Friday, 26 August 2016

Maverick - Big Red (2016)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label - Metalapolis Records

Track listing:
01. All For One
02. Free
03. The One
04. Mademoiselle
05. Forever
06. In The Night
07. Whisky Lover
08. Renegade
09. Beyond The Gates
10. Asylum
11. Fly Away

Maverick are a five-piece from Northern Ireland whom have been building their fan base since 2012 and now four years later unleash Big Red, sure to be a sure fire hit amongst fans of late 80's early 90's rocks hard rock bands such as Babylon Ad, Motley Crue and Skidrow!
One of the first things that  you will notice throughout this album, from start to finish, are the huge guitar riffs from lead guitarist Ryan Balfour and the strong pipes of his brother and lead vocalist David Balfour.
This becomes evident very early on, just check out the opening salvo of “All For One” and “Free” which feature  these aspects, including an outstanding harmonising section from the rest of the band (and a bass solo from Richie Diver).
The  Belfast lads have never shied away from expressing their musical influences from the likes of Poison to Winger to Warrant to Motley Crue and Skidrow, and while you hear an influence of each of these bands throughout the album they were shown predominately in the catchy love song “The One” and the party classic “Whiskey Lover” that will have anyone listening to this album up dancing with a bottle of Jack in hand, the guys never loose their own identity.
There was even a tasteful Thin Lizzy / Dokken mixture added to the following track “Renegade.”
In fact "Mademoiselle" could very easily be a transitional track between Skidrow's debut album and the mighty Slave To The Grind, and sees vocalist David Balfour easily tackling Seb Bach's vocal style! Definitely my favourite track on the album!
One track that deserves a special mention is “Asylum”. This tune features some huge special guests in The Poodles' lead vocalist Jakob Samuelsson and a guitar solo from Alice Cooper’s former guitarist Kane Roberts. Maverick supported The Poodles on their last European tour, this friendship then blossomed into what we have now, a powerful vocal duet between David Balfour and Jakob Samuelsson.

In Big Red Maverick have proven themselves to be a force to be reckoned with, and manage to bring memories of the rocking late 80's and early 90's flooding back.

Very Highly Recommended!

Rating: 9/10

Maverick are:

Lead Vocals: David Balfour
Guitar: Ryan Sebastian Balfour
Guitar: Terry McHugh
Bass: Richie Diver
Drums: Mike Ross

Thursday, 25 August 2016

MICHAEL SWEET (STRYPER) releases the official video for "RADIO"

Baz Francis (Magic Eight Ball) - Live at Molly Malone’s / Los Angeles 2015 (EP) (2016)

Genre - Hard Rock / Modern Rock / Live / Acoustic
Label - Magic Cat Records

Track listing:
01. California In The Fall (Live)
02. Better Off Asleep (Live)
03. Monkey Bars (Live)
04. Perils Of Honesty (Live)
05. Local Girls (Live)

"In the latter quarter of last year I shared one of those beautiful kind of evenings in the presence of friends, new and old, in my spiritual home of West Hollywood, California, and thankfully the tape was rolling to capture the music I made that night too. Every now and then I have made those un-mastered soundboard recordings available to anyone curious of how my gig at Molly Malone's sounded, but upon reappraisal of the material, at the heart of it was something that simply had to be taken further and then given an official release.
Re-designed, re-edited, and now mastered for the first time courtesy of my trusty fellow, Lewis John, I am thrilled to tell you that as of 25th August 2016 you can finally hear the best bits of my gig that night presented at a superior quality unavailable until now, as Magic Cat Records Limited release my new solo live EP, 'Live at Molly Malone’s / Los Angeles 2015'. Available to download from all the usual suspects, this is the sound of me at home and in love with my surroundings. I hope you enjoy how that came out on record."

Thank God the tapes were rolling as this is one of the best sounding live recordings that I have heard in a long time, and really does seem to capture a certain magic that, if you close your eyes, transports you to the actual gig its self. Recorded at and mixed by Molly Malone's, Los Angeles, USA on 7th October 2015 Vocally Baz Francis is in great form here!

This Ep really is well worth checking out!

Rating: 10/10

Magic Eight Ball - Richest Men In The Dolls House (Live) (2016)

Genre - Hard Rock / Power pop / modern Rock
Label - Magic Cat Records

Track listing:

01. Once Again
02. See You Next Tuesday
03. What Happened In '92
04. It's Not For Me To Say
05. Come Get Your Kicks
06. Red Hair Wrapped Around Her Neck
07. Perils Of Honesty (Acoustic)
08. Russian Ballet (Русский балет) (Acoustic)
09. Eyes Of A Fool (Acoustic)

Richest Men In The Dolls House was recorded live at The Dolls House, Abertillery, Wales on 18th/19th June 2016 (1-6) and 3rd July 2016 (7-9) Magic Eight Ball release a short live album (27 minutes long) that captures the bands raw energy and passion perfectly. There's no studio touch ups here, its truly wart's n all, capturing the band as they perform a live set and featuring three new tracks from their latest studio release, Richest Men In The Graveyard, along side a clutch of more established Magic Eight Ball classics. Now I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of live albums, usually the sound quality and or mix is terrible and you can barely recognise the band yet alone the songs they are playing, but this album is different. Its captures the essence of the songs perfectly, and comes across like a very good t.v. or radio broadcast, although the two live acoustic tracks do come across much, much better!
Well worth checking out!

Rating: 8/10

Arcade Messiah unleaash a new video for Read The Sky

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Metallica - Hardwired (Single) (2016)

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal / Thrash
Label - Blackened Recordings

Track listing:

01- Hardwired

So the mighty Metallica return with 'Hardwired',  the lead single off of their forthcoming new album, 'Hardwired...To Self-Destruct', and the follow up to 2008's 'Death Magnetic'.
Hardwired sees the band continuing their journey that they began with their previous album, 'Death Magnetic', in that they are trying to return to the classic Metallica sound and vibe, but unlike that aforementioned album, whose songs often felt bloated and over long, 'Hardwired' pulls it off brilliantly. Clocking in at just overt three minutes long, its succinct and to the point. The band blister through the track just like they did in the good old days, you know we are talking pre black album here!
After hearing 'Hardwired' I am left rather looking forward to the forthcoming album, to be released in November, as opposed to just feeling a little curious about it

Welcome back guys!

Rating: 9/10

Baby Scream - Lifes A Trap EP (2016)

Genre - Power-pop
Label - Baby Scream Records

Track listing:
01 - Life's Better When U R High
02 - The Ballad of  Music Biz
03 - Climbing Down
04 - We Can't I Go Back To 17?
05 - Wish You were Beer
06 - Jokes
07 - The Road Bends
08 - Midnight Snack

Juan Pablo Mazzola returns with his latest Baby Scream release, 'Life Is A Trap'. Now before we go any further lets get one thing clear, it's no secret that I am a huge Baby Scream fan and have been for years, and therefore look forward to hearing every new piece of material Juan releases, yet that does not cloud my judgement when considering the quality of a song etc. Luckily Juan rarely disappoints in this departments, now with that said lets take a look at this new Baby Scream release.  'Life’s A Trap' consists of 8 songs that Juan Pablo Mazzola recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina together with Nick Schinder (who once again, just like in 'Fan, Fan, Fan' worked as a producer and played some piano and contributed some backing vocals). Now if you are familiar with Baby Scream you will know the style of music on offer here, laid back and chilled yes, but with cutting lyrics and heart wrenching (at times) melodies. Kind of like a blend of John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Badfinger, Big Star, some Americana / 90’s flavour and a little T-Rex thrown in for good measure.
The Ep is to be  released by Juan Pablo Mazzola’s label “Baby Scream Records on CD, cassette (remember them?) and digital formats, which are available from the bands Bandcamp Page here.
The EP's lead single is the track, 'The Ballad Of Music Biz' for which a video has been shot that features  Juan contemplating the drama of the music business..
Now how do the songs sound?
The Ep opens up with 'Life's Better When U R High', which has a  typical acoustic driven intro that blooms into a  Baby Scream melodic rock track,  with some great honest reflective lyrics and some great guitar / piano trade offs. Next comes the Ep's lead single, 'The Ballad of Music Biz'. Here we see Juan contemplating the trials and tribulations that face budding musicians in the music world. Its a beautiful ballad with some great atmospheric string arrangements throughout. This is going to become one of my favourite Baby Scream songs!
'Climbing Down' follows, which sees Juan contemplating life with his new born child, again some lovely string and vocal harmony arrangements throughout the song, short sweet and beautiful.
'We Can't Go Back To 17' is up next and is a rather melancholic track that sees Juan reflecting upon the trials and tribulations of growing older. Again some great piano and string arrangements (yes I know they are synthesised but who cares, they work brilliantly. 'Wish You Were Beer' which is musically almost surreal, yet works brilliantly. Juan's cutting lyrical style and turn of phrase really shines through on this song. Again I believe this track is destined to become another of my Baby Scream favourites. 'Jokes' is a short and sweet melancholic track, that's leads into 'Road Bends' which sees Juan hitting full blown Americana mode! Great songs too! The EP closes out with 'Midnight Snack' a beautiful acoustic driven song that showcases both Juan's song writing and guitar playing, but also Nicks' piano work, delicate and emotional.

So there we have, yet another cracking release from Baby Scream!

Very Highly Recommended

Rating: 10/10