Friday, September 30, 2016

Album Spotlight : The Radio Sun - Outside Looking In

Australian melodic hard rockers The Radio Sun return with their new album ‘Outside Looking In’. The boys continue where they left off as vocal harmonies, soaring guitar solos and catchy choruses dominate. Ex Danger Danger vocalist Paul Laine lends a hand with production duties and also features on the song Wink and Smile with a dual lead vocal alongside lead vocalist Jason Old
Guitarist Stevie Janevski was also buzzed to have Brett Garsed of John Farnham and Nelson fame play a guest solo on the track Falling For you. The first single 'Switch Off The World Tonight' reminds us of classic Damn Yankees with its catchy intro and feel-good chorus.
Outside Looking In showcases a progression from the band's debut album Wrong Things Right and the critically acclaimed Heaven Or Heartbreak. There's a good balance of uptempo songs with some superb ballads that sees the band throwback to bands like Firehouse and Trixter along with a good dose of Jani Lane/Warrant school of song writing.
The band is rounded out with the thunderous rhythm section of Robbie Erdmanis on bass and Ben Wignall on slouches in the vocal department either!
The Radio Sun will be launching the new album with upcoming worldwide live dates scheduled in Australia, U.S.A, U.K and Japan.
Things are definitely looking up for the boys from down under!

Outside Looking In is released September 30th.

Tracklisting : 1.Can´t get you out of my head 2.Standing on the edge of love 3.You´ll never know 4.Switch off the world tonight 5.Broken 6.Fall to pieces 7.Wink and smile 8.Outside looking in 9.My heart is on fire 10.Baby blue 11.Falling for you 12.Bulletproof 13.Someone tell me why my heroes are all dying 14.Beautiful

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Album Spotlight : Texture & Light - Inner Space Odyssey

These days it is common for indie rock musicians to moonlight as DJs, but rare to find an artist moving in the opposite direction. Texture & Light was formed by recovering DJ Trevor Refix (Mervyn) as a way to explore live instrumentation, synthesis, and narrative songwriting, while avoiding the common pitfalls of dance music production. Add in Lyell Woloschuk, a hard-hitting drummer with a recording arts degree, and you have an electronic band with fuzzy guitars, hook-laden vocals, a synthesizer fetish, and a drum machine crush.

The group's debut album, 2013's The Hard Problem of Consciousness, charted on campus and community stations across Canada. Its lead single "A Quiet Place" received extensive international radio play, with CBC Radio 3 listing it as one of the top Canadian tracks of 2013. Critics compared the album's sound to acts as diverse as Telephon Tel Aviv, Mercury Rev and the Talking Heads.

Inner Space Odyssey is set to drop October 14 2016. Featuring a more prevalent role of Woloschuk in the studio, and mastered by award-winning engineer Jamie Kuse, their sophomore album infinitely expands and refines their distinctive electronic dream rock universe. The lyrical scope of the record is as politically charged as it is emotionally impactful, exploring the insights Refix has made in the years since moving from the big city to small town British Columbia, making complex, modern art in humble contrast to the peace in nature and communal living. It's a dance floor destroyer one second, and a headphone mind-melter the next, with the potential to expand consciousness like the most potent psychedelics and provide a path through the darkness for the cosmically lost.

Texture & Light's live shows are bumping, sweaty affairs that feature a mix of live instrumentation and intuitively interconnected hardware in lieu of boring laptops, dazzled up with a custom-synced lighting rig. Whether they are playing a festival main stage or are crammed in a coffee shop, this band goes all the way.

Inner Space Odyssey is released October 14th.

Tracklisting : 1.Intro_version 2.Theft of the sky 3.Pictures to burn 4.This too shall pass 5.Serpentine 6.Predators 7.Heart throb 8.Post everything 9.The flood 10.Symbiosis 11.So many things

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Album Spotlight : Celeb Car Crash - People are the best show

People Are The Best Show can be described as a powerful mix of Rock, Grunge and Alternative. Inside the twelve songs that make up the album, you can ear influences from such bands as Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Soundgarden, Metallica, and Alice in Chains. The album was recorded and mixed with the approach used by the greatest Rock bands during the ‘90s, focusing on feeling and groove and not on the artificial perfection that characterizes the modern productions. The album includes “Because I’m Sad”, produced and recorded at The Red Bull Studios in London in 2015, after the band won The Italian Red Bull Contest with more than 1700 band entered. Along with the recording of the single, Celeb Car Crash had the chance to play a mini tour in support of Lacuna Coil; using as a stage the almighty Red Bull Tour Bus.

In December 2014 the band won the eminent RED BULL TOURBUS contest, beating the competition of 1700 bands from all over the country. The prize resulted in supporting Lacuna Coil on the almighty Red Bull Tourbus and the recording of a single in the famous Red Bull London Studios. The new single, titled “Because I’m Sad”, has been artisitcally produced by Oliviero “Olly” Riva and Mario Riso and is part of a new EP titled ¡Mucha Lucha! that was released worldwide by Sliptrick Records on June 9th. ¡Mucha Lucha! is defined by a ‘90’s rock flavour mixed with a modern alternative sound, and along with “Because I’m Sad” it contains two more unreleased tracks recorded at Puzzle Recording Studios and Valeoro Studios.
At the end of May 2016 Celeb Car Crash released a brand new single “Let Me In”, a preview of their second record titled People Are The Best Show.

People Are The Best Show is out now.

Tracklisting : 1) Let Me In 2) Because I'm Sad 3) The Whereabouts 4) Outdone 5) Hello, 'Morning 6) Murder Party 7) January 8) Enemy's Desire 9) Stereo (The Body of Christ) 10) Hangin' On A Rope 11) Nothing New Under The Sun 12) Nearly In Bloom

Friday, September 23, 2016


Home. a place we often return to, if it ain´t in person, it can happen when you listen music that makes you nostalgic.
Songs have a magic power to take you back in time to a certain place or a special moment that you will remember in an instant when you hear it, I mostly refer to old songs but there are exceptions with bands that reunites and releases new music. Then the magic is back.
I remember when Van Halen got back with David Lee Roth in 1996 and recorded 3 new songs on their Best of Volume 1 compilation, the performance on MTV Video Music Awards is a highlight even if the comeback was one of the shortest reunions in history.
I can´t call Dublin my home when I went to visit this cozy town last year but I felt like I was home, perhaps it has something to do with the statue of my childhood music hero Phil Lynott.
Just knowing that he walked those streets when he wrote some of his classic tunes in Thin Lizzy, that feeling made me all warm inside.
Simply nice ´n´easy.

American pop / rock band Shapes and Colors continues to flirt with emo on their new Love / Sex / War EP, which is the follow-up to the 2015 EP On Display.
If you ask them about their source of inspiration soundwise, they probably say it´s alternative rock anno 2002 with bands like Jimmy Eat World and Anberlin.
Catchy is definitely the word in focus, just listen to infectious songs like Drifting and Summer Soul.
Swedish occult rockers Ghost return to their roots and some of their personal favorites on the brand new Popestar EP, it´s the 2nd covers EP from Papa Emeritus III and the nameless ghouls.
The first EP If You Have Ghost (2013) featured covers of ABBA, Depeche Mode, Army of Lovers and Roky Erickson.
Popestar on the other hand opens with the brand new original song Square Hammer which is followed by new renditions of songs by Echo and The Bunnymen, Simon Mobile Disco, Eurythmics and Imperiet.
The awesome versions of Nocturnal me, I believe and Bible shows a band that are becoming bigger for each year.
Claus Hoffman, frontman of Danish alternative pop band Apollo goes halfway home with his new project Anti Anti and the debut album Conundrum, a real charming new wave-ish synthpop sound a la Depeche Mode meets The Killers.
I bet the dude is a sucker for 80´s synth, who said Gary Numan?!

Vola is a new favorite band of mine, these Danes´ amazing debut full length Inmazes combines old school prog of King Crimson and Gentle Giant with modern metal like Periphery and the atmospheric rock of Pink Floyd.
Expect the unexpected.
I was 11 when I discovered Kansas the first time, it was their 1975 album Masque and I became a fan the very first seconds of the opening track It takes a woman´s love to make a man.
Ever since, I followed this band through thick and thin with each release and different line up´s, so it´s extremely exciting to welcome The Prelude Implicit, the band´s first album of new music in 16 years. Wow!
Phil Ehart - Drums and Rich Williams - Guitars are the only original members left and they are joined by longtime member Billy Greer - Bass who has been in the band since 1985, David Ragsdale - Violin replaced Robbie Steinhardt in 1991, Ronnie Platt (ex.Shooting Star) - Lead Vocals, recently came on board and fills the shoes after Steve Walsh in the most honorable way.
The latest additions of the band´s 7 piece line up are David Manion - Keyboards and Zak Rizvi - Guitars. Many new faces but with a familiar sound.
Die hard fans might miss Steve Walsh and Kerry Livgren but this album is more than good, the album takes me back to the early 80´s when John Elefante was their lead singer.
This is my backyard and I´m sure you´ll be sorry if you don´t listen to The Prelude Implicit.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Rock and Roll Heroes - Falling Up

Falling Up, the band that were so much than an average emo band. These guys had so much potential and they evolved with each album, from 2002 to 2015 this band gave us so many great albums with a diverse sonic adventure where their greatest releases are Crashings (2004), Dawn Escapes (2005), Captiva (2007), Your Sparkling Death Cometh (2011) and Mnemos EP (2012).
Captiva is one of the 20 best christian rock albums ever released.
Falling Up worked with excellent producers like Aaron Sprinkle, Michael Baskette and Casey Crescenzo on the Bec Recordings Label before frontman Jesse Ribordy took over the production duties on their independent albums.
The only founding members to play on all albums are Jesse Ribordy - Lead Vocals/Keyboards/Guitars, Jeremy Miller - Bass and Josh Shroy - Drums.
Tom Cox - Lead Guitar left the band in 2005 and formed Archers Rise in 2009, Cox was replaced by Micah Sannan who left Falling Up in 2007 to join Disciple instead.
Joseph A Kisselburgh - Rhythm Guitar was a member of Falling Up between 2002-2006 and is now in The Send.

Their former label Bec Recordings weren´t interested in working with Falling Up on their experimental endeavours but the fans stuck with the band even though the music turned into a more ambient rock style on the latter releases.
The Machine DeElla Project : Hours / Midnight on Earthship (2013) and Falling Up Acoustic EP (2015) are all superb and so underrated, I think the laid back versions on the acoustic EP were so much better than the full band versions on the Falling Up album.
There´s no doubt they were one of the best christian rock bands on this side of the century.

Fangs (2009) and their final album Falling Up (2015) are two good releases worthy checking up, I can recommend you to listen to Falling Up after the acoustic EP because you´ll get a new perspective on the band´s closure.
Falling Up said farewell with their final self titled album and looking back in the rearview mirror, we know they inspired many bands like In Waves, Panic Division, There For Tomorrow, A New Horizon, It´s Alive from Florida etc.

I never got into the instrumental album House Full of Caverns (2015) even though it´s not really that bad, it´s just ain´t in any way near the heights as the rest of their catalogue.
Perhaps someday, they will be back.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Album Spotlight : Sixty Miles Ahead - Insanity

SIXTY MILES AHEAD are a hard rock band hailing from the suburbs of Milan, Italy. Formed in 2011, the quartet has proven to be one of the most interesting outfits in their country, thanks to their impactful, captivating sound and the fluid, jedi-like guitar talents of Fulvio Carlini. This is the band’s second full-length album and with it, the band paint a refreshing modern take on what good rock music should be. Sixty Miles Ahead are set to show the world (once again), that they mean business… Stand up and get ready to rock, because your ears are in for a treat!

Insanity is released on October 21.

Tracklisting : 1.Lost in my mind 2.Every time I try 3.Sign for tomorrow 4.Insanity 5.Dirt and lust 6.Let go 7.Dead space 8.Neverending fight 9.All my fears 10.No one else 11.Absence of light 12.Used to believe

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Album Spotlight : Rednote - Born Days In Continuum Part 1 Unity

Born Days In Continuum” is a journey through the minds of people searching for who they are and where they belong, where every chapter represents a stage or one part of a never ending circle. Chapter 1: “Unity” is the stage of a new beginning. You feel like you belong, embracing every new impression with confidence. But a voice from the past will make you question and turn your back on everything that’s good. You can’t see what you’ve got until it’s gone.
Swedish numetallers REDNOTE started as a four piece band and has released one album, ’’Numerals’’ 2014, two singles, ’’A Universe in You’’ 2014 and ’’Moneyman’’ 2015. As for 2016,REDNOTE’s drummer, Joakim Dahlström took yet again the role as producer for their new project called “Born Days In Continuum”. With new experiences and this time with their former guitarist, Jonatan Persson as their full-time singer, plus a new member onboard, REDNOTE will be taking their music to the next level.
Chapter 2: “Animus”, Chapter 3: “Division”, Chapter 4: “Limbo” to be released on a later time.

Born Days In Continuum Part 1 : Unity is released September 16th.
Tracklisting : 1.Repeat 2.Yesterday has come 3.Tranquility 4.Elevate 5.Jenga

Album Spotlight : Heaven Below - Good Morning Apocalypse

US rock/metal band HEAVEN BELOW, which features Union Underground/Lita Ford guitarist Patrick Kennison, will release its new album ‘Good Morning Apocalypse‘ viaDavid Ellefson‘s EMP Label Group/eOne Entertainment (USA) and SPV (Europe). The band’s third full-length studio effort, is a concept record that is set in a post-apocalyptic world. It features guest appearances from Lita FordJason McMaster (Dangerous Toys, Broken Teeth, Watchtower), Udo Dirkschneider(U.D.O.Accept) and Kobra Paige (Kobra and the Lotus).

Good Morning Apocalypse is released October 14th.

Tracklisting : 1.Nefarious angels 2.Renegade protest movement 3.Follow me under 4.Devilina and the damage done 5.Nightfall comes to life 6.Killing the deadman 7.Running under satan´s hand 8.Death battalion 9.Bonded by blood 10.Black sunrise/War of the gods 11.Among the wolves/Worldwide suicide 12.I would do it all again/Burials at sunset

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The year of 1980 Part 3

The 3 greatest albums of 1980 and the top 10.
1.Rush-Permanent waves
The greatest trio in the world never cared that much for writing hits for radio or to please the record label with commercial albums, they only cared about the fans and the fans wanted lengthy progrock songs with that typical epic Rush-sound.
Permanent Waves is considered to be one of their best albums along with Moving Pictures and 2112,
I won´t argue with amazing songs like Spirit of Radio, Jacob´s Ladder, Free Will and Natural Science.
The kings of AOR went from strength to strength with each release in the 70´s and Departure was just another step on the ladder to the throne that would be rightfully theirs with the 1981 album Escape.
Steve Perry´s vocal performance is out of this world on Departure and some of Journey´s best unknown songs can be found on this album such as People and Places, Someday Soon and Precious Time. But let´s not forget the hits Anyway You Want It and Walks Like A Lady.
3.AC DC-Back in black
Many thought it was over for AC DC when Bon Scott passed away but the band fired on all cylindars and re-loaded their cannons for the biggest comeback of all time with Back in Black.
It´s the no.1 best selling rock album of all time and a copy should be in every rock fan´s collection.
The album became so big that even the band had a hard time recording a worthy follow up, For Those About To Rock is a great album but it certainly stand in the shadow of Back in Black.
4.The Police-Zenyatta Mondatta
The first band in the world to blend new wave, pop and reggae and wrote their own chapter in the history books.
The Police are one of the most influential bands in the world that recorded the first ever pop-punk album with Outlandos d´Amour in 78, but their 3rd opus Zenyatta Mondatta turned the band into giants with the timeless songs Don´t stand so close to me, Voices inside my head and De Do Do Do De Da Da Da.
The first band ever to open the famous Monsters of Rock festival in 1980 and the future did seem bright for this American band, but the only legacy they left for the world was this fantastic pomp AOR album.
An unofficial demo album recorded in 1981 was released in 1998 but it didn´t reach the same heights as the self titled debut, if you want to travel first class by the AOR tracks, then you need a ticket marked Touch.
6.Saxon-Strong arm of the law
Released only 4 months after the brilliant Wheels of Steel, most bands would´ve come up with leftovers but Saxon took it even higher.
It´s without doubt their best album and I wonder if it can be any more metal than Heavy Metal Thunder, 20.000 Ft or Dallas 1 P.M.
7.New England-Explorer suite
New England´s debut contains the band´s most popular songs but their greatest effort can be found on the 2nd album Explorer Suite.
Jeff Lynne (E.L.O) would be proud to have his name under these songs, the fabulous title track is included below this list. Enjoy!
8.Van Halen-Women and children first
Big rock signed USA, their debut took the world by storm and the band continued to spread their party-like hard rock like a hurricane across the planet with the follow up II and the 3rd album Women and Children First.
Van Halen was all about fun and it was impossible to get bored when they performed live or released awesome albums like this one, everybody wanted to be David Lee Roth and play guitar like Eddie.
9.Ozzy Osbourne-Blizzard of Ozz
Whenever you feel like making a best debut album list, I suggest you don´t leave out Blizzard of Ozz from Ozzy, Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley and Lee Kerslake.
This is one helluva debut with some blistering shredding from the new star Rhoads at that time and featuring some of Ozzy´s most classic songs such as Crazy Train, Mr Crowley, I don´t know and Suicide Solution.
10.Kerry Livgren-Seeds of change
When Livgren of Kansas invites you to be on his first solo album, you say yes. That´s exactly what Ronnie James Dio, David Pack (Ambrosia), Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull), Jeff Pollard (LeRoux) and his pals in Kansas did.
I still think Mask of the great deceiver and To live for the king are the best vocal performances from Dio throughout his entire career.
A true hallelujah moment and progrock extraganza.

You probably have other albums on your own personal list and there are some really great ones missing in mine that easily could´ve ended up on any top list the last 15 years.
I mean, just take a look at these wonderful albums that didn´t make it on my list but are all classics.
Def Leppard-On through the night, Uriah Heep-Conquest, Gillan-Glory road, The Buggles-Age of plastic, Michael Schenker Group-MSG, Triumph-Progressions of power, Trust-Repression, Krokus-Metal rendezvouz, David Bowie-Scary monsters, Whitesnake - Ready an´ willing, Ultravox-Vienna, G-Force, Wild Horses-Wild Horses

1980 was also a tragic year with the deaths of John Lennon, John Bonham (that meant the end of Led Zeppelin), Bon Scott and Ian Curtis (Joy Division). But they will always be remembered.
The music lives on.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The year of 1980 Part 2

The 30 greatest albums of 1980 continues with the ones between 11-20.
11.Judas Priest-British steel
Released in the super month of April 1980 where albums like Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath, the debut from Iron Maiden and Solo in Soho from Lynott also came out.
Judas Priest kinda set the bar with British Steel as pioneers of heavy metal for decades to come.
12.Black Sabbath-Heaven and hell
Is there a life after Ozzy? Well, if you ask Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio, there is. Ozzy fans might argue with this being one of Sabbath´s best moments but Sabbath/hard rock fans in general all hail this masterpiece as a monumental cornerstone of heavy metal.
Today we know that Yes without Jon Anderson is possible, but 36 years ago it felt like biblical proportions to replace Anderson. However, Yes survived because of the multi-talented Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes (both from The Buggles).
Drama is not only a superb Yes record, it´s also one of the best progrock releases of this year.
14.UFO-No place to run
Michael Schenker had quit and UFO brought in Paul Chapman to fill his shoes, Paul Chapman-who?
On my 15th birthday, Dec 5th 1979 I saw UFO live in concert with Chapman on lead guitar and they performed songs from No Place To Run live. I can tell you that I didn´t miss Schenker for one bit that night. The band was on fire and songs like Letting Go and Mystery Train had a warm welcome from the audience. A great album indeed.
A shortlived westcoast/AOR band that might be the biggest westcoast supergroup ever featuring David Foster, Jay Graydon and Tommy Funderburk. Plus a list of stars as backing musicians like Jeff Porcaro, Steve Lukather, Bill Champlin, Tom Kelly, David Hungate etc.
This is probably the greatest westcoast album ever released, with some competition from Toto.
16.REO Speedwagon-Hi infidelity
If REO in the 70´s felt like medium size, than they grew into size XL on their blockbuster record Hi infidelity that sold more than 10 million copies and included 6 smash hits.
Some want to make a mixtape out of different artists but this 10 track album is like a mixtape of 10 fantastic AOR anthems.
A milestone for this band.
17.Kansas-Audio visions
By their 7th studio album, Kansas could lean back and enjoy a successful decade of the 70´s where the band had proven they belong in the elite of the progrock genre.
Audio Visions might not be a new Leftoverture and it´s not even one of their strongest releases, but Kansas with Steve Walsh and Kerry Livgren are always to be reckoned with and I will take this album over most modern progrock albums nowadays.
18.City Boy-Heads are rolling
The English lads of City Boy had their peak with the previous albums Book Early and The Day The Earth Caught Fire. they weren´t as popular with the last two LP´s Heads are rolling and It´s Personal that both failed to sell.
But sales aren´t important here, Heads are rolling is artrock deluxe. My god, it´s like a book from A to Z how to write top quality pomp AOR.
They´re gods.
19.Thin Lizzy-Chinatown
A band that doesn´t need any further introduction, their twin guitar sound is just as important to the history of rock and roll as the weight of Tony Iommi´s riffs or Eddie Van Halen´s tapping technique.
Chinatown didn´t feature Gary Moore nor Brian Robertsson but the new talented guy Snowy White rock, who also got the job in Pink Floyd´s The Wall on stage and today he´s with Roger Waters.
Chinatown is a classic hard rock record, pronto.
20.Iron Maiden-Iron Maiden
The bírth of NWOBHM legends, the original line up wouldn´t last for many albums but the songs will live on forever.
Hats off for Paul Di´Anno but I prefer Bruce Dickinson singing the songs from the first album live.
It feels like yesterday when I bought this LP as a kid, I´ll never forget the reaction when I got home and listened to it. The music was groundbreaking and felt so fresh.

1980 was the year I went to see concerts with John Miles, Thin Lizzy and Rainbow.
I can´t say I was too much of a fan of John Miles before this concert but it was a friend of mine who was a big fan of Miles, that persuaded me to come along.
I knew John Miles´s 1976 hit Music and had listened a bit to the 1978 album Zaragon and thought they were ok, but it was the songs from the 1979 album More Miles Per Hour that was the highlight of this concert.
I bought it straight after and became a fan right away.

Thin Lizzy on the other hand, was a favorite band of mine. I totally loved their albums from Nightlife up to Black Rose when I had a ticket to my first concert with Phil Lynott and Co.
This was in April 1980, six months before the release of the LP Chinatown and the setlist of this night speaks for itself, a night to remember.
1.Are you ready 2.Chinatown 3.Waiting for an alibi 4.Jailbreak 5.Do anything you want to 6.Don´t believe a word 7.Sweetheart 8.Got to give it up 9.Still in love with you 10.Dear miss lonely hearts 11.Cowboy song 12.Boys are back in town 13.Suicide 14.Sha la la 15.Sugar blues 16.Baby drives me crazy

This year was also the first time I saw Rainbow live with Ritchie Blackmore, Don Airey, Graham Bonnet, Roger Glover and Cozy Powell.
It was the only tour to feature Graham Bonnet as the frontman but I thought he did a great job, rumours says that it was because he told the audience "Do you like rock and roll? I Don´t", that he was fired from the band.
The setlist focused on the latest LP Down To Earth which is one of my favorite albums with Rainbow so it couldn´t get any better.
The opening act Reeperbahn had a much rougher night, the hard rock audience booed and threw bottles at the band during their set so they had to leave the stage.
I guess the Rainbow fans wasn´t so interested in listening to a garage rock band, they wanted to see Ritchie.
And here´s what we got.
1.Eyes of the world 2.Love´s no friend 3.Since you been gone 4.All night long 5.Catch the rainbow 6.Lost in Hollywood 7.1812 Overture / Cozy Powell Drum Solo 8.Guitar solo 9.Man on the silver mountain / Blues / Will you still love me tomorrow 10.Long live rocknroll 11.Kill the king

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The year of 1980 Part 1

1980 was a magic year when it comes to music, NWOBHM started it´s crusade all over the world, AOR conquered the charts and the world´s no.1 best selling rock album was released this year from some Aussie´s that just lost their frontman.
I was 15 years old and turned 16 in December later that year. I´ve just learned to play the bass, my first bass was a cheap 4-stringer by the name of Kent (bought in 1978) and taught myself to play along to records with Bachman Turner Overdrive, Kiss and Thin Lizzy.
The first local band I was in was called Burn, ofcourse named after the famous Deep Purple song, but we sucked big time.
But enough ´bout that, let´s focus on the great music instead with the 30 greatest albums of 1980 starting with the ones from 21 to 30.

21.Cheap Trick-All shook up
Produced by the iconic George Martin and indeed one of this band´s most overlooked albums featuring the powerpop gem Stop This Game, the Beatles-esque World´s Greatest Lover and the best unknown CT song Go For The Throat.
22.Queen-The Game
The majesties of rock entered the 80´s with a new image and sound but still presented with the ordinary set of arena anthems like Another One Bites The Dust, Save Me and Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
John Deacon performed some of his most classic and groovy basslines on this record, Dragon Attack is sooo cool.
A band in crisis, Peter Criss was leaving Kiss and the music showed a band that was searching for a new identity with a more pop-oriented sound.
Most fans might hate it but you can´t take away that this album contains some really great melodic hard pop songs like Is That You, Naked City, Tomorrow and the beautiful Shandi.
And eventually the masks fell off.
24.Peter Gabriel-Peter Gabriel aka Melt
The 3rd solo album from the living progrock legend that had left Genesis a few years earlier, this was his first no.1 album in the U.K and Gabriel was becoming really big.
Soon everybody would be humming on songs such as Biko, Games Without Frontiers and No Self Control.
The 2nd album from Genesis as a trio, it wasn´t as progressive as the 1978 masterpiece And Then There Were Three but Duke was the band´s greatest commercial success so far with the hits Turn It On Again and Misunderstanding.
Mike Rutherford´s Man Of Our Times still remains one of this band´s best songs ever recorded.
26.Phil Lynott-Solo in Soho
Not many artists can put together a collection of songs in a variety of styles like reggae, pop, synth and rock and still make it work like our beloved Phil Lynott.........and make it work really good too.
His first solo album was a big step away from the hard rock sound of Thin Lizzy but the same passionate vocal performance was there, as well as Lynott´s typical storytelling lyrics.
A timeless record.
A Canadian band was about to be introduced to the world that combined AOR with new wave and hard rock, this was a fantastic start of a band that would become soundtrack heroes of the 80´s.
Is there an AOR fan that doesn´t know the song Turn Me Loose?
We all love singer Mike Reno, the kid who is still hot tonite.
28.Saxon-Wheels of steel
The breakthrough album from the British NWOBHM kings that should be just as huge as Iron Maiden, Biff Byford is one of the best frontmen ever and  classic songs like Motorcycle Man, 747 along with the title track will stand the test of time as mighty as the Chinese wall.
Don´t forget to play it loud.
29.Saga-Silent knight
The first two albums made Saga big in Canada but with Silent Knight, they would take over Europe as well. This is first class pomp/prog where every kid wanted to learn how to play keyboards when they heard epic tracks like Don´t Be Late and Careful Where You Step.
If something is worthy the name finesse, it´s this album.
30.Motorhead-Ace of spades
This is real rock and roll ladies and gents, non-compromising full throttle rock. Loved by punk rockers, hippies, bikers, hard rockers and girls.
Lemmy and Co had already put Motorhead on the map of rock and roll with albums like Overkill and Bomber but with Ace of spades, they turned into giants.

And then a quickie about the top 5 films of 1980.
1.Star Wars : The Empire Strikes Back
2.The Shining
4.The Fog
5.Sällskapsresan (The Charter Trip)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Album Spotlight : Inventions - Exist, Explore

Challenging the current pop-punk and heavy music paradigm, Melbourne five-piece Inventions lace everything they do with a touch of drama and emotion, presenting a fresh take on a sound deeply rooted in the early 2000s Alt-rock scene. Armed with biting new single ‘Worthless’, the band are gearing up for the release of their second EP ‘ExistExplore, which is due out September 23 via Firestarter Distribution.
Produced by none other than studio guru Forrester Savell (Dead Letter CircusKarnivool), ‘Exist, Explore’ serves up five full bodied tracks of hard hitting, frenetic guitar driven rock, rounded out by frontman Jacob Leaney’s impassioned and theatrical vocals. Lead single ‘Worthless’ features vocalist Vonnie Sofia (previously of Danger! Earthquake!), a track that embodies Invention’s dark and introspective themes.
Since the arrival of their debut release in 2014, Inventions have supported the likes of mewithoutYou (USA), Emery (USA), D At Sea,Masketta Fall and Forever Ends Here amongst others. This October 15 will see the launch of ‘Exist, Explore’ at The Workers Club in Melbourne followed by a national tour soon TBA.
Exist, Explore is released on September 23rd.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Rock and Roll Heroes - Rush

More than 40 million records sold worldwide, countless sold-out tours, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Officers of the Order of Canada.
The greatest trio in the world has accomplished more than most bands will ever do but for Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart, it´s all about the music and the fans.
Rush´s music is all you need in the school of rock and they should have a planet named after themselves, just take a look at the classic albums from their self titled debut in 1974 to the latest masterpiece Clockwork Angels in 2012.
No further comments needed with albums like Fly by night, Caress of steel, 2112, A farewell to kings, Hemispheres, Permanent waves, Moving pictures, Signals, Grace under pressure, Power windows, Counterparts and Snakes and arrows.

Good albums in the meaning of Rush most often means first class prog rock and so are albums like Hold Your Fire and Roll The Bones, they might not be considered to be their greatest efforts but definitely proof that the best trio in the world can deliver magic even on a more normal level.
The song Tai Shan from Hold Your Fire takes me to China everytime I hear it, amazing.

Songs from Presto and Test For Echo rarely show up in the band´s touring setlists anymore but these albums are personal favorites of mine and would make any progrock band full of envy and wished they could write songs like Superconductor, Show don´t tell, Driven, Resist etc.

This might come as a shock to you but Rush has released two albums that doesn´t reach top quality, I thought the remix of Vapor Trails from 2013 did sound a bit better than the original version from 2002 but the songs still don´t move me as most Rush songs do.
Their covers album Feedback is a tribute to the artists they grew up listening to but I never listened to it again since the release in 2004.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

5 questions to Patrik Eriksson of Ile Kallio Big Rock Band

The top musicians of the Ile Kallio Big Rock Band was founded in the spring of 2013 and has since proved that classic rock is alive and kicking in the land of a 1000 lakes. Their debut album containing a primeval blues rock band's " Shook Up! " was released in the spring of 2015 and now the band is rocking the charts in Finland again with the brand new album Right now, out now on Sony Music.
We took a moment to ask frontman Patrik Eriksson 5 quick ones.

1. What is the latest record (cd/vinyl or download) you bought?
Patrik-The Common Linnets "II"
A great band that reminds me of Fleetwood Mac. The opening track of the album "We don't make the wind  blow" is an absolute killer of a song.

2. With pop taking over the charts, is rock and roll dead?
Patrik-No, not at all!
I'm very happy and proud to tell you that we released our second album with my band -Ile Kallio Big Rock Band- last friday and we went straight into number one on the finnish record store Levykauppa Äx's sales chart, so rock'n'roll is alive and kicking mate!

3. What do you think happens when we die?
Patrik-I really do wish that I'm wrong, but the answer is lights out I'm afraid..

4.If you had to pick a film to live in as a new character, which film would you choose and why?
Patrik-Almost Famous-
I was only i kid when all my musical heroes were on top of their game, this way i would meet and hopefully jam with them all

5.If Nasa made you an offer to be the first artist to play a concert on the moon, would you take it?
Patrik-Absolutely, bring it on!

Would this take place on "The Dark Side Of The Moon"?

5 questions to Lauren Strange

Born and raised in Memphis, TN, Lauren Strange has been an award-winning songwriter from the age of 9. Backed by her Pretty Killers, she forms a genuine bond with audiences. Lauren Strange is not an act to sleep on, blending real artisan songwriting with electrified passion for her craft. 
Lauren is about to release her own version of Cranberries 90´s hit Zombie on September 23rd, pre-order at this location:

1. What is the latest record (cd/vinyl or download) you bought? 
Lauren-I’m a huge Tegan & Sara fan, so the last record I bought is their new album “Love You to Death.” I’ve pre-ordered their last 2 records on iTunes and then bought a vinyl copy at my favorite record store in Nashville – The Groove Records! 

2. With pop taking over the charts, is rock and roll dead? 
Lauren-I think what’s considered mainstream rock is continually evolving, but there are still incredible rock bands making waves like Wolf Alice, Highly Suspect, Savages, & Meg Myers.  

3. What do you think happens when we die? 
Lauren-I’m really not sure. May I phone a friend – Neil deGrasse Tyson, maybe? 

4. If you had to pick a film to live in as a new character, which film would you choose and why? 
Lauren-I’d love to be in one of the upcoming Star Wars movies. The Force Awakens was such a great film and has such strong female leads. I also feel like I could easily be good pals with Kristen Wiig’s character in Bridesmaids. 

5. If Nasa made you an offer to be the first artist to play a concert on the moon, would you take it?
Lauren-Absolutely! I think it’d have to be a mostly David Bowie set to pay tribute to the Man Who Fell to Earth.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Album Spotlight : Operation Mindcrime - Resurrection

“Resurrection” is the second part of the musical trilogy from iconic metal vocalist Geoff Tate. Following one year after the release of the debut album in September 2015, Operation: Mindcrime is a creative platform that continues in the spirit of the historic album of the same name, spawning concepts as grand as the music, and intertwining the intensity of the former Queensryche vocalist's iconic past with the provocative, progressive mindset that has made him one of music's most resolute forces and frontmen.

Geoff Tate has sold more than 25 million records at the helm of Queensryche, the band he fronted for 30 years from their inception through 2012, earning three Grammy nominations, five MTV Music Video Award nomimations, and one MTV Music Video Award along the way. The landmark concept album Operation: Mindcrime thrust Tate's unique social consciousness, style and expertly crafted lyrics into the national spotlight in 1988, and was followed by Empire in 1990, the album that delivered Queensryche to arena-headlining status and sold more than three million albums on the back of hit singles and radio staples "Silent Lucidity" and "Jet City Woman." By the time the band released Promised Land in 1994, Geoff Tate was universally acknowledged as one of the greatest frontmen in rock and metal, and a driving force behind one of the most innovative bands in mainstream music. From Mindcrime and Promised Land through 2009's overlooked gem American Soldier - Tate's ambitious concept album that explores the consequences of war as told through the voices of veterans - Tate's 13-album tenure with Queensryche was marked by exploration, intrigue, bold risks and gratifying results.

Resurrection continues in that fine musically adventurous tradition.

Resurrection is released on Sept 23rd.

Album Spotlight : Cry of Dawn - Cry of Dawn

Award-winning singer Göran Edman is one of the premier vocal talents coming out of Scandinavia, with a carrier spanning over 30 years. His unique vocal style has been embraced by numerous genres including neoclassic metal, progressive rock and AOR just to name a few. His vocals can be found on records from John Norum, Yngwie Malmsteen, Brazen Abbot, Glory among others.

With his clean, powerful and soul-infused voice, he is a highly sought-after studio vocalist who has become well known for his performance skills and adaptability. With over 50 albums, extensive world touring, as well as writing and production credits, Göran Edman has etched his name as one of the music industry's most prolific and successful Scandanavian artists of our time.

CRY OF DAWN is Goran Edman’s latest child: a straight ahead AOR / Melodic Rock album which highlights his amazing abilities on some superb songs written for him by Michael Palace, Steve Newman, Alessandro Del Vecchio Sören Kronkvist, Daniel Palmqvist and Robert Säll.
The result is a true feast for all lovers of this music with hints to the sounds of giants like Night Ranger, Journey, Bad English and Starship!

Göran Edman - Lead and backing vocals
Michael Palace - Guitars and bass
Sören Kronqvist - Keyboards
Daniel Flores - Drums and keyboards
Produced by Daniel Flores

Cry of Dawn is released on Sept 23rd.

Album Spotlight : RavenEye - Nova

RavenEye is a UK-based rock trio formed in 2014 by 25-year-old, multi-award winning guitarist/singer Oli Brown, along with Aussie bassist Aaron Spiers.
Having already toured the US, the UK and Europe, RavenEye have been slamming audiences with their signature heavy riffs and incendiary live show.
In 2015, RavenEye released its debut EP, “Breaking Out”, and toured extensively worldwide with headline shows, direct support slots for The Darkness, Slash, Deep Purple, Halestorm and The Blues Pills and appearances RavenEye is a UK-based rock trio formed in 2014 by 25-year-old, multi-award winning guitarist/singer Oli Brown, along with Aussie bassist Aaron Spiers.
Having already toured the US, the UK and Europe, RavenEye have been slamming audiences with their signature heavy riffs and incendiary live show.
In 2015, RavenEye released its debut EP, “Breaking Out”, and toured extensively worldwide with headline shows, direct support slots for The Darkness, Slash, Deep Purple, Halestorm and The Blues Pills and appearances at major rock festivals, including Download Festival (UK), Hellfest (France), Azkena Rock Festival (Spain) and others in the US and South America. 

Warren Riker (Lauren Hill, Michael Jackson, Down, Anders Osborne), who engineered the debut EP, took over as producer to capture the band’s true sonic identity on the band’s debut full length NOVA. Together, they worked at Water Music in Hoboken, New Jersey for 25 days and created an eleven-track album that pushed the band beyond its boundaries and into new ground. From the hard hitting riffs of “Inside”, “Madeline” and “Hero” to the raw sounds of “Wanna Feel You” and “Oh My Love’ to the stark reality of life and death in “Eternity”, NOVA takes you to a journey of defiance, pain, hate, death and, yes, love.
Filled with deep, bluesy grooves which invoke giants such as Led Zeppelin and Soundgarden, RavenEye continue to win fans around the world with their huge sound and killer live shows. The extensive touring in 2015 laid the ground work for a hungry fan-base and, this past April, one year after the release of their debut EP, Breaking Out, the band debuted on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart in the US.
The critical acclaim has been just as loud with Classic Rock Magazinesaying, "(RavenEye) deliver a thunderous set of the kind of feet-planted, head-bobbing groove-rock that has paid Pearl Jam’s cable bills for twenty-five years." And Rock at Night said of the Houston stop, “…their stage show was INSANE to watch!”
When RavenEye formed two years ago, the then 25 year old, Oli Brown, singer and multi-award winning guitarist, had already released four solo albums and toured the world for 10 years with legends such as Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter and Joe SatrianiVegas24Sevensaid of the RAVENEYE frontman, Oli Brown captivated the audience”, Mojo Magazine hailed Oli as, “the hottest young pistol in British blues” and Classic Rock Magazine described him as "one of the best and brightest guitar heroes performing in the world today".
Together, RavenEye’s live performances and take their present and future fans on a journey to the next level and developing new shows from the tracks of NOVA truly sets listeners and fans on the RavenEye path.
Vocals, Guitar - Oli Brown
Bass, Synth - Aaron Spiers
Drums – Gunnar Olsen

Nova is released on Sept 23rd.

Rock and Roll Heroes - Saliva

Oh it´s been a while since I posted something in the Rock and Roll Heroes column, I know there are some bands/artists that are missing here. I´m a fool to say otherwise.
My good friend Philippe reminded me of a legendary powertrio, one of my favorite bands actually, and that Canadian band is waiting in line to be featured in the new additions.
But first out, the very underrated hard rock band Saliva from Memphis, Tennessee.
These guys belong in the elite division of the active rock genre, combining massive nu-metal riffs with rap and superstrong modern rock choruses, puts them among the best bands on this side of the century.
The other day I was writing e-mails to another good friend of mine, George, in England and we were discussing Saliva so it felt only natural to listen to their catalogue again. Indeed, it felt so good to be reminded of the first class quality of this awesome band.
Their big-4 records are without doubt Every Six Seconds from 2001, Back Into Your System from 2002, Blood Stained Love Story from 2007 and Cinco Diablo from 2008.
Click Click Boom Baby!

Memphis is truly the mecca of active rock, competing with Jacksonville, Florida in a battle that could be a messy fight because both cities are the homes of some fantastic bands.
From Memphis we have Saliva, Skillet, Devour The Day, Breaking Point, Egypt Central and One Less Reason to name a few and from Jacksonville, we can find Burn Season, Shinedown, Cold, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Limp Bizkit.
Saliva has gone through some major line up changes since the formation in the mid 90´s, former lead singer Josey Scott and rhythm guitarist Chris D´Abaldo are no longer with the band but they are still going strong with original lead guitarist Wayne Swinny, long time drummer Paul Crosby and the new members Bobby Amaru on lead vocals and Brad Stewart on bass.
Their two latest releases Rise up from 2014 and Love, Lies and Therapy from 2016 are worth checking up as truly solid albums, just as well as the 2004 album Survival of The Sickest.

Their last record with former frontman Josey Scott is the almost forgotten Under Your Skin from 2011, it wasn´t as successful as their early albums but still just as great.
Josey left the band to pursue a solo christian career, we are still waiting for the album man!
The proof of Saliva´s greatness can be found in an album like Under Your Skin, there are so many bands in this genre that wished they could write songs like these.

Their debut from 1997 is a rough diamond, the band wasn´t ready for the big league but still had plenty of great ideas. Two of the songs from this album were re-recorded for the breakthrough album Every Six Seconds. I´m not a big fan of this album but you can tell, this band had something big going on and 4 years later, they unleashed it.
And the story of Saliva isn´t over yet.