Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review : RedBelt - Beautiful surround

RedBelt - Beautiful surround (2016) Independent
Produced by Redbelt / Michael McGinley
Tracks : 1.Crossed wires 2.American mercy 3.Got it made 4.Shoot it all the time 5.Beautiful surround 6.Sweet release 7.Cold 8.30 Seconds 9.Pretty little pieces 10.Throw away 11.Golden sidewalks 12.Bones 13.Hard light
3,5 out of 5

Time for some basic rock and roll with traces of 70´s punk from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. "Beautiful surround" is the debut full length from RedBelt and it´s definitely the album if you´re looking for some good time rock and roll that ain´t so polished.
Forget about auto-tune or computerized pop here, there are no DJ´s in sight in RedBelt´s music. This is as much live in the studio as a record could get, I bet this band doesn´t have to rely on backing tracks when they perform on stage.
And I really appreciate the awesome bassplaying from Ricky Ganiere, it´s an underrated instrument that is more important in the music than people can believe.
For fans of New York Dolls, Eddie and The Hot Rods, The Jam.
Highlights : Cold, Throw away, Beautiful surround.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review : Nick Black - Deep blue

Nick Black - Deep blue (2015) Independent
Produced by Nick Black / James Bennett / Victor Wainwright
Tracks : 1.Ocean 2.Grownups 3.Falling in life 4.D.I.Y 5.Only one man 6.Let´s be glad 7.The worst you can do 8.Reason to stay 9.Don´t leave Louise 10.All over again
3 out of 5

Are you in the mood for some smooth music? Do you feel like dressing up in a classy suit and put on that Frank Sinatra hat you forgot you had? Then here´s the soundtrack for you.
Memphis, Tennessee based artist Nick Black is not to be confused with the California rocker by the same name, because this guy puts his heart in late 70´s soul, funk and even west coast on his second album "Deep blue".
Soundwise, Nick Black comes from the same neighborhood as Michael Ruff, Billy Ocean and Hall and Oates. But there are two Swedish names that comes to mind in the album opener "Ocean" and they are Eric Gadd and Salem Al Fakir, how very charming.
The track "Let´s be glad" invites the listener to some cool Motown soul while "Only one man" sounds like a song from a 70´s American crime drama TV series.
Just close your eyes to his passionate vocalperformance in the ballad "Don´t leave Louise" or get carried away to the bluesy "All over again", no doubt this album is well performed and 100% honest.
I might not be the biggest fan of soul music on this planet but good music is always good music.
Highlights : Don´t leave Louise, Ocean, The worst you can do

Top 5 films of 2016

2016 has been a good year when it comes to film, and 2017 looks like it´s going to be even better with upcoming films such as Resident Evil : The Final Chapter (January), The Great Wall (February), Logan (March), Kong : Skull Island (March), Guardians of The Galaxy 2 (May), Alien Covenant (May), Pirates of The Caribbean : Dead Men Tell No Tales (May), The Mummy (June), Transformers : The Last Knight (June).
But here are the top 5 films of 2016!

1.10 Cloverfield Lane
2.Star Wars : Rogue One
3.Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children
4.Batman V Superman : Dawn of Justice
5.Suicide Squad

Friday, December 23, 2016

Quickbits : Rob Daiker, Noise From Nowhere, Rush

Rob Daiker - Binary affairs (2016) A taste of that charming retro sound
You gotta give Rob Daiker credit for going his own way without looking what´s trendy and knowing that it´s a long shot to release a record like "Binary affairs", he´s a super talented songwriter/producer and can write good songs just as easy as you order a pizza.
The only contemporary about his new record is the small dose of electro pop we get to hear in a few songs, the main part of the music is built on 80´s funk which isn´t the first genre I come think of if you want to sell copies.
Rob Daiker opens the album with "Damn the torpedoes" that sounds like something Adam Lambert could´ve released, I wasn´t such a fan at first of this song but I must say that it´s growing for each time I hear it.
Rob is flirting with Prince in the laid back "All for a kiss" while "Random error" bring thoughts to Dan Reed Network, a band that Rob now is a member of and also played on their latest album "Fight another day".
"Binary affairs" doesn´t have much in common with the Slowrush album "Volume" from 2000 but instead sound like a natural follow-up to his 2009 EP "Bad day for goodbye".
(+) This is a christmas gift for all that love Mika or Robbie Nevil.
(-) If we look at a hit-or-miss perspective, I´m afraid it´s a miss in a commercial point of view,

Noise From Nowhere - This world so sick (2016) Forza Italian rock music
It feels like the post-grunge genre is taking it´s last breath, there aren´t that many bands around anylonger that remains true to the post-grunge sound that was so popular 15 years ago.
But don´t tell Noise From Nowhere from Rome, Italy because I´m glad that there are still new bands poppin´ up like popcorn, that wants to raise the flag of a genre that is struggling really hard these times.
The band debuted with "The Right Chance" EP 2012 and now would like to point out that the world is so sick, who would disagree with the bad things that are happening on our planet at the moment.
Even though with such an important topic, the main reason why Noise From Nowhere exists is their love for music and to play in a band.
And I think they´ve done a good album, the single "Give it up" opens the album and it´s a promising start because the 2nd track "Waiting despite this" is the best track of the new album, there is a strong chorus on this one.
This might appeal to fans of Tantric, 12 Stones and Puddle of Mudd.
(+) Thumbs up for the mix of rockers and ballads where the rockers are in majority.
(-) A few too many album fillers at the end of the album.

Rush - 2112 : 40th Anniversary (2016) A milestone in a new luxurious package
I got the new 40th anniversary edition of Rush´s classic 1976 album 2112 the other day and listened to it on December 21st, and without thinking about it, 21/12 is the official Rush day.
You should always listen to a Rush album on that day and every other day in the rest of the year for that matter, this is the album that led to what Rush would become.
2112 is the album that the label was against, it wasn´t the commercial record they hoped for but when it started to sell lots and lots of copies, the record company couldn´t tell the band what to do ever again. That is artistic freedom.
Everything is perfect in this deluxe edition, 36 pages about everything you need to know about the album, outtakes of live recordings of "2112" and "Something for nothing" from Massey Hall, Toronto in June 1976, these are the shows from which the double live album "All the world´s a stage" was assembled.
There is also a bonus live track of "The twilight zone", only performed twice by the band in their career so I won´t mind the bootleg quality of this version.
A special extra so to speak, are the covers by Alice in Chains, Billy Talent, Steven Wilson, Jacob Moon and Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and Nick Raskulinecz.
Billy Talent does a Billy Talentified version of "A passage to Bangkok", an adorable cocky cover I must say. Steven Wilson puts an even more proggy hand over "The twilight zone" that ends up sounding like Pink Floyd meets early Genesis.
Alice in Chains takes on "Tears" in a way that their fans might not expect from these grunge pioneers.
Jacob Moon picked "Something for nothing" which sounds really close to the original, but it´s hardly the highlight here...........that is, my friends, Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fightery brotherhood along with producer Nick Raskulinecz on bass.
They performed "Overture" at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013 when Rush were inducted, I am truly happy that their fabulous version ended up in a new recording on 2112 : 40th anniversary because it´s absolutely stellar!
(+) So if this wasn´t enough, this package also contains a DVD with a live concert from 1976, Q´s and A´s with Alex Lifeson and Terry Brown and bonus videos with Billy Talent and Dave Grohl & Co.
(-) Are you kidding me?

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Review : Rogue Valley - Radiate / Dissolve

Rogue Valley - Radiate / Dissolve (2016) Independent
Produced by Rogue Valley
Tracks : 1.The brightest stars 2.Host 3.Pulse 4.Bury your heart 5.Loom 6.Breathe 7.Transference 8.Blood moon 9.Cold windows 10.Planet 11.Vainglory 12.Radiate / Dissolve
3,5 out of 5

There´s a possibility you have heard Minneapolis based Rogue Valley without knowing it because their song "The wolves and the ravens" found it´s way on the soundtrack of Ben Stiller´s 2013 film "The secret life of Walter Mitty".
The song is also featured on their "False Floors" album from 2011, which is a part of the ambitious concept-four-album cycle released between April 2011 and April 2011.
I think it´s amazing that Rogue Valley decided to record and release four albums in one year, one for each season. That´s quite impressive, right?
5 years later and the follow up "Radiate/Dissolve" is here, this time around only one album but it´s enough because their music is beautiful, atmospheric and dreamlike, almost like flying in a hang-glider high up in the sky where the eagles fly. All you hear is the wind.
I love how the split they vocals between Chris Koza and Linnea Mohn, in a way that makes me think of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac.
What a great album!
Highlights : Pulse, Cold windows, Loom
Recommended if you like Mercury Rev, Of Monsters And Men, The Golden Sounds

Friday, December 16, 2016

Quickbits : Gno, Jim Jidhed, Chained

Gno - Sick Princess (2016) Mon Dieu, one big Hallelujah moment coming up!
Now what do we have here then? Some French genius and total madness of a genre-breaking sound.
"Sick princess" is the 4th album from the trio Gno that gives us a ménage-à-trois of alternative metal, hard rock and art-pop-prog. Sounds awesome eh?
With supersmart song structures, brilliant riffs and choruses-to-die-for. Gno´s new album is exactly the reason why I listen to hundreds of average albums just to get to that masterpiece I hope is the next one in line.
The band is also introducing new guitarist Djul Lacharme (Alpha Blondy), he replaced Christophe Godin who left the band after their previous album "Crass Palace". Not that I can tell if there´s any difference in the band´s sound since "Sick princess" is the first album I get to hear from Gno.
But I am enjoying every second of this musical eargasm and it was really cool that the opening track "Love is over" starts with a guitar intro that reminds a bit of Telegram by Nazareth.
For fans of T-Ride, The New Shining, King´s X
(+) Riffs, riffs and more riffs. I can´t get enuff of ´em!
(-) Too bad I already posted my Top album list, I feel ashamed, Gno should´ve been on it.

Jim Jidhed - Push on through (2017) It´s fun being a legal alien
If you´re into Scandi-AOR a la Talk Of The Town, Glory and Alien, then you should look this way.
The lead singer of the Swedish melodic rock band Alien will release his 6th solo album early next year, it´s produced by Daniel Flores (The Murder of My Sweet) and is a more rocking affair compared to Jidhed´s previous solo albums "Reflektioner" (2007) and "Tankar i vinternatt" (2015).
I can´t get rid of the feeling that the new album could´ve been so much better with another mix, so why not push the release date back and remix it.
But this is what we got so.......
"If we call it love"is pure 80´s AOR and it´s written by Pam Barlow and Janet Minto and was probably meant for the first Alien album in 1988, a record Barlow and Minto wrote several songs for.
It´s nice to have Jidhed singing in English again after a couple of solo albums in Swedish but even if "Push on through" is without doubt a good album, it doesn´t reach the fine quality of "Jim" from 1990 or the amazing AOR smash "Full circle" from 2003.
Musicians on the album are Daniel Flores - Drums, Ken Sandin - Bass (Alien), Michael Palace - Guitar and Philip Lindstrand - Guitar.
(+) A standing ovation for the awesome vocals from Jidhed.
(-) I don´t like the production which is rather sharp and very disturbing, I have all the respect for Daniel Flores but he can do a helluva lot better.

Chained - Dark dreams (2016) Echoes of the grunge era
1991 came by and said -remember me? Only in this case, 1991 has a new name, it´s Chained.
Chained was formed in Parma, Italy in 2011 where the line up today features Alberto Stagni - Vocals, Luca Pettenati - Guitar, Alberto Bottioni - Guitar, Fransesco Marvasi - Bass and Stefano Superchi - Drums.
They´ve been writing songs and rehearsed all this time to get ready to record and release their debut album "Dark dreams", heavily influenced by Five Finger Death Punch, Godsmack, Alice in Chains and Stone Sour.
The weight in their sound is definitely in grunge similar to Alice in Chains but also the metal of Metallica, I think the production is good and they pull off some great riffs once in a while but the lead singer´s bad English drag it´s overall rating down of this otherwise, solid album.
(+) The track "Shut your mouth" is pretty good.
(-) I get it why they picked that eeny-meeny-miny-moe intro but compared to Negan´s classic in The Walking Dead, this feels rather lame.

Top 10 Albums by bands that only released one album

Here are the top 10 albums by bands that only released one album, only official studio albums allowed in this list, no compilations, live albums or unofficial releases counts.

1.Sex Pistols - Never mind the bollocks (1977)
2.T-Ride (1992)
3.Touch - Touch (1980)
4.Biscaya - Biscaya (1983)
5.Airborne - Airborne (1979)
6.GTR - GTR (1986)
7.Signal - Loud and clear (1989)
8.Producers - Made in Basing street (2012)
9.RoyWorld - Man in the machine (2008)
10.Atticus Fault - Atticus Fault (2002)

And now some more great albums by bands that never released a follow-up.
Sinnistar - Future shock (2002), Shiva - Firedance (1982), Three - To the power of three (1988), New Radicals - Maybe you´ve been brainwashed too (1998) ,Army of Anyone - Army of Anyone (2006), Color - Are you with me (2001), Year of the Rabbit - Year of the Rabbit (2003), Revis - Places for breathing (2003), Enter The Hunt - For life, til death, to hell, with love (2006)

Review : Porcelain People - Streetlights

Porcelain People - Streetlights (2016) Independent
Produced by Porcelain People
Tracks : 1.Streetlights 2.Vital 3.Start it over 4.Harlequin 5.Play in my paradise 6.Beating hearts 7.Kingdom 8.Feeling like falling 9.Help me now 10.Undeniable 11.Can´t fail now 12.Goodnight is not goodbye 13.Lullaby
2 out of 5

A whole generation grew up watching MTV and pop videos around the clock, kids now can´t really understand that it used to be a music channel and not the reality TV we have today.
But I guess the Louisiana based duo Porcelain People knows exactly what MTV used to be and wished they´d been around to have their music videos spinning back in those days.
At least, their music sure do makes me think of the late 80´s and early 90´s with a mix of synth pop, soul and dance.
Think Erasure meets Londonbeat with a touch of Bodies Without Organs and you´ll get the debut album "Streetlight", I think the songs are ok but I´m not a fan of Josh Thornhill´s vocal performance.
A vocal coach will get him right back on track because he has the singing part inside of him, you just have to bring it out.
Perhaps it´s not so strange that the instrumental piece "Kingdom" is my favorite song here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review : Skyward - Skyward

Skyward - Skyward (2016) Independent
Produced by James McCurley
Tracks : 1.Daily 2.Casualty 3.The floor 4.Animal 5.Stand-ins 6.Burn 7.Now 8.Crows and wolves 9.(M)arrow 10.Giving tree 11.Drag me through 12.What you´ve become
3 out of 5

Let´s turn back the clock 16 years to the year 2000 like the lyrics to Pulp´s 1995 hit "Disco 2000" that goes "Let´s all meet up in the year 2000" because that´s exactly what Skyward´s music takes me to.
The same year my playlist was made out of songs like Drift by Neve, Right Now by SR 71, On the roof again by Eve6, It´s my turn to fly by The Urge and Hanging by a moment by Lifehouse.
These songs on Skyward´s self titled debut album could´ve easily been released around 1999-2001 because this 5-piece band from Virginia, USA makes modern rock the way it sounded around millennium.
The band features Jonathan Huang - Vocals, Anna Breeding - Synths/Vocals, Jordan Breeding - Guitar, Jeremy Hashigushi - Bass and Caleb Gritsko - Drums.
The album´s lead track is "Animal" and it´s a good song but it´s not the best one, I´d rather go for energetic songs like "Burn" and "Casualty", love the intro on this one.
For fans of Ash, Skillet (early albums), Feeder

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Quickbits : June Divided, Diamond Days, Black Lab

June Divided  Body Wars (2016) Indie rock ear candy
Say hello to Melissa Menago - Lead Vocals/Guitar/Keyboards, Chris Kissel - Guitar, Lenny Sasso - Bass and Keith Gill - Drums. Your new favorite band.
What happens if you mix the 80´s pop of Berlin and T´Pau with modern pop / rock a la PVRIS and Katy Perry? Then you´ll get Philadelphia based June Divided´s 3rd release "Body Wars".
Their new EP is produced by Fred Mascherino (Taking Back Sunday) and I´m happy he has given them a concert hall sounding production, it´s not everyday you get to hear such a big sound with 80´s reverb. Thumbs up.
All 6 tracks are remarkably strong so their songs should be climbing the charts if only press and radio could see beyond Kanye West and Taylor Swift.
(+) Melissa Menago feels like a new Chrissie Hynde.
(-) Why haven´t I heard of this band before?

Diamond Days - The Death of Us (2016) Close to emo except the haircuts
With traces of powerpop, energetic rock and pop / punk, Liverpool based Diamond Days now give us their 2nd EP "The death of us" containing 5 tracks where at least 3 are really good.
The EP opens with the short intro "The space between us" but then they turn it up on the following 3 songs "The death of us", the funny title "Not every song with a long name was written by Fall Out Boy" and "Kings and Queens".
The last song "We are young" is a bit mediocre and doesn´t reach the same level as the other songs.
Alex Fearn - Vocals/Guitar, Tom Shepherd - Guitar/Vocals, Tom Jack Jackson - Bass/Vocals and Mark Highdale - Drums/Vocals are often compared to Panic At The Disco, You Me At Six and Fall Out Boy but in my ears, Diamond Days sound more like the bands Cartel, Transit and Futures.
Their debut EP "We´ve come a long way" was released in 2014 if you feel like checking out more songs.
(+) Be sure to keep them on your radar, this band will get better.
(-) At times, they are a bit anonymous.

Black Lab - A New World (2016) Still going strong
It´s hard to keep track on every single release Black Lab puts out with compilations, b-sides, instrumental albums, acoustic albums, live albums, unreleased collections, EP´s, remixes but the studio albums you should know about are "Your body above me" (1997), "See the sun" (2005), "Passion leaves a trace" (2007), "Two strangers" (2010), "A raven has my heart" (2014) and their 6th album "A new world".
They´ve been on both Geffen and Epic Records but the last decade, Black Lab has released all the music via their website Blacklabworld.
Paul Durham - Vocals/Guitar and Andy Ellis - Guitar/Programming has taken their band through various styles such as grunge, modern rock and electronica but it has always been clever music to me.
The new album is no exception, I like the moody atmosphere which in some moments bring thoughts to Blue October but not as progressive.
This album needs a few spins to get into but once you do, it will be a close friend.
(+) Here´s a reason why the independent music scene is so much more exciting.
(-) It feels rather sad that such top quality music doesn´t reach a bigger audience.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Review : Babymetal - Live at Wembley

Babymetal - Live at Wembley (2016) Amuse Inc
Produced by Kobametal
Tracks : 1.Babymetal death 2.Awadama fever 3.Yava 4.GJ! 5.Doki Doki Morning 6.Meta Taro 7.Amore 8.Megitsune 9.Karate 10.Ijime Dame Zettai 11.Gimme Chocolate!! 12.The one 13.Road of resistance
4 out of 5

The Metal Resistance world tour kicked off at Wembley, England on April 2nd, 2016 and was recorded for release on CD and DVD.
Just one day earlier, their 2nd studio album Metal Resistance was released featuring the singles "Road of resistance" and "Karate", but that didn´t bother Babymetal that was here to promote the new album rather than playing most of the songs off their first album.
8 tracks are taken from "Metal resistance" and only 5 tracks from the debut, including the world wide hit "Gimme chocolate". By listening to this explosive live album, one can only come to the conclusion that the guys in the band are incredible musicians and it´s more to this than 3 Japanese girls getting maximum credit on the cute-factor.
Babymetal is about spreading love and metal around the world and unite the fans, no matter where they come from or who they are.
The leaders of this world doesn´t have enough metal in their blood, because if they had, there would be everlasting peace among the nations.
If you think Babymetal is just a thing that will go away, think again.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Review : Hawk - I´m on fire

Hawk - I´m on fire (2016) Independent
Produced by David Hawkins
Tracks : 1.Mother road 2.I´m on fire 3.Turn up the radio 4.Enter the sun 5.Topanga 6.Sunshine 7.You and me 8.C´mon Edie 9.True 10.Love me too 11.Higher 12.Higher reprise
3 out of 5

The Chicago based band Hawk is not to be confused with the London based band fronted by Julie Hawk, these Americans sounds like they´re stuck in 1972 and don´t wanna leave either.
Hawk is the brainchild of singer/guitarist David Hawkins who also is the driving force behind alt-country band Be, but Hawk is a completely different thing more towards the rock´n´roll of The Faces, The Rolling Stones and even Hellacopters.
What we´re dealing with here is a re-release and a remastered version of Hawk´s 3rd full length album "I´m on fire", originally released in 2014.
As a songwriter, David is influenced by 60´s rock like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who but also other bands such as R.E.M and The Velvet Underground.
I think it´s an honest record where the focus lies on basic garage-oriented rock so making catchy choruses isn´t top priority so to speak, however "I´m on fire" is a good album and I do prefer this over The Hives.
Next Hawk album will be out in 2017 and it´s confirmed to feature guests such as Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), Ken Stringfellow (The Posies) and Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello).

Friday, December 9, 2016

Review : Journey - Live in Manila

Journey - Live in Manila (2016) Eagle Rock Entertainment
Produced by Kevin Shirley
Tracks : CD1 : 1.Majestic 2.Never walk away 3.Only the young 4.Ask the lonely 5.Stone in love 6.Keep on runnin´ 7.After all these years 8.Change for the better 9.Wheel in the sky 10.Lights 11.Still they ride 12.Open arms 13.Mother, Father 14.Wildest dream 15.When you love a woman
CD2 : 1.Seperate ways 2.What I needed 3.Edge of the blade 4.Where did I lose your love 5.Escape 6.Faithfully 7.Don´t stop believin´ 8.Anyway you want it 9.Lovin´ touchin´ squeezin´ 10.Turn down the world tonight 11.Be good to yourself
4 out of 5

Journey´s concert in Manila, Philippines on March 14, 2009 finally gets a release on a 2-disc set. It´s already available on DVD since October 2009 but as a collector of CD´s, I embrace this release of their 4th live album.
Arnel Pineda´s home-coming in front of 30,000 people captures the band in their best element, you can hear this night was special for their new frontman as well as the entire band.
Pineda is singing really well and the band is rocking like it was the last day of their lives, it´s a glowing 2 hour performance where 7 songs are taken from their 2008 album "Revelation" and the rest is a parade of the band´s greatest hits where Deen Castronovo is taking the lead vocal duties on "Keep on runnin´", "Still they ride" and "Mother, Father" with bravura.
But it wasn´t all smooth because high temperatures were causing problems, tuning became an issue and everyone on stage was dripping from wet from the heat.
By the third song, Neal noticed his guitar strings felt as if they were starting to rust.
With that in mind, it makes it even more impressive that the bridge between "Ask the lonely" and "Stone in love", Neal Schon is playing some unbelieavably fantastic guitar that is simply breathtaking.
Highlights : Never walk away, Mother Father, When you love a woman, Edge of the blade

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review : Bring Me The Horizon - Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Bring Me The Horizon - Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2016) PledgeMusic
Produced by Bring Me The Horizon
Tracks : 1.Doomed 2.Happy song 3.Go to hell 4.Avalanche 5.It never ends 6.Sleepwalking 7.Empire 8.Throne 9.Shadow moses 10.True friends 11.Follow you 12.Can you feel my heart 13.Antivist 14.Drown 15.Oh no
5 out of 5

It´s not the first time a rock band performs with a full live orchestra, Deep Purple did it already back in 1969 and then many bands followed like Metallica in 1999 and Kiss in 2003 to name a few.
It doesn´t necessarily mean that you have a winning formula just because the songs gets an orchestral facelift but with Bring Me The Horizon´s material, these songs truly gets new life in a way I´d never thought they would come out.
This album was recorded in April this year where the band performed for the first time with an orchestra and choir, the setlist is based on the band´s 2 latest albums "Sempiternal" and "That´s the spirit" with an exception of the song "It never ends" that is taken from their 2010 album "There is a hell, believe me I´ve seen it.........".
This live performance feels very emotional both for the band, the fans and the listeners who allows 85 minutes of their lives to such an important milestone for BMTH.
For me, it wasn´t a question of buy or not to buy since the proceeds from the release is going to Teenage Cancer Trust. I bought it, not only because of this humane reason, it´s a bloody great record too.

Review : Hearteater - Mare

Hearteater - Mare (2017) Independent
Produced by Hearteater
Tracks : 1.Burrow 2.Morgan le Fay 3.Mare 4.Mare Part 2 5.MDMA 6.God within
3 out of 5

Hearteater is a young band from Copenhagen, Denmark, whose inspiration origins in genres like grunge, nu-metal and metalcore and combines clean vocals, rap and growling where the final result sounds like a blend of classic hard rock, hardcore and extreme metal.
Their first EP dropped in 2015 and in early next year, the 6 track EP "Mare" is unleashed to the world.
The music is both melancholic, dark and at the same time, brutal where the band feels like they are marching on with an army of riffs.
It´s not polished and definitely not mainstream, this is true metal for real metalheads so I won´t be surprised to see them joining Manowar´s "Death to false metal" parade.
Good stuff!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Top 20 debut albums

Many bands and artists started out with their best album as the debut, here comes Palace of Rock´s top 20 best debut albums from bands and artists that has released 2 or more albums in their career.
So it doesn´t include the ones with only one studio album released like Sex Pistols-Never mind the bullocks (1977) for example which should´ve been on this list otherwise.

1.Steve Perry -Street talk (1984)
2.Van Halen - Van Halen (1978)
3.Boston - Boston (1976)
4.Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard of Ozz (1980)
5.The Storm - The Storm (1991)
6.Giant - Last of the runaways (1989)
7.Love / Hate - Blackout in the red room (1990)
8.Bad English - Bad English (1989)
9.Spys - Spys (1982)
10.Dare - Out of the silence (1988)
11.Asia - Asia (1982)
12.Unruly Child - Unruly Child (1992)
13.Damn Yankees - Damn Yankees (1990)
14.Saigon Kick - Saigon Kick (1991)
15.Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory (2000)
16.Factory - Factory (1979)
17.Dio - Holy diver (1983)
18.Alanis Morrisette - Jagged little pill (1995)
19.Guns´n´Roses - Appetite for destruction (1987)
20.Duran Duran - Duran Duran (1981)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The best power trios

Power trio´s! Right down basics, some of the best bands around are built on a drummer, a bassist and a guitarist or if you switch the guitarplayer to a keyboardist instead like in prog. You´ll get magic.
So here are the best trios in various genres.

2.King´s X
3.Genesis (1978-1998)
5.Emerson Lake and Palmer

1.The Police
2.ZZ Top
4.Grand Funk Railroad
5.Jimi Hendrix Experience


2.Biffy Clyro
3.Dizzy Mizz Lizzy
4.Thirty Seconds To Mars
5.Crash Kings

Philippe´s Top Albums and EP´s of 2016

And so Philippe Valleix´s Top 20 Albums of 2016.

1) Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis
2) Opia - Eon
3) Sixx AM - Prayers For The Blessed
4) Andy Black - The Shadow Side
5) Gene The Werewolf - The Loner
6) Megosh - Apostasy
7) Alter Bridge - The Last Hero
8) Night Riots - Love Gloom
9) Asking Alexandria - The Black
10) Ray Toro - Remember The Laughter
11) RavenEye - Nova
12) Good Charlotte - Youth Authority
13) New Volume - Envy
14) Rick Springfield - Rocket Science
15) Josh Flagg - Tracing Shapes
16) Kaato - Kaato
17) Those Damn Crows - Murder & The Motive
18) 3 Doors Down - Us & The Night
19) Beyond The Black - Lost In Forever
20) Cavo - Bridges

And his Top 15 EP´s of 2016.

1) The Alchemy - Modern Edge (4 tracks)
2) Twin Wild - My Heart (4 tracks)
3) Ghost - Popestar (5 tracks)
4) Angels & Airwaves - Chasing Shadows (5 tracks)
5) Day Old Hate - First Light (5 tracks) 
6) As Lions - Aftermath (4 tracks)
7) The Invisible World - Color/Echo (5 tracks)
8) Waterparks - Cluster (5 tracks)
9) Nasty Ass Honey Badgers - Take What We Want (6 tracks)
10) Night Argent - Night Argent (6 tracks)
11) Ash & Skies - Chasing D. (6 tracks)
12) Grumble Be - Disconnect (5 tracks)
13) Shapes & Colors - Love/Sex/War (5 tracks)
14) Diamond Days - The Death Of Us (5 tracks)
15) Shatter Proof - Paper House (3 tracks)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Top 20 Albums of 2016

Now this toplist might seem a bit early but there are hardly any new releases in December except christmas albums, live albums, re-issues and just a few new studio albums that I´ve heard already so that´s why I´m going online with the Top 20 Albums of 2016 today.

1.Dizzy Mizz Lizzy – Forward in reverse (5)
2.Babymetal – Metal resistance (5)
3.Biffy Clyro - Ellipsis (4,5)
4.Cheap Trick - Bang zoom crazy...hello (4,5)
5.Kansas - The prelude implicit (4,5)
6.Vola - Inmazes (4,5)
7.Alter Bridge-The last hero (4,5)
8.Circus Maximus – Havoc (4,5)
9.Sixx A.M – Prayers for the damned Vol.1 (4,5)
10.The Mute Gods – Do nothing till you hear from me (4)

11.Eliot Sumner – Information (4)
12.Ghost - Popestar (4)
13.KoRn - The serenity of suffering (4)
15.Ace Frehley – Origins Vol.1 (4)
16.In Flames - Battles (4)
17.Otep – Generation doom (4)
18.Sixx A.M - Prayers for the blessed Vol.2 (4)
19.Blink 182 - California (4)
20.The Ramona Flowers - Part time spies (4)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Review : Phantom Phunk - Arboles Ossific

Phantom Phunk - Arboles Ossific (2016) Independent
Produced by Phantom Phunk
Tracks : 1.Snowy in Florida 2.Sip of wine 3.The unheard spirit symphony 4.Gateways 5.Hey there 6.Looping 7.Brother´s keeper 8.Distant kaleidoscopes 9.Tommy´s cosmic avocado 10.Jungle crunch
2 out of 5

Tampa, Florida is the home for Phantom Phunk but it could just as well be Mars. Is this my first encounter with extra-terrestrial music?
There are moments when I listen to their debut album "Arboles Ossific" that doesn´t make any sense at all and in other moments, it´s as clear as ice.
They describe their sound as indie-graveyard pop which totally suits these crazy tunes but to get a full picture of Phantom Phunk´s original sound, I´d like to add post-punk, 60´s pop and slightly jazzy garage-prog as a complete package.
The music might seem a bit complex and it´s certainly not made for family television series, but this band is definitely unique and quite cool at the same time so I can´t say it´s crap either.
If I didn´t know better, I would believe this is the first record from a supergroup of Serj Tankian (System of a Down), David Byrne (Talking Heads), Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and Damon Albarn (Blur).
In my world, the album title Arboles Ossific is another meaning for Strange sounds from outer space.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review : The Cavalry - Build your own empire

The Cavalry - Build your own empire (2016) 7dc Records
Produced by Tristan Jackson / Will Garrett / Big Smo
Tracks : 1.JFK intro 2.Don´t mean you´re gone 3.Wake up call 4.When the radios gone 5.Red, white and blue jeans 6.Wake up call (stripped) 7.When the radios gone (stripped) 8.Red, white and blue Jeans (stripped)
3 out of 5

Cowboy hats and boots are for America as Vodka is for Russia and IKEA is for Sweden, and if you wear a cowboy hat and boots, the step isn´t too far that you´re a fan of country music.
The country music capital of the world is without doubt Nashville and if you add some southern rock into it, you will get The Cavalry´s new EP "Build your own empire".
This is a typical Nashville rock record for fans of Dierks Bentley, Kid Rock and DarkHorse. The Cavalry is a musical playground for Tristan Jackson who is not only the lead singer, Tristan is an award-winning film maker and he has also worked alongside with Tom Cruise, John Travolta and many other A-list actors.
Tristan co-wrote the songs on "Build your own empire" with Nolan Neal, The Henningsens and Love and Theft. The song "Red, white and blue Jeans" features Nolan Neal from the TV hit show The Voice and rockband Hinder, it´s a good song but "When the radios gone" is even better. Other bands that comes to mind while listening to this radio ready affair are Royal Bliss and Rascal Flatts.
So by now you should know what to expect from this band that recently won the Best New Rock Band Award at the Los Angeles Music Awards.

Review : The Invisible World - Color / Echo

The Invisible World - Color / Echo EP (2016) Independent
Produced by The Invisible World
Tracks : 1.Color / Echo 2.Bellamy 3.The way 4.Joliet 5.Brick by brick 6.Oughta know
3,5 out of 5

Kansas has corn, Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto from the wizard of Oz, the band Kansas but also the 5-piece The Invisible World.
When I listen to their 2nd EP "Color / Echo", it feels like I have known this band for many years because they do not only sound familiar, this band plays like true professionals in a way that you could easily believe they have been around for decades.
The roots of the band stretch back almost 15 years where the current line up are Jesse Collins - Vocals/Acoustic Guitar, Bryce Veazey - Electric Guitar, Brandon Woodall - Drums, Jon Gibbens - Bass and Ara Woodall - Electric Guitar.
These guys have created an irresistable blend of roots rock, folk and a midwestern-like modern rock sound for fans of The Hooters, Sister Hazel and Kings of Leon.
I dig all 6 tracks but my personal fave is "Bellamy", catchy upbeat and positive love rock on the menu. Perfectomundo!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Review : StonerPop - StonerPop

StonerPop - StonerPop (2016) Independent
Produced by StonerPop
Tracks : 1.Preachers 2.Running 3.You´re never listening 4.Monsters 5.Fox
2,5 out of 5

StonerPop is a two-piece electro-pop act hailing from Louisiana featuring Maudie Michelle - Vocals/Instruments and Jimmie Manueva - Instruments.
The music is quirky, ambient and sometimes a lovely flirt with 80´s synth-pop. "Preachers" opens the EP, imagine if Brian Eno teamed up with B52´s and had a lot of fun in the studio, then you would get "Preachers".
If Devo had a female singer the result could very well be the 2nd track "Running", it´s a cool song.
"You´re never listening" can be described as a computerized quasi-punk song close to The Stranglers 80´s albums, the synthesizer sounds can almost be used as audio torture.....they´re inside my head.....take em away!!!!
Hahaha, no worries.
The last track "Fox" sounds like a possible collaboration between Moby and Massive Attack. It´s a bit different compared to the other songs but I like the groove.
It wasn´t easy to get into this EP but I like StonerPop´s experimental side.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Review : The Von - 3nity

The Von - 3nity (2016) The Machine Records
Produced by Luis Bonilla
Tracks : 1.I know it´s love 2.Nature of the beast 3.My heart machine
3 out of 5

Oh man, I find traces of several genres in The Von´s new EP "3nity". The South Florida based trio has recorded 3 songs that takes the listener through a varied soundscape of new wave, prog, 90´s rock and gothic sounds.
You might think it´s a shattered affair, well it certainly looks that way but The Von manages to hold it together in a respectable way.
The opening track "I know it´s love" is the weakest out of these 3 songs but it´s not bad, just ok. The song is a blend of 80´s rock a la Big Country and the Aussie rock of Noiseworks. It doesn´t look that bad on paper but the vocal melody won´t receive any award from me I´m afraid.
The 2nd track "Nature of the beast" sounds more like the child of Queens of The Stone Age and early Muse, this one´s better and I really dig the bass in this song.
Now to the best song on the EP which is "My heart machine", the intro bring thoughts to Rush while the rest of the song could´ve been something Carfax Abbey had written. The gothrock-ish vibes I get from this one is super.
Luis Bonilla - Lead Vocals/Bass, Marek Schneider - Guitars and Elisa Seda - Drums released their debut album "Ei8ht" in 2015 if you feel like checking out the band even more.