Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Ginger (Wildheart) - Kiss Alive II (2011)

Genre - Rock / Acoustic / Live

Track Listing:

01 - Geordie In Wonderland
02 - Mazel Tov Cocktail
03 - Drunken Lord Of Everything
04 - Answering Machine
05 - Hocus Pocus / Taxi / Cheers
06 - In Lilly's Garden
07 - Understanding Jane
08 - So Into You
09 - Miles Away Girl
10 - Sunshine From New York
11 - Surrender
12 - Unlucky In Love
13 - 29 x The Pain
14 - Loveshit
15 - I Wanna Go Where The People Go

Recorded live in Birmingham 2011this cd is a great momento of a great tour from last yearand is essentially an authorised bootleg as compared to a commercial release. Not the set list most were expecting dare i say, but all the better for it non the less. Ginger was joined by Random Jon Poole, Jase Edwards and Willie Dowling, and this cd manages to capture the true feel of the gig, it really is almost as though you are actually there. This is a great cd with excellent renditions of Drunken Lord Of Everything, Understanding Jane, Unlucky In Love and a rare live outing for Loveshit.
A great momento for those who were lucky enough to be there, a great way to experience what was obviously a cracking gig for those who just couldnt make it on the night (or tour!)

Highly reconmended!

Rating 9/10

Oliver Dawson saxon - Motorbiker (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock / Metal / NWoBHM
Label - Angelair Records

Track listing:

01. Chemical Romance
02. Motorbiker
03. Whippin Boy
04. No Way Out
05. Just Another Suicide
06. Sinternet
07. Ghost
08. Nevada Beach
09. Screaming Eagles
10. World's Gone Crazy
11. Hell In Helsinki
12. Nursery Crimes

During the summer of 2000 the line up of OLIVER DAWSON SAXON took to the world stage and delivered great music that had been enjoyed for 20 years previously and their new music. Over the past decade they have released live albums and DVDs

"Motorbiker" is a brand new album of new songs and delivers heavy duty material from the masters and originators of NWOBHM " Featuring the talents of GRAHAM OLIVER, STEVE DAWSON, JOHN WARD, NIGEL DURHAM, and HAYDN CONWAY.

Hmmm was this album what I was expecting, well no, its so much better!
I have always been a little bit of a Saxon fan, and feared that this would be just some ex members trying to replicate faded glories and cash in on the name that they helped to create, but boy, that couldnt be further from the truth. Firstly, these guys make no attempt to try and recreate the Saxon sound, hell they generall sound much more relevent and contemporary than Saxon have in years! This is in part thanks to the vocal talents of John 'Wardi' Ward, who has a great contemporary voice and cocal style, much more throaty than Biff Byfords ever was. The albums sound has a very up todate sound and edge, and the songs, well the songs are just top draw throughout!
from the heavy crunching riffs of opener Chemical Romance to the up tmpo NWoBHM stylings of Whipping Boy and Motorbiker to the Heavy attitude filled No Way Out to the subtle Just Another Suicide and modern day themed Sinternet!
This album is filled with eleven great new relevent tracks and one little instrumental.
This album deserves to be heard!
Well worth checking out!

Rating 10/10


Dario Mollo, Tony Martin - The Third Cage (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock / Melodic Rock / Metal
Label - Frontiers Records

Track listing:
01. Wicked World (4:28)
02. Cirque du Freak (4:11)
03. Oh My Soul (4:57)
04. One of the Few (3:59)
05. Still In Love With You (4:19)
06. Can’t Stay Here (4:05)
07. Wardance (5:56)
08. Don’t Know What It Is About You (4:51)
09. Blind Fury (5:02)
10. Violet Moon (7:34)

"Dario Mollo and Tony Martin first got together when the Italian guitar player/produced and composer needed the right singer after the put together a new set of songs in the late 90’s. The former Black Sabbath singer came about on a suggestion from producer Kit Woolven (UFO, Thin Lizzy) with whom Dario Mollo had been working during his Crossbones years. Tony Martin wrote lyrics and melodies for the amazing tracks that Dario had already assembled, and thus The Cage was born.

The first album, released independently in 1999, gained a great success among the Hard Rock fans and the critics and Dario started finally to make himself a reputation over the international markets. This debut was later followed by an equally acclaimed second album in 2002.
Mollo has been very busy since then, releasing one more album with the Voodoo Hill project with Glenn Hughes. He then toured Europe with Graham Bonnet and Don Airey. After Don became a permanent Deep Purple member, Dario and Graham Bonnet put up Elektric Zoo, touring Europe again, performing songs from Rainbow, Alcatrazz, Voodoo Hill and The Cage. In 2008 Dario released an album with the more alt-rock Italian band Noize Machine, before getting again to work on a new set of Hard Rocking songs for a new record with Tony Martin.
“As usual we are 50/50 partners”, explains Mollo. “I write all the music and Tony then contributes with the melodies and lyrics. We also try together different structures of the tracks and we rearrange them to better fit the vocal parts. Then I go ahead and take care of the entire production of the album, tracking, mixing and mastering”.
The songwriting, the sound and the video production of this new project are absolutely stunning and show the great skills that Mollo has developed in the past few years. All Hard Rock lovers should simply not miss this record which bravely melts several influences in a cutting edge release. “There are much better songs, performances and production on this album, plus we will finally bring this project live out there: we have a lot of great songs to perform to our loyal fans, we look forward to meet them” concludes Dario Mollo."

This the latest collaboration between Dario Mollo and Tony Martin on The Cage project opens with the bone crunching heavy riff and attitude driven Wicked World, which is also the lead single and video to be taken from the album. A contemporary sounding track showing that these guys know how to move with the times. Next up is the brilliant Cirque Du Freak, which Tony says was lyrically inspired by the movie the Vampires Apprentice. Again a heavy track with a modern edge with a great use of keyboards, a great song!

Oh My Soul follows, and is, in my honest opinion, one of the albums highlights. A great song that would have fitted comfortably upon any of the albums that Tony recorded back in his period with Sabbath. A track filled with atmosphere and emotion filled lyrics, a great song of epic proportions!
One Of The Few quickens up the pace a little, being more of a heavy melodic rock track, before the guys slow things down with the eastern flavored heavy Still In love With You, which is very similar in style to the song Al-Sirat from Empire's The Raven Ride album, again a great song! (Who said love songs cannot be heavy?)
Can’t Stay here is up next and to be honest, in my opinion, is the weakest track on the album. The song switches the tempo up a gear with almost a little funk feeling going on, it is a good melodic song, just feels a little out of place here. The guys redeem themselves with the next track, a quirky heavy song, Wardance. A Great track with some excellent lyrics, with a strong message without taking itself too seriously.
Don’t Know What It Is About You, is another great song, heavy, great tempo, yet melodic, before the leading into Blind Fury, A mid tempo heavy track. Once again, a great song. The album closes with Violet Moon, a trippy melodic song for which Tony apparently managed to come up with the lyrics in the studio, not even writing them down.

The Third cage really is a great album, full of variety and above all else, great songs. The guy’s are apparently considering taking this album out on the road, and hopefull they do as they have a wealth of material which deserves to be aired to a live audience.

I love this album, and bias aside, (I am a huge Tony Martin Fan and have been since 1989!) it’s a very strong album well deserving of recognition. To be honest this album only has one fault, and that being that its not longer!

Rating - 10/10


Tony Martin – Vocals (ex-Black Sabbath, Giuntini Project, Empire, Rondinelli, Phenomena, Tony Martin Band)
Dario Mollo – Guitars (Don Airey, Kit Woolven, Giuntini Project, Voodoo Hill)
Brian War/Dario Patti – Keyboards (Giuntini Project, Voodoo Hill)
Fulvio Gaslini – Bass (Giuntini Project, ex-Crossbones)
Roberto Gualdi – Drums (Voodoo Hill)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Wolfsbane - Did It For The Money EP (2011)

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal / Punk / Garage

Track listing -

01 - Did It For The Money
02 - Limo (Special Version)
03 - GSB
04 - Killing Machine
05 - Dance My Tune

I dont believe that I missed this release. Originally made available back in April 2011, and still available via the bands website, this was the bands comeback release, well 5 track EP.
Featuring one new song, Did It For The Money, which also features on the bands new album, Wolfsbane Saves The World, and four re-recorded versions of Wolfsbane classics, which include Limo and Killing Machine, two massive fan favourites.
Well the new song sounds like classic Wolfsbane, and the re-recorded classics all sound excellent, re-recording them really adding a new lease of life to the songs. I really love GSB and Killing Machine, although Dance My Tune is also a contender for track of the EP.

A Great release, welcome back lads!

Rating 10/10

Wolfsbane - Saves The World (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock /  Heavy Metal / Punk / Garage

Track listing -

01 - Blue Sky
02 - Teacher
03 - Buy My Pain
04 - Starlight
05 - Smoke and red Light
06 - Illusion Of Love
07 - Live Before I Die
08 - Who Are You Now
09 - Everybodys Looking For Something Baby
10 - Child Of The Sun
11 - Did it For The Money

Hey remember the nineties, we had  a great Uk music scene with the likes of The Wildhearts, 3 Colours Red, Honeycrack, Wahtever, The Almighty, Little Angels, Skin, and god damned Wolfsbane! Those were the days, when men were men, women were women and rock was ROCK! It all ended for Wolfsbane when frontman Blaze Bayley opted to leave and fill the huge shoes of the departed Bruce Dickinson in Iron Maiden, a sad day, as Wolfsbane were one of the best live bands around at the time, and their swan song album, Wolfsbane was simply brilliant.
Well guess what folks, the guys reunited a few years back for some live dates, and enjoyed it so much, they decided to write and record an album! Praise be to the lord of rock n roll!
So is the album any good, you bet your bottom dollar its bloody good, the Howling Mad Shitheads are going to love it!
From the Britrock charge of opening track, Blue Sky, to the Dave Lee Roth era Van Halen esque over the toppness of Teacher, to the pounding punk metal work out of Buy My Pain, this is classic Wolfsbane in all of their glory, its just as though they had never been away!
Starlight, a great little ballad, and Smole and The Red Light are great tracks, Illusion Of Love is a classic in the making, a real gem, a great song!
Live Before I Die is a typical Wolfsbane track, with the added metal edge probably from Blaze's solo stuff, a great song, even down to its ska type break lol.
Who Are You Now brings a britrock edge back to things that many of the bands nineties contempories would be envious of, whilst the punk black work out of Everybody's Looking For Something Baby is just classic Wolfsbane! Child of The Sun is a trippy little number whilst album closer Did It For The Money is a blast of puer Wolfsbane.

So, who would have guessed that in 2012, Wolfsbane mwould release probably their best and most varried album to date.

Love live rock n roll, long live Wolfsbane!

Rating 10/10

Hate Gallery - Viva La Resistance (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock / Metal / Punk

Track listing -

01 - Viva La Resistance
02 - The Warning
03 - Satellite
04 - The Becoming
05 - Security Forces (Dead Jimmy)
06 - Rats
07 - Frequency
08 - Domination Soul
09 - 2 Minute Hate
10 - Love Shine On
11 - Salvation

Man have I been waiting for this album!
Hate Gallery grabbed my attention with their debut 'Compassion Fatigue', with its great anthems, The Idiots, New God, Good Things Come To those Who Hate, Slave New World and Exit Wounds, a stunning debut brimming with attitude and great tunes. They following that up with their EP, Dead Celebritie, which again was packed with six stunning tracks showcasing the bands versitality and songwritting talent. So as you can imagine, I have been praying for this album, but does it live up to the same standards as its predecessors? Well all I can say is HELL YEAH!
Opening with a call to arms in the form of Viva La Resistance, angst and attitude, uptempo, in your face, it has it all, a great title track, excellent opener!
The Warning drops the tempo a little, a little more melodic than its predecessor, whilst Satellite is a great rocker, filled with attitude, go light the fuse I dare you!
The Becoming is the first of the more mellow tracks, a great trippy and moody track, again displaying the bands versitality, love it! Security Forces and Rats return to the angst and anger of the opener, again a great track, and I imagine a real crowd pleaser when played live!
Frequency is another great rock track with a few nice suprises along its way, Domination Soul, slows things down once again, but dont misunderstand, this song still rocks like a mother!
2 Minute Hate has a punk feel to it that really helps get things going again, before the albums second slow mellow number kicks in in the form of Love Shine On, once again a great song!
The album closes out with Salvation, which is kind of an epic builder of a track, again a great song to close out a great album.

Its only January and Hate Gallery have delivered a contender for album of the year!

rating 10/10

You simply have to check these guys out!

Metallica - Beyond Magnetic Ep (2011)

Genre - Heavy Metal / Hard Rock / Thrash

Track listing:

01 - Hate Train
02 - Just A Bullet Away
03 - Hell And Back
04 - Rebel Of Babylon

Ok time to 'fess up I guess, first of all I'm really not sure as to whether this EP is actually an official release or just a leaked bootleg. It claims to be four left over, or out take tracks from the nbands last full length studio album, Death Magnetic. Now I have to be honest, I truely beleive that the last great album that Metallica released was the 'Black Album', although their best work in m,y opinion is to be found on the 'Master Of Puppets' and 'And Justice For All' albums. Death Magnetic saw the band heading in the right direction, with the songs being closer to the classic Metallica style than the last few releases, but I felt that the songs were too long, bloated by their excessive riffs, great as they were they were just too long for me.
Now here is something that I am finding it hard to get my head around, all four songs here are stunning, so why were they left off of the last album?
Hate Train opens things up with a spirited and energestic workout, seven minutes shoot by before you know it, a great song. Next up is Just A Bullet Away, which I guess has a more moderate tempo, yet is a truely great song, tempo changes, attitude, the lot, and I love the mellow break down around the four minute mark!This is probably one of the best songs Metallica have put out since 'And Justice For All'!
 Hell and Back is probably the most commercial of the bunch here, and in my opinion could have fitted nicely onto any album, especially the Black Album. Once again a great song.
Closing the album out is the real gem, Rebel in Babylon, which see's the guys remembering their thrash roots with the riffs hurtling past at a million miles an hour, classic Metallica!

I am so blown away with the four songs on offer here i just really wished that they had appeared on the last album!
proof that the guys can still cut it, now can someone please explain what the hell happened with Lulu?

Rating - 10/10

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Danko Jones - Mouth To Mouth EP (2011)

Genre - Hard Rock

Track listing -

01. "Rock 'n' Roll Proletariat"

02. "She's Too Pretty"
03. "The Kids Don't Want to Rock"
04. "Guest List Blues"
05. "Mouth to Mouth"

Released at the tail end of 2011, Danko Jones unleashed a new five track Ep upon the world, all be it featuring songs that were recorded during the Below The Belt sessions, and only one of them having not previously seen the light of day before. (That being title track Mouth to Mouth, the others were released as bonus tracks on the various forms of Below The Belt!)

Like the other tracks from Below The Belt, all the tracks have a air of laid back ease to them, whilst bursting with energy and attitude. Rock n Roll Proletariat is a call to arms of sorts, She's Too Pretty is an energetic punkish track with tons of attitude. The Kids Dont Want To Rock is the most commercial track here, and also my favourite, a great viewpoint on the state of the music tastes of kids today, but more importantly a bloody great song!
Guest List Blues would have fitted well on Below The Belt (As would all of the tracks here!), a great little rocker, and title track and closing track is another Danko party anthem!
A great little Ep that may just about tide me over until the new album is done!

Very highly reconmended!

Rating - 10/10

Alfonzetti - Here Comes The Night (2011)

Genre - Hard Rock / Melodic Rock / AOR

Track listing -

01. Losing You

02. Here Comes the Night
03. I’ll Wait for You
04. Heartbreaker
05. Don't Listen to Your Heart
06. Why Can´t You Love Me
07. Lay Your Love on Me
08. Rock n Roll Heart
09. Set Me Free
10. I Will Never Let You Fall

"Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden Matti Alfonzetti began his musical career in his early teens playing bass in the local Hard Rock band Heavy Waters. Shortly after this he abandoned the bass and became the lead vocalist for this group. He later met guitarist Göran Elmquist and formed the band Hardware that would soon change it’s name to Scandinavia and then Bam Bam Boys and recorded the album ‘Bam Bam Boys’ in 1988. Sadly, it was not released until 1999.The band split-up and Matti, not being sure how to pursue his career as a singer, was sitting in his flat in Stockholm when he received a phone call from Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy) asking him to audition for his new band Western Front. In London he successfully auditioned and got the job as lead vocalist for Western Front. Preproduction for album began when sadly the record company decided they were not going to release the album at that time and the band was put to rest for the time being.
Matti had already received an offer to become the lead singer of London based band Jagged Edge, and went straight in to the recording studio to record 5 songs that would be released as the EP ‘Trouble’ (1990). With Jagged Edge he also recorded the album ‘Fuel For Your Soul’. The band toured extensively in the UK with bands such as Dan Reed Network, Vixen, David Lee Roth among others. Leaving Jagged Edge in 1992 he went back to Sweden to briefly tour with Swedish band Talisman and on to join Skintrade and recorded the albums ‘SkinTrade’ (1993) and ‘Roachpowder’ (1995). After extensive touring in Europe the band split up in 1996. Next up was Boxer, a Swedish AOR/ Pop group, where he sung in native language for the first time. The self titled debut was released in 1998.
In 2000 Alfonzetti’s first solo album ‘Ready’ saw the light of day - and two years later the album ‘Machine’. Following this Matti started getting into songwriting and producing and had success producing and writing for bands such as The Poodles among others. One new project emerged in 2007, Road To Ruin, including drummer Tomas Broman and Sampo Axelsson and Lars Chriss of Lion’s Share. ‘Road To Ruin’ came out the same year on Metal Heaven.
Now, Alfonzetti’s third solo album is ready. Titled ‘Here Comes The Night’, it is the Alfonzetti’s return to the music and vocal style of first solo album ‘Ready’ with up to date production. This time Matti collaborated with drummer/ producer Daniel Flores and the albums includes guests such as Marcus Jidell (Evergrey) and Emil Fredholm (Plankton).The CD was recorded at Sound vs Science Studios and Atomic Rooster Studios, Stockholm. All songs were written and produced by Matti Alfonzetti and mixed and co-produced by Daniel Flores."

A great album that really showcase's Matti's vocal prowess, and a great compliment to the debut album from his new project, Red White & Blues with ex Jagged Edge band mate myke Gray!

Well worth checking out!

Rating 8/10

SIXX: A.M. - 7 (2011)

Genre - Hard Rock
Track listing -

01 - Lies Of The Beautiful People (acoustic)

02 - Is Gonna Hurt (acoustic)
03 - Life Is Beautiful (acoustic)
04 - Help Is On The Way (acoustic)
05 - Sure Feels Right (acoustic)
06 - Pray For Me (acoustic)
07 - Accidents Can Happen (acoustic)

Again not my own personal review but one with which I agree with totally, again the reviews author is unkown to me but all credit goes to them for their work.

On December 13, Motley Crue's bassist Nikki Sixx side project SIXX: A.M. is releasing "7", a new collection of tracks which aim to put a new spin on 7 songs from their 2 successful albums 'The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack' and 'This is Gonna Hurt'.

"7" features the band performing acoustic versions of tracks from each of their two albums, reworked with different arrangements.
The opening track "Lies Of The Beautiful People" consists of acoustic guitar and oriental orchestration that make the song more mysterious than the original. The solo guitar is also a highlight.
"This Is Gonna Hurt" has received a beautiful piano arrangement, and their hit single "Life Is Beautiful" is remarkably revisited with strong guitars that sound as powerful as an electric one.
"Help Is On The Way" features a very appealing combination of acoustic guitar, cellos, violins and piano alongside speechless vocals with high quality arrangements.
"Sure Feels Right" is a great fusion of strings and piano with an electro-acoustic guitar work. "Pray For Me" is more stright, with a double acoustic six string guitar panned on both channels.
"Accidents Can Happen" ends the album with a moody, slow melancholic feel.
SIXX: A.M. "7" is much more than 'let's play some of our songs with an acoustic'.
All songs have been reworked at some point that sometimes sound as new ones. There's new beautiful melodies and gorgeous arrangements with a nice variety of high quality textures.
James Michael is a great singer, his vocal range gets even more amazing on these stripped versions, enhanced by the piano, cellos and violins background.
"7" reinforces the fact that SIXX: A.M. isn't a spare time project for Nikki Sixx and his talented bandmates, it's a serious and interesting power plant of ideas and musicality.
Very Good.

This Ep is very highly reconmended!

Rating - 10/10

RED WHITE & BLUES - Shine (2011)

Genre - Hard Rock

Tracklisting -

01 - Stand Up For Rock And Roll

02 - Shame Shame
03 - Rescue Me
04 - Red White & Blues
05 - Let It Shine
06 - A Little Too Late
07 - Good Times
08 - Get It On
09 - Counts For Nothing
10 - Set My Sights On You
11 - Long Way From Home
12 - Girls And Guitars
13 - The Best Is Yet To Come
14 - The Road To Hell

First of all let me say that this is not mu personal review of this fantastic album, but one that I agree with completely and have decided to re-post it here, unfortunately I dont know who the author is, but all credit should go to them!

"The new UK/Swedish band that all in the music rock management are talking about for a couple of weeks now is called RED WHITE & BLUES.

"Shine" is the debut album from this duo who you may not have heard of yet… I say yet as you will soon, believe me.
This group features no other than talented Myke Gray and Matti Alfonzetti.
Originally working together in the acclaimed Jagged Edge, which released the stunning album 'Fuel For Your Soul', Matti Alfonzetti went on to record with acts such as Road To Ruin, Skintrade and also issue a series of solo albums, the last released just a month ago ('Here Comes The Night').
Myke Gray went on to form Skin, one the the UK's best loved rock bands, which racked up hit singles such as 'Money' and whose debut album made the UK Top 10.
Now Matti and Myke are back together and Red White & Blues are sure to impress any fan of high quality rock music.
Joining Myke (guitars) and Alfonzetti (vocals & bass) is drummer Che Leon Beresford to complete the line-up.
The trio play classy traditional Hard Rock, which is some of the best I have heard in many years, with a baggage of original classic songs that most bands would die for.
As a mark of how good Red White & Blues are, as well as supporting The Quireboys and Whitesnake recently, they are also playing along with Chickenfoot on their forthcoming UK dates in January.
All concert promoters and managers want Red White & Blues on their major acts gigs, and I can hear why.
Don't be mislead by the band's name. That's refers to the colors, not the genre.
Red White & Blues is an oiled classy Hard Rock machine, based on blues rock, yes, as many pure Hard Rock bands from England. But their sound combines the best of Skin, Jagged Edge and Thunder with a bit of early Whitesnake / Def Leppard.
"Shine" is a so energetic and passionate CD that I can figure out how hot they ought to sound on stage.
The opening song "Stand Up For Rock 'N' Roll" sets out the bands stall greatly. This is a heavy rock anthem of the first degree with fantastic playing from Myke Gray, his guitar work throughout the album is amazing, from blistering solos to slow melodic lines, all are taken in his stride.
Another highlight throughout the disc is the vocal delivery from Alfonzetti. His voice is perfectly suited to this style of rock with a powerful, bluesy delivery not unlike Paul Rodgers in parts which is high praise in my book.
The album highlights are too numerous to mention with all 14 tracks being of the highest quality, but if pushed I would recommend "Set My Sights On You", "Let It Shine" and the excellent ballad "A Little Too Late" as a good starting point.

I can't recommend Red White & Blues' "Shine" enough.
It is a fun, upbeat, hard rocking album in the classic style, including terrific original songs wonderfully executed and produced with a crispy & brilliant sound.
At the moment the album appears to only be available through the band's own website or at gigs. Get a copy while you can; it's limited to 1000 units.
If you like Classic Rock and well written songs with hooks big enough for shark fishing, then this is definitely for you."

Highly, Highly Recommended.

Rating 10/10