Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mos Generator - Nomads

Mos Generator - Nomads (2012) Ripple Music
Produced by Tony Reed
Tracks : 1.Cosmic ark 2.Lonely one Kenobi 3.Torches 4.Step up 5.Solar angels 6.For your blood 7.Can´t get where I belong 8.Nomads 9.This is the gift of nature
3 out of 5

The U.S trio Mos Generator released their self titled debut in 2002 but went on a 3 year long hiatus after the previous album "Destroy! The Mos Generator" (2008). The band is fronted by Tony Reed on guitar/vocals and he´s backed up by Scooter Haslip - Bass and Shawn Johnson - Drums, they are heavily influenced by Black Sabbath but sounds more like modern hard rock bands such as The Sword, Wolfmother and Graveyard. The new album "Nomads" is really solid from start to finish where the highlights are "Step up" and the Kiss-like "Solar angels". Mos Generator is more about riffs than radio ready choruses, one thing for sure - rock like this will never die.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Go For Launch - Frequency change

Go For Launch - Frequency Change (2012) Independent
Produced by Go For Launch
Tracks : 1.The Catalyst 2.Judgement day 3.Impossible apology 4.Severed 5.Subject to change 6.Figure me out 7.Something major 8.Dont make the man 9.Dead by dawn 10.To the intolerant
3 out of 5

The East coast rockers Go For Launch are influenced by jazz, pop, rock, R&B and progressive rock. Well you can see, there´s a lot to expect while listening to their new record "Frequency change". But they won´t sell a lot of copies with this dreadful artwork, on the other hand, the music is so much better than the album cover. This band is groovy, they´ve got the funk and they´ve got some good songs too. Imagine a mix between 311, Spin Doctors, Smash Mouth and RHCP and you´ll get Go For Launch. I think it´s quite charming to blend 90´s modern rock with 80´s funk, this is without doubt a solid album that should´ve had one or two smashes. I miss that killer song, but I can´t find any fillers either which is good.

Clear For Takeoff - Line of fire

Clear For Takeoff - Line of fire (2012) Independent
Produced by Rob Freeman
Tracks : 1.No more hate mail 2.Seeing is believing 3.Second street part 2 4.It takes two to make an accident 5.Key to the city 6.Voices
3,5 out of 5

The U.S based pop punk band Clear For Takeoff released their debut "Wake the city" in 2010 but the new album "Line of fire" is the first album I hear with the band. Their sound is refreshing and feels both sunny and bright, I´m a sucker for vocal harmonies and piano melodies in the pop punk genre so this 6 track EP is more than welcome in my house. "It takes two to make an accident" would do just perfect on a Fall Out Boy album while "Key to the city" bring thoughts to Green Day, in other moments they remind of Yellowcard. Thumbs up for a great EP.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Get Well Cards - Pretty solid science

Get Well Cards - Pretty Solid Science (2012) Flop Culture Records
Produced by Get Well Cards
Tracks : 1.It´s not the city 2.Radio static
3 out of 5

The Illinois based trio Get Well Cards are influenced by Alkaline Trio, The Gaslight Anthem and The Menzingers. We only get 2 tracks on their latest EP where one is rather mediocre and the other one really good, I think "It´s not the city" is a poor new wave/indie rock song while "Radio static" has more power and a sounds like a punk rock anthem. I would´ve wanted to hear a few more tracks to get a better impression of this band´s music, if they can pull off some more songs in the "Radio static" style, then we´re talking. The other song is a dead end street.

Damned Pilots - Spaced out

Damned Pilots - Spaced Out (2012) Independent
Produced by Bardy / Damned Pilots
Tracks : 1.Believe me now 2.My word 3.Make my day 4.Believin in 5.Sleeping in the fire 6.The masonic rite of Ynnoc O.
3 out of 5

Damned Pilots is a cool band from Italy, they describe their sound as doom pop and I think it´s rather suitable. Their new "Spaced out" EP contains 2 covers and 4 original tracks, the EP opens with an odd cover in E.L.O´s "Believe me now" from their "Out of the blue" album. I think it´s a great choice and their version sounds really nice, the other cover is WASP´s "Sleeping in the fire" which suits the band just fine. Damned Pilots own songs goes in the same style but with traces of Rob Zombie and Hawkwind, this is space metal so to speak. The best song is "My word", the chorus kick ass. The calm "Believin in" is almost psychedelic and progressive, a grower for sure. Give this band a chance.

Hatebreed - The Divinity of Purpose

Hatebreed - The Divinity of Purpose (2013) Razor and Tie Records
Produced by Hatebreed / Zeuss / Josh Wilbur
Tracks : 1.Put it to the torch 2.Honor never dies 3.Own your world 4.The language 5.Before the fight 6.Indivisible 7.Dead man breathing 8.The divinity of purpose 9.Nothing scars me 10.Bitter truth 11.Boundless 12.Idolized and vilified
3,5 out of 5

Hatebreed has become one of the biggest metal bands in North America with more than 1 million albums sold, the new album "The divinity of purpose" is their 6th album and the follow up to the self titled album from 2009. The very same year, Hatebreed also released the covers album "For the lions". And while waiting for the new album to arrive, fans got new music from frontman Jamey Jasta when he released his solo album "Jasta" in 2011. And like before, Hatebreed doesn´t hold back on these new songs. They put the pedal to the metal and deliver their brutal metal with lots and lots of attitude, who can say no to massive tracks like "Indivisible" or the single "Honor never dies"? The title track is another highlight where Jasta shows the power in his lungs, play it loud folks. Fans will be more than pleased to hear classic Hatebreed metal in songs like "Put it to the torch" and "Boundless", time to headline the big festivals I believe.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Homeless Hill - Invincible

Homeless Hill - Invincible (2012) Independent
Produced by Homeless Hill
Tracks : 1.Break away 2.Hold me close 3.Broken bones 4.Oddball 5.They don´t know 6.Invincible 7.Die alone 8.Pirates 9.It´s just the wind 10.Wasting gasoline
2,5 out of 5

Georgia based Homeless Hill got some airplay of their debut album "Set it on fire", they follow up with the 10 track album "Invincible" that contains a load of traditional modern rock with a southern rock flavor and even traces of postgrunge. The songs are quite good and Darin Curtis is a great singer, I really dig the southern rock tendencies on this album but would´ve liked to hear a clearer mix. The riffrocker "Broken bones" is the strongest track on the new album, I also dig the Ace Frehley-like guitar solo in the melodic "Oddball". The semi ballad "They don´t know" sounds like a mix between 3 Doors Down and Oasis, a good song. I think it´s a decent album from a band that sounds a bit average I´m afraid.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Winter Passing - Scrapbook

The Winter Passing - Scrapbook (2013) View From The Attic Records
Produced by The Winter Passing
Tracks : 1.1990 2.Crooks 3.Feels like forever 4.Feels like yesterday 5.Gold blend part 1
2,5 out of 5

The Winter Passing is a group of friends from Ireland that started this band in January 2012, the very same year they released a split EP with Forrest and in early 2013 their debut "Scrapbook" EP will be available in the U.S and Europe. This is a short EP where some tracks are only 1-2 minutes long, the track "Gold blend part 1" is available as free download at bandcamp and it´s a nice song but not the best one here. I dig "Feels like forever" more, I really like Kate Flynn´s voice on those two songs. I think it´s cool that TWP blend varied genres such as folk, emo and punk. However, I would like to hear the bass higher in the mix because this EP lack of power. A good start for the band though, they sound like they´re ready to take it one step further on the next release.

The Bolts - Wait ´til we´re young

The Bolts - Wait ´til we´re young (2013) Bolts Broadcasting Co Music
Produced by Guy Eckstine
Tracks : 1.Tell me 2.Walk away 3.Takin´ on the night 4.Wait ´til we´re young 5.Caving in 6.The truth 7.Play the music 8.Don´t let me go 9.This can´t be real 10.Our love can change the world 11.We may fall
3,5 out of 5

When I reviewed California based The Bolts debut "Fall" EP in 2012, I gave it 3,5 stars and embraced their adorable mix of classic rock, 80´s pop and modern rock. The band continue with their winning formula on the debut full length "Wait ´til we´re young" that will be available Feb 12th, all 4 songs from the EP are included here along with 7 brand new songs. We´re talking radio friendly music where the powerpop side of the band bring thoughts to The Click Five and when they pull off some impressive 4-part harmonies in a dance rock suit, I think of The Killers meets Beach Boys. The title track should be released as a single because it´s highly infectious but my favorite is "Play the music", quality orchestral pop on the menu! Ohyes. The ballad "Our love can change the world" is beautiful while the catchy "Caving in" is a true pop punk gem. This is a safe buy folks.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Jamie Woolford - A framed life in charming light

Jamie Woolford - A framed life in charming light (2013) Get Well Records
Produced by Jamie Woolford
Tracks : 1.Safe, warm and boring 2.No contact 3.Julie 4.She´s on fire 5.The miracle mile 6.A framed life in charming light 7.Rock beats money 8.A framed life in charming light 9.Death and taxes 10.Gravity 11.This isn´t goodbye 12.Short term memory
4 out of 5

Right now, the album of the week here at my blog and what an album it is, Jamie Woolford´s new solo album "A framed life in charming light"! This is a wetdream for fans of Jellyfish, The Beatles, Queen and E.L.O. Smart harmonies and supercool chordchanges are all over this album from start to finish, of course we know what a great producer and songwriter Jamie is from his previous bands The Stereo and Let Go but you will find some of his best songs on "A framed life in charming light". This is a smorgasbord of classy melodies and you will discover new favorites all the time but right now I´m a sucker for "The miracle mile", "No contact" and "Short term memory". Definitely a contender for the Best of 2013 album list.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vinnie Caruana - City by the sea

Vinnie Caruana - City by the sea (2013) I Surrender / Run For Cover Records
Produced by Steve Choi
Tracks : 1.Somehow the world keeps turning 2.Boy, you´re in heaven 3.To be dead and in love 4.City by the sea 5.If I´m a battleship, then you´re the northern lights (thank you) 6.Kingwood
3,5 out of 5

New Yorker Vinnie Caruana (The Movielife, I Am The Avalanche) was inspired by the Hurricane Sandy that hit Vinnie´s home of Long Beach in late 2012, and the lives that was affected, on his debut solo "City by the sea" EP. I truly dig the sound of this EP because we get a bit of Bruce Springsteen´s storytelling spirit but in the suit of an acoustic version of The Clash, the songs are well arranged and I love the energy in Caruana´s voice. Caruana ain´t afraid of blending varied genres like new wave, hardcore, punk and folkrock but I must say that the result is more than satisfying and the songs doesn´t sound shattered at all. Songs like "Somehow the world keeps turning" and "Kingwood" are perfect in a small club, the catchy "Boy, you´re in heaven" should be released to radio because it gets stuck in the head like superglue. My favorite though is the beautiful "City by the sea", I don´t mind putting it on repeat. Highly recommendable!

Lexie Roth - Lexie Roth

Lexie Roth - Lexie Roth (2012) Independent
Produced by Lexie Roth
Tracks : 1.Lost memory 2.Stay or go 3.Forget all about me 4.Ghost of childhood 5.I have to leave you 6.Little one 7.I wanna run 8.Call you my hon 9.I´ll be 10.Windfield 11.Country diddy
3 out of 5

No wonder Lexie Roth became a musician when she grew up in a musical home with famed guitarist Arlen Roth as her father, Lexie is also featured on the brand new Les Paul tribute album along artists like Keith Richards, Slash, Billy Gibbons, Steve Miller and more. The music on her latest album "Stay or go" is reminiscent of 70´s classic singer/songwriters such as Carly Simon with traces of Suzanne Vega and even some jazz, Lexie is a great singer and I especially love her voice in songs like "I´ll be" and "Stay or go". Other memorable tracks on this album are "Lost memory" and "Call you my hon", my thoughts go to a gentle breeze of a warm day in spring when I listen to Lexie Roth. Other albums available with Lexie : "One long blink", "Landscape".

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Octaves - Greener Pastures

Octaves - Greener Pastures (2013) Topshelf Records
Produced by Octaves
Tracks : 1.Fix the fernback 2.Be angry at the sun for setting 3.I´ve got boxes full of pepe 4.Anaconda squeeze 5.I am he who he is called I am 6.I´m just going to the corner for some cigarettes 7.Shmohawk 8.Absent kids count
3 out of 5

The debut album "Greener Pastures" from Octaves was first released on CD back in 2010 but will be available on vinyl in February this year from Topshelf Records, this Baltimore based hardcore band deliver an entertaining album with only 8 tracks where some are rather short. The music is very rhythmic and quite experimental at times, Octaves have been compared to Dillinger Escape Plan but I would like to add King Crimson and Devo into the mix as well. "I´ve got boxes full of pepe" sounds like a hardcore version of King Crimson which is cool, you might not find that many moments that bring thoughts to Devo rather than a few crazy guitar licks but that´ll do. "Fix the fernback" is by far the best song here, I love the phrase "meanwhile in Metropolis........". These guys are as far away from being mainstream as a band can get. Keep up the good work lads.

Bolder Damn - Mourning

Bolder Damn - Mourning (2012) Shadow Kingdom Records
Produced by Bolder Damn
Tracks : 1.BRTCD 2. Got that feeling 3.Monday mourning 4.Rock on 5.Find a way 6.Breakthrough 7.Dead meat
3 out of 5

Florida based hard rock band Bolder Damn´s only album was originally released in 1971 and considered to be a cult album among heavy metal fans, the band formed in 1967 and split up shortly after this album. Soundwise they´re somewhere between Steppenwolf, Grand Funk Railroad and Blue Cheer. I was surprised to hear such great harmony vocals on this album because most hard rock bands back then focused on just a lead singer except Uriah Heep. There´s a lot of 60´s vibes over this album similar to bands like Yardbirds and The Doors but mainly it´s a riffrocking affair quite heavy for this time, I can understand why Stoner rock bands look up to this album. The album´s alive and electric! It´s cool that Shadow Kingdom Records reissued the album on CD last year.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ted Russell Kamp - Night owl

Ted Russell Kamp - Night Owl (2013) PoMo Records
Produced by Ted Russell Kamp
Tracks : 1.Smile alone 2.Right down to the wire 3.Another love song 4.Fireflies 5.A whole lot of you and me 6.The last drop 7.Santa Ana winds 8.At the end of the day 9.My songs for you 10.I been watching you 11.My heart has a mind of it´s own 12.Where out west 13.When the radio goes dead 14.Another love song (Tulsa style)
3 out of 5

Ted Russell Kamp is hardly a newcomer in the music business, he released his debut album in 1996 and his 7th studio album "Night Owl" is set to be released in January 2013. This record is written and recorded on the road in different locations such as L.A, Nashville, Tulsa and Helsinki, Finland. Ted says about the new album "It´s more of a late night relaxing listen than many of my other records" and I can only agree, you can almost imagine yourself sitting in the hotel room next to Ted when he´s singing songs like "My songs for you" and "My heart has a mind of it´s own". Ted likes to blend varied genres like Americana, Country and Folk Rock and the result is quite comfy and enjoyable. His passionate vocal performance lifts the music and there are moments when he reminds of Van Morrison, this is a good album where my favorites are "Smile alone", "Santa Ana winds" and "When the radio goes dead".

Karnya - Coverin´ thoughts

Karnya - Coverin´ thoughts (2013) Bakerteam Records
Produced by Karnya
Tracks : 1.Mechanical mixtures 2.Flooding blood 3.Coverin´ thoughts 4.Wait4more 5.Fallen angel 6.Stronger 7.Where the silence remains 8.Sliver 9.Hariel 10.Ego´s end 11.A paraphreniac menticede 12.Still alive?
3 out of 5

Karnya is a new progressive metal band from Rome, Italy. With members from Utopia and Zen, their debut "Coverin´ thoughts" is a well arranged album performed by impressive musicians and a strong vocalist in Fransesca Naccarelli. They´re influenced by 70´s prog, modern metal and classical music, I think this lengthy album could´ve been 10 or 15 minutes shorter because it´s quite demanding for the mind to take in such massive and technical parts for more than an hour. Dream Theater warning here! Although I think Karnya sounds more like Circus Maximus, Frameshift and Sun Caged. The title track is awesome and the 15 minute long "A paraphreniac menticede" is a splendid progmetal journey, I think the short piece "Hariel" is really beautiful and the powerful "Where the silence remains" stand out too. A standing ovation for the excellent musicianship once again.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Heimdall - Aeneid

Heimdall - Aeneid (2013) Scarlet Records
Produced by Heimdall
Tracks : 1.Prologue 2.Forced by fate 3.Save you 4.Waiting for the dawn 5.Ballad of the queen 6.Funeral song 7.Underworld 8.Gates of war 9.Hero 10.Night on the world 11.All of us 12.Away 13.The last act
2,5 out of 5

The Italian powermetal band Heimdall released 4 albums between 1998-2004 and then took a break for 8 years and the comeback album "Aeneid" in 2013, it´s a concept album about the fall of Troy and the birth of the new state that later became Rome. This is a well performed powermetal album with traces of symphonic metal and even celtic folk melodies, although I can feel that Heimdall gets caught in the trap of cliche´s once in a while. You´ve pretty much heard most of these song ideas before with other bands like Stratovarius and Rhapsody of Fire, however I really dig some songs on "Aeneid" like "Save you", "Ballad of the queen" and "Hero". The band sounds really tight and the production is faultless. I´m not familiar with their early albums but I guess that their fans will appreciate their new album a lot.

Ugly Kids Club - Rain & Bones

Ugly Kids Club - Rain & Bones (2013) Independent
Produced by Steve Wilson
Tracks : 1.Rain 2.Bones
3 out of 5

Ugly Kids Club is a cool duo featuring Steve Wilson - Instruments/Vocals and Aliegh Shields - Vocals/Guitar, Steve Wilson has produced bands like The Juliana Theory and Jonezetta earlier but is now focusing on his new band Ugly Kids Club. They have already released 6 songs last year that are available as free download at their website, early this year their new 2 track EP "Rain & Bones" will be out and it´s a complete soundsoup of electronica, industrial rock and pop. The guitars on "Bones" truly feels like they´re in your face, the song can be described as a collaboration between White Stripes and Imperiet. I like the tempo changes. The first song "Rain" ain´t as overdistorted as "Bones" but more calm and quite colorful, the sound is still big and the chorus is stronger on "Rain" than the 2nd track. My favorite track with this band is the electro pop tune "Get it all", available on Amazon. Check it out because it´s infectious.

Mothership - Mothership

Mothership - Mothership (2013) Ripple Music
Produced by Kent Stump
Tracks : 1.Hallucination 2.Cosmic rain 3.City nights 4.Angel of death 5.Win or lose 6.Elenin 7.Eagle soars 8.Lunar masters
2 out of 5

Mothership is a Texas based trio founded by the brothers Kyle - Bass/Vocals and Kelley Juett - Guitar/Vocals, their self titled debut album was self released in 2012 but gets a proper release in early 2013 by Ripple Music with a new booklet. We´re talking 70´s rock here with traces of NWOBHM, imagine Black Sabbath meets Diamond Head with a touch of Kyuss and you´ll get Mothership. This album sounds like it could´ve been released back in 1974, I really dig some of their riffs but the lack of memorable songs drag down the overall rating of the album I´m afraid. The vocal part sounds uninspiring but on the more positive side, guitarist Kelley pull off some serious axework here and there. Perhaps they should get a new lead singer?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

M.I.C - 5th Avenue

M.I.C - 5th Avenue (2013) Independent
Produced by Yvon Serre
Tracks : 1.Let me in 2.What you mean to me 3.Cos it´s you 4.Serial killers 5.Rockin´ rollin´ it 6.Miracle of life 7.Ain´t no way 8.Sweet Christeen 9.No harm to you 10.Back in time
2 out of 5

Yvon Serre and his band M.I.C certainly don´t lay on the sofa takin´ it easy because their 5th album "5th Avenue" is released only 6 months after the 4th album "On all 4´s" from 2012. Their previous album was good too, their best album along with the 2nd one "Out 2 rock" (2010). But with their latest release, "5th Avenue" I have to criticize Yvon Serre a bit. I begin to think I´m listening to the same record over and over again because it´s the same production on all their albums and Yvon uses the same song structure on the major part of his songs. And it feels like he´s recycling the same melodies and chord changes too, I would like to hear a more daring record the next time. The track "Serial killers" stand out, it´s the best song on the new album. The upbeat rocker "Rockin´ rollin´ it" is quite good too, straight ahead rocknroll that will work live on stage. But I´m disappointed with the rest, this is the weakest album so far from M.I.C.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Digital Noise Academy - Digital Noise Academy

Digital Noise Academy - Digital Noise Academy (2013) Independent
Produced by Ken Andrews
Tracks : 1.Thursday night party 2.Melting inside 3.Star clusters 4.Gone cold 5.Synemy 6.What´s left 7.Circulation 8.Stop running 9.Touch
3,5 out of 5

This is a cool project of musicians and producers from California, USA. Digital Noise Academy started recording music back in 2009 but it wasn´t until 2012 when they launched a kickstarter campaign to record the entire debut album. Behind DNA are Ken Andrews - Vocals/Keyboards (Failure, Year of the Rabbit), Charlotte Martin - Vocals, Jordan Zadorozny - Guitar (Blinker The Star), Sharky Laguana - Guitar (Creeper Lagoon), Fernando Sanchez - Drums (Volumen Cero) and Justin Meldal-Johnsen - Bass (Beck). There´s a lot of talent and pro-musicianship in this album, you can´t hardly complain about the production because it´s not raw or medium, this is WELL DONE! But I find it hard to describe the sound of DNA, the music is rather varied with traces of different genres such as artpop, postrock and electronica. "Synemy" is a very beautiful song with those typical Charlotte Martin vibes, while "What´s left" bring thoughts to Sting. Other tracks sounds like a mix between Moby and Beck, and I´m no fan of "Thursday night party" but "Melting inside" and "Star clusters" are really good songs. Want your daily dose of Ken Andrews? Then check out the awesome "Circulation", how cool isn´t that tune?

The Jealous Sound - A Gentle Reminder

The Jealous Sound - A Gentle Reminder (2013) Rise Records
Produced by John Lousteau
Tracks : 1.Beautiful morning 2.Change you 3.Promise of the west 4.Your eyes were shining 5.This is where it starts 6.Here comes the ride 7.Equilibrium 8.Perfect timing 9.A gentle reminder 10.Waiting for your arrival 11.Full rewind 12.Got friends 13.Broad shoulders 14.Turning around
3 out of 5

The 10 track album "A gentle reminder" was originally released in early 2012 but Los Angeles based The Jealous Sound signed to Rise Records late last year and in Feb, 2013 they are re-releasing the album with 4 bonus tracks. Including the new track "Full rewind" and a remix of the "Got friends" EP from 2008, the album features Nate Mendel on bass from Foo Fighters but the current bassplayer is Jeremy Tappero of Gratitude. The Jealous Sound is fronted by Blair Shehan on vocals/guitar and he´s got a really nice voice, he´s such a great melody maker in songs like "Beautiful morning", "Change you", "Equilibrium" and the title track "A gentle reminder". The song "This is where it starts" even bring thoughts to The Jam, but don´t be fooled that this is a new wave oriented album because The Jealous Sound will appeal more to fans of indie rock and emo. For fans of Jimmy Eat World and Saves The Day. I don´t think the songs off the "Got friends" EP match the first 10 tracks, the new song "Full rewind" is good but not as good as the highlights I mentioned above.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Oria Aspen - Yellow paint

Oria Aspen - Yellow paint (2011) Rainbow´s Revenge Records
Produced by The General
Tracks : 1.Be my rock star 2.Over the rainbow 3.Party song 4.Yellow paint 5.Lucky to be me 6.What a wonderful world 7.Burn up in flames 8.Mental 9.Get back 10.Scars 11.Forbidden love 12.It´s you 13.Last song 14.Heartbreaker
2 out of 5

Oria Aspen was only 15 years old when she started writing songs for her debut album and she was 17 when "Yellow paint" was recorded, it´s an impressive line up of musicians on this album such as Shawn Pelton - Drums (Shakira, Pink), Jeff Kazee - Keyboards (Asbury Jukes), Scott Healy - Keyboards (Conan O´Brien) and legendary rocker Southside Johnny in a vocal duet with Oria on Louis Armstrong´s classic "What a wonderful world". That´s the only cover on Oria´s debut album, the rest is written by Oria and the music can be described as a mix between Teen Pop and Country Rock. She is a talented singer where she shows in radio ready songs like "Be my rock star" and the punk flavored "Party song", the ballad "Over the rainbow" is quite beautiful but she needs to get rid of childish songs like "It´s you" and "Mental". The AOR-like "Heartbreaker" is pretty good though, it´s a decent album but she needs more mature songs on the next album.

One Way State - The Right Time

One Way State - The Right Time (2012) Independent
Produced by One Way State
Tracks : 1.Riot 2.Midnight hour 3.Unsaid 4.The chase 5.Cycle 6.Rust
3,5 out of 5

"The right time" is the 2nd release from Canadian modern rock band One Way State, this is a good one too. I really like their 90´s modern rock with traces of powerpop, there aren´t that many bands around today that sounds like One Way State. Back in the 90´s, you´d find a new band in every corner of the world every other week but the music climate is different today and only a handful bands pop up in this genre. The first track "Riot" could´ve been an unreleased Foo Fighters song, I love the guitar riff in this one. The following 2 tracks "Midnight hour" and "Unsaid" sounds like a mix between Splender and Third Eye Blind, strong hooks in both choruses. The only track I don´t care that much about is the laid back "Cycle" that feels like a filler here. A great band that will be performing at the 2013 Canadian Music Awards.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Carnival Kids - The Carnival Kids

The Carnival Kids - The Carnival Kids (2013) Independent
Produced by Adam Ciminello
Tracks : 1.Daily miracle 2.Bitter holding 3.Love on demand 4.Just my reflection 5.Drive me crazy 6.Hey California 7.Pretty words 8.Midnight soul 9.Where were we going 10.Straight down the road 11.Hit my head 12.As I might seem 13.Better off running 14.Save my love 15.What are we waiting for 16.How often where we singing
3,5 out of 5

It sure took a while to listen through the 16 track debut album from Adam Ciminello aka The Carnival Kids, this would´ve been a double album back in the vinyl days. But I am impressed by the high quality of the album´s 16 songs, I can only find a couple of filler tracks like the rap flavored pop of "As I might seem" and the mediocre "Save my love". The rest is soo good, The Carnival Kids is an album of 70´s pop meets 90´s modern rock with traces of soul. Imagine Paul Carrack collaborating with Five For Fighting and the spirit of Billy Joel. I just love the opening track "Daily miracle" where Adam Ciminello´s vocal harmonies are right on spot, not to mention the following "Bitter holding" which is my favorite track at the moment. Upbeat stadium pop that will make any crowd stand up and cheer along, other highlights are "Hey California" and "Pretty words" where my thoughts go to Swirl 360. This album will be available in February.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ground Level Falcons - Ground Level Falcons

Ground Level Falcons - Ground Level Falcons (2012) Electric Soil Recordings
Produced by Stew Kirkwood
Tracks : 1.....Slowly into water 2.The heard said to the brain 3.Keep things the same 4.Lost at sea 5.Connections are made, only to be broken 6.Cease/Desist 7.The further infection 8.Sweet summer rain 9.Staring at blank paper 10.No amount of whiteout 11.Penguins
3 out of 5

The Canadian band Ground Level Falcons formed in late 2011, featuring members from Vox Humana and Axiomatik. Their self titled debut is a solid album where the sound can be described as R.E.M meets Matthew Good with traces of Neil Young, we´re talking artrock here with a touch of Americana and indie rock. The opening track "....Slowly into water" bring thoughts to Maroon 5 but it´s the only track with those pop vibes, the 2nd track "The heart said to the brain" sounds more like how the rest of the album is. Great vocals from Matt Gardiner. "Lost at sea" is a beautiful indie rock tune while "Connections are made, only to be broken" is more progressive with Failure-like harmonies. I like this band.

Juggernaught - Bring the meat back

Juggernaught - Bring the meat back (2012) Independent
Produced by Juggernaught
Tracks : 1.Bad idea 2.Train 3.The storm 4.Beef or chicken 5.Back door woman 6.Booty call 7.Bring the meat back 8.Follow the scent of the musky brisket 9.Wors 10.One of them days 11.Paint it brown
2 out of 5

I´m not sure that you can take a band seriously with an artwork like "Bring the meat back", I mean, is this another comedy rock band like Green Jelly (remember their "Three little pigs"?). Well, uhm.....Juggernaught from Pretoria, South Africa, is just as serious as ZZ Top. They just like to sing about food I guess. This 4 piece rocknroll band likes to blend southern rock, funk and hard rock. I think this album sounds like a crossover between Molly Hatchet, Ugly Kid Joe and Clutch. They make groovy bluesrock songs and are definitely great performers but I just don´t dig their singer Herman, he should sing in a heavy metal band like Tank instead. But thumbs up for the awesome riffs on this record, they rock. Juggernaught released their debut album "Act of goat" in 2009 for the ones interested.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Otep - Hydra

Otep - Hydra (2013) Victory Records
Produced by Otep
Tracks : 1.Rising 2.Blowtorch nightlight 3.Seduce and destroy 4.Crush 5.Hematopia 6.Necromantic 7.Quarantine 8.Voyeur 9.Apex predator 10.Feral game 11.Livestock 12.Hag 13.Theophagy
3,5 out of 5
Otep has decided to go out with a bang on her last studio album "Hydra", whether she will just continue to perform live or simply retire from the music business hasn´t come to my attention yet. She has worked on a novel for 2 years about a girl facing the horrors on a barbaric island, the album "Hydra" is based on that novel and from what I can hear via the music, it truly sounds like a soundtrack for a horror movie. Otep has managed to capture the suspense in the studio, I can only believe what a suggestive thriller this could be if it was a film. The music has depth and the scary vibes would certainly make Alice Cooper proud. I didn´t understand a thing the first two times I listened to the record but now I get it all, put on your headphones and turn off the light. I promise you that you will be a part of the story standing beside the girl Otep´s singing about. She has put a lot of hard work in this album, so don´t just listen to it one time and put it away.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dyonisis - Intoxicated EP

Dyonisis - Intoxicated EP (2013) Singed Records
Produced by Dyonisis
Tracks : 1.Arachne´s song 2.Eve´s song 3.Of the fear 4.Smart mouth 5.Hunted
2,5 out of 5

I felt a bit confused when I received Dyonisis new EP in my mailbox, first I thought it was the Swedish power metal band Dionysus that had spelled their name wrong but it wasn´t. This is a band from Sheffield, England that formerly was called Dawn. Their self titled debut album came out in 2007 and it was followed by the 2nd full length "Intoxicated" in 2010, this February the new "Intoxicated" EP is released and it contains 4 tracks off the latest album and the track "Hunted" from the first album so it´s more of a compilation. I´d like to call their music light prog with goth tendencies, my thoughts go to bands like Clannad and Dream Aria while listening to songs like "Eve´s song" and "Arachne´s song". It´s comfy music where the celtic vibes are never far away, they are a bit heavier in "Of the fear" but the production is too digital, however they´ve got a great vocalist in Nel. Nice.

Akarusa Yami - Trace Element Rebirth

Akarusa Yami - Trace Element Rebirth (2013) Independent
Produced by James Dunkley
Tracks : 1.Life, the venomous way 2.Gottfried raised my hand 3.Heritage Legacy 4.The sound of dying star 5.Incognito unaware 6.A simple decision
2 out of 5

Nottingham based Akarusa Yami takes the listener on a weird musical adventure on their 2nd EP, among their influences we find Meshuggah, Strapping Young Lad and Fear Factory. I wouldn´t exactly say the songs are radio friendly because this metal armageddon sounds like Frank Zappa hanging out with Venom and Keith Moon on speed behind the drumkit. Then in the middle of it all, we get the Ultravox-like "The sound of dying star". However, the major part of the songs can be described as death metal in it´s early era but in a crazy way. I can´t say it´s a total flop either because I kinda like their hysterical sound, the doom-ish "A simple decision" is pretty good.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Red Rose - On the cusp of change

Red Rose - On the cusp of change (2013) Scarlet Records
Produced by Tommy Hansen
Tracks : 1.When roses faded 2.Chasing freedom 3.King of the local crowd 4.Original sin 5.Alone in the night 6.This bitter world 7.Dont believe these tales 8.Seize the day
4 out of 5

Red Rose from Israel released a good debut album in "Live the life you´ve imagined" in 2011, I gave it 3 stars at and described it as symphonic metal. In February this year, their follow up "On the cusp of change" will be available and it´s truly a much better album than the first one. This time, they´re more of a pomp rock band in the same vein as Phantom´s Opera and Rox Diamond but also some Stryper-esque vocals. Don´t expect any AOR in this album however, Red Rose has more in common with early Uriah Heep than Styx on this album if we talk AOR-ish pomp rock. The best tracks are "When roses faded", "King of the local crowd" and the excellent ballad "Seize the day". Great album!

Sink Swim - Heights

Sink Swim - Heights (2013) Independent
Produced by Bob Curtin
Tracks : 1.Tides 2.Move me 3.Perfect on paper 4.Pull together 5.Heights
3 out of 5

The Los Angeles based trio Sink Swim sounded a bit too much like kids on their debut "Elements" EP from last year but to my joy, they have matured on their 2nd "Heights" EP. I know that it hasn´t gone longer than a year for this young band but the songs are stronger here, the new EP sounds rougher and I´m glad they´re home soundwise. Sink Swim should definitely continue writing more songs in this genre with traces of pop/punk and emo, none of these 5 tracks stand out but on the other hand, the EP is solid all the way through. It´s a beautiful artwork and I dig the atmospheric guitars on the opening track "Tides", now we only want that killer hit single.

Continents - Idle hands

Continents - Idle hands (2013) Victory Records
Produced by Continents
Tracks : 1.224 2.Idle hands 3.Pegasus, Pegasus 4.Inhale 5.Land of the free 6.Sheeps in wolves clothing 7.Regrets 8.Loathe 9.Trials 10.Exhale 11.Truth and lies 12.Lion´s den
3,5 out of 5

Wales is the home for many great rock bands such as Budgie, The Blackout, Lostprophets, Funeral For A Friend, Bullet For My Valentine and Kids In Glass Houses. You can now also add Continents to that list, their new album "Idle hands" is as explosive as nitroglycerin and heavy as a planet. If you´re into tempo changes, big budget produced metal, smart riffs and an "end of the world" soundscape, look no further because "Idle hands" is your album. Continents truly have a huge sound, even in a song like "Loathe" when there´s only one clean guitar, it sounds really big. This band is praised by the press as one of the best new metal acts from U.K, and when I hear songs like "Land of the free" and "Pegasus, Pegasus", I´ll join the salutes!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pinnick Gales Pridgen - Pinnick Gales Pridgen

Pinnick Gales Pridgen - Pinnick Gales Pridgen (2013) Magna Carta Records
Produced by Mike Varney
Tracks : 1.Collateral damage 2.Aliens and angels 3.For Jasmine 4.Hang on, big brother 5.Wishing well 6.Hate crime 7.Lascivious 8.Black jeans 9.Sunshine of your love 10.Been so high 11.Me and you 12.The greatest love 13.Frightening
4,5 out of 5

Now, they don´t call themselves a new supergroup, the trio of Pinnick Gales Pridgen but to me, that´s just what they are. dUg Pinnick (King´s X), Eric Gales (Eric Gales Band) and Thomas Pridgen (ex.The Mars Volta) are up there in the same league with new supergroups as Chickenfoot and Black Country Communion. Since King´s X is on hiatus after drummer Jerry Gaskill´s heart attack last year, dUg Pinnick isn´t lying around on the sofa taking it easy. He, guitarist Eric Gales and drummer Thomas Pridgen deliver a brilliant record that sounds like a mix between King´s X, Living Color and Black Country Communion. There´s a lot of soul in this record, let me tell you and dUg Pinnick sings like a god. I just love the jam factor in songs like the 10 minute long "Been so high" and the Cream cover "Sunshine of your love". Thomas Pridgen is just the groovy drummer this band needs, listen to his Keith Moon-ish drumming in tracks like "Black jeans" or "Lascivious". Not to mention, Eric Gales fantastic six string work in every single song, imagine a reborn Hendrix cloned with Brian Robertson of Thin Lizzy and you´ll get Gales riffs and solos. My favorite tracks? Well, they are quite a few, but right now, they are "Collateral damage", "Aliens and angels" and "Wishing well".

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Fall City Fall - Victus

Fall City Fall - Victus (2013) Victory Records
Produced by Fall City Fall
Tracks : 1.St James 2.Dissentipede 3.Anxiety attack 4.Bitter end 5.Lovebirds 6.Many masters 7.Many lives 8.Shallow believer 9.Dead saints 10.Taken 11.Victus
3 out of 5

I don´t know that much about the town Calgary in Canada more than they arranged the winter Olympics in 1988, their hockey team is called Calgary Flames with famous players like Kenta Nilsson, Theoren Fleury and Jarome Iginla and it´s the hometown for cool bands like Kiros and Zuckerbaby. So I wouldn´t exactly be a winner in a quiz about this town. But I can now add the hardcore band Fall City Fall to that information with their debut album "Victus" that is released early 2013. We´re talking hardcore with no compromises here, expect no pop choruses with clean vocals, they go screamo all the way. The guitar riffs in songs like "Dissentipede" and the new single "Lovebirds" are awesome, I also dig the instrumental "Many lives" a lot. There´s a lot of energy in this band, I bet they kick ass live. You can check out a clip of "Anxiety attack" on youtube and it pretty much speaks for the entire album. The only problem I have with this album is that the band tend to get a bit chaotic once in a while, however I´m sure the fans love it.

Onlap - The Awakening

Onlap - The Awakening (2012) Autoproduction
Produced by Onlap
Tracks : 1.Out of my way 2.The awakening 3.From dust to ashes 4.Still alive 5.Whispers in my head 6.The awakening (acoustic)
3,5 out of 5

There are a few great sources if you want a fresh injection of active rock in your veins, you can either google active rock chart and find the best selling singles in the states or be a frequent visitor at websites like alternativeaddiction, rockaccess or Fred Marques blog Rest in Peace. The French modern rock band Onlap debuted with "A leap in the dark" in 2009 and on New Years Eve 2012, they follow up with the strong 6 track "The Awakening" EP. They sound like they´re aiming for the active rock charts with songs like "Still alive" and "Out of my way", for fans of Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin and Nickelback. Must certainly a well deserved spot as the Album of the week at Palace of Rock, thumbs up for the edgy and crispy production too.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Idols For Dinner - Tenant of a declining world

Idols For Dinner - Tenant of a declining world (2012) M & O Music
Produced by Idols For Dinner
Tracks : 1.I sell you that world 2.Legally instituted murder 3.Perpetual decline 4.Scarlet 5.Prosthetic memories 6.We the lost travellers 7.Mask of sorrow 8.District of fear
2,5 out of 5

Idols For Dinner call their music "deathcore", mainly because they blend everything from hardcore to deathmetal and even extreme metal. The music is a bit technical as well, perhaps not as technical as Gojira but IFD sure knows how to handle their instruments."Tenant of a declining world" is a brutal record that feels a bit uneven but there are a couple of great tunes here like the instrumental "We the lost travellers" and the supertight "Prosthetic memories". This band´s got potential and since the French metal scene is coming on strong, I bet IFD will be a part of it too in the future to come.

Pendact - Days of war

Pendact - Days of war (2012) M & O Music
Produced by Willdric Lievin
Tracks : 1.Intro (walk alone) 2.Lies and hypocrisy 3.Betrayal 4.The last judgement 5.Sacrament 6.Northern stars 7.Pendact 8.Day of war 9.Silent nightmare
2 out of 5

"Days of war" is the debut album from French melodic death metal band Pendact, they´re heavily influenced by Scandinavian metal with bands like In Flames, At The Gates and Stratovarius. You´ll hear traces of powermetal and folkmelodies in their deathmetal sound, the album is well produced and well performed but the lack of strong material makes this album a bit uninteresting to listen to. "Lies and hypocrisy" is ok and there are a few moments here and there that stands out but the band should work harder on nuances for the next record. You don´t have to fire on all cylindars all the time.

The Plot In You - Could you watch your children burn

The Plot In You - Could you watch your children burn (2013) Rise Records
Produced by Landon Tewers
Tracks : 1.Premeditated 2.Fiction religion 3.Digging your grave 4.Population control 5.Troll 6.The devil´s control 7.Shyann weeps 8.Sober and soulless 9.Bible butcher 10.Glad you´re gone
3,5 out of 5

Ohio based metalcore act The Plot In You doesn´t hold back on their 2nd album "Could you watch your children burn", this is metal with a big M. If 2012 was the year for Parkway Drive and their critically acclaimed album "Atlas" in the metalcore genre, 2013 has every chance to belong to The Plot In You. Their debut "First born" took them out to support Whitechapel and Emmure, this year they´re ready to take it one step further and become an even bigger name. Tracks like "Troll", "Premeditated" and "Sober and soulless" are gigantic riff constructions. Singer Landon Tewers is not kidding around, he´s dead serious and angry for real when he shouts out the words "Fuck your dumb tattoo" in "Shyann weeps". The melodic "Glad you´re gone" is quite catchy and a possible single contender, this is stadium rock my friends.
I don´t get the track "The devil´s control" though, it sounds like something that´s still in it´s first stage on the writing board. But it´s just a small detail in a big tasty metal cake.

Wiht - The harrowing of the north

Wiht - The Harrowing of The North (2013) Devouter Records
Produced by Wiht
Tracks : 1.The harrowing of the north 2.Orderic vitalis 3.End of the reign
3 out of 5

The artwork for Leeds based trio Wiht´s new release of "The harrowing of the north" on vinyl, looks like something out of a Japanese horror movie. There´s nothing wrong with the picture, the album cover looks just like that. This was released on CD in 2012 but only with two tracks, the band has added a 3rd track for the vinyl version in February on Devouter Records. What we´re dealin´ with here is instrumental doom rock, a whole lot psychedelic and with the word fuzz written all over the guitar riffs. I come to think of the Swedish band Truckfighters on a date with Hawkwind anno 1971 doing a tribute to the band Trouble, a perfect soundtrack for the miners that are working in huge rock drill machines. You haven´t heard anything like this before, I promise. Mainstream rockers should take an aspirin before listening to the 20 minute long title track, I love unexpected noise so I welcome Wiht with open arms. But it wasn´t an easy task to review this 40 minute long 3 track album.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Cylew - Black lace prophecy

CyLeW - Black Lace Prophecy (2012) Adore Records
Produced by Arnaud Bascunana
Tracks : 1.Erase the scars 2.Survivor 3.Dizzy 4.Stop 5.Progress 5.The good, the bad, the evil 6.Holding on 7.Fall to pieces 8.Near or far 9.Need your touch 10.Silent alarm 11.Strike the match 12.Resistance
4 out of 5

It´s interesting how you can get a different opinion about an album after you´ve heard one track that didn´t impress at first, I posted a link to the song "Need your touch" on my blog Palace of Rock in December from CyLeW´s new album "Black lace prophecy" and it was ok but not really convincing. However, I´m glad I decided to hear the entire album because CyLeW is a talented artist and a great songwriter. Just check out the beautiful video of "Survivor" on youtube, you can almost touch the vibe from this moving song. The music is dark but romantic at the same time, and in some moments also mysterious which suits me just fine. "Fall to pieces" is a perfect example of this mix, I didn´t discover this song the first two times I heard the record so it´s definitely a grower. I love the thing that CyLeW ain´t afraid of bringing in varied influences in her music from goth to electronica and new wave to modern rock. The 4th track "Stop" is so good I close my eyes and dream away, amazing synthmelody! Also available with CyLeW is the 2008 album "No more sleeping, no more beauty".

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Left - Day one

The Left - Day One (2006) Feels Right Music
Produced by The Left
Tracks : 1.Lead 2.All I need 3.Mayday 4.Eleanor 5.Pilot 6.Famous for falling 7.Clear as a bell 8.Longer/stronger 9.Matt street 10.Anything but love 11.Dream is she 12.Lost and low 13.Memory 14.Brighter day
3 out of 5

Vancouver, Canada is the home for many great rock artists such as Prism, Heart, Headpins, Loverboy and Bryan Adams. It is also the hometown for The Left, this band formed in 2002 and released their debut album "Day one" in 2006. Influenced by The Beatles and Coldplay but sounds more like a mix between Steve Miller and Travis, their follow up "Roses aren´t good enough" came out in 2007 and recently they released their 3rd album "Cycles" in 2012. "Day one" is a hard to get album these days but if you get a chance to stumble over a copy at eBay, buy it. The Left definitely rock harder than Travis and Steve Miller but the harmonies are quite similar, there are moments when they remind of PFR too. Not all 14 tracks are good but the major part of the album is more than nice, this was the last "old but fresh" review for a while. Now let´s get back to new releases again.

The Lifeline - For all who triumph

The Lifeline - For all who triumph (2006) Independent
Produced by The Lifeline
Tracks : 1.Beginnings 2.Parting is such sorrow 3.The four rooms 4.Mystery 5.And they still search 6.Honesty 7.Leave everything to me 8.Not for nothing 9.Moth to flame 10.I-90 11.Longing for the day 12.Resolution 13.For all who triumph 14.Eye in the sky
2,5 out of 5

The Lifeline is a progrock band from Chicago founded by singer/guitarist Ryan T Hope and Rebecca Faber on violin, their debut album "Where there is life, there is hope" came out in 2005 and the year after the follow up "For all who triumph" was released. The band has also released a 3rd album called "Reflections of hope" in 2011. This is what I would like to call modern prog, it´s really cool with the violin that bring thoughts to bands like Kansas and U.K but soundwise, The Lifeline has more in common with Coheed and Cambria and  A Perfect Circle. Or why not a progressive version of The Smashing Pumpkins. I don´t think the opening of the album is as strong as it should be, the best tracks come in the mid-section of the album such as "Leave everything to me", "Not for nothing" and "Moth to flame". Also check out Ryan T Hope collaboration with Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo on the track "You wont see the light" for the Underworld : Awakening Soundtrack in 2012.
The Lifeline had a great concept with World War II for "For all who triumph" but it´s far from a triumph musicwise.