Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Snakeskin - Been Here Before

Nottingham based rockers Snakeskin offer up their new three track single here in the form of Been Here Before.
Opening with All You Got, a high blast of energy, and a song with a real NWoBHM feel to it (to my ears any way), which is no bad thing. That's quickly followed by a ballad in the form of Walked Outta Your Life, which is a nice beautiful track really slamming the breaks on tempo wise, but i guess its a great way to show your range as a band. This little ep closes with the title track, Been Here Before, which is nice mid tempo rocker.
I can see good things happening for Snakeskin, they're a great sounding band whom count
Motley Crue, Skid Row Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden and Guns N Roses amongst their influences, making for an interesting mix, and a nice loose sound.

rating 9/10

The Project - This Side Up.

Italian four piece, The Project, offer up their debut album, This Side Up, which is a really varied album. The songs are all of a great standard, but they take in so many influences, from so many varying genres its hard to keep up, but fun trying. These guys got together back in 2006, 'to produce original music' and boy have they done that. The best way to describe The Project would be hard rock with a good dose of energy and melody, lots of tempo changes and an almost indie style vocal. One minute you can hear a Bon Jovi influence in there then all of a suddenly its replaced by a Ramones esqe moment.
This Side Up is a great record, provided that you give it a spin or two, and give it a chance to sink in. Refreshing but not instant, but they may indeed help the bands longevity in the long run.

rating 9/10

Naughty Boys - Destiny Calls

Hailing from Sweden, Naughty Boys offer up their third full album release in Destiny Calls.
Hard rock in a similar vein to Europe and Dokken, melody driven rock with plenty of keyboards and some great atmospheric guitar work, real stadium rock. There are plenty of great tracks here from the opening title track, Destiny Calls and Broken to the double ballad whammy of Eternity and Fly With The Angels.
Listening to this album is kind of like taking a step back in time for me, layered keyboards, crunching power chords entwined with great guitar melodies and some roof raising solos"
Naughty Boys really have hit their stride here with Destiny Calls, there's not a bad song to be seen here. The production in nice and clean giving the album a very contemporary sound, all in all a great album!

rating 9/10

Dr Grind - Speechless

Seattle's Dr. Grind were guilty of being in the wrong place at the dead wrong time. hailing from the early 90's, Dr Grind played a melodic even progressive hard rock / metal something akin to early Queensryche, Icon and Dokken, at a time when Grunge was killing off everything that was fun in rock n roll. Before they disbanded in 1996 they did manage to release one album, which went sorrowfully unnoticed by the masses.
Now Eonian records gives us a chance to hear 17 songs by this band, and I'm truly glad they did. Vocalist Rick Allen has a great range, the songs are well written and performed by a band that really do believe in what they are doing. The guitar duo of Tom Moore and John Tippins are solid and they offer up a great sense of control and even some fine solos. All of the songs offered here are from the 1993 - 1994 era of the band, but many of them could have easily been written in the mid eighties, and that's probably why they still stand up so well. Dr Grind weren't trying to fit into any fads, they were just writing and playing the kind of music that they loved.
Speechless is a great way for those of us whom missed out on this band the first time around to get a listen, and realise just how good they actually were!

rating 8/10

Friday, 11 December 2009

The Wildhearts - Chutzpah Jnr

The Wildhearts make available the tracks that didn't make it onto the mighty Chutzpah! album released earlier this year. Many Die hards would have all ready heard 5 of the eight tracks as they were made available via free downloads or on the Japanese release of the Chutzpah album.
Opener and title track, Chutzpah Jnr, is a blistering fun introduction, lasting a little over a minute long. Next up is The Snake, The Lion, The Monkey and The Spider, which was originally made available as a free download taster prior to the albums release, its a quirky little number, the Wildhearts at their best!
Then we get All That Zen, which has to be one of the most uplifting and positive tunes Ginger and the boys have ever put out, pure genius!
Next up is Vernix, a truly mixed up song that has everything, its as heavy as Satan's bum in places, melodic as an angel singing in others, the tempo changes are quick and fast, and Gingers sense of humour is all over the bugger! A great song, but people unfamiliar with the band may not get this one, but I bloody love it!
Then we get the controversial dance track, Under The Waves, hmm well............. I'm loving this song, and its not a dance track to me. Sure there's drum machines in there and there is a techno vibe in there but its still the Wildhearts through and through and a lot less extreme than anything they put out in the Endless Nameless era.
Some Days Just Fucking Suck follows with a vibe familiar to any Wildhearts / Ginger tune, and a sentiment that we all know all to well. Its got a great chorus and could be fun live, another song that Ive fallen instantly in love with!
Then we get People Who Died, which sees Scott Sorry take on the lead vocals, its a great punk track with Scott putting a great performance on the lead vocals. Finally closing this short mini album is Zen Requiem, a track in memory of Gingers close friend Danny Zeen. A great song that was originally debuted live a few years ago.

Chutzpah Jnr is only available from the live shows at the moment, but I strongly urge any die hard fans to check it out, there's some great songs on here, but i can see why they were left off of the main album, I just don't see where they would have fitted in on the track listing.

A great early Christmas present though, God bless The Wildhearts!!!!

rating 10/10

London Blackmarket - The Hardest Stone To Throw

London Blackmarket - The Hardest Stone To Throw

Essex boys, London's Blackmarket return with their second single for Fiction Records, The Hardest Stone to Throw. The Single pretty much picks up where debut single Checkmate left off, blistering riffs, great ,melodies and well just good old fashioned rock n roll.
Gladly lead vocalist has recovered from the major injuries he suffered earlier this year and now if full steam ahead for the band. Linas Store and Last Chance Dance back up the A side, giving you three great tracks, full of diversity and pure raw talent!
Loving this band

rating 10/10

The DeRellas - Hollywood Monsters

The DeRellas bring us Hollywood Monsters, their debut album. The best way to describe their sound is simply no nonsense glam tinged punk rock n roll.
Hollywood Monsters packs all the energy, excitement and impact of the live show, and indeed sounds as if it could be a lost classic from 1978. Standout tracks for me are the explosive 'She's a Pistol', the incendiary 'All Fired Up' (whose sound suggests that the band would do well gigging with The Towers of London), the highly pertinent 'Freakshow' and the glam-punk re-working of Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain'
great old fashioned punk pop rock n roll which reminds me of latter day Ramones.
A great album!

rating 9/10

Maeven - Girl In Blue

The Sheffield girls return with their new one track single, Girl In Blue, their first release with the new line up. The sounds heavy, a little chaotic in places, but great at the same time. Loving the sound, live these girls must be awesome. They do sound familiar but i just cant put my finger on why, but that's probably a good thing! Maeven are playing a kind of Gothicy heavy but melodic garage rock and I'm loving it. I Cant wait to hear the new album when its completed sometime in 2010!

rating 9/10

The Bermondsey Joyriders - The Bermondsey Joyriders

The Bermondsey Joyriders hail from where else other than Bermondsey, they play a simple blend of punk, blues and rock. Keith Boyce has played with some of rocks biggest and greatest names including ROD STEWART and ELTON JOHN and LONG JOHN BALDRY and now joins forces with MARTY STACEY from UK punk legends CHELSEA and GARY LAMMIN formerly of COCK SPARRER to complete THE BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS.
Keith Boyce describes The Bermondsey Joyriders as a power house rock n
roll trio playing music not too unlike IGGY POP or THE NEW YORK DOLLS.
Infact when PATTI PALLADIN one time musical calobarotor and Ex
girlfriend of New York Dolls guitarist JOHNNY THUNDERS first heard The
Bermondsey Joyriders she said that The Bermondsey Joyriders had
captured the spirit of 1970s street Rock n Roll perfectly, and to be honest I have to agree. There's no overblown productions here, just simple music played from the heart.
Stand out tracks include, All The Darkness, Runnin Riot and Who Are Ya.
Highly recommended for music fans who like their punk simple with a tint of the blues thrown in for good measure!

rating 9/10

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Gun - Popkiller

One thing that you had to ponder when news of Guns return broke was that with Toby Jepson on board, were Gun going to sound like the Little Angels? Now the Little Angels were a damn fine band, one of my personal favourites through the Early nineties, but Gun always held a different kind of sound, which was loved too. Popkiller manages to ease those fears, yes Toby brings in his own personal style, some of those big hooks that his previous band were famous for, but the Ep maintains all of the little quirks that made previous Gun releases so poptasticly enjoyable.
Let Your Hair Down opens up the album and is catchy tune that quickly gets your attention.
Next up is Seraphina, which starts with a nice guitar intro and it progresses at a nice click until the nice guitar instrumental in the middle of the track which then sets the song up for the ending.
Popkiller must be a little ironic as its opening few seconds really bring to mind Pulps 'Common People', before the song grows into a nice little rocker!

Ripping Up The Letters is a track more or less in the mould of many of the Little Angels ballads which I do like and The Only is then a strong track that finishes up the EP.

This short five track ep is a great start for the band, with Toby Jepson fitting effortlessly into the Gun mould, and I personally can not wait to hear a full length album from the guys!

rating 10/10

Isolated Atoms - Tell Me What I Want

Black Country quartet Isolated Atoms deliver their debut single with Tell Me What I Want (B/w Here We Go), which comes across as a great combination of Joy Division and New Order.
The band offer up beat guitar driven melodic elctro rock, the songs are well written and performed excellently.Having only been together for a little over twelve months the band have developed a musical bond many long standing veterans would be envious of. 'With a sound that takes the best aspects of new wave and gives them a refreshing twist, the Black Country boys have come up with an intriguing brand of moody electro-rock. On Tell Me What I Want, singer Grant Ashman suggests a cooler version of The Killers. The Atoms ought to bomb up the charts.' is just one of the reviews that the boys have received from the national press and I have to whole heartedly agree!

rating 9/10

The Junk - Novus Ordo Seclorum

Three track EP 'Novus Ordo Seclorum' is no-frills skacore that'll find a ready home with fans of the genre. However, if skacore hasn't previously won you over, then stay well clear, as the JUNK bring absolutely nothing new to the genre. One of the strongest points of this release is the rich brass section. Throwing in sax, trombone and trumpet into the mix, there’s a developed sound that is anything but tacked on. The horns are intrinsic to the record as a whole, none more so than on “Scream Your Dreams”, a track that, keeping in with the HHN theme, harks back to Adequate 7. There’s not quite the funk infusion of the now defunct Welsh outfit, but the brass is accomplished and very welcome.
None of the threes songs on offer here are going to blow the ska punk scene apart, but the fact that they are all of such a high quality will ensure that they are (along with the band) taken to the hearts of every fan of the genre.

rating 7/10

Strawberry Blonde's - Fight Back

Newport Punks, Strawberry Blonde's return with their second full length alum in the form of Fight Back. The album gets off to a bold and blistering start with the double bill of ‘Revolution Radio’ and ‘Fight Back’; bold because the same central riff is on both tracks and blistering because that particular riff is the kind that pummels its way into your head from the first note and dosn't’t leave until long after the last song has finished. 'No Way Out’ contains the only other discernibly brilliant riff of the album with lead singer Mickie Stabbs’ vocals perfectly fitting the powerful chorus as he sneers “no future, no fun / keep fighting but there’s no way out”. ‘RCH Punx’ repeats the trick of the first two tracks by containing the same central riff as ‘No Way Out’. The rest of the album unfortunately fails to match these tracks in quality which is unfortunate really. The other problem is the fact that the riff are so often re used or shared between songs it kind of leaves a repetitive taste in the mouth with the album coming across as a little samey. There are some great songs on Fight Back, don't get me wrong, I just believe it needed a little more time!

rating 7/10

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Hate Gallery - Dead Celebrities EP

Having managed to find the time to help write record / produce and tour the First Warrior Soul album to come out in years all the members of Hate Gallery reunite to give us their new Dead Celebrities EP, which is itself a stop gap/ taster of the new album set to be release next year. This six track is absolutely brilliant, giving you everything you could possibly want from a modern rock band!
Opening up with the controversial title track, 'Dead Celebrities (Queen Of The Damned)', is as good as song as your ever gonna see, hooks, venom, clever lyrics and some excellent guitars along with a dirty great fat bass line that vibrates right down the spine!
'Liberation' is a hook-laden classic with a bit of an eighties feel. 'Love To Hate' is another lyrically astute monster of a track, that is the proud owner of one hell of riff,also coming complete with political samples and a wickedly cynical sneer!
'New God' is the definitive version of the same track that appeared on their debut album. ('Compassion Fatigue'). You can really see the Warrior Soul influences on this version, but as i said, considering the fact that a large portion of Hate Gallery now form the current incarnation of Warrior Soul its hardly surprising.
'The Man Without A Name' seems to drop the tempo a little, but not the intensity, a slightly mellower track, again with some excellent lyrics! Closing up this Ep is 'So This Is Life?' has a sampled live intro before going into yet another classic kick ass riff.
Dead Celebrities is one hell of an Ep just as Hate Gallery are one hell of a band, bring on the new album in early 2010!
Very highly recommended!

rating 11/10

Strike Twice - Strike Twice

Heavy, bad-ass hard rock dripping with the energy and swagger of the '80s -- and that's exactly when this band were in their heyday. Here we get a retrospective look at 11 classic tracks which fans of Ratt, Motley Crue, Britney Fox and Warrant should really enjoy!
Strike Twice was created by vocalist Michael Hayes and guitarist Rob Luv, two guys with a love in their hearts and souls for hot-blooded hard rock, something that really showed in their music. Strike Twice played their music from their guts, displaying a killer knack for crafting punchy, high-energy hard rock songs that drip with streetwise swagger and bad boy shock factor. Never settling for second best, Strike Twice gave it all they had, a well-oiled hair-metal machine that delivered the goods to hungry hard rockers. With ripping tunes like "Tuff Luck," "Dirty Lover," and "Undress Me," Strike Twice proves beyond any doubt that they possessed the talent to stand shoulder to shoulder with their contemporaries!

Rating 9/10

New Found Glory - Not Without a Fight

Not Without a Fight, the New album from New Found Glory, will please the ever growing fan base, but it also shows that the band are continuing to mature as song writers too. Sure they still play it safe and stick to their formula, but it works for them, and both lyrically and musically the band have grown. To me they will always remind me of Green Day (Sorry), but if that's your thing then great!
The two real stand out tracks for me are '47' and 'Such A Mess', but that's not to say the rest of the albums not up to scratch. Its great poppy rock with a punkish edge, and the band have honed their style over the past five albums, so you shouldn't really be expecting anything else!

rating 8/10