of opener "Little Maggie" - the only song here not written by Plant and members of his band the Sensational Space Shifters, though they did arrange the traditional number - to "Rainbow" mix of moody atmosphere and stabbing guitars to the rolling, skittering beats that guide "Arbaden (Maggie’s Babby)", the CD finds its inspiration in places as far reaching as the Sahara desert and in the modern scene of ’90s Bristol.
Filled with the sounds of non common string instruments, clever electronic loops and various West African percussions, but of course traditional rock electric guitar, bass & keys, the 11 songs skim and drift over a landscape of rattling drums, genre - and culture -jumping melodies and an abundance of gray noise.
Plant, who produced, gives "Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar" a relentless sense of adventure; while renowned mixer Tchad Blake piles on extra layers of ambiance.
I think that is the exact word to describe this record; 'Adventurous'. And always captivating.
All of which, again, won’t convince fans expecting Plant to belt out ‘Whole Lotta Love’ for the billionth time that the singer is actually now in the most exciting period of his solo career.
"Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar" reveals more and more the more and more you listen to it. Has he ever sounded more mature vocally than he does on the spare ballad "Stolen Kiss"? By the way, it's my favorite cut on the album.
This is a deep, rewarding album, paying back the time and patience you invest. Is it better than any of Led Zeppelin’s classic albums? Of course not. But it’s probably better than the album they’d make if they were still around.

Stand out tracks include, Stolen Kiss, Rainbow, Somebody There and Up On The Hollow Hill.
Very Recommended.

Rating - 9/10

Mongrel - Evolution (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal / Punk
Label - Unable Records

Track listing:
01 - Snakes
02 - oxygen Mask
03 - Consumed
04 - Best revenge
05 - Over and Over

Mongrel are a talented rock punk metal band from Boston USA who actually unleashed this five track EP a couple of moths ago. The EP Evolution is packed with  hard hitting and extremely well written songs that you can’t help but to head bang along to!  Now don't get me wrong, the band are very tight and more than competent musicians but the real gem here is lead vocalist  Jessica Sierra who to me has a voice and vocal style very reminiscent of nineties UK alt rockers Die Cheerleader's Sam Ireland!
MONGREL lured some high-caliber production personnel to "Evolution" including Jim Foster (P.O.D. , NULLSET), who recorded the five EP tracks, plus Dave Fortman (SLIPKNOT, MUDVAYNE, OTEP, EVANESCENCE and SOIL) and Howie Weinberg (METALLICA, PANTERA, NIRVANA and THE CULT), who mixed and mastered, respectively.
The songs sound fantastic, the production allowing them room to breathe without over producing them, which captures the band really well. All the songs are very well written and performed and judging by the standard on display here its only a matter of time before these guys breakout huge on the world stage!
Very highly recommended!

Rating - 10/10

Ginger Wildheart - G.A.S.S. Month 5 EP (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Punk / Pop / Experimental
Label - Self Released

Track listing:
01 - The Pendine Incident
02 - Carriageway Roses
03 - Brand New Original Sin
Bonus Demos
04 - Shine
05 - Superpowered Superfly

So here we have the fifth instalment (of twelve) of Ginger Wildheart's G.A.S.S. project and once again we get a truly eclectic mix of tracks that showcase ginger's renowned songwriting ability.
First up comes The Pendine Incident, a great little up tempo acoustic based track that has already been described as sounding like  The Wonder Stuff but with a Geordie accent and  Modern Romance and   feature's the talents of Kelii Compulsive on vocals and  Laura Wilcockson on fiddle (courtesy of Steel Thread) and mixed by Jason Sanderson.. This a great song which I am sure is destined to become a fan favourite.
Carriageway Roses follows, this time featuring the talents of  Yolanda Quartey on vocals, Steve Conte on  guitars and  Tim G on keys and is mixed by Kevin Vanbergen. this song really does showcase the quirky side of Ginger's songwriting at its best, opening off with a great bass riff and some almost spoken lead vocal from Ginger, before building into a real monster. this is a really great song a worth the price of the G.A.S.S. subscription alone!
Closing out this month's new songs is Brand New Original Sin. This song features the talents of  Micko Larkin on guitars and backing vocals together with Neil McMinn on drums. Once again this track is mixed by  Kevin Vanbergen. The song is a real rocker, with an almost Wildhearts / Mutation feel in places. Another great song.
Next up we have this month's bonus / demo tracks,
which come to us in the form of Shine and an original demo of a song written for Michael Monroe's album a couple of years back, Superpowered Superfly. I'll allow Ginger to explain,

SHINE – Here’s my ‘big rock voice’ tryout (shudder) for a band of name US musicians looking for a singer to complete a project that never got off the ground. They had designs on Corey Taylor, and let’s be honest everyone else falls short of that guys voice. Still, he couldn’t commit to the gig so the project fell apart.
Featuring Duff McKagan and Steve Stevens, my friend Billy Morrison offered me a crack at the front person job, and let me write the melody and lyrics, but my talents lie in other areas than bellowing out huge arena rock, as this demo will testify.
Still, they shoulda just got Seb Bach or someone, right?

SUPERPOWERED SUPERFLY – When I joined Michael’s band my secret mission was to get rid of the generic songs they were playing. Harsh but true, I love Michael and honestly thought that peddling Stooges/MC5 facsimiles wouldn’t relaunch his solo career with the glory befitting a rock n roll icon.
I’d written a few songs in band rehearsal, guaranteeing a bad ass backbone (those guys can fucking play), but this was the first time I’d presented a ‘pop’ song to Michael. Knowing his love for Cheap Trick and Sparks, I was still surprised by how much he loved this track, and even wanted to call the album by its title, which I talked him out of. A killer song to play live, this demo was knocked up in 15 minutes with an acoustic guitar and a Garageband drum loop.

To be honest I think that Ginger hits the nail on the head with his comments regarding Shine. Its a great song even if it has been compared to WWE Video Package! The song itself is great only Gingers vocal lets it down, purely because his voice just isn't suited to the "Big Rock Voice" kind of song. Would love to see it recorded by someone with such a voice though as it really does deserve to be heard by the wider public.
The demo of Suiperpowered Superfly once again allows us a little insight into the development of a song, and has a great curiosity value.

So there we go, almost half way through the awesome and ambitious project, fifteen brand new songs, ten unreleased / demo tracks and there's been no signs of any dips in quality yet.

G.A.S.S. is not only proving to be a great success, but has given us some of the best songs Ginger has ever written, and we are not even half way through!

Rating - 10/10

Thursday, 21 August 2014

MIKE TRAMP (White Lion) - Museum (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Singer Songwriter / Acoustic Rock
Label -

Track listing:
01. Trust In Yourself
02. New World Coming
03. Down South
04. Better
05. Freedom
06. Commitment
07. And You Were Gone
08. Slave
09. Mother
10. Time For Me To Go

After last year's very well received semi acoustic album Cobblestone Street, White Lion vocalist MIKE TRAMP toured massively thru Europe, USA and did some shows at Down Under.Mike Tramp even found time to record a brand new album entitled "Museum",
"Museum" picks up exactly where his previous disc Cobblestone Street left off. Again, following his new-found, back-to-the-roots direction, most of the songs are built around his acoustic guitar and amazing vocals with thoughtful and introspective lyrics.
Keyboards and electric guitars are used sparingly in order to bring depth to the songs. This singer-songwriter approach sees Tramp at his expressive best: once again he writes about a wide range of subjects.
The opening song "Trust in Yourself" is about corrupt politicians and law-makers and, while it's a good piece, I feel the opening track on his previous album is a lot more powerful as it helped set the mood for the entire disc. This song, on the other hand, is more of a stand-alone tune.
"Down South" picks up the pace with a playful riff while "Better," informed by a subtle keyboard melody, suggests he is 'slowly getting better' after the tumultuous period he went through being away from his wife and children, which most of the songs on Cobblestone Street dealt with.
"Freedom" sounds like a song off of Recovering the Wasted Years. A nice mid-tempo AORish piece, the song basically chronicles his life on tour and how he feels the need to break free every now and then. 
"And You Were Gone" and "Commitment" are both mellow in their flow, highlighting Tramp's unique, easily recognizable vocals while "Slave," which gives the impression it was recorded live in a single take, is a nice rocking track.
Without doubt, the most personal song on Museum is "Mother." Tramp has written about his mother before: fans of his first solo album will remember the lyrics on 'Have You Ever' where he tells his mother she is 'more than God'. Based around a simple acoustic guitar theme in order to draw the focus on Tramp's raspy voice and lyrics, this track basically sums up his feelings. 
The track ends on a hopeful note, when he sings he will make his 'life worth living' and 'make it up'. Ever since Tramp wrote the track '92' on the first Freak of Nature album, I feel there's no one else out there who can give life and meaning to personal lyrics like he can, and this song is another great addition to his catalog.
The album's last track is the beautiful "Time for Me to Go," which is a song that could be on the previous disc given the lyrics detail his difficult relationship with his wife. It's a melodic rock tune that sounds a lot like a Mike Spiro penned song.
"Museum" is another strong solo album by the former White Lion frontman.
Tramp's heart-rending voice is intact and has a feeling that few singers / songwriters can deliver with such expressive musicality.
Lovely record - Recommended.

Rating - 9/10

ENUFF Z'NUFF - Covered In Gold (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Glam / Sleaze
Label - 

Track listing:
01. Everything Works If You Let It (CHEAP TRICK cover)
02. Stone Cold Crazy (QUEEN cover)
03. She Sells Sanctuary (THE CULT cover)
04. All Apologies (NIRVANA cover)
05. Believe It Or Not (The Greatest American Hero theme)
06. The Jean Genie (DAVID BOWIE cover)
07. Run For Your Life (THE BEATLES cover)
08. When Doves Cry (PRINCE cover)
09. Tears Of A Clown (SMOKEY ROBINSON cover)
10. The Stroke (BILLY SQUIER cover)
11. Yankee Rose (DAVID LEE ROTH cover)
12. Jealous Guy (JOHN LENNON cover)
13. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away (live at 'Howard Stern Show')
14. New Thing (live unplugged in London) (Bonus Track)

### Not My Review. All Credit To The Original Author. ###

Celebrating their 30 years as one of the hardest-working bands in show business, ENUFF Z'NUFF are releasing their new album "Covered In Gold".
As you could imagine, the 13th studio creation from this long-running, peace-hair metal band fronted by Donnie Vie & Chip Znuff, is a a heartfelt salute to the music and artists who have inspired them over the course of their three-decade career.
Produced by Donnie & Chip with a really melodic direction, in "Covered In Gold" the listeners are treated to 13 cover songs, ranging from a loose reading of Nirvana's "All Apologies" to a raging hair metal sendup of Smokey Robinson's "Tears of a Clown", with Enuff Z'nuff sounding like 1989!
I also loved their take on David Lee Roth's hit "Yankee Rose" and a rocking version of Queen's classic "Stone Cold Crazy". The band also tackles tunes by The Cult, Billy Squier, The Beatles (of course), and a host of other widely divergent artists, including Prince!
For good measure, the band throws in a live, unplugged version of one of their best-known hits, 1989's "New Thing", recorded in London.
Although not presenting own new material, "Covered In Gold" is a really good ENUFF Z'NUFF record showing that the band is alive & kicking, and in great form.
It's a great showcase of this group's incredibly diverse yet supremely melodic sensibility, with catchy arrangements and fluid playing.
Quite Recommended.

Rating - 8/10