Saturday, September 28, 2013

81db - A blind man´s dream

81db - A blind man´s dream (2013) Bakerteam Records
Produced by 81db
Tracks : 1.Manicomium 2.Sirens 3.When the cat´s away 4.Vanessa´s box 5.House rules 6.Food for thought 7.Electroshock 8.Alien invasion 9.Insane wishes 10.The great escape 11.A blind man´s dream
2 out of 5

Here´s a band that has opened for Deep Purple and worked with producer Sylvia Massy Shivy on their previous album "Impressions" from 2010.
The Italian band 81db sure has a unique sound where they blend progressive metal with folkmusic and even experimental rock, the music is technical and a bit adventurous but their weak link is their lead singer. This would be so much better with a stronger vocalist, because they´re great musicians and got some cool ideas.
81db sounds like a mix between Superior, Skyclad and Odd Dimension. In some moments like "Alien invasion" and "Electroshock", they also bring thoughts to System of a down. I really like the 7 minute long "Manicomium" and the melodic "Sirens", but like I said, I´m not too fond of their singer.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shortcuts : Chris Pickering , Pedaljets , Sorronia

Chris Pickering - Circles (2013)
"Circles" is the 2nd of 3 EP´s released in a year from Australian singer/songwriter Chris Pickering, the first one "Corners" was released in Sept 2012 while the latest one "Canyons" is coming this fall. Pickering´s songs have roots in 60´s pop, alternative country and indie pop. The opening track "Circles" and "Slip in time" sounds like The Who meets Crowded House while the following "Trivia" has traces of Travis and Semisonic, the acoustic "Broke my own heart" is more of a folk-ish alternative country song but I prefer the title track over this one. His voice is reminiscent of Ben Folds in some moments which is nice, this is a decent EP from a talented artist.
2,5 out of 5

Pedaljets - What´s in between (2013)
The Kansas based rock band Pedaljets formed in 1984 and toured non stop in the 80´s supporting bands like The Replacements and Flaming Lips. They released two albums, "Today today" in 1988 and "Pedaljets" in 1989 before they parted ways in 1990. Two decades went by and in 2009, the band reunited for a few shows and decided to write songs for a comeback album that resulted in "What´s in between". I like this album because of the old school punk-ish garage rock sound, my thoughts go to bands like The Jam, Iggy Pop and Eddie and The Hot Rods.
The best tracks are "Change", "Terra Nova" and "Measurement". So why not check em out on Spotify.
3 out of 5

Sorronia - Words of silence (2013)
Here´s another female fronted symphonic metal act in the same vein as After Forever, Epica and Within Temptation. The Hungarian band Sorronia formed in 2011 and signed to Bakerteam Records for the release of their debut album "Words of silence", it´s well produced and well performed but the songs lack of strong hooks. I did try to get into this album and listened a few times to it but the music just don´t move me at all. Anna Kiraly is a good singer and I love the bombastic intro but then the album fails to maintain the same quality. Except for the song "Shattered", the rest just don´t have the same class.
2 out of 5

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hearts and Hands - My own machine

Hearts and Hands - My own machine (2013) Artery Recordings / Razor and Tie
Produced by Stephen Hawkes
Tracks : 1.Intro 2.The chosen ones 3.Close your eyes 4.Dirty little lies 5.My own machine 6.Faithless 7.Faith 8.Come home 9.Let go 10.Leave it all behind 11.The sun always rises 12.Faith (acoustic)
4 out of 5

Their self titled EP from 2012 was just a starter of something great to come, Utah based Hearts and Hands raised the bar for their debut full length "My own machine" and managed to score big time. It´s all about melodies here and this band doesn´t hold back when it comes to revealing their strength of knockout choruses in a futuristic sound. I did complain about the lack of variety in the songs on their EP but that has changed for the better on this 12 track album, from the opening of the powerful intro that will ignite any crowd to the arena rock of "Faith" which is available in 2 versions - both acoustic and electric. Other favorites on the smashing record are "The chosen ones" and "The sun always rises", I am truly impressed by this album and love the way that they feels like a heavier Fall Out Boy.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Arliss Nancy - Wild American Runners

Arliss Nancy - Wild American Runners (2013) Black Numbers Records
Produced by Arliss Nancy
Tracks : 1.Benjamin 2.Troubadour 3.Nathaniel 4.Nothing to show 5.Both get old 6.Hold it together 7.Directions never hold 8.Caols 9.Bloodletter 10.Wild American Runners 11.The GB shuffle 12.Vonnegut
3 out of 5

Interested in some traditional working class rock? Well, Colorado based Arliss Nancy´s new album "Wild American Runners" takes the listener through a soundscape of punkish roots rock with Americana flavor that can be described as Bruce Springsteen meets early Goo Goo Dolls. Arliss Nancy formed in 2007 and has released 3 full length albums and 2 Ep´s but the new album is the first one I get to hear with this 5 piece band. If you´re into bands like Deaf Havana and Gaslight Anthem, you should take a moment to listen to "Wild American Runners". It´s solid all the way with no fillers in sight, I especially dig tracks like "Nathaniel" and "Hold it together". Grab a beer, sit back and relax to this really nice rock band.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Shortcuts : Pi Jacobs , Atlanter , Handsome Foxes / Unifier

Pi Jacobs - Urbanicana (2013)
"Urbanicana" is a suitable title for Pi Jacobs 5th album, the music is straight forward roots rock with a touch of Americana and even some country on the side. She´s like a male Tom Petty in some moments but there are also songs where my thoughts go to Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt, she´s got a great voice that feels like blueberry pie with vanilla sauce. I checked out a few live clips on youtube and she sounds just as great live. I´m not fond of all 6 songs but I really dig "Kickaround", "Mrs Oneill" and "Trying to be loved". The last one was also featured in ABC´s hit show "Pretty little liars".
Fredo Ortiz of The Beastie Boys is playing drums on all songs which is cool so why not head on over to Spotify and taste some blueberry pi.
3 out of 5

Atlanter - Vidde (2013)
I was surprised to hear the sound of this album from Norwegian band Atlanter, being a listener to their debut album "Vidde" is like being a ball in a musical flipper game. You are thrown between varied styles like world music, delta blues and krautrock.
Their songs are both experimental and artsy but let me tell you, it may sound like a musical soup to your eyes but it works. The playing is excellent and the production is wonderful, I love the big bass not to mention the enchanting guitar licks.
This band definitely got a unique sound that can be described as mix between Talking Heads, Muddy Waters, Oingo Boingo with Robert Fripp on guitar. Start with the song "More juice than Zeus" and if you like that song, you´re ready for the rest.
3,5 out of 5

Handsome Foxes / Unifier - F+U (2013)
"F+U" is a new split EP from Autumn and Colour Records with the emo/alternative rock bands Handsome Foxes and Unifier. Both bands contribute with 3 new songs each where I dig Unifier a bit more, I really don´t like the production on Handsome Foxes 3 tracks because it´s a bit messy and too much garage-like punkish emo that is rather disturbing. However, Unifier feels more interesting with a sound influenced by Jimmy Eat World, Brand New and Foo Fighters. Their "Supernouveau" stand out here but I think "Masks" and "Settling" are quite okay too, thumbs up for the raw guitardriven sound on their 3 tracks. Perhaps I should check out their full length "Colorado" from 2013 which is available on bandcamp. But I will skip the "Don´t care" EP (2012) from Handsome Foxes.
2 out of 5

Saturday, September 21, 2013

King Washington - The Overload

King Washington - The Overload (2013) Independent
Produced by Alex Pfender
Tracks : 1.The Overload 2.Land without age 3.Nobody´s journey 4.Terrible affection 5.You let it go 6.If you wanna get high 7.Don´t expect my love 8.You´re a cat 9.The legend of Red Mohagany 10.Old highway 9 11.The cinemas
3,5 out of 5

Even though I haven´t heard the whole debut album "The Gears" from L.A based King Washington, I really did enjoy their 2011 single "Bawl and change" and must say that I´m a big fan of their new album "The Overload". Their music is a crossover of classic rock of the 70´s and modern folk rock, at times they´re like a indie rock version of Mott The Hoople and in other songs they sound like a mix between Kings of Leon and Bleu. "Old highway 9" could be an unreleased song by Mumford and Sons while the single "Don´t expect my love" bring thoughts to David Bowie. Other highlights are "The cinemas", "The Overload" and "Terrible affection". The harmonies are first class and I can only say that if you´re a fan of artists like The Nines, Mika Viola and Jackdaw 4. Buy this at once!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Rublood - Star Vampire

Rublood - Star Vampire (2013) Bakerteam Records
Produced by Rublood
Tracks : 1.Star vampire 2.Heart 3.Through the looking glass 4.Electro starfuckers 5.Rainfall 6.True blood 7.Policy of truth 8.Negative bride 9.Goth love 10.Ignition 11.In love we trust
3 out of 5

Want a dose of dark metal from Turin, Italy? Then look here, because Rublood´s debut album "Star Vampire" is a nice synth metal affair, influenced by bands like Rammstein, To Die For and Deathstars. Their song "Through the looking glass" is featured in the Warner Bros film "Studio Illegale" and it´s also one of the highlights along with the massive "Heart". Thumbs up for the really great cover of Depeche Mode´s "Policy of truth", you shouldn´t be afraid of deathmetal growls and techno inspired loops because you get it all on this album.
Recommended if you like Ruoska, Raubtier, Deathstars

Canto - Ride away

Canto - Ride away (2013) Independent
Produced by Canto
Tracks : 1.Old and new 2.You know 3.Dirty water 4.Gasoline 5.Steel toe boots
2,5 out of 5

The Los Angeles based trio Canto is made up of three brothers with "Ride away" as their 2nd release, I did a review of their debut "Hahaha" EP last year and thought it lacked of memorable songs. This time around, the playing is a bit better as well as the music but they still got things to improve. I do like the 70´s rock of "Steel toe boots" and find the Britpop of "Dirty water" quite charming, track no.4 "Gasoline" sounds like it was handmade for a new Tarantino movie. Cool. This EP might do the trick for you if you´re into bands like Arcade Fire and Franz Ferdinand.
The first two songs feels a bit mediocre but like I said, they´re headed in the right direction.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Polaris Rose - The moon and it´s secrets

Polaris Rose - The Moon & It´s Secrets (2013) Independent
Produced by Polaris Rose
Tracks : 1.Chartreuse 2.Dreamers 3.Oceana sleeping 4.The end of all things
3 out of 5

Peter Anthony and Madelynn Elyse are Polaris Rose, this Los Angeles based duo has chosen the moon and it´s secrets as the title of their new EP and what can I say, I love the title. There´s a bit of mystique in the title as well as the music, you could call it romantic pop too and I bet Peter and Madelynn wouldn´t mind. What we get is a mix of indie pop, 90´s alternative rock and electronica where my thoughts go to bands like Ash, Fono and Belle Histoire. The new single "Chartreuse" opens the EP in a grande way, it was actually the first song that moved me when I heard all 4 tracks. But the other songs grow for each time I listen to "The moon and it´s secrets", another song that has opened up my eyes is the more rocking "The end of all things". They´re stuck in the midtempo lane and could´ve added at least one upbeat song, perhaps we´ll get it when they announce their next release?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Incredible Me - Est 2012

Incredible Me - Est 2012 (2013) Artery Recordings / Razor and Tie
Produced by Colby Wedgeworth
Tracks : 1.Oh yeah....I lied 2.Sexy out loud 3.From the ground up 4.Where dreams are born and time is never planned 5.Call Trevor (337-0626) 6.Untouchable 7.Tastes like heaven, burns like hell 8.Incredible monster 9.Divine departure 10.Moments from melodies
3,5 out of 5

Sacramento based Incredible Me spent two years in the making of their debut album "Est 2012" and the hard work paid off in a luxurious record that made me happy. They blend hardcore with pop and metal, you can expect everything from screamo to clean vocals, headbanging riffs to radio ready choruses and even R&B beats. This is an entertaining album with plenty of strong hooks but also massive metal that will eat Manowar for breakfast. I love all songs but my personal faves are "Sexy out loud", "Call Trevor" and "Where dreams are born and time is never planned".
Recommended if you like Dead By April, That´s Outrageous, Abandon All Ships

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Vicinity - Awakening

Vicinity - Awakening (2013) Pug-Nose Records
Produced by Vicinity / Jens Bogren
Tracks : 1.Mass delusion 2.Opportunities lost 3.Across the river 4.Walk all the way 5.The time for change 6.Awakening
3,5 out of 5

I remember reviewing Norwegian band Vicinity´s first EP "Diffusion of innovation" from 2008, that they had some great ideas but needed to work on their performance. Well, I can tell you that these guys from Trondheim did their homework from start to finish. The band sound really tight and the vocal performance is much better from Alexander Lykke, the songs are stronger where the 15 minute long "Opportunities lost" is a real joy to hear but it´s hardly the best song here. The new single "Mass delusion" is splendid all through while "Across the river" is old school prog deluxe, amazing stuff. Another highlight is the more modern progmetal of "Walk all the way" where they show what great musicians they are.
They sound a bit like Sieges Even meets Fates Warning with a touch of Marillion.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Chimpz - Who can I trust

The Chimpz - Who can I trust (2013) Independent
Produced by Ryan Greene
Tracks : 1.Victim 2.Corrupt 3.Killing me 4.Who can I trust 5.Mr.44
3 out of 5

When you think of the rapmetal genre, some people start to think of Limp Bizkit which aren´t the best ambassadors for this genre that had it´s peak in the 90´s.
The L.A based The Chimpz truly knows how to rock with a crossover of hip hop and metal, "Who can I trust" is their 3rd album in 6 years and it was completed already in 2011 but not released until this year. Their music have been featured in Sons of Anarachy and can be compared to bands like Hed PE, Hollywood Undead and P.O.D. We´re talking rock with attitude, very rhythmic where they deliver both groovy riffs and melodic choruses. Highlights : Mr.44, Who can I trust

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kathleen Haskard - Where the land meets the sky

Kathleen Haskard - Where the land meets the sky (2013) Independent
Produced by Chuck Prophet
Tracks : 1.I´ll be your fool 2.Untangle this thing 3.Drama in the dark 4.All your glory 5.Where the land meets the sky 6.Flyin´ blind 7.When I´m gone 8.Mother of Earth 9.Maquina 501 10.Please delete me
2,5 out of 5

London based singer/songwriter Kathleen Haskard had the honor of singing backing vocals in the choir on Neil Young´s "Living with war" album and Neil Young is also one of her biggest influences along with Patti Smith, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell. She has released 3 albums including the latest one "Where the land meets the sky" and according to Kathleen herself, she calls her music folk-noire. There´s definitely a lot of folkrock in her sound but in a bluesy way, plus you can add some Americana into the mix as well. She´s got a deep voice which you can hear in songs like "I´ll be your fool" and "All your glory". At times, her music bring thoughts to Tanita Tikaram but in a roots-rock flavored style. I do enjoy songs like "Drama in the dark" and "Please delete me" where Kathleen proves what a great lyricist she is but I think the entire album is too laid back.

Prey On The Fallen - Prey On The Fallen

Prey On The Fallen - Prey On The Fallen (2013) Independent
Produced by Ryan Greene
Tracks : 1.Prey on the fallen 2.Sherman´s march 3.Complete hypocrisy 4.Last breath 5.Vultures to flesh 6.Present time 7.Hotel California 8.Chain reaction 9.Creed to the greed 10.War
3,5 out of 5

Now this is a great debut album from Los Angeles metallers Prey On The Fallen that blend classic hard rock with heavy metal, perfect in these times when autotune pop is taking over the charts around the world. Are you a fan of Godsmack? Then you should absolutely check out this 10 track album with killer songs like "Complete hypocrisy" and "Vultures to flesh", and how often do you get to hear a heavy metal version of Eagles hit "Hotel California"? Prey On The Fallen do it good and I really like their re-make. I think "Last breath" would be much suitable for the next Terminator Movie Soundtrack, that song is so powerful with macho riffs and a nice intro. Highly recommendable and also for fans of Angels of Babylon and The Jupiter Tide.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Borderline : FIRE - This Trojan State

Borderline : FIRE - This Trojan State (2013) Independent
Produced by Sam Burden / Borderline : FIRE
Tracks : 1.Mark up 2.Chains 3.Nicki 4.Trojan 5.Speak for me 6.Brainwash
3 out of 5

Borderline : FIRE is an electro rock band from Reading, U.K that debuted with the single "I wanna go" in 2011, now 2 years later their debut "This Trojan State" is released in Sept. They´re influenced by Biffy Clyro, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Muse and Foo Fighters but have developed their synthoriented sound into trendy active rock more towards bands like Sick Puppies and Cherry S/T. I really dig the new single "Chains" here plus the opening track "Mark up" is a cool rocker, it´s a well performed EP but I miss one or two more killer songs. But they´re definitely worth checking out.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Through Colour - Somnium

Through Colour - Somnium (2013) Independent
Produced by Through Colour
Tracks : 1.Daydream 2.Lost 3.Ink 4.Broken 5.Till the end
3,5 out of 5

If I had a record label, the unsigned British rock band Through Colour would be one of the first I´d sign. They sound fresh even though their music has a big 90´s modern rock flavor over it combined with pop punk, these guys write really good songs that I just can´t seem to get tired of hearing. The first single "Daydream" is available on youtube and it´s yummy for my ears but it´s hardly the best song on this 5 track EP that comes out on Sept 30th. The closing track "Till the end" is huge, my thoughts go to  Neve while the other songs has more in common with bands like Blessid Union of Souls and Anberlin. The groovy "Ink" gets stuck to my head like superglue.
Also available : Dream in black and white (mini album)

Shortcuts : Courtesy Drop , Harem Scarem , Coney Hatch

Courtesy Drop - Songs to drive to, cry, and make love to (2013)
The American band Courtesy Drop wrote songs for their new album to drive to, cry, and make love to. Well, the music is certainly filled with despair so I´m totally for the crying part but not easily convinced about the idea of making love to these songs? I think the album´s a bit uneven and do feel it´s a bit too long, there are some great moments like the tracks "Dormant dreams", "Appleseeds from ash night" and the beautiful "Not all those who feel pain are hurt". But I get a little bored after a while, you can hear traces of both Joy Division and Refused in their post punk-ish sound. I do like the melancholic vibes but I won´t go as far as checking out their previous album "What makes this place worth calling our home" from 2011. I think it´s enough with this 13 track record.
2 out of 5

Harem Scarem - Mood swings II (2013)
Just like Twisted Sister that celebrated their 20th anniversary of the 1984 album "Stay hungry" with a re-recorded version in 2004 called "Still hungry", the Canadian band Harem Scarem does the same thing and has re-created their classic 1993 album "Mood swings" from scratch and added 3 new tracks. So what´s the point? Well, for starters, Harry Hess and Co don´t own the rights to the original album and wanted to earn a few bucks on the 20th anniversary when they are performing "Mood swings" in it´s entirety. They´ve done a great job because the performance is identical and the production is almost as good as the 1993 version. But the thing is, when you want to listen to "Mood swings". Will you pick the 2013 version over the original? I won´t. The 3 new songs "World gone to pieces", "Anarchy" and "Brighter day" are all excellent and proof enough that the band should´ve released a LP of only new songs instead.
But it´s difficult to turn this album down when we´re talking Harem Scarem´s best album.
4 out of 5

Coney Hatch - Four (2013)
The Canadian boys of the reunited Coney Hatch are back with their first album in 3 decades, the band released 3 classic melodic rock albums betwen 1982-1985 where their song "Hey operator" was covered by Aldo Nova on his "Subject" album. There hasn´t been much music coming from the boys of Coney Hatch after these 80´s albums except for a solo album in 1990 from singer/bassist Andy Curran and a couple of solo albums from singer/guitarist Carl Dixon.
The comeback album entitled "Four" contains first class melodic rock in the same vein as the first 3 albums, the first single "Blown away" sounds like Foreigner meets AC/DC and it´s also one of the highlights along with the Cheap Trick-like "Connected" plus the great "Revive" which is classic Coney Hatch. The rocker "Down and dirty" bring thoughts to Bad Company, the Brian Howe era while "We want more" can be described as the Coney boys taking on Led Zeppelin, very cool.
Welcome back!
4 out of 5

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ashestoangels - With tape and needles

Ashestoangels - With tape and needles (2013) Dust and Devil Records
Produced by Ashestoangels
Tracks : 1.The highest choir 2.Dolls dolls dolls 3.Dorian 4.Lumi 5.Wintervention 6.Good things come to those who waste 7.Elsinore 8.SOS 9.Ghost frequency
4 out of 5

I´m really weak for music that has a mix of goth, punk and electronica. I do love the mood in Ashestoangels new album "With tape and needles", you´ll get a dose of autumn in their songs but also some winter. You can say their music has the taste of darkness as well as bright shining daylight at the same time, this British band are experts of writing hookladen choruses and if you just close your eyes - you will be carried away in a beautiful daydream to songs like "Lumi" and "The highest choir". I highly recommend this album if you´re a fan of A.F.I, Vampires Everywhere and Carfax Abbey.
Also available : Most beautiful things are dead LP (2010)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Desolated - Disorder of mind

Desolated - Disorder of mind (2013) Independent
Produced by Desolated
Tracks : 1.Year of the snake 2.Death by my side 3.Suffering 4.Strung up 5.Delusions
3,5 out of 5

You can´t track every single metal band down, it´s impossible. But the Southampton based metalact Desolated have made a mark on the map of metal with their brand new "Disorder of mind" EP. I wasn´t aware of their debut full length "Verse of Judas" so I´m glad I got to hear their new EP, these guys blend 90´s metal with metalcore where the sound is raw and exhilarating. The bass cut through you like a laser and even if they share the same hometown as synthpop hero Howard Jones, their sound has more in common with bands like Thick as blood, American Me and For Today. These guys mean business and I just love the wall of guitars coming at ya in every song, the two tracks "Death by my side" and "Suffering" soundalike but it´s a mere trifle. Thumbs up for the other tracks, just listen to "Delusions" that feels like a steam locomotive headed your way.

Miss Vincent - Creepy

Miss Vincent - Creepy (2013) Independent
Produced by Daly George
Tracks : 1.Deadlock 2.I don´t want this 3.Planning to fail 4.Carry on 5.Testing times
3 out of 5

The bandname Miss Vincent sounds like it could be a glamrock band but they´re not, this U.K based quartet deliver fast punkrock in the same vein as Bad Religion, The Mongoloids and The Sheds. Their debut "Creepy" is well produced and if they sound this good live, they shouldn´t have any problem of getting booked for shows and festivals. The song "Planning to fail" is available as free download at so if you like what you hear, the other tracks on the EP will be much satisfactory too. My favorites are "Deadlock" and "Carry on", and if you want to hear more, you can check out the 2012 single "No one knew". It´s not included on this EP.
Good job lads.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Shortcuts : Save Your Breath , Anna Rose , Tigertailz

Save Your Breath - There used to be a place for us (2013)
Welsh pop punks Save Your Breath debuted with the solid album "Nothing worth having comes easy" in 2009, which was followed by the stronger "Vices" in 2011 and the latest release is the "Recover" EP (2012). Unfortunately, I haven´t heard it. However, fans will be pleased to hear their 4th release "There used to be a place for us" that will be out in October. The new album is filled with catchy and energetic pop punk in the same vein as "Vices". The first single "Lessons" is available as free download at their website, if you dig that tune, you´re in for a treat with the rest. 
This is their first international release and the question is -Are the Americans ready for Save Your Breath? Well, they´ve got the goods and pop punk is still big on the other side of the Atlantic.
I see no reason why they wouldn´t break through, songs like "Abandon", "Maps" and "Skin and bones" are enough infectious to end up on any mixtape.
For fans of Man Overboard, Paper Tigers, All Time Low
3,5 out of 5

Anna Rose - Behold a pale horse (2013)
New York based singer/songwriter Anna Rose grew up in a musical home, her father is Oscar winning Disney composer Alan Menken and she got inspiration from artists like The Rolling Stones, Chrissie Hynde, Little Feat and The Beatles. Her songs have roots in the tradition of 70´s singer/songwriters and blues. Although, she is proud over her first album "Nomad", Anna Rose feels "Behold a pale horse" is her real debut album where she has matured as a songwriter. Anna also believes the new album shows what kind of artist she is from a better side. I´m not all that fancy about her voice even though she´s a talented singer, I´m just not a fan of her voice. However, she does good on songs like "Beautiful world" and the rocker "Electric child". The best track is without doubt "Los Angeles", that´s the peak of the album. Recommended if you like Meredith Brooks, Sheryl Crow and Beth Hart.
2,5 out of 5

Tigertailz - Knives (2013)
Remember 80´s glam metal band Tigertailz? They´re still around alive and kicking but with only one original member left in the band. Lead guitarist Jay Pepper, who´s joined by long time drummer Matt Blackout and the two new members Jules Millis - Lead Vocals and Rob Wylde - Bass. The new "Knives" EP is their first release in 6 years and these guys still deliver 80´s glam metal with no elements at all of being modernized. Even though I think the new songs are hardly groundbreaking, the band still know how to entertain the listener. I do welcome these predictable sleazerock songs, it ain´t easy to write and record music that sounds like it could´ve been done in 1987. Listen to "One life" or "Bite the hand" and you´ll understand what I mean.  I like this.
3 out of 5

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Shortcuts : Jay Stolar , Faith Circus , Sinheresy

Jay Stolar - More than we think (2013)
Are you a sucker for feel-good music? Then here´s what the doctor ordered, New York based artist Jay Stolar puts on a stellar performance on his debut album "More than we think".
He´s got an amazing voice and can carry the songs all by himself, my thoughts go to Paul Carrack, The Carnival Kids and Hall & Oates while listening to this well crafted album. We´re talking pop/rock with lots of soul where the highlights are "Fall apart", "Holding you all through the night" and the new single "Like you do" The summer might be over for now but with Jay Stolar, your summer will last a little while longer.
I think it´s a crime to give this album anything less than 3,5.
3,5 out of 5

Faith Circus - Turn up the band (2013)
A year ago I went to see the Rock of ages musical in London that featured songs from the biggest melodic rock bands in the 80´s, and when I listen to Norwegian band Faith Circus´s new album "Turn up the band", it feels like they wrote songs inspired by the 80´s musical.
Faith Circus released their debut in 2008 and broke up in 2009, just to get back with a new line up a year later. They´ve got a new guitarslinger in HK Rein and a new 4 stringer in Christer Ottesen.
On the first album they had some cool guest artists like Robin Beck, Morty Black, Tony Harnell and Tore Moren. This time around, they handle it all by themselves and the result is predictable party-like 80´s hardrock in the same vein as Bonfire, BlackNBlue and Warrant.
I do like the tracks "Inside the circus" and "Sunshine radio" but the rest only feels mediocre and average.
2 out of 5

Sinheresy - Paint the world (2013)
The Italian band Sinheresy formed in 2009 and started to create music influenced by genres such as gothrock, operametal, classic heavy metal and symphonic rock. They recorded their debut EP "The spiders and the butterfly" in 2011 and signed to Bakerteam Records for the release of their debut full length "Paint the world". The new album has a crystal clear sound thanks to Jens Bogren who mixed "Paint the world", it´s a joy to listen to the production and the orchestral arrangements. The lead vocal part is split between male and female voices which gives the music a whole new perspective compared to female fronted bands like Nightwish, After Forever and Within Temptation. My favorite tracks are "Last fall", "Break point" and "Paint the world".
3 out of 5

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Shortcuts : Sammy Hagar , Touchstone , Robbin Thompson

Sammy Hagar and Friends (2013)
Redrocker Sammy Hagar is celebrating 4 decades of rock with a tour and a new solo album called "Sammy Hagar and Friends", his first since 2008 and this time he has gathered some of the musicians he played with in the past along with some other really cool guest artists. Sammy wanted to use songs from his time in Van Halen but Eddie Van Halen wouldn´t let him so the new album resulted in 10 new songs and a couple of covers of Bob Seger and Depeche Mode.
I think the line up of musicians is far more impressive than the song material, Sammy is joined by members of Montrose, H.S.A.S, Chickenfoot and his band The Waboritas. The music styles vary from blues to southern rock and country to tropicopop, the gospel version of "Personal Jesus" is quite different to the original by Depeche, cool.
The best track is the Led Zep-esque rocker "Father sun", the album would´ve been a lot better if the rest had the same quality. A so-so album from a great artist.
2 out of 5

Touchstone - Oceans of time (2013)
The British progrock band Touchstone debuted with "Discordant dreams" in 2007 and four albums later we have the new release of "Oceans of time" in early October. Produced by John Mitchell (Funeral For A Friend) and with a more guitaroriented sound according to the band. I wasn´t too thrilled about the new album at first but these songs certainly grows for each listen, you will find depth in their music in the same way as Mike Oldfield´s early albums but with a modern approach like Fates Warning meets Dream Aria.
Highlights : Flux, Tabula Rasa, Oceans of time
3 out of 5

Robbin Thompson - A real fine day (2013)
If you don´t know who Robbin Thompson is, I can tell you that he was the lead singer in Bruce Springsteen´s band Steel Mill and released his first solo album in 1976. Now he´s back with the brand new album "A real fine day" which is his first in 6 years, the album includes 8 new songs plus 2 covers of The Beatles "The word" from their Rubber Soul album and the classic "I heard it through the grapevine". Robbin sings like a hero with lots of soul and emotion, it´s a joy to hear him sing on songs like "All along the river James" that bring thoughts to Procol Harum and the bluesy "Heaven´s gonna call you up". I just love his California pop version of Lennon and McCartney´s "The word", not to mention the Eagles-esque "Ain´t love crazy like that" which would make Don Henley real proud to have his name in the songwriting credits.
A real warm album that will make any day, a real fine day.
3,5 out of 5