Monday, 24 March 2014

Gus G. - I Am the Fire (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Modern Rock
Label -

Track listing:-

01. My Will Be Done (feat. Mats Levén)
02. Blame It On Me (feat. Mats Levén)
03. I Am The Fire (feat. Devour The Day)
04. Vengeance (feat. David Ellefson)
05. Long Way Down (feat. Alexia Rodriguez)
06. Just Can't Let Go (feat. Jacob Bunton)
07. Terrified (feat. Billy Sheehan)
08. Eyes Wide Open (feat. Mats Levén)
09. Redemption (feat. Michael Starr)
10. Summer Days (feat. Jeff Scott Soto)
11. Dreamkeeper (feat. Tom S. Englund)
12. End Of The Line (feat. Mats Levén)

#### Not My Review But I Simply Couldnt Put It Any Better #####
( All Credit to the original author)

Guitarist GUS G. has spent the better part of the last decade solidifying his place as one of metal’s reigning guitar virtuosos. He’s recorded more than a dozen studio albums and performed around the world as a member of Arch Enemy, Dream Evil and Firewind, and let's not forget he was handpicked by Ozzy Osbourne in 2009 to become his new guitarist.
But GUS G.’s debut solo album, "I Am The Fire", which will be released March 18, is a new adventure. The record mixed by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther), gives Gus the opportunity to explore a different side of his creativity and showcases his skills as a producer and songwriter.

Apart from the two signature Gus G. instrumentals ("Vengeance" and "Terrified"), "I Am The Fire" veers away from the traditional heavy metal vibe and leans more toward a straight-ahead classic Melodic Hard Rock sound. 
The CD also features a multitude of top class musicians, including monster singers Mats Levén and Jeff Scott Soto, and bassists Billy Sheehan and David Ellefson.
"I Am The Fire" is not a 'guitar man album', it's focused on songs and goes the proverbial guest vocalist route, the most notable being Levén of former Yngwie Malmsteen fame. Mats is a tried-and-true melodic metal singer owning one of the best voices in the business, which is why straight-rock cuts like "My Will Be Done" and the fun "Blame It On Me" emerge as the album’s early high points. 

The title track (with vocals from Blake Alison of Devour The Day) along with "Break Away" (featuring Alexa Rodriguez of Eyes Set To Kill) provide the modernized balance to the records, which for the most part waters classy sounds inspired in the late Eighties and specially the early Nineties.

Take as example "Summer Days", co-written and performed by the mighty Jeff Scott Soto: I can't help, but everything touched by his magical pipes seems to turn into pure gold. This awesome track worth the disc alone.
Then we have a surprisingly melodic performance of Evergrey’s Tom Englund on "Dreamkeeper", a groovy radio friendly ballad wich offers more than enough to give this record the scene cred stamp of approval.
Alexia Rodriguez (Eyes Set To Kill) brings what sounds like a healthy admiration for old Queensryche to "Long Way Down", while Steel Panther's Michael Starr steps up for "Redemption ", and he gets it - the man fits perfect with hard rocking nature of the song. This track kicks serious ass, and I can't see anyone not loving it.

The instrumental "Vengeance" is closer to Gus' normal fare, and he sounds more at home weaving his melodic shredding throughout, as Dave Ellefson brings some tasty bass to the track. If you want to know what Gus G.'s playing is like, this is it. A fabulous player.
"Terrified is the other cut without vowels featuring the always wonderful Billy Sheehan, and listening to them riff together is pure bliss. This is Gus at his best again, and he's on point - this is what I want to hear from the guy, classy playing and a raging band.
Mats Levén returns for the closing "End Of The Line", and it's a strong ending in the ballad form, but the gutsy one. Mats sounds like he actually connects with the lyrical content, and he's flies over Gus' orchestration mixing acoustic with electrics.

GUS G.’s "I Am The Fire" is a terrific album plenty of great songs, awesome vocalists and excellent playing.
The record showcases a well-balanced mix of classic Melodic Hard Rock, modern Hard Rock and guitar-driven instrumentals, taking listeners on a diverse journey and opening doors to Gus G.'s soulful playing. 
He proves to be a talented songwriter / arranger as well, and behind the production desk is second to none, as everything sounds crisp and punchy.
Strongly Recommended.

Rating - 9/10

Full cast - 
Gus G. - all guitars, bass and keyboards
Devid Ellefson [Megadeth] - bass
Billy Sheehan [Mr. Big, David Lee Roth] - bass
Mary O'Brien [Tommy Lee, We Are The Fallen] - bass
Jeff Friedl [A Perfect Circle, Devo] - drums
Daniel Erlandsson [Arch Enemy] - drums

Mats Levén [ex Yngwie, Treat] - vocals
Blake Allison [Devour The Day] - vocals
Michael Starr [Steel Panther] - vocals
Alexia Rodriguez [Eyes Set To Kill] - vocals
Tom S. Englund [Evergrey] - vocals
Jacob Bunton [Adler] - vocals
Jeff Scott Soto [W.E.T., Talisman] - vocals

Daniel Trigger - Army of One (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Melodic Rock
Label - Self Released

Track listing:

01 - Unbreakable
02 - Rise Above
03 - Invisible
04 - All Fall Down
05 - Fear The Night
06 - State Of Mind
07 - Here & Now
08 - Remember When
09 - Dancing With The Devil

Daniel Trigger has been around for a few years now, producing music for many years both as a solo artist and as part of the band Trigger who found some minor success in and around the Midlands of England.
Trigger is a multi instrumentalist and a bit of a one man band in the studio taking care of all duties apart from guitar solos, which are handled by long-time associate and esteemed session guitarist David D’Andrade, and drums which are played by Terry Sadowski.
Unbreakable kicks the album off with its big riffs and layered vocals which impress from the start.Rise Above continues in the same vein with some chunky guitar riffs yet a more melodic feel, another great track.
Invisible again follows the melodic rock root, stiff with some meaty riffs but Daniels vocals really shinning through.
All Fall Down is the albums real gem, beginning with its acoustic guitars before building into an epic powerhouse of a track.
Fear The Night is a straight up melodic rocker, driven along by its bass line. State of Mind has a great opening riff before breaking down into more of an AOR track. Another great song showcasing Mr Triggers versatility.
Here & Now proves to be another fine melodic rocker, whilst Remember When proves to be the albums big ballad, and a great song to boot.
Dancing With The Devil closes out the album and its a great rocker, reuly ending the procedings upon an high note.

A great album.
With the right promotion, possibly within AOR circles, this album could become a bit of a cult classic. Trigger has proved himself a strong songwriter and a talented musician.

Rating - 9/10

The Pretty Reckless - Going to Hell (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Alternative / Modern Rock / Female Vocals
Label - Cooking Vinyl

Track listing: -

01. Follow Me Down
02. Going To Hell
03. Heaven Knows
04. House On A Hill
05. Sweet Things
06. Dear Sister
07. Absolution
08. Blame Me
09. Burn
10. Why'd You Bring A Shotgun To The Party
11. Fucked Up World
12. Waiting For A Friend
13. Going To Hell (Live Acoustic)
14. Sweet Things (Acoustic)

Its been a long wait since 2010's debut album Light Me Up from The Pretty Reckless, the awesome band fronted by Taylor Momsen, the  child prodigy, actress, model and singer songwriter / musician, but the wait is finally over as the band return with their sophmore effort, Going To Hell.
Going To Hell showcases just how much The Pretty Reckless have developed over the past few years,It goes without saying that Taylor Momsen can sing but here the music is more complex and in a lot of cases heavier than on their debut album. Going To Hell allows the rest of the band get more of the spotlight with some goods guitar solos and pretty decent drumming, which can only be a good thing. The songs are really strong too, especially,  House on the Hill, Follow me Down, Sweet Things, Heaven Knows and Going to Hell.
Going To Hell proves that The Pretty Reckless are a real band, serious about what they do, and not just the side project of some celebrity actress.

This album is really worth checking out!

Rating - 9/10

Cage The Gods - Badlands (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - The End Records

Track listing:

01 - Favourite Sin
02 - The Ending
03 - Sacrifice
04 - Badlands
05 - Trouble Reigns
06 - Bruce Willis
07 - Falling
08 - A Thousand Times
09 - One More Taste
10 - What's Left of Me
11 - Promises
12 - From the Start

Ever since I first came across the bands debut EP, Favourite Sin, I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this, their full length debut album and it doesn't disappoint.
With Favourite Sin causing a stir amongst critics and fans alike and having already toured with the likes of Pretty Maids, The Answer, Tainted Nation and soon supporting The Treatment all over the islands, with plans to hit U.S. shores next month, it no wonder that these guys have been creating such a buzz!
With their appreciation for the music of rock legends such as Led Zeppelin, Free, Def Leppard or Small Faces, this young talented four-piece fuse together rock ‘n’ roll culture from the four corners of the UK: Irishman Peter Comerford on vocals, Scotsman Jam on guitar, Mitch Witham on bass from Wales and then English sticksman Colin Jones.
The songs on Badlands are big, full, and comfortably arrogant such as the fast energetic opener Favourite Sin, the classic rock sounding Sacrifice, Trouble Reigns or the title track.
From The Start has some funky sounding bass and bluesy guitar lines more slowed down and restrained, while Bruce Willis is a killer hard rocker with a strong live vibe.
Badlands shows that Cage The Gods have a pretty promising career ahead of them. The album is entirely strong throughout and I can't imagine any fan of British classic rock music being disappointed.
They add to the recipe a touch of sleazy from the late '80s Californian scene providing enough variation in both pace and style to please any demanding hard rock fan. All in this record is quite polished; the vocals are up front and confident, the guitar hooks are powerful and go for the throat and the rhythm section are as tight as they come.
Listening to "Badlands" you can feel Cage The God's young energy pour out of the speakers. It's genuine classic rock updated to modern times with a slick production and mix. Its hard to believe that this is debut album from such a young band.
With the talent and songwriting skills on display here, Cage The Gods could very well be destined to be one of the biggest bands of their generation!

Very Highly Recommended.

Rating  - 10/10

I Love Rich - Respect The Rich (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Glam / Sleaze
Label - Self Released

Track listing:

01 - Respect The Rich (intro)
02 - (You're So Hot) I'm Gonna Fuck You With The Lights On
03 - Wake Up, Let Me Rock You
04 - We're Here To Save Rock And Roll
05 - Fight The Fire
06 - If You Don't Take Your Clothes Off, Tonight's Gonna Suck
07 - (You're So Hot) I'm Gonna Fuck You With The Lights On (Rock En Espanol Version)
08 - (You're So Hot) I'm Gonna Fuck You With The Lights On ( Clean Radio Version)
        (AKA (You're So Hot) I'm Gonna Love You With The Lights On)

Okay, so where do I start? Chicago's I Love Rich have been around for a while now, peddling their brand of party glam rock / sleaze. You only have to check out the titles in the track listing above to get a good idea of what you're in for with this band. Straight up party rock and roll, possibly a little more Spinal Tap than Steel Panther, but what the hey, these guys are loving what they do, and I'd say most of those choosing to listen to this Ep will be loving what they do too!
There is definitely a relaxed feel to the music, real good time music, with a Kiss / Ace Frehley styled vocals, and to be fair the songs are pretty strong. Did this eight track Ep need three versions of the same song? Not really, but that is probably the only real negative here. As I have already said, the songs are pretty strong, Fight The Fire and (You're So Hot) I'm Gonna Fuck You With The Lights On being the two stand outs here.
If you are looking for some good time rock and roll music for a frat party, or hell any party, then you could do a lot worse than I Love Rich!

Rating - 8/10

THE TREATMENT - Running With The Dogs [Deluxe Edition] (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label -Spinefarm Records

Track listing:

01. I Bleed Rock + Roll
02. Drop Like A Stone
03. Get The Party On
04. Running With The Dogs
05. The Outlaw
06. Emergency
07. She's Too Much
08. Cloud Across The Sun
09. Don't Look Down
10. World On Fire
11. What Is There To Say?
12. Unchain My World
13. Don't Get Mad Get Evil

Bonus CD:
01. Way Of The World
02. The Seeker
03. She Does It Right
04. No Matter What
05. In My Chair
06. Running With The Dogs (Acoustic)
07. I Bleed Rock + Roll (Acoustic)

UK rockers The Treatment are a band who have lived a somewhat charmed life so far, their debut album,
,This Might Hurt,  was recorded in the studio of Steve Harris from Iron Maiden and in the last couple of years the guys have supported some of the biggest bands around, including opening for Motley Crue and Kiss  across the USA, not too bad for five guys from Cambridge, UK.
The band have now managed to find time in their busy touring schedule to return to the studio and record this new album entitled "Running With The Dogs"

Once again the bands influences shine through, including almost a who's who of the classic rock past,
from the likes of AC/DC, Def Leppard, Thin Lizzy, UFO, The Cult, and well the list goes on!

The album opens with the great one two punch of I Bleed Rock + Roll and Drop Like A Stone, both high octane rockers that really set the mood for what looks to be a great album. Next up is Get The Party On, another great good time track that see's the tempo slow a little, yet maintains the albums party atmosphere.All three of the album's opening tracks are sure to become live favourites!
Title track, Running With The Dogs slows the tempo further, yet still has the power and punch to keep party going, with its Babylon AD feel. Another great song is  Emergency which nods in Def Leppard’s direction, continues the albums fun feel whilst The Outlaw, with its excerpt from the old Wild West before hitting the mean streets of downtown LA circa 1985, shows that there are more than one string in the The Treatments Bow!
The album isn't all just out and out party rock though, the laid back, prophetic Cloud Across The Sun, and the blistering raucous advice of Don’t Get Mad Get Evil, offer up enough textures to prevent the album from ever feeling repetitive and "samey'.
Its definitely worthwhile tracking down the  Dogs Deluxe Edition of the album as it features a bonus disc with a lot of bonus  material to enjoy, from  the raucous "Way Of The World", the melodic and bluesy "The Seeker", the emotional and Aerosmith-like "No Matter What", a solid acoustic version of title track and more.
Running With The Dogs is a great follow up the the bands acclaimed debut, and see's them beginning to fulfil some of their doubtless potential!

Rating - 9/10

John Bassett (KingBathmat) - UNEARTH (2014)

Genre - Progressive Rock / Alternative Rock
Label - Stereohead Records

Track listing:

01 - Stay Away From The Dark
02 - Survival Rate
03 - Nothing Sacred
04 - Unearth
05 - Pantomime
06 - Kylerhea
07 - TV Is God
08 - Keep Dear
09 - Something That's More Worthwhile
10 - Comedian

John Bassett is an English multi-instrumentalist, singer songwriter and producer hailing from Hastings (UK), mainly known for being the driving force and front man of UK progsters KingBathmat. Here he delivers his debut solo album in the form of Unearth released via Stereohead Records.
Unearth proves itself to be a to be a subtle, sophisticated album of modern acoustic songs, imbued with melancholic melodies with a progressive slant. The emotive songs of "Unearth" encompass and depict the dark substratum of modern life. Social engineering, existential contemplation, survival ism, childhood truama, love & despair and everything in-between! Capitalising upon the songwriting skills and production techniques that he has developed over the past 10 years or so.
Every song on offer here is jam packed with layers and harmonies, often leaving the listener guessing as to just where the song is going to lead them next!
Lyrically the songs have the depth and meaning that we have come to expect from John's songwriting and musically, well the songs are just sublime!
Looking for standout tracks? Well to be honest I really wanted to list a couple but they are are all equally brilliant. Stay Away From The Dark, the albums lead single is definitely a good place to start, TV Is God, is another gem, as are Kylerhea and Something That's more Worthwhile, but to be honest I could easily list the entire album.
Unearth builds splendidly upon the huge body of work that KingBathmat have already produced and really showcases John Bassett as one of the UK's best singer songwriters, producers and performers!

You owe it to yourself to check this album out!

Rating - 10/10

Dave Evans (Ex AC/DC) - Nothing To Prove EP (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - Rocksector Records

Track listing:

01 - Put Up or Shut Up
02 - I Believe
03 - Reach For The Sky
04 - Baby Please Don't Go

Original AC/DC vocalist (and co-founding band member), Dave Evans returns with a new Ep, Nothing To Prove which also marks the fortieth anniversary of the very first ACDC live shows!

Nothing To Prove features three brand new tracks all co-written with Chris Appleton (Fury UK / Absolva / Blaze Bayley) and a cover of the traditional blues classic, Baby Please Don't Go.

Opening with Put Up or Shut Up, Nothing To Prove gets off to a great start. Driven by a stomping riff that propels the song along and gives it a classic feel, reminding me in places of sadly missed NWoBHM legends Samson! Dave's vocals dripping attitude with every line.Yet that being said, the song still has a very contemporary feel, due in the main part to its top notch production! I imagine that this track will fast become a live favourite!
Next up we have I Believe, a slightly more melodic track, especially the chorus, which has a Kiss feel to it (in my opinion anyway!), with the verses following a riff very similar to the main riff of the previous track. Again Dave's vocals are spot on and the band are as tight as a ducks arse so to speak.
Reach For The Sky follows which has a slightly quicker tempo than its predecessors, yet for some reason its sound brings to mind a sort of cross between Samson (Don't Get Mad Get Even era) and Praying Mantis!
The Ep's closing track, is a great spirited cover of the classic blues track made famous by the likes of Big Joe Williams, Budgie and Aerosmith! A great performance of a stunning song.

Nothing To Prove really does show that Dave Evans really does have Nothing To Prove, and captures an artist who really does seem to be enjoying what they are doing, with as much hunger as when they first started (40 years ago!) but with the benefit of 40 years of experience!

Rating 9/10