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

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Seven Deadly release new digital single and lyric video!

'The Wrath' is the latest release from UK melodic thrash metal band Seven Deadly. This latest release from the London based metal band follows their first ep ‘The Allegiance’ and more recently, the critically acclaimed debut album ‘Obliviaition’ released earlier this year:

Seven Deadly were booked to play at ALT-FEST before the festival was cancelled recently - New live shows are now being booked. with the band confirmed for the London leg of charity event Headbangers Balls on 15th November - more info at

FAHRAN - Chasing Hours (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
Label - Self Released

Track listing:
01 - Long Gone
02 - Take This City Alive
03 - A Thousand Nights
04 - I Heard A Joke Once
05 - Chasing Hours
06 - Cased In Steel
07 - You Could Be Mine
08 - Some Kind Of Family
09 - Are We Free
10 - Back To Me
11 - Prison
12 - Black Mirror
13 - Storms We Ride

FAHRAN were formed in Breaston, England, back in 2012 from the ashes of Toxic Federation. "Chasing Hours" is the band’s second release following on from their self-titled debut album and it sees the debut of new vocalist Matt Black and bassist Josh Ballantyne.
Reading the band’s bio it states that Fahran’s sound is like a combination of older stalwarts like Queen and Iron Maiden melded with modern rock akin Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, etc. This is true perhaps on some guitar riffs, but Farham, thankfully, has a more classic hard rock foundation than I expected.
On listening to the first track "Long Gone", several things become clear: the band are as tight as a duck’s rear end, for a self-produced album both production and final mix are spot on, oh, and the band kick some serious ass.
The song starts with an almost early '90s Bon Jovi intro before you are hit in the face by a monster of a riff that makes you sit up and take notice. It is a strong constant throughout this album.
New singer Matt Black has a soulful voice which suits the music really well and over the 13 tracks included on the CD the musicianship is top notch. The double guitar work of Jake Graham and Chris Byrne (who incidentally produced the album) is excellent, this is where the Maiden influence is at its clearest.
Highlights are plentiful throughout the record with tracks like "Take This City Alive" and "I Heard A Joke Once" which are short, sharp rockers rubbing shoulders with "Prison" and "Back To Me" which are well constructed heavy numbers.
"A Thousand Nights" is a kick ass classic rock stormer: it sounds huge and it's blessed with strong lead vocals. On title track "Chasing Hours" the band show they are more than a one trick pony as they deliver something altogether much more soulful that is drenched in emotion.
Also different cuts are "Black Mirror" which starts with a bit of quiet bass noodling before running full pelt to the finale, and the rocking ballad "Storms We Ride" with great drumming from JR Windsor.
Why Fahran aren't yet signed to a label is beyond me. They have the songs and the talent to be the next big thing given the chance and the right opportunities.
All members - five young guys - are really good musicians. In my opinion they are wise beyond their age and definitely born a couple decades too late, because "Chasing Hours" at times have that '80s / '90s feel.
More than one track here would make a great backing to a montage scene on Rocky IV or Karate Kid 2, with a modern sound, yes, but the skeleton of the songs have that 'smell'. You know what I mean. Some songs as well bring to mind American melodic hard rockers Waltham.
The production on "Chasing Hours" is nothing sort of outstanding, it sounds absolutely massive, as an album like this needs and deserves.

Very Highly Recommended

Rating - 10/10

SAINTS OF SIN - The Seven Deadly Sins (2014)

Genre - Hair Metal
Label - 

Track listing:
01 - Last Goodnight
02 - Animal
03 - Judgement Day
04 - Feed The Fire
05 - Goodbye
06 - On Top of My World
07 - Burn The Clubs Down
08 - One More Minute (digital bonus)
09 - Living Young (digital bonus)

Since forming in 2013 in Southampton, UK, SAINTS OF SIN have been bringing their own brand of unadulterated hair metal to venues up and down the country.
This is a band that has grown steadily more popular, both locally and further afield, and after having twice headlined the Insomnia International Gaming Festival, the group are releasing their debut "The Seven Deadly Sins".
It takes some balls to be in a hair metal band nowadays, put yourself in spandex Lycra-clad and use eye-liner on stage, but these young rockers love this genre from the heart, and you can tell that listening their music.
Saint Of Sin's flamboyant sound is made up of anthemic choruses, vocal harmonies and powerful guitar riffs. Think Motley Crue, Ratt or Dokken, with a songwriting firmly established in the Glam territory with roots in traditional, good old fashioned hard rock / hair metal but with a modern spin.
It all kicks off with an opening salvo of “Last Goodnight”. This reminds me of something and it took a while to figure out what it was: Rough Cutt, but on the riff and harmonies, the lead vocals of Rui Brito are more in the Jamie St. James (Black 'N Blue) and fits the music perfectly. There's a very nice guitar work before the solo, combining clean / razor electric guitars ala Dokken.
Second track “Animal” starts with a hair metal trademark: cowbell. Then kicks along at a fairly frenetic pace. This is American styled hard rock at its finest plenty of a backing vocals chorus and there is some awesome guitar work in the middle.
The intro to “Judgement Day” reminds me of Def Leppard, but the infectious riff is raucous and is a big track which somewhat harks back to early Ratt. In fact, all this album takes you back to yesteryear; although it is unmistakeably 2014. It has serious elements of old school but it manages not to be cheesy, merely a little bit tongue-in-cheek.
“Feed the Fire” is another such track, with raunchy guitar harmonics all over the top with some Warrant over it. I defy anyone to sit still whilst they’re listening to it.
Next up is “Goodbye” which starts off slowly, almost ballad-like; but it builds up into a big chorus. There is a soulful guitar solo to provide some atmosphere; I can almost see in my mind’s eye a cheeky, parody 'November Rain-esque' video to go with it.
“On Top of my World” starts off with a drum intro, with guitars screaming in. It’s a fast-paced hair metal aural orgasm, with some killer musicianship & vocals and it’s one of the most mature, hard rock oriented tracks on the CD.
“Burn The Clubs Down” must be a live favourite, with its arena-ready verses and explosive chorus. I would go so far as to say it’s an anthem and it really sticks in the brain with its monster hook and blistering guitar solo.
“One More Minute” turn things lighter in a melodic rock mould with clean electric guitar verses and lots of multi-part vocal harmonies, and then “Living Young” rocks again via a crunchy guitar riff.
Saints Of Sin’s debut is a fun hair metal, feel-good glammy extravaganza of songs that work really well regarding the genre.
It must be pointed that their music is not 'sleazy', this is '80 Americanised Hard Rock / Hair Metal. This record neatly showcases what the band is about and you could easily imagine any of these songs being taken from the soundtrack of an '80s action movie.
These guys should be huge on stage, and are ready for bigger things.
Highly Recommended.

Rating - 9/10

RELOAD - Hotter Than A Bullet (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Melodic Metal
Label -

Track listing:
01 - Give Into the Night
02 - Superhero
03 - Come Back
04 - Longing for Your Love
05 - Candle in the Night
06 - Alone
07 - Higher
08 - Prince of Steel
09 - Survive
10 - Fight

Formed two years ago in Larissa, Greece, RELOAD is a new rocking band which debut "Hotter Than A Bullet" has been produced by the skilled Bob Katsionis (Firewind, Outloud).
Reload's style merge traditional Euro hard rock with a melodic metal touch, and the result is pretty tight and entertaining.
Musically, Reload is driven by the dual guitar attack of Teo Ross / Tasos Lazaridis, both with a very traditional hard rock set up sound and playing, especially the solos, very '80s influenced. The riffs are meaty and well arranged.
And where's the woman? Behind the drum kit. And believe me, Marianiki Toka never miss a beat, playing with ease in a compact manner.
Amongst the best 'melodic heavy rock' - that's how the band like to name their song-style - tracks, there's the really melodious aforementioned "Give Into the Night", the classic hard rocker "Come Back", mid-tempo "Candle in the Night" and the catchy "Longing for Your Love", the more melodic hard rock oriented track on the CD. 
"Prince of Steel" is good metal ballad adorned with Spanish guitar and a nice atmosphere, turning more rocking in the middle. The solo is full of emotion and one of the best on the album.
But as said, Reload has a heavier side, with "Higher", and especially "Fight", being pretty metallic and with a typical European sound from twenty five years ago.
Reload is a promising new band presenting themselves to the Rock scene with this solid, more than decent 10-track debut. 
You can hear Katsionis' hand behind the desk, providing a professional touch to the record. This is specially noticeable on the guitar sound, strong, sharp and with a lot of bite.
"Hotter Than A Bullet" is an enjoyable record, blending hard / melodic metal in the traditional Euro style.

Rating - 8/10

ACE FREHLEY - Space Invader [Deluxe Edition] (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label - Steamhammer (SPV)

Track listing:
01 - Space Invader
02 - Gimme a Feelin' (Radio Edit)
03 - I Wanna Hold You
04 - Change
05 - Toys
06 - Immortal Pleasures
07 - Inside the Vortex
08 - What Every Girl Wants
09 - Past the Milky Way
10 - Reckless
11 - The Joker
12 - Starship
13 - Space Invader (Radio Edit) [bonus track]
14 - Gimme a Feelin' (explicit version) [bonus track]

One of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame’s newest inductees, ACE FREHLEY, is unleashing a nugget of rock gold next week on August 19, entitled... “Space Invader”. Yes, not only the title and the album artwork has a nod to his KISS years, but so does the music inside, a little too much in place if I am honest.
The first thing you realise listening to the title track which opens the CD is that this could well be a track from Frehley’s legendary 1978 solo album. Despite or maybe because of all the space-age technology available, Ace you see is still stuck in a time warp, and this is the best thing about this album. It's pure late seventies / early eighties.
"Gimme A Feelin" that follows has that trademark bombastic riff, a rough but charming vocal and slightly awkward lyrics that were always a huge part of Frehley’s boyish charm. When you add to that a ‘could only be Ace’ solo it’s a track that’s ‘perfectly imperfect’ like all of Ace’s best numbers.
"I Wanna Hold You" is a cool track that gives Ace another card in his deck of tricks. The song has a playful melodic rock sensibility without losing the edge that his voice and guitar lend to virtually every track in his catalogue.
"Change" has a meaty riff that starts the track, but the chugging rhythm underneath the vocals adds depth and grit to the track that makes this a bit heavier than other tracks here without deviating from Ace’s signature sound.
"Toys" rides over a groovy bluesy riff that offset the chunky guitar parts in the verse. The vocals and lyrics are all Ace. The tempo and mood of this track remind me of the song 'Dolls' from his first post-Kiss solo disc, 1987′s Frehley’s Comet.
"Immortal Pleasures" is a different track from Ace standards that features a muted guitar line that adds depth to the song, especially once the vocals kick in and give the song an identity. "What Every Girls Wants" is a return to a sound and era for Ace. The feel of this track sounds like a riff he would have constructed in his formative Kiss years, while adding the experience of being a seasoned solo artist who has developed his own sound.
"Reckless" plays off of other tracks on this disc, while adding a playful vibe from earlier Frehley gems. This song helps tie pieces of Ace’s past with the present, and hopefully the future.
"Inside The Vortex" gives all Ace fans exactly what they are looking for: tight vocals and tighter guitars. The drumming and bass on this track are really hard rockin' without bringing the vibe of the song down. 
"Past The Milky Way" is reminiscent of his 1978 solo album, in that it breaks the mold of what is expected from him, but comes off as only an Ace Frehley track can. The chorus and bridges are chock full of guitar fire that duet nicely with his vocal. 
"The Joker" is an interesting take on the Steve Miller track. Although cut from different clothes, you see how adaptive Ace and his playing can be in creating his own spin on an all too familiar track without totally changing it.
"Starship" is a good instrumental from Frehley that brings all of the facets of this disc and his career together in a cool 7:00 opus. The use of effects and his playing harken back to 'Fractured Mirror' while updating that groove and feeling to 2014 with this song. The track is a bit heavier, but reminds us why we loved Ace in the first place.
This Deluxe Edition, apart from two very nice posters, includes two bonus tracks; a Radio Edit of "Space Invader" which I think has been slightly re-mixed, and a worthwhile 'Explicit Version' of the catchy single "Gimme a Feelin'".
Ace Frehley surprises with “Space Invader”: not only for the very classic songwriting but also for the production / sound, very vintage yet with a 2014 recording technique.
This album sounds, to my ears at least, much more like KISS Klassic than anything on Monster did. 
Space Ace has out KISSed KISS. He even got Ken Kelly, the guy who did the album art for Destroyer and Love Gun, to do the cover artwork. This may end up being the best KISS album KISS never recorded… hell, it may end up being the best KISS album since Revenge.
Anyway, forget comparisons to any bands Ace has been associated with in the past – a great record is a great record… and this is a great recording. 
With “Space Invader” Ace has outdone himself and proven to the world once again why he has influenced guitar players and that he is still relevant in 2014.
Highly Recommended.

Rating - 9/10

BERNIE MARSDEN - Shine (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Blues Rock / Melodic Rock
Label -

Track listing:
01. Linin' Track
02. Wedding Day
03. Walk Away
04. Kinda Wish She Would
05. Ladyfriend
06. Trouble
07. Who Do We Think We Are?
08. Bad Blood
09. Shine
10. Dragonfly
11. You Better Run
12. Hoxie Rollin' Time
13. Nw8

### The following review is not my work but I couldn't agree more so I reproduce it here. All credit to the original author ###

Ex Whitesnake guitarist BERNIE MARSDEN new album "Shine" to be released next August 18, explores a wide ranging musical horizon including a cleverly updated bluesy, slick AOR, kick ass boogie, riff driven and twin guitar rock, a steaming bluesy shuffle and a book-ended instrumental.
By his own admission "Shine" includes some stockpiled material, but it’s subtly shaped, polished and nicely sequenced by his former Alaska band member turned producer Rob Kass.

Recorded in studio 3 in Abbey Road (where the Beatles cut ‘Revolver’), "Shine" sparkles with confident songs, sumptuous guitar tones, potent harmonies, magisterial playing and Bernie’s best ever lead vocals.
Producer Rob Kass strikes the prefect balance between the album’s song driven focus and the possibilities that an array of guests – including David Coverdale, Jimmy Copley, Ian Paice, Don Airey Cherry Lee Mewis, Joe Bonamassa and Mark Feltham – and a big studio offers him.
"Shine" is a coherent album that plays to Bernie’s strengths. He’s always been a consummate guitarist and a prodigious songwriter, but a combination of different vocals textures injects the steely arrangements with style and gusto.

Listen for example, to the airy, west coast vocal sweep of Danny Kirwan’s "Dragonfly" – included here as an ode to Peter Green – and the standout title track. The Cream style vocal harmonies are underpinned by Ian Paice’s pounding stick work and topped by Don Airey’s keyboard riffs and Bonamassa’s scintillating solo. All the elements coalesce seamlessly as if building to a naturally defining moment on the track.
But this is such a well paced album that the final four tracks find their sequential place as part of an integral whole, before coming to rest on Bernie’s acoustic instrumental outro.

"Shine" opens with a sledgehammer groove of Leadbelly’s "Linin’ Track" which mirrors the song’s lyrical muscularity, while the hot picking on "Wedding Day" has a lively feel, as part of an enveloping production.
The kick ass boogie and ZZ Top influenced "Kinda Wish She Would" is effectively a counterweight as Bernie’s slightly distorted vocal gives the track an extra bit of edge on a riff driven rocker with huge radio potential.

My absolute favourite is the AOR, keyboard led "Walk Away" (awesome Don Airey) with its '80s keyboard motif, uplifting hook and catchy chorus. It's a sister track to the eco message and vocal tour de force "Who Do We Think We Are", a mid-tempo melodic rocker full of magic.

The guests all make their mark, as Mark Feltham’s lyrical harp line colours the extended groove of "Ladyfriend", as it smolders, sparkles and envelops you.
It sets things up nicely for the percussive reworking of "Trouble" predicated on David Coverdale guttural phrasing. Bernie has never been reticent to explore his back catalogue and he’s rarely bettered himself than on this blast from the past.
Cherry Lee Mewis adds gritty vocal contrast on the laid back blues-rocker "Bad Blood" and just when you think the whole album has run its course on the hook laden "You Better Run", Bernie launches himself into a dirt tone wah-wah inflected Americana shuffle "Hoxie Rollin’ Time", which is surely destined to become a live favourite.

Shine" is a career high for Bernie Marsden. 
It’s an album glued together by his own deeply embedded imprint of harmony driven songs with significant hooks and burning solos. It’s almost as if he’s successfully pursued his own mission statement of cutting a definitive solo album. It may have taken him 40 odd years but it’s been worth the wait.

Rating - 9/10

The Players

Bernie Marsden - Guitars, Vocals
Ian Paice - Drums
Don Airey - Keyboards 
Joe Bonamassa - Guitar
David Coverdale - Vocals
Jimmy Copley - Drums
Mark Feltham - Vocals, Harmonica
thanks to Pete Feenstra

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


Taken from the forthcoming album due for release on Rocksector Records later this year....


Metal trio PAST THE FALL have released details regarding their upcoming tour of the UK.  The ‘Trial by Fire UK and Europe Tour’ will visit the England, Scotland, Wales and Belgium, bringing their infectious grove metal sounds to their passionate fans. The artwork for the tour has been created by Costin Chioreanu at Twilight 13 media, who also produces artwork for GRAVE and ARCH ENEMY.  Will Wright (vocals/bass) said:

"We chose Costin at Twilight 13 media again as we’d worked together on the EP artwork a while back and he has an incredible talent and style for realising perfectly our visual ideas for the band. I first found him through art he’d done for roadburn festival and grave, and after reading his statement/ethos behind his work I was hooked! We’ll be playing a lot of the EP’s tracks on this tour over the coming months so having that stylistic continuity made a lot of sense"

In 2013 the band released their debut EP ‘BEGGARS AT THE LIARS BANQUET’ which was mastered by Andy ‘Hippy’ Baldwin (Faith no more, The Who, Tesseract) at Metropolis Mastering in London. The EP received initial rave reviews and with the artwork concept also being created by Costin Chioreanu, the band have shown straight away their desire to offer their fans the best material both musically and visually.

The band will be busy recording new material to be released in 2015, Will said:

"We’ll also be beginning work on our debut album following the Trial by fire tour, and in the shows and videos that will follow its hugely important for us to have visuals that reflect the concepts in us and the music!’"

Tour dates are:

16.8.14 Sheffield @ The Dove and Rainbow
22.8.14 Doncaster @ The Vintage Rock bar
29.8.14 Selby @ The Riverside
31.8.14 Edinburgh @ Bannerman’s Bar
3.9.14 Glasgow @ The Old Hairdressers
12.9.14 Belgium @ B52 Bar
13.9.14 Swansea @ Crowley’s Rock Bar
4.10.14 Crawley @ DBM Fest (The Black Dog)

Planet Rock Radio Presents BlackWolf, The Brew & Fire Red Empress UK Tour

Planet Rock Radio have announced a series of shows featuring British rock bands BlackWolf, The Brew and Fire Red Empress.

A fantastic bill with 3 of the UK's best and brightest rock bands that bring with them huge talent, BIG SOUNDS and stage showmanship second to none. Set in up close n' personal venues, tickets are limited.  This is a tour not to be missed!

Fri 12th - MANCHESTER - The Roadhouse
Sat 13th - OXFORD - The Bullingdon (Art Bar)
Thu 18th - SHEFFIELD - The Corporation
Fri 19th - BRISTOL - The Exchange
Sat 20th - LONDON - The Barfly

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Ginger Wildheart - G.A.S.S. Month 4 EP (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Pop / Punk
Label - Self Released

Track listing:
01 - Honour
02 - Down The Dip
03 - If You Find Yourself In London Town
Bonus Demo's
04 - Melanchoholic (Unreleased Demo)
05 - Begin from Within (Original Demo)

My God we are four months into Gingers twelve month G.A.S.S. project and the quality is showing no signs of dipping yet! That's a full albums worth (Twelve) of brand spanking new songs plus a further eight  previously unreleased / demo tracks, awesome, simply awesome.
So what does this forth instalment bring to the mix.
Well this months offering opens up with "Honour", a great pop-rock track with slight punk leanings that features the talents of, Courtney Love on co-lead vocals, Micko Larkin on lead guitar, rhythm guitar and vocals and  Neil McMinn on drums. the track was mixed by Kevin Vanbergen and really bodes well for any future collaborations between the delightful Miss Love and Ginger (especially as he has recently been providing his services by playing guitar in her touring band). "Honour" is a really good song with Courtney Love's vocal prominent in the mix with Gingers rather lower in the mix. A real belter of a song that I like more and more with each listen.
Next up we have "Down The Dip", which proves to be another great rocking track, this time featuring the talents of Yolanda Quartey, Ben Janet, Kelii Compulsive on vocals and  Tim G  on keys.  Again this song was mixed by Kevin Vanbergen. I can really imagine this song being a lot of fun live!
The last of the three new songs on offer this month is "If You Find Yourself In London Town", which features the talents of Micko Larkin on guitars and  backing vocals and Neil McMinn on drums, this time mixed by Ian Gore.  This song is a great acoustic driven song which I guess sees t Ginger return to the subject matter he first visited with Wildheart classics "Down On London" and "Greetings from Shitsville". I really love this song, even more so as it once again showcases another side of Gingers song writing, just how many strings does he have to his bow heh?

Next up we have this months two bonus demos / unreleased tracks,

The two tracks on off this month are "Melanchoholic" a song that was previously unreleased and the original demo of "Begin From Within" from the now famous 555% album sessions.
First, as I have previously done with the previous G.A.S.S. releases I'll let Ginger explain the songs:

"MELANCHOHOLIC – Strange one this. Everyone I’ve played it to hates it. Can I count you in the throng?
From a manic sober spell, where I wrote a song a day as therapy, many songs made the 555% album. I wanted to do this with an orchestra, and a proper vocal track, but Willie couldn’t see any merit in the song. I have since doubted that I’ll ever return to this song, and so I’d like to present it here, to you, in all its raw and candid sincerity. If one person out there likes it then that’ll make two of us.
BEGIN FROM WITHIN – From the same fevered writing spree as Melanchoholic, this bedroom recording differs wildly in arrangement to the version that appeared on 555%. Inspired by a roaming stroll around New York one very sober day, the ideas for the song almost pestered themselves into being. Nothing inspires like New York City, usually to write melancholic, brown suited, hangdog, world weary stuff. Positive songs with a droopy cigarette hanging from an unshaven face. Like this one."

Now I have to say that I bloody well love "Melanchoholic", I honestly believe that this song could have been a real corker had Ginger recorded it properly and given it the finish it deserves. In many ways the song is a simple as it gets, with a heartfelt vocal over guitar and piano, with some synth strings added for flavour. If Ginger himself never returns to this song it would be a crime, the demo presented here is beautiful enough as it is, but should it ever be recorded properly in the manner that Ginger describes above then this song would be simply awesome!
The demo of "Begin From Within" allows us to witness a great songs work in progress, showing how its lyrics and arrangements altered before it became the track that we are all familiar with from 555%. Its really nice that it has been included here.

So there we have it, month four, another three stunning brand new tracks and two real gems of demos.

Rating - 10/10

Sign up for G.A.S.S. here  you wont be disappointed!

SKID ROW - Rise Of The Damnation Army; United World Rebellion Chapter Two (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Punk / Heavy Metal
Label - Megaforce Records

Track listing:
01 - We Are The Damned
02 - Give It The Gun
03 - Catch Your Fall
04 - Damnation Army
05 - Zero Day
06 - Sheer Heart Attack (Queen cover)
07 - Rats In The Cellar (Aerosmith cover)

SKID ROW return with a vengeance with their heart-pulverising new seven song EP "Rise Of The Damnation Army; United World Rebellion Chapter Two".
After their initial split with former vocalist Seb Bach Skid Row seemed to be a little lost, as if they were searching for a place to fit within the modern music scene but all that changed last year with the release of their "United World Rebellion Chapter One" EP which saw them return to the kind of sounds that made them world wide megastars in the first place. Scotti Hill & Co. have returned to their successful writing formula that launched the band into their heyday glory days even more so with "Rise Of The Damnation Army".
Last year, Skid Row decided to release their music on EP's only. And it's a good move.
"Rise Of The Damnation Army" includes seven songs, they are to the point and not to long or too short.
The energy of the new music speaks volumes. The band whiplashes into what they do best with precise rocking execution.
Opening track “We Are The Damned” takes no prisoners with its heavy sonic assault. This song could very well be the very new 2014 'Youth Gone Wild' anthem. “Give It To The Gun” starts out with a killer bass hook from Rachel Bolan, and then the razor twin guitar riff takes the centre scene, while the chorus invites you to rise your fist.
Next the band embarks on a beautiful ballad, “Catch Your Fall”, acoustically filled but with some electrics as well in the trademark Skid Row mould. A highlight where vocalist Johnny Solinger sings his heart out. “Damnation Army” is a monster rocker reminiscent of old school Skid Row plenty of gang vocals, while “Zero Day” is more groovy but not less rocking.
As plus, the band delivers two cover songs; a heavy but melodic take on Queen's classic “Sheer Heart Attack” with a ferocious guitar playing by Snake Sabo and Scotti Hill.
The other one is an incendiary version of Aerosmith's “Rats In The Cellar”, still bluesy yet pedal to the metal.
On this fresh EP, Skid Row digs deep into their past and perhaps releases the most exciting music since their debut. The songs are heavy hitting, reminiscent of “Slave To The Grind” era, and you feel the guys finally returned to the sound & style they love. An they Rock at it.
Good News ladies and gentlemen; the 'real' Skid Row is back. And said at the beginning, with vengeance.

Very Highly Recommended

Rating 10/10

Thursday, 7 August 2014


CADENCE NOIR have released their new video for the single ‘SPARK’ which is due for worldwide release on Aug 4th 2014 ahead of their first Bloodstock Festival appearance.

The new single blends together their Gothic roots with elements of folk, acoustic and rock into a unique sound that CADENCE NOIR are becoming known for. Having been a 5 piece for 3 years, Cadence Noir have been gigging rigorously around the country with their new original material. Citing influences from an eclectic background of music. Cadence Noir play with their own inimitable style, with a gothic flare on rock, bluegrass, country and jazz, and provide one hell of a live show for the fans.

The band will be playing the mighty BLOODSTOCK festival this August as well as more UK live dates throughout the later part of the year


London based metal trio PAST THE FALL have released details regarding their upcoming tour of the UK.  The ‘Trial by Fire UK and Europe Tour’ will visit the England, Scotland, Wales and Belgium, bringing their infectious grove metal sounds to their passionate fans. The artwork for the tour has been created by Costin Chioreanu at Twilight 13 media, who also produces artwork for GRAVE and ARCH ENEMY. 

In 2013 the band released their debut EP ‘BEGGARS AT THE LIARS BANQUET’ which was mastered by Andy ‘Hippy’ Baldwin (Faith no more, The Who, Tesseract) at Metropolis Mastering in London. The EP received initial rave reviews and with the artwork concept also being created by Costin Chioreanu, the band have shown straight away their desire to offer their fans the best material both musically and visually.

With new material being recorded for an upcoming studio album to be released in 2015, PAST THE FALL is a band to watch out for in the future.

Tour dates are:

11.8.14 Buxton CEX Fest (Private)
16.8.14 Sheffield @ The Dove and Rainbow
22.8.14 Doncaster @ The Vintage Rock bar
29.8.14 Selby @ The Riverside
31.8.14 Edinburgh @ Bannerman’s Bar
3.9.14 Glasgow @ The Old Hairdressers
12.9.14 Belgium @ B52 Bar 
13.9.14 Swansea @ Crowley’s Rock Bar
4.10.14 Crawley @ DBM Fest (The Black Dog)


A Tower Of Crows are a stoner/doom 5 piece band from Coventry. Crows have only been together for a short time but have already gained a fantastic reputation from bands and fans alike.

Winning a local battle of the bands competition judged by Kerrang's Johnny Doom which was just their THIRD ever gig, they were immediately snapped up by TBFM Records.

They now release their first ever single and compliment that with a video release of their very addictive song 'Livewire'. Johnny Doom likened the band to American stoner rock band Kyuss when he featured the new track on Planet Rock recently. The track is available free from the band website. Sam Clay, the bands singer said “Live Wire is a stark and honest description of how anger can consume an individual, leading to obsession and ultimately, self-destruction.”