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


Genre - Hard Rock / Psychedelic Rock / Retro Rock
Label - 

Track listing:
01 - Anywhere We Want To Go
02 - Cinnamon Girl
03 - Sunshine
04 - Days
05 - Gimme Some Truth
06 - You Get What You Deserve
07 - Citadel
08 - For What It's Worth
09 - Ride Captain Ride
10 - Hey Bulldog
11 - Strychnine
12 - White Rabbit
13 - Devil Or Angel
14 - Eeny Meeny Miney Moe

L.A. Guns founder guitarist TRACii GUNS set himself on a new path last year when he pulled together his own band LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN and revisited the roots of classic rock. The First Record delved deep into Sixties and Seventies blues and psychedelic rock for a surprisingly refreshing venture.
Now, The Tracii Guns League of Gentlemen warp back to the past once more for "The Second Record".
Tracii and friends appear to go a little deeper into the past, more towards the psychedelic Sixties for their sound. However, unlike the previous album, "The Second Record" offer no original material from the band. It's entirely covers, including songs from The Beatles, John Lennon, Neil Young, Jefferson Airplane, The Kinks, Rolling Stones, and Mitch Davis to mention some of the more high profile artists.
You might find that you might not recognize some of the songs. But you will remember Cinnamon Girl, White Rabbit, Ride Captain Ride, Lennon's Gimme Some Truth or For What It's Worth.
That latter song, made famous by Buffalo Springfield, is likely best known by it's refrain, 'I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down.'
Possibly the very best thing that can be said of this album, the songs, and the League's treatment of them, is the genuine authenticity and simplicity they give the songs.
In those days there was no digital recording, Pro Tools, or auto-tuning. Recording was simple and direct, often bare bones, raw, and straight forward, with the musician and instrument seeming to have an almost organic bond.
Guns and fellows get this, and while it may seem that these recordings sound more modern, the band strays little from the original vibe of a song.
The aforementioned "For What It's Worth" is a good example when Guns expresses the psycho, sometime eerie, guitar line that both leads and provides the necessary atmosphere. Another is "White Rabbit", where the drums offer this disturbing foreboding at the start and the guitar line, again, reveals the trippiness of the lyrical theme.
Fundamentally, while wanting to render the songs faithfully, I think Guns's League wanted mostly to channel the musical style and spirit of the era to our century.
That's no mean feat, and they succeed substantially. It might even cause you to a little classic rock history yourself.
This is Classic Rock, and really well done.
Well Worth Checking Out!

Rating 9/10

NEAL MORSE - Songs From November (2014)

Genre - Singer Song writer / Prog Rock / Classic Rock
Label - 

Track listing:
01. Whatever Days
02. Heaven Smiled
03. Flowers In A Vase
04. Love Shot An Arrow
05. Song For The Free
06. Tell Me Annabelle
07. My Time Of Dying
08. When Things Slow Down
09. Daddy's Daughter
10. Wear The Chains
11. The Way Of Love

I came across this wonderful album the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it. A great mature album full of feeling.
Here's the review that came with the album:

There is few artists in Prog or any genre that produces as much music as NEAL MORSE does. With Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, Flying Colors or as solo, with every coming cd, comes the question: How can he top himself this time?.
Earlier this year, Neal was a part of the spectacular Transatlantic – Kaleidoscope cd and now comes his latest solo album “Songs From November”. But as it has been described in earlier press releases, this was to be a singer/songwriter album.
ndeed, “Songs From November” it is precisely that; songs. 
A collection of eleven 4-minute rock&pop songs with some progressive moments, but light and at the service of the composition and with a strong classic rock feel in terms of sound. However, despite the lack of intricate prog craziness, this album is every bit Neal Morse.
The record starts with the commercial rocker "Whatever Days", a groovy opener with a feel-good vibe. It sets up the album nicely and lets you know right off the bat this is not going to be your normal Neal Morse album.
"Heaven Smiled" is the album’s first single, and more of a traditional Neal ballad. With some songs on the CD like this one, you can picture Transatlantic doing it and making it into a 7-8 minute opus.
What follows is the acoustic rack "Flowers In A Vase". This is a different style than you get on Neal Morse's albums, but it is one of the more beautiful numbers on the record. The piano ballad "Love Shot An Arrow" is a powerful moment on the CD and sounds like it could have been on Spock's Beard's Snow.
One of the best tracks on the album is the upbeat "Song for the Free". It kicks off with an acoustic guitar but evolves into a full on rocker with strings and harmonies. It really builds nicely and should make for a killer live song.
That song fades right into "Tell Me Annabelle", a dark tune which atmosphere juxtaposes with the previous.
The surprise track is the very personal "Daddy’s Daughter" which might be overly sentimental for some, but is just a great song and melodically brilliant. 
The album closes with the driving popping rocker "The Way of Love". It’s a great inspirational way to close the album. It has that big ending that Morse is known for.
Neal Morse has been at the forefront of the resurgence of Prog in the last fifteen years. His music has influenced many and his songwriting has changed the way Prog music is written and perceived all around. But at the core of his music are simple, accessible melodies, and earnest, heartfelt lyrics. 
That is what has always set him apart. The incredible musicianship is just another added element. It has always been about the songs and the stories in those songs, and never so evident like in this “Songs From November”.
This time just without the added solos and extravagant instrumental moments, Neal Morse proves here he doesn’t need a million notes to write a great song. 
“Songs From November” is a collection of Neal Morse songs at his purest and most sincere. And it is a welcome addition to his enormous catalog.

As I said a great album well worth checking out

Rating 9/10

Baby Scream - Haters Will Hate / I Don't Wanna Wake Up From This Dream Digital Single (2014)

Genre - Melodic Rock / Powerpop
Label - 

Track Listing:
01 - Haters Will Hate
02 - I Don't Wanna Wake Up From This Dream

Juan Pablo Mazzola's Baby Scream make their long awaited and welcome return later this year with the double A-sided digital single, Hater's Will Hate / I Don't Wanna Wake Up from This Dream, both tracks are set to feature on the bands new album tentatively scheduled for release January 2015.
Hater's Will Hate is a rather laid back track with quite a dark feel to it both musically and lyrically. Juans' lead vocal really suites the feel of the song, The song has a real beauty to it, its so gentle and laid back, with some heartfelt and rather cutting lyrics.
I Don't Wanna Wake Up From This Dream is a reworking of an older song, the demo of which appeared on Lost Balloons, the last full length Baby Scream release.Again its rather a laid back acoustic driven affair, just right for those chilled out moments that we all cherish. 
If these two tracks, along with the others that have been posted up on the bands You Tube channel are anything to go by then the new album is set to be some thing rather special!

Rating 10/10

Buckcherry - Singles Club parts 1 and 2 (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Sleaze
Label - Pledge Music

Track listing:

01 - Small Man, Big Mouth (Minor Threat cover)
02 - Beast of Burden (The Rolling Stones cover)

BUCKCHERRY SINGLES CLUB, a 6-month subscription set-up where the band deliver one new surprise cover song a month for the next six months. The project began back in July so we have two tracks already, a great and faithful e=rendition of The Rolling Stones classic 'Beast Of Burden' and a blistering run through of the Minor Threat classic 'Small Man, Big Mouth'.
The band mnembers describe why they chose these two tracks in particular,

Minor Threat – “Small Man Big Mouth”
“I love that song, ‘Out of Step’ was a huge record for me. I think it was the best punk record ever written. I remember reading the lyrics from top the bottom and thinking these guys know what I’m thinking know what I’m feeling. Brian Baker from Minor Threat was also nice enough to play guitar on a new song from our EP titled ‘Fist Fuck’, which was an honor.” – Josh Todd

The Rolling Stones – “Beast of Burden”
“Doing a set of our favorite cover songs and not including the Rolling Stones is just not possible. The only hard part is deciding which one to cover. Beast of Burden has so many of my favorite elements of what makes that band special to me: The rhythm section locked in, the guitars weaving in and out with one another, and the vocals tying it all together as only Mick Jagger can. We had fun with this one, a tip of the hat to some of our idols.” – Keith Nelson

So its so far so good, two great covers faithfully reproduced but with Buckcherry's own stamp on them!

Well worth checking out especially as you can pledge for as little as £3

Rating - 9/10

Pledge here!

Catch Buckcherry on tour:

Aug 22 – Salem, OR – L.B. Day Amphitheatre
Aug 23 – Mt. Pocono, PA – Mt. Airy Casino Resort (Uproar Festival)
Aug 24 – Noblesville, IN – Klipsch Music Center (Uproar Festival)
Aug 26 – Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center (Uproar Festival)
Aug 27 – Gilford, NH – Meadowbrook Pavillion (Uproar Festival)
Aug 29 – Simpsonville, SC – Charter Amphitheater (Uproar Festival)
Aug 30 – Tampa, FL – Midflorida Credit Amphitheatre (Uproar Festival)
Aug 31 – Gulfport, MS – CPR Fest Jones Park (Uproar Festival)
Sept 2 – Grand Prairie, TX – Verizon Theatre (Uproar Festival)
Sept 3 – Corpus Christi, TX – Concrete Street Amphitheater (Uproar Festival)
Sept 5 – Bonner Springs, KS – Sandstone Amphitheatre (Uproar Festival)
Sept 6 – Sioux City, IA – Tyson Event Center (Uproar Festival)
Sept 7 – Oklahoma City, OK – Zoo Amphitheatre (Uproar Festival)
Sept 9 – Broomfield, CO – 1STBANK Center (Uproar Festival)
Sept 11 – Post Falls, ID – Greyhound Park (Uproar Festival)
Sept 12 – Seattle, WA – White River Amphitheatre (Uproar Festival)
Sept 14 – Sacramento, CA – Discovery Park (Aftershock Festival)
Sept 20 – Albuquerque, NM – Journal Pavilion (Uproar Festival)
Oct 5 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life Festival

Buckcherry - Fuck EP (Best Buy Edition) (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Sleaze
Label - F Bomb

Track listing:
01. Somebody Fucked With Me
02. Say Fuck It
03. The Motherfucker
04. I Don't Give A Fuck
05. It's A Fucking Disaster
06. Fist Fuck (feat. Brian Baker from Minor Threat)
07. Mama Kin (Aerosmith Cover)

California rockers Buckcherry have just released a new EP, simply titled "Fuck", via the band's newly established F Bomb imprint. A six-song EP (although the Best Buy edition includes the bonus track of Mama Kin), that apologetically rattles the speakers as much as it will the censors, the record features six balls-to-the-wall tracks that erupt with gritty riffs and sharp-tongued lyrics, including the radio single and riotous cover of Icona Pop's hit song "I Love It", which the band naturally cranks to 11 and renames "Say Fuck It".
The EP opens up with 'Somebody Fucked With Me', a great mid tempo rocking track with a vocal line that has some real bite and attitude. A great start! Next up is Buckcherry's reworking of the Icona Pop classic 'I Love It' aptly named 'Say Fuck It'. This is a bouncy song with an almost 'ACDC ' 'Thunderstruck' type riff, the perfect choice for a lead single if it were not for the title, chorus and well main vocal line!
'The Motherfucker' follows, quite a classy track to be fair, continuing the EP's theme (based around the word FUCK). Another great song.
'I Don't Give A Fuck' is up next, the song has a feel very reminiscent of the Buckcherry classic 'Too Drunk To Fuck!' and proves itself to be another great song.
'It's A Fucking Disaster' is the Ep's penultimate track and what a track it is. Opening with a great moody riff which slowly builds into a real monster of a song, with plenty of atmosphere and tempo changes, this is surely  guaranteed to become a future Buckcherry classic!
'Fist Fuck' closes out the EP proper, guitar feed back gives way to some great high octane up tempo punky riffs. A great way to close out any release
This Best Buy edition also includes a great and fairly faithful cover of Aerosmith's Mama Kin.
Buckcherry front man Josh Todd has said in a new interview with Yahoo! Music that "Fuck" is "not just some silly rock record," adding, "It's not about offending anybody as much as celebrating the word. There are so many ways to use the word. We wanted to capture that on an EP and not hold back or censor anything." and I have to say that the guys have pulled it off really well!
This EP has only one downside, and that is that its not a full length album, as simple as that!

Very Highly Recommended

Rating - 10/10