Thursday, 26 May 2011

The Rods - Vengeance

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
Label - Niji Entertainment

Track listing -

01. Raise Some Hell
02. I Just Wanna Rock
03. Rebels Highway
04. Ride Free Or Die
05. The Code (feat Ronnie James Dio)
06. Livin' Outside The Law
07. Let It Rip
08. Fight Fire With Fire
09. Madman
10. Running Wild
11. Vengeance

Legendary Cult rockers The Rods reunite for one last stab at the cherry, with the Immortal voice of Ronnie James Dio lending a helping hand. First off, let’s get one thing straight, Vengeance is a true retro album -- it is pure uncompromising, aggressive and melodic hard rock / heavy metal.
The Rods, although American, had a very NWoBHM sound about them, back in their day they cut some classic tracks, Crank It Up probably being the most famous. With Vengeance, they continue pretty much where they left off, 25 years ago. The songs are pretty solid, the production is crystal clear, and we’re in for a good time I think!
First I should be honest, I am only really aware of this albums existence because it includes one of the very last songs that Ronnie James Dio sang upon before he sadly passed away 12 months ago, The Code. So let’s deal with this track first, even though its track 5. The Code is a heavy song, with a powerful performance put in by Dio, unbelievable considering he passed away a few weeks later. It’s got some great lyrics, and a brilliant theme, yet it’s not the best song to feature Ronnie, and if I’m totally honest, as much as like the song, I doubt that it would have made the final cut of the Heaven & Hell album, The Devil You Know.
Now that tracks out of the way, what of the rest of the album? Well as I said earlier, it’s a straight up rock / metal album, very much in the vein of Saxon and Judas Priest in places. There’s a high energy attitude about the songs on this album, and if you like your rock in the classic NWoBHM vein, then Vengeance could be right up your alley!

Well worth checking out!

Website - The Rods
Rating - 8/10

Who Cares? - Out Of My Mind (2 Track Charity Single)

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy metal / Classic Rock
Label - earMusic

Track listing -

01 - Out Of My Mind
02 - Holy Water

Who Cares? A new project / super group featuring the talents of Tony Iommi - Guitars (Black Sabbath), Ian Gillan - Vocals (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath), Jason Newsted - Bass (Metallica, Voivoid, Flotsam & Jetsam), Niko McBrain - Drums (Iron Maiden), Jon Lord - Keyboards (Deep Purple), Linde Linstrom - Guitars (HIM, a Finnish band) amongst others.

The all-star line-up has recorded two new songs. They are to benefit a music school in Gyumri, Armenia. The review below tells you all you need to know about these tracks, awesome!

"This two track charity single by Who Cares has been released to support the rebuilding of a music school in Gyumri, Armenia. Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi and various other hard rock and metal stars, have combined to record two original songs and it was that fact alone that tempted me to make a purchase.

The first track Out of my mind, is a classic sinister hard rock track, all heavy guitars and growling Hammond (courtesy of Jon Lord), with a couple of killer slow burning guitar solos. My favourite track however, is Holy Water which has the feel of classic Ian Gillan solo material. It rocks a bit harder than the recent One Eye to Morocco album, but with a haunting duduk intro opening the track and Ian Gillan's alternately mystical/anecdotal lyrics, the song is very much in that vein.

The music feels as gelled as any touring band, and deserves to make it into your record collection on its own merits. Rather toning down their excesses and hoping for a radio friendly effort, Who Cares have produced the sort of material their fans rightly love them for and donated the proceeds to charity." ( testedonpencils 2011)

I tend to disagree, in that Out Of My Mind is my favourite of the two songs, but both are future classics!

Support this cause, and keep your fingers crossed that these guys choose to record more material together, the line up on the first track is absolutely awesome, differs slightly on Holy Water, with the line up being
•Vocals: Ian Gillan
•Guitars: Tony Iommi , Steve Morris, Michael Lee Jackson
•Drums: Randy Clarke
•Bass: Rodney Appleby
•Hammond organ: Jesse O'Brien
•Duduk solo: Arshak Sahakyan
•Underlying duduk intro music & keys: Ara Gevorgyan

very Highly recommended!

website - Who Cares
Rating - 10/10

Die Pretty - Battle Over Brooklyn EP

Genre - Pop / Punk / Rock
Label -

Track listing -

01 - 7th Avenue
02 - Let Me Out!
03 - Voices

"Die Pretty formed in 2005. Brother and Sister Skip and Sarah stemmed Die Pretty from their previous band of 8 years. With their new aggressive style of combining punk and catchy rock they have graced the stage with such acts as Goldfinger, Everclear, Pennywise, The Living End and many more. They have been called, "The Punk Rock Hope" by Brooklyn Music Magazine. Their style has been described as sticks of dynamite with a punk rock wick."
Sarah’s vocals, to me anyway come across as a sort of mix between Stevie Nicks and No Doubt's Gwen Stefani. The band has grown musically since their 2009 release, Bittersweet, which was typical break neck punk rock album, with huge melodies. This Ep shows a more melodic side to the band, 7th Avenue becoming an instant sing along, even on its first spin. Let Me out! is more akin to the band’s debut, super fast punk riffs with a huge melody over the top. Voices closes out this 3 track Ep, with its 80's New Wave feel, and I must say I found this Ep thoroughly enjoyable!

I think we should expect big things from these punk and punkettes!

Well worth checking out!!

website - Die Pretty
Rating - 8/10

Black Stone Cherry - Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

Genre - Hard Rock / Southern Rock / Alternative
Label - Roadrunner Records

Track listing -

01 - White Trash Millionaire
02 - Killing Floor
03 - In My Blood
04 - Such A Shame
05 - Won't Let Go
06 - Blame It On The Boom Boom
07 - Like I Roll
08 - Can't You See
09 - Let Me See You Shake
10 - Stay
11 - Change
12 - All I'm Dreamin' Of
13 - Staring At The Mirror (Bonus track)
14 - Fade Away (Bonus track)
15 - Die For You (Bonus track)

Black Stone Cherry return with their third studio album in Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, once again filled to the brim with huge meaty riffs and hooks big enough to land moby dick himself!
There are some real gems and definite future Black Stone Cherry classics here, with current single, White Trash Millionaire, radio friendly Like I Roll, Moody Killing Floor, the fun Blame It On The Boom Boom and the true stand out track, Such A Shame, with its haunting soul chilling heartfelt lyric!
Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea is a great and solid album, with very few fillers to be found, with maybe the exception of Cant You See and Stay.

Black Stone Cherry's previous two albums were ballsy, and had their classic tracks, but I always felt that they were missing something, well looks like they’ve found it on Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea,

This album can be summed up on four words, Huge Riffs, Massive Hooks!

Very highly recommended.

Website - Black Stone Cherry
Rating - 9/10

Def Leppard - Mirror Ball Live and More

Genre - Hard Rock / Pop Rock / Glam
Label -

Track listing -

01. Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
02. Rocket
03. Animal
04. C’Mon C’Mon
05. Make Love Like A Man
06. Too Late For Love
07. Foolin’
08. Nine Lives
09. Love Bites
10. Rock On

01. Two Steps Behind
02. Bringin’ On The Heartbreak
03. Switch 625
04. Hysteria
05. Armageddon It
06. Photograph
07. Pour Some Sugar On Me
08. Rock Of Ages
09. Let’s Get Rocked
10. Action
11. Bad Actress
12. Undefeated
13. Kings Of The World
14. It’s All About Believin’

'Mirror ball' was recorded across the world over the course of many of the band's sold-out dates and features all of the classic songs that have made Def Leppard one of the most respected and beloved power rock bands in the world. Attempting to capture the group's legendary concert experience, this double disc set bring together many of the bands classic tracks such as 'Pour Some Sugar On Me', 'Rock Of Ages','Foolin'', 'Hysteria', 'Photograph' and 'Bringing On The Heartbreak', a great set list, I just wish that they were all from the same show!

The thing that is of real interest to me are the last three tracks on disc two, new studio recordings, current single Undefeated, Kings Of The World and It's All About Believin', each a future Leppard classic in their own right, but Undefeated is definitely one of the strongest songs that the guys have come up with in years, as is Kings Of The World with its very Queen - esque sound, awesome

A great introduction for new fans, and a pleasant addition to us older fans

Website - Def Leppard
Rating - 9/10

Black Country Communion - 2

Genre - Hard rock / Classic rock / Blues Rock
Label - Mascot

Track listing -

01. The Outsider
02. Man In The Middle
03. The Battle For Hadrian's Wall
04. Save Me
05. Smokestack Woman
06. Faithless
07. An Ordinary Son
08. I Can See Your Spirit
09. Little Secret
10. Crossfire
11. Cold

New rock super group, Black Country Communion, follow up last year’s awesome debut album with "2". Pretty much continuing where the debut left off, with their bluesy soulful, Deep Purple meets Led Zepplin sound. With the pedigree within this band you expect the songs to amazing, and they don’t let you down!
The album opens with two powerhouse tracks, The Outsider and Man In The Middle, before the band slow things down a little with The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall, an epic bluesy track that could of easily have been a part of guitarist's Joe Bonamassa's album Dust Bowl. Save Me follows, a song with a very heavy Zepplin feel to it, which isn’t surprising considering drummer Jason Bonham claims that it has its roots in a jam that took place between himself and Zepplin Messer’s Jimmy Page and John Paul after the famous 02 reformation gig! Awesome song! Everyone pulls through with this with some great work from Joe and Glenn!
And it just doesn’t stop, with song after song of supreme high quality classic bluesy rock!

I truly hope that these guys can keep the egos in check, because so far they’ve delivered two fantastic albums, if they can stay together they will become a legendary band in their own right!

True pedigree shines through once again, very highly recommended!

Website - Black Country Communion

Rating 10/10

Sixx A.M. - This Is Gonna Hurt

Genre - Hard Rock / Modern Rock
Label - Eleven Seven Music

Track listing -

0l. This Is Gonna Hurt
02. Lies Of The Beautiful People
03. Mare You With Me Now
04. Live Forever
05. Sure Feels Right
06. Deadlihood
07. Smile
08. Help Is On The Way
09. Oh My God
10. Goodbye My Dear Friends
11. Skin

This Is Gonna Hurt is the second album from NIKKI SIXX’s latest Sixx A.M. and the follow up to the hugely successful Heroin Diaries, and pretty much picks up where that album left off. This Is Gonna Hurt is pretty much the soundtrack to NIKKI SIXX’s latest book release This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography And Life Through The Distorted Lens Of Nikki Sixx.

The album is filled with atmospheric, haunting and moody soundscapes, from the industrial tinged opener, and title track, This Is Gonna Hurt, to the big ballad Smile. This is an album that contains so many mixed musical styles, yet is woven together so well it’s unbelievable!
Another truly outstanding thing about this album is the simple fact that every one of the 11 tracks stands perfectly well on its own, there’s not a duff track in sight, something of as rarity today!
Once again the band, Nikki Sixx – bass, James Michael – vocals and DJ Ashba – Guitar
really do themselves proud, showcasing their talents and songwriting to perfection.
As I said, all 11 tracks are brilliant, but a couple really do stand out to me, those being title track, This Is Gonna Hurt, Lies Of The Beautiful People, Deadlihood, Oh My God and album closer, Skin.

Very highly recommended!

Website -