Friday, 13 March 2015

Rusted Hero - The Unknown (Single) (2015)


Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - Rusted Records
 
Track listing:
 
01 - The Unknown

Yet another band that Kyle Vallis and his Unsigned Melodies page turned me on too.
Rusted Hero are yet more proof that there is plenty of life in the UK hard rock / classic rock scene.
Hailing from the north east and with two E.P.'s under their belts they are releasing a brand spanking new single in the form of The Unknown.
Bringing together a mixture of modern Rock, Blues, and grunge, Rusted Hero offer a great mix of modern and vintage, classic rock with a contemporary edge.
The Unknown is a great song, and as a taster of things to come, possibly a debut album, a great introduction to the band!
Available on both iTunes and amazon, (together with their two previous EP's)The Unknown is a track well worth checking out!

Rating - 10/10

Support great music from the grass roots up!



 
Find Rusted Hero on Unsigned Melodies
 

MOTOR SISTER - Ride (2015)


Genre - Hard Rock
 
Track listing:
01. A Hole
02. This Song Reminds Me of You
03. Beg Borrow Steal
04. Fool Around
05. Get That Girl
06. Head Hanging Low
07. Fork in the Road
08. Little Motor Sister
09. Pretty in the Morning
10. Whore
11. Doghouse
12. Devil Wind

Remember Mother Superior? The  L.A. band whose members appear on a ton of session / live work with some of L.A.'s most famous acts as backing band, and still found time to release 8 albums on their own from ’93 to ’08.
Anthrax's master axe man Scott Ian does. He is a huge fan of the Mother Superior, as is his wife singer Pearl Aday (Meat Loaf's daughter) who has been working with MS guitarist / vocalist Jim Wilson. Ian's 50th birthday is coming up. What does he want for his birthday? Mother Superior.
One thing leads to another and Ian, Aday and Wilson put together a birthday jam band. The gala is hit, friend musicians and record companies invited, and Metal Blade Records said, 'If you record something, we'll releasing it'.
Then MOTOR SISTER is born, and "Ride" is their debut CD.
So "Ride" features 12 Mother Superior songs, reworked and re-arranged by Jim Wilson who originally penned most of these tunes back in a day. They recruited Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning) on bass and kick ass drummer John Tempesta (The Cult, ex-Testament) on drums and the group was set.
If you are looking for Anthrax-style riffs, you will be sorely disappointed.
What you will find, however, are some straight-to-the-gut, blues-laced hard rockers, and some more laid back songs as well, all wrapped by a Classic Rock sound & feel - this is why it's featured here :)
The trio of tracks which kicks off the album are high energy hard / classic rock numbers with a steady pace and catchy hooks, almost with a radio friendly tinge to it. "A-Hole" starts all with a cool groove and one hell of a guitar solo. It’s a true classic rocker.
Then "This Song Reminds Me of You" is much more melodic, where the harmonies between Wilson and Aday are impressive. The guitar solo, once again, smokes.
"Beg, Borrow, Steal" continues the vibe over a groovy riff, classy vocals, and a thunderous rhythm section. All sounds like these guys have played together for a long time, as everything sounds extremely tight.
"Fool Around" takes the pace down into more bluesy territory in a semi-ballad song. The band handles really well this type of song considering their backgrounds. The twin vocals of Jim / Pearl shine together and it is a shame that it isn't more prominent throughout.
"Head Hanging Low" is a summer song which has a Californian surf feel to it, with a funky-blues backbone casting up images of sun soaked beaches and calm seas.
"Get That Girl", "Fork In The Road" and "Little Motor Sister" bring back the ass-kicking, groove oriented guitar Classic Rock sound. It's strange (or maybe not) many of this material reminds me some Glenn Hughes solo material.
Closer "Devil Wind" has more than a passing resemblance to Fleetwood Mac’s 'Big Love', a superb end track and one that would leave you wondering what this collection of musicians could do if writing a fresh album of material.
Considering the speed of the appearance of the album from formation to completion, "Ride" is a top notch production and an album that will appeal to Classic Rock fans worldwide and prick the interest of the thrash and metal fans to see what these guys have conjured up.
I think part of the success of Motor Sister is the 'instantaneity'. Sure, these songs were already written and they know them in detail, but I mean, these guys recorded this CD in the way it used to be forty years ago: in a week, playing a lot 'live in the studio' and retaining the 'heat'.
This is good, energetic Classic Rock / Hard with swagger and one hell of attitude.
Well worth checking out!

Rating - 8/10



KNOCK OUT KAINE - Rise Of The Electric Jester (2015)


Genre - Hard Rock / Sleaze
Label - Rocksector Records

Track listing:
01 - 16 Grams of Heart Attack
02 - Fire and Smoke
03 - How Would I Know
04 - Diamond Blue
05 - Cascading
06 - Ain't Your Kind
07 - Boxes
08 - Flying Blind
09 - Because You Were There
10 - One More For the Road

Knock Out Kaine come out of the traps snarling with attitude on the full throttle opener "16 Grams Of Heart Attack" This is no holds barred, tumultuous hard rock at it’s best. "Fire And Smoke" bears all the hallmarks of a Skid Row in their pomp. Brash guitars, dangerous vocals with voracious power.
"How Would I Know" shows that this band isn't all about savage mayhem. Everything about this track exudes a real song writing intelligence. The chorus is instantly likeable with it's feel good '80s hook.
On the surface, the guitar work that weaves its way throughout the album is classic KOK, but the discerning listener will pick out the extra melodic layers entwined within the classic hard rocking riffs that are Jimmy Bohemian's home turf.
Balanced against the lead and rhythm guitar from Jimmy, the bass from Lee Byrne adds breadth to the songs without seeming making any effort to be noticed. Countered perfectly by the more intricate yet still powerful percussion backdrop provided by Danny Crash, and we have all the ingredients which make up the recipe for a high class hard rockin' album.
Like any good chef vocalist Dean Foxx takes all the ingredients present, and with the addition of his sometimes relentless, sometimes nimble vocals meshes it all together to create a dish that is arguably greater than the sum of its parts.
The bluesy strut of "Diamond Blue" makes way for a funk licked "Cascading", with Bohemian’s audacious riff giving this tune balls of steel. It’s another vocal hard rock master-class on "Ain't Your Kind". Foxx is clearly a man with an impressive range, so much so you’d be forgiven for thinking he gargles with razor blades, such is the distinct rawness in his voice. And one listen to this jewel of a track and your hooked.
If the complete lunacy and eccentricity of "Boxes" doesn’t afford you a smile or a uncomfortable chuckle, be very worried. This madcap orgy of unconventional hard rock is irresistible start to finish.
The guys regain their sanity with a hefty dollop of acoustics on "Flying Blind", a song that should seduce the airwaves with little difficulty.
"Because You Were There" is an able and solid ballad, with neat and tidy verses followed by a cautiously safe chorus. But in truth, it doesn't quite reach the heights of the previous tracks. Which I suppose is a backhanded compliment due to the quality of the writing on this album.
Final track "One More For The Road" throws out more versatility from a band with many tools in their locker. A slick and arrogant groove that unearths an American vibe closes the album in style.
Take the passion and talent that catapulted Knock Out Kaine into the Rock music scene, give it a few years on the road to mature, add some seriously smooth production skills, and you are left with the polished second album that is "Rise of the Electric Jester".
There is enough classic KOK here to satisfy the existing fans, while adding enough variety to introduce new audiences to their music. All underpinned by the fact that Knock Out Kaine are clearly writing the songs they love and playing the music they want to play, and you have a band to keep a close eye on over the coming years.
If there's any justice left in this fickle music world of ours, 2015 should be a rip roaring year for Knock Out Kaine. This band's music brings more weight to my belief that a second coming of the true Rock domination we enjoyed in the '80s is imminent.
Highly Recommended.

Rating - 9/10



EUROPE - War Of Kings [Digipak Version / Extra Track] (2015)


Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - UDR Records

Track listing:
01. War Of Kings
02. Hole In My Pocket
03. The Second Day
04. Praise You
05. Nothin' To Ya
06. California 405
07. Days Of Rock 'N' Roll
08. Children Of The Mind
09. Rainbow Bridge
10. Angels (With Broken Hearts)
11. Light It Up
12. Vasastan [Bonus Track]


EUROPE unleash "War Of Kings", the band's 10th studio album and first under UDR Records.
The new CD from John Norum & Co. is a comeback to the heavier, more technical sound of Europe's origins, still wrapped with their unmistakable melodies and, essentially, bigger than ever.
Vocalist Joey Tempest stated that "War Of Kings is the album we always wanted to make, ever since we were kids listening to bands like Zeppelin, Purple and Sabbath. And after hearing Dave Cobb amazing production for Rival Sons we simply had to work with him. Our adventure is still ON!"
Oh yes, "War Of Kings" is a Classic Hard Rock album, and a great rocking one.
This is clear since the opening title track cutting through with a heavy, driving, bass-driven riff, which then ignites in epic fashion through melting guitars and a roaring rhythm section.
One of the great things about this band is their awe inspiring ability to combine monumental storytelling with astounding melody. And this track conveys all in every way.
As one could expect, the song writing is spectacular; great thought obviously being put into choosing this piece as the album's first shot fired. I was once again blown away by Joey Tempest's indomitable vocal talent, showing no audible signs of aging.
Next, a Thin Lizzy influence is proudly belted out on "Hole In My Pocket", three and a half minutes of pulsating hard rock that bears a fine resemblance to Lynott and Co’s Cold Sweat. Joey Tempest has never been given the full credit he richly deserves for his multifaceted vocal range.
And then we have the feel-good "The Second Day", a fantastic mid-paced, AOR-like track that capitalises on its catchiness with the instrumentation lightly arranged to thicken the chorus and dissipate, adding breeze and flow to the verses.
If you would like to remind yourself of how Europe craft those killer, enormous, Euro-style choruses, this is the track to turn to.
If Robert Plant ever gets the chance to hear "Praise You", I’m pretty sure he’d love to wrap his chops around it. And I'm sure Jimmy Page would tell him to do so. Once again gold plated vocals, but John Norum’s incomparable bluesy tones are sheer bliss.
Ian Haughland’s trademark thunderous skin beating introduces the angry and volatile "Nothin' To Ya". Europe remove the gloss for this one, and replace it with a large coat of nastiness.
If you are an enthusiastic night driver, "California 405" should rattle your dashboard nicely. The soothing cruising rhythm and Norum’s mouth watering guitar solo are a stone wall triumph.
"Children of the Mind" proves this album Rocks: easily one of the more metallic tracks, they get their Dio kissed Rainbow / Sabbath influence with a powerful mix of technicality, groove and catchiness, where Joey's voice also takes leaps and bounds, holding powerful notes long and high. Another massive song that will both grip and haunt you at the same time.
For something completely different, a touch of middle eastern promise flows through "Rainbow Bridge", Mic Michaeli’s provocative keyboards providing a captivating backbone to a song that oozes sex appeal and melodic delights.
It’s now 29 years since the honey dripping ballad Carrie had mullet wearing couples locking their body parts, and a fine tune it was too. But one listen to "Angels (with Broken Hearts)", a ballad of divine beauty, and you’ll see the leap in class their song writing has taken. It’s moody, atmospheric and even if you possess the coldest of souls, this will stop you in your tracks.
If you want to revel in the elegant mastery of John Norum’s playing, look no further than his closing piece on "Light Me Up and this Digipak bonus "Vasatan". His grit, soul and sincerity cascade on every chord struck. To call it a master class would be doing it an injustice. The man is a modern day maestro who’s genius has not yet been fully treasured.
This is definitely Europe's strongest record in years, and one of the best of their career. Not only a tremendous release for the Metal and Rock world, but a testament to the band's history.
It's an explosive Classic Hard Rock album plenty of killer tracks and kick ass performances, showing their influences yet with a definitive Europe stamp.
ROCKS.
Rating - 9/10



THE ANSWER - Raise A Little Hell [2CD Ltd. Ed. Digipak] (2015)


Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - Pledge Music / Napalm Records
 
Track listing:
CD 1: 01 - Long Live the Renegades
02 - The Other Side
03 - Aristocrat
04 - Cigarettes & Regret
05 - Last Days of Summer
06 - Strange Kinda' Nothing
07 - I Am What I Am
08 - Whiplash
09 - Gone Too Long
10 - Red
11 - I Am Cured
12 - Raise a Little Hell

BONUS CD:
01 - Feel Like I'm On My Way
02 - Flying
03 - I Will Follow On
04 - The Other Side (Acoustic Version)
05 - Gone Too Long (Acoustic Version)
06 - Strange Kinda' Nothing (Unplugged Version)

For the last 10 years, THE ANSWER have been trying to keep the Classic Rock / Hard Rock flame alive, carrying the traditional sound & style of the genre all over the world, and judging by their success, they do a good job at it.
The Answer are back with album number five and their second for Napalm Records – even better news there, as they have signed on for a further two albums with the label.
Entitled "Raise A Little Hell", the new record is some kind of a return to the style of their first albums with an updated production yet retaining a warm 'analog vibe'.
"Long Live The Renegades" is a great opening statement, from the Thin Lizzy approved guitar solos through to Cormac Neeson showing off his fine vocal swagger. The first thing we notice is the classy production, harking back to the simple purity of albums like ‘Rise’. Massive props then to long-time friend and producer Will Maya for putting The Answer back where they belong. If ever there was a fifth member of The Answer – somebody who truly knows their sound, then this is he.
"The Other Side" and "Aristocrat" are up next, and are mildly reminiscent of the kind of stuff Aerosmith used to crank out without breaking a sweat. "Aristocrat" in particular, oozes with a sleaze and swagger of the Boston legends’ ‘Toys In The Attic’ and ‘Rocks’ heyday.
"Cigarettes & Regret" is a cover of sorts – originally penned by Jaren Johnson and Neil Mason from The Cadillac Three, but as far as I am aware they never recorded it. It’s not the best song The Answer have ever recorded (their back-catalogue is crammed too full of them to pick just one), but it could perhaps offer them their best chance yet of crossing over into the mainstream, with it’s almost Bon Jovi-esque hooks and commercial appeal. The hit single they’ve been waiting all these years for? Quite possibly. Yes.
Conversely, "Last Days of Summer" is a five minute-plus blues jam and if you were ever in any doubt that Cormac Neeson is in possession of one of the finest set of vocal chords in Rock today, you need look no further than here. Simply breath-taking.
Shifting the pace down a gear or two, "Strange Kinda Nothing" is easily the finest ballad The Answer have penned to date. More evidence here of Neeson’s awesome vocal range, but with the addition of some beautiful acoustic guitar from Paul Mahon.
Back to the Rock then, and rhythm section Micky Waters (bass) and James Heatley (drums) get to flex their muscles on "I Am What I Am", complete ass-kicker with gang vocals on the chorus, proving Neeson isn’t the only singer in this band, followed by "Whiplash" – another hard-hitter in the classic Answer vein.
At this stage, the album is just getting better and better with every track, and it seems the band can do no wrong.
And then they pull out "Gone Too Long". If this isn't their best song yet… a hit single in waiting, that’s just crying out for an atmospheric video to go with it, and destined to be a massive live favourite. I defy you to listen to this song and not fall in love with this band.
"Red" sees The Answer cranking up the glammy sleazy quota again, followed by "I Am Cured" – another bonafide rock classic that only The Answer seem capable of pulling off these days, before rounding out the album with title-track "Raise A Little Hell", and a return to the signature bluesy sound with some edge.
The Answer have always offered exciting options and great value for money – whether they be limited editions or bonus tracks, and "Raise a Little Hell" is no different.
This Limited Edition Digipak includes a bonus disc containing 6 bonus tracks unavailable anywhere else.
With "Raise A Little Hell" The Answer haven’t simply returned to the blistering form of their earlier output, they have in fact recorded the album of their career – an album that, with a big enough push and a carefully selected touring schedule, could see them finally achieve their true potential.
If you never liked this band - or never heard them at all - do yourself a favour and try "Raise A Little Hell". This is pure Classic Rock / Classic Hard Rock as it should be done.
Highly Recommended.

Rating - 9/10

THE KING LOT - The King Lot (2015)


Genre - Hard Rock
 
Track listing:
01 - As They Burn
02 - One of These Days
03 - Addicted
04 - Telegram
05 - Ghost of You
06 - Lets Get Together
07 - Until My Dying Day
08 - All Is Not Lost
09 - The Bang of a Drum
10 - Queen of Hearts
 
The members of Scottish hard rock trio THE KING LOT (who was the eponymous King of Lothian in the Arthurian legend, if you wondered where the band's name came from), have been around in various different bands and projects over the years before they decided to pull together in 2014 and officially launch the band.
Since then, they've travelled the continent sharing stages with The Answer, Vain, H.E.A.T, Supercharger and more, but their self-titled album is the first recording they've done together, and sometimes it takes a bold step like this to realise what power this trio have together.
When I say power, I'm not talking about huge guitar riffs and thundering drums, but more simply the ability to write not just one great song, but an album choc full of them.
The first track, "As They Burn", is probably one of the fastest tracks presented by the band with frontman and bass player Jason Sweeney really stretching himself as he navigates his way through the wordy verses before he settles down as he reaches the catchy chorus.
There's also a great central guitar riff, courtesy of Michael Fairbairn, and as the song reaches it's conclusion he gives you a hint of what a prodigious guitar talent he really is. Of course, the third member of this band, drummer Chris Gillon, is just as important and he's also more than a match for Sweeney and Fairbairn in terms of musical talent.
"One Of These Days" is a huge sing-a-long mid tempo rocker that’s full of melody and the chorus really hooks you. The sound is anthemic and wouldn’t sound out of place within an arena rock environment.
"Addicted", a song about unrequited love, is addictive indeed. After Gillon blasts out the drum beats during the intro, the song settles down to a nice paced number and it becomes one of the best vocal performances from Sweeney. There's another catchy chorus that grabs you quickly and doesn't easily let you go.
The mid-point of the album is "Let's Get Together" which is another track kicked off by Gillons solid drumming before Sweeney joins in with the bass line as the song quickly gathers pace. The pair of them provide a solid base for the rest of the song to lie on as the guitar hook from Fairbairn drives the songs.
If I had to choose a favourite track then without a doubt it's "All Is Not Lost" which, it turns out, is the album's sole ballad. Slow and moody are the key words here, with Gillon playing a soft and simple drum beat which is pushed to the back of the mix as some long, flowing guitar chords from Fairbairn take center stage, making this a real highlight.
Sweeney's vocals sound not unlike Joe Elliott (Def Leppard) at his very best here and, especially during the verses, every nuance is uttered by Sweeney with pure emotion. This outstanding track is pretty much guaranteed to get the crowd swaying along during a live gig and if the band are looking for a radio friendly single to get their name out there, then I honestly don't think they need to look any further than this track.
There's more rockers in "Until My Dying Day" with gritty gruff vocals, while "The Bang Of A Drum" the more modern on the CD, with prominent guitar licks which sound so sweet that fade out to the end of the track.
Album closer, "Queen Of Hearts" is a nice change of sound as the band swap the electric guitars for acoustic ones. You can practically hear the joy from the band as they slip effortlessly through the number, which sounds like it was recorded as a band in one single take.
The King Lot's debut album certainly impresses greatly. It demonstrates great song writing abilities full of tracks that have huge melodies carved out of solid musicianship along with some very catchy choruses.
It is nice to hear the kicking drumming from Chris Gillon driving the album along with some sweet rhythms coming from Jason Sweeney’s bass, while Michael Fairbairn creates prominent riffs throughout with his guitar.
It should be said too that Sweeney puts in a great bluesy oriented vocal performance here, inspired by hard rock singers from the Eighties / Nineties. The album is well mixed, produced and polished by Martin Merenyi, with clean sounds throughout.
"The King Lot" as a whole is full of good solid rocking, sometimes hard though a little modern crept in here and there. This powerhouse Scottish trio have delivered a formidable debut album that promises so much more from them in the future.
Very Recommended.
Rating - 9/10

Note - The above review is not my work, but reproduced here as I agree whole heartedly with its sentiments. All credit to the original author!

Ginger Wildheart - G.A.S.S. Month 11 EP (2015)


Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Pop / Punk
Label - Self Released
 
Track listing:
01 - Alvarado On The 2
02 - It's No Good
03 - The Final Time, Again?
 
Bonus Demos
04 - I'm An Upstart
05 - I'm Gonna Kiss You Like I'm Going Away

So here we are, with the end fast approaching Ginger delivers the 11th and penultimate instalment of the mighty G.A.S.S. project! Its so hard to believe that its been almost a year since all this madness began, and its nearly over, yet fear thee not! Ginger has said that he is considering revisiting the entire G.A.S.S. idea in the future, possibly in a year or two!

this months new tracks are really something special!
Opening up proceedings we have Alvarado On The 2. this tracks features the talents of Jimmy Ashhurst (bass), Mark Gemini Thwaite  (guitars), Robin Diaz  (drums), Jase Edwards  (acoustic guitar), and  Kevin Vanbergen  (Hammond organ). Its a truly beautiful song with Jase Edwards providing some absolutely sublime acoustic guitar work. This song is probably the most classic rock sounding track that Ginger will ever sound with its full warm production. This could possibly be my favourite song of the entire G.A.S.S. project!
It's No Good follows, this time featuring the talents of the core of The Ginger Wildheart Band, Jon Poole  (guitars and vocals), Denzel  (drums), and  Chris Catalyst  (bass and vocals). Its a typically eclectic track, with that rather unique Ginger Wildheart feel to it. Another fine addition to the Ginger cannon of songs!
The last of the ne songs this month is, The Final Time, Again? This song features the talents of Jon Poole  (bass), Denzel  (drums), Chris Catalyst  (guitars and vocals), and Kevin Vanbergen  (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, mellotron, hammond organ). This song really is something special. It sounds absolutely huge! It has so many layers musically, that every time that you listen to it you hear something new. The production really is prestine!
This moth Ginger really has surpassed himself, giving us two, if indeed not three of the best songs that he has ever written!

The bonus demos:

this month we get a cover of Angelic Upstarts classic, I'm An Upstart and the demo version of the Hey! Hello! classic I'm Gonna Kiss You Like I'm Going Away.
In Gingers own words:

"I’M AN UPSTART – Our slightly more hardcore punk/metal version of the angelic original was recorded as part the first Mutation album sessions, with the amazing Tom Spencer on lead vocals.
This track was originally intended appear on double a sided Geordie themed single, with Venom’s ‘Bloodlust’ on the other side. A brilliant idea, from the fervent mind of by Rich Jones, that I’d still love to do someday.
Let’s face it, it’s fookin pyooa belta bit o crack innit man, knaa worra meen?

I’M GONNA KISS YOU LIKE I’M GOING AWAY – Recorded at Jase Edward’s Majestic Splendour studios, this was the nucleus behind the idea of the album featuring a male and female voice. I’d lost my voice in the studio and called in Givvi Flynn to help me out.
The idea of this being a duet made perfect sense once we heard the voices take the song into more traditional, dare I say ABBA territory.
You can also hear how a lot of final ideas came in the actual recording of the finished track. We were making a lot of this stuff up as we went along. The best way."

The cover of I'm An Upstart is absolutely classic. Full of rage and venom, and would have made a great double A-side with Mutations cover of Venom's Bloodlust! Hearing this makes me even more excited about the possible forthcoming pledge campaign for another Mutation album!
Ginger says it all when he describes the demo of I'm Gonna Kiss You  Like I'm Going Away. This demo gives a great insight into a the work in progress of one of the Hey! Hello! albums strongest songs!

So there we have it, instalment 11 of 12, and quite possibly one of the strongest in terms of the songs!

Rating - 10/10



Its not to late to sign up, the plan is to leave the sight up so any new subscribers will be able to access all of the material that has been made available over the entire G.A.S.S. project. So come on folks, don't miss out of 36 stunning new songs and some absolutely glorious demos and rarities!