Thursday, 4 December 2014

DONNIE VIE (Enuff Z'Nuff) - The White Album (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Melodic Rock
Label - Cargo Records
Track listing:
Disc One:
01. I Wanna Do It To You
02. Handy Dandy
03. For Your Pleasure
04. Happy Days
05. Crash And Burn
06. Light Shine On
07. Better Love Next Time
08. My Love
09. When Will You Love Me Again
10. Haunted
11. Unforsaken

Disc Two:
01. 25 Or 6 To 4
02. You're My Favourite Thing To Do
03. Almost Home
04. Imagine
05. Angel Eyes
06. Without You
07. Big Brother
08. Freaky Deaky
Enuff Z'Nuff singer/songwriter DONNIE VIE is releasing his brand new solo album "The White Album" via Cargo Records UK. The double CD album contains seventeen all new classic Vie cuts as well as covers of the Chicago classic "25 Or 6 To 4" and John Lennon's "Imagine".
At the present time Enuff Z'Nuff tour still and get out to their audiences playing shows but without Vie at the helm. He's been replaced most admirably by another fine talent in the form of Johnny Monaco. This situation only applies to live responsibilities as Vie remains firm favourite for studio-related activities.
On this weighty double album we find Vie in his comfortable studio surroundings showcasing the various well-trodden musical paths he has travelled in the past.
The Enuff Z'Nuff vibe is still here, as for me, this is an Enuff Z'Nuff record... maybe not in name but certainly on the songwriting aspect for sure. All are lovable pieces of melodic music, with the typical Donnie Vie's melodic power pop and classic rock touches.
As example, "'Better Love Next Time" is a glorious slice of Donnie Vie in his prime, writing a song full of life, love and musical hope, as far I'm concerned anyway. "Handy Dandy" gets back on track with what Donnie does best - melody and harmony all inside that Donnie musical intelligence.
There's an obvious piano ballad included here in the shape of "My Love" (a highlight), something Donnie has perfectly executed musically over the years in one way or another and this track is up there alongside some more of his other balladry masterpieces.
CD 2 starts with the first of two cover versions on the record, this initial one a live rendition of Chicago's classic "25 or 6 to 4" in a very classic rock vein with lots of guitars.
A pair of songs follow on, "You're My Favourite Thing To Do" and one of Donnie most perfect compositions, "Almost Home" - beautiful musical creations that stand up there alongside so many tunes that litter his unique songbook of life.
The second cover crops up, this time a rendition of John Lennon's "Imagine" - yeah of course, Donnie sure took his time getting to this point and it's worth the wait. In all honesty I was unsure on first listen but once I opened up and shrugged off my lazy tiredness I accepted the brilliance of the version.
"Angel Eyes" and "Without You" continue the musical intelligence: maybe not everybody will get this record or for that matter Donnie Vie as an artist, but if you simply listen intently to the songs here in front of you, you cannot doubt the ability of the man as a songwriter.
The opus ends with "Big Brother" and "Freaky Deaky"', more tunes that yet again remind me just why I have adored the songs and the vision of Donnie Vie for a quarter of a century.
Donnie Vie has created a wonderful double album in "The White Album", a true musical delight.
The melodies throughout are so exquisite and admirable, an almost jealous attitude comes over me for the man who seems to make this ever so easy to achieve his musical standards.
The record is co-produced by Donnie and Lewis John - a Donnie fanatic - who has also mixed the double opus and added additional guitars rather elegantly. The mastering is at charge of Andy Pierce, from the Rock Candy headquarters.
This release is absolutely essential for all Enuff Z'nuff and melodic / classic rock fans. It may be Vie's last release for some time... who knows? But for sure it's a really nice 2014 Christmas present.
Rating - 9/10

Note: incredibly, the album was badly submitted to digital retailers, with most tracks wrongly tagged / named. Besides, there's cuts on many track intros. So be sure to get (at least for the moment) this physical CD version at Cargo Records.

Ginger Wildheart - G.A.S.S. Month 8 EP (2014)

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

Track listing -
01 - The Last Day Of Summer
02 - Toxins & Tea
03 - Adrenalina

Bonus Demos
04 - American Man
05 - Signs

So here we are at month eight of Gingers twelve month G.A.S.S. project, and what can say? It just keeps getting better! Then it dawns on me, shit in four months time this wonderful experiment will come to a grinding halt! No, surely after its unprecedented success G.A.S.S. must continue in some shape or form. Well I'll have to worry about that next April, but I have no idea how the hell I will able to get by with out my monthly fix of G.A.S.S.!
Well lets get to this months additions.
This moths new tracks open with the beautiful The Last Day Of Summer. This song features the talents of, Robin Guy on drums, Chris Catalyst on guitar (and vocals), Matt Nasir on  piano and Hammond organ and David Ryder Prangley, Thea Ford, Jason Knight, Saffron Sprackling and Hollis Mahady on vocals. The track is a beautiful piano and acoustic guitar led track that really showcases the softer side of Gingers writing ability. Absolutely a cracking song that has not only become one my favourites songs to come out of the G.A.S.S. project, but also one of the best songs that I have heard all year!
Next up we have Toxins and Tea. this song features the talents of, Jon Poole on bass, Denzel on drums, Chris Catalyst on guitar and vocals,  Dave Roberts on trumpet and vocals, Andy Riley on cornet and vocals, Catherine Roberts on tenor horn, Chris Harrison on tuba and vocals, and Jasmine Adams, Taylor Graley, Jake Adams on  vocals.
Again this song is a melodic acoustic based number that really builds in to something rather quirky and excellent. Lyrically it provides a rather accurate description of the state of life in the Uk at the moment.  This again is one hell of a song, and is quickly becoming one of my favourite Ginger tracks of all time!
 The last of the new songs on offer this month is the mighty Adrenalina. This track features the talents of, Kelii Compulsive, Jake Szufnarowski , Taylor Graley, and  Oliver Sekunda on vocals.  This is a monster of a track, opening with a sort of stop start riff before launching into a pure riff fest. This could easily have been a Wildhearts song, as it is very reminiscent of something from the Fishing For Luckies era. One for the fans who like things a little louder (count me in!), and sure to be a blast live!

and now we have the two bonus tracks,

Ginger says -
"AMERICAN MAN – My good friend Jake Szufarowski, asked me to write a chorus for a beer commercial he was working to get. As a (very) tongue-in-cheek idea I thought I’d write the ultimate American Beer song, and the idea blossomed from this into a full song, with world famous photographer (and Satanicide front man) Dale May on vocals and Scott Metzger on guitar.
I love Dale’s voice, and Scott is such an amazing guitar player, some people will remember him from an acoustic tour I did with him a few years back. We didn’t get the beer commercial but ended up with a fun song.
Sit back, crack open a cold one and listen in the party spirit with which it was conceived."

 "SIGNS – Recorded by Jase Edwards as part of a set of songs I wrote for a Japanese artist wanting to go a little more rock. Typically they said the songs sounded too much like me, a complaint that has followed me around like a comforting insult.
This was reworked for a song on 555%, although I can’t for the life of me remember which one. Was it Baby Skies? Yeah, I think it was. Not sure which one I prefer, to be honest. Which one do you like better?"

American is a great fun song, and again showcases a different side of Gingers songwriting. Love it
Signs is the original demo to Baby Skies from the 555% project. This is a great little track in its own right, and like last months Its Only Natural, its hard to say which version I prefer.

So that's it, month eight, two thirds of the way through folks, and G.A.S.S. is just going from strength to strength. I really do hope that it continues in some form after its twelve month run, even if they have to reduce releasing the number of new songs down to one a month and maybe the odd demo and outtake. The artwork on the website is awesome and something that will be missed in its own right.

Come on folks jump on board, don't miss out on this amazing G.A.S.S. experience!

Rating - 10/10

You can now try the G.A.S.S. experience for free here!

The Dowling Poole - Kiss On The Ocean EP (2014)

Genre - Melodic Rock / Powerpop
Label - Self Released

Track Listing:
01 - A Kiss On The Ocean
02 - Fuck You, Goodbye (Previously Unreleased)
03 - The Straw Man (Previously Unreleased)
04 - Hey Stranger (Live In Manchester)

Here we have the second official release from the excellent if rather eclectic new out fit The Dowling Poole, put together by music scene veteran's (if not legends!) Willie Dowling (of Honeycrack, Jackdaw4 and The Grip fame) and Jon Poole (of Cardiacs, The God Damn Whores, and Wildhearts fame).
This rather excellent little Ep features the title track, which is a brilliant little melodic track that even the Beatles would be proud of. This track also features on the bands debut debut album, Bleak Strategies, which was reviewed by the site previously. The other three tracks are all previously unreleased numbers, two studio tracks and one a rather touching live track, which is dedicated to legendary Cardiacs leader Tim Smith.
The two new studio tracks include, Fuck You Goodbye, a brand spanking new track written specifically for this Ep. Again this a rather melodic song, propelled along by its acoustic framework before building into quite a powerhouse of a song. Its a great track and if the bands second album is heading in this musical direction then we are all in for a treat. The other track, The Straw Man was recorded during the Bleak Strategies sessions, and for some reason left off of the album. Despite its rather dark subject matter, the nasty Jimmy Saville business, this is a great little track.
All of the songs here have both Willie Dowling's and Random Jon Poole's legendary quirky sense of humour stamped all over them, making for a fun ride for the listener.
This is a great little Ep, and good introduction to the band. Available at the bands bandcamp page for
 just 99 pence this really is something that you should be checking out!


Rating 10/10