Monday, 31 August 2015

Backyard Babies - Four By Four (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Punk
Label - Gain

Track listing:

01 - Th1rt3en Or Nothing
02 - I'm On My Way To Save Your Rock 'N' Roll
03 - White Light District
04 - Bloody Tears
05 - Piracy
06 - Never Finish Anything
07 - Mirrors (Shall Be Broken)
08 - Wasted Years
09 - Walls

Swedish rockers return with a brand new album, "Four By Four", their first new studio album in five long years. "Formed in 1989, and with half a dozen studio albums to their name, the line-up of the band has never changed, and neither has the collective desire to claim a key and colourful chapter in the annals of rock ‘n’ roll." which is a pretty impressive claim to be able to make in todays ever changing revolving door environment of rock 'n' roll. One thing that has changed is that the bands sound has slowly matured and evolved over the years, especially during their recent five year hiatus, that saw various band members involved with various other projects, especially guitarist Dregen with his excellent solo album! So the guys now come back together and put out a rather excellent record in the form of "Four By Four", which see the bands sound slightly more polished than on previous releases, and maybe a maturity within the song writing that can only come with age.
The album explodes into the ears with the recently-released single “Th1rt3en Or Nothing”, which has a funky start and then sort of slides into a slow and groovy wall of sleazy swagger. The vocals are sneering, the guitars are wailing and I love the drum sound. This track kind of brings to mind some of the recent Sixx:AM and possibly even Slash releases, yet maintains the Backyard Babies own identity. Second track “I’m On My Way To Save Your Rock & Roll” is an instant classic. Its dirty riff boils over with attitude, something only Scandinavian bands seem to understand these days, and its sing-along chorus just bounces along, simply brilliant. “White Light District” continues in the same vein, keeping up the energy and swaggering into a potential live classic in my honest opinion.
There’s a total change of pace for “Bloody Tears”, which starts slowly with acoustics then morphs into a massive power ballad. This is an absolutely cracking song. Get your lighters ready for this one.
The album returns to the classic Backyard Babies sound for “Piracy” which is fast and fun, featuring some excellent harmony vocals. “Never Finish Anything” is a potential single too, with a more modern sound with Nicke and Dregen throwing some two-way vocals at each other in the catchy chorus. “Mirrors (Shall be Broken)” is another nice ballad with a more bluesy groove. Final track “Walls” is another interesting cut, slow, but there’s no ballad here. Instead a strong and dominant jazzy bass line that gives it a feel all of its own, and it then becomes an instrumental ending that wouldn’t be out of place as the theme for a Hammer House Of Horror film. There’s creaking doors, doomy guitars and even an evil cackle or two.
It seems that those years doing their other projects have enabled the Backyard Babies to come back with a sound that is stronger than ever.  "Four By Four" is close enough in style to satisfy their die-hard long-term fans but there’s also some interesting new directions to attract a new audience.
A good strong album from some long time favourites, well worth checking out.

Highly Recommended

Rating - 9/10

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Iron Maiden - Book Of Souls (2015)

Genre - Heavy Metal / NWoBHM
Label - Parlophone UK
Track listing:

Disc 1
1. If Eternity Should Fail (Dickinson) 8:28
2. Speed Of Light (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:01
3. The Great Unknown (Smith/ Harris) 6:37
4. The Red And The Black (Harris) 13:33
5. When The River Runs Deep (Smith/ Harris) 5:52
6. The Book Of Souls (Gers/ Harris) 10:27

Disc 2
7. Death Or Glory (Smith/ Dickinson) 5:13
8. Shadows Of The Valley (Gers/ Harris) 7:32
9. Tears Of A Clown (Smith/ Harris) 4:59
10. The Man Of Sorrows (Murray/ Harris) 6:28
11. Empire Of The Clouds (Dickinson) 18:01

Iron Maiden are back, and by god are they back! British heavy metal legends return with their brand new album, the awesome double album (a career first!) "Book Of Souls". Its been five years since Maiden last studio opus, 2010's "The Final Frontier" but judging by the sheer quality of the songs on offer on "Book Of Souls" then its been well worth the wait.

Disc One kicks off with the Dickinson composition, 'If Eternity Should Fail'. The song kicks of with some dark atmospheric keyboard layers and an almost spaghetti western synth trumpet before exploding into one of the heaviest songs that Iron Maiden have ever recorded, yet alone opened an album with! Great start, and its heart warming to hear Bruce in such fine voice!
Next up we have the albums lead single, and in my humble opinion the albums weakest track, the Smith / Dickinson composed, 'Speed Of Light'. Its one of the albums shortest tracks and is destined to become a Maiden classic, with its sing along chorus. Its worthy of noting the energy that both the song and the band seem to posses, something that they have rarely captured in the studio since 1992's "Fear Of The Dark" release.
"The Great Unknown" follows, this time a Smith / Harris composition, and what a song! The song opens with a huge rumbling bass line from Steve Harris before growing into a true Maiden classic, that just keeps on building the atmosphere throughout the songs duration.
"The Red And The Black" is up next. This song is a Harris composition, and to be honest on any other Maiden album this song would have definitely been the album's centre piece. Yet another Maiden classic, so that's four songs in and we have three dead cert new Maiden classics among them!
"When The River Runs Deep", follows, this time being written by Smith and Harris. This song is one of the most metal songs that Iron Maiden have written in years, reminiscent of some early Dio material in places, and at times bringing to mind the Maiden classic's 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner' and 'Heaven Can Wait'.
Next up we have the albums title track, 'Book Of Souls', this time being written by Janick Gers and Steve Harris. This song is huge! Filled to the brim with spooky atmospheres, this ode to the Mayans is simply a huge towering track, and well deserving of its status of being the albums title track. Opening with a simple acoustic guitar and a slowly building atmospheric keyboard layer, before exploding into this huge Iron Maiden classic akin to 'To Tame A Land' and 'Alexander The Great'. Simply magnificent. That closes out disc one of the this two disc opus, and would by the standards of any mere mortal band, that would constitute a great album, but this is Iron Maiden, so lets get onto disc two!

Disc Two opens with the Smith / Dickinson composition, 'Death Or Glory'. This tale of World War I fighter pilots is a ripping track, bursting at the seams with energy. This is one of the albums shortest tracks and definitely destined to become a live favourite!
'Shadows Of The Valley' follows, this time the song is another Janick Gers and Steve Harris composition. With an intro that could have just stepped off of the grooves of 1986's "Somewhere In Time" album, this mid-paced song is simply a maze of riffs and hooks, dark hues and a distinct of the supernatural permeate throughout this track. Guaranteed to become another Maiden classic.
"Tears Of A Clown" is up next. This one is a Smith/ Harris composition, and a tribute to the late great comedian, Robin Williams, who sadly committed suicide in 2014 after his long battle with depression. The song simply asks the question, how can someone who brings so much joy, feel so much pain? tragic subject, but a brilliant song non the less.
The next song on this immense opus of an album is 'The Man Of Sorrows'. This is not Iron Maiden version of Bruce's track from 2005, 'Man Of Sorrows' from Bruce's "Accident At Birth" album. No this track features the only writing credit for guitarist Dave Murray on this album, being a Murray / composition. This is a blues-tinged number that sees the guitarists showcasing a slightly different side of the talents. Once again Bruce is fine voice, as he has been throughout the entire album!
Now every Iron Maiden album since time began has featured and epic over blown masterpiece as the closing track, usually written by Steve Harris, and usually the albums centre piece. Well "Book Of Souls" is no different, only this time the master piece has been composed by vocalist Bruce Dickinson, And what a masterpiece it is! Clocking in at a mighty eighteen minutes and one second, 'Empire Of The Clouds' is Iron Maiden's most grandiose and ambitious song to date. To my knowledge this is also the only song that Iron Maiden have recorded that features a piano and cello so prominently! 'Empire Of The Clouds' is Bruce telling the tale of the tragically doomed R101 airship (or Zeppelin) in 1930. A fantastic piece of story telling and a magnificent opus of a song ta boot!

So there you have it, Iron Maiden return with what is quite possibly their best album ever in the form of the double album, "Book Of Souls" and definitely the best album that will be released in 2015. This album would be a great album to bow out on should the band choose to call it a day after their forth coming mammoth world tour next year, but judging by the quality and creativity on display throughout 2Book Of Souls" I hope they choose to record at least one more album, especially considering Bruce's recent victory in his battle with cancer.

Long Live Iron Maiden!

This album is simply a must for any fan of the band, or any fan of any metal genre!

Very, Very Highly Recommended

Rating - 10/10          (Album Of The Year!)

Butcher Babies - Take it Like a Man (2015)

Genre - Heavy Metal / Metalcore
Label - Century Media
Track listing:
01 - Monsters Ball
02 - Igniter
03 - The Cleansing
04 - The Butcher
05 - Gravemaker
06 - Thrown Away
07 - Never Go Back
08 - Marquee
09 - Blood Soaked Hero
10 - Dead Man Walking
11 - For The Fight
12 - Blonde Girls All Look The Same

By God......this is an album!
Now I have to be honest here and admit that I am not the biggest fan of the metalcore and nu-metal genre's. I just don't seem to get it, if you know what I mean. Although over the years the odd band has caught my attention, its usually just the odd song, and rarely could I sit through a full album. But that has changed with Butcher Babies and "Take It Like A Man".
Californian Metal / Metalcore quintet return with their sophomore album in the form of "Take It Like A Man", and what an album it is, with vocalists Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey more than proving they do anything any metalcore singer can do, and probably a whole lot better too!
The album opens with the brilliant 'Monsters Ball', before launching into the equally brilliant 'Igniter' and 'The Cleansing'. Furious riffs and demonic vocals abound!
'The Butcher' has a steamroller of a break down, whilst 'Thrown Away' has a brooding stripped down feel to it. 'Marquee' is probably as extreme as metal can get before becoming utter nonsense, whilst 'Never Go Back' and 'For The Fight' bounce along in a rather familiar way. 'Blonde Girls All Look The Same' has a certain ferocity to it with the venom filled vocal lines.
"Take It like A Man" proves Bucher Babies credentials beyond any doubt, they are here and they are here to stay.

Very Highly Recommended

Rating - 10/10

The Burning Crows - Murder At the Gin House (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - Burning Crows Records
Track listing:
01. Hell to Pay
02. Come On
03. Shine
04. Alright
05. Goodbye (To the Sunshine)
06. 11:37
07. Little Bit More
08. She's the Summertime
09. Feels Like Home
10. Holding On

British rockers, The Burning Crows, return with their second album in the form of "Murder At the Gin House", and what an album it is too!
The CD kicks into a high gear right from the start with the swaggering and strutting ‘Hell To Pay’, with its great guitar hooks and singer Whippz’ vocals, strong and expressive with that hint of roughness that gives it just the right rock ’n’ roll feel. The band follows that up with the hooky, irresistible rocker ‘Come On’ with its irresistible heavy bass line. Shine’ and the outstanding track ‘Alright’ follow, both just sparking with guitar energy and an air of defiance. Then power ballad ‘Goodbye (To The Sunshine)’ gives The Burning Crows a chance to show off a slightly softer side and some passionate vocals / guitar work, before firing up the hard-rocking hotness of ’11:37’ and delivering some raucous, rollicking riff-magic on ‘Little Bit More’. ‘She’s The Summertime’ is a goose bump -inducing track, with its shiny-happy classic rock sound that brings to mind the best of the '80s, mixed with a big shot of the band’s fiery soulfulness. ‘Feels Like Home’,  a party-fuel track that ramps and amps things up with speeding riffs and infectious chorus. Great song. Closing track ‘Holding On’ is a beautiful piece of music, adding some strings and orchestra, and revealing some real tenderness in both the music and the vocals.
Recorded at the world-famous Rockfield Studios with skilled producer Nick Brine (The Darkness, Bruce Springsteen) behind the desk, this new record sounds clear yet powerful with a kickin' stadium feel. "Murder At The Gin House" proves that The Burning Crows are ready to break into the big leagues, and may just prove to be the game changer that will facilitate such a break through.
Simply one of the best classic rock albums that I have heard, ever!
Very Highly Recommended!!

Rating - 10/10 


Sexy - Shout For Sexy! (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label -  Ambulance Recordings
Track Listing:
01 - Supernova Queen
02 - Drive
03 - Pamela
04 - Baby
05 - Late Night
06 - Fortunate Son
07 - Street Of Sin
08 - Don't Waste My Time
09 - Shout For Sexy!
Sexy are a 'Hot 'n 'Nasty Rock 'n' Roll' band hailing from Zofingen, Switzerland. Now how do I best describe Sexy? Well imagine if you can, a little bit of Kiss mixed with a whole lot of Black Sabbath. Good old fashioned heavy hard rock, with some great pop sensibilities too. For example, 'Pamela' has all of the hall markings of a great seventies era Kiss classic whereas Baby has some great bone crunching guitar work. To be fair I think that Sexy may have just about found the perfect balance between heavy and melodic., and vocalist Pascal Tallarico can hold a tune too!
I have to admit to not really knowing too much about these guys except that they truly rock, and I can see "Shout For Sexy!" becoming a regular on the decks so to speak.
The album was recorded within four days at Soma Studios with the world famous producer Reto Peter, Oakland, California.
Good old fashioned solid hard rock, yes that is the best way to describe this band and album.
There is not a duff track in sight on "Shout For Sexy!", but if I had to pick a couple of stand out tracks then 'Supernova Queen', 'Pamela', 'Baby', 'Street Of Sin' and 'Don't Waste Mt Time' are well worth a mention.
Well worth tracking down and checking out!
Rating - 9/10

Red Sun Rising - Polyester Zeal (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Modern Rock / Alternative
Label -  Razor And Tie Records/Sbme
Track listing:
01 - Push
02 - Amnesia
03 - The Otherside
04 - My Muse
05 - Emotionless
06 - Blister
07 - Worlds Away
08 - Unnatural
09 - Awake
10 - Bliss
11 - Imitation

Red Sun Rising hail from Ohio (USA) and formed when long time friends, vocalist Mike Protich and guitarist Ryan Williams. Guitarist Tyler Valendza, bassist Ricky Miller, and drummer Pat Gerasia  decided to form a band. They quickly made a name for themselves with their tight live performances and well-crafted song writing. Their debut "Polyester Zeal" is a modern rock album, but with some refreshing twists and originality, unlike so many coming out of the USA today.
Produced by powerhouse producer extraordinaire, Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Sebastian Bach), Red Sun Rising’s debut release "Polyester Zeal" is not so much breaking new ground  "as it is re-imagining the past with an eye on nuance and an ear for melody."
Debut single 'The Otherside' offers a glimpse of the band’s melodic and anthemic sound, a good introduction to the band, and yet quite possibly the weakest song on the album!
The album’s opener, 'Push', is an aggressive and addictive kick-start to proceedings. The next track 'Amnesia' come across as a good mix of Alice And Chains and Cheap Trick! Huge melodies combine with strong and driving rhythms to create a retro vibe that culminates with an infectious chorus. Protich’s delivery is outstanding and blends perfectly with Miller’s strong backing vocals. In fact that is probably the best way in which to describe the entire album, huge melodies and driving rhythms.
With "Polyester Zeal" Red Sun Rising manage to successfully blend the best parts of seventies and nineties era rock music through the band’s own modern approach to song writing, something that pay's big dividends on songs like the darkly emotive 'My Muse' and the gritty acoustic swing of 'Emotionless'.
 "Polyester Zeal" is one of the most exciting debut albums that US Rock has experienced in recent years.

Well Worth Checking Out

Rating - 9/10

Praying Mantis - Legacy (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / NWoBHM / Melodic Rock
Label - Frontiers Music
Track listing:
01. Fight For Your Honour
02. The One
03. Believable
04. Tokyo
05. Better Man
06. All I See
07. Eyes Of A Child
08. The Runner
09. Against The World
10. Fallen Angel
11. Second Time Around
NWoBHM vetrens, Praying Mantis, return with a brand new album in the form of Legacy, the first to feature drummer Hans In T' Zandt (Bangalore Choir, Vengeance) and new vocalist John 'Jaycee' Cujipers. It’s been four years since their Metamorphosis release, and that was just an EP of re-recordings. Their last proper studio album – the excellent Sanctuary – was released back in 2009.
Today, Praying Mantis are more of a melodic rock band, a very good one at that, but with a highly polished sound more akin to FM than their NWoBHM contemporaries of yesteryear such as Saxon, Iron Maiden, Diamond Head, Jaguar Samson and Vardis, but that's no bad thing when the songs are as well written as those on offer here with Legacy. There’s still a bit of their British classic metal roots here, especially in the twin guitars of Tino Troy and Andy Burgess, but it’s the band’s focus on melody that drives the album, and what makes these songs hit home right from the start. What can we say of new vocalist John 'Jaycee' Cujipers? Well he is great to be honest, he has a steady, powerful voice (he sings for a Dio tribute band if that tells you anything) that’s just perfect for this kind of classic Melodic Hard Rock. Even more so when he’s backed by the Troy brothers on the soaring choruses, fitting the songs really, really well.
"Legacy" features eleven new songs, and they’re all very strong, some of them truly awesome.
Leadoff single “Fight For Your Honour” captures the spirit of "Legacy" quite well, but you could pick, “Tokyo,” “Against the World” or “Eyes of a Child” and still seal the deal.
Even the more traditional love song “The One” has pomp and power.
"Legacy" is more than a worthwhile addition to the Praying Mantis discography, it is one of the strongest Classic Melodic Hard Rock albums 2015 has to offered so far.
Existing fans will love this album, as will fans of the melodic rock genre on a whole.
Well worth checking out!!
Rating 9/10


Biters - Electric Blood (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - Earache Records
Track listing:
01 - Restless Hearts
02 - 1975
03 - Heart Fulla Rock 'N Roll
04 - Dreams Don't Die
05 - Electric Blood
06 - The Kids Ain't Alright
07 - Low Lives In Hi Definition
08 - Time To Bleed
09 - Loose From The Noose
10 - Space Age Wasteland
Biters are a hard rock band hailing from Atlanta (USA) and are hell bent on reviving the good old days of classic hard rock, together with quite a few other bands today, you could say that there is a nice little scene growing worldwide. Many bands struggle to make an impression with early albums due to lack of direction and personality but this is definitely not the case with Biters. Their songs are focused and have a maturity about them that really should be a young bands debut album, yet clearly isn't in this case.
Electric Blood is packed to the brim with huge catchy chorus's and melodic riffs,  album opener, "Restless Hearts", is a positive, punchy and catchy rock n’ roll number, "1975" follows with its huge chorus and a groove, that although disciplined, will get those feet tapping, I guarantee!
"Heart Fulla Rock N’ Roll" brings with it some nostalgia and an impression of the spirit of what Biters are all about, while the enigmatic and heartfelt "Dreams Don’t Die" adds a real sense of class and sophistication to proceedings. "Low Lives In High Definition" adds some pacey riffs to the mix, whilst "The Kids Ain’t Alright" really mixes things up, starting out as a heart touching ballad before bursting into life in the form of a massive arena-filling anthem. Great song!
 Biters are a great band and Electric Blood is a very good album that manages to cover all the bases, even managing to sound familiar upon the first listen.
Well Worth Checking Out!
Rating - 9/10



Saturday, 29 August 2015

Love Zombies - Be Honest EP (2015)

Genre - Rock / Pop / Punk / Powerpop
Label - Strange World

Track listing:

01 - Be Honest
02 - International Bug
03 - Teleportation

"The Love Zombies are a five piece band from Brixton fronted by American singer Hollis J. (who will soon be sharing the stage with Ginger Wildheart as part of his Hey! Hello! project replacing Victoria). The band mixes punk rock energy and catchy melodies together with a 70's glam rock feel with influences ranging from the Ramones and Sex Pistols to the Beach Boys, Monkees and The Beatles."

With this EP Love Zombies show themselves to be the complete package, mixing their blend of punk pop and glam to create something magical and rather unique in todays music scene.
'Be Honest' opens up this three track EP, with its 60's americarna pop influenced lead vocal line and pop sensibilities, think a polished Ramones or mellow Beach Boys.
'International Bug' follows in much the same vein, light and bouncy, great song and great performances all round.
'Teleportation' closes out the Ep and is probably the most rocking of all three tracks on offer here. A Great song that just grooves along.

Great debut EP from one of the UK's most promising Power-pop bands.

Well worth checking out

Rating - 9/10

Buckcherry - Rock 'N' Roll (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Rock
Label - Pledge Music / F-Bomb
Track listing:
01 - Bring It On Back
02 - Tight Pants
03 - Wish To Carry On
04 - The Feeling Never Dies
05 - Cradle
06 - The Madness
07 - Wood
08 - Rain's Falling
09 - Sex Appeal
10 - Get With It
11 - I've Done Everything For You [Japan Bonus Track]
12 - Mama Kin [Japanese Bonus Track]
13 - Cannonball [Best Buy only Bonus Track]

One of the greatest clichés in Rock music or brave statement of intent? That's the question that I ask myself whenever an artist labels the song or album Rock 'N' Roll. I mean just look at the pedigree that it has to live up too from previous greats suck as AC/DC, Kiss, Led Zepplin and such. In this case I believe that its a statement of intent with Buckcherry, but do they pull it off?
Well to be fair, yes. Rock 'N' Roll is the bands sixth album and follows hot on the heals of last years 'Fuck' Ep and the pledge exclusive 'Singles Club'.
From the start, with 'Bring It On Back', you get classic American hard rock that hearken back to Eighties glory days.  'Tight Pants', is a typical Buckcherry lusty ode to the ladies, with a rockin' groove, that comes complete with a horn section. Sex and sax. Can't beat that for a combination!
 Another lascivious rock behemoth is 'Sex Appeal', where the rhythm section, bass and drums, lay down this infectious beat and groove for this fast paced song. After this other rockers include the raucous 'Get With It', speedy riff heavy 'The Madness', and 'Wood', with some solid gang vocals in a dense arrangement.
Alternatively, there some additional variety. 'Wish To Carry On', while definitely hard rock, puts the focus more onto the melody and harmony.  The guys take their foot off of the gas for 'The Feeling Never Dies' and 'Rain’s Falling', two beautiful songs that just invite the listener to kick back, relax and reflect a while.
On a whole  "Rock N Roll" is a feel-good rockin' album that is an excellent summertime soundtrack.
Fans will love "Rock 'N' Roll" and it may even draw in a few new fans.

Well worth checking out

Rating - 9/10

Act Of Defiance - Birth and the Burial (2015)

Genre - Heavy Metal / Thrash / Extreme Metal / Metalcore
Label - Metal Blade Records
Track listing:
01 - Throwback
02 - Legion Of Lies
03 - Thy Lord Belial
04 - Refrain and Re-fracture
05 - Dead Stare
06 - Disastrophe (A New Reality)
07 - Poison Dream
08 - Obey The Fallen
09 - Crimson Psalm
10 - Birth and the Burial

Birth and the Burial is the debut studio album by American heavy metal super group Act of Defiance. It was released on August 21, 2015 through Metal Blade Records.
Act of Defiance is an American extreme metal super group from Los Angeles, California, formed in 2014 by former Megadeth members Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover, former Scar the Martyr front man Henry Derek and Shadows Fall guitarist Matt Bachand.
With such  pedigree within its ranks you would expect the debut album from Act of Defiance to be something a little special, and that it is!
Opener 'Throwback' really sets the scene, pounding riffs and Derek's vocals set to tear your face off, a great start. 'Legion of Lies' follows, and is more of the same, although I have to be honest I could really see the legendary King Diamond providing a great vocal line for this song, but to be fair Derek does and bloody magnificent job himself!
'Refrain and Re-fracture' provides a little contrast to the proceedings with its acoustic intro before launching into a great Megadeth type of riff. Mustaine will  be jealous of this one, I'm certain.
'Dead Stare' is out and out thrash at its finest!
'Disastrophe' continues in the same vein as its predecessors whilst 'Poison Dream' opens up with a piano and Cello intro adding more texture to the song and album. 'Obey The Fallen' is probably the most commercially accessible track on offer here and is till a bloody fine piece of metal! 'Crimson Psalm' is another fine piece of metal that grinds along its groove whilst the albums closer, and title track, 'Birth and the Burial' is just brilliant.

In short, with Birth and the Burial, Act Of Defiance have produced the album that the four heavy weights of the thrash genre, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax wish they were (and hope they are) still capable of!

Very Highly recommended

Rating - 10/10


Motorhead - Bad Magic (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal / Hard N Heavy
Label - UDR
Track listing:
01 - Victory Or Die
02 - Thunder And Lighning
03 - Fire Storm Hotel
04 - Shoot Out All Of Your Lights
05 - The Devil (feat Queen's Brian May)
06 - Electricity
07 - Evil Eye
08 - Teach Them How To Bleed
09 - Till The End
10 - Tell Me Who To Kill
11 - Choking On Your Screams
12 - When The Sky Come Looking For You
13 - Sympathy For The Devil (Rolling Stones Cover)
Motorhead are back! And by god are they back with quite simply their best album  in decades. Don't go into listening to Bad Magic expecting to hear something new and ground breaking, its simply Lemmy and Co doing what they do best, raw dirty hard hitting rawk n roll.
Bad Magic opens with 'Victory Or Die', a typically feisty Motorhead number with Lemmy barking out the vocals. This then leads into 'Thunder & Lightening' which finds the guys in full flight with a huge riff from the Welsh wizard, Phil Campbell, a classic Motorhead track. With these two tracks you kind of get the feel of how this album is going. Sure there's plenty of variation on offer, the blistering 'Shoot Out All Your Lights', 'The Devil', a sleazy bluesy rocker with a great solo courtesy of Queen's Brian May to the half ballad 'Till The End', which sees Lemmy in fine voice. Hell for a gent of Seventy years of age he still rocks better than most today.
Bad Magic is the album that Motorhead have been threatening to make for the past few years and would be a fitting album for the God Fathers of metal to bow out on should they so desire (if Lemmy's health doesn't force the issue).
Very Highly Recommended

Rating - 10/10

Bon Jovi - Burning Bridges (2015)

Genre - Melodic Rock / Pop
Label - Mercury Records
Track listing:
01 - A Tear Drop To The Sea
02 - We Don't Run
03 - Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning
04 - We All Fall Down
05 - Blind Love
06 - Who Would You Die For
07 - Fingerprints
08 - Life Is Beautiful
09 - I'm Your Man
10 - Burning Bridges
Bon Jovi return with not so much a new album, but a new album that is made up of left over, previously unfinished songs from previous recording sessions, (something that is alluded to in the albums title track, 'Burning Bridges'). It has to be said, that although Burning Bridges is basically a contractual obligation filling release, it is also one of the best Bon Jovi releases that I have heard in a long, long time.
The album opens with the moody atmospheric 'A Tear Drop To The Sea', which see's the guys treading the slow ballady material that they do so well, but this is one of the strongest tracks that I have heard from them in years. A Great start!
Next up is the new song, 'We Don't Run'. which is very much a modern rocking song.
Melodic rocker 'Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning' follows, before 'We All Fall Down' slows the tempo a little once more. To be honest I could make mention of all ten tracks on offer here as they are all great songs, many of which I believe will become certified Bon Jovi classics.
Other stand out tracks include, 'Who Would You Die For?' and 'Fingerprints', two absolutely brilliant songs.
In fact this is simply the best album Bon Jovi has released in the last twenty years.
I cant recommend this album highly enough, whether you are fan of Bon Jovi or just melodic rock in general, you simply aren't going to hear a better album this year!
Very Highly Recommended
Rating  - 10/10


Role Models - The Go To Guy (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Punk / Powerpop
Label - Glunk records (UK)

Track listing:
01 - Lie For Today
02 - Saturday Night Sailor
03 - Show Me
04 - The Go To Guy
05 - Nowhere
06 - The Jerk
07 - Cherry Dear
08 - (Where They Half) Know My Name
09 - Reality Holiday
10 - Lets Get Started
11 - Leave Tonight
Role Models are a London based band led by the ever so talented Rich Rags (ex Loyalties) and featuring the talents of,  Nick Hughes (guitar, vocals, other stuff), Husayn, (bass) and Simon Maxwell (drums), and  The Go To Guy is their rather excellent debut album!
From the opening beats of Lie For Today through to the closing refrains of Leave Tonight the sheer quality of the songs on offer here never drops. The Go To Guy is quite simply power-pop perfection, with just the right measure of punk attitude and good old rock sleaze in the mix to make it one of the best albums of the year so far, and one of the best debut albums that I can remember!
The song writing is exquisite, the musicianship top notch throughout and Andy Brook together with bass player Husayn, has done an excellent job with the albums production.
You owe to yourselves to give this album a spin, you'll simply love it, I guarantee it!
Rating - 10/10