Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Nottingham based rockers Snakeskin offer up their new three track single here in the form of Been Here Before.
Opening with All You Got, a high blast of energy, and a song with a real NWoBHM feel to it (to my ears any way), which is no bad thing. That's quickly followed by a ballad in the form of Walked Outta Your Life, which is a nice beautiful track really slamming the breaks on tempo wise, but i guess its a great way to show your range as a band. This little ep closes with the title track, Been Here Before, which is nice mid tempo rocker.
I can see good things happening for Snakeskin, they're a great sounding band whom count
Motley Crue, Skid Row Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden and Guns N Roses amongst their influences, making for an interesting mix, and a nice loose sound.
Italian four piece, The Project, offer up their debut album, This Side Up, which is a really varied album. The songs are all of a great standard, but they take in so many influences, from so many varying genres its hard to keep up, but fun trying. These guys got together back in 2006, 'to produce original music' and boy have they done that. The best way to describe The Project would be hard rock with a good dose of energy and melody, lots of tempo changes and an almost indie style vocal. One minute you can hear a Bon Jovi influence in there then all of a suddenly its replaced by a Ramones esqe moment.
This Side Up is a great record, provided that you give it a spin or two, and give it a chance to sink in. Refreshing but not instant, but they may indeed help the bands longevity in the long run.
Hailing from Sweden, Naughty Boys offer up their third full album release in Destiny Calls.
Hard rock in a similar vein to Europe and Dokken, melody driven rock with plenty of keyboards and some great atmospheric guitar work, real stadium rock. There are plenty of great tracks here from the opening title track, Destiny Calls and Broken to the double ballad whammy of Eternity and Fly With The Angels.
Listening to this album is kind of like taking a step back in time for me, layered keyboards, crunching power chords entwined with great guitar melodies and some roof raising solos"
Naughty Boys really have hit their stride here with Destiny Calls, there's not a bad song to be seen here. The production in nice and clean giving the album a very contemporary sound, all in all a great album!
Seattle's Dr. Grind were guilty of being in the wrong place at the dead wrong time. hailing from the early 90's, Dr Grind played a melodic even progressive hard rock / metal something akin to early Queensryche, Icon and Dokken, at a time when Grunge was killing off everything that was fun in rock n roll. Before they disbanded in 1996 they did manage to release one album, which went sorrowfully unnoticed by the masses.
Now Eonian records gives us a chance to hear 17 songs by this band, and I'm truly glad they did. Vocalist Rick Allen has a great range, the songs are well written and performed by a band that really do believe in what they are doing. The guitar duo of Tom Moore and John Tippins are solid and they offer up a great sense of control and even some fine solos. All of the songs offered here are from the 1993 - 1994 era of the band, but many of them could have easily been written in the mid eighties, and that's probably why they still stand up so well. Dr Grind weren't trying to fit into any fads, they were just writing and playing the kind of music that they loved.
Speechless is a great way for those of us whom missed out on this band the first time around to get a listen, and realise just how good they actually were!
Friday, 11 December 2009
The Wildhearts make available the tracks that didn't make it onto the mighty Chutzpah! album released earlier this year. Many Die hards would have all ready heard 5 of the eight tracks as they were made available via free downloads or on the Japanese release of the Chutzpah album.
Opener and title track, Chutzpah Jnr, is a blistering fun introduction, lasting a little over a minute long. Next up is The Snake, The Lion, The Monkey and The Spider, which was originally made available as a free download taster prior to the albums release, its a quirky little number, the Wildhearts at their best!
Then we get All That Zen, which has to be one of the most uplifting and positive tunes Ginger and the boys have ever put out, pure genius!
Next up is Vernix, a truly mixed up song that has everything, its as heavy as Satan's bum in places, melodic as an angel singing in others, the tempo changes are quick and fast, and Gingers sense of humour is all over the bugger! A great song, but people unfamiliar with the band may not get this one, but I bloody love it!
Then we get the controversial dance track, Under The Waves, hmm well............. I'm loving this song, and its not a dance track to me. Sure there's drum machines in there and there is a techno vibe in there but its still the Wildhearts through and through and a lot less extreme than anything they put out in the Endless Nameless era.
Some Days Just Fucking Suck follows with a vibe familiar to any Wildhearts / Ginger tune, and a sentiment that we all know all to well. Its got a great chorus and could be fun live, another song that Ive fallen instantly in love with!
Then we get People Who Died, which sees Scott Sorry take on the lead vocals, its a great punk track with Scott putting a great performance on the lead vocals. Finally closing this short mini album is Zen Requiem, a track in memory of Gingers close friend Danny Zeen. A great song that was originally debuted live a few years ago.
Chutzpah Jnr is only available from the live shows at the moment, but I strongly urge any die hard fans to check it out, there's some great songs on here, but i can see why they were left off of the main album, I just don't see where they would have fitted in on the track listing.
A great early Christmas present though, God bless The Wildhearts!!!!
London Blackmarket - The Hardest Stone To Throw
Essex boys, London's Blackmarket return with their second single for Fiction Records, The Hardest Stone to Throw. The Single pretty much picks up where debut single Checkmate left off, blistering riffs, great ,melodies and well just good old fashioned rock n roll.
Gladly lead vocalist has recovered from the major injuries he suffered earlier this year and now if full steam ahead for the band. Linas Store and Last Chance Dance back up the A side, giving you three great tracks, full of diversity and pure raw talent!
Loving this band
The DeRellas bring us Hollywood Monsters, their debut album. The best way to describe their sound is simply no nonsense glam tinged punk rock n roll.
Hollywood Monsters packs all the energy, excitement and impact of the live show, and indeed sounds as if it could be a lost classic from 1978. Standout tracks for me are the explosive 'She's a Pistol', the incendiary 'All Fired Up' (whose sound suggests that the band would do well gigging with The Towers of London), the highly pertinent 'Freakshow' and the glam-punk re-working of Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain'
great old fashioned punk pop rock n roll which reminds me of latter day Ramones.
A great album!
The Sheffield girls return with their new one track single, Girl In Blue, their first release with the new line up. The sounds heavy, a little chaotic in places, but great at the same time. Loving the sound, live these girls must be awesome. They do sound familiar but i just cant put my finger on why, but that's probably a good thing! Maeven are playing a kind of Gothicy heavy but melodic garage rock and I'm loving it. I Cant wait to hear the new album when its completed sometime in 2010!
The Bermondsey Joyriders hail from where else other than Bermondsey, they play a simple blend of punk, blues and rock. Keith Boyce has played with some of rocks biggest and greatest names including ROD STEWART and ELTON JOHN and LONG JOHN BALDRY and now joins forces with MARTY STACEY from UK punk legends CHELSEA and GARY LAMMIN formerly of COCK SPARRER to complete THE BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS.
Keith Boyce describes The Bermondsey Joyriders as a power house rock n
roll trio playing music not too unlike IGGY POP or THE NEW YORK DOLLS.
Infact when PATTI PALLADIN one time musical calobarotor and Ex
girlfriend of New York Dolls guitarist JOHNNY THUNDERS first heard The
Bermondsey Joyriders she said that The Bermondsey Joyriders had
captured the spirit of 1970s street Rock n Roll perfectly, and to be honest I have to agree. There's no overblown productions here, just simple music played from the heart.
Stand out tracks include, All The Darkness, Runnin Riot and Who Are Ya.
Highly recommended for music fans who like their punk simple with a tint of the blues thrown in for good measure!
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
One thing that you had to ponder when news of Guns return broke was that with Toby Jepson on board, were Gun going to sound like the Little Angels? Now the Little Angels were a damn fine band, one of my personal favourites through the Early nineties, but Gun always held a different kind of sound, which was loved too. Popkiller manages to ease those fears, yes Toby brings in his own personal style, some of those big hooks that his previous band were famous for, but the Ep maintains all of the little quirks that made previous Gun releases so poptasticly enjoyable.
Let Your Hair Down opens up the album and is catchy tune that quickly gets your attention.
Next up is Seraphina, which starts with a nice guitar intro and it progresses at a nice click until the nice guitar instrumental in the middle of the track which then sets the song up for the ending.
Popkiller must be a little ironic as its opening few seconds really bring to mind Pulps 'Common People', before the song grows into a nice little rocker!
Ripping Up The Letters is a track more or less in the mould of many of the Little Angels ballads which I do like and The Only is then a strong track that finishes up the EP.
This short five track ep is a great start for the band, with Toby Jepson fitting effortlessly into the Gun mould, and I personally can not wait to hear a full length album from the guys!
Black Country quartet Isolated Atoms deliver their debut single with Tell Me What I Want (B/w Here We Go), which comes across as a great combination of Joy Division and New Order.
The band offer up beat guitar driven melodic elctro rock, the songs are well written and performed excellently.Having only been together for a little over twelve months the band have developed a musical bond many long standing veterans would be envious of. 'With a sound that takes the best aspects of new wave and gives them a refreshing twist, the Black Country boys have come up with an intriguing brand of moody electro-rock. On Tell Me What I Want, singer Grant Ashman suggests a cooler version of The Killers. The Atoms ought to bomb up the charts.' is just one of the reviews that the boys have received from the national press and I have to whole heartedly agree!
Three track EP 'Novus Ordo Seclorum' is no-frills skacore that'll find a ready home with fans of the genre. However, if skacore hasn't previously won you over, then stay well clear, as the JUNK bring absolutely nothing new to the genre. One of the strongest points of this release is the rich brass section. Throwing in sax, trombone and trumpet into the mix, there’s a developed sound that is anything but tacked on. The horns are intrinsic to the record as a whole, none more so than on “Scream Your Dreams”, a track that, keeping in with the HHN theme, harks back to Adequate 7. There’s not quite the funk infusion of the now defunct Welsh outfit, but the brass is accomplished and very welcome.
None of the threes songs on offer here are going to blow the ska punk scene apart, but the fact that they are all of such a high quality will ensure that they are (along with the band) taken to the hearts of every fan of the genre.
Newport Punks, Strawberry Blonde's return with their second full length alum in the form of Fight Back. The album gets off to a bold and blistering start with the double bill of ‘Revolution Radio’ and ‘Fight Back’; bold because the same central riff is on both tracks and blistering because that particular riff is the kind that pummels its way into your head from the first note and dosn't’t leave until long after the last song has finished. 'No Way Out’ contains the only other discernibly brilliant riff of the album with lead singer Mickie Stabbs’ vocals perfectly fitting the powerful chorus as he sneers “no future, no fun / keep fighting but there’s no way out”. ‘RCH Punx’ repeats the trick of the first two tracks by containing the same central riff as ‘No Way Out’. The rest of the album unfortunately fails to match these tracks in quality which is unfortunate really. The other problem is the fact that the riff are so often re used or shared between songs it kind of leaves a repetitive taste in the mouth with the album coming across as a little samey. There are some great songs on Fight Back, don't get me wrong, I just believe it needed a little more time!
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Having managed to find the time to help write record / produce and tour the First Warrior Soul album to come out in years all the members of Hate Gallery reunite to give us their new Dead Celebrities EP, which is itself a stop gap/ taster of the new album set to be release next year. This six track is absolutely brilliant, giving you everything you could possibly want from a modern rock band!
Opening up with the controversial title track, 'Dead Celebrities (Queen Of The Damned)', is as good as song as your ever gonna see, hooks, venom, clever lyrics and some excellent guitars along with a dirty great fat bass line that vibrates right down the spine!
'Liberation' is a hook-laden classic with a bit of an eighties feel. 'Love To Hate' is another lyrically astute monster of a track, that is the proud owner of one hell of riff,also coming complete with political samples and a wickedly cynical sneer!
'New God' is the definitive version of the same track that appeared on their debut album. ('Compassion Fatigue'). You can really see the Warrior Soul influences on this version, but as i said, considering the fact that a large portion of Hate Gallery now form the current incarnation of Warrior Soul its hardly surprising.
'The Man Without A Name' seems to drop the tempo a little, but not the intensity, a slightly mellower track, again with some excellent lyrics! Closing up this Ep is 'So This Is Life?' has a sampled live intro before going into yet another classic kick ass riff.
Dead Celebrities is one hell of an Ep just as Hate Gallery are one hell of a band, bring on the new album in early 2010!
Very highly recommended!
Heavy, bad-ass hard rock dripping with the energy and swagger of the '80s -- and that's exactly when this band were in their heyday. Here we get a retrospective look at 11 classic tracks which fans of Ratt, Motley Crue, Britney Fox and Warrant should really enjoy!
Strike Twice was created by vocalist Michael Hayes and guitarist Rob Luv, two guys with a love in their hearts and souls for hot-blooded hard rock, something that really showed in their music. Strike Twice played their music from their guts, displaying a killer knack for crafting punchy, high-energy hard rock songs that drip with streetwise swagger and bad boy shock factor. Never settling for second best, Strike Twice gave it all they had, a well-oiled hair-metal machine that delivered the goods to hungry hard rockers. With ripping tunes like "Tuff Luck," "Dirty Lover," and "Undress Me," Strike Twice proves beyond any doubt that they possessed the talent to stand shoulder to shoulder with their contemporaries!
Not Without a Fight, the New album from New Found Glory, will please the ever growing fan base, but it also shows that the band are continuing to mature as song writers too. Sure they still play it safe and stick to their formula, but it works for them, and both lyrically and musically the band have grown. To me they will always remind me of Green Day (Sorry), but if that's your thing then great!
The two real stand out tracks for me are '47' and 'Such A Mess', but that's not to say the rest of the albums not up to scratch. Its great poppy rock with a punkish edge, and the band have honed their style over the past five albums, so you shouldn't really be expecting anything else!
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Overthrow are a Reggae / Punk / Rock band from Guildford England. Musically they music is relaxing to listen to, but at the same time also really quite energetic, The different styles blended into there sound give them a certain uniqueness, standing them out from the crowd. Songs like 'Take Me Away', 'Ode To The Innocent', 'Talk of The Town' and ' Roll Of The Dice' are sure to get you moving. The closest comparison that I can thing of to describe Overthrows sound is, well imagine The Police rocking out on steroids!
Overthrow could carve out a huge future for themselves here, so watch this space!
The square hippies are a classic rock band from Southern Germany. They offer up A colourful mix of AOR, Progressive Rock, with psychedelic loans and bluesy attitudes, which whilst not my usually cup of tea was refreshing to listen to.
The music is well written, good and honest, songs like 'Honest', One Man Show', 'The Rebels', ' Life', 'Wedding Day' and 'Runaways' show the band have plenty of quality.
Again not really my thing, but still a refreshing album most people will enjoy.
Lipstixx N Bullets are yet Swedish Glam / Sleaze rock band hailing from the country that has really flown the flag for this genre over the past few years, that being Sweden.
musically Lipstixx N Bullets are pure 80s Sunset strip party raunch & rock, lyrics and attitude closer to Poison or Vain (quite a bit of Davy Vain in the vocals), which at the very least gives the clubs a more up to date soundtrack for their nights of debauchery.
Tracks like ‘Do Or Die’, ‘Scream It Hard’ pay homage to their heroes songs yet manage to step beyond them, especially in the guitars. ‘Wild At Heart’ is a story that every guy can relate to, lusting after the girl next door in vain whilst ‘Love In A Needle’ is the grittiest inclusion here on Bang Your Head, complete with screamed vocals. ‘Be My Tonight’ provides a softer touch to the album which is always nice.
Lipstixx N Bullets offer pure 80's influenced Glam / Sleaze, they don't offer anything particularly new, but what they do do they do very well. I imagine that these guys are a blast live!
Monday, 16 November 2009
Chris and they guys were in fine form tonight bringing their razor-sharp power pop Dudley. Playing the back room of Jbs on a cold Sunday night along with The Ex-Presidents, The Whiskey Syndicate and Elle Diablo.
Tonight there was a half decent crowd to hear The mighty Eureka Machines belt through classics such as Being Good Is Okay, This Is My Life, Everybody Loves You, Do Or Die, and Scream Eureka along with one or two new tunes which are sounding very much like future classics. The bands energy was amazing especially when you consider that tonight was their forth gig in four consecutive nights!
Front man Chris was in fine form, with his between song banter, even blazing one heckler into a sulk at one point, bloody great.
If you've never seen the Eureka Machines live then you really are missing out, as their impressive collection of songs sound even better live than they do on cd!
catch Eureka machines on the road at one of the following dates:
Friday 27 November 2009 - Crabtree's, Harrogate | info
Electric Six tour, December 2009
Friday 4 December 2009 - ABC, Glasgow | venue | tickets
Saturday 5 December 2009 - Academy, Dublin | venue | tickets
Monday 7 December 2009 - Academy, Liverpool | venue | tickets
Tuesday 8 December 2009 - Academy, Sheffield | venue | tickets
Wednesday 9 December 2009 - Duchess, York | venue | tickets
Thursday 10 December 2009 - Academy, Manchester | venue | tickets
Friday 11 December 2009 - Academy, Newcastle | venue | tickets
Saturday 12 December 2009 - Academy, Birmingham | venue | tickets
Sunday 13 December 2009 - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff | venue | tickets
Monday 14 December 2009 - Crypt, Hastings | venue | tickets
Tuesday 15 December 2009 - Concorde 2, Brighton | venue | tickets
Wednesday 16 December 2009 - Academy, Bristol | venue | tickets
Thursday 17 December 2009 - Academy, Islington | venue | tickets
Friday 18 December 2009 - Wight Rock Bar, Ryde, Isle of Wight (us only) | venue
Saturday 19 December 2009 - Academy, Oxford | venue | tickets
Brooding retro influences rock. Excellently performed and written, is the best way to describe Surefires debut album. Surefires main influences come mainly from the sounds of sixties and seventies rock, but are delivered in a refreshingly cool way as to make them very contemporary. Songs like The New Standard and Lucy both captivate and mesmerise.
Vocalists Ben Rice's voice can soothe and mesmerise or rock out as on tracks like The Mountain and Comeback Kid.
Surefire offer a laid back chilled out rock experience that is to be thoroughly enjoyed!
Bloody love em!
Margate have been compared with the likes of Foo Fighters, Jimmy Eat World, Bad Religion and Weezer, delivering their blend of rock / power pop / punk unto the music scene.
Having become seasoned veterans of the LA scene, On The Other Side is the follow up to their 2006 debut and manages to show case the band's progression over the years along with a new found gravitation towards incorporating melody, counterpoint, complex harmonies, something which they pull of really well. Some of the stand out tracks include:
Believe In Steve, Circles, Unchecked Aggression, and Time & Time Again.
A thoroughly enjoyable album.
Great contemporary rock music, with heart and soul. That's how I can best describe Chris Vaughn's debut album For Those That Ears.
From the albums opening track, 'Relate' to the albums closer ' Nameless', the quality of the song writing and performance never drops. The music i similar in many ways to Bon Jovi and Springsteen's, yet completely different too. Chris Vaughn manages to incorporate his many influences into the songs that he has obviously taken a lot of time and care with.
For Those That Have Ears is a very strong debut from this singer songwriter and I can foresee that great things may lie ahead in the future for Mr Vaughn.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Babylons Burning is the latest release from Swedish rockers Babylon Bombs and its a great album.
Opening with three really strong tracks in 'Liberation, Babylons Burning and Resurrection Love, they go straight for the jugular! The band manage to mix up their sound a lil on this album which is a really good thing, adding a lil alternative rock feel to some songs like Resurrection Love. The problem is that the rest of the songs don't quite match up to the opening three, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with them, there are plenty of great songs like 'Fade Away', 'Goodbye Good Luck' ' Its Alright' and ' Winding Road'.
Dani is in fine voice and the band sound really tight, unfortunately the opening three tracks just set the bar too high for the rest of the album to follow.
This is still a great album, but it could have been a contender for album of the year!
Here we have the debut album from Swedish five piece Sherlock Brothers. They are great band with a sound that I guess is similar to the like Nickleback and Shinedown. Songs like 'I Want You Messed Up' shoe they have a hell of alot of potential here, I'm mean given the right air play this could be a huge single! Theres energy in abundance here, but always kept focused, the songs are tight, well written and well bloody great!
Ballad 'Sleeping Silence' really does show a kind of songwriting maturity which is unusual for a debut album,
Stand out tracks include,
'I Want You Messed Up', Broken', Sleeping Silence', 'Inferior', Lets Talk About Something Other Than You For A While' and 'Where is Nowhere'
With today's trends shinning on this kind of sound at the moment Sherlock Brothers could be huge in the very near future, they just need the air play!
Check em out
Glam punk rockers Internal Disfunction offer up a four track Ep here with Strangers In Your Town, four songs of good old fashioned glam.
Opener, Dreamers and Losers sets the mood perfectly, melodic up tempo glam with a punky edge, that's quickly followed by Wild Life, which slows the pace a lil, lowering the tempo but not the mood or the quality. Next up is the ballad, Some Love, Some Wine, which is just beautiful, moody and brooding! Kisses (In My Ashtray) closes off this Ep, another great little rocker! A brilliant Ep from a very promising band!
Here I Love Rich offer up their first batch of new material for a while with Season Of The Rich. This Ep contains five new songs, many of which have already become live favourites. The songs are typical I Love Rich, which is to say straight talking sleazey rock, which is fine by me. The EP opens with 'Full Alnight' which effectively sets the tone, and is quickly backed up with 'I'm Only Here Cuz Your Sister Said No', which has to be one of the best song titles that Ive ever heard! 'Everybody's Getting Laid Tonight' continues the feel before 'I'll Be Around' slows things down alittle, almost giving the impression that the singer (who kind of reminds me a little of Paul Stanley for some reason?) might actually have a heart! Anthem like 'Rise Up For Rock N Roll' closes off the Ep. I Love Rich aren't breaking any new ground here with Season of The Rich, but what they do provide is some excellent sleazy rock!
And you know what, I think I am Loving Rich!
Sunday, 1 November 2009
Hardreams are a spanish band playing melodic rock/aor with a 80's feel, straight production and nice guitar riffs.
Some of the songs have some nice twists as the band try to mix up the musical styles a little, adding some prog rock and bluesy touches here and there. The only fault I can really find is sometimes I feel the chorus's need to be a little stronger, but if good old Aor and melodic rock is your thing then you could really enjoy this re-release. (The album was originally released in Spain in 2004!)
A little dated for me, but enjoyable still
To Hell With Love is a six song Ep featuring seven songs from the band’s latest album “Coma Chameleon“, which came out last year. The new EP does not bring new or exclusive material to fans, but it features the six best tracks on “Coma Chameleon“. In fact, after their last album and after releasing two singles (”Break My Stride” and “Stop The Clocks”), Donots decided it was time to take over England. Not for a bad reason. If you've never heard of these german noise merchants then To Hell with Love is a great place to start, but if you already own a copy of the excellent 'Coma Chameleon' then there is nothing here worth bothering with unless your an die hard collector.
To Hell With Love is rammed with six great songs played by a great band whom deserve international recognition!
Hmm interesting, this book Ive read in ebook form, and is quite interesting a well written..It has over 500 bands in it from every genre of heavy metal/hard rock, they are all listed alphabetically and easy to find. Written by Blair Gibson, a 32 yea old writer/heavy metal music fan from a cold little place called Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. "The book is straight forward: I contacted all these bands personally through my e-mail and Myspace. All the answers given are direct from the band members themselves. There are going to be tons and tons of bands you’ve heard of, and even some you haven’t heard of, yet! " The format is kept quite basic and functional, but the information is great. Its easy to use with everything being alphabetical listed and quite an interesting reference point.
Not something to cuddle up with on a late night but quite enjoyable and entertaining if you just want to know how 3 inches blood or Shake City got there name.
Not something to cuddle up with on a late night but quite enjoyable and entertaining if you just want to know how 3 inches blood or Shake City got there name.
Toby Jepson should need no introduction to many rock fans, fronting seminal hard rockers 'The Little Angels' throughout the 90's, embarking on a movie and tv spots and more recently performing as a solo artist and fronting Eddie Clarkes legendary band 'Fastway'.
Toby has recently teamed up with one of 'The Little Angels' contemporary bands, Scottish pop rockers Gun, famed for their albums Gallus and Swagger and of course that hugely successful single 'Word Up' (the Cameo cover which appeared in the movie barbed wire!), on their reformation and come back tour replacing original vocalist Mark Rankin. I was recently given the opportunity to ask Toby a few questions, his replies are below!
Barry - So how have the live dates been going so far?
Toby - Pretty good! The last UK shows were especially great, we have started to stretch our legs outside of Scotland and the reactions have been great. We have played in Spain and Austria this summer and are heading back out to Spain for a full tour in October, as well as 3 sows in Paris, so it has begun to pick up momentum. I Think the memory of GUN to the fans is a great one, and I’m hoping that we can deliver on the promise to them of a new beginning...all I can say is that we are loving being in this band together, and sincerely hope it can go on to bigger things.
Barry - You've been quite busy over the past couple of years with your solo work, touring with Eddie Clarkes Fastway and now touring and recording with Gun. How do you manage it all?
Toby - It’s been very cool actually, when you're enjoying yourself, there is no noticeable effort, just excitement and in my case, a real hunger to get on with the job and make stuff as good as is humanly possible. I am a workaholic, no question but its driven by a want for great experiences and above all, great music. I have to say also that I am a family man and this propels me forward, I want success for my family as well as for myself. I think that when you are creative, the work is a pleasure to do not a chore; sometimes it’s tough to deal with the travel, the sleepless nights but the fact is I have been very privileged to work with some amazing people and have been given a second chance to emerge as a UK Rock singer, and for that I am very grateful and am determined to make it happen one way or another...I mean I’m not digging holes in the rain! and believe me I know what that feels like and appreciate my position all the more because I do.
Never complain, never explain...
Barry - How do the various project compare?
And what different challenges do they bring you as the front man?
Toby - Fastway was a huge challenge for a number of reasons; mostly to do with stepping into Dave Kings shoes. He had an incredibly unique voice and style. I’m not him but I wanted to do justice to the songs that he wrote with Eddie but also bring my own flavour. I’m not an emulator; I have never tried to sing like anyone apart from myself, that is all you can do. The same goes for GUN although the main difference is that we are now developing new music together and so I can imprint myself onto the project from day one.
Barry - You 'cut your teeth' with one of Gun's contemporaries back in the 90's with The Little Angels(whom just happened to be one of my favourite bands at the time!). How does singing for Gun compare with fronting the Little Angels?
Toby - It’s a different job, a different band. Like I said above; the songs have to be respected from a historical perspective but I’m not Mark and I have no desire to try to match his vibe. The Angels were as far at the other end of the spectrum as you can get in this genre! GUN were and are more pop orientated, Joolz and Dan have a rich understanding of popular music and appreciate all forms and often have tried to bring those influences to their music, whereas I think the Angels were more of a traditional rock act that took cues from all the classic bands. Top and tail is that if the music rocks and communicates to the audience then I’m happy!
Barry - How much input are you having in the writing of the new material and what should we be expecting to hear?
Toby - We are writing as a team; Joolz, Dante and myself. It’s really interesting and very productive. We are recording as I type...
Barry - When it comes to deciding the set lists for the live dates, do you have any input or do you leave for the band to work out?
Toby - We all have input. you know which songs work best, it’s pretty easy to be honest.
Barry - Now that you are back in a band unit situation, are you planning any further solo releases to follow up the excellent 'Guitar, Bass and Drums Ep's?
Toby - I will complete the GBandD third EP; in fact it is nearly done, I have around a week of work to complete it. Don’t know about touring, it’s not on my radar yet, but never say never! I am opening for SKIN acoustically in December for the hell of it, so that will be fun!
Barry - Have you now finished working with Fastway, or could we see any future live dates or studio working emerging there too?
Toby - The short answer is; I don’t know! I’d love to work with Eddie again sometime, he is an incredible guitar player. If he called, id certainly consider it, but now I’m committed to GUN, it would have to fit!
Id like to thank Toby for kindly answering my questions on behalf of Glitzine.net!
GUN SIGNAL THEIR RETURN WITH MASSIVE UK TOUR
Gun are about to pull the trigger on an emphatic return to live music with a huge UK tour throughout November and December.
The new look band features the original members (Giuliano Gizzi – guitar; and Dante Gizzi – bass) with new drummer Gordon McNeil and new vocalist Toby Jepson – who cut his teeth fronting the 90s hard-rock outfit Little Angels.
Gun’s return takes their sonic blitzkrieg around Europe during the summer and then onto 19 venues spanning the length and breadth of the UK, culminating with a performance at the Hard Rock Hell Festival in December.
The cult Glaswegian band helped shape 90s rock music, releasing three seminal albums in Taking On The World, Gallus, and Swagger. Gun also found UK chart success with anthems such as Better Days, Steal Your Fire, and Word Up – all of which were perfect examples of Gun’s ability to harmonise a strident and powerful rock sound with an affecting and emotive songwriting core.
With their barrel trained at revival, Gun are set to show the UK precisely what made them so important in the 90s, and why, over a decade later, their wirey guitars and towering hooks continue to resonate with as much relevance and poignancy as ever.
08 Nov – Belfast Limelight
12 Nov – Newcastle Academy2
13 Nov – Manchester Academy3
14 Nov – Nottingham Rock City
15 Nov – Sheffield Corporation
17 Nov – Leeds Rios
18 Nov – Leamington Spa Assembly
19 Nov – Cambridge Junction
21 Nov – Gloucester Guildhall
22 Nov – Wrexham Central Station
23 Nov – Bristol Academy2
24 Nov – Southampton Brook
26 Nov – London Islington Academy
27 Nov – Milton Keynes Pitz Club
28 Nov – Brighton Concorde2
29 Nov – Swansea Sin City
1 Dec – Carlisle Brickyard
2 Dec – Glasgow ABC1
4 Dec - HARD ROCK HELL Prestatyn
Gun are currently touring Europe and working on an EP to coincide with the UK tour. A full album is slated for next year.
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Bristol based rockers offer up a new 4 track ep with Fight The People and these guys ain't kidding around!
The four tracks on this great EP show a band hungry to deliver, they're not here to pose and pretend to be the next big thing, they ate that for breakfast. Riot Noise could quite possibly be THE NEXT BIG THING emerging from the UK if this Ep is anything to go by!
Lead track 'Never Wrong' is a perfect rock single for the modern market, (the videos cool too!)
Its hard to describe the bands sound, they're a great modern rock band, not quite fitting into any niche's which can only be a good thing and at times they kind of sound something like a mix of classic 90's Brit Rockers 3 Colours Red mixing it up with the mighty Warrior Soul!, especially on 'Dead Behind Her Eyes'.
All four songs on offer here show plenty of promise, and I do believe Riot Noise may just deliver one of the best debut rock albums that we've seen in years! Damn I cant wait!
Catch them on tour and grab a copy of this EP!
Spray Paint Players is the third album released by French Glamsters Sparkling Bombs.
They play that poppy glam rock with a strong 70's inspiration, and they play it really well!
To my ears Sparkling Bombs sound very reminiscent of fallen British 90's hopefuls, Last of The Great Dreams. They play a similar kind of music, which is refreshing. I love the deceptive opening track ' Beauty Hides The Lies' with its beautiful piano intro, other great offerings include 'Gun Metal Grey', 'Spatters Spider' the groovy 'Purple Bubble Boogie', 'Down' and 'Motown Junk'.
Sparkling Bombs are a great band, playing fun glitzy pop rock, a band you can thoroughly enjoy listening too! Nothing new really but fun just the same.
Arbogast are a band, but more of a solo project for multi-instrumentalist Svante Widerström.
Certainties and Doubts is a classic rock album, with the band wearing their many influences proudly on their sleeves, influences that clearly include, Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, REM, which is bad thing. The vocals are strong the music solid, the guitar solos amazing at times, but something just seems to be missing. At time many of the 11 tracks on offer here begin to feel a little samey if you know what I mean. I'm not saying that there is no variation, or that the songs are no good, its just there's no real stand outs here, not to my ears any way.
Certainties and Doubts is not without its charms, and I do like some of the softer moments, like 'Steal Me Some Luck', I just haven't fallen in love with this album yet.
Again its not a bad album, and if they develop into more of a band project, then the songs may become that little bit stronger, maybe its a grower? After all life is full of Certainties and Doubts!
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Babylon is the new album from veteren shock rock / sleaze metal merchants Wasp. Babylon is more of the same – WASP sound like WASP, specifically like mid 80s WASP.
Babylon is a solid record, once again showing that Blackie Lawless has plenty to offer, but I must say I feel that it is missing something. Theres nothing wrong with any of the songs here, infact they're all good and could individually have appearded on any of Wasp's classic albums, but there does seem to be something missing. Maybe Blackie has lost his muse, as none of the tracks really stand out. Dont get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed Babylon, its a good album, but I m used to Wasp albums being great. Blackie and co over the years have offered up some great albums from classic debut, Last Command, the the epic Headless Children, the mighty Cromson Idol to later day classic like Kill F#''k Die and Unholy Terror, unfortunatly Babylon doesnt stand up to these as an album.
Still its a good honest solid album with plenty to enjoy and the new tracks should fit in well with a live set list.
(please Blackie, find your muse again!)
London based 5 peice Japanese Voyeurs offer up their Sicking & creaming EP, "a bunch of old demo's which the band were told they should release by an Yaqui Indian Shaman, who came to them in a dream....."
Sicking and Creaming’ EP is as honest and raw an introduction to a band as your likely to find today.
You’re So Cool’ and ‘X-Ray Ted’ are great rock ‘n’ roll tunes with big riffs and great groove but it’s the stand out track ‘Dumb’ that marks these guys out as ones to watch for the future,
.Fronted by the charismatic Romily Alice whom has a very unique voice, the band display have a raw energy that just blasts its way through each song.
Belgium's The Hickey Underworld are one of those bands who are desperate to be seen as 'weirder' than they actually are, riding the Dan Brown secret symbol and conspiracy theory trail. This self-titled debut has proven a surprise hit on the Belgian underground scene, thanks largely to the band's great live reputation. The music wears its Nirvana and Dischord influences proudly on its sleeve, but they are so heavily filtered through years of alt-pop and stubborn continental eccentricity as to avoid allegations of emulation, meaning the final product sounds both original and relevant.
The Hickey Underworld are not going to set the international scene on fire, but they provide an enjoyable distraction for the duration of the album. Live as I said they are said ti be amazing, so maybe given the right supporting platform on a large tour things could take off for them.
Stand out tracks include 'Future Words', 'Blonde Fire' and 'Of Asteroids and Men...'
Julie is the long term culmination of a friendship between front man Ethan Blumenfeld-James and guitarist Dustin Bath that dates back to their high school days. Originally a drummer, Blumenfeld-James stepped out in front with the addition of Mark Milan, Jon Spence and Adam Alessi. The band has never looked back!
Also all the group members of Julie also have the fact that they have all worked behind the scenes in television in common. They have some pretty famous fans too, including Kirsten Dunst, Stephen Bochco, Angela Lansbury, Jack Osbourne and rapper Obie Trice, whom has even collaborated with the band on a remix of their track 'Fogging Up A Clear View'.
An Act Of Communicationcomes across as an effervescent and artsy alt-rock album, that floats from the extremes of lush etheric choir vocals to abrupt post-punk skewered beats. A horn section adds depth and flavor to this eclectic mix. This has to be one of the best releases of the year!
Saturday, 3 October 2009
This album has been a long time coming from these guys from Vancouver. After what must have seemed like a dream start to their recording career, signing with a major label and being courted by various big name producers, its taken years of law suites and lawyers to get them out of a contract and this excellent debut self titled album released to the public.
Lions In The Street play that Classic rock with a heavy dose of Rolling Stones flavour!
To be honest any song here could have made it on to any of the Stone's classic albums.
Great classic rock with a slight touch of southern flavour at times.
This album should appeal to rock fans from every generation, what with its heavy Rolling Stones influence, yet sharp contemporary sound.
Get these guys onto a major world wide tour and with the right exposure they are going to be huge!!
Lucky Bastardz are an Italian band very much in the vein of the mighty Motorhead, and this their debut album is not a bad effort. Unfortunately they lack the experience and song writing gift of Lemmy and Co! I found the vocals just a lil too shouty, and although the songs are pretty decent at times, the vocals and the everyone louder than everyone else mentality kinda spoils things.
Live these guys are sure to be pretty awesome, I just think they need to learn a little restraint in the studio, and maybe get the guidance of a great producer.
Don't get me wrong, this is bar no means a bad album, its more than decent especially for a debut release, I guess its just not my cup of tea. Sorry
Give it a spin if you like garage rock and motorhead you may love it!
Staci T. Rat is no stranger to the music scene, coming from the high pedigree that was the Red Light Rippers and more recently Chop Suicide.
This time the Canadian sleazster returns with a new Ep, which contains four excellent examples of his song writing genius.
Year of the Rat is a great dose of Punk/Rock/Pop/Glam/Sleaze, which even contains a beautiful acoustic ballad, 'Another Time' just to break up the pace a lil.
The one strange thing about this Ep is the production. It is woefully under produced, but the pure quality of the songs and musicianship really shines through, and oddly enough the lack of production tends to lend itself to these songs!
I really do think that Staci has found the right home on British independent label Trashpit Records and they will provide the right back ground for the next step up the ladder to super stardom!
Saturday, 19 September 2009
Glam superstars kiss return with a 'Sonic Boom!' It's been more than a decade since KISS' last studio album. Eleven years is a decent chunk of time on most scales - but for KISS fans this has seemed an eternity.
Kiss promised that Sonic Boom would be a return to the classic Kiss sound of the 70's and to be fair the guys have managed to pull it off.
So are any of the songs on 'Sonic Boom' destined to become Kiss classics? Well to be honest I really don't know. 'Sonic Boom' is definitely the strongest Kiss album in years, there's no ballads and the vibes in the right place. The Albums sound fits well in the feel of their 70's and early 80's albums but classics, I'm not sure.
All the tracks are great songs with Gene and Paul alternating vocals with each song. Musically the standards reach the high standards, but sometimes lyrically I get the feeling that its a case of Kiss by numbers.
If your a fan of kiss, even in passing you'll enjoy this album, but I'm not sure you're gonna love it.
The great news is that's its a body of new material, and hopefully Sonic Boom gets the ball rolling and the juices flowing,
Ive enjoyed Sonic Boom but I'm looking forward to the next album already!
VANITY INK is a Finish band that was formed in the end of 2002. The band have already released two EPs (‘...roadkills!’ in 2004 and ‘Vanity is a Full-time Job’ in 2005) and one full-length album ‘On Your Skin’ 2007.
VANITY INK has signed up with the Swedish record label Swedmetal records who are now releasing their album ‘More Senseless Random Behaviour’.
‘Smell The Party’ is the first single as well as video is an energetic introduction to the record as well to the band for those who have not heard of them before. What follows is more of the same, sure the tempo drops in places but never the quality of the songs!
The songs are great, both musically and lyrically, and I find myself liking them and Annabella’s voice more and more with each spin of the disc.
If you like female fronted rock bands your gonna love Vanity Ink!
Danish rock/punksters return with their new album, Screw The Consequences, which has been produced bu the fantastically over talented Chris Laney.
What we get is 14 anthems about love, hate,drinking, (self)destruction, sex,
struggle, honesty, lies, & more drinking, is a valid testament of what
life is like as a Star*rat.. Loud ,Obnoxious,narcissistic, depraved,
and most of all fun!
Musically the style is huge rock songs with elements of punk, sleaze, and metal, and with new singer Magnus (AKA Mr. Whattafuck) on board, Kass, Post, and Braun finally found the missing link to go from damn good to awesome!
I imagine fans of Velvet Revolver, Buckcherry, Sixx A.M, Hardcore Superstar & Papa Roach
will love this, and so they should, its a great album.
Just sit back, relax, turn up and enjoy
Bitch queens consist of four guys with a flair for rough and energy-loaded rock, enough Mascara and attitude to hold up with any old name of the L.A scene. What you get is a high octane energy blast of Glam / Sleaze rock with a modern alternative / punk edge.
Basically some great rock n roll!
There is a certain familiarity about their sound, but that doesn't matter, the songs are great played well with great energy and enthusiasm!
Musically kind of like Motörhead meets Backyard Babies and the Stooges meet the Datsuns, and interesting mix but it works well!
These guys must be a blast live
I have been a huge fan of The Wildhearts and Ginger's solo releases for as long as I can remember, the first time that I remember seeing the guys live was back on the Mondo A kimbo tour in the old JB's, and they were amazing, totally blowing me away! I was hooked then and have been ever since. The years that followed have been some what that of a roller coaster ride for the band and fans alike with the band being on the verge of world domination on many occasions only to implode and self destruct. One thing that has always remained constant though is the high quality of the music, the passion of the fans has never changed with great albums followed by amazing live shows year after year.
This year the band have returned with their new album Chutzpah! an album that could arguably be their strongest ever release (reviewed previously for Glitzine.net), and I was given the opportunity of a brief Q & A session with Wildhearts main man Ginger. What follows is the resulting interview.
Barry - Congratulations on such an Amazing album. Chutzpah! is one of the strongest releases that the Wildhearts have produced in years, Why do you think that is?
Ginger - I guess everyone has forgiven us for past sins and is ready to accept us as a major force within the rock arena. Either that or we just made the songs shorter.
Barry - Producer Jacob Hansen really seems to have bought the best out of everyone on this album, how did you come to work with him?
Ginger - We wanted a European producer who could get huge, euro-metal sounds, the plan being to give him some pop and see if we could make a hardcore version of Abba. He's a big ELO fan as I also am, I think that was the deal clincher right there.
Barry - Chutzpah! is released via Backstage Alliance and not via your own Round Records, what are the reasons behind this and how did the new union come about?
Ginger - The band collectively decided to step up to a bigger label. I'm hoping that things will be taken to the next level with Backstage Alliance.
Barry - Chutzpah! has been the most collaborative Wildhearts release ever, yet it is the one album that has the closest feel to a Ginger Solo release, how do you think this came about?
Ginger - I wrote most of the melodies. And I was in New York working on a solo album at the time. Somehow the two worlds merged a little.
Barry - The current line of Yourself, CJ, Rich and Scott Sorry appears to be the strongest line up of The Wildhearts in years. So far you've managed to release 3 great albums together (2007's brilliant The Wildhearts, 2008's Stop Us If... and this years Chutzpah!), do you think that you've finally found that definitive line up?
Ginger - I hope so. I really wouldn't want to carry on doing The Wildhearts without any of these guys.
Barry - During the blogs you guys posted on line whilst you were in the studio recording Chutzpah! you listed a whole bunch of song titles, some of which like, Under The Waves, Some Days Just Suck, Vernix and Shine, haven't seen any form of release so far. Are there any plan's to release these songs, say as B'sides to a single or such?
Ginger- I hope so, but the decision of what we do with these songs is now down to Backstage Alliance. All I can say is that I hope they give these songs away for free, as b-sides or free downloads, to the fans.
Barry - You have a UK tour coming up, anywhere in particular that you are looking forward to playing?
Ginger - I'm looking forward to playing everywhere. I can't wait to play the new album in its entirety, all over the Country.
Barry - Have you guys managed to decide upon a set list yet? I know at one point you were asking the fans if they wanted to hear Chutzpah! in its entirety with a few classics mixed in, but would you consider playing Chutzpah as in the version released in Japan?
Ginger - The set appears to be one half the new album and a second half of old hits. This seems to be what the fans demand.
Barry - Already this year you been out on the road playing a few selected solo shows, not long after which I remember reading somewhere that you were putting together a new band. Would this be a new project altogether or just a new band to handle the solo tours and releases?
Ginger - I'm starting a new project with the guys I play with in LA. We don't have a name yet but we just recorded our first song with Mike Clink (Guns n Roses) and it sounds amazing. Can't wait to do more with that outfit. I'd like to record a solo album that I've written too, but finding a budget for that is proving quite difficult.
Barry - Over the years you have been involved in some fantastic side projects from Clam Abuse, SilverGinger 5 to SS666, have you ever thought about revisiting any of these projects.
Ginger - I occasionally consider doing another album with all of the above, but then something new comes in that distracts me. New versus old? The new will always win!
Barry - You mentioned in a recent interview that you have written over 50 songs for the next solo album, any ideas when you may start working on recording it and when it may see a release?
Ginger - Like I mentioned we can't find any labels that will pay for the recording of a new solo album. I hope this changes as I've got a ton of fantastic songs to record and some amazing players to do it with.
Barry - Where do you see the future heading for both your solo and future Wildhearts releases?
Ginger - I don't spend much time looking to the future, I prefer to stay in the moment. I hope I'm busy in the future, and that's about it.
Barry - Your move to New York has clearly had a huge impact on your life, helping you to clean up and I guess sort your thoughts, I remember back in 94 you tried relocating The Wildhearts to New York, do you think had that move have worked out that it would have had the same effect.
Ginger - No, I don't think so. I used to be very blinkered and closed off, and New York doesn't open itself to people like that. Now I've developed the capacity to love and be loved I find that USA responds to that in a very positive way. Basically I get New York now, whereas before it was a little confusing.
Barry - You have always been a very prolific songwriter, have you ever considered writing for other artists?
Ginger - Yes, I've been writing with a few artists recently and I really enjoy the process and hope to continue writing with people and learning from them. Writing with someone is a very satisfying process that is vastly different from writing alone.
Barry - You are close friends with Jackdaw4's Willie Dowling, have you guys ever considered working on a studio project together?
Ginger - We've talked about it but, to be honest, I think I would like to do it more than Willie would. Still, I live in hope.
Barry - Just a quick thought, where did the idea of using Chutzpah! as an album title come from?
Ginger - It's a Hebrew word meaning 'to have balls' that I always loved. When I realised that no-one had used it for an album title yet I decided to utilise it.
Barry - Sometimes you have a tendency of writing some very personal lyrics, are there any lyrics in any songs that you regret?
Ginger - Never, regret would be an insult to the situations that resulted in me talking to you.
Barry - A few years back there was rumours that you may be considering writing an autobiography, telling your story and the story of The Wildhearts. Will any such book ever see the light of day?
Ginger - I'm writing a book that touches on some stories and anecdotes but is in no way an autobiography. I'd like to write more than one book.
Barry - You must have a wealth of un-used/ unreleased songs from over the years, do you think that any of these older unreleased songs could ever see a release, even if only as downloads that fans could buy?
Ginger - I find that I'm always too busy working on new material and new projects that I have no time to revisit the past. It's gone and it isn't coming back, and the future is none of my business, so the present is where I like to stay firmly planted.
Barry - Finally is there anything that you would like to say to Glitzine.net readers, a final thought if you will?
Ginger - Do not judge, be honest, stand by your friends, spread love, be positive and listen to Cardiacs.
Id like to thank Ginger for agreeing to answer my humble question on behalf of Glitzine, and highly recommend that Glitzine readers check out the new Wildhearts album, Chutzpah!as soon as they can! (you wont be disappointed!)
You can catch the The Wildhearts live on tour at one of the following dates -
19th Sept NOTTINGHAM RockCity
20th Sept NORWICH Waterfront
21st Sept SOUTHSEA Wedgewood Rooms
22nd Sept EXETER Phoenix
24th Sept BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy 2
25th Sept STOKE-ON-TRENT The Sugarmill
26th Sept LEEDS Cockpit
27th Sept GLASGOW Garage
28th Sept NEWCASTLE O2 Academy
30th Sept MANCHESTER Club Academy
01st Oct LONDON O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
6th October – Tokyo Liquid-room
7th October – Nagoya Club Quattro
8th October – Osaka Big Cat