Monday, 29 September 2014

DEVIL CITY ANGELS - The Devil EP (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock
Track listing:
01 - No Angels
02 - Bad Decision
03 - I'm Livin'
04 - All My People

A new super-group has been born: DEVIL CITY ANGELS, whose line-up includes guitarist Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns), drummer Rikki Rockett (Poison), bassist Eric Brittingham (Cinderella), and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Brandon Gibbs (Cheap Thrill).
The band formed in June, 2014, with the idea to tour all across the USA during the summer performing songs from all member's famous bands, but also compose new original material.
The tour, has received an overhelming response from the public,  and is still rolling with Devil City Angels adding new dates and venues everyday. So the guys decided to record the already written original material.
There's 4 tracks on this "Devil EP", but the band is so happy, that there's a plan for full album when the tour ends.
"No Angels" will remind you Cinderella's more melodic side, "Bad Decision" has a Poison / Baton Rouge vibe, the catchy "I'm Livin`" bring to mind Ritchie Kotzen solo works, while "All My People" is a fun rocker in the Billy Squier vein.
All this stuff has been carefully recorded with great production, with all instruments coming out clear.
It's a pleasure listening these guys rocking again, especially Tracii ripping killer solos again.
The EP is not officially for sale, but you can make a donation to Fender Music Foundation and get the tracks digitally.
Can't wait the full album

Very Very Highly Recommended!
Rating 10/10
Line Up :
Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns) - guitars
Rikki Rockett (Poison) - drums, percussion
Eric Brittingham (Cinderella) - bass
Brandon Gibbs (Cheap Thrill) - vocals, guitar

Sunday, 28 September 2014

JOE BONAMASSA - Different Shades Of Blue (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Blues
Label -

Track listing:
01. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)
02. Oh Beautiful!
03. Love Ain't A Love Song
04. Living On The Moon
05. Heartache Follows Wherever I Go
06. Never Give All Your Heart
07. I Gave Up Everything For You, 'Cept The Blues
08. Different Shades Of Blue
09. Get Back My Tomorrow
10. Trouble Town
11. So, What Would I Do

As part of Black Country Communion or solo artist, there are few blues-rockers today who are as consistent as JOE BONAMASSA. And this comes clear on his new great record to be released next week under the proper title "Different Shades Of Blue", as ranges from heavy blues to funk / soul inspired blues.
To outdo himself and push his art forward with the bar already set pretty high, Bonamassa left his long-standing template of mixing in covers with originals and had a hand in writing every track for new album. But instead of writing the songs on his own, he partnered in Nashville with established composers like talented James House. 
Oh, and Bonamassa wrote with Jonathan Cain, too. Yes, that Jonathan Cain of Journey.
Joe B.’s songwriting acumen didn’t really require extra polish, but the input from these proven pros certainly didn’t hurt, either. And any anxiety that he went 'country' or 'Journey' on us should quickly be put to rest; these song bear his fingerprints much more than his songwriting mates. 
That improvement comes in a more aggressive push against the boundaries of contemporary blues, making an album that offers different, widely varied takes of the broader-based blues. That’s the freedom that often comes with writing all your own material.
The album starts off mighty strong, a killer string of four tunes that reminds us of the diversity Bonamassa finds in the broad context of the blues. The Hendrix re-worked instrumental intro “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)” serves as a just-right passage into the killer crunch of “Oh Beautiful!”, quite heavy and very Black Country Communion in essence.
A sax from Ron Dziubla and a trumpet from Lee Thornburg give “Love Ain’t A Love Song” swift, soulful kick in the ass and the lyrics have the swagger to match the melody; it’s meant to be played loud. The horns reappear on “Living On The Moon,” a crisp blues shuffle, and Bonamassa gets a nasty thing going for his brief guitar solo.
But the best arrives in the middle of the CD.
The ultra melodic but a the same hard rocking bluesy “Never Give All Your Heart” will delight fans of classic Bad Company, and for those with a hunger for the dirty lowdown kind of blues, “Heartache Follows Wherever I Go” fills the bill and then some. It's like a song taken from Gary Moore's classic 'Still Got The Blues'.
These two songs alone worth this disc.
Kevin Shirley is on board as producer as he’s been for the prior fifteen Bonamassa albums and he declares "Different Shades of Blue" his 'favorite Joe Bonamassa record to date'. Agree with him.
This album rocks, in a bluesy style, but rocks with blood in the veins.
Like the title of the album and the deeply soulful song of the same name (another highlight), this new batch of songs points up the fact that the blues does come in so many different shades. And all of it is good.
Highly Recommended.
Rating - 9/10

SLASH - World On Fire (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label -
Track listing:
01. World on Fire
02. Shadow Life
03. Automatic Overdrive
04. Wicked Stone
05. 30 Years To Life
06. Bent To Fly
07. Stone Blind
08. Too Far Gone
09. Beneath The Savage Sun
10. Withered Delilah
11. Battleground
12. Dirty Girl
13. Iris Of The Storm
14. Avalon
15. The Dissident
16. Safari Inn
17. The Unholy

"World On Fire" with 17 tracks it’s not a short album, but surely with that many tracks there will be at least one in there as filler? Well, the short answer is no – this is one hell of a good album with songs that have been carefully polished and arranged.
The album kicks off with the title track. The fast-paced riff immediately hits you like a freight train from the start and will have you looking for the nearest person to run into, even if you’ve never moshed before. The '80s hard rock influence is very apparent and Myles Kennedy’s voice suits the song very well, with the singer in comfortable and confident territory as he wails down the mic with typically cheesy but brilliant lyrics: “Let me tempt you with the evils of the flesh and so much more”.
The breakdown later on in the track is something that English rockers The Who would be proud of, and it wouldn’t be complete without a token Slash solo, still showing he’s up there with the best when it comes to ‘shredding on the axe’.
“Shadow Life” starts of slower and more melodic with quite soft vocals before the drums join in with a crash and the guitar switches to a heavier riff and you’re into a flull-blown hard rock song. “Automatic Overdrive” starts with drums and guitar at a moderate pace and gradually getting faster and faster before launching into another great song.
The riff in “Wicked Stone” reminds you of Guns N' Roses, particularly the intro to the song before the vocals kick in. Once you get into the main body of the song it does lose that Guns feel. There’s a long guitar solo and a tight instrumental section as the rest of the band are still playing as well as Slash.
“Bent to Fly” is a ballad with soft vocals and gentle guitar its got quite a slow build-up but it’s only a minute or so till they ramp the power up for the chorus.
Despite the name, “Battleground” isn't a full power hard rock song. Instead it opens with some nice vocals and flowing guitar work before like goes to full power for the chorus.
“Iris of the Storm” is an unusual title – a play on the commonly used term 'eye of the storm'. It rocks, before the interesting instrumental “Safari Inn” kick in to add variation.
Slash’s last album was quite good, and this "World On Fire" is even better.
Myles Kennedy is a killer vocalist and it’s no wonder Slash wanted to work with him. His powerful rocking vocals shine and would normally be the star of the album, but the music here is equally impressive – particularly the first class guitar work from Slash, so there’s a perfect balance between the top singing and the kickin' music.
Slash is back, and if this new album is anything to go by, he’s here to rock your world.
Highly Recommended.

Rating - 9/10

SIXX:A.M. - Modern Vintage [Deluxe Edition] (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Modern Rock
Label -

Track listing:
01 - Stars
02 - Gotta Get It Right
03 - Relief
04 - Get Ya Some
05 - Let's Go
06 - Drive
07 - Give Me a Love
08 - Hyperventilate
09 - High On the Music
10 - Miracle
11 - Before It's Over
12 - Before It's Over (Piano Ballad) [bonus track]
13 - Stars (Cinematic) [bonus track]
14 - Gotta Get It Right (Acoustic) [bonus track]
15 - Let It Haunt You (So Beautiful) [bonus track]

#### The following review is someone elses, but as I agree with it in its entirety I reproduce it here. All credit to the original author. ####

"Modern Vintage", the long-awaited third release from SIXX:A.M., the band comprised of Motley Crue's founder Nikki Sixx, James Michael (vocals) and DJ Ashba (guitar), will be released next October 7th.
If you liked the previous albums from the band, you will fall on your knees with this new offering, as it's even better.
 "Modern Vintage" is the third chapter in the dark sordid tale that is ‘The Heroin Diaries’; a white knuckle ride through the demon days of notorious L.A. bad boy, the personification of a wrecking ball, Motley Crue's bass player Nikki Sixx.
From the opening track (and one of my favorites) "Stars", the music comes fast, heavy, providing the perfect soundtrack to subject matter that includes abuse, addiction, life, death, and paranoia.
The songs are all varied in style, genre, and tempo, but compliment the powerful and emotionality moving lyrics exceptionally well.
Other stand out tracks include "Relief", "Let’s Go", the melting hard rocker "Give Me a Love" and "Hyperventilate". There’s even a great cover of The Cars' classic "Drive", reworked in trashy, broken and sick version.
The bonus tracks on this Deluxe Edition of the album are a handful of stripped down versions of various main album tracks, which really serve to prove, how different, yet intense songs can sound stripped bare.
"Modern Vintage" is nothing short than impressive.
As the previous Sixx:A.M. albums, offers an eclectic mix of songs. It's intense, dramatic, combining as the title says, modern sounds with timeless vintage rock.
Guitarist DJ Ashba style is unique, with an extensive use of effect pedals and sonic textures. James Michael, besides being a fantastic songwriter, has a distinctive voice. Both deserves lots of credit for their important contribution to this material, which definitely gives the album extra layers.
This new Sixx:A.M. album successfully paints vivid pictures of the struggles and realizations of Nikki Sixx, a talented cat that never stops to surprise with fresh music and ideas.

Rating -  9/10

Hung Like Jack - White Powder (7 Track Album) (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Alternative / Punk
Label - Self Released
Track listing:
01 - White Powder
02 - Kickout
03 - Four Walls
04 - Colder
05 - Short Arms Deep Pockets
06 - Flystrike
07 - Ripe For Grieving
A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of being asked to review a three track (White Powder) Ep released by Hung Like Jack which blew me away with the bands energy. Now we have a seven track album / EP which features that EP pls four more tracks, so here goes!
Hung like jack were formed back in 2007 in Darlington (UK), when Tim Smith (Guitars) met up with J Tutin (Vocals) and Hakim (Bass). The band advertised for a drummer and up steps Denz, hitting the sweet spot with his hard hitting beats and versatility.
Again title White Powder starts things off in a high octane punk / alternative rock fused fashion. You can definitely hear the punk influences, and at a little under two minutes in length the song really does fly by, but the production is quite polished and really brings out the quality of both the performance and songwriting. A great start.
Next up is Kickout, this song mixes the tempo up a little with some great drum and guitar work from Denz and Tim.
Four Walls follows, again another great song, with a real modern rock feel to it.
Colder slows things down a little, and showcases another side to the bands songwriting, and features some great bass work from Hakim.
Next we have Short Arms Deep Pockets (hey don't we all have a friend like that!) which picks the tempo up a little and proves to be a great little melodic rocker!
Flystrike slows things down a little once again, with its rather epic feel.
Closing out the album / Ep we have Ripe For Grieving, the second longest of the on offer here (the longest being Colder) , again with a slightly slower tempo and some great atmospheric guitar work. Another great song that at times brings Nick Parsons Supercharger (UK) and Whatever to mind. Again a really great song.
This really is a solid EP / Album and well worth checking out!
Hung Like Jack are proof the Gene Simmons is talking out of his rear end when he claims Rock is dead, its alive and well, kicking and screaming in the hearts of bands like Hung Like Jack!
Get out there and show them your support!
Rating 10/10


Man Bites Zombie - Self Titled (2014)

Genre - Modern Rock / Alternative / Electronica
Label - Independent Artist

Track listing:
01 - When It All Comes Down
02 - Zombie Chew Toy
03 - Castle Walls
04 - The Preacher
05 - Zombiology
06 - Stay Where You Are
07 - Trained Zombie Killers
08 - To War (A Dance With The Dead)

"No one really entertains the idea of a Zombie Apocalypse, but there are a few who know it’s all just a matter of time." This is the opening line of the bands bio, and enough to let the listener know that they are in for a fun ride!
Cardiff (Wales, UK) based band, Man Bites Zombie formed in early 2012 with  Matt Pugh, Paul Mac Donald , James Gardiner, and Rob Tucker joined forces to create a unique Zombie storytelling experience. Mixing rock and electronica genre’s to tell stories and experiences from the Zombie apocalypse. With influences ranging all the way from Nine Inch Nails , Pendulum, Metallica  to the genius of David Bowie and Frank Sinatra, Man Bites Zombie manage to conjur up a very unique sound.
This their debut album features eight very well written songs, which manage to acheive the bands goal of creating the perfect soundtrack to the forth coming Zombie apocalypse!
As I said, the songs are all very well written, and performed to perfection. The albums production is a rather polished affair very much in the vein if an electronica release, yet maintains the suspense and atmosphere that is created both by the songs and the songs subject matter!
It really is hard to pick out stand out tracks, but Castle Walls, Trained Zombie Killers (For the opening soundbite alone!) and To War (A Dance With The Dead) are really something special!

Rating - 9/10

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Phil Rudd - Head Job (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label - 

Track listing:
01. Head Job
02. Sun Goes Down
03. Lonely Child
04. Lost In America
05. Crazy
06. Bad Move
07. No Right
08. The Other Side
09. 40 Days
10. Repo Man
11. When I Get My Hands On You 

AC/DC drummer PHIL RUDD is releasing his first ever solo album, entitled "Head Job". Though still active with AC/DC (who are soldiering on despite the ill health of guitarist Malcolm Young) Rudd has harnessed his talents as a songwriter for this first solo effort.
Phil Rudd is one of rock’s most seasoned musicians, drumming for AC/DC from 1975-1983 and again from 1994-present. When you're the drummer in AC/DC's engine room you don't hook up and play with anyone in your down time.
As such, Phil Rudd's first solo album has been two decades in the making; a labour of love he's crafted in between tours in his adopted home of New Zealand.
Long-time friends Allan Badger and Geoffrey Martin chipped in lyrically and provide the strings, while Badger and Rudd's throaty vocals come with honesty, guts, a wink and a nod.
"There are no tricks or sequencing or samples ... it's all real," Rudd said about the recording.
AC/DC-like chords? There aren't a lot of them, but you can’t deny the swagger and groove of the bluesy classic rock contained in the album's ten tracks.
While the more high profile numbers including the rocking lead single "Repo Man" and the title track are related to his main band, it’s the album’s deeper cuts like the slightly funky "No Right" and the infectiously catchy "The Other Side" that really define this record.
Rudd’s drumming is of course rock solid, and the man also does a fine job behind the boards giving "Head Job" a sound that is sleek (really clean) but doesn’t remove the raw passion of the band.
The title for Phil Rudd’s first ever solo album has nothing to do with an act of intimacy, but instead relates to a state of mind. And this isn’t meant in a pejorative way.
Just as people don’t expect extended guitar jams or prog rock epics from Rudd’s day band, the solo release from AC/DC’s drummer sounds exactly how you’d expect it to sound; "Head Job" is an exercise in straightforward classic rock played from the heart.
As said, production is pristine and wide open, to enjoy these solid ten tracks at considerable volume.

Well Worth Checking Out!

Rating 9/10

Buckcherry - Singles Club Pt 3 (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Sleaze
Label - Pledge Music / F Bomb

Track listing:
01 - I've Done Everything For You ( Rick Springfield cover)

Buckcherry's Singles Club continues with their cover of Rick Springfield's I've Done Everything For You a song that was actually written by Sammy Hagar.
Here the guys have done a great job updating and eighties classic, really rocking it up so to speak. They have given the song a more contemporary edge. This is probably their best interpretation so far!
Bring on the others!

Rating - 9/10

Robert Plant - Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Global / Ethnic
Label - Nonesuch

Track listing:
01 - Little Maggie
02 - Rainbow
03 - Pocketful Of Golden
04 - Embrace Another Fall
05 - Turn It Up
06 - A Stolen Kiss
07 - Somebody There
08 - Poor Howard
09 - House Of Love
10 - Up On The Hollow Hill (Understanding Arthur)
11 - Arbaden (Maggie's Babby)

Unlike so many of his contemporaries who've held on to their glory days like they’re the very lifelines keeping them alive, ROBERT PLANT has managed to stay relevant after Led Zeppelin.
Now the legendary vocalist is releasing his new solo album on September 8th, "Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar", the first with his new backing band The Sensational Space Shifters, although the name of the band is not mentioned in the front cover.
By shedding his Golden God image, and Led Zeppelin‘s mythical standing in the process, Plant has remade himself as a genuine anomaly: an authentic Americana roots artist born and bred in England.
While his old cohort Jimmy Page breathes new digital life into Zeppelin’s old catalog, Plant is half a world away, figuratively at least, exploring African beats, pan-global rhythms and the many intricacies buried deep in music that has little to do with American blues.
"Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar" expands the territorial boundaries of music while working flexibly within their confines. This is a worldwide music album, but in a sense that has influences from many cultures.
This is NOT a 'world music genre' garbage, Plant has enough good taste (and a rocking heart) to do that.
Not that those who've written off Plant as a stuffy, stodgy old man who gave up his rock ‘n’ roll past for deadly serious grownup music will be swayed to come back around. But now that he’s let the dust settle on his Americana recordings, he’s globetrotting with a musical thirst of someone a third his age.
From the stripped-down and acoustic sway of opener "Little Maggie" - the only song here not written by Plant and members of his band the Sensational Space Shifters, though they did arrange the traditional number - to "Rainbow" mix of moody atmosphere and stabbing guitars to the rolling, skittering beats that guide "Arbaden (Maggie’s Babby)", the CD finds its inspiration in places as far reaching as the Sahara desert and in the modern scene of ’90s Bristol.
Filled with the sounds of non common string instruments, clever electronic loops and various West African percussions, but of course traditional rock electric guitar, bass & keys, the 11 songs skim and drift over a landscape of rattling drums, genre - and culture -jumping melodies and an abundance of gray noise.
Plant, who produced, gives "Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar" a relentless sense of adventure; while renowned mixer Tchad Blake piles on extra layers of ambiance.
I think that is the exact word to describe this record; 'Adventurous'. And always captivating.
All of which, again, won’t convince fans expecting Plant to belt out ‘Whole Lotta Love’ for the billionth time that the singer is actually now in the most exciting period of his solo career.
"Lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar" reveals more and more the more and more you listen to it. Has he ever sounded more mature vocally than he does on the spare ballad "Stolen Kiss"? By the way, it's my favorite cut on the album.
This is a deep, rewarding album, paying back the time and patience you invest. Is it better than any of Led Zeppelin’s classic albums? Of course not. But it’s probably better than the album they’d make if they were still around.

Stand out tracks include, Stolen Kiss, Rainbow, Somebody There and Up On The Hollow Hill.
Very Recommended.

Rating - 9/10

Mongrel - Evolution (2014)

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

Track listing:
01 - Snakes
02 - oxygen Mask
03 - Consumed
04 - Best revenge
05 - Over and Over

Mongrel are a talented rock punk metal band from Boston USA who actually unleashed this five track EP a couple of moths ago. The EP Evolution is packed with  hard hitting and extremely well written songs that you can’t help but to head bang along to!  Now don't get me wrong, the band are very tight and more than competent musicians but the real gem here is lead vocalist  Jessica Sierra who to me has a voice and vocal style very reminiscent of nineties UK alt rockers Die Cheerleader's Sam Ireland!
MONGREL lured some high-caliber production personnel to "Evolution" including Jim Foster (P.O.D. , NULLSET), who recorded the five EP tracks, plus Dave Fortman (SLIPKNOT, MUDVAYNE, OTEP, EVANESCENCE and SOIL) and Howie Weinberg (METALLICA, PANTERA, NIRVANA and THE CULT), who mixed and mastered, respectively.
The songs sound fantastic, the production allowing them room to breathe without over producing them, which captures the band really well. All the songs are very well written and performed and judging by the standard on display here its only a matter of time before these guys breakout huge on the world stage!
Very highly recommended!

Rating - 10/10

Ginger Wildheart - G.A.S.S. Month 5 EP (2014)

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

Track listing:
01 - The Pendine Incident
02 - Carriageway Roses
03 - Brand New Original Sin
Bonus Demos
04 - Shine
05 - Superpowered Superfly

So here we have the fifth instalment (of twelve) of Ginger Wildheart's G.A.S.S. project and once again we get a truly eclectic mix of tracks that showcase ginger's renowned songwriting ability.
First up comes The Pendine Incident, a great little up tempo acoustic based track that has already been described as sounding like  The Wonder Stuff but with a Geordie accent and  Modern Romance and   feature's the talents of Kelii Compulsive on vocals and  Laura Wilcockson on fiddle (courtesy of Steel Thread) and mixed by Jason Sanderson.. This a great song which I am sure is destined to become a fan favourite.
Carriageway Roses follows, this time featuring the talents of  Yolanda Quartey on vocals, Steve Conte on  guitars and  Tim G on keys and is mixed by Kevin Vanbergen. this song really does showcase the quirky side of Ginger's songwriting at its best, opening off with a great bass riff and some almost spoken lead vocal from Ginger, before building into a real monster. this is a really great song a worth the price of the G.A.S.S. subscription alone!
Closing out this month's new songs is Brand New Original Sin. This song features the talents of  Micko Larkin on guitars and backing vocals together with Neil McMinn on drums. Once again this track is mixed by  Kevin Vanbergen. The song is a real rocker, with an almost Wildhearts / Mutation feel in places. Another great song.
Next up we have this month's bonus / demo tracks,
which come to us in the form of Shine and an original demo of a song written for Michael Monroe's album a couple of years back, Superpowered Superfly. I'll allow Ginger to explain,

SHINE – Here’s my ‘big rock voice’ tryout (shudder) for a band of name US musicians looking for a singer to complete a project that never got off the ground. They had designs on Corey Taylor, and let’s be honest everyone else falls short of that guys voice. Still, he couldn’t commit to the gig so the project fell apart.
Featuring Duff McKagan and Steve Stevens, my friend Billy Morrison offered me a crack at the front person job, and let me write the melody and lyrics, but my talents lie in other areas than bellowing out huge arena rock, as this demo will testify.
Still, they shoulda just got Seb Bach or someone, right?

SUPERPOWERED SUPERFLY – When I joined Michael’s band my secret mission was to get rid of the generic songs they were playing. Harsh but true, I love Michael and honestly thought that peddling Stooges/MC5 facsimiles wouldn’t relaunch his solo career with the glory befitting a rock n roll icon.
I’d written a few songs in band rehearsal, guaranteeing a bad ass backbone (those guys can fucking play), but this was the first time I’d presented a ‘pop’ song to Michael. Knowing his love for Cheap Trick and Sparks, I was still surprised by how much he loved this track, and even wanted to call the album by its title, which I talked him out of. A killer song to play live, this demo was knocked up in 15 minutes with an acoustic guitar and a Garageband drum loop.

To be honest I think that Ginger hits the nail on the head with his comments regarding Shine. Its a great song even if it has been compared to WWE Video Package! The song itself is great only Gingers vocal lets it down, purely because his voice just isn't suited to the "Big Rock Voice" kind of song. Would love to see it recorded by someone with such a voice though as it really does deserve to be heard by the wider public.
The demo of Suiperpowered Superfly once again allows us a little insight into the development of a song, and has a great curiosity value.

So there we go, almost half way through the awesome and ambitious project, fifteen brand new songs, ten unreleased / demo tracks and there's been no signs of any dips in quality yet.

G.A.S.S. is not only proving to be a great success, but has given us some of the best songs Ginger has ever written, and we are not even half way through!

Rating - 10/10