Sunday, 22 February 2015

REVOLUTION SAINTS - Revolution Saints (2015)


Genre - Melodic Rock 
Label - Frontiers Records
 
Track listing:
01. Back On My Trail
02. Turn Back Time
03. You're Not Alone (feat. Arnel Pineda)
04. Locked Out Of Paradise
05. Way To The Sun (feat. Neal Schon)
06. Dream On
07. Don't Walk Away
08. Here Forever
09. Strangers To This Life
10. Better World
11. How To Mend A Broken Heart
12. In The Name Of The Father (Fernando's Song)
BONUS TRACKS:
13. Don't Walk Away (Acoustic Version) [exclusive Japan bonus]
14. You're Not Alone (Arnel Pineda version)
15. Way To The Sun (Doug Aldrich Version)
16. You're Not Alone (Deen Castronovo Version)
Supergroup? There's no other word that fit best REVOLUTION SAINTS, the new project put together by Frontiers Records featuring former Bad English and current Journey drummer Deen Castronovo, AOR legend Jack Blades of Night Ranger / Damn Yankees fame, and former Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich.
Add to this superstar trio, Frontiers ‘go to’ man for Melodic Rock projects Alessandro Del Vecchio, who provides the keys, songwriting and production, and you have the awesome self-titled debut to be released next February 23, 2015.
We’ve always known that Deen Castronovo is a freak drummer and an amazing vocalist, but this album propels him into the spotlight and he excels in both roles.
‘It is a musician's record,' states Castronovo of the project. Indeed it is. There are a plethora of examples of exquisite musicianship from all throughout the record, none more so than Castronovo himself, who delivers a masters clinic on how exactly to play on a Meloric Rock album with power, soul and finesse.
On "Revolution Saints" Castronovo handles most of the lead vocals, lending it a real Journey feel to the music at times, particularly on the ballads like "Don’t Walk Away". You can see why he does a lot of the live harmonies for Journey as he has a rich, melodic vocal.
Speaking of Journey, vocalist Arnel Pineda duets on the massive slab of melodic rock that is "You’re Not Alone"; both vocalists complement each other very well. It could easily have been lifted of the last couple of Journey albums.
Not to be outdone fellow Journey band mate Neal Schon guests on "Way To The Sun", maybe the nearest we have Schon playing on a Journey-like '80s sounding song for some time.
"Turn Back Time" is the lead song of the album and rightly so as it roars out of the blocks, with Doug Aldrich letting fly with some tasty riffs. If that wasn’t enough, there is a cracking vocal trade off between Castronovo and Jack Blades, the nearest to a Night Ranger song on here.
Another classy melodic hard rocker is "Back On My Tail", featuring some monster Aldrich riffs (he never goes too flash on the solos yet gives the songs that extra touch of class) and another chorus that won’t leave your head.
The Journey influence rears it’s head again on "Stranger To This Life", and continues on the brilliant "Better World". Alessandro Del Vecchio's swanky production and tasty ivory tickling on this tune are a particular highlight. But the stop start build up to the genius chorus will have you hooked immediately. Without doubt one of the strongest track on the album.

Judging by the quality of the songwriting on this album, I'm surprised the band included a cover: "How To Mend A Broken Heart". This track was originally recorded by Swedish monsters Eclipse. The pummeling energy of this version more than matches the original.
If you don't had enough, this "Revolution Saints Japan SHM-CD" features the 3 great bonus tracks to be featured on the Deluxe Euro edition, plus the exclusive acoustic version of "Don't Walk Away".
Revolution Saints have set the bar very high, and if you like Journey, Night Ranger et al, this is a Must Have.

Rating - 9/10


The players:
Deen Castronovo – Lead Vocals, Drums
Jack Blades – Bass, Vocals on 2, 5
Doug Aldrich – Guitars
featuring:
Arnel Pineda – co-lead vocals on 3
Neal Schon – guitar solo on 5
Alessandro Del Vecchio – keyboards, backing vocals, vocals on 5
Produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio

BLACK STAR RIDERS - The Killer Instinct [Deluxe Edition] (2015)


Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - Nuclear Blast
 
Track listing:
01. The Killer Instinct
02. Bullet Blues
03. Finest Hour
04. Soldierstown
05. Charlie I Gotta Go
06. Blindsided
07. Through The Motions
08. Sex, Guns & Gasoline
09. Turn In Your Arms
10. You Little Liar

Bonus CD:
01. Gabrielle
02. The Reckoning Day
03. The Killer Instinct (Acoustic)
04. Blindsided (Acoustic)
05. Charlie I Gotta Go (Acoustic)
06. Finest Hour (Acoustic)

By God does this guy ever stop! Not only has Black Star Riders frontman, Ricky Warwick, written recorded and released (via Pledge music) two brand spanking new solo album over the past few months, he has over seen the re-issue the his first bands, The Almighty, first two albums and managed to find the time to write and record a brand new album with Black Star Riders. Damn this guy likes to keep busy, and thank god he does!
After their critically-acclaimed Top 30 debut album, Black Star Riders return with the long-awaited follow-up, "The Killer Instinct". The band formed around the last of incarnation of Thin Lizzy and featuring guitar legend Scott Gorham (ex- 21 Guns), Damon Johnson (guitar, ex- Alice Cooper), Jimmy DeGrasso (drums, ex- Megadeth), Robbie Crane (bass, ex- Ratt, Vince Neil) and fronted by Belfast-born, ex-The Almighty vocalist Ricky Warwick, are back with vengeance.
All Black Star Riders members reportedly sat in debate over whether or not to make "The Killer Instinct" a Thin Lizzy influenced album. The end result is part Thin Lizzy and part something original as the band reaches for its own kick. Pooled together, this album is a winner.
The title track brings to mind Lizzy, straight down to Ricky Warwick's replication of Phil Lynott's choky swoons and slides, only an octave lower. The guitar solo is crisp and the riffs are tight and sweaty, giving the necessary verve behind the edict 'you have to die a little to survive'.
"Bullet Blues" afterwards is a tougher, slightly heavier, though no less melodic rocker with chucked-down bridges and dirty, blistering tag guitar solos.
The stunning "Finest Hour" just drew me in straight away, a simple melodic gem that’s knee deep in classic American rock. The first real sniff of Lizzy comes with "Soldierstown", where the trademark Celtic guitar licks are as resolute as always. If ever there was a song that announced Ricky Warwick as the singer in Black Star Riders, and not the guy that sings Thin Lizzy songs, "Charlie I Gotta Go" is it. Vocally, Warwick always delivers, but lyrically he tells his story with gritty poetic honesty.
Acoustic is not a word that was ever associated with Thin Lizzy, but BSR are continuing to grow their own identity, and with the sumptuous "Blindsided", they take their versatility to a new level. But like it or lump it, the Lizzy association is still the fulcrum of the band, and "Through The Motions" incorporates a lot of that classic sound.
"Sex, Guns & Gasoline" is a belter. A dirty, greasy rocker that’s drenched in sin. The band are firing on all cylinders here, especially the mean rhythm section. Drum assaulter Jimmy DeGrasso has without doubt filled the massive void left by the legendary Brian Downey. And new guy, former Ratt bassist Robbie Crane, seems to have slotted in effortlessly following the departure of Marco Mendoza.
Once again the Gorham/Johnson partnership is five star on the swaggering "Turn In Your Arms", with a Native American tale, Warwick once again displays his A level lyrical intelligence. "You Little Liar" closes the album with an epic thump. The songs climaxes with an apocalyptic guitar solo that hasn’t served it’s purpose if your ears aren’t ringing.
This "The Killer Instinct" Limited Edition 2CD Digibook Version is a must, as the bonus CD is fantastic. Features two great extra tracks in the sweet "Gabrielle", and a melting melodic rocker on "The Reckoning Day", plus earthy acoustic versions from the main album best songs.
Overall, this is an terrific blend of melodic rock anthems combined with classic rock sounds like Thin Lizzy used to make. It’s not hard to imagine this band being four of the five former members of Lizzy, yet Black Star Riders have done an awesome job of modernizing their sound to what melodic hard rock and classy metal fans want to hear in 2015.

AWESOME.
Rating - 10/10




 
The players:
Ricky Warwick (The Almighty) - Vocals
Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy) - Guitars
Damon Johnson (Alice Cooper) - Guitars
Robbie Crane (Ratt, Lynch Mob) - Bass
Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth, Y&T) - Drums

FARMIKOS - Farmikos (2015)


Genre - Hard Rock
Label -
 
Track listing:
01 - Scapegoat
02 - Am I One
03 - Kings Of Dust
04 - Spoon And Sun
05 - Fragile
06 - The Sound Of My Gun
07 - Ascension
08 - I Was Them
09 - Exit Stencils
10 - Facing East

FARMIKOS are a new L.A. based band founded by former Ozzy Osbourne and David Lee Roth guitarist Joe Holmes together with Laidlaw's singer Robbie Locke.
FARMIKOS is Joe Holmes' first venture under his own flag since first attaining local notoriety with Terriff, an L.A. band he formed after taking guitar lessons as a teenager from none other than original Ozzy axeman, Randy Rhoads.
Holmes eventually went on to replace Jason Becker on the 1991 David Lee Roth 'A Lil' Ain't Enough' world tour. In the middle Nineties, Holmes was brought to the attention of Ozzy Osbourne who was looking for a new guitarist to take over Zakk Wylde's spot for the 'Ozzmosis' album touring cycle.
I still remember attending to an Ozzy show in 1995, waiting for the crazy Zakk Wylde to appear on stage. It never happened... instead we were flashed by a monster (but incredibly clean) wall of guitars coming out from this (at the moment) unknown dude to me : Joe Holmes.
Owner of a terrific guitar tone and a polished technique, Joe Holmes will to put it simply, rock your socks off.
Fans of soaring shouting vocals, blistering hard rockin' guitars, heavy bass grooves, precision drumming, finely crafted songs & top notch production / mixing will love this album.
Recorded at the Mouse House in Pasadena, CA, with engineer/mixer Rich Mouser (Spock's Beard, Transatlantic), the album features Metallica's Robert Trujillo on bass and Bad Religion's Brooks Wackerman on drums, alongside guest appearances by Skindred's Benji Webbe, Mass' hard rockers drummer Ken Schalk, and Hoffort itself on a kicking guitar solo.
On opener “Scapegoat”, the song builds for a bit before Joe & Trujillo trade chugging riffs. Robbie really pushes his vocal cords to the limit on this song while showcasing his range. You hear elements of Chris Cornell and Robert Plant in his vocals, but he has one of the most unique voices in Rock or Metal today. “Scapegoat” is the perfect opener as it just full-throttle from start to finish and really sets the tone for the majority of the CD. Joe rips one helluva blistering solo announcing with vengeance he deserved his own band.
Up next is one of my favorite songs on the album, “Am I One”. Opening with a bluesy run atop of some subtle rhythm guitar, it slowly gains momentum before locking into a hypnotic groove.
“Kings Of Dust” finds the band slowing things down a bit. I especially dig the vocal breakdown that finds Robbie using a deeper register for the mellow effect before Joe kicks in with a blazing solo.
“The Spoon And Sun” kicks things back up a notch going through several tempo changes and moods. An interesting track follows: “Fragile” with Robbie dueting with Skidred’s Benji Webbe. I will be the first to admit that I am not familiar with Benji but his delivery is very interesting. The Middle Eastern vocals that start and end the song are very cool.
The sludgy groove of “The Sound Of My Gun” is built around the vocals, but it's Holmes who lays down my favorite solo of the album.
Do not let the Sabbath-like intro fool you as “Ascension” picks up the pace. A fast paced rocker indeed that should go over great live. Joe throws down another scorching solo before Robbie brings things down a bit vocally at the end.
Robbie really channels his inner Robert Plant on the verses of “Exit Stencils”. I like how the bass is up in the mix on this track and Joe’s outro solo should have shredheads rejoicing.
We have come to the final song and Farmikos throws us a curveball with a purely acoustic number entitled “Facing East”. Just Holmes & Locke with an acoustic guitar and lights down vibe, very Zeppelin-esque that shows another Farmikos side. A nice way to end such a rocking album.
In "Farmikos" everything blends together just perfectly thanks in the main to the brilliant production job by Rich Mouser.

A great album, well worth checking out!

Rating - 9/10

 
The players:
Joe Holmes (ex- Ozzy Osbourne, David Lee Roth) - Guitars
Robbie Locke (Laidlaw) - Vocals

Robert Trujillo (Metallica, Infectious Grooves) - Bass
Brooks Wackerman (Bad Religion) - Drums
Ken Schalk (Mass) - Drums
Brent Hoffort - Guitars on “Kings Of Dust”
Benji Webbe - Vocals on “Fragile”

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Almighty - Soul Destruction (Re-F#@kin' Issue) (2015)


Genre - Hard Rock
Label - Spinefarm Records

Track listing:

Disc 1 - Soul Destruction
01 - Crucify
02 - Free 'N' Easy
03 - Joy Bang One Time
04 - Love Religion
05 - Bandage Knees
06 - Praying To The Red Light
07 -Sin Against The Light
08 - Little Lost Sometimes
09 - Devil's Toy
10 - What More Do You Want
11 - Hell To Pay
12 - Loaded

Disc 2 - Bonus Tracks
01 - Free 'N' Easy (7" Edit)
02 - Bodies (Sex Pistols Cover) (B-side)
03 - Hell To Pay (Acoustic Version) (B-side)
04 - Devils Toy (7" Edit)
05 - Bad Temptation (B-side)
06 - Loaded (Live UK 1991)
07 - Little Lost Sometimes (Radio Edit)
08 - Wild Road To Satisfaction (B-side)
09 - Crucify (Live UK 1991)
10 - Detroit (Live UK 1991)

Here we have the re-fuckin' issued version of The Almighty's second album, Soul Destruction. This album saw the band heading in a slightly more polished commercial direction, thanks in part to the albums producer, Andy Taylor (Thunder, Duran Duran), which sounds even better with the excellent remastering treatment that it has received thanks to Spinefarm Records.
Coupled together with the original album, that contains many songs that would become firm fan favourites, such as Crucify, Free 'N' Easy, Devil's Toy, Sin Against The Light and Little Lost Sometimes, is yet again a bonus disc. This bonus disc contains all of the relevant B-sides etc that are appropriate to this album. These include 7" editions of Free 'N' Easy, Devil' Toy  Little Lost Sometimes and the bands bruising rendition of the Sex Pistols classic Bodies. We also get other b-sides such as  Bad Temptation and Wild road To Satisfaction together with the acoustic version of Hell To Pay and a few live tracks.
Again the packaging contains some excellent liner notes, once again written by Malcolm Dome, together with some great shots of period interviews and reviews.

Once again this is a great release, representing a great band in great form with an album that should have propelled them on to mega stardom.

Very Highly Recommended

Rating 10/10




The Almighty - Blood Fire & Love (Re-F##kin' Issue) 2015

 
Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
Label - Spinefarm Records
 
Disc 1 (Blood, Fire & Love)
01 - Resurrection Mutha
02 - Destroyed
03 - Wild & Wonderful
04 - Blood, Fire & Love
05 - Gift Horse
06 - You've Gone Wild
07 - Lay Down The Law
08 - Power
09 - Full Force Lovin' Machine
10 - Detroit
11 - New Love Sensation
 
Disc 2 (Blood, Fire & Live)
01 - Full Force Lovin' Machine
02 - You've Gone Wild
03 - Lay Down The Law
04 - Blood, Fire & Love
05 - Destroyed
06 - Wild & Wonderful
07 - Resurrection Mutha
08 - You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet
 
Disc 3 (Bonus Tracks)
01 - Destroyed (Demo B-side)
02 - Lay Down The Law (Demo B-side)
03 - Full Force Lovin' Machine (Demo B-side)
04 - Destroyed (Radio Version)
05 - Love Me To Death (B-side)
06 - Blood, Fire & Love (Metal Version)
07 - Wild & Wonderful (Live B-side)
08 - Lay Down The Law (Live B-side)
09 - Power (Killer Watt Mix)
10 - Power (Live B-side)
11 - Power (Dub Mix)
12 - Thunderbird (B-side)
13 - Good God Almighty (B-side)
14 - Power (Friday Rock Show Session)
15 - Wild & Wonderful (Friday Rock Show Session)
16 - Destroyed (Friday Rock Show Session)
17 - Thunderbird (Friday Rock Show Session)

Before his embarking upon a solo carear and fronting  bands such as Thin Lizzy and Black Star Rider's, Ricky Warwick was the lead vocalist and chief song writer of a little UK band, modestly calling themselves The Almighty, who are now reissuing their back catalogue through Spinefarm Records.
Now there are reissue's, and then there are Re-Fuckin' issues! Those great people at Spinefarm Records have just reissued the first two albums from 1990's legendary rocker's The Almighty. What can I say, This the lovingly remastered, (seriously this album sounds awesome!) and complete with great liner notes by Malcolm Dome!
As I have already said the remastering is excellent, really capturing the raw power and energy of the band, allowing us to re-live those moments of hearing the band in all of their glory as they burst onto the UK (and world wide) rock scene back in the late 80's / early 90's. Blood , Fire & Love was a stunning debut album, and hear we get to hear it in all of its glory, together with a remastered edition of the live EP, Blood, Fire & Live and a bonus disc that collects together the various single B-sides and Radio Sessions appropriate to this release. Although there does appear to be one emission, that being the track Wild Angel, that was released as a b-side to Wild & Wonderful together with Thunderbird and Good God Almighty.
Its great to see and hear songs like Thunderbird, Good God Almighty and the long sort after Love Me To Death on CD after all these years, without them being poor quality vinyl rips, and by God do they sound good!

This is a great place to start for anyone interested in checking out the early work of Mr Warwick, (why not as this is where it all began!) and a great opportunity for fans to update their collection.
This could very well prove to be my favourite release of the year!

Very, Very Highly recommended!

Rating - 10/10


Saturday, 14 February 2015

Thunder - Wonder Days (2015)


Genre - Classic Rock / Bluesy Rock
Label - earMUSIC

Track listing:
01 - Wonder Days
02 - The Thing I Want
03 - The Rain
04 - Black Water
05 - The Prophet
06 - Resurrection Day
07 - Chasing Shadows
08 - Broken
09 - When The Music Played
10 - Serpentine
11 - I Love The Weekend
12 - Black Water (Acoustic) [iTunes exclusive bonus]
13 - Broken (Acoustic Guitar Version) [iTunes exclusive bonus]

"One of the most popular and enduring British rock bands of the last 25 years, Thunder celebrate the release of their landmark tenth studio album, ‘Wonder Days’, by embarking on an arena tour in March 2015.
Since forming in 1989, the Londoners have established themselves among the genre’s most consistent attractions, notching up some twenty Top Fifty singles and cultivating a well deserved reputation as consummate live performers. Having been feted by W Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses and Whitesnake’s David Coverdale, their first two albums, ‘Back Street Symphony’ (1990) and ‘Laughing On Judgement Day’ (1992), both were certified Gold in the UK.
The group’s first studio album in six years, ‘Wonder Days’ reminds us why Thunder are now more popular than ever before. With a lineage dating back to the cream of hard rock – Led Zeppelin, Bad Company, The Who and Deep Purple – and song writing greats such as the Kinks, The Beatles and The Faces, the band’s sound is a timeless marriage of unforgettable melodies and sheer rock power.
Thunder’s legend has grown ever larger with the passing of time. In recent years they have rightly become recognised as show-stealers at such open air events as Download, Sonisphere, High Voltage and, earlier this summer, at the Calling Festival on London’s Clapham Common, where they received a reaction every bit as reverential as that of bill-toppers, Aerosmith.
The phrase ‘band of the people’ is overused, but in Thunder’s case it rings perfectly true. They’re back in our lives because people want to hear them, but also due to the sheer joy of playing music together."

Let us forget all about the bands bio and just concentrate on what we have here in "Wonder Days". For their 10th studio album, Thunder's focus seems to be on a blend of reminiscence and party time music, armed with a crystal clear production and a bunch of great songs in their timeless tradition, like a natural child of Bad Company playing their rooted Melodic Hard Rock enriched by many influences that are coming from the warm bluesy rock (“The Thing I Want” or “Black Water”) with an attractive pace, then shift to some hard rockin' infused songs (“Serpentine”) to some more acoustic stuff (“The Rain")
We have a typical Thunder ballad (the rather superb “Broken”), a few typical British Hard Rock anthems (“I Love The Weekend” or “Chasing Shadows” in the style of  early Whitesnake) but also heavier numbers such as the title track, “The Prophet”, that sounds like mid-Nineties UFO, or the last part of “When The Music Played” which is quite enjoyable and surprisingly strong.
“Resurrection Day” is another sublime and ambitious cut, another proof that Danny Bowes is a fantastic vocalist, indeed it's his voice with his soulful rendition and his faultless performance that uplift the whole album.
"Wonder Days" is a real return to form for a band that have almost become a British institution. I've only ever really heard them sound this good on two other occasions in the past, that being their stunning debut, "Back Street Symphony" and 2006's excellent "Robert Johnson's Tombstone".
Its good to have the guys back, lets just hope they decide to stick around for awhile to come now!

Very Highly Recommended!!

Rating - 10/10









Saturday, 7 February 2015

Ginger Wildheart - G.A.S.S. Month 10 EP (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Pop / Punk / Extreme / Alternative
Label - Self Released
 
Track listing:
01 - No One Smiled At Me Today
02 - Hot Piss
03 - Caer Urfa
 
Bonus Demos
04 - Frankenstein 2000
05 - Without Emotion

So here we are, the tenth instalment of Gingers mighty G.A.S.S. project, what a ride its been so far, and its not over yet as there are still two more instalments to come!
The first of the brand spanking new tracks this month comes in the form of No One Smiled At Me Today, (Featuring Jimmy Ashhurst – bass & vocals, Mark Gemini Thwaite – guitars & vocals, Robin Diaz – drums, Rami Jaffee – organ, Mike (Bull’s – Eye) Bowen – vocals, Kayla Parzynski – vocals). Recorded by the same line up as last months Friends Of Bill whilst Ginger was in the USA, (a line up that someone has given the name Elizebeth). This is a cracking song, a great melodic rocker, I understand why so many fans are hoping that this line up turns into something a little more permanent as there is definetly a certain chemistry there! A great song that does not disappoint.
Hot Piss is up next, a perfectly disjointed affair very much in the veins of Gingers previous Mutation projects. A great song that features the talents of  Jon Poole – bass and vocals, Denzel – drums and vocals, Chris Catalyst – guitars and vocals, Jake Adams – vocals, Jasmine Adams – vocals, Taylor Graley – vocals, Daisy Vanbergen – vocals. If you enjoyed the mutation albums or Endless Nameless by The Wildhearts you are sure to love this. Disjointed and manic but not overly distorted!
Caer Urfa closes out this months new tracks. Its a beautiful melodic track that features the talents of, Robin Guy – drums, Paul Ronney Angel – mandolin and bouzouki, Big Lou – vocals, Matt Nasir – piano, Hannah Rickard – accordion, fiddle and vocals, Kevin Vanbergen – hammond organ, Thea Brook – vocals. This is a great song that sees Ginger turning back the years lyrically, as he looks back to his early years. Another great song!

Now for this months demos:

 
This months demos are Frankenstein 2000, the last of the three songs that Ginger wrote for Alice Cooper that never got used. (The other two being Molly O Lindy and Friction In My System), and Without Emotion.

Ginger explains:

"FRANKENSTEIN 2000 – I wrote this verse about a model I was briefly seeing in Japan, called Summer, so the ‘Frankenstein’ line was originally ‘Summertime’. It was a lovely song originally, and although the relationship didn’t last long the melody stayed and I eventually used it in Save Me, on the Yoni album.
The line “but when you walked into the room the audience forgot the sound, and looked around” was absolutely true, and happened as me and Willie were playing an acoustic gig in Tokyo, and Summer walked in. I always loved that line."
and
"WITHOUT EMOTION – Matt Sorum approached me to write a song for a proposed solo album for Cherrie Currie, ex Runaways (who’s mentor, Kim Fowley, sadly passed away recently. Lovely fellow). It’s funny, all the way through our email conversations I realised Cherrie thought I was a girl. I don’t know if the male reveal lost me the gig or she didn’t like the song, but she didn’t use it anyway.
Givvi Flynn, on the other hand, sang the demo (recorded by Jase Edwards) so well that I was happy to let her record it for her solo album ‘Thieving From The Magpies Nest’."

What can I say, both of these songs are great. I actually think that I prefer Frankenstein 2000 to the song that that the melody eventually became. (Save Me). There just seems to be something magical here that I really connect with, it really is a pity that Alice didn't choose to record these three songs, or even that Ginger never chose to record them properly for that matter.
As for Without Emotion, I have always loved this song, ever since I first heard the version that Givvi recorded for her album, Thieving From The Magpies Nest! Here we get to hear how Ginger envisioned the song I guess. Its still has basically the same feel, just maybe slightly heavier guitars, buts a great song and performance. Would have been interesting to have heard Ginger on vocals though.

So once again Ginger knocks it out of the park and delivers a phenomenal product with this months instalment, although to be honest I don't think that we have had a bad instalment so far!
Just a real pity that it will all be over in two months time (for the time being anyway!)

G.A.S.S. has proved to be a huge success with Ginger so far delivering 30 brand new songs in ten months together with over 20 demo tracks, all of the highest standards and no fillers in sight!

Rating - 10/10

Rank Berry - Rank Berry EP (2014)

Genre - Classic Rock
Label - Self Released
 
Track listing:
01 - Down The River
02 - This Disease
03 - Good Times

Ok so I cant believe that I missed this one! Well thanks to , Kyle Vallis and his awesome Unsigned Melodies  web site, which showcases unsigned independent bands from around the UK (and rest of the world) I get a second chance to hear these guys.
Rank Berry are a UK (Scotish to be precise), classic hard rock band. Rank Berry, as Kyle very eloquently puts it, sound like "Black Crowes and Creedence Clearwater Revival partying with Guns and Roses and the Wildhearts. Classic rock with an authentic attitude...", and to be honest that's the most fitting description that I can think of.
Classic Rock is running through the veins of each of the three songs here, just imagine a present day equivalent to the Black Crowes, Dogs D'Amour and Bad Company.
The songs are beautifully written, and performed to perfection, with just enough of a raw edge as to stop them feeling forced. These guys obviously love what they do, and they do it very, very well!
the only fault with this EP is that it only contains three songs, damn I can't wait for the album!

Together with the likes of Cage The Gods, Rank Berry are leading the UK Classic Rock revival!

Very Highly Recommended

Rating - 10/10


Danko Jones - Fire Music (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label - Bad Taste Records

Track listing:
01. Wild Woman
02. The Twisting Knife
03. Gonna Be A Fight Tonight
04. Body Bags
05. Live Forever
06. Do You Wanna Rock
07. Getting Into Drugs
08. Watch You Slide
09. I Will Break Your Heart
10. Piranha
11. She Ain't Coming Home

Danko Jones are back with a brand spanking new album in the form of Fire Music, and what can I say? Its fucking brilliant!
The Canadian trio have made a living out of straight forward angst filled, punk fuelled rock music, and Fire Music continues that theme superbly.
The album opens with Wild Woman, which is by no means a bad track, but it is a little Danko Jones by the numbers and could have fitted on any of the bands previous albums.
Next up is The Twisting Knife, now this is a really great song with a little bit of a Misfits feel about it. Melodic but with a real punk edge to it, bloody well love it!
Gonna Be A Fight Tonight follows. This is a great song and an obvious choice for the albums lead single, showcasing the bands trade mark angst and attitude, no wonder it was chosen as the theme song for this years WWE Royal Rumble!
Next we have Body Bags, another fast tempo-ed punk onslaught and great song ta boot. Once again with a little bit of a Misfits feel to it.
Live |Forever follows, slowing the tempo a little to a trade mark Danko Jones mid-tempo rocker.
Next we have Do You Wanna Rock which proves itself quite possibly to be one of the band’s most adventurous songs to date, with its ska like bridge / chorus and extensive cowbell!
Next up is Getting Into Drugs, lyrically not my favourite track on the album, but putting that a side its still a great fun Kiss-esque song.
Watch You Slide sees the guys pick the tempo up once more with its excellent AC/DC like riff, another great song.
The albums ballad follows in I Will Break Your Heart, with its  brilliant '50s / '60s blues groove buried beneath the walls of distortion.
Piranha is another excellent fast paced angst fuelled work out that leads brilliantly into the albums closer, She's Ain't Coming Home. A great song that which features a full-on tip of the hat to Danko’s love for metal with a twin / harmonized Iron Maiden / Judas Priest solo break.

this is not only a great album for the bands pre-existing fan base, but a great album for anyone who has the slightest interests in good solid hard rock music!

Very Highly Recommended

Rating - 10/10




Chris Appleton – Restless (2015)

Genre - Acoustic Rock
Label - Rocksector Records
 
Track listing:
01. Seafarer
02. Crazyhead
03. No Tomorrow
04. How Will I Feel When You’re Gone
05. Restless
06. Only When It’s Over (Absolva cover)
07. I See Red (Fury UK cover)
08. Wonders Of The World
09. Mama I’m Comin’ Home (Ozzy Osbourne cover)

Chris Appleton, lead vocalist with UK metal bands Absolva, Fury UK, and the lead guitarist with former Wolfsbane/Iron Maiden front man Blaze Bayley’s touring band, releases his debut solo album in the form of Restless.
Chris has enlisted the help of his brother Luke (Fury UK / Iced Earth) and Belgian singer Wizz Wizzard for the album, with the later providing backing vocals on several tracks as well as sharing lead vocals on Restless. Both of whom will be helping to support Chris on a short tour to promote the album.
The album has a rather raw feel to it, partly due to the fact that it was recorded in analogue, almost giving it a feel of a good demo in places but that just adds to the appeal, as over producing an acoustic album is a sure fire way to kill any feel that's there within the songs. As can be seen from the track listing above, the album contains three covers, two tracks that Chris was heavily involved with in the first place being covers of his own songs, and a wondrous rendition of the Ozzy Osbourne classic, Mama I'm Comin' Home.
Album opener Seafarer has a rather epic feel to it, with Chis and Wizz trading vocal lines a great song that sets the general tone for what is to follow. Crazyhead could be worked up in to a great full blown Absolva track with its hammered on riff. God this song sounds awesome as an acoustic track, with a full blown electric set up behind it, well damn that's all that I can say!
No Tomorrow is simply a beautiful song.
How Will I Feel When You're Gone, is something special, the opening riff sounding really familiar for some reason, but it is a really great song.
Title track, Restless, an instrumental, and very much a guitarists track, allowing Chris to show case his technique and virtuoso ability. It would also be interesting to hear this track worked up into a full blown electric affair!
Its great to hear acoustic versions of Only When its Over and I See Red, adding another dimension to two great songs.
Wonders Of The World, with its piano intro is another fine example of Chris at his best, sensitive and touching with elements of power throughout.
Mama I'm Comin' Home is simply sublime.
A great album well worth checking out!

Rating - 9/10



Line-up:
Chris Appleton (Absolva / Blaze Bayley / Fury UK) – Guitar, Vocals
Guests:
Luke Appleton (Iced Earth) – Guitar
Wizz Wizzard – Vocals

CHIP Z’NUFF - Strange Time (2015)

Genre - Classic Rock
Label -
 
Track listing:
01. Sunshine
02. Rockstar
03. Strange Time
04. Dragonfly
05. Still Love Your Face
06. F..Mary..Kill
07. Anna Nichole
08. Strike Three
09. Hello To The Drugs
10. All Day And All Of The Night

Bonus EP With Steven Adler:
11. My Town (Bonus Track)
12. Yesterday (Another Wasted Day)
13. The Game (Bonus Track)
14. Tonight We Meet (And Now We're Going To F***)
15. The Pain Is All on You
 
 
CHIP Z'NUFF is finally stepping out into the spotlight with his first ever solo album, "Strange Time", is out today February 3 and includes a fantastic line-up full of special guests like Cheap Trick's Robin Zander, Slash, Steven Adler (of Guns N' Roses and Adler's Appetite), and Dale Bozzio (Missing Persons and Frank Zappa) among others.
 The 10-song record takes a step away from Enuff Z’Nuff's signature poppy metal sound, and takes on heavier guitars and more classic rock / psychedelic elements. With a collection of songs that waft from mellow vibes and sounds to more crunching tunes, Chip Z'Nuff pours his heart and past into this album.
Some of the disc's highlights include the opening cut, "Sunshine" which waves the listener in with a gentle, laid-back matured groove, then the next two songs, "Rockstar" and "Strange Time" (written by Z'Nuff and Trent Reznor) flow together almost like scenes in a movie.
"Still Love Your Face" has a catchy rhythm, the track with the more Enuff Z’Nuff feel and specially designed for fans of the band.
"Anna Nichole" is a haunting short instrumental, and the rootsy "Strike Three" will be playing on repeat in your head after just the first listen.
A grooving version of The Kinks' classic "All Day and All of the Night" - featuring Cheap Trick's Robin Zander on guest vocals - rocks in a great way, while the first single off the album called "Hello To The Drugs", a hazy, bass pumped rocker including vintage keyboards.
Then there's a thriving bonus 5-track EP collaboration with drummer Steven Adler, a project announced some years ago but never properly released... until now. And glad they did it.
This is a more hard rocking material, like the urgent "My Town", the infectious "The Game" (classic Enuff Z’Nuff), the groovy and fun "Tonight We Met (And Now We're Going To F*ck)" featuring Slash and Dale Bozzio, and the atmospheric "The Pain Is All On You" written alongside Adler and Paul McCartney.
In addition to this, his first solo album, Chip Z'Nuff is also writing an autobiography as well. And I'm sure he will collect there all these years of experience as musician.
And that is what happens on "Strange Time" too: a compendium of Chip Z'Nuff's vast influences through various Rock related genres put into disc. And we have as plus the 'Adler Z'Nuff ' project, which really worth a listen.
The songs on display here show case a maturity that can only come with experience, making the album a strong contender for album of the year in my eyes!
 
Highly Recommended
 
Rating - 10/10

 



BLACKBERRY SMOKE - Holding All The Roses (2015)

 
Genre - Classic Rock / Southern Rock
Label -
 
Track listing:
01 - Let Me Help You (Find the Door)
02 - Holding All The Roses
03 - Living in the Song
04 - Rock and Roll Again
05 - Woman in the Moon
06 - Too High
07 - Wish in One Hand
08 - Randolph County Farewell
09 - Payback's A Bitch
10 - Lay It All On Me
11 - No Way Back to Eden
12 - Fire in the Hole
American classic rockers BLACKBERRY SMOKE have been around for more than a decade, but it was their last album from 2012 that saw their popularity explode, and last year you'd have to have been living in a cave in Afghanistan to have failed to hear something about them. They toured extensively the last two years, but somehow the band found time to also release a live album and also write and record a new studio album which will be released on 9th February: "Holding All The Roses".
"Holding All The Roses" is an American term meaning you’re the winner. It’s an appropriate name for this, Blackberry Smoke’s fourth studio album, as this band is fast becoming the one everyone else in the Southern Rock genre is chasing.
But they are not a one trick pony; their music combines as well blues, hard rock, rootsy American rock and more.
Singer Charlie Starr, guitarist Paul Jackson, keyboard player Brandon Still and brothers Brit and Richard Turner on drums and bass respectively are really strong as unit. Their music is honest Classic Rock with influences from the last 40 years in the genre, all fused with a cool, feel-good vibe.
Produced by Brendan O'Brien (AC/DC, Aerosmith), represents somewhat of a feather in the cap for Blackberry Smoke, proving that their star is definitely on the rise.
The first song on the album is the lead single - "Let Me Help You (Find the Door)" which is already receiving plenty of airplay from radio stations across US / Europe. A fun, foot-tapping classic rocker with an inviting riff.
Next, title track would get anyone on the dance floor, then the melodic and more mid tempo driven "Living in the Song" will bring you back memories of you on the beach playing the guitar.
"Woman in the Moon" is a laid back song (not exactly a ballad) and one of my favourites, while in the melodic "Too High" the Southern / country influence becomes the dominant one. It's a damn good track, and is one oh many highlights of the CD.
But my favourite should be "Payback’s a Bitch", a sure fire anthem with a pumping rhythm section and classic verses, the type of song that always will get the crowd going.
Next, the retro "Lay It All On Me" is a bit boring, but Blackberry Smoke returns to rocking mode with closer "Fire in the Hole", a groovy tune with some seventies hard rock / psych on it.
Blackberry Smoke's "Holding All The Roses", in short, it's resolutely old-school Classic Rock.
You can hear a lot of musical references, and despite the band is being sold as 'Southern Rock messiahs', there's many musical styles blended here, Southern is just one of them.
This is Classic Rock, but in an 'American way', speaking about the overall sound. The song writing is solid and varied, with carefully well written lyrics.
My top tip with this album is to listen to it. Sounds obvious but what I mean is, don’t just tap your feet along with the music. Sit back, and actually listen. It’s an album with a lot of opinions, a lot to say, and if you take the time you'll find a lot to relate to. If you need to be convinced, take three minutes and listen to "Wish in One Hand". You'll know what I mean after that.
Really good refreshing stuff.
Rating - 9/10

EUROPE - War Of Kings [single] (2015)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock /  Melodic Rock
Label - UDR Records
 
Track listing:
 
01 - War Of Kings

"War Of Kings" is the upcoming, 10th studio album by Swedish superstars EUROPE, to be released on March 2, 2015 by UDR Records.
The first single and title track is already available on iTunes and alike.

Vocalist Joey Tempest stated that "War Of Kings is the album we always wanted to make, ever since we were kids listening to classic bands like Zeppelin, Purple and Sabbath. And after hearing Dave Cobb amazing production for Rival Sons we simply had to work with him.
Europe is still hungry, and our adventure is still ON!"
The song has a pretty classic hard rock sound, yet with a bright modern production sound.
It promises to be a great album.

Rating - 9/10