Sunday, 26 February 2017

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons - Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons EP (2017)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label - Motörhead Music

Track listing:
01 - Big Mouth
02 - Spiders
03 - Take Aim
04 - No Turning Back
05 - Life In Space

Legendary Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell returns with a brand new project,
PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS (formerly PHIL CAMPBELL'S ALL STARR BAND), the band featuring MOTÖRHEAD guitarist Phil Campbell alongside his sons Todd, Dane and Tyla, plus vocalist Neil Starr, and a brand spanking new debut EP!
Delivering a raw riff driven hard rock, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons play just the kind of music that you would expect from a project that features the Motorhead riffmeister Phil Campbell.
Whether it's the speedy biker-charged refrain of "No Turning Back", the crunchy catchy jump of "Big Mouth" or the beautiful-yet-bombastic balladry of "Life In Space", "Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons" brings uniquely organic life and verve to every last riff and stomp.

Great fun Ep, kind of reminds you of what good old fashioned rock n roll used to be all about!

Check it out!

Rating: - 9/10

The Scaramanga Six - As We Take The Stage (Single) (2017)

Genre - Rock / Alternative
Label - Self Released / Bandcamp

Track listing:
01 - As We Take The Stage (Parts 1 and 2)
02 - Owned

The mighty Scaramanga Six return with a taster for their forth coming new studio album (Pledge campaign to be launched soon), in the form of a two track digital single available through the bands bandcamp page.

The first track, 'As We Take The Stage' is driven along by some thunderous drums, some very tribal and organic rhythm patterns, with slight detours into a western feel. Love it!
The second track, 'Owned' has a darker more sci-fi feel to it as it begins, before blossoming into a great moody monster of a track.

If these are signs of what to expect from the bands new album then personally I simply can not wait to hear it!

Rating: - 10/10

Thunder - Broken Mirror EP (2017)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - Ear-Music

Track listing:

01 - Fire On The Mountain
02 - Blue Eyed Girl
03 - Beyond The Stars
04 - I Will Return

Released exclusively through the bands website, Thunder's Broken Mirror EP is a four track affair set to accompany their brand spanking new album, Rip It Up.
Broken Mirror consists of four tracks that were written and recorded as part of the Rip It Up sessions, and to be honest, any one of them could have quite easily made the album.

The EP opens with the excellent 'Fire On The Mountain', that just has classic Thunder stamped all over it. Next up we have 'Blue Eyed Girl' a great fun little acoustic driven track with a southern blues flavour to it. 'Beyond The Stars' follows, a beautiful power ballad. 'I Will Return' closes out this four track EP, a melodic track. Another slab of genius.

Broken Mirror makes a fine addition to the Thunder back catalogue, with each of the tracks easily being more than good enough to qualify inclusion of the album proper.

Highly recommended!

Rating: - 10/10

Thunder - Rip It Up (2017)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - ear-music

Track listing:
01 - No One Gets Out Alive
02 - Rip It Up
03 - She Likes the Cocaine
04 - Right from the Start
05 - Shakedown
06 - Heartbreak Hurricane
07 - In Another Life
08 - The Chosen One
09 - The Enemy Inside
10 - Tumbling Down
11 - There's Always a Loser

Earlier this month British classic rock stalwarts Thunder returned with their eleventh studio album. Now I have always been a big fan of Thunder, and I can honestly say that I do not believe that they guys have ever put out a bad album. Sure some have been less instant than others, but the songs are performances have always been of the highest quality, and hey every now again they guys hit the magical chemistry a release albums that have that little special something, a certain energy and magic that makes them stand out. I'm talking their classic debut, Backstreet Symphony and Robert Johnsons Tombstone. Well guess what, I think that they have only gone a done it again with Rip It Up!
Once again the album is built around the twin pillars of Luke Morley’s songs and vocalist Danny Bowes interpretive ability, as the duo soar above the rock solid rhythm section of Chris Childs and Harry James, while Ben Matthews gives the band additional sonic armoury.
The album opens with 'No One Gets Out Alive', a statement of intent built in the classic Thunder mould, setting out the stall for what is to follow. Title track 'Rip It Up' is up next, with its plodding classic rock riff that breaks down into a great sing along chorus. 'She Likes Cocaine' follows proving to be a right ripsnorter of a track before the semi-ballad ‘Right From The Start’ take the pace down a little, yet manages to turn up the intensity. 'Shakedown' sees the guys picking up the pace once again with another ripper of a track. 'Heartbreak Hurricane' follows, and is one of my personal favourite tracks from this album, if not from the bands entire back catalogue! 'In Another Life' is a great soulful bluesy work out, really showcasing Danny's marvellous voice.
The albums gathers pace with 'The Chosen One', which proves to be yet another great little rocker! 'The Enemy Inside' follows, upon which Morley delivers some clever some oxymoronic wordplay in the lyrics, while he adds a Who style power chord intro and an accompanying Led Zeppelin riff to the stonking 'Tumbling Down'. Yet two more great classic rock tracks! The album closes out with the stylish blues-tinged melancholia of ‘There’s Always A Loser’, completing one of the best and most rounded albums that I have heard in many a year.

Do yourselves a favour and go out and grab a copy of this brilliant album. I sincerely doubt that a better classic rock album will be released this year, possibly even this decade!

Rating: - 10/10

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Chris Catalyst -Life Is Often Brilliant (2017)

Genre - Rock / Pop / Alternative
Label - Pledge Music

Track listing:
01 - No regrets
02 -Same Old Sun
03 - Cracking Up
04 - Yeah - Oh No
05 - Wake Me Up On Monday
06 - How Do You Sleep
07 - Distance Over Time
08 - I Hope We Always Stay The Same
09 - Sticks and Stones
10 - Far
11 - You Die At The End
12 - Able Seamen
13 - When We Fall Apart (Bonus Track)

2016 proved to be a busy year for Eureka Machines main man, Chris Catalyst. Although his main band had decided to take some time out, he performed a few solo shows, a couple of shows with Ginger Wildheart,  played guitar for US rockers Ugly Kid Joe on their tour and toured with UK veteran rockers Terrorvision too. He also managed to find the time to record his rather excellent debut solo album too, and here it is in the form of Life Is Often Brilliant!
The album opens with the excellent 'No Regrets'. A great song with a stop start type of riff intro and a hugely melodic chorus section. Brilliant start to Life Is Often Brilliant!
'Same Old Sun' is up next, its intro changing the feel completely before the song kicks in. Once again the song has a huge chorus section. Next we have 'Cracking Up' which has a great opening riff. he rest of the song is pretty awesome too! Tons of tempo changes and vocal harmonies. 'Yeah - Oh No' follows, which has a rather Eureka Machines feel to it, only not as heavy. 'Wake Me Up On Monday' is just a great melodic track that would have fit perfectly on to any of the Eureka Machines albums. Great choice for a single! Another of the albums many highlights follows in the form of the awesome 'How Do You Sleep At Night'. This song is quickly becoming one of my favourite songs of all time! 'Distance Over Time' is up next. A beautiful atmospheric intro that just builds into an absolute monster of a song! Yet another highlight! Next up is 'I Hope We Always Stay The Same' which builds in a similar way to its predecessor, and proves to be every bit as much a great track!
'Sticks and Stones' follows, now I didn't really like this song when I first heard it, but it is a real grower, and sounds so much better within the context of this album! 'Far' follows, with its slick bridges and awesome harmonies. Yet another brilliant song. 'You Die At The End' is the albums penultimate song and an absolute classic ta boot! The album closes out with the subtle 'Able Seamen' but I've included the last track, 'When We Fall Apart' as a bonus track for a couple of reasons. Firstly its an absolutely excellent song that deserves to be on the album, and secondly, it was a given away as a bonus track at the very beginning of the pledge campaign, and is thus still available to anyone that pledges for the album!
Once again with Life Is Often Brilliant Chris Catalyst proves what a great song writer and musician he really is!

Life Is Often Brilliant is a blinding debut solo album from one the hardest working and most talented Uk musicians out there. Do yourselves a bloody huge favour and grab yourself a copy!

Rating: 10/10

Black Star Riders - Heavy Fire (2017)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - Pledge Music / Nuclear Blast Entertainment

Track listing:
01 - Heavy Fire
02 - When The Night Comes In
03 - Dancing With The Wrong Girl
04 - Who Rides The Tiger
05 - Cold War Love
06 - Testify Or Say Goodbye
07 - Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed
08 - True Blue Kid
09 - Ticket To Rise
10 - Letting Go Of Me

Heavy Fire is the long awaited third album from Black Star Riders. Black Star Riders were created in 2012 by members of the most recent line-up of Thin Lizzy, and delivered widely acclaimed music in their first two records ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ and ‘The Killer Instinct’ which established Black Star Riders as one of the finest present-day rock ‘n’ roll bands.
The title track 'Heavy Fire' jumps out of the speakers from the very first second you hit the play button. It punches the air out of you as it declares there is no room for complacent listening here. Crank it up and succumb!
A mid-tempo yet power-packed track which does justice to the signature Black Star Riders sound - crisp and raw.
This essence is carried into 'When the Night Comes In' which is one of the catchier songs on the album with awe-inspiring vocals, cool lyrics and an infectious chorus. The song shows the new approach the band adopts while still upholding its heritage in spirit.
Remarkable musical ingenuity is showcased in 'Dancing with the Wrong Girl' which has a heavy classic spirit while 'Who Rides the Tiger' delivers a monster groove.
There’s been no compromising with the band’s distinct quality and the record upholds the appeal of heavy rock through and through as evident in the compact and powerful rocker 'Ticket to Rise' also featuring soulful backing vocals.
There is a nice shift in thought process from the laid back 'Cold War Love' to the heavier 'Testify or Say Goodbye' which is one of the finest songs on the album. The latter bears the magnificence of classic rock in elements like its traditionally composed chorus.
'Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed' starts with an epic bass line and is rhythm-wise wonderful. 'True Blue Kid' further demonstrates versatility within the magnitude of heavy rock while 'Letting Go of Me' provides a perfect finish to the album by leaving a hard-hitting impact.

The Limited Edition includes the atmospheric 'Fade', another great piece of finest melodic hard rock with a feel that brings to mind guitarist Gorham days with 21 Guns.

Just like the Thin Lizzy of old, Black Star Riders rely heavily on the glorious power of their twin guitar attack, but play with a greater sense of sustained urgency than their former incarnation tended to do.
As a result they have produced an album that is certain to prove fervently popular when they hit the stage this year – every song is designed to get you out of your seat and have you leaping around.

Rating: 10/10

Mutation (Ginger Wildheart) - I - The Frankenstien Effect (Re-mastered) (2017)

Genre - Hard Rock / Noise / Alternative
Label - Round Records

Track listing:
01 - Powderland
02 - Rats
03 - Friday Night Drugs
04 - Schadenfreuden
05 - Compass Point
06 - Lively Boy
07 - Gruntwhore
08 - On Poking Dogs
09 - Wham City
10 - Carion Blue

Following hot on the heels of III - Dark Black is the re-mastered release of the first album to emerge under the Mutation banner, The Frankenstein Effect.
Once again re-mastered by the man with the magic ear, Dave Draper, this album now sounds even more impressive. the Frankenstein Effect was always the most acessable of the three Mutation albums, but now everything sounds that much clearer and sharper. In fact this album sounds absolutely awesome!
The Mutation project is about as far removed musically from the 555% and Hey! Hello! projects as you could possibly get!
Imagine the more extreme, heavier, off the wall tracks that the Wildhearts have ever put out, then multiply that by a thousand and you may get an idea of what we are dealing with here.
That's not to say that its all intensity, there are some great melodies interwoven with the immense riffs. If you like your music on the heavy side then you really should check this out, very much in the vein of Pulled Apart By Horses and Exit International (who feature, along with Random Jon Poole and Chris Catalyst to name a few), The Frankenstien Effect is an album that shows Ginger is just as cutting edge and relevent today as he has ever been.

A great album!

Unfortunately it looks like this re-master will only be available digitally with no physical cd available at the moment.

Rating - 10/10

Mutation (Ginger Wildheart) - III - Dark Black (2017)

Genre - Hard Rock / Noise / Alternative
Label - Round Records

Track  Listing:

01 - "."
02 - Authenticity
03 - Toxins
04 - Devolution
05 - Irritant
06 - Skint
07 - Hate
08 - Victim
09 - Dogs
10 - Deterioration

III - Dark Black is the third instalment of Ginger Wildhearts Mutation project. This time around all of the tracks were written by Ginger Wildheart and Scott Lee Andrews, with Devin Townsend adding to the mix on Devolution. Ginger himself says that Mutation will not be for everyone, and its certainly not for anyone who has a weak disposition. Its loud, its noisy, its brash, its bloody brilliant. A great noisy mess!
The album begins with a very short intro in the form of "." before launching all guns blazing into 'Authenticity', which really lets you know exactly what you are in for with the rest of the album! 'Toxins' blasts past, before we have the Devin Townsend collaboration, the rather excellent 'Devolution', which is exactly what you would expect from a collaboration between such noise loving merchants! 'Irritant' has quite possibly one of the best chorus's ever written in, "fuck off you cunt, you are an irritant", just pure class! 'Skint' hurtles along leading us into the brutal 'Hate'.  'Victim' is pure unadulterated chaos, as is the albums penultimate track, 'Dogs'.
the album closes out with 'Deterioration', yet another blast of intensity. In fact the intensity levels never drop below maximum from the albums start to its finish. Clocking in at twenty six minutes this album is short, but not all that sweet.

For this album, Ginger has not only attracted the talents of Scott Lee Andrews and Devin Townsend, but has also roped in the likes of Phil Campbell (Motorhead), Givvi Flynn, Toshi, Paul Catten, Jamie Oliver and Dom Lawson to help out.
Recorded by Jase Edwards and mixed by the magic ear of Dave Draper, III - Dark Black really is the crowning glory of the Mutation project.

If you like it loud, noisy and chaotic, check it out, if you don't, well I really wouldn't, this album could give you nightmares

Rating: 10/10

Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors - The Devil's in the Detail (2016/17)

Genre - Rock / Pop / Alternative
Label - Pledge Music

Track listing:
01 - Smarter
02 - We Should Never Have Moved To LA
03 - Anywhere
04 - Heavy Heart
05 - Scottish Mud
06 - Back In Time
07 - The Gulf Of Mexico
08 - Cheaters Never Change
09 - Drugs and Fashion
10 - Strength In Numbers
11 - Don't Say I Told You So
12 - It Ain't Easy

The Devil's In The Detail is the brand spanking new album from Ryan Hamilton and the Traitors, a trans Atlantic rock n roll band hailing from Texas and the UK. And what a bloody debut. Great bounce filled rock n roll, with a tremendous sense of melody. Incorporating so many musical elements its unbelievable, from country to blues to punk to out and out rock n roll. What a refreshing band. This, their debut album has been financed through a blinding pledge music campaign, hence the 2016/17 release dates (pledgers were lucky enough to get their hands on this brilliant album last year!).
The albums kicks off with the bouncy and rather excellent 'Smarter', which flows into the equally brilliant 'We Should Never Have Moved To LA', before the tempo slows a little for the rather laid back 'Anywhere', with its bluesy overtones. Next up comes the beautiful 'Heavy Heart'. A really beautiful ballad with some great harmonies and soul searching lyrics! Surely one of the albums many highlights. The rather fun 'Scottish Mud' is up next, picking up the pace a little. Yet another great song. Next up is the excellent acoustic driven 'Back In Time', a beautiful song that features Ryan taking a look back in time. 'The Gulf Of Mexico' follows, with its chugging main riff. possibly the heaviest song so far on the album, bloody brilliant non the less. Hot on its heels we have 'Cheaters Never Change', a real blues country mix. Yet another brilliant song! 'Drugs and Fashion' picks up the tempo and the mood once again, returning to the bouncy rock of the albums first couple of tracks.
'Strength In Numbers' is a great song about a defiant spirit, a great up-tempo song that has a brilliant energy to it. This could be killer live!
The albums penultimate track is 'Don't Say I Told You So', a beautiful duet. this song sends tingles down my spine. Beautiful and haunting!
'It Ain't Easy' closes the album out, a great fun song with a proper country feel to it, and a nice snarling surprise hidden inside if you are patient enough to wait for it!

This is one of the best and strongest debuts that I have heard in many a year, and very well worth checking out. Definitely one of the most complete and rounded releases that I have heard in quite a while, and possibly a contender for release of the year!

Rating: 10/10

The Dowling Poole - Deep Breath EP (2016)

Genre - Rock / Pop / Alternative
Label - 369 Music

Track listing:
01 - Deep Breath
02 - A Kiss On The Ocean (Live Acoustic from Manchester)
03 - Paper, Scissors, Stone (Live Acoustic From Manchester)

Released very late in 2016, The Dowling Poole issued their brilliant Deep Breath EP. Once again following the formula of its two predecessor releases, Myles Checks Out and Bright Spark EP's, of featuring three tracks, one new exclusive studio cut, in this case the rather excellent 'Deep Breath', and once again two more live acoustic tracks recorded in Manchester (UK).
This time around the new studio track, 'Deep Breath', has a darker more menacing atmosphere about it, once again show casing another side of this mega talented combo's song writing. A really great track that really leaves the listener longing for album four, or at the very least, more new EP's!
The two live acoustic tracks are taken from the same session / show as the ones released on the previous two releases, once again having a brilliant sound quality and feel to them, and once again showing just how good these guys are live!
Please, Willie Dowling, Random Jon Poole and Givvi Flynn, stop teasing us and get album four underway!

Very well worth checking out!

Rating: 10/10