Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Interview with The Soul Shakers

When Elias Paul Reidy (formerly of The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus) and Brett Hellings formed The Soul Shakers after a chance meeting outside of a club on the Sunset Strip, they had one single goal in mind - to bring good ole-fashioned, ass-shaking rock ‘n’ roll back into the forefront.
Please read the new interview with the guys about double live albums, tour riders and why they prefer women and song over wine.

Hello, your first single Here To Have A Good Time is out now. How has the response been so far?

Brett  - Hey Kaj!  Well, so far the response has been really good.  We're grateful to have such a positive never really know what people are gonna think when you put something out there but it looks like people still dig 'em some rock and roll and a good time.

So, who are The Soul Shakers? Who are in the band?

Brett  - The Soul Shakers consist mainly of the two of us—Elias Reidy (Guitars/Bgvs) and me, Brett Hellings (Lead Vox).  We started the group in and around LA in 2014, and after several lineup changes, name changes and city changes we’ve remained the backbone of the group.  Since moving to Nashville, we’ve started to form relationships and play more consistently with other solid musicians. We’ve been working with Bill Van Vleet (Drums), Schylar Shoates (Guitars) and Thomas Banks (Bass).   Things have been really shaping up for us since the move down South.

When can we expect a release of your upcoming debut album?

Brett  - The album is done!  We finished it this summer/fall and we are waiting to release it until after the new year.  

You are originally from L.A, why did you move to Nashville?

Brett  - I'm originally from outside of Philadelphia but moved to LA in my 20s.  I consider LA to be a second home. The move to Nashville was prompted when we wanted a change of scenery, some new experiences and inspiration, and to get back closer to home and our roots. We also wanted a city that was solely focused on the music—what better spot than Music City for that? So far it's been a good decision. We certainly miss  some qualities of LA a lot, but Nashville has treated us well. 

The album is produced by Dan Malsch (Motionless In White, Tantric, Framing Hanley), were you on the same level of how you wanted the album to sound like?
Brett  - Definitely on the same level. It’s one of the main reasons we wanted to work with Dan so much.  He kind of let us be us and understood the type of rock sound we’re going for.  That's the sort of producing Elias and I love since we both tend to be very hands-on in the studio and during the mixing process. Dan lets you become you and makes sure it sounds the best it possibly can.  Couldn't have done it without Dan the Man—if you’re ever looking for a great record, SoundMine will deliver. 

You are influenced by 70´s rock and most 70´s bands released double live albums so when will you make a double live?

Brett  - God, I hope the next one is a double live album!  I will say that I would absolutely love to release a record like that, but I also  think it takes a lot more time on the road then we’ve played yet to pull it off—at least a quality one.  But don't doubt it, it's on our bucket list. 

Out of wine, women and song. If you could only have 2 out of 3, which one would you take away?

Brett  - Great question…I think that's one of the toughest questions I've been asked yet in this slew of interviews!  All three of those things have a place in my life. I guess for the question’s sake, I’d take women and song.  The wine part would be hard to give up, but music is my life and no one wants to listen to it alone. 

I guess you look up to classic bands like Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin and The Black Crowes. But do you think there are any new bands around that are good enough of keeping the legacy alive of true rock and roll?

Brett  - It's a struggle out there nowadays.  There are some good bands out there that are trying to keep rock and roll alive, and I guess only time will tell.  It's the reason we will never stop doing what we do... rock and roll will find a way to survive and we want to be a part of that survival. 

When The Soul Shakers are big enough, what will be on your tour rider?

Brett  - A new shirt for every performance! That would be nice.  Definitely always some Jack Daniels or 1800 Tequila to get us loose for the show.  Make sure they’ve got Deviled eggs backstage at the show,  I love those things.  I know this goes beyond the rider, but I personally can't wait to have my very own guitar tech, vocal warmup coach and roadies.  I'm gonna take care of those guys pretty damn good. 

Where will The Soul Shakers be in 10 years?

Brett  -  Making music.  More records and touring.  Great rock and roll bands don't happen overnight, so as long as we are still plugging along I will be happy.  E and I aren't stopping, and whoever wants to jump on that train with us will be welcomed with open arms.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Quickbits : Birds of Tokyo, Ray Toro, In Flames

Birds of Tokyo - Brace (2016) The best record so far from the sons of Perth
The 5th studio album from Birds of Tokyo is definitely a challenging record, produced by David Bottrill (Tool, Rush, Muse), these Aussies has gone for a more darker electro rock sound on "Brace".
I wasn´t too happy about their poppy approach on the 2015 "Anchor" EP but this band is truly unpredictable because soundwise, they have decided to walk a different path on "Brace".
This is what you get if you put Vast, Depeche Mode and Twenty One Pilots in a blender, not so radio friendly perhaps but who cares? I like it and I like it a lot.
The band says the Mums of Australia is going to hate it, they´re probably right but this is what music is all about, to get a reaction and I am happy and surprised as a lottery winner getting the first million.
Bring out the cake because this needs to be celebrated and by the way, where do I send the flowers?
(+) The perfect film soundtrack to Blade Runner if it was done in 2016.
(-) If it doesn´t sell, we won´t get another record like this one from Birds of Tokyo.

Ray Toro - Remember the laughter (2016) Nice debut solo from the MCR axeman
The story of My Chemical Romance might have ended in 2013 but the bandmembers continues to release music in new projects like guitarist Frank Iero and The Patience with the 2nd album "Parachute" out this year, singer Gerard Way released his solo album "Hesitant alien" in 2014 while bassist Mikey Way is a member of Electric Century with the brand new album "For the night to control" out now.
Guitarist Ray Toro played on Reggie and The Full Effect´s "No country for old music" from 2013 and then worked on his debut solo album "Remember the laughter" between 2013-2016.
The album is recorded and mixed in Ray´s house and he wrote, produced, sang and played most of the instruments except drums by Jarrod Alexander and Tom Rasulo.
Tim Pierce (Rick Springfield) is playing guitar on the track "Requiem" which is one of the album´s 15 tracks but 5 of those are just short pieces of sounds.
Ray´s full name is Raymond Manuel Toro Ortiz and his favorite band is Iron Maiden but "Remember the laughter" doesn´t sound anything like Maiden or his previous band MCR.
It´s a mix of new wave and alternative pop / rock in the same vein as The Outfield meets Angels and Airwaves which is really cool, the best songs are "Take the world" and "Isn´t that something".
(+) This works just fine as medication while waiting and hoping for MCR´s comeback.
(-) Less is more but the mix feels a bit too minimalistic

In Flames - Sounds from the heart of Gothenburg (2016) The Swedish metalgods are on fire
Sounds from the heart of Gothenburg is the 2nd live album from In Flames, the first one The Tokyo Showdown was released in 2001 so it was about time the band gave us another one.
Recorded in November 2014, in front of a sold-out venue of 10,000 fans right inside the Scandinavium in their hometown.
What a great way to close a chapter for long-time drummer Daniel Svensson who´s been in the band for 18 years, he is now replaced by new drummer Joe Rickard.
This double album mainly contains songs from the band´s 3 latest releases "Siren charms" (2014), "Sounds from a playground fading" (2011) and "A sense of purpose" (2008).
14 out of 20 tracks are taken from these albums where the songs from "Siren charms" are much harder live compared to the polished versions on the studio album.
The rest of the setlist are taken from the albums between "Colony" (1999) and "Come clarity" (2006) where the highlight is "Cloud connected", it doesn´t get more metal than this.
None of the members on their debut album "Lunar strain" from 1994 are in the current line up but that seems like a small matter since the band´s trademark comes from singer Anders Fridén, guitarist Björn Gelotte and bassist Peter Iwers.
(+) Thumbs up for the great audience that shows what loyal fans they are.
(-) If you wanted more songs from their early era, you might be disappointed.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Review : Rik Emmett & RESolution9 - RES9

Rik Emmett & RESolution9 - RES9 (Mascot Label Group) 2016
Produced by Rik Emmett / Dave Dunlop / Steve Skingley
Tracks : 1.Stand still 2.Human race 3.I sing 4.My cathedral 5.The ghost of shadow town 6.When you were my baby 7.Sweet tooth 8.Heads up 9.Rest of my life 10.End of the line 11.Grand parade
3 out of 5

Melodic rock, blues, christmas music, acoustic albums, well Rik Emmett has done the lot. He has released countless of solo albums but what most fans know his work from is the hard rock trio Triumph between 1975 and 1988, plus a short reunion in 2008 at the Sweden Rock Festival.
With the new album RES9, Rik is banging on the big drum because he managed to get his former bandpals in Triumph to play on the track "Grand parade".
Even though the names of Gil Moore - Vocals/Drums and Mike Levine - Bass are credited on "Grand parade", I can´t say it´s sounding like a typical Triumph song.
The song is slightly jazzy and smooth, not that bad though but I expected something else from a band that has released classic hard rock albums such as Rock and roll machine, Just a game and Allied forces.
Rik Emmett´s ultimate goal for RES9 is to connect with as many people as possible, he says there´s a common thread of positivity in the album that ties into the records he was making 30 years ago.
If you look at RES9 as a good melodic blues album, then you will be more than happy to have it in your collection. But if you rather wished for something that would fulfill your every dream of a melodic rock album, then look away and keep going.
Rik is doing some electrifying stunning guitar playing on RES9, he also has a groovy band behind him with Dave Dunlop - Guitar, Paul DeLong - Drums and Steve Skingley - Bass.
The best tracks are the more melodic rocking songs like "Heads up", "Human race" featuring Alex Lifeson on 12-string guitar, "I sing" featuring James LaBrie on lead vocals and the beautiful "My cathedral".
Another cool track is the 70´s rocker "End of the line" that features both Alex Lifeson on the third guitar solo and James LaBrie on lead vocals. The band is hot!
All in all a good album.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Review : Smash Into Pieces - Rise and shine

Smash Into Pieces - Rise and shine (2017) Gain / Sony Music
Produced by Per Bergquist / Smash Into Pieces
Tracks : 1.Turn it down 2.Let me be your superhero 3.Merry go round 4.Higher 5.Animal 6.Stay 7.YOLO 8.Save it for the living 9.In love with love 10.Rise and shine
4 out of 5

Touring, touring and more touring, that seems to be the motto for Swedish 5 piece Smash Into Pieces. These guys work hard and in January, they unleash album no.3 "Rise and shine" that features the singles "Let me be your superhero", "Merry go round" and "Higher".
This band is about to become the biggest export of metal from Sweden after Ghost and In Flames. Well, Smash Into Pieces are only waiting for their first big international hit and after hearing their new album "Rise and shine", I must say that it´s on it.
The laid back "In love with love" takes the band out into the masses of mainstream, not to mention the infectious "YOLO" that gets stuck in the head like superglue.
The opening track "Turn it down" defines what´s Smash Into Pieces signature sound, a fat modern hard rock track that sounds like a given partystarter.
I can´t say I was such a big fan of their more pop-oriented singles "Merry go round" and "Higher" at first, but these songs grow and are now good album tracks.
You will find the real highlight at the end of the album with the title track "Rise and shine", Jesus! This one is just as gigantic as Godzilla. Play it loud!
Also, let´s welcome their new drummer that goes by the name of The Apocalypse DJ.
Hats off!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Rock and Roll Heroes - Skillet

Skillet is the first christian band to hit no.1 on the mainstream rock chart, they have toured hard ever since the formation in 1996 and truly earned their success. You could say there are two different Skillet soundwise, the industrial rock/post grunge version pre-Comatose and the symphonic rock version post-Comatose.
But it´s definitely the 2006 album Comatose that made them a name on everybody´s lips, that album and the new one Unleashed are bigger than life.
Rebirthing, the opening track of Comatose, is top quality epic rock like a gift from god so it was easy to pick Comatose on Palace of Rock´s Top 25 christian rock albums ever made.

Invincible from 2000 is hardly an album the average Skillet fan listens to but it´s an underrated piece of work and the one that made me a fan of this band.
This album is more of an electro rock affair with plenty of ultra strong tracks that won´t be misplaced in a setlist live.
Best tracks : You´re powerful, Best kept secret

Skillet has built a strong foundation with the following albums, Hey You I Love Your Soul (1998), Alien Youth (2001), Awake (2009) and Rise (2013).
The smash hit Monster from the Awake album is their most popular song but the band lined up chartclimbers like Awake and Alive, Lucy and Sick of it from the latter albums while the die hard fans look back on the fan faves of their early albums with songs like Alien Youth, Vapor, You are my hope and Locked in a cage.
No wonder, Skillet has become widely influential for bands like Wavorly, Stria, Awaken The Empire, The Spiritual Plague and The Truth Is.

The only two albums that doesn´t reach the high level of the other ones with this Memphis based quartet are the debut from 1996 and Collide from 2003, these should appeal to the post-grunge lover but I miss the overall brilliance of this band´s normal standards.
Sure, there are signs of what was to come on Collide but the record´s uneven and the production lack of power.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Quick Bits : Jerad Finck, Sixx A.M, Ritchie Blackmore´s Rainbow

The break from writing reviews here at Palace of Rock only did me good, I needed it. I wrote the last review in June and the latest quickbits was posted in April so now it´s time to re-open the palace of reviews. First out a quickbits about 3 really cool albums.
Jerad Finck - Criminal EP (2015) Modern pop / rock without a due date
There are lots of artists out there that could only dream of having experienced the same things Jerad Finck has, Jerad´s song "Runaway" was the #1 independent song in the U.S in 2011 and he has opened for Daughtry, Vertical Horizon and Ingram Hill.
Jerad worked with producers like David Hodges (Kelly Clarkson), Andrew Williams (Five For Fighting) and Nathan Meckel on his latest record "Criminal" which is the follow-up to the 2012 EP "Stuck in your riddle" that was released on Rock Ridge Music.
We´re talking adult contemporary pop/rock here for fans of The Fray, Parachute and Gavin DeGraw.
It´s real easy to like these radio ready tunes where songs like "Blood in the water", "The good life" and "Fire proof" stands out, no doubt Jerad´s an incredibly talented guy.
(+) These are 100% honest songs.
(-) If you´re allergic to anything mainstream, don´t bother listening.

Sixx A.M - Prayers for the blessed Vol.2 (2016) An arsenal of active rock anthems
DJ Ashba cannot see why he should ever return to Guns´N´Roses and why should he, Sixx A.M has built a strong fanbase after 4 really great albums and album no..5 "Prayers for the blessed Vol.2" keeps the band on top of the rock.
They will be kings of the mountain if they continue to release such awesome music as "Prayers for the damned Vol.1" and the new one which is absolutely stellar.
If you dig the singles "Barbarians", "We will not go quietly" and "Without you", you´re in for a treat with the rest that are all killers, no fillers.
When was the last time a band released two great albums the same year?
Favorite track at the moment : "Riot in my head".
(+) Impressive with such a strong release only 7 months after Vol.1.
(-) ................................

Ritchie Blackmore´s Rainbow - Memories in rock - Live in Germany (2016) The return of a rock legend
When Ritchie Blackmore announced he was gonna play some rock and roll again, there were some of the former members of Rainbow that had hopes of being a part of the historic comeback.
After 2 decades of playing medieval folk music in Blackmore´s Night, Ritchie brought in a whole new team of musicians for the 2016 line up and it wouldn´t feature Joe Lynn Turner.
Ritchie said before the announcement of the new line up that Joe Lynn Turner won´t be a part of the Rainbow shows, but he just doesn´t know it yet. Another classic quote from the man in black.
That pissed off JLT so much that he called out the new line up as a covers band, so much drama.
But when it all comes down, it has always been Ritchie Blackmore´s Rainbow from the start where the other members have come and gone.
Too bad though that Ritchie only settled for 3 shows, 2 in Germany and 1 in Birmingham, England.
Well, we wanted a tour.
The new live album "Memories in rock", which is the 5th live album from Rainbow, is recorded from the nights in Germany during the summer of 2016.
I think this line up of Ronnie Romero - Lead Vocals (Lords of Black), Jens Johansson - Keyboards (Yngwie Malmsteen), David Keith - Drums (Blackmore´s Night) and Bob Nouveau - Bass (Blackmore´s Night) are backing up Ritchie in a real fine way.
(+) Frontman Ronnie Romero is a perfect fit for the songs of the Dio era.
(-) I wish Ritchie could´ve picked a few more Rainbow songs instead of the Deep Purple era.

Live albums from 2016

Back in the 70´s and the 80´s, live albums were the highlights of a band´s career but in the 90´s they became more and more like greatest hits albums that sounded like a studio recording with an overdubbed live audience. Boring if you ask me.
Now you might wonder if there are any new good live albums and there are, both new live recordings and the unreleased ones that finally gets an official release.
2016 is not a big year when it comes classic live albums but there are some really nice ones like:

Bring Me The Horizon-Live at the Royal Albert Hall
BabyMetal-Live at Wembley
Disturbed-Live at Red Rocks
Steel Panther-Live from Lexxi´s Mom´s Garage
Bad Company-Live 1977 Live 1979
Led Zeppelin-The complete BBC Sessions
Saga-Live in Hamburg
The Rolling Stones-Havana Moon
Rainbow-Memories in rock, Live in Germany
Rainbow-Monsters of rock, Live at Donington 1980
Toto-Live at Montreaux 1991
Crazy Lixx-Sound of the live minority
Tesla-Mechanical resonance live
Night Ranger-35 years and a night in Chicago
Queen-On air
Royal Hunt-Cargo
A.C.T-Trifles and pandemonium
In Flames-Sounds from the heart of Gothenburg

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Album Spotlight : Silver Rose EP

Silver Rose is a testament to the ambition of its maker. Essentially a new outlet for Ruido Rosa’s Carla Sariñana, it’s the rollicking sound of a musician at her artistic peak. Culling influences from a wide variety of different sources, you can distinctly hear on the EP the tortured strains of Jesus and Mary Chain, the pop sophistication of Mazzy Star and the ethereal whimsies of Bat For Lashes converging with a definite ear for the ultimate 70’s soft rock melodic hooks. Recorded at Panoram Studios in Mexico City from late 2015 into March this year, it includes session work from Edward Patrick on drums, Cesar Saez, and Javier Blake from Mexican punk pop band División Minúscula. All of the songs were written by Carla Sariñana except for ‘Where I Left My Heart’ which was written in collaboration with Cesar Saez. Essentially a bilingual project, it’s a record of two halves: English and Spanish, both cohesively tied together with Carla’s enchanting ear for dreamy melodies. Both immediately infectious and challengingly cerebral, Silver Rose is a testament to the resplendent artistry of its maker.

Silver Rose EP is out now.

Tracklisting : 1.Suenos de Amor 2.Noches 3.Take me home 4.I`m alright 5.Crimen 6.Where I left my heart

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Album Spotlight : Dario Mollo´s Crossbones - Rock The Cradle

Best known for his partnerships in the The Cage with Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath) and Voodoo Hill with Glenn Hughes (Black Country Communion, Deep Purple, California Breed), Italian guitarist Dario Mollo began his career in 1981 with the band CROSSBONES. With them, he released his first studio album in 1989, which was produced by Kit Woolven (Thin Lizzy Official, MAGNUM and UFO, among others) before getting involved in the production side of things himself.

For this new CROSSBONES album, the Italian axeman brought back original drummer, Ezio Secomandi with the line-up completed by his regular collaborator Dario Patti on bass and keyboards. The choice for the singer was Carl Sentance (Nazareth, Don Airey Band, Persian Risk, KROKUS), who came at the suggestion of Don Airey of Deep Purple, during a recent visit to Dario’s home.

“I think this record has a strong identity and character,” tells Dario. “It is a mature production and the songs range on many styles of hard rock and classic heavy metal, but every song has a catchy chorus. I also think this album shows how much I liked working with Carl. He is easily one of the best singers I have ever worked with. I am certain our cooperation will not end with this cd!” concludes Dario.

The quality of the material presented here is witness to that statement.
Dario Mollo’s CROSSBONES

Dario Mollo – guitars
Carl Sentance – vocals
Dario Patti – keyboards, bass guitar
Ezio Secomandi - drums

Rock The Cradle is released on December 2.

Tracklisting: 1.Red; 2.Take Me High; 3.Navigation; 4.Rock The Cradle; 5.Gates Of Time; 6.I Got This Feeling; 7.In My Blood; 8.Running From The Shadow; 9.Speed; 10.Fright.

Album Spotlight : Eternal Idol - The Unrevealed Secret

ETERNAL IDOL is a new band formed in early 2016 and that marks the start of a new musical adventure for RHAPSODY OF FIRE and ANGRA singer Fabio Lione, together with the experienced italian guitar player Nick Savio (ex-HOLLOW HAZE) and a line-up completed by the young vocal rising star Giorgia Colleluori, Camillo Colleluori (both also from HOLLOW HAZE) on drums and Andrea Buratto (SECRET SPHERE, HELL IN THE CLUB) on bass.

While all the musicians have a solid pedigree and history behind them, ETERNAL IDOL has a brand new and original sound which will certainly catch by surprise many fans. Fabio Lione says: “After all the experiences with bands as Kamelot, Rhapsody of Fire, Angra and many more, I think it is time to show the world a new side of me and this amazing new band. Musically, ETERNAL IDOL offer an intriguing mix of Classic Metal, Symphonic Rock and a few Progressive twists which is truly unique, thanks to the combination of female and male vocals.”

Fabio took care of most of the lyrics and vocal melodies, along with three gorgeous tracks, while Nick Savio worked hard on songwriting and arrangements. “The Unrevealed Secret" is the album where all our ideas came to the light,” says the axeman from Vicenza. “Heavy class rock with symphonic elements and the magic atmosphere of two lead vocals, male and female, create a contrast between good and bad as the main subject, as it is possible to see on the impressive and mysterious cover artwork.”

The album was recorded in the summer of 2016, produced by Nick Savio and mixed by Simone Mularoni (DGM, Sunstorm) and promises to be one of the Melodic Metal releases of the year which may appeal to all fans of Kamelot, Magnus Karlsson’s Freefall, Masterplan and Avantasia.

 “There is a story to be told with this album, and the secret will be revealed on the next Eternal Idol releases, so please take your time to listen this first chapter and enjoy... A new story has begun,” Nick concludes.

Fabio Lione – Lead Vocals
Giorgia Colleluori – Lead Vocals
Nick Savio - Guitars & Keyboards
Camillo Colleluori - Drums
Andrea Buratto- Bass

The Unrevealed Secret is released on December 2.

Tracklisting: 1.Evil Tears; 2.Another Night Comes; 3.Awake In Orion; 4.Is The Answer Far From God?; 5.Blinded; 6.Sad Words Unveiled; 7.Desidia; 8.Hall Of Sins; 9.Feels Like I'm Dying; 10.A Song In The Wind; 11.Stormy Days; 12.Beyond.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Album Spotlight : Hevidence - Nobody´s Fault

Hevidence is a brainchild of Italian guitar player Diego Reali.

Diego’s own story as a musician, began in 1996 with his first band called DGM. Thanks also to Diego’s songwriting and style, the band released six Prog-Power Metal masterpieces (“Random Access Zone”, “Change Direction”, “Wings Of Time”, “DreamLand”, “Hidden Place”, “Misplaced”).

For more than ten years Diego recorded and toured with DGM around the world. During this time he also collaborated with Claudio Simonetti, the former keyboards player and mastermind of Prog Italian band GOBLIN, among others.

In 2006 Diego wanted to stretch out and try other musical styles. So he started to work on different projects, spacing between many different kinds of music (blues, indie, country, pop & rock). He spent few months playing with his brother’s indie band “Happy Never After” having several jams and gigs around the country.

However it’s always difficult to forget where we all come from, that’s why after almost four years of musical experiments, Diego decided to go back to his original musical influence: classic heavy metal. He started writing many tunes aking musically to early DGM, but this time with a more conscious idea of his own style and with a musical background richer than ever. In 2010 he called his brother Stef Reali (Hijack Party) on drums and Andrea Arcangeli (DGM, NOVERIA, SOLISIA) on bass and started a new band called Evidence, with whom he released “There’s Only Ten Left”, the first album in 2011.

Now, after some lineup changes (enter Corrado Quoiani on vocals and Emiliano Bonini on drums), a new label, an even more mature and personal vision, the band slightly altered the name (from Evidence to Hevidence) and are now ready to take on the world with a style reminiscing of the classic Yngwie Malmsteen style, mixed with Power Metal and Melodic Hard Rock influences (think classic Europe).

Corrado Quoiani – Vocals
Diego Reali – Guitars
Andrea Arcangeli – Bass
Emiliano Bonini - Drums

Nobody´s Fault is released on December 2.

Tracklisting: 1.Dig In The Night; 2.Nobody' Fault; 3.Miracle; 4.So Unkind; 5.Ave Maria; 6.Overdrive; 7.I Want More; 8.Out Of This Time; 9.Pack Your Bags; 10.All I Ever Needed; 11.Note; 12.Dig In The Night (Acoustic - Digital Bonus Track).

Album Spotlight : Enuff Z´Nuff - Clowns Lounge

Enuff Z’nuff is the living, breathing example of what a rock/ pop group should be. In fact, the band is the very chrome-glinted definition of it. With every album and live performance packed to the brim with rock/ pop perfection, there are no signs of the band slowing down.

“Clowns Lounge” is a collection of rarities and early demos that have been partially reworked and re-recorded by the band. This exceptional collection also features a guest appearance from the late Jani Lane (of Warrant) as well as an appearance from James Young of Styx on “The Devil Of Shakespeare”.

As people have been clamoring for a new release from Enuff Z’nuff, the band just happened to receive a call from Derek Shulman, and the rest was history: “We had unfinished, unreleased material in the vault, and I went back into the studio in Chicago and started working on all the songs. Guitars, bass, vocals, it all needed to be tweaked, and with help from Chicago Recording Company and Chris Steinmetz of Stonecutter recording studios, we were able to create another rock solid record. It is basically an archival record featuring original band and Enuff Z'nuff as it is today. The record showcases the best elements of Enuff Z'nuff in the early days; in your face glitter rock with pop overtones. This is a true must have rock record for the diehard Enuff Z'nuff fans worldwide."

Chip on how the songs came about: “Donnie and I wrote the songs in the later part of 1988-89. They were recorded in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on 2" inch analog tape, during the time of our debut. The tracks were never finished, as we were very prolific and focused on laying down as many ideas as possible. Through the resources provided to us: recording studio, production, etc., we had a plethora of songs during that era and for one reason or another this batch slipped through the cracks. To restore the record we returned to the studio to record guitar, bass vocals, etc. which took us about six weeks in my studio and at CRC (Chicago Recording Company) along with Stonecutter studio in downtown Chicago. The skeleton of the song was already in place and we wanted to make sure the record had the feel of where the band is today. We also added a bonus single track (Dog on a Bone) that we plan on releasing as the first single.”

Of course a huge contributing member to this release was Donnie Vie. “Donnie and I wrote the songs together, as we have on all the Enuff Z'nuff albums. In 2013 Donnie left the band, disillusioned by the business and facing related health issues, and although he will not tour with the band he still shares in our vision of putting out great music. As he is dealing with his medical condition, we have his blessings on the record and moving forward with me as lead singer. When Peter Gabriel left Genesis, Phil Collins took over lead vocal duties. That is exactly the template we used here as now I front the band and look forward to moving it into the future”, says Chip.

Enuff Z’nuff
Chip Z’nuff – Singer, electric bass, guitar
Tony Fennell – Electric guitar, vox
Tory Stoffregen – Lead guitar, vox
Erik Donner – Drums, percussion, vox

Clowns Lounge is released on December 2.

Tracklisting: 1.Dog On A Bone; 2.Runaway; 3.Back In Time; 4.She Makes It Harder; 5.Rockabye Dreamland; 6.The Devil Of Shakespeare; 7.Radio; 8.Good Luv; 9.Round And Round; 10.Nothing; 11.Backstreet Kids; 12.One More Hit.

Album Spotlight : Night Ranger - 35 Years and a night in Chicago

Iconic '80s rockers Night Ranger have sold more 17 million albums worldwide and boast several platinum and gold albums to their name.
In celebration of their 35 plus year career and in anticipation of their brand new studio album, expected for spring of 2017, this new live album, featuring all of their classic and most recent hits, sees the band at the top of their game, delivering a superb performance not to be missed!

Recorded May 7, 2016 this concert at the House Of Blues in Chicago, Illinois will be available December 2nd on Blu Ray and 2CD/DVD via Frontiers Music Srl.

Jack Blades – bass and vocals
Brad Gillis – guitars
Kelly Keagy – drums and vocals
Eric Levy – keyboards
Keri Kelly - guitars

35 Years And A Night In Chicago is released on December 2.

CD1: Intro; Touch Of Madness; Sing Me Away; Four In The Morning; Growin' Up In California; Rumors In The Air; The Secret Of My Success; Sentimental Street; High Road; Eddie’s Comin’ Out Tonight.

CD2: Goodbye; Night & Day; Night Ranger; When You Close Your Eyes; Don't Tell Me You Love Me; Penny; Sister Christian; Rock In America.

Monday, November 14, 2016

September of my years

Music most often belong in a certain season, whenever a composer is about to write music for a film, it matters a lot if the scenes in the movie are to take set in the summer or fall.
The Italian baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi knew this already back in early 18th century when he wrote Four Seasons, four violin concertos appropriate for each season.
It just doesn´t feel right to listen to sad songs on a beautiful summer night when the party spirit is high or it´s almost hurtful to hear upbeat and positive dance music when you´re feeling down in late November.
This past week I´ve been listening to some season-like music and I don´t mean jingle bells in christmas.
4 new albums, 4 different seasons, diver down...........or wait till the smoke clears.

Swedish pride of metal, In Flames, continues to evolve their melodic death metal sound on their 12th studio album Battles. The fans are divided into 2 camps, the ones who love the band´s early albums and the ones who rather listens to the more melodic albums from Reroute To Remain and forward.
The band has promised to keep annoying their fans and since I´m a fan of their latter albums, Battles is without doubt one of their strongest albums in a long time.
It´s a true winter album with powerful, dark and majestic songs that will make you win wars.
American pop/rock band SafetySuit experienced the thrill of a #1 record at the end of 2012 but also endured a split with their record label and had to rebuild their entire team from the ground up.
The band recorded their 3rd self titled album with Tom Pagnotta (Walk The Moon) and Smith Carlson (OneRepublic), SafetySuit is a new start and more pop oriented than before.
Just like spring, the music is bright, hopeful and refreshing - all in all an album filled with songs that comes to life.
Italian-English singer/songwriter Jack Savoretti takes the listener right into autumn with his 5th album Sleep No More, the music is colourful, moody and melancholic and all songs has a story to tell.
Just let the emotions flow to moving songs like Troubled Souls or When We Were Lovers, he simply has a gift with that beautiful voice.
Waterparks are another cool powerpop trio from Texas that releases their debut full length Double Dare after 3 EP´s, these guys collaborated with Benji Madden (Good Charlotte) and Courtney Ballard and you´ve probably already heard the awesome track Stupid For You.
The summer vibes are all over this album, you can call it warm, sparkling and feel-good songs that will keep you up at night.
Waterparks is such a suitable name for this lovely band, I bet they go by the motto "no-off-position".

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Album Spotlight : Port Juvee - Crimewave

Although PORT JUVEE embody a sound that is equally indebted to New York City post-punk and California surf garage, the Canadian prairies is where the band calls home. The 5-piece’s latest release, CRIMEWAVE is a collection of 7-songs, produced by the band with help from Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend “Contra”). 

Between the ramshackle post-punk urgency of "Double Vision," the lackadaisical punk of "Bleached Out Soda Pop," "Trapped Under Water’s" pounding garage rhythms and the 80’s-inspired escapism of the title track, PORT JUVEE’s CRIMEWAVE offers the band’s most dizzying assortment yet. 

PORT JUVEE has supported DIIV, Titus Andronicus, Twin Peaks, Sticky Fingers, Bleachers and The Orwells, and played a multitude of festivals including CMJ, Sled Island X-Fest and Rifflandia. 

Crimewave is out now.

Tracklisting : 1.Double vision 2.Crimewave 3.Bleached out soda pop 4.Trapped under water 5.Slowly by 6.Dreams 7.Mania

Album Spotlight : Skyline - Nowhere Here

SKYLINE is a modern rock band formed in 2004, aiming to play modern and melodic rock influenced by the big modern rock bands coming from USA. The debut album called “The Other Words” has been self-produced in 2010 followed by extensive touring. In 2014 there’s another fundamental change of line up because immediately after the band found new strenght and inspiration to work on the second album called “Nowhere Here”, a perfect mixture of energy and melody influenced by such bands like Breaking Benjiamin, 30 Second To Mars and 3 Doors Down. “Nowhere Here” is the video single where all the highlights of the Skyline sound has been presented, “The Game” and “Everything is Wrong” shows a sound more influenced by pop/rock sound.

Nowhere Here is out now.

Tracklisting : 1.Way home 2.I dont care 3.The game 4.Nowhere here 5.Catch me 6.Red 7.Everything is wrong 8.The sun

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The machine that goes ping........

Hello rock fans,
Just when you thought there wouldn´t be any more exciting news in the world of rock music at the end of 2016, cinematic rock band Starset announces sophomore record Vessels to be released in January 2017. The new single Monster promise for great things to come.
And even if Neil Peart has stepped down from any more touring with Rush, the band can still surprise us with excellent releases such as the 40th anniversary re-issue of their epic 2112 album.
This package comes with a bonus disc of covers from Steven Wilson, Billy Talent, Dave Grohl, Alice in Chains, Jacob Moon as well as a disc of previously unreleased live tracks.
Christmas comes early!
You might have noticed that I don´t do much reviews any longer but never say die, just like snow in Sahara, a review drops from a clear blue sky and this time it´s about Brutai´s debut Born.
Read here.
I am also working on a new interview with the new rock and roll band The Soul Shakers, it should be online next week. These guys are cool.
Canadian rockers Big Wreck released a brand new song called One Good Piece Of Me that sounds like a wonderful flirt with Asia´s Heat of the moment, who would´ve believed that from Ian Thornley and Co?

Friday, November 4, 2016

Album Spotlight : FM - Indiscreet 30

30 years on FM announce that they have decided to record a modern-day version of their now classic debut album INDISCREET. The band was asked many times to consider re-recording some of these tracks using today's modern technology and recording techniques and giving the songs the sound of FM as it is today.

The band realises what an iconic album this is to so many fans so they have always steered clear of tampering with it too much but whilst in the studio recording the follow-up to HEROES & VILLAINS one night at the end of a session FM decided to put down a backing track to "That Girl" to see how it would sound with the huge sounds they were getting at the time. It gave the song a new dynamic and power that it was not possibleto achieve in the 80’s.

Whilst playing it again the following morning FM decided it would be great to hear all these classic songs with this new lease of life. “We are not trying to recreate the original but this is our interpretation played by FM as we are today with the sound of FM 2016” says FM’s bass player Merv Goldsworthy.

In addition to the re-recording of the original album, INDISCREET 30 also features seven bonus tracks including brand new song "Running On Empty" and a new recording of "Let Love Be The Leader".
INDISCREET 30 was produced by FM, recorded at Tremolo Studios and Coal House Studios, Staffordshire and mixed by Jeff Knowler (METROPOLIS, ROCKVILLE and HEROES & VILLAINS).

Steve Overland - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Merv Goldsworthy - bass, backing vocals
Pete Jupp - drums, backing vocals
Jem Davis – keyboards
Jim Kirkpatrick - lead guitar, backing vocals

Indiscreet 30 is released today.

Tracklisting : 1.That girl 2.The other side of midnight 3.Love lies dying 4.I belong to the night 5.American girls 6.Hotwired 7.Face to face 8.Frozen heart 9.Heart of the matter 10.Let love be the leader 11.Running on empty 12.Rainbow´s end 13.Shot in the dark 14.Bad that´s good in you 15.Love and hate 16.That girl (acoustic version)

Album Spotlight : Roth Brock Project

John Roth (Winger, Starship, Giant) and Terry Brock (Strangeways, Giant, Leroux) join forces to bring you the Roth Brock Project! John and Terry first met in 2009 while working on Giant's "Promise Land" record. They soon developed a unique song writing chemistry and musical bond which all these years later has led to their debut release for Frontiers Music. Powerhouse vocals and thundering guitars are at the forefront of this stellar collaboration from two of rock's most seasoned and underrated veterans.

John Roth landed his first gig at the age of 19 with Southern boogie rock legends Black Oak Arkansas in 1986, and soon found himself in demand for recording and touring with the likes of Jimi Jamison (R.I.P.) of Survivor, and 80's rock legends, Winger. Terry Brock's first job in the music business was as a vocalist on the Kansas album "Drastic Measures" in 1983, which was soon followed by a tour with the Steve Morse Band and two albums with Strangeways (who were signed to BMG/RCA Records). Terry is currently on tour with Louisiana's Leroux, while John is on tour with Starship featuring Mickey Thomas.


Terry Brock:  Lead and Background Vocals
John Roth: Guitars, Bass, Keys, Lead and Background Vocals
Scott Trammell: Drums, Percussion

Additional Musicians:
Kary Baddour: Piano on "Distant Voices"
Phil Bennet: Keyboards on "Never Givin' Up"
Jeff Adams: Background Vocals on "We Are"
Kory Myers: Background Vocals on "We Are"
Jimmy Fulp: Drums on "Fighter"
Produced and Engineered by: John Roth

Roth Brock Project is released today.

Tracklisting : 1.Young gun 2.What´s it to ya 3.Young again 4.If that´s what it takes 5.I don´t know why 6.Distant voices 7.We are 8.Fighter 9.My city 10.Never giving up 11.Reason to believe

Album Spotlight : Graham Bonnet Band - The Book

Legendary rock vocalist Graham Bonnet is back with a new band and an exciting new album titled 'The Book'.

The 'Graham Bonnet Band', features of course Graham Bonnet on lead vocals, Beth-Ami Heavenstone on bass, South American guitar sensation Conrado Pesinato on lead guitar, ex-Alcatrazz man Jimmy Waldo on keys and Mark Zonder (known for his acclaimed work with Warlord and Fates Warning) on Drums.

They promise a powerful set-list showcasing Graham's extraordinary career performing the songs the way you know them.
Born in Skegness, England (December 1947), Bonnet enjoyed his first chart success with The Marbles, his first single with them – ‘Only One Woman’, penned by the Bee Gees – becoming a top 5 UK hit in 1968.  After a spell recording advertising jingles, he appeared in the 1974 British comedy film ‘Three for All’ as lead singer of a fictional band called Billy Beethoven, receiving a rave review for his performance! Bonnet’s subsequent career has seen him work with some of the best musicians in the business, including guitar virtuosos Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai... drummers Cozy Powell and Ted McKenna, bassists Roger Glover and Chris Glen and keyboard player Don Airey.

He is well known as the voice on a number of classic heavy rock albums including Rainbow’s ‘Down to Earth’ (1979), Michael Schenker Group’s ‘Assault Attack’ (1982), Alcatrazz’s ‘No Parole for Rock ‘n’ Roll’ (1983) and ‘Disturbing the Peace’ (1985).
Rainbow’s ‘Down to Earth’ spawned two hit singles, a cover of Russ Ballard’s ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ and ‘All Night Long’. During his time with Rainbow, Bonnet also headlined the inaugural Monsters of Rock Festival at Castle Donington in the UK. Singles from the first two studio Alcatrazz albums, ‘Island in the Sun’ (from ‘No Parole …’ and ‘God Blessed Video’ (from ‘Disturbing the Peace’), became staples of MTV, then in its infancy.

Bonnet has maintained an active solo presence throughout most of his career, releasing albums periodically including the eponymous ‘Graham Bonnet’ (1977), which was a hit in Australia, ‘No Bad Habits’ (1978), ‘Line-Up’ (1981), ‘Here Comes the Night’ (1991), ‘Underground’ (1997) and ‘The Day I Went Mad’ (1999). The single ‘Night Games’ (from the ‘Line Up’ album) reached number 6 in the UK charts.

He has recorded and toured with a wide-range of other artists and released albums with bands such as Impellitteri, Forcefield, Blackthorne and Japanese legends Anthem.
Bonnet has a powerful and distinctive vocal style and, indeed, a distinctive image – preferring to let the music, rather than the conventional heavy metal look, do the talking.
The Graham Bonnet Band has spent the last 12 months touring solidly around the world, with performances at several major European festivals including an acclaimed set at Sweden Rock 2016.
The debut Graham Bonnet Band album 'The Book' sees Graham returning in fine form, with an album that is his best in decades: 11 new tracks that will blow heavy rock fans away!

Also included with the new album is a 16 track cd of re-recorded classic tracks from Graham's career.

Graham Bonnet – lead vocals
Conrado Pesinato – guitars
Jimmy Waldo – keyboards
Beth-Ami Heavenstone - bass
Mark Zonder – drums
Angelo Vafeiadis – keyboards on Cd2

The Book is released today.

Tracklisting : CD 1 1.Into the night 2.Welcome to my home 3.Earth´s child 4.Rider 5.Dead man walking 6.Strangest day 7.The dance 8.Where were you 9.The book 10.Everybody has to go there 11.California air

CD 2 1.Eyes of the world 2.All night long 3.Lost in Hollywood 4.Since you´ve been gone 5.Night games 6.S.O.S 7.Assault attack 8.Dancer 9.Desert song 10.Island in the sun 11.Hiroshima mon amour 12.God blessed video 13.Will you be home tonight 14.Witchwood 15.Stand in line 16.Here comes the night