Monday, April 30, 2012

MirrorMaze - Walkabout

MirrorMaze - Walkabout (2012) Bakerteam Records
Produced by MirrorMaze
Tracks : 1.Prisoner 2.Earn your answers 3.Vicious circle 4.Lost in a belief 5.Joke 6.Deeper signs 7.Walkabout 8.Missing 9.Broken soul
3 out of 5

MirrorMaze is an Italian progmetal band, formed in 2008 by guitarist David Penna and keyboardist Sam Lanfranchini. They are joined by singer Fabio D´Amore, bassist Juan Manuel Savoini and drummer Fabio Nasuelli, although singer Fabio D´Amore is playing the bass on the debut album "Walkabout". Guesting on the track "Deeper signs" is Fates Warning singer Ray Alder which is cool, but I think MirrorMaze frontman Fabio D´Amore stand rather solid on his own with his powerhouse voice. This is a lengthy album with 1 hour of technical metal and the sound is pretty massive, not far from Dream Theater´s Awake. But MirrorMaze also knows how to use nuances in their music, just listen to the excellent "Lost in a belief" that is the highlight of the album. Great musicanship here. The soft piece "Missing" is another very nice song as well as the majestic "Broken soul" that will appeal to fans of Symphony X. Good stuff!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Rudhira - Ein

Rudhira - Ein (2012) Pug-Nose Records
Produced by Rudhira
Tracks : 1.A step too far 2.Embraced by the rain 3.Wine of defeat 4.Darkened shores 5.Goose on a throne 6.Shine
2,5 out of 5

Rudhira is a Norwegian heavy metal band featuring Andreas Nergård - Drums, Thomas Nergård - Lead Guitar, Lars Todal - Bass and Ole-Martin Moe Thornaes - Lead Vocals/Guitar. I did a review of Andreas Nergård´s solo EP "The beginning" last year which was pretty good, here he is handling the sticks and hitting the skin with his band Rudhira and their debut album "Ein". The band focus on 80´s metal with some progressive moments, the album opens promising with the Megadeth-like "A step too far" and continues with the even more progressive "Embraced by the rain" which is really cool with the sitar. Then the album falls a bit in quality with the mediocre "Wine of defeat", the darker "Darkened shores" is better with nice harmonies and great axework. The very heavy "Goose on a throne" bring thoughts to Nevermore and Iced Earth, but the vocal performance is rather weak. The best track is the last song of the album, "Shine". It is really interesting with a mix of thrash, progressive rock and a classy ending. An uneven album with some really good moments.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wig Wam - Wall Street

Wig Wam - Wall Street (2012) Frontiers Records
Produced by Wig Wam
Tracks : 1.Wall street 2.OMG 3.Victory is sweet 4.The bigger the better 5.Bleeding daylight 6.Tides will turn 7.Wrong can feel so right 8.One million enemies 9.Try my body on 10.Natural high 11.Things money cant buy
3,5 out of 5

You get the same kick from Norwegian glam rock band Wig Wam as you do with coffee in the morning, it is as safe as rain in England. You can count on this band delivering feel-good-party-time rock and roll on every album they release, and yes their 4th album "Wall street" does not disappoint. I have been listening to this album all day and it never gets boring, their catalogue is growing bigger and I guess Wig Wam can put on a splendid show with 4 strong albums to pick hookladen songs from. The title track is just awesome and the Def Lep-ish "The bigger the better" will make you singalong in no time, the TNT smelling "Victory is sweet" is one of my personal faves but I´m also a sucker for the cool "Natural high". Thank god for a band that will keep your motor running.

Great White - Elation

Great White - Elation (2012) Frontiers Records
Produced by Michael Lardie
Tracks : 1.I´ve got something for you 2.Feelin so much better 3.Love train 4.Heart of a man 5.Hard to say goodbye 6.Resolution 7.Shotgun Willie´s 8.Promise land 9.Lowdown 10.Just for tonight 11.Love is enough 12.Complicated
2 out of 5

It has not been an easy road for the American band Great White so it´s logical to release the tell all book "Shark tales" in 2012 about the 30 years of rock and roll with all the line up changes, the 2003 fire disaster and lead singer Jack Russell´s recent health issues that led to other singers to step in and fill his shoes such as Paul Shortino, Jani Lane and Terry IIous (XYZ) who also got the job as the new frontman. Their 12th studio album "Elation" is the first without Jack Russell, who instead continue as Jack Russell´s Great White without the permission from the official Great White. Confusing to say the least! The band has sold 10 million copies around the world with the 1989 album "Twice shy" as their peak, their new album "Elation" is in no way near the same strength as their 80´s era. The production is weak and the major part of the songs lack of memorable melodies, a couple of songs that do sound ok are "Promise land" and the melodic "Love is enough". Perhaps the autobiography will be more entertaining?

Hardline - Danger zone

Hardline - Danger Zone (2012) Frontiers Records
Produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio
Tracks : 1.Fever dreams 2.10 000 Reasons 3.Danger zone 4.What I´d like 5.Stronger than me 6.Never too late 7.Stay 8.I dont wanna break away 9.Look at you now 10.Please have faith in me 11.Show me your love 12.The only one
3 out of 5

It has now been 20 years since Hardline´s debut album "Double eclipse" came out with the impressive line up of Neal Schon - Guitar, Deen Castronovo - Drums, Todd Jensen - Bass and the Gioeli brothers, Joey - Guitar and Johnny - Lead Vocals. The only remaining member in the band today is Johnny Gioeli, guitarist Josh Ramos who replaced Neal Schon, has been replaced himself too by Torsten Koehne. Brother Joey has also left the band and now Johnny Gioeli´s songwriting partner is Alessandro Del Vecchio of Edge of Forever. Their 4th album "Danger zone" sounds pretty much like a typical Hardline record but it has more in common with the previous album "Leaving the end open" (2009) than the hardrocking debut. The new album is more of AOR based album but the title track could´ve been a leftover from "Double eclipse", awesome song. The closing track "The only one" is another highlight, great chorus. A song I don´t like at all is the average "What I´d like" where Johnny sounds like Klaus Meine. Nah! But it´s a solid album anyhow.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Troy Donockley - Messages

Troy Donockley - Messages, A collection of music 1998-2011 (Gonzo Multimedia)
Produced by Troy Donockley
Tracks : 1.Sights 2.For him who will never return 3.Now, voyager 4.Fragment 5.Orkahaugr 6.Finlandia 7.Dunmail rising 8.Pursuit of illusion 9.Tunnels 10.The procession
2,5 out of 5

Troy Donockley is both a multi musician and a composer, he´s a leading virtuoso of the Uillean pipes and his music can be heard in movies such as Robin Hood and Ironclad. Troy has recorded and toured with various artists such as Nightwish, Status Quo, Midge Ure and Del Amitri. He has released 3 albums, The unseen stream (1998), The pursuit of illusion (2003) and The madness of crowds (2009). And also the compilation "Messages, a collection of music 1998-2011 that contains songs from his previous work along with 2 new unreleased songs, "For him who will never return" and Jean Sibelius "Finlandia". Troy´s compositions bring thoughts to Vangelis as well as Clannad and Mike Oldfield, it´s just like what he says about the new album, -Listen to Messages in a darkened room with headphones, just like you did when you were a kid. Well, I think a whole album of this laid back celtic style can be a bit too much but I do enjoy a few songs like "Sights" that feels a bit ABBA-esque and the lengthy "Now, voyager". A decent collection anyhow.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Leh-Lo - Zig-Zag

Leh-Lo - Zig-Zag (2007) Independent
Produced by Leh-Lo
Tracks : 1.Zig-zag 2.Something missing 3.Just like you 4.All alone 5.An apology 6.days 7.2 out of 3 8.Rocket science 9.The numbers 10.Get by 11.Responsible
3,5 out of 5

In Sweden, we have the artist Laleh but she has nothing in common with the Canadian artist Leh-Lo. They´re not related or go hand in hand soundwise, you could say Leh-Lo makes music that is rather rare these days with a huge potion of soul, 70´s pop and even new wave. Imagine a soup of Paul Carrack, Sting, Sad Cafe and Supergrass and you´ll get this album called "Zig-zag". The music is kinda quirky but also cool and very far from being monotone, I put on a big smile when certain moments reminds of The Police and the next second Leh-Lo take you to Prince´s musical neighborhood. I believe this is the only release from this Toronto based singer.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Man On Earth - Something better

Man On Earth - Something better (2007) Forward Thinking Music
Produced by Steve Nathan
Tracks : 1.Something better 2.Here we are 3.Hold your breath and brace for the crash 4.Walk away 5.Been gone too long 6.A birthday song
3 out of 5

Man On Earth is led by Steve Nathan (Vocals,Guitars) and they´re from New York City, their debut EP "Something better" was released in 2007 and it was followed by "The time spent wondering" in 2009 and the latest effort "Things they´d never believe" in 2011. Sure, the production on this EP is a bit lowbudget but I think they´ve got a sound of their own. We´re talking alternative rock with traces of modern rock like a mix between Janes Addiction, Barenaked Ladies and Failure. The songs "Here we are" and "Walk away" aren´t exactly a wetdream, they´re rather boring but on the other hand, the good stuff is so much better with the title track that opens the EP and track 3 "Hold your breath and brace for the crash" that is the most Failure sounding of them all. My favorite is "Been gone too long", that one can be described as Zwan meets Socialburn.

Telescreen - The solar sea

Telescreen - The solar sea (2007) Tragic Hero Records
Produced by Telescreen
Tracks : 1.1913 2.Individual 3.True 4.EM 328 5.The solar sea 6.Soft spoken 7.Rumours
3 out of 5

I have quite a few albums that hasn´t been reviewed at or that I feel doesn´t get the press they deserve out there, like for example the short lived band Telescreen that featured members from Classic Case and Codeseven. Their only release "The solar sea" is a 7 track EP of laid back and experimental progressive rock, not that far from Dredg and Circa Survive soundwise. It´s a moving and atmospheric album that takes a few spins to get into, Telescreen didn´t create any buzz in the music business and therefor, they parted ways right after "The solar sea" came out. But I like it.

John-Mark - It´s all so clear

John-Mark - It´s all so clear (2007) Maverick Records
Produced by John-Mark Seltzer
Tracks : 1.Sick of goodbye 2.Unsure 3.On your side 4.Hard enough 5.Crazy 6.Clear 7.Someday 8.One night 9.All time number one 10.Alive
3,5 out of 5

Singer/songwriter John-Mark Seltzer was signed to Maverick Records between 2005-2007 and recorded the solo album "It´s all so clear" in 2007, he is currently a producer/songwriter for EMI and is working with artists like Teddy Geiger and Kimberly Caldwell. This is a really good powerpop album with some traces of 90´s modern rock a la Nine Days, the track "Unsure" could´ve been an unreleased Third Eye Blind song. The opener "Sick of goodbye" bring thoughts to Tal Bachman while "On your side" sounds like a mix between Butch Walker and Orson. It´s a very short album with just a running time of 35 minutes but it only makes you wanna hear it all over again. The album is very rare so you´re lucky if you get your hands on a copy.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Durango Riot - Backwards over midnight

The Durango Riot - Backwards over midnight (2012) Ninetone Records
Produced by Joe Barresi
Tracks : 1.Everybody´s got to go 2.Do it like a friend 3.Neighbors 4.Backwards over midnight 5.Your rags, my riches 6.Shiny season 7.A last look 8.I´m coming over 9.Realdogs 10.Gone south
3 out of 5

This is a cool band, the Swedish band The Durango Riot doesn´t really compromise when they write music, if they feel like blending 60´s pop with a Mexican flavor, they do it. And if they´re crazy enough to head into the Britrock direction but with a punkish attitude, they do it. I think you could call their new album "Backwards over midnight" as cowboy rocknroll because we get a taste of the wild west in some of these new songs. It´s like making a soup of D.A.D, Suede and The Jam. I like this album because it feels so timeless, just check out great stuff like "Do it like a friend" or "Your rags, my riches". Lovely!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Darlings - The New Escape

The Darlings - The New Escape (2012) Gadsen Records
Produced by The Darlings
Tracks : 1.Hypnotize 2.Where do we go 3.American dream 4.Broken heart still beating 5.Head hunter 6.Take me back 7.Untitled 8.Fight alone 9.Someone else at the wheel 10.The agressor 11.These wings 12.The hard goodbye 13.Lets roll
3,5 out of 5

L.A based quartet The Darlings won 2010´s Ernie Balls Battle of the bands and in 2012, their debut full length "The New Escape" is released. And this album is like a c-vitamin injection, talk about refreshing rocknroll with uplifting melodies and attitude. You´ll hear a little bit of everything with anything from The Clash to The Pirates and Green Day to Skids, they´re like a classic rock version of a 70´s punk band. But the most cool thing is that their songs would do justice on active rock radio as well, this ain´t music for just one group of people. Highlights are "The agressor", "Fight alone" and "Where do we go". Thumbs up for a great album!

Mimi Page - Breathe me in

Mimi Page - Breathe me in (2012) Hunter Records
Produced by Warren Huart / Mimi Page
Tracks : 1.My vanilla sky 2.Black valentine 3.Colorblind 4.All I need 5.New 6.Gravity 7.This fire 8.The starving artist 9.Come what may 10.Phenomenon 11.Jigsaw 12.Breathe me in
3 out of 5

Things are really starting to happen for Los Angeles based artist Mimi Page, her debut album "Breathe me in" was released in February this year and the song "New" caught the attention of Jefferson Starship´s management. They liked it so much that they asked Mimi Page to open for Jefferson Starship on their 40th anniversary tour, what the audience will get is not exactly a party starter but more of a soothing musical experience that will get the crowd in a relaxing state. Mimi´s songs bring thoughts to Tori Amos and Enya, quite piano based but also in a slow dance electronica way. At first, I didn´t enjoy the album that much but it grows and now I have become to like it. Songs that stand out are "All I need" and "My vanilla sky", the album is co-produced by Warren Huart (The Fray, Aerosmith) so it´s not cowshit so to speak.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Falling Up - Mnemos

Falling Up - Mnemos (2012) Independent
Produced by Falling Up
Tracks : 1.Pete the little robot comes home 2.Taipan 3.Alexis 4.Glassen 5.Caves 6.Earthship 7.Remembering Pete
5 ouf ot 5

Since their debut "Crashings" from 2004, the band Falling Up has become one of my favorite bands in the christian rock genre. The former Bec Recording artists are now releasing their music independently but it doesn´t get less classy because of that, their latest album "Your sparkling death cometh" (2011) was just as good as any of their previous albums on Bec Recordings. And on their 7th release "Mnemos", they pull sections less featured on their latest album and highlights new melodies which is called a remix album but I consider these pieces as 7 new songs rather than remixes. Falling Up blends electronics, orchestral elements and science fiction and can be described as a Jean Michel Jarre version of early Pink Floyd. The line up today is Jessy Ribordy - Vocals/songwriter, Jeremy Miller - Bass/Keyboards, Josh Schroy - Drums and Dan Huddleston - Guitars. Founding guitarist Tom Cox left the band in 2005 to focus on his new band Archers Rise, he was replaced by Micah Sannan who left in 2007 to join Disciple. The other founding guitarist Joseph A Kisselburgh is now in The Send, making way for touring guitarist Dan Huddleston to become a member of the band. And what a band it is, gravity makes you fall down but musicwise, their spiritual and dreamlike soundtrack makes you falling up. Superb!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Def Con One - Warface

Def Con One - Warface (2012) Scarlet Records
Produced by Def Con One
Tracks : 1.Never look back 2.March of the dead 3.Warface 4.Hold on 5.Blood 6.Stepped in pain 7.Bullets 8.Feeling cold 9.My halo 10.Hit list 11.In death 12.Give me strength
3 out of 5

This is one heavy mutha of an album, "Warface" is the debut from Def Con One that features Antton Lant - Drums (Venom), Johnny Hunter - Guitar (Sanity´s Edge), Steve Miller - Bass and Davey Meikle - Vocals (NuFutureCowboys). You could say their sound lies somewhere between thrash, numetal and grunge. There are obvious influences from Machine Head, Pantera and Alice in Chains, I remember in the 90´s when numetal arrived and many called it aggro-metal and "Warface" suits that genre just perfect. Metal magazines like Metal Hammer and Close Up will probably hype this album when it comes out, singer Davey Meikle reminds a bit of Phil Anselmo of Pantera except on "Bullets" where he is a deadringer for Sebastian Bach. It´s a solid album that won´t disappoint fans of true metal.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Murder of My Sweet - Bye Bye Lullaby

The Murder of My Sweet - Bye Bye Lullaby (2012) AFM Records
Produced by Daniel Flores
Tracks : 1.Armageddon 2.Fallen 3.Unbreakable 4.I dare you 5.Violently peaceful 6.Meant to last forever 7.Idolize 8.Kind of lousy 9.The one 10.Resurrection 11.Waiting for the 27th 12.Black September 13.Phantom pain
4,5 out of 5

Sweden´s premiere symphonic metal band is back with a new line up, new label and a new smashing album. Producer/songwriter/drummer Daniel Flores recruited Christopher Vetter - Guitar and Teddy Westlund - Bass for the new album "Bye Bye Lullaby", the mic is still handled by the beautiful Angelica Rylin who also sings like an angel. The music is still epic and dramatic but this time also a bit darker, there are some string arrangements that bring thoughts to composer Danny Elfman´s work to Tim Burton´s movies. Fans of the first album "Divanity" (2009) will be very pleased to hear this album as well, the opener "Armageddon" start where the debut left off. Majestic and heavy, the way I like it. "Idolize" is a bit more modern sounding and even quite pop-ish, very cool. Another melodic tune which feel handmade for radio is 2nd track "Fallen" but I would also put my bets on the rhythmic "Kind of lousy", great chorus! Two tracks that totally knock me down are "Resurrection" and "Violently peaceful", pure masterpieces if you ask me. Bravo!

Burning Point - The Ignitor

Burning Point - The Ignitor (2012) Scarlet Records
Produced by Burning Point
Tracks : 1.Eternal flame 2.In the fire´s of myself 3.In the night 4.The Ignitor 5.Silent scream 6.Heaven is hell 7.Losing sleep 8.Demon inside of you 9.Everdream 10.Lost tribe 11.Holier than thou
3,5 ouf ot 5

I wasn´t that impressed by Finnish powermetallers Burning Point earlier work so I must say that I was rather surprised to hear their new album "The ignitor" this good. The songs are stronger and the production is crispy and crystal clear, not to mention the razorsharp guitars. It´s a good thing that they have taken a step back to the 80´s metal like a more melodic version of Judas Priest and Helloween, we get a tight performance from the band throughout the entire album where the highlights are "In the night", "The ignitor" and "Losing sleep". There are moments when music should be played loud, this is one of those.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Dynamite - My Dynamite

My Dynamite - My Dynamite (2012) Listenable Records
Produced by My Dynamite
Tracks : 1.Take it or leave it 2.Inside out 3.If we´re livin 4.Dirty game 5.Watch yourself grow 6.Raise your glasses 7.Singing stormy weather 8.Big attraction 9.All that she brings 10.Fork in your tongue
3 out of 5

My Dynamite is a 5 piece rock band from Australia, they call their music as feelgood-rocknroll and I agree. We´re talking non compromising rocknroll here, influenced by greats such as Led Zeppelin, Free, The Faces and The Black Crowes. They have shared the same stage as Rose Tattoo and The Screaming Jets and this year, their self titled debut is released. I think they´ve got the groove and their singer Pat Carmody is really good, songs like "If we´re livin´" and "Singing stormy weather" should do well live. If Rival Sons could make it, why shouldn´t My Dynamite? This is without doubt a solid album that doesn´t stand or fall with a hit single. My Dynamite makes album music.

Sons of Midnight - Sons of Midnight

Sons of Midnight - Sons of Midnight (2012) Universal Music
Produced by Martin Hansen
Tracks : 1.The fire 2.Never again 3.Stand up for love 4.It was worth it 5.Sliding doors 6.Girlwise 7.Living in this world 8.Head on 9.So beautiful it hurts 10.The realist 11.Saints and sinners 12.I dont get it 13.Hard to love you
4 out of 5

Brisbane, Australia is the home for Sons of Midnight and boy, do I love this band. Their debut album is a smorgasbord of melodic rock/pop with AOR-ish choruses. Their lead singer Conrad Sewell reminds a bit of the 80´s artist Sam Harris, you know the guy behind "Sugar don´t bite". But soundwise, this band plays in the same league as Invertigo and Indecent Obsessions. Just listen to songs like "The realist", "I don´t get it" and "Hard to love you" and you´ll see what I mean. The single "The fire" is a killer, but then again, this album is all killer no filler. The ballad "Saints and sinners" can be described as a mix between Savage Garden and John Farnham, soooo good. The production from Martin Hansen (The Rasmus, Scorpions) is topnotch, I´ve got myself a new favorite band. What about you?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Livingston - Fire to fire

Livingston - Fire to fire (2012) Universal Music
Produced by David Bottrill
Tracks : 1.Perfect dream 2.Supernova 3.No more promises 4.Set fire to fire 5.Beautiful 6.Quiet not crazy 7.Somebody 8.Here I am 9.Sink or swim 10.In circles 11.Drop the halo 12.Soulskin
4 out of 5

Livingston formed in South Africa and then relocated to London, England where they added a British bassplayer and an Italian drummer. Now talk about international band. Their debut album "Sign language" came out in 2009 and this year, they follow up with the sophomore album "Fire to fire". They are currently in Sweden, supporting Takida and you can also watch them at Nova Rock Festival in Austria this summer. Their music goes in the same vein as Reamonn, Stanfour and The Killers, we´re talking modern rock with traces of new wave. I love this album and especially their atmospheric sound, the single "Supernova" is only one of plenty great tunes to catch up. I promise, they will stick like glue to your head if you give Livingston a chance.

The Tower and The Fool - How long

The Tower and The Fool - How Long (2012) Run For Cover Records
Produced by Mike Poorman
Tracks : 1.Dive bar 2.Scoliosis 3.Broken 4.Fade away 5.How long 6.Me heart is dead in NYC 7.Valentine´s day 8.Breach 9.Die alone 10.Who does she think she is
3 out of 5

Richmond, Virginia is the home for The Tower and The Fool, "How long" is their debut album and it´s a nice affair of Americana and roots rock for fans of Gin Blossoms, Wilco and Counting Crows. The album is varied of upbeat, midtempo and laid back acoustic songs. I think they´ve got a warm sound and I do enjoy their soft tracks like "How long", "Who does she think she is" and the single "Scoliosis". But the best track is the catchy "Dive bar" that bring thoughts to Goo Goo Dolls, what a wonderful song it is. The album is produced by drummer Mike Poorman (ex.Hot Rod Circuit) and I think he really nailed it, the sound suits these songs just perfect.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hasse Fröberg Musical Companion - Powerplay

Hasse Fröberg Musical Companion - Powerplay (2012) Reingold Records
Produced by Tomas Bodin / Hasse Fröberg
Tracks : 1.My river to cross 2.The world keeps turning 3.The final hour 4.Waves 5.Venice CA 6.Is it ever gonna happen 7.White butterfly 8.The chosen ones 9.Godsong
3,5 out of 5

The Flower Kings lead vocalist Hasse Fröberg and his side project Musical Companion follows up the 2010 debut "Future past" with a mighty fine progrock album in April, the new one is called "Powerplay" just like the 1985 song by AOR band Prophet. These 9 new tracks grows, it took 3-4 spins before I started to enjoy the entire album because at first I only liked a couple songs but it´s not so strange since there are some lengthy songs around 10 minutes. Fans of The Flower Kings will dig this album but also fans of Yes, World Trade and Magellan will love it. The more pop-esque "Venice CA" is excellent as well as the instrumentation of "The final hour", I like the soundcape of the passionate "Godsong" that is just as colorful as the leaves in fall.

Jon McLaughlin - Promising promises

Jon McLaughlin - Promising promises (2012) Razor and Tie Records
Produced by Jon McLaughlin
Tracks : 1.Promising promises 2.You never know 3.Summer is over 4.The atmosphere 5.What I want 6.I´ll follow you 7.Maybe it´s over 8.If only I 9.Falling 10.Without you now 11.My girl tonight 12.These crazy times 13.Wool over eyes
3,5 out of 5

The super talented singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin is standing on his own feet on his 3rd album "Promising promises", his former label Island encouraged Jon to work with outside writers and producers on his 2 first albums "Indiana" (2007) and "Ok now" (2008) and the result put Jon on the music map of the world. Great stuff! But this time around, Jon has written and produced the new album all by himself and it´s a really strong album where several songs have hit potential such as the title track (which was written while Jon was still on Island), the duet with Xenia Martinez on "Maybe it´s over" and the road trip song "Without you now" that sounds like something Bryan Adams and Richard Marx could´ve written. The first single "Summer is over" is one of the highlights along with the majestic "The atmosphere", that song is my personal fave by the way. Make sure to write down May 22nd in your calendars since it´s the day of release!
(this is a new version with extra added tracks of the 2011 independent album "Forever if ever".)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Molotov Jive - Storm

Molotov Jive - Storm (2012) Supernova Records
Produced by Sylvia Massy
Tracks : 1.A kiss for good luck 2.Waiting for dreams 3.Friendship 4.Manhattan 5.29 6.Just leave 7.Run 8.Heart on the line 9.Take me in your arms 10.No words 11.Sleep safe
3,5 out of 5

After releasing the 2 albums, "When it´s over I´ll come back again" (2006) and "Songs for the fallen apart" (2009), the Swedish indie rock band Molotov Jive thought it was time to take another step soundwise. They hooked up with San Fransisco producer Sylvia Massy (Tool) and recorded their new album "Storm" in USA, this time they´ve got a much rawer and heavier rock sound but still with traces of Britrock and new wave. I really like the distorted bass and the production is spot on stadium rock. Perhaps it´s time for their big break since they are touring with Glasvegas and the single "Friendship" has started to create a buzz in the music industry. This is without doubt a strong album and I do smile when I hear moments of A Flock of Seagulls in their melodies. Thumbs up!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Royal Hunt - Heart of the city, Best of 1992-1999

Royal Hunt - Heart of the city, Best of 1992-1999 (2012) Scarlet Records
Produced by Andre Andersen
Tracks : 1.Running wild 2.Kingdom dark 3.On the run 4.Clown in the mirror 5.Making a mess 6.Time 7.Tearing down the world 8.Silent scream 9.Fear 10.Sea of time
4 out of 5

Now talk about Danish dynamite! The pompish Royal Hunt reunited with original singer DC Cooper in 2011 and released their 11th studio album "Show me how to live" after fans requests around the world. The band has been on several different labels such as Magna Carta, Century Media, Marquee Avalon, Frontiers and Scarlet Records who is releasing the compilation "Heart of the city, Best of 1992-1999" that contains songs from their first 5 albums. To be considered by many fans as their best work. Sure, their albums with the singers John West and Mark Boals truly had their moments but I agree that Royal Hunt´s early albums are their strongest. DC Cooper is also my favorite singer in RH, this 10 track collection is living proof that not even CSI can argue about. Some of these albums are also hard to get these days so I welcome this album with open arms.

Dar Williams - In the time of gods

Dar Williams - In the time of gods (2012) Razor and Tie Records
Produced by Kevin Killen
Tracks : 1.I am the one who will remember everything 2.This earth 3.I have been around the world 4.The light and the sea 5.You will ride with me tonight 6.Crystal creek 7.Summer child 8.I will free myself 9.Write this number down 10.Storm king
3 out of 5

Dar Williams is highly praised by well known news papers in the states as one of the very best singer/songwriters in America today. She is set to release her 9th studio album "In the time of gods" on April 17th and this time she worked with producer Kevin Killen who has worked with such giants as U2 and Peter Gabriel. This is the first album since the 2008 album "Promised land", there was also a retrospective 2 disc set called "Many great companions" released in 2010. Dar is celebrating 2 decades as a record artist and her new album is a warm and spiritual affair, you will find highlights like the single "I am the one who will remember everything" and the Stevie Nicks-like "Summer child", not to mention the hauntingly beautiful "I will free myself". Fans of Dar Williams won´t be disappointed to hear this album, it´s as solid as a rock.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bible of the devil - For the love of thugs and fools

Bible of the devil - For the love of thugs and fools (2012) Cruz del sur Music
Produced by Mike Lust
Tracks : 1.Sexual overture/Away 2.Out for blood 3.Raw and order 4.The parcher 5.I know what is right 6.Anytime 7.Can´t turn off the sun 8.Yer boy 9.Night street
2 out of 5

No this is not a black metal band, the Chicago based Bible of the devil is more of a straight ahead rocknroll band with traces of NWOBHM. They debuted with "Firewater at my command" in 2002 and has released 5 more albums with "For the love of thugs and fools" as the latest one, this record sounds very honest with a live sounding production even if it´s quite obviously a low budget thing we´re talking about here. They write decent songs but the album lack a bit of heaviness, the Thin Lizzy-like "Anytime" is one of few highlights along with the opener "Sexual overture/Away" that bring thoughts to D.A.D. Other bands that comes in mind while listening to "For the love of thugs and fools" are, More and Tank. I guess Bible of the devil feel more at home on stage.

Mark Davis - Eliminate the toxins

Mark Davis - Eliminate the toxins (2011) Saved By Radio Records
Produced by Lorrie Matheson
Tracks : 1.How many angels? 2.Eliminate the toxins 3.Waste no tears 4.Go to ground 5.In the waters 6.Dragons 7.A good one 8.Let the world know where you are 9.Dream 10.Throw it away 11.Wounded wing
2,5 out of 5

The Canadian artist Mark Davis started out in the band Old Reliable that he recorded 4 albums with, Mark is now a solo artist with "Eliminate the toxins" as his 3rd release. His music leans towards rootsy folk rock but with a psychedelic twist, imagine a mix between R.E.M, Blow Up Hollywood, Neil Young and Radiohead and we´re close to the sound of his latest album. The album start really promising with the 3 best tracks where the title track is my personal fave, but it gets a little too folky halfway through the album and the songs are also weaker. Track no.5 "In the waters" is a bit charming with it´s 60´s feel a la The Byrds. There are some nice moments on the 2nd half like the upbeat indie rock of "Dream" but not enough to give the album 3 out of 5, however the first three tracks are really good.

Robert Lamm - Living Proof

Robert Lamm - Living Proof (2012) Blue Infinity Records
Produced by Trent Gardner.
Tracks: 1.Out of the blue 2.Arise 3.Bells 4.On the equinox 5.Those crazy things 6.Keep the faith 7.Living proof 8.I confess 9.Liquid sky 10.On the equinox (Jive remix)
3,5 out of 5

67 years old Robert Lamm joined Chicago in the summer of love of 1967 and is the songwriter behind hits like "25 or 6 to 4", "Does anybody really know what time it is" and "Saturday in the park". Robert´s solo debut "Skinny boy" came out in 1975 and this year, his 7th solo album "Living proof" gets a release. We´re talking pure westcoast music here that will ofcourse appeal to fans of Chicago, especially when you listen to fine songs like the amazing opener "Out of the blue", "Keep the faith" and the AOR-ish "I confess". Robert worked with Trent Gardner (Magellan) on the production and there are other impressive names in the credits such as Hank Linderman - Guitar (Timothy B Schmit, America), Robert Berry - Bass and Jason Scheff - Background vocals (Chicago). I must admit that I haven´t been that much of a fan of Lamm´s earlier solo work but this album is damn fine, he´s 67 and still going strong.