Thursday, 30 July 2015

ZARK - Tales of the Expected (2015)

Genre - Progressive Rock
Label - Self Released
Track listing:
01 - Lord Rat
02 - Mask
03 - LV-426
04 - One Eye Open
05 - Hollow Shells
06 - Carnival Of Souls
07 - The Robber
08 - Megaer
ZARK are a progish retro rock metal band and hail from Evesham Midlands. Their influences include pretty much a who's who of the stoner, doom, proto rock , most 70's rock and prog scene's, such as Black Sabbath, Rush, Tool, Russian Circles, kyuss, King Crimson, Latitudes,  Trouble and so on.
Zark were formed in early 2014 when ex smoke pilot guitar player Sean Bindy Phillips started a little jam with his chums in Simon Spiers (sontaron experiment, baron greenback) and Andy Kelley (baron greenback) to try a little some different to their usual stoner groove doom background. Putting in some progish undertones. Quickly realising that they had something special but they needed extra guitars for harmonies and atmospherics, and also a singer. So Simon introduced Josh Tedd (majin) to the band and we got Stuart Lister (expedestrian) for vocals.
Having already got the songs in place, it was left for vocalist Stuart Lister to come up with the lyrics and vocal melodies, and then put out the debut album.
Tales Of The Unexpected is that debut album, and what a stonking album it is to. Oozing power and confidence, the band wearing their influences on their sleeves but never simply plagiarising them, Zark have become a great, solid, if complex at times, band with a brilliant debut album with which to show case their wears.
Opening with 'Lord Rat', the album is quick to showcase the bands prog rock roots, with its twisting riffs and varied tempo changes, setting the scene for what is to follow perfectly. In fact what does follow is almost a master-class in what was glorious about the seventies prog / stoner rock scenes. tracks such as 'Mask', 'One Eye Open', 'Carnival Of Souls', and 'Hollow Shells', proving the band are a band to be reckoned with!

Zark are great band and with Tales Of The Unexpected they have a great debut, proving that the future of prog rock in the UK is in good hands!

Very Highly Recommended

Rating - 9/10

 Listen to 'Lord Rat' here on the bands soundcloud page

Tales Of The Unexpected is available for the bands bandcamp page here

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

City Of Thieves - Incinerator (EP) (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label - Townsend Records
Track listing:
01 - Incinerator
02 - Lay Me To Waste
03 - Buzzed Up City
04 - Here Comes The Shot
05 - Mr 50/50 (Live Acoustic)

"Since making their live debut at Camden Rocks Festival in May, the buzz is spreading about City Of Thieves – no frills, no messin', no gimmicks – it's heavy rock in its purest form and will send you straight to the front of the stage with sledgehammer riffs, hooks and melodies."
"With producer Toby Jepson at the helm, Mike Fraser on mixing duties and mastering by Simon Francis (Kodaline, Kaiser Chiefs, Primal Scream) the vision of this new material was in the best of hands. When asked what he thought about City Of Thieves, Mike Fraser simply replied "Killer band...Killer songs". This is not a throwaway comment, this is from a true craftsman whose worked on albums for Metallica, AC/DC, Slipknot, Aerosmith and more."

City Of Thieves are a new band hailing from the UK, playing that good old fashioned British Hard Rock the way that it should be delivered, with heart and passion! No frills, no bullshit, just good solid songs and a great band, a simple and perfect formula if you ask me.

The EP's title track, 'Incinerator', opens things up, with a groove and a swagger expected more from a long established band as opposed to new kids on the block so to speak. A great start, good solid track that oozes confidence.
Next up we have 'Lay Me To Waste', another great track that changes things up a little. More melodic this one, yet still with plenty of meaty riffs. Toby Jepson has done a great job of capturing the bands real essence on these songs. 'Buzzed Up City' follows, and this track has to be my favourite on offer here, its such a great song, full of energy and passion, together with a riff AC/DC would kill for.
'Here Comes The Shot' closes out the studio recordings on offer here, and does so in style! A monster of a track, that once again see's the guys mixing things up a little.
The EP closes out proper with the live acoustic recording of 'Mr 50/50', yet another great song, capturing the raw energy and spirit of the band.

Incinerator proves that City Of Thieves have a lot to offer, and when paired together with the likes of Screaming Eagles, BlackWolf, Rank Berry, Rusted Hero and Cage The Gods, they show that the UK's Hard Rock scene is truly alive and kicking!

"With Planet Rock Radio playlisting 'Incinerator' and show announcements happening NOW - City Of Thieves will release their EP 22nd September 2015 via Townsend Records, with the debut album scheduled to be unleashed in 2016.
These guys aren't just here to steal your soul for the love of rock n' roll...they're here to DEVOUR it. Tune in, turn it up...we'll see you down the front."
Very Highly Recommended!

Rating - 10/10

City Of Thieves are:
Vocals/Bass - Jamie Lailey
Guitar/Backing Vox - Ben Austwick
Guitar/Backing Vox - Adam Wardle
Drums/Backing Vox - Will Richards
 Pre-Order the CD:

. Free 'Incinerator' mp3 download:

. Incinerator (EP) teaser:

Skintrade - Scarred For Life (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label - AOR Heaven Records

Track listing:
01. Scarred For Life
02. Goodbye
03. Wide Awake
04. Lay With Me
05. Find A Way
06. Lovehate
07. Leave A Scar
08. Broken
09. Storm Will Come
10. 15 Minutes Gone

Fronted by great vocalist Matti Alfonzetti, SKINTRADE are quickly hitting back with their fourth studio record "Scarred For Life" released by AOR Heaven Records.
Following the more than adequate comeback album of last year these Swedes consistently deliver in the melodic hard rock genre - and this new CD is no different.
The 10 songs in "Scarred For Life" are infectious, energetic, and bubbling from a bluesy perspective while the vocal harmonies and delivery out of Matti Alfonzetti remains top class, as he has been ever since I first heard him all those years ago on the debut EP from defunct UK rockers Jagged Edge, moulding the best of David Coverdale and Eric Martin in shimmering grace and gritty textures.
You can expect certain songs to have a cross between the '80s Sunset Strip scene and a little bit of '90s alt hard rock edge like "Storm Will Come" and "Goodbye", especially in terms of the guitar tone Alfonzetti and fellow Skintrade guitarist Stefan Bergström choose to employ.
At other times the band choose to go for more of a simplified, stripped down groove arrangement, which for the case of "Lay With Me" emphasizes the entertaining musical interplay between guitarists and rhythm section, and allow Matti a chance to dig deeper into his natural bluesy, playful melodic register.
Occasionally throwback elements come into play, the main riff for "Leave a Scar" has a bit of Aerosmith meets Ratt going on, while Skintrade also tackle a left field cover with Katy Perry's "Wide Awake" that works - much more hard rock oriented while the spacey elements are given a heavier, guitar fused charge up.
These are bountiful times if you are a melodic hard rock fan - and Scandinavia seems to be hitting pay dirt when it comes to exemplary songwriting and performances while understanding the need for memorable hooks, melodies, and choruses.
Skintrade with their second go around aren't living on nostalgia - and "Scarred for Life" proves their desire to keep the genre potent and worthwhile in current times.

Very Highly Recommended

Rating - 9/10

Sunday, 19 July 2015

ESTRELLA - We Will Go On (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock
Track listing:
01 - Here I Am
02 - Wheels Keep Turning
03 - We Will Go On
04 - This Heaven
05 - Hard To Get
06 - Reason
07 - Hold On
08 - Rock City
09 - Be There
10 - Undercover Lover
11 - My Own Way

After three years of waiting, the long awaited follow up to Scottish four-piece ESTRELLA stunning debut album is finally upon us.
Since the band's first album Come Out And Play way back in 2012, the boys from Thurso have played the UK from top to bottom alongside some of the biggest name’s in rock and they have amassed quite the following as a result as well as making a few trips across into Europe supporting the likes of Robin Beck and they’re just back from a lengthy tour with Enuff Z’Nuff.
Anyone familiar with the band’s previous album will have some idea what to expect but to borrow a greatly overused analogy, "We Will Go On" takes everything we know about the Estrella formula and turns it up to 11.
The new record has a nicely rocked up sound with a classic feel to it all. By 'classic feel' I mean classic rock feel a-la 1970s/1980s edges. On listening it’s not surprise that the band is being mentioned highly by the likes of Classic Rock magazine with 'Here I Am' (first single) awarded track of the week.
For people new to Estrella, their music is in the mould of Def Leppard, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Thunder, some Bon Jovi, and it’s nothing if not good fun.
And 'Here I Am' opens the album as well. From the very beginning with it’s 'na na na na na na' chorus you can tell it’s a real crowd pleaser. There are some great guitar elements and singer Paul Gunn has grown in stature and experience since the first CD. He reminds me often of Def Leppard's Joe Elliot, always enjoying himself but also a complete frontman, making sure everyone is having a good time.
Title track 'We Will Go On' is all about how much the band enjoy playing live and seeing the crowd enjoying themselves. It’s another song that comes across as a perfect live track.
'Reason' and 'This Heaven' are strong contender’s for being named best song on the album and are quite possibly the best tracks the band have penned to date. 'Reason' in particular could be amazingly realised in a cheesy '80s power ballad music video set in a dusty airfield with some strong wind effects and a setting sun before heading into a deserted aircraft hanger for the final chorus. Also, a mountain top solo wouldn’t go amiss!
A standout song for me is 'Hard to Get', where the guitars take on a fuzzier tone, and the melody is slower. Paul’s voice is given a chance to shine amongst some great solos and the rhythm section playing at the low end really come to the fore.
Special mention also to 'Rock City', a great classic rock track, and 'Be There', more of a ballad (akin Bon Jovi) and a total sing-a-long track.
Estrella, comprising brothers Paul, Luke and Nathan Gunn, and Leo McPherson have gone all out with this album, putting together a production team who have worked with some of the biggest names in the business, including pre-production and mastering by Pete Shoulder (The Union), Luke Morley (Thunder), and Pete Mayer (Rolling Stones) and production by Nick Brine (The Darkness, Thunder).

Highly Recommended!

Rating - 9/10

The V - Now Or Never (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label - Frontiers Records
Track listing:
01. Again
02. Now or Never
03. Rollcoaster
04. L.O.V.E
05. Line in the Sand
06. Love Should Be to Blame
07. Kiss My Lips
08. Spellbound
09. Starshine
10. Below Zero
11. Ready to Run
12. King for a Day (feat. Tony Martin)
Released by Frontiers Music, "Now Or Never" is the debut solo album from reputed vocalist Veronica Freeman (Benedictum) under the mysterious moniker of THE V, where she ventures away from her traditional metal style of lead vocals over a (melodic) hard rock material.
Helping Veronica out musically we have a varied cast of hard rock icons such as Michael Sweet (Stryper), Jeff Pilson (Dokken), Jerry Dixon (Warrant), Mike Lepond (Symphony X), Tony Martin (ex- Black Sabbath) and more. "Now Or Never" shows that The V can wrap her tonsils around a wide variety of hard rock tunes where she displays some unexpected qualities and successfully try to stretch herself out with different singing styles and different approaches (check "Starshine").
Opener"Again" starts off like most songs in Freeman’s catalog, but the vocals soon shift gears and give this more of a hard rock/melodic feel that her typical heavy metal fare. Title track "Now Or Never" kicks off with strong bass & drums, then soon morphs into a cool melodic rock based track with searing leads and riffs that accompany Veronica’s rocking vocals.
"L.O.V.E." is one of the tracks that take on a different sound and feel compared to others on the disc, and a personal favorite. The vocals really stand out, especially when the chorus comes in. The drums are big on this track, as are the guitar riffs.
“Love Should Be To Blame” chugs along and gives the disc an edgier sound. The lower range of Veronica’s vocals in the chorus give her a sultry vibe that adds to the delivery of the emotionally charged lyrics. 
“Spellbound” takes on a darker, more straight sound that is very reminiscent of early '80s recordings from labels like Metal Blade. The bottom end is full and adds punch to the track in a hard rock / US metal vibe.
“Below Zero” has a heavy bass line that runs through it, even when the guitars are lighter and the vocals are charging from verse to chorus and back. The different bassists featured on the disc include Jeff Pilson, Mel Brown, Garry Bordonaro, Aric Avina, John O’Boyle and Mike Lepond.
“Roller Coaster” comes charging out of the gate and doesn’t let up from first note to the last. The drums, played by Derek Kerswill on the entire disc, keep the track anchored and the tempo steady. 
Line In The Sand” is a melodic gem that stands out on this disc. The guitars soar and build the mood of the track and allow Freeman to run rampant with some of the best arranged vocals here.
“Kiss My Lips” is one of the highlights too, as it is totally upbeat and full of rockin' energy. The guitars are full, the drums blast and the bass lines strong and steady. Throw in a cool duet between Veronica and Chastain's lead vocalist Leather Leone and you have a killer song.
Producer John Herrera utilized several guitarists to put this disc together, including Pete Wells, Michael Sweet, Peter Tentindo, Jimmy Durkin, Mick Tucker, Jordan Ziff, and Michael Harris.
“Starshine” shifts the mood of the disc with a lighter rock track (semi-ballad) that moves further from Freeman’s comfort zone, but allows her vocals to take the spotlight and run. The acoustic guitars and additional vocals from Meliesa McDonell give the song a little something extra at the chorus.
“Ready To Run” opens up like Motley’s Wild Side, but soon takes its own lead and direction, giving Freeman room to show off her vocals in a hard rock / melodic twist that gives the song a little depth.
Disc closer “King For A Day” features a heavier and bluesier groove that carries the track while Veronica and the great Tony Martin trade off verses and duet at the chorus.

What started out as a mad experiment has turned out to be proof positive that Veronica Freeman has the chops to handle anything thrown her way. As 'The V', Veronica proves she's not just a metal singer, she is a Rock singer. And she is drop-dead sensational in this role!
Rating - 10/10
The Players :
Veronica Freeman - vocals
Leather Leone – duet vocals on ‘Kiss My Lips’
Tony Martin – duet vocals on ‘King For A Day’
Meliesa McDonell – add vocals on 'Star Shine', acoustic guitar
Derek Kerswill – drums
Jeff Pilson, Mel Brown, Garry Bordonaro, Aric Avina, John O’Boyle, Mike LePond – bass
Pete Wells, Michael Sweet, Peter Tentindo, Jim Durkin, Mick Tucker, Jordan Ziff, Michael Harris – guitars

Produced by John Herrera
except for:
'King for a Day' (produced by Kenny Lewis)
'Love Should be to Blame', 'Again' (produced by Michael Sweet)


JONO - Silence (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock
Track listing:
01 - Man of Misery
02 - Wasting Time
03 - Can We Make It
04 - Turn Around
05 - Your Bread
06 - In My Life
07 - Clear
08 - The One to Blame
09 - Opus
10 - Josefina
Jono's music, vision and inspiration marry up the best of early Queen, Kansas and even Toto into a magical recipe that transcends any genre or classification. But if you want it, call it Pomp meets Progressive meets Melodic Rock perfection. And I truly mean that! Jono are the best, pomp rock band that I have heard since Queens classic first two albums!
Jono already set the bar very high with the terrific "Man of Misery". Dynamic, articulated, plenty of nuances and although no Freddie Mercury,a vocalist to die for.
2nd track "Wasting Time" and it does not justify its title, believe me. If the opener was great, this is simply awesome. Jono is melodically perfect, but they go much more beyond with elastic instrumentation, superb arrangements and clinical performances.
"Can We Make It" and the extremely beautiful "Turn Around" are next in line, and the top quality continues. Think like a mix of the rocking Queen, Supertramp, Saga, ACT and City Boy.
But forget the 'Jono sounds like' preconceived opinion... Jono sounds like Jono and like no-other. They take the influences and mash-up everything into something unique.
Their extremely polished sound is pompous, bombastic and sometimes overblown, but never pedestrian.
I could mention all tracks on "Silence" as highlights, because this record is pure gold. Yes, it's close to perfection. Even the cover artwork is magnificent.
JONO are the real deal, quite possibly the most talented Rock band emerged in the last fifteen years (and more).

Very, Very, Highly Recommended!

Rating 10/10

GEORGE LYNCH - Shadow Train [Deluxe Edition] (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Blues Rock
Label -
Track listing:
CD 1: 01. Vulture
02. Currency of Lies
03. Power and Resistance
04. Now It s Dark
05. Vulture (Slight Return)
06. I Am Weapon
07. Ghost
08. White Clay
09. Fight No More

CD 2:
01. Believe
02. Blinded
03. Fallen
04. Glitter
05. Prayer Mechanism
06. Sioux Wake Up
07. Trail of Tears
08. Under A Crooked Sky
09. World on Fire

Legendary Dokken guitarist GEORGE LYNCH's long awaited "Shadow Train" project finally comes to light in this all new 18 track Deluxe Edition 2 CD set.
George's stellar guitar work, along with vocalist Gregg Analla (a descendant of the Isleta Pueblo Indian tribe), bassist Gabe Rosales (Lynch Mob), keyboardist Donnie Dickman and drummer Jimmy D'Anda, create honest, soulful and meaningful bluesy-based hard rock, that makes this release a must have for all George Lynch, Dokken, Lynch Mob (et all) fans.
The music in "Shadow Train" also provides the musical support for Lynch's upcoming, thought provoking documentary that explores the trials and tribulations that face Native American Indians in our world today.
The deluxe edition two-CD, 18-track studio album highlights Lynch’s signature guitar style. And it should be noted that this band effort is not specifically a 'Lynch' solo excursion. The music is atmospheric at places, eclectic and explorative, and it taps into the Bluesy, Hard Rock genres with which Lynch thrives.
Lyrically, there is no hiding the social commentary; it voices the plight of Native American Indians as the United States deliberately diminishes the value of its historical narrative of the original strong, proud independent nations of North America.
While the imagery and the documentary sell the concept of the injustices done to the Native American Indian tribes, the lyrics also explore socioeconomic inequalities and touches on materialism, environmentalism, racism and elitism, among other issues.
Vocally, Analla provides the perfect complement to Lynch’s serpentine fretwork. His voice brings influences from the Rock genre, along with his own Native American cultural background, which invites listeners into the diverse multicultural experience of "Shadow Train".
The second CD offers music fans a glimpse into the creative exploration of a band looking for an identity. It tastefully combines years of collective experience among individual musicians and produces what is an eclectic soundtrack of music that became the definitive roadmap to the group’s musical soul.
The canvas leans on atmospheric arrangements highlighted by Lynch’s guitar, but it also is driven by the vocals, bass and drums and is polished by the keys.
CD No. 1 actually was recorded after the second CD. The newer set of songs is a collaborative effort of five guys who spent a whole lot of time knocking around together, working on the documentary, writing and performing.
Going back into the studio, the band created an additional nine songs that showcase a matured vibe, which is a tighter assimilation of the "Shadow Train" sound. These tracks are painted with words and music that are reflective and maybe controversial (depending on your point of view), but they most certainly are thought provoking.
The music on "Shadow Train" certainly sees Lynch reaching for the pinnacle of his career, where all the stars align and that one moment of clarity is achieved.
Built upon the backs of his early bands, including The Boys, Dokken, Lynch Mob, his solo work, instrumental albums and projects (KXM, Sweet & Lynch, Lynch/Pilson), Lynch never has stopped striving to attain the elusive carrot. Partnering with Gregg Analla, Gabe Rosales, Donnie Dickman and Jimmy D’Anda, Shadow Train’s self-titled studio album is a defining moment for Lynch and his fellow bandmates.
“I’ve spent more than four decades of my life pursuing elusive musical aspirations. But, for even longer than that, I’ve cared, studied and thought deeply about the human condition and how we interact with each other and the world around us. Fusing these two aspirations into one has been a challenge for me throughout my creative life.
This is my attempt at bonding the music and the message into one cohesive whole.”
– said George Lynch.
Here’s hoping that the new Lynch Mob is as good as this excellent "Shadow Train"!
Right now, "Shadow Train" offers Lynch fans some of his best written and recorded music to date.
Rating - 9/10

TRUCKER DIABLO - Rise Above The Noise (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label - Pledge Music
Track listing:
01 - Fight Life
02 - Party Like They Started The End Of The World
03 - Somebody Save Me
04 - We Stand Strong
05 - Where Angels Fly
06 - Girl In A Photograph
07 - Take Me To The River
08 - Murder Ballad
09 - Sun Deprives The Day
10 - Don't Cry

Northern Ireland hard rockers TRUCKER DIABLO made quite a name for themselves with a couple of interesting albums and amazing liver performances, but just when major success was knocking  at their front door, one year ago, the band decided to take an indefinite hiatus for personal reasons. Well their back!
The guys (minus bass-player Glenn Harrison who decided not to step on board again) have just released a new album entitled "Rise Above The Noise", and what a kickin', rockin' album it is!
Trucker Diablo refer to themselves as 'stadium pub hard rock', and it pretty sums up their style perfectly. With a hint of a classic pub sound wrapped up in a huge, brave and outgoing package that rivals that of many great touring rock acts, it’s obvious from the opening note of the first track, "Fight Life", that these guys mean business.
The first thing to strike the ears is the perfectly constructed guitar sound that rings through with enough crunch to make a crowd bounce, yet clean enough to hear each note resonating. This is played with a mid-tempo beat to propel the song forward at a steady marching pace. This has a certain Lynyrd Skynyrd feeling to it, but with a modern kick behind it that instantly makes its verses active and its melodic chorus catchy.
The song that really sets the bar for the CD makes its appearance as the album’s second track, and truly displays the band’s 'stadium' abilities. "Party Like They Started The End of The World’" takes off like a bullet with a dizzyingly powerful riff, backed up by a fantastically funky bass line which plays support to the singer between the guitars’ punches. It’s got everything you’d expect from a song based around apocalyptic party-hefty riffs, a fun groove, and classic rock style solo. This has to be easily one of the most entertaining rock songs to come out of Ireland since Thin Lizzy‘s Thunder and Lightning.
However, it soon becomes obvious that Trucker Diablo are not resting on their ‘party rock’ reputation, and this re-invigorated line up is prepared to explore new musical avenues. "Somebody Save Me" is the first of the tracks to introduce a slightly darker, mellower feel to album: the crunch and grit is still there, but it possesses a deep and elegiacally melancholic vibe.
"We Stand Strong" shifts back up through the gears again, as the quartet put the pedal to the medal with a fast-paced hard rocker, characterized by another punchy main riff, accentuated once again by McGurk’s understatedly solid bass work, before "Where Angels Fly" totally changes the mood. Led by Keith (The Quireboys) Weir’s plaintive piano, it’s a deeply personal lament, with Harte delivering a surprisingly heart wrenching vocal, with the result being a thoroughly beautiful, soulful ballad guaranteed to melt even the hardest of hearts.
"Girl In A Photograph" very much echoes the band’s adoration of Thin Lizzy (but then what Irish rock band is not influenced by Lynott and co?), with its rolling double guitar melody: however, where Lizzy legacists Black Star Riders continue to regurgitate the riffs to ‘Emerald’, ‘Jailbreak’, etc. almost ad infinitum, Trucker take it as a starting point and positively stamp their own identity on it, adding melodic and progressive tangents.
"Take Me To The River" has a more bluesy feeling, "Murder Ballad" demonstrates the rich depth and variety of band with its combination of thumping riffs and rich lush melodies, and closer ballad "Don’t Cry" is an appropriate choice of final track, built on a sweeping melody and another gorgeous and deeply personal lyric/vocal from Harte, recalling Extreme's acoustic pieces.
If having to clear the decks and switch off the noise for a while produces an album of this verve, this vibrancy and this clarity, then maybe more bands should try the Trucker Diablo formula, and stop a year.
Certainly, "Rise Above The Noise" rocks wonderfully. It's punchy, it's modern yet classic rock inspired, all songs are good and the guys play from the heart.
What else you need to enjoy a cold beer and party on?

Very Highly Recommended.

Rating - 10/10

ON TOP - Topless (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Glam / Sleaze
Label - Toil Records
Track listing:
01 - Lie to Me
02 - Crazy
03 - 282
04 - Got Me Runnin'
05 - No Shame
06 - Cold and Blue
07 - Don't Go
08 - Bad Love
09 - Hot N Wet
10 - Into The Night
11 - Sleepless
12 - Too Much
Pennsylvanian three piece ON TOP have decided that the likes of Poison, Faster Pussycat, Skid Row and Motley Crue had so much fun 30 years ago that there’s very little reason that they shouldn’t join in too. "Topless" is their 3rd effort, and if you think '80s influenced glam metal / sleaze was dead in America, then better listen this corker.
Take the opening lines of '282': "Running with the devil / Pedal to the metal / Its all about getting paid / eyes on the gold / body’s been sold / at least you’re getting laid..." so sneers vocalist / bass player Jaron Gullino, over a riff that takes Crue’s Kickstart My Heart as its inspiration and gets sleazier from there. If that doesn’t make it clear that we aren’t dealing with anything too taxing then nothing will.
Those of us that fancy a dip into the hard rock of old will find much to enjoy in the carefree filthy groove of 'Got Me Runnin', while 'Lie To Me' manages not to be ballad and instead keeps the upbeat rockin' spirit needle in the red.
No, there's not ballads here. In fact, ON TOP are pretty heavy at places, mixing some dark Lynch Mob’s style riff stuff into the mix. Just checkout 'No Shame'.
Jaron Gulino’s double duty of vocals and bass is more memorable for the latter, as the raunchy bass line is excellent. He's not bad on the mic either, he owns a natural hard rock voice, clear & sleazy, just a bit linear sometimes.
Brian Davis is quite hot on guitar, replacing Alex Kulick since the bands’ last release. Danny Piselli’s drumming is heavy yet deliberate, and he completes a band that sound tight and ready to unleash havoc.
'Cold and Blue' has some Motley / LA Guns feel, but the melodic chorus and multiple guitar hooks finds a band simply being themselves. Gulino’s vocals are more aggressive here than your normal glam rock vocalist, and this is refreshing to hear.
'Don’t Go' grabs a few tricks from the old Aerosmith bag o' dirty tricks in the way of snorting riffs and bluesy shucks. However, there's a raucous Sunset Strip ready chorus.
Then the six-minute 'Bad Love' refuses to let up the balls out rawk, more polished than the previous and with some hair metal on it and high quality solos from Davis.
On Top is a band straight to the point: party rockers, easy melodies driven by strong riffs and choruses, combined with the thick and clean production make this a very enjoyable trip back to ‘80s US glam / sleaze hard rock.
However, the trio is pretty modern with the set-up sound, and this could bring young listeners to this genre and forget the crappy modern rock ruling American radio right now.
Great Stuff.
Well Worth Checking Out

Rating - 9/10

SCREAMING EAGLES - Stand Up And Be Counted (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - Off Yer Rocka
Track listing:
01 - Ready For The Fall
02 - Save Me
03 - Stand Up & Be Counted
04 - Bow Down To The Blues
05 - Chase You Down
06 - Get Out While I'm Ahead
07 - Breakin' The Rules
08 - Streets Of Gold
09 - Screaming Eagles
10 - 27 Club

SCREAMING EAGLES, hard rock band from Northern Ireland released a stupendous debut two years ago, in many ways helping to re-ignite the classic rock scene within the UK, and receiving critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic ocean and Australia too.
'Stand Up And Be Counted', the highly anticipated follow-up to the Screaming Eagles barnstorming debut also does not disappoint, picking up exactly where their debut left off!
Now lets be honest, in the world of hard rock, originality is not particularly prized. The real treasure lies in forging a fistful of hard rocking songs and turning them into glorious, mind-blowing, max-volume gold. It’s harder than it sounds, but these lads have it down.
Much like their debut, this album is still very riff based with plenty of guitar solos, heavy bass line and pure drums. Delivering cheap thrills with no questions asked, 'Stand Up And Be Counted' is an exuberant celebration of youthful verve, vitality and, inevitably, rebellion.
This 10-track monster of an album is loaded with excellent fist pumping, foot stomping, head banging tracks on here, such as, "Ready For The Fall", the lead off single "Save Me", the title track, the funked-up swagger of "Chase You Down", and the ridiculously catchy "Breakin' All The Rules' with some AC/DC on it.
"Bow Down To The Blues" is indeed a bluesy number and works well as a break with its mid-tempo pace, while the melodic groove of closer "27 Club" has lyrics talking about the many promising musicians who have died at the tender age of 27 (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison to name but a few) and hence the term '27 Club'.
If this album doesn't make you pound your feet on the floor, shred on the air-guitar while standing on the coffee table, or get your hands punching the air, then you're either not alive, or from another planet. "Stand Up And Be Counted" is an album well worth getting for any Rock fan, old school, teenager or anywhere in between.
The Screaming Eagles are a real breath of fresh air in the modern music world, and particularly the Hard Rock genre, because these guys sound real, with flesh & bones.

Very, Very, Highly Recommended.

Rating - 10/10

Internal Conflict – The Rising Tide (2015)

Genre - Metal/Thrash/Hardcore/Metalcore
Label – Self Released

Track listing:

01 – Darkest Before The Dawn
02 – Self Made Asylum
03 – Baying For Blood
04 – A Thousand Times
05 – Another Day
06 – Undertow
07 – Lessons
08 – The Rising Tide
09 – Deprivation

Internal Conflict are a five piece Hardcore/Metalcore/Metal band hailing from Leicester (UK)with an ever growing fan base, and now having just completed a very successful co-headlining tour of the UK with Ballsdeep, Internal Conflict are now preparing for the release of their new album 'TheRising Tide'. The band are made up of: Adam Kyle (Vocals) Sean Rice (Guitars), Matt Hall (Guitars), Dan Laffar (Bass) and Dan Robbins (Drums).
With influences ranging from: The Haunted, Machine Head, Lamb of God, Parkway Drive, As I Lay Dying, Gojira, Darkane, Chimaira, Death, Pantera, Slayer, Sepultura, In Flames, Soilwork, Testament, Devildriver, Sylosis, Malefice, Mastodon, Pink Floyd, Dream Theatre, While She Sleeps, Bleed From Within, you kind of have an idea of what to expect from these guys, it’s going to be hard, fast, aggressive and heavy!
Now I have to be brutally honest here and admit that I am not the greatest fan of the hardcore/meal genre’s, hell to be honest Gallows are the only real hardcore band that I can say that I am a fan of, but I am approaching this album, and review with a totally open mind.
Internal Conflict seem to have been impressing all the right people, gaining comments such as, "the passion was certainly visible". (, and Internal Conflict "clearly mean business" ( and their music has even been described as "a riot transcribed into musical form", which is a pretty apt description to be fair.
The first thing that I notice just how mature and accomplished the musicianship is on every song, no hints anywhere that this is the band’s debut album. The guitar work of Sean Rice and Matt Hall stands up there alongside that of any of the bi9g bands, and the rhythm section are as solid as anything, not only providing a solid base for most of the songs, but in many cases driving them along! Vocalist Adam Kyle sure has a set of longs on him too!
Every song upon ‘The Rising Tide’ is well written and well performed, with the band managing to capture all the intended anger and rage to perfection, and trust me there is plenty to be found upon ‘The Rising Tide’. Your ears take a pummelling with every track, fast aggressive pounding riffs, coupled with Adams vocals from Satan’s very own gut, and there is not a bad track to be found anywhere. My only gripe with the album is that it could do with a little more variation, after all, I could do with the odd slower kore atmospheric track thrown into the mix so that I can catch my breath so to speak.
Stand out tracks for me include, title track, ‘The Rising Tide’ and the albums closer ‘Deprivation’ which see’s the band at their most versatile.
A good solid debut album that is sure to please pre-existing fans of the band, and garner a fair amount of interest from fans of the genre too. 

Well worth checking out.
Rating 8/10


Watch the ‘Another Day ‘ Lyric video here:

Download the ‘Another Day’ MP3 here: