Thursday, October 31, 2013

Close Your Eyes - Line in the sand

Close Your Eyes - Line in the sand (2013) Victory Records
Produced by Close Your Eyes
Tracks : 1.Deux ex machina 2.Burdened by hope 3.Days of youth 4.Line in the sand 5.Frame and glass 6.Sleeping giant 7.Kings of John Payne 8.No borders 9.The end 10.Higher than my station 11.Skeletons 12.Trends and phases 13.Glory 14.My way home 15.Follow the sun
3,5 out of 5

15 tracks may seem like a lot but several songs on Close Your Eyes new album "Line in the sand" are just over 1 minute and I must say that this album gets better for each time I hear it. I really love their explosive rock that goes from hardcore to metal and even pop punk from one moment to another.
The band has released two albums in 2010 and 2011 but last year, their frontman Shane Raymond left CYE and he was replaced by Sam Ryder Robinson who has contributed with a great vocal performance. There are so many great songs here that I can´t mention them all but some of the best are "Days of youth", "Frame and glass", "Kings of John Payne", "Higher than my station" and the gospel rock of "Glory".
Highly recommendable if you like Woe is me, These Hearts, A.

Vivid Nation - Open your mind

Vivid Nation - Open your mind (2013) Independent
Produced by Vivid Nation
Tracks : 1.Policy 2.Only got yourself to blame 3.Open your mind 4.Time to mend 5.Interlude 6.Calling you 7.Cracks
4 out of 5

Now this is a great new band from Great Britain, Vivid Nation debuted in 2012 with the single "You just gave it away" and follow up with their first EP in December this year. "Open your mind" contains 7 new tracks that not only opened up my mind but also woke me up, these guys combine atmospheric guitars with riffdriven arena rock and the result is stunning. It´s like you get a dose of 90´s modern rock, 80´s new wave and even some progressive rock on the side as well. Vivid Nation´s sound is just wonderful and I can´t say no to tracks like the new single "Policy" or the hauntingly beautiful "Cracks". They truly tear it up with the rocker "Only got yourself to blame" while "Calling on you" is my new favorite song at the moment, you don´t get to hear new music like this everyday now. Bravo.
For fans of Livingston, Manic Street Preachers, Young Guns

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ghost Thrower - Ghost Thrower

Ghost Thrower - Ghost Thrower (2013) Broken Circle Records
Produced by Ghost Thrower
Tracks : 1.Halloween in Brooklyn 2.Lemons 3.Still life with paranoia 4.When are you coming home 5.The unexamined life 6.Illuminatus 7.Dopamine and other divisions of the human condition 8.The king of Louisiana 9.Young luck 10.Apple 11.Worry addled brain
2,5 out of 5

Boston based Ghost Thrower feature members from Therefore I Am, Shipwreck A.D and The Tower and The Fool. They´ve been very productive in 2011-2012 with 4 EP´s released and this fall, their first LP came out with 11 new tracks. What we get is a mix of indie rock, emo and punk where my thoughts go to bands like Brand New, Transit and The Jealous Sound. This is a decent album that takes a few spins to get into, the first single "The king of Louisiana" is not the highlight here even though it´s quite good. I prefer to listen to the opening track "Halloween in Brooklyn" with it´s c-vitamin injection of indie rock plus the punk-ish and grunge-like "The unexamined life" that I really dig. Imagine Nirvana meets The Jam and you´re close to the vibes of track no.5.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

July - What we signed up for

July - What we signed up for (2013) TDR Records
Produced by July
Tracks : 1.Intro 2.What we signed up for 3.West coast pimpin 4.Right here for you 5.Secret is a sleazy word 6.Dance, shuffle, move your feet 7.Counting ducks 8.Eight nine eight 9.Second best 10.To all the kids 11.Collapse
3,5 out of 5

It´s so easy like Toronto based July´s new album "What we signed up for", their songs are very catchy and positive sounding. You can singalong to most choruses on this record and before you know it, the album´s 11 tracks are over because it´s only 31 minutes long.
I won´t be surprised if 2014 will be the year for July with songs like "Second best", "Right here for you" and "What we signed up for" that all shouts out hit potential. My favorite track however, is the energy kick of "To all the kids" that can be described as SR 71 meets All Time Low.
This is feel-good pop punk for all that want to have a good time.
Release date : Nov 12th.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Ted Nugent - Ultralive BallisticRock

Ted Nugent - Ultralive BallisticRock (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Ray Volkema / Lucia McCalmont / Bob Dennis
Tracks : CD 1 1.Free for all 2.Stormtroopin´ 3.Wango tango 4.Just what the doctor ordered 5.Wang dang sweet poontang 6.Need you bad 7.Turn it up 8.Raw dogs and war hogs 9.Dog eat dog
CD 2 1.Hey baby 2.Fred bear 3.I still believe 4.Motorcity madhouse 5.Cat scratch fever 6.Stranglehold 7.Great white buffalo
5 out of 5

In 2008, Ted Nugent celebrated his 6000th concert that was released in 2009 as the live album "Motor city mayhem". Guitarist/singer Derek St Holmes showed up as a guest on a few tracks but this time around on the new live CD/DVD "Ultralive BallisticRock", Derek is back as a full time member of Ted´s band along with Mick Brown (Dokken) on drums and Greg Smith (Rainbow) on bass.
And man, how they play. They truly kick some serious butt behind Ted who is on fire, this was recorded live in Pennsylvania during the summer of 2011 where the major part of the setlist is taken from Ted´s early albums between 1975-1980.
I´m really glad Derek St Holmes is back because he was such an important member of Ted´s band in the 70´s, contributing with his great voice and tight rhythm guitar. Ohyeah, Ted has released 7 live albums but let me tell you. "Ultralive BallisticRock" is his 2nd best live recording after the mega classic "Double live gonzo" from 1978. This is all you need if you want some real rocknroll, it´s loud and non compromising guitar shredding music that will make your ears bleed.
I can listen and watch this all night long.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dayseeker - What it means to be defeated

Dayseeker - What it means to be defeated (2013) InVogue Records
Produced by Dayseeker
Tracks : 1.Black earth 2.Collision, survive 3.What it means to be defeated 4.Incinerate 5.Hollow shell 6.Dead man 7.Resurrect 8.The home we built 9.Sleep in the sea 10.The quiet disconnect
3 out of 5

Dayseeker from Orange County, California releases their debut album "What it means to be defeated" on InVogue Records, a label I didn´t know of a couple of years ago. However, that has changed and now I´ve heard several good bands of their artist roster like Belle Histoire, Liferuiner and That´s Outrageous.
And just like labels like Rise Records and Artery Recordings, InVogue focus on post hardcore bands where Dayseeker fits in just fine. This band deliver a mix of melodic hardcore and modern metal where their sound is explosive but also full of nuances. My favorite tracks are "The home we built" and the absolutely fabulous opener "Black earth".
For fans of Famous Last Words, The Acacia Strain, Dream on Dreamer.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Def Leppard - Viva! Hysteria

Def Leppard - Viva! Hysteria (2013) Bludgeon Riffola Ltd / Frontiers Records
Produced by Def Leppard / Domenic J Potter / John Rubey
Tracks : CD1 : 1.Women 2.Rocket 3.Animal 4.Love bites 5.Pour some sugar on me 6.Armageddon it 7.Gods of war 8.Don´t shoot shotgun 9.Run riot 10.Hysteria 11.Excitable 12.Love and affection 13.Rock of ages 14.Photograph
CD 2 : 1.Good morning freedom 2.Wasted 3.Stagefright 4.Mirror mirror 5.Action 6.Rock brigade 7.Undefeated 8.Promises 9.On through the night 10.Slang 11.Let it go 12.Another hit and run 13.High n dry 14.Bringing on the heartbreak 15.Switch 625
4,5 out of 5

For 11 nights in Las Vegas, Def Leppard performed the entire Hysteria album plus a new set of different songs each night earlier this year. They rehearsed over 100 songs where some, they haven´t played in 30 years. The band opened the show as a support act to themselves, called Ded Flatbird.
That´s just wonderful!
Every evening was filmed and recorded and now released as "Viva! Hysteria", this is their 2nd live album and it´s actually better than the 2011 live album "Mirrorball". Mostly because we get so much songs from the early Lep era, the DVD is a killer where the highlight is when they show Steve Clark on film before the epic "Gods of war". You might remember this clip from the 1988 video "Live in the round, in your face". But then again, the band sounds terrific on each and every track on the new DVD.
They´re the masters of guitar orchestra rock and are one of only five rock bands with two original albums selling over 10 million copies in the U.S, the others are The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Van Halen and Led Zeppelin. This is a must have to complete your Leppard collection and I wonder if I ever get tired of hearing "Switch 625", "Love bites" or "Mirror mirror"?!
Also worth checking out if you´re a die hard Lep fan, BB Steal´s 1991 album "On the edge", Bryan Adams 1991 album "Waking up the neighbors" and the Loud Lion EP from 2007.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New Gods - Beloved

New Gods - Beloved (2013) Independent
Produced by Dave Fridmann
Tracks : 1.Intro 2.Beneath the world 3.Too high 4.Skyman 5.Turning to white 6.I love you too 7.Caravan park 8.Step into the light 9.Joy and pain 10.Eyes of love 11.Deeper love
3 out of 5

Music with depth, quite enchanting but also demanding for the common man. That´s what you get when you listen to Melbourne based New Gods debut album "Beloved", there´s no doubt this is the kinda music that grows for each time I hear it. Perhaps not the most suitable choice for the shopping malls because the customers would probably not buy anything but instead ask around to either change the music in the store or to find out the name of the artists, so they can order a copy when they get home. "Beloved" is an album that feels like a flower coming into bloom, the songs are psychedelic and experimental with traces of space rock and noise rock. I really don´t fancy the 8 minute long "Caravan park" but I do love songs like "Turning to white" and "Too high".
For fans of The Farewell Circuit, Simon Walther, The Slowdown

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stryper - No more hell to pay

Stryper - No more hell to pay (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Michael Sweet
Tracks : 1.Revelation 2.No more hell to pay 3.Saved by love 4.Jesus is just alright 5.The one 6.Legacy 7.Marching into battle 8.Te Amo 9.Sticks and stones 10.Water into wine 11.Sympathy 12.Renewed
3,5 out of 5

It´s hard to believe, but "No more hell to pay" is actually the first Stryper album with all new songs to feature the original line up since "Against the law" from 1990. They´ve been rather creative and has giving us the covers album "The covering" in 2011 and recently also "Second coming", that contains re-recordings of Stryper classics. However, we got a first taste of new music on that album with 2 new songs "Blackened" and "Bleeding from inside out".
And let me tell ya, the new album from Michael Sweet, Robert Sweet, Oz Fox and Tim Gaines do not disappoint! They promised more guitars, more solos, heavier songs but still with their trademark of harmony layered choruses and they kept their promise. This one´s better than both "Reborn" (2005) and "Murder by pride" (2009), I think fans of albums like "To hell with the devil" and "In god we trust" will embrace the new album with love. They deliver new classics like "Marching into battle", "Saved by love", "Jesus is just alright" and "Sticks and stones".
But there´s one track that stand out, it´s "The one" which is probably one of their best songs ever, so christian or not! This is heavy metal for all!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Place Vendome - Thunder in the distance

Place Vendome - Thunder in the distance (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Dennis Ward
Tracks : 1.Talk to me 2.Power of music 3.Broken wings 4.Lost in paradise 5.It can´t rain forever 6.Fragile ground 7.Hold your love 8.Never too late 9.Heaven lost 10.My heart is dying 11.Break out 12.Maybe tomorrow 13.Thunder in the distance
2,5 out of 5

I can´t believe it´s already 20 years since Kiske left Helloween, how time flies by. And he is still a busy guy so no signs of retiring just yet, last year his new band Unisonic released their debut album and this year he made a guest appearance on the new Avantasia album "The mystery of time".
It also seems like Kiske wants to keep a steady time schedule of 4 years between each Place Vendome album, the debut came out in 2005 which was followed by the 2nd one "Streets of fire" in 2009 that leads us to the 3rd "Thunder in the distanced", out on Nov 1st.
Once again, Kiske teamed up with producer Dennis Ward to collaborate on a new set of melodic rock tunes with AOR flavor, but the new album is hardly exciting because you already know the choruses before you´ve heard them. This is so predictable and average but I guess fans of Place Vendome will be pleased anyway, there are actually a few great songs like "It can´t rain forever", "Fragile ground" and the title track. Plus the artwork is beautiful.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Seventh Key - I will survive

Seventh Key - I will survive (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Mike Slamer
Tracks : 1.I will survive 2.Lay it on the line 3.I see you there 4.It´s just the state of mind 5.Sea of dreams 6.Time and time again 7.When love sets you free 8.Down 9.The only one 10.What love´s supposed to be 11.I want it all
4 out of 5

When you see the line up of Billy Greer (Kansas, Streets) - Lead Vocals/Bass, Mike Slamer (Steelhouse Lane, City Boy, Streets) - Guitars, Terry Brock (Strangeways) - Backing vocals, David Ragsdale (Kansas) - Violin, Billy Trudel (Elton John, Warpipes) - Backing vocals and Chet Wynd (Slamer) - Drums. You know to expect first class melodic rock in a high quality sound, just as safe as snow in Antarctica.
It´s been a decade since the last Seventh Key album "The raging fire" (2004) but now we finally see the arrival of their 3rd album "I will survive", a warm welcome for all fans of progressive AOR and intelligent hard rock riffs from the maestro himself, Mike Slamer.
Like I said, they nailed it again with yet another crystal clear production and amazing choruses. The title track "I will survive" is a real smash and the AOR euphoria of "I see you there" will surely take you to heaven if you love bands like Giant and Strangeways. But the true highlight is "I want it all", no it´s not a Queen cover. The harmony vocals on the closing track could make this the song of the year.
Just marvelous.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shortcuts : Young Turks , Bourbon Boys , Almah

Young Turks - Where I rise (2013)
Portland based punk/hardcore band Young Turks released their debut "Where I lie" EP in 2012 and now follow up with the 2nd "Where I rise" EP, produced by the band and Alex Estrada.
I don´t mind the energy here but the lack of nuances makes it difficult to go higher in the final grade, imagine sitting in a formula 1 car in full speed on a one way street, hoping the airbag will save you. That´s how it feels like listening to Young Turks.
Best track : Roe vs Wade vs Westbrook.
It´s a short and decent 4 track EP for fans of Captain We´re Sinking, Comeback Kid and I Am War.
2 out of 5

Bourbon Boys - Hail to the chief (2013)
I could easily be fooled that I was listening to some bearded boys with Cowboy hats from Alabama, but Bourbon Boys comes from the northern parts of Sweden where it´s cold and dark the most time of the year. We´re talking southern flavored country based rocknroll in the same vein as Big & Rich, Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd here. Thumbs up for the great guitarplayers Hulkoff and Jonas Kjellgren, it´s a true joy just listening to the six string work on "Hail to the chief".
I´m not really a huge fan of this kinda country rocknroll but I do appreciate some good time music and I wouldn´t mind sitting in a small club watching this band perform, the song "Remington Magnum Express" is in fact really good. At times, they remind of Volbeat without the metal.
C´mon boys, move to Texas and get yourself a career over there instead.
2,5 out of 5

Almah - Unfold (2013)
"Unfold" is the 4th album from former Angra singer Edu Falaschi´s band Almah, who left Angra in 2012 to focus on Almah instead. The production on the new album sounds like a million bucks and I welcome the mix of classic heavy metal and power metal, I´m glad the absence of double kick drums takes away the signs of average power metal here and instead Edu and Co deliver a varied album of heavy tracks and melodic songs with just a few speedy ones.
For fans of Empires of Eden, A Hero For The World, Primal Fear.
Highlights : Raise the sun, The hostage, I do.
3 out of 5

Deadly Circus Fire - The king and the bishop

Deadly Circus Fire - The king and the bishop (2013) Independent
Produced by Deadly Circus Fire
Tracks : 1.Through the soil 2.Her Epitaph 3.Nothing 4.Blackout 5.In the kingdom of flies 6.The king and the bishop 7.Black mask 8.Threnody 9.Leviathan 10.The light within
3 out of 5

The progressive and alternative metal band Deadly Circus Fire are getting rave reviews of their debut album "The king and the bishop" all over the net, and it´s without doubt a solid album that bring thoughts to Mastodon, Tool and Karnivool but I won´t join the cheering crowd to salute this band as new kings of alternative metal. They´re not THAT good. The songs on this album tend to get a bit lengthy and it takes more interesting song structures to get me going. However, I do enjoy tracks like "Her Epitaph" and "Blackout", plus they´re really great in catching the dark vibe of the entire album. You might dig this if you´re into Tool, but they´re not in the same league as Karnivool if you ask me.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Myka, Relocate - Lies to light the way

Myka, Relocate - Lies to light the way (2013) Artery Recordings / Razor and Tie
Produced by Cameron Mizell
Tracks : 1.Revolve 2.Dead ties 3.Something to dream about 4.The inevitable 5.Natural separation 6.Useless 7.Doublespeak 8.Playing it safe 9.The answer 10.Dry spell 11.Cold war 12.Admitting the war
3,5 out of 5

What happens when you are influenced by various genres like electronica, extreme metal, pop and symphonic rock? Well, you start a band and try to work something out. Just like Texas based Myka, Relocate and their interesting debut album "Lies to light the way".
In one moment, they´re extremely heavy and in the next, so wonderfully poppy. Myka, Relocate aren´t afraid to go from death metal growls to catchy singalong choruses in songs like "Something to dream about" or "Useless". You can hear they´ve worked very hard on the production where the elements of electronica and bombastic keyboard arrangements truly lift the record, it must be pretty tough to recreate this music on stage.
Jonny Craig and Telle from The Word Alive are guesting on two tracks, but it won´t be long until members of Myka, Relocate show up as guests on other bands albums.
A band to be reckoned with.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Now or Never - Now or Never

Now or Never - Now or Never (2013) Mausoleum Records
Produced by Pat Liotard
Tracks : 1.Reach out for the sky 2.Now or never 3.Wind of freedom 4.Brothers 5.Hardened steel 6.Princess of undiscovered land 7.An angel by my side 8.How do you feel 9.Dying for you 10.Who´s in the mirror 11.Something´s missing 12.Weirdo lullaby
3 out of 5

Are you a fan of classic heavy metal mixed with modern metal? Then you should look no further and instead check out the debut from Now or Never, this band feature members of Pretty Maids and Nightmare with the line up of Richy Marx - Guitars/Keyb, Kenn Jackson - Bass, Jo Amore - Vocals and Ranzo - Drums. You can expect everything from razorsharp riffs to hammering drums and 80´s synthesizers.
I really like the artwork and the production is cool too, there are moments when their sound bring thoughts to Judas Priest´s "Turbo" album. But you can add a piece of Savatage and Rage into the mix as well, it´s a good album where tracks like "Wind of freedom" and "Reach out for the sky" stand out.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

ManicanParty - ManicanParty

ManicanParty - ManicanParty (2013) Independent
Produced by ManicanParty
Tracks : 1.It´s in her eyes 2.Rebels 3.Monarch 4.Lonely you will find me 5.Bow 6.Farewell 7.You are my soul 8.Animal
3,5 out of 5

Captured in a dream, that´s how it feels like listening to ManicanParty´s debut album, if you just close your eyes long enough - I´m sure you will see a unicorn by the gold at the end of the rainbow. The Brooklyn based duo ManicanParty will take you there with their atmospheric soundscape of African rhythms, Skrillex-like electronica and pop melodies full of warmth.
They´re obviously influenced by artists like Peter Gabriel and Bj√∂rk but my thoughts also go to bands like Walk Off The Earth, Cling and Digital Noise Academy while listening to this impressive album.
There´s no doubt this band is one of the biggest new surprises this year, I´m a sucker for tracks like "Lonely you will find me" and "It´s in her eyes".

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lunar Explosion - Lunar Explosion

Lunar Explosion - Lunar Explosion (2013) Scarlet Records
Produced by Lunar Explosion / Mattia Stancioiu
Tracks : 1.Vasa Warship 2.Karnak 3.Lunar explosion 4.Butterfly effect 5.When the sun no longer shines 6.From beyond 7.The nest of a swan 8.Saint George 9.The king of Judea
1 out of 5

It feels rather baroque that the Italian label Scarlet Records has signed Lunar Explosion for the release of their debut album because this one sounds so amateurish. At times, my thoughts go to a poor demo from Japanese hard rockers Loudness and in other moments, Lunar Explosion can be described as a 2nd division Stratovarius. No, this was no fun at all. They should start with sending their frontman to Tibet for the toughest possible singing lessons and won´t be able to return until he actually can pronounce the words in English. I think it´s cool that the opening track of the album has the title "Vasa Warship" but that´s also the only cool thing about this neo-classical metal fiasco.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sirens and Sailors - Skeletons

Sirens and Sailors - Skeletons (2013) Artery Recordings / Razor and Tie
Produced by Carson Slovak
Tracks : 1.Inception 2.The chosen one 3.Go for the throat 4.Straightjacket 5.Exorcist 6.Not that easy 7.Reflection 8.Born and raised 9.Calm before the storm 10.Weight of the world 11.Hold fast 12.Skeletons
3 out of 5

Since their self released debut "Still breathing" from 2010, Sirens and Sailors signed with Artery Recordings for their 2nd album "Skeletons" so here they are with a bigger budget and a much wider promotion to get their music out.
If you´re new to this band, Sirens and Sailors deliver progressive metalcore that is both technical and ingenious. You can´t blame ´em for being predictable or boring, however they do get a bit too complex at times. Fans of Periphery and Death of an Era will probably be more than pleased to sink their teeth into "Skeletons", the title track is one of the best tracks here along with the new single "Straightjacket". Not to mention the instrumental piece "Reflection", loads of wonderful harmonies to find in this tune.
A solid album worth checking out.

Thirty Seconds To Mars - Love Lust Faith + Dreams

Thirty Seconds To Mars - Love Lust Faith + Dreams (2013) EMI Music
Produced by Jared Leto / Steve Lillywhite
Tracks : 1.Birth 2.Conquistador 3.Up in the air 4.City of angels 5.The race 6.End of all days 7.Pyres of Varanasi 8.Bright lights 9.Do or die 10.Convergence 11.Northern lights 12.Depuis Le Debut
4,5 out of 5

I love how 30STM´s sound evolve from each album, from the industrial rock on the debut to the more powerful modern rock on the sophomore release "A beautiful lie" and then the epic "This is war" to the recent "Love Lust Faith + Dreams" which is their most orchestral album so far. Jared Leto and Co are still giving their fans an expected dose of electronica along with huge choruses, but this time the music is darker and way more symphonic. It´s no wonder "Love Lust Faith + Dreams" has become their best selling album so far since 30STM deliver fantastic songs like "Do or die", "Northern lights" and "Up in the air". And they are just a few fine examples of this magic musical pie, I just can´t get tired of hearing amazing melodies in "Conquistador" or "End of all days".
This is one of the greatest albums of 2013!

Cedron - Chased by shades

Cedron - Chased by shades (2013) Pee Records
Produced by Cedron / Dennis Bertilsson
Tracks : 1.Winter 2.Built of roaches 3.Lost woods 4.Witnessed 5.In vow 6.Sovstad 7.Phoenix 8.Bound to fall 9.Pavement cemetary
4 out of 5

Tired of pop melodies infecting the hardcore genre?, and instead want the old school stuff where the brutal soundscape comes knocking on your door like a wake up call from the grim reaper, it´s only when you overcome the fear of dying when you start to actually live for real.
Cedron is that wake up call! Their new album "Chased by shades" is doomish but in a beautiful way, there´s no doubt this is a heavyweight album in the hardcore genre where the highlights are "Witnessed", "Bound to fall" and "Pavement cemetary".
Also available with the band : Watching the sun turn pitch black (2012)
Recommendable if you like Fall City Fall, Silver Snakes, Raised Fist

Safemode - Gold digger

Safemode - Gold digger (2013) Jono Music
Produced by Dino Medanhodzic
Tracks : 1.Last push 2.Another day will haunt you 3.Gold digger : Sam 4.Pursuit of fame
3,5 out of 5

After a 1 year hiatus, the Swedish metalcore band Safemode returns with a really strong 4 track EP called "Gold digger". This is the follow up to "For a better tomorrow" from 2010, and you can expect a very hungry band that deliver megaheavy riffs and supercatchy choruses. The new EP is well produced and this band should be aware of that they´ve got a great singer / songwriter in Tjet Gustafsson, so never let him go.
There´s not a single bad track on this EP but I love "Another day will haunt you" and "Gold digger : Sam" a bit extra.
For fans of Tear Out The Heart, All That Remains, A Bullet For Pretty Boy

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Left Of The Dial - Idly by

Left Of The Dial - Idly By (2013) Panic Records
Produced by Andy Nelson / Nick Diener
Tracks : 1.Idly by 2.Tangled tongues 3.Spin this to win this 4.Rusting on your laurels 5.Crashing 6.Worrywart 7.Captain or trapped in 8.Ad and subtract
2 out of 5

Detroit, the hometown of punk rock band Left of the dial. A city that expanded and promised hope in the 50´s and 60´s, has now got it´s share of decadence where the population fell 25% the last decade. The city, aka motor city, was filed bankruptcy this year so Detroit doesn´t rock anymore and the frustration of living here is shown really well in Left of the dial´s songs.
Their music feels honest and if you´re a huge fan of non commercial punk, you might have something to look forward to here but I need more than just attitude and musical despair.
"Idly by" is compiled of two EP´s, one from 2012 and the other one released earlier this year. We get 8 songs but that´s just what I miss here, songs! These tracks feels like 8 short pieces that soundalike and I´m still waiting for the music to lift.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Tragic Thrills - The Tragic Thrills

The Tragic Thrills - The Tragic Thrills (2013) Independent
Produced by Jason Lehning
Tracks : 1.Tears 2.Afterthoughts 3.Crazy 4.Creeps and strangers 5.Gospel 6.Alive 7.Everyday 8.The garden 9.Fever 10.Main girl
3,5 out of 5

The last decade, the world has seen the arrival of new great songwriters like Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic and Brandon Flowers of The Killers. Well, here´s another one that belong in the same league. Namely, Zach Porter of The Tragic Thrills.
He´s a huge talent when it comes to writing songs that shouts out longevity, if he can keep up the same strength on future releases, Zach will turn his The Tragic Thrills into a household name for years to come. Just listen to wonderful songs like "Tears", "Gospel" or "Alive" and you won´t argue with me.
Their debut album is a lovely combo of indie rock, folk and even new wave. Imagine White Lies meets Mumford and Sons and you´ll get these 10 tracks.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

77 - Maximum Rocknroll

77 - Maximum Rock´n´roll (2013) Listenable Records
Produced by Nicke Andersson
Tracks : 1.Maximum rocknroll 2.Don´t you scream 3.Down and dirty 4.Highway rebel 5.Jazz it up 6.Stay away from water 7.You bored me 8.Take me or leave me 9.Virtually good 10.16 year old king
3 out of 5

It´s time for some straight ahead rocknroll again from Spanish rockers 77, I reviewed their 2011 album "High decibels" at and gave it 3 stars which is the same outcome for their new album "Maximum rocknroll". I compared them to AC/DC (Bon Scott era), Kiss and Rose Tattoo on their previous album but would like to add Hellacopters and Krokus to that list for "Maximum rocknroll". The band is mainly influenced by early AC/DC, especially the lead guitar and I find many tracks quite entertaining like "Jazz it up", "Virtually good" and "16 year old king".
77 once again teamed up with Nicke Andersson (Backyard Babies) to produce their 3rd album and they work very well together, this is Nicke´s homefield without doubt. 1977 is the year when Kiss released "Love gun", AC/DC gave us "Let there be rock" and The Pirates put out their classic "Out of their skulls" album. It sounds like Nicke and 77 had these albums on the walls in the studio while recording "Maximum rocknroll", sometimes the right album cover´s all you need to get the right inspiration.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Loss For Words - Before it caves

A Loss For Words - Before it caves (2013) Velocity / Rise Records
Produced by A Loss For Words
Tracks : 1.Distance 2.Conquest of mistakes 3.Falling 4.All this time 5.No pioneer 6.20 block 7.No merit to envy 8.Eclipsed 9.The kids can´t lose 10.The torch and the name 11.Brace yourself 12.Siesta key 13.All roads lead to home
3 out of 5

The house on the artwork of A Loss For Words new album "Before it caves" could be something taken from the award winning film "Winter´s bone", the music is more colorful though. The new album ain´t as emo-esque as the previous "No sanctuary" from 2011, we´re talking more mainstream pop punk here with singalong choruses on songs like the first single "Distance", "Conquest of mistakes" and my personal fave "Brace yourself". I do like this album but also think "No sanctuary" is a bit stronger, the catchy "The torch and the name" sounds like an unreleased Paramore song. Sure it´s good but it doesn´t give me any goosebumps either. Fans of The Wonder Years, Polar Bear Club and Pvris will be pleased to hear that members of these bands are guests on "Before it caves".
One thing for sure, this band won´t go away anytime soon. They are here to stay.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Vertical Horizon - Echoes from the underground

Vertical Horizon - Echoes from the underground (2013) 1-2-3-4-GO! Music
Produced by Matt Scannell
Tracks : 1.You never let me down 2.Broken over you 3.Evermore 4.Song for someone 5.Half-light 6.Instamatic 7.Consolation 8.Lovestruck 9.Frost 10.I free you 11.South for the winter
4 out of 5

The band behind the no.1 hit "Everything you want" in 2000, returns with yet another classy piece of work. This time, frontman Matt Scannell stand without his songwriting partner and long time friend Keith Cane who left the band in 2010. But Matt has no problem dealing with the thing that he´s alone leading the band to new frontiers, it´s all about quality here and VH has once again proved that they earn their share of modern rock stardom. The new album "Echoes from the underground" is a bit laid back but we also get a few rockers along the way, fans will be more than pleased to hear songs like "You never let me down", "Broken over you" and "Instamatic".
To get a great album from VH is just as safe as a new film being great by James Cameron, or how cool isn´t it that Neil Peart of Rush is playing drums again on a VH album. You won´t find any dull moments within these 56 minutes, close your eyes and daydream to beautiful songs like "Lovestruck" or "Frost".

Alter Bridge - Fortress

Alter Bridge - Fortress (2013) Roadrunner Records
Produced by Michael Elvis Baskette
Tracks : 1.Cry of Achilles 2.Addicted to pain 3.Bleed it dry 4.Lover 5.The uninvited 6.Peace is broken 7.Calm the fire 8.Waters rising 9.Farther than the sun 10.Cry a river 11.All ends well 12.Fortress
4,5 out of 5

Every 3rd year we get a new album from Alter Bridge, "Fortress" is the 3rd album recorded with producer Michael Elvis Baskette and what can I say?! Together, they´re a winning team because the new album is their best so far and I really hold "ABIII" as one helluva killer album. Mark Tremonti is an underrated guitarist worth a lot more attention than he´s getting, he keeps delivering the goods like a true guitarhero. It must be a joy to back up Myles Kennedy too since he´s the best hard rock singer in the last decade.
Alter Bridge is like the velociraptor of rock, aggressive, smart and unpredictable! Ohyeah, they are superior in the rock/metal genre today. Once again we get new smashes such as "The uninvited", "Peace is broken", "Waters rising" and the stunning new single "Addicted to pain".
The bandmembers were busy last year with singer Myles Kennedy doing the album "Apocalyptic love" by Slash, drummer Scott Philipps releasing the side project Projected´s debut album "Human" and Mark Tremonti going solo with "All I was". With that in mind, you could easily think they should´ve had a hard time being creative with new AB songs. But ohno, Tremonti and Co are writing songs all the time and are also working on album no.5 as Creed.
This album´s a fortress that will stand strong for years to come.

Dance Gavin Dance - Acceptance speech

Dance Gavin Dance - Acceptance speech (2013) Rise Records
Produced by Matt Malpass
Tracks : 1.Jesus H Macy 2.The robot with human hair Part 4 3.Acceptance speech 4.Carve 5.Doom and gloom 6.Strawberry swisher Part 3 7.Honey revenge 8.Demo team 9.Death of the robot with human hair 10.The Jiggler 11.Turn off the lights (I´m watching Back to the future Part II)
3,5 out of 5

"Acceptance speech" is the first album to feature the new line up of Tilian Pearson - Clean vocals, Tim Feerick - Bass, Josh Benton - Guitars along with the original members Jon Mass - Screamo, Will Swan - Guitars and Matt Mingus - Drums.
Dance Gavin Dance is a well respected band in the post hardcore genre and they have released 5 albums till now, including this new album. This is actually the first album I listen to with DGD, mostly because of Tilian Pearson joining the band because I really love his solo album "Material me" that came out earlier this year. However, that one is worlds apart soundwise compared to "Acceptance speech".
But Tilian´s clean high pitched voice suits DGD just fine, just listen to amazing tracks like "Honey revenge", "The robot with human hair" and "Doom and gloom" and you will join my cheering crowd.
I´m also a huge fan of DGD´s progressive post hardcore that contains both unexpected chord changes and thoughtful song structures. Rap has always been an important part of their sound but it´s just a small slice of this hardcore pizza, what I love is how they spice the music with beautiful melodies and deliver it in a classic hardcore style but in an artsy way. "Death of the robot with human hair" is a great example of this. Well done, well done.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Shortcuts : Superhorrorfuck , Hex, On a bridge of dust

Superhorrorfuck - Death becomes us (2013)
Dressed up for the zombiewalk? Or just want your daily dose of deathpop? Anyway, the Italian shockrock band Superhorrorfuck are here to party the halloween style and want to make sure that death becomes us.
Formed in 2005 as Morphina and 4 releases later, their new line up sound really tight and deliver some sort of industrial punk with a touch of sleazerock. Imagine a soup of Marilyn Manson, Backyard Babies and Motley Crue and you´ve got yourself the 12 track album "Death becomes us".
Good luck if you want to take a bet on sitting still to the partystomper "Voodoo holiday", also thumbs up for the sharp production but hey girl, I´m not sure what your mother would think if you came home with one of the guys in the band. I bet they´re nice though.
3 out of 5

Hex - Hex (2013)
The dark and the occult have always been inspiration for many artists in the heavy metal genre, where horror master Alice Cooper was the one who started it all.
Hex is a really cool band from Sweden that describes their music as shocking and violent, but not extreme. They also want to make sure nobody´s accusing them for satanism, but instead with inspiration from voodoo.
Their self titled debut album takes the listener on a ride in genres such as industrial metal, hard rock and some horror on the side. I really like this album where the songs "Little devil ride" and "Sin eater" stand out. So turn off the lights and enjoy this dark album on a late November night. Recommendable if you like Static-X, Rob Zombie, Skrog
3,5 out of 5

On a bridge of dust - Facing the opposite (2013)
Now this was a warm surprise on this cold autumn day, the Italian band On a bridge of dust has created a really impressive mix of progressive modern rock and alternative metal. Their debut album "Facing the opposite" is well performed where you will find traces of Tool and A Perfect Circle but also bands like Mindrite, Nothing More and Hierosonic.
I´m glad to say they´re not complex but instead focus on songbased progrock, the vocals bring thoughts to Matthew Good and I truly melt to songs like "Consumed" and "Choice". Bravo!
Definitely a contender for my Top album list of 2013.
4 out of 5

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Michael Lee Firkins - Yep

Michael Lee Firkins - Yep (2013) Magnatude Records
Produced by Michael Lee Firkins
Tracks : 1.Golden oldie jam 2.Cajun boogie 3.No more angry man 4.Standing ovation 5.Long day 6.Wearin´ black 7.Out of season 8.Take my back 9.Last call 10.No more angry man part 2 11.The cane
3 out of 5

You can´t blame Michael Lee Firkins for being predictable and releasing albums that soundalike, he has delivered instrumental guitar rock, jazz and southern rock on his 6 albums between 1990-2007. The new album "Yep" is Michael´s first one in 6 years and this time around he´s also singing, his back up band feels like they´ve been hand-picked by Michael because southern rock is their homefield. We´ve got Matt Abts on drums and Andy Hess on bass, both from Gov´t Mule. Keyboardist Chuck Leavell (Allman Brothers Band) and drummer Michael Bland (Prince) are also playing on the album making the groove machine complete. The only complaint I´ve got about "Yep" is that it´s way too lengthy with all songs reaching minimum 5-7 minutes each, however Michael´s guitarwork is exceptional and he´s a great singer too. If you dig artists like Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top and Blood of the sun, "Yep" is a must have in your collection. Highlights : "No more angry man", "Long day".