Tuesday, October 17, 2017

GLENN HUGHES - Addiction [2CD Remastered & Expanded Edition] (2017)

GLENN HUGHES - Addiction [2CD Remastered & Expanded Edition] (2017) full

Cherry Red / Hear No Evil Records has started a GLENN HUGHES reissue programme under the title The Glenn Hughes Remasters. Of particular interest is this "Addiction [2CD Remastered & Expanded Edition]", Hughes' harder rock sounding solo album, remastered and with lots of previously unreleased material.

Glenn Hughes‘ today’s omnipresence may grate many of those who can’t see it as a revivalist’s counterbalance to the veteran’s erstwhile being down on his luck. The singing bassist’s stints with Deep Purple and Black Sabbath ended with drug-related lapses, Trapeze reunions and collaboration with Gary Moore didn’t pan out either, but mid-’90s saw Glenn embrace his foibles and experiencing a sort of catharsis.
That’s where and when Hughes found the strength to become what he is now.

As Hughes made his way through the clean years, he seem compelled to stop and tell us a few tales from the darkside. Exorcising past demons in song as it were.
Unsurprisingly, this cathartic collection was titled "Addiction".
Undeniably a hard ’n’ heavy rock album, in many ways it was a waste of Hughes - and excellent guitarist Marc Bonilla who performs, co-produces and co-wrote nine of the ten original songs - artistry as rock musicians.

"Addiction" has a very Nineties sound, heard in the pitch black darkness of ‘Down’ and title track ‘Addiction’, or the bruising hard rock of ‘Death Of Me’ and ‘Justified Man’.
'Madeleine' is more in the vein of past Hughes work, with a brilliant funk bass sound, while 'Talk About It' is arguably one of the best ballads Glenn has wrote in his prolific career.

CD1 – the "Addiction" remaster – includes 3 bonus tracks. And this is where the expanded edition truly comes alive. The two classic Trapeze songs, ‘Way back to the Bone’ and ‘Touch My Life’ are an absolute blast – larger than life rock songs, driven by the relentless rhythmic pulse of funk.

GLENN HUGHES - Addiction [2CD Remastered & Expanded Edition] (2017) back

And the second CD, featuring the previously unreleased performance taped in Holland, 1995, continues the journey through Hughes’ career highlights – ‘Stormbringer’ and ‘Burn’ from his Deep Purple tenure; ‘Coast To Coast’ and ‘You Are The Music’ from his time with Trapeze.
And the disc highlight: a tight, targeted version of ‘Muscle And Blood’, written by Hughes and Pat Thrall for their critically acclaimed, hard edged AOR album, released in 1982.

In most ways, "Addiction [2CD Remastered & Expanded Edition]" reaffirm what we already knew: Hughes is an immense talent.
Highly Recommended

DISC 1: Addiction remastered +3
01 - Death of Me
02 - Down
03 - Addiction
04 - Madeleine
05 - Talk About It
06 - I'm Not Your Slave
07 - Cover Me
08 - Blue Jade
09 - Justified Man
10 - I Don't Want to Live That Way Again
11 - Way Back to the Bone
12 - Touch My Life
13 - You Fool No One

DISC 2: Live in Holland 14/07/1995
Previously Unreleased
01 - Stormbringer
02 - The Liar
03 - You Fool No One
04 - Muscle and Blood
05 - Push!
06 - This Time Around
07 - Coast to Coast
08 - You Are the Music
09 - Your Love Is Alright
10 - Getting' Tighter
11 - Vocal Intro
12 - You Keep on Moving
13 - Burn

Glenn Hughes – Vocals, Bass
Marc Bonilla – Guitars, Keyboards
Joakim Marsh – Guitars
Joe Travers – Drums
R. Gaylor – Vocal Channeling
Sampo Axelsson – Bass (live)
Morgan Ågren – Drums (live)
Lasse Pollack – Keyboards (live)


BUCKET & Co. - Guitars, Beers & Tears (retail)

BUCKET & Co. - Guitars, Beers & Tears (retail) full

Following years of providing stellar fretwork for iconic groups such as Humble Pie, Bad Company (beginning in 1990 with their blockbuster, AOR comeback, 'Holy Water'), as well in ASAP (Adrian Smith And Project), Dave "Bucket" Colwell has stepped out to showcase his talents as a world class writer / guitarist with a rock solid, debut solo disc titled “Guitars, Beers & Tears” under the BUCKET & Co. moniker.
And the 'Co.' isn't gratuitous: there's some terrific musicians playing all over the record.

Bucket has surrounded himself with good company over the years, and many of his friends are featured guests on his record.
We have ex Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith lending vocals and lead guitar to “Make Up Your Mind” and lead vocals on “Reach Out”. He sounds a lot like Sammy Hagar circa 1984 on the latter, an adorable melodic rockin' tune.

Edwin McCain has a very classy voice similar to Night Ranger's Kelly Keagy. On the melodic rocker “Why You Call” the man is great with an emotional performance, while on the bluesy “Survive” his style is more rough. Cool track by the way, with a hot guitar work.
Steve Conte from The New York Dolls sings “If You Need Me At All”, a simple but beautiful 'on the road' midtempo.

BUCKET & Co. - Guitars, Beers & Tears (retail) booklet

The Quireboys' vocalist Spike was the right choice for "“Girl Of My Dreams”, a great rhythm semi-ballad with tons of feeling. He sings too on “I’d Lie To You” a rocker with a potent riff and Hammond organ.
One of my favorite singers from the genre, Robert Hart, shines on “Somebody To Love”, a lovely ballad with calm pace filled with acoustic instruments.
“Life” is performed by Danny Bowes from Thunder. His presence in the disc enhances this album to a higher level. This is a really well crafted song with a true classic rock feeling.

All songs on this CD are very strong, but my favorite is title track “Guitars, Beers & Tears”, because not only is a wonderful tune, it features one of the best melodic rock vocalists ever: Chris Ousey (Heartland, Virginia Wolf). Awesome rockin' track!

BUCKET & Co. - Guitars, Beers & Tears (retail) back

Bucket has a long and storied career in the music business and has appeared with many artists including Bon Jovi, Slash, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and ZZ Top to name a few, and you’ll hear bits and pieces of their influence and others throughout “Guitars, Beers, and Tears”.
There are lots of really fine tunes that blend classic rock with those sweet AOR melodies from '80s rock. "Bucket" Colwell is a terrific songwriter as well, bringing fun back into the genre.
Requested by one of you.
Highly Recommended

01 Guitars, Beers & Tears
Vocals - Chris Ousey (Snakecharmer)

02 Girl of My Dreams
Vocals - Spike (The Quireboys)
Keyboards - Mark Read

03 Make Up Your Mind
Guitarist/Vocals - Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden)

04 Somebody To Love
Vocals - Robert Hart (Bad Company)

05 Why You Call
Vocals - Edwin McCain
Keyboards - Mark Read

06 If You Need Me
Guitarist/Vocals - Steve Conte (New York Dolls)

07 Reach Out
Vocals - Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden)

08 I’d Lie To You
Vocals - Spike (The Quireboys)
Backing Vocals - Bekka Bramlett

09 Survive
Vocals - Edwin McCain
Harmonica - Judd Lander

10 Life
Vocals - Danny Bowes (Thunder)
Keyboards - Mark Read

11 Why Can’t It Be
Vocals - Seth Romano

12 Mr. Nobody
Vocals - Dave Colwell
Backing Vocals - Lauren Harris

Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell : Guitars, Vocals
Jaz Lochrie : Bass, Backing Vocals
Gary ‘Harry’ James : Drums


SAXON - Solid Book Of Rock; Disc 7 Classics Re-Recorded (2017)

BLACK ACES - Shot In The Dark [European CD version +3] (2016) full

British legends SAXON have released "Solid Book Of Rock", a massive 14-disc deluxe set that delivers an enormous amount of audio and video material packaged in a large format 12″ x 12″ book with a new cover painting is by Paul R. Gregor. The mammoth box contains 3 DVD and all 9 studio albums issued by Saxon between 1991 and 2009.
Do you need this box? I don't think so, because none of the albums have been remastered, but... there's 2 extra discs worthwhile for collectors and hard rock / metal fans in general. One of them (Lionheart +1 [Rough Mix]) was already presented hare, the other is "Classics Re-Recorded", originally issued with the initial pressings of Killing Ground.

This is easy; "Classics Re-Recorded" delivers Saxon flagship songs from the late '70s and the early '80s; each of them newly recorded by the 2002 line-up.
You can't go wrong with classics such as 'Denim And Leather', 'And The Bands Played On' or 'Motorcycle Man'.

RICHIE KOTZEN - I'm Coming Out (2011)tracks

It's always risky to touch your classics into new versions but Saxon has respected the original feel & arrangements, Biff Byford is still there with his unmistakable vocals, and now these songs sound vibrant and punchy on modern audio equipment.
Classic stuff by a classic band very well done.

01 - Princess Of The Night
02 - Crusader
03 - Wheels Of Steel
04 - Motorcycle Man
05 - Strong Arm Of The Law
06 - Denim And Leather
07 - Dallas 1PM
08 - And The Bands Played On

Biff Byford - vocals
Paul Quinn - guitar
Doug Scarratt - guitar
Nibbs Carter - bass
Fritz Randow - drums


SAXON - Solid Book Of Rock; Disc 9 Lionheart +1 [Rough Mix] (2017)

SAXON - Solid Book Of Rock; Disc 9 Lionheart +1 [Rough Mix] (2017) full

British legends SAXON have released "Solid Book Of Rock", a massive 14-disc deluxe set that delivers an enormous amount of audio and video material packaged in a large format 12″ x 12″ book with a new cover painting is by Paul R. Gregor. The mammoth box contains 3 DVD and all 9 studio albums issued by Saxon between 1991 and 2009.
Do you need this box? I don't think so, because none of the albums have been remastered, but... there's 2 extra discs worthwhile for collectors and hard rock / metal fans in general.
One of these is "Lionheart – rough studio mix", which was originally put out on the 2006 limited edition of Lionheart.

What you get here is unapologetic, heavy-handed British metal class, with great metal songs and just the right amount of oomph, without any attempts at being something the band is not.
Highlights include righteously rockin' opener "Witchfinder General", one of those 'we're back' salvos, a strong statement of intent from a band primed to kick ass.

SAXON - Solid Book Of Rock; Disc 9 Lionheart +1 [Rough Mix] (2017) disc

The title track just drips pure English classic metal, its stately tempo echoing a gravity befitting the band's years.
And who can deny the NWOBHM riff of "English Man'o'War", a storming rocker with a celebratory air, punctuated by Byford's phlegmatic, yet upbeat verse.
As bonus track you have here the single version o "Beyond The Grave", pretty impossible to find these days.

SAXON - Solid Book Of Rock; Disc 9 Lionheart +1 [Rough Mix] (2017) box

This "Lionheart – rough studio mix", as its title states, it's less polished than the final version released. In many ways, it works better, because it feels more direct, like the Saxon of the early '80s.
Is all that enough to make you buy the quite expensive box "Solid Book Of Rock"? That's your call, but if this granite slab of killer British metal isn't in your collection now, you might kick in the extra bucks and have this nice version.
Strongly Recommended

01 - Witchfinder General
02 - Man And Machine
03 - The Return
04 - Lionheart
05 - Beyond The Grave
06 - Justice
07 - To Live By The Sword
08 - Jack Tars
09 - English Man O'War
10 - Searching For Atlantis
11 - Flying On The Edge
Bonus Track:
12 - Beyond The Grave (Single Version)

Biff Byford - vocals
Paul Quinn - guitar
Doug Scarratt - guitar
Nibbs Carter - bass, keyboards
Jörg Michael - drums
Chris Stubley – keyboards on "Lionheart"


Sunday, October 15, 2017

VALENTINE - Valentine [Rock Candy remaster] (2017)

VALENTINE - Valentine [Rock Candy remaster] (2017) full

Fronted by Hugo's (future Journey singer) smooth vocals, VALENTINE's awesome self-titled debut album has just been remastered for the first time by Rock Candy Records specialists.
Easily, "Valentine" is one of the best AOR / Melodic Hard Rock releases of the beginning of the '90s. And in my book, a must have album.

The release of "Valentine" in 1990 is one of the sad examples of bad timing and misfired opportunities by bad management and wrong music executives. If any '80s AOR / Melodic Hard Rock band should have made a huge international splash then this should have been the one.

Formed in New York during the mid-Eighties and fronted by the sensational vocalist Hugo Valenti, the band soon made friends amongst the NY music business cognoscenti, leading to major management opportunities (Michael Bolton’s manager Louis Levin) and a coveted major label deal with Columbia Records.

It was easy to see why they attracted such a passionate reaction, armed with music that was not only powerful and memorable but also displayed a songwriting ability that left the competition in the dust.
Amazingly the band’s fortunes took a nose dive when executive changes at the label left them high and dry, forcing them to switch to another company, Giant Records, helmed by industry heavyweight Irving Azoff.

Produced by Neil Kernon (Autograph, Queensryche, Lynch Mob) the album was eventually released in late 1990, and it received a great reception from the Melodic Rock aficionados.

Packed with incredible songs, ranging from gilt-lined AOR such as ‘Runnin’ On Luck Again’ (featured in the movie Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead but not into the soundtrack CD), ‘Too Much Is Never Enough’, to the pomp blast of ‘Where Are You Now’.

The strong melodic theme continues with the keyboard-heaven 'Someday', the terrific harmony-filled 'We Run', and the cutting 'Once in a Lifetime', combine a perfect blend of keys / huge guitar solos, killer vocals and catchy choruses.
But the icing on the cake must surely be ‘Never Said It Was Gonna Be Easy’, one of the greatest power ballads of all time.

I know many people lists "Valentine" as a cult classic, but for me it's an essential AOR / Melodic Hard Rock album in your collection.
All in all a complete overview of what the genre was in the late '80s / early '90s: luxurious, bright, smooth and polished.
Hard to find for many years, now with the clinical remaster by Rock Candy it sounds in all its glory.
A Must Have

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Runnin' On Luck Again
02 - No Way
03 - Tears In The Night
04 - Too Much Is Never Enough
05 - Never Said It Was Gonna Be Easy
06 - Where Are You Now
07 - Naughty Girl
08 - Once In A Lifetime
09 - Someday
10 - We Run
11 - You'll Always Have Me

Hugo - lead & backing vocals
Adam Holland - guitars
Craig Pullman - keyboards
Gerard Zappa - bass
Neil Christopher - drums
Additional Musicians:
Mark Radice - keyboards, synths
Terry Brock, Jon Fiore - backing vocals
Neil Kernon - various instruments, producer


GARY WRIGHT - The Light Of Smiles [Rock Candy Remaster] (2017)

GARY WRIGHT - The Light Of Smiles [Rock Candy Remaster] (2017) full

Rock Candy Records have just remastered the two best albums by GARY WRIGHT, the American musician known for his role in helping establish the synthesizer as a leading instrument in rock & pop music. "The Light Of Smiles" is Gary Wright's fourth album, including as session musicians true legends in this matter such as David Foster, Jay Graydon and Steve Porcaro.

Gary Wright's place in musical history was undoubtedly secured by the huge international hit single ‘Dream Weaver’, a recording that still has an afterlife to this day. But that wasn’t the first time Wright had generated interest in his musical career.
Back in the late '60s this New Jersey born musician relocated to the UK and, on the encouragement of Island Records boss Chris Blackwell, joined forces with Spooky Tooth, one of the most respected acts of the time.

When Spooky Tooth broke up, Wright moved back to America and secured a prestigious solo deal with the Warner Brothers label, recording ‘The Dream Weaver’ album which proved to be an unexpected success, selling close to a million copies.
Refocusing his attention, he quickly set about recording the follow up album, once again recorded in Los Angeles, and building on the layered keyboard style that he had become known for.

It also featured a few of his highly regarded touring musicians such as drummer Jim Keltner, keyboardist David Foster and future Toto bassist Steve Porcaro.
Melodic and atmospheric in nature the tracks appear to conjoin both lyrically and musically. There is a decidedly light, poppy progressive rock feel to the presentation, partly driven by precision musicianship and expansive arrangements.

Tracks such as ‘Watersign’, ‘Time Machine’ and ‘Phantom Writer’ are impressive slices of melodic proggy with a defined AOR edge, bringing to mind Supertramp, Giuffria's Angel, The Alan Parson’s Project, etc.
As you could imagine, here's tons of lovely analog synthesizers and keyboards, in a work that influenced many artists / music to come in the following years.
Impeccable, pristine remaster by Rock Candy Records. (thanks to Mamedia for this one!)
Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Water Sign
02 - Time Machine
03 - I Am The Sky
04 - Who Am I
05 - Silent Fury
06 - Phantom Writer
07 - The Light Of Smiles
08 - I'm Alright
09 - Empty Inside
10 - Are You Weepin'
11 - Child Of Light

Piano, Clavinet, Synthesizer – David Foster, Peter Reilich
Synthesizer – Gary Mielke, Jay Graydon
Bass [Moog] – Steve Porcaro
Drums, Percussion – Art Wood, Jim Keltner
String Arrangements – Peter Reilich
Backing Vocals – David Pomeranz, Lorna Wright
Lead Vocals – Justin Wright (track 3)
Lead Vocals, Clavinet, Effects, Bass, Synths – Gary Wright


Saturday, October 14, 2017

MONTROSE - Montrose [Deluxe Edition remastered] (2017)

MONTROSE - Montrose [Deluxe Edition remastered] (2017) full

Rhino Records introduces Deluxe Editions for MONTROSE albums, starting with the awesome, classic debut "Montrose [Deluxe Edition remastered]", with a fresh 2017 remaster plus a bonus disc with previously unreleased material.

Montrose debut was (and still is) one of the most influential Hard Rock albums of all time, specially for American musicians. Ronnie Montrose was an in-demand session guitarist before that, but he was searching for a self-directed musical exploration when he met a young, inexperienced Sammy Hagar.
They recruited beast drummer Denny Carmassi (future Damn Yankees member) and within a month 'Montrose the band' signed to Warner Bros. Records, they got Ted Templeman (Van Halen) producing, Don Landee engineering and the first Montrose album was born a month after that.

The disc combines good-time, party rock with a metal edge and slick guitar work, a sound that bands like Van Halen and Aerosmith would later adopt and polish to perfection (Templeman / Landee were Van Halen's initial tech team).
"Montrose" feature some of the band’s most enduring music, like “Rock Candy,” “Bad Motor Scooter” and “Space Station #5.”

All 17 tracks on the bonus disc are previously unreleased, including demos for “Rock Candy” and “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” as well as the unreleased song “Shoot Us Down.”
The remaining bonus tracks feature live performances that were recorded in April 1973 at the Record Plant in California and broadcast on radio station KSAN.
Along with hits like “Bad Motor Scooter” and “Rock The Nation,” the set list also included a cover of the classic “Roll Over Beethoven.”

MONTROSE - Montrose [Deluxe Edition remastered] (2017) back

This is a killer release from one of the essential Hard Rock albums that must be in your collection.
Listen to the previously unreleased track “Shoot Us Down” worth the admission alone, but also the never heard live performance.
This Rhino remaster is more 'traditional' than the recent Rock Candy, some kind of vintage remaster akin a LP vinyl sound.

01 - Rock The Nation (Remastered)
02 - Bad Motor Scooter (Remastered)
03 - Space Station #5 (Remastered)
04 - I Don't Want It (Remastered)
05 - Good Rockin' Tonight (Remastered)
06 - Rock Candy (Remastered)
07 - One Thing On My Mind (Remastered)
08 - Make It Last (Remastered)
09 - One Thing On My Mind (Demo)
10 - Shoot Us Down
11 - Rock Candy (Demo)
12 - Good Rockin' Tonight (Demo)
13 - I Don't Want It (Demo)
14 - Make It Last (Demo)

DISC 2: Live KSAN Radio Session, CA, USA 4/21/73
01 - Intro
02 - Good Rockin' Tonight
03 - Rock Candy
04 - Bad Motor Scooter
05 - Shoot Us Down
06 - One Thing On My Mind
07 - Rock The Nation
08 - Make It Last
09 - You're Out Of Time
10 - Roll Over Beethoven
11 - I Don't Want It

Sammy Hagar – lead vocals
Ronnie Montrose – guitar
Bill Church – bass
Denny Carmassi – drums


MONTROSE - Paper Money [Deluxe Edition remastered] (2017)

MONTROSE - Paper Money [Deluxe Edition] (2017) full

Rhino Records introduces Deluxe Editions for MONTROSE albums, starting with the band's first two celebrated albums. This is the second from the band, "Paper Money [Deluxe Edition remastered]", with a fresh 2017 remaster from original tapes plus a bonus disc with previously unreleased material.

There's little doubt that the self titled debut Montrose album was an absolute game changer in the world of hard rock / metal. In fact, these days it is pretty much recognised as ground zero for all that became of the genre, with a sound and swagger that birthed many followers, including Van Halen.
In fact, Eddie Van Halen always said that the sound he had in mind for his band was inspired by Montrose.

Formed by, and named after guitarist Ronnie Montrose, the band featured then unknown vocalist Sammy Hagar who would later go on to enjoy a successful solo career and, ironically, fronting Van Halen.
This second Montrose album, craftily titled "Paper Money", was recorded and produced once again by master of the art Ted Templeman.

Musical diversity is the driving force behind "Paper Money", which opens with the catchy melodic rock / pop flavored and radio-friendly "Underground", an unlikely cover of a song released the previous year by eccentric Warner Bros. labelmates Chunky, Novi & Ernie.
Featuring an organ-like guitar sound created by using a Leslie speaker cabinet instead of a conventional guitar amplifier and given a major musical makeover that obscures the song's dark, death-obsessed lyrics, the song sets the tone for an album that is unpredictable at every turn.

Indeed, the record delivers a broad musical spectrum which includes an acoustic ballad cover (the Jagger / Richards penned "Connection") and an upbeat, spooky instrumental in "Starliner", plenty of crazy effects.
There's an intriguing, grooving number in "Spaceage Sacrifice", while the epic and eerily prophetic title track has my favorite Sammy Hagar vocals on the album.
We have as well a moving hard rocker and a highlight in "I Got The Fire", a song that easily picks up where the debut album left off, a track effectively covered by Iron Maiden several years later.

MONTROSE - Paper Money [Deluxe Edition] (2017) back

The bonus CD feature live performances that were recorded in at the Record Plant in California and broadcast on radio station KSAN.
This Rhino remaster of "Paper Money" from the master tapes is more 'traditional' than the recent Rock Candy, some kind of vintage remaster akin a LP vinyl sound.
Very Recommended

Disc 1:
01 - Underground (Remastered)
02 - Connection (Remastered)
03 - The Dreamer (Remastered)
04 - Starliner (Remastered)
05 - I Got The Fire (Remastered)
06 - Spaceage Sacrifice (Remastered)
07 - We're Going Home (Remastered)
08 - Paper Money (Remastered)

Disc 2:
Prev. Unreleased Live KSAN Radio Session, CA, 12-26-74
01 - Intro
02 - I Got The Fire
03 - Rock Candy
04 - Bad Motor Scooter
05 - Spaceage Sacrifice
06 - One And A Half
07 - Roll Over Beethoven
08 - Trouble
09 - Space Station #5

Sammy Hagar – lead vocals
Ronnie Montrose – guitar, lead vocals on 7
Alan Fitzgerald – bass guitar
Denny Carmassi – drums
Mark Jordan – piano on 2
Nick DeCaro – mellotron on 7


VOODOO CIRCLE - More Than One Way Home [LTD Edition Digipak +2] retail

VOODOO CIRCLE - More Than One Way Home [LTD Edition Digipak +2] full

VOODOO CIRCLE is the vehicle for guitar player Alex Beyrodt (Primal Fear) to thresh his passion for '80s Classic Hard Rock. Backed by Pink Cream 69 front man David Readman, “More Than One Way Home” is the third release from Voodoo Circle, a quality collection of songs that mostly sounds like a long lost Whitesnake album from the late Eighties.
This Limited Edition Digipak includes 2 very good bonus tracks.

Just taking a look at some of the song titles here: evokes more than a passing resemblance to Whitesnake and that's before we even get to the music.
"Tears In The Rain", "Heart Of Babylon", "The Saint and the Sinner", "Victim Of Love"... and the similarity certainly doesn't end there.

Take your pick from any of those above tracks, from the pounding slow blues of "Tears In the Rain" to the heavier riffing of "Heart Of Babylon", as well as the likes of "Cry For Love" and title track "More than One Way Home" and, coupled with the fact that David Readman sounds more like David Coverdale than the man himself can manage these days, you have a pure Whitesnake-like album here.

VOODOO CIRCLE - More Than One Way Home [LTD Edition Digipak +2] booklet

Opening cut "Graveyard City" and "Bane Of My Existence" both have crunchy hard rockn' riffing that introduces a flavour of Dio into the mix, albeit still with that Whitesnake influence.
Elsewhere, "The Ghost In Your Heart" does have a bit of Blackmore / Purple vibe to it, but once again it's the '80 incarnation circa ‘Perfect Strangers’ that springs to mind, and in fact sections of this sound dangerously close to that album's title track.

Finally, "Open Your Eyes" and one of the bonuses in this Limited Edition called "Castles Burn" rock out properly with the vibe of classic Rainbow, while the other bonus "Shape Of Things To Come" recalls Black Sabbath Tony Martin era.

VOODOO CIRCLE - More Than One Way Home [LTD Edition Digipak +2] back

As you can see, "More Than One Way Home" is absolutely influenced by British '80s Classic Hard Rock, and that's a good thing in my book, even more when it's delivered with this outstanding quality by these seasoned musicians. The album is finely produced and expertly performed by the talented Alex Beyrodt, David Readman and all the involved.
You can't dislike any bit of "More Than One Way Home", an album which does not pretend break any ground, just Rock in the traditional style with class.
HIGHLY Recommended

01. Graveyard City
02. Tears in the Rain
03. Heart of Babylon
04. Cry for Love
05. Alissa
06. The Ghost in your Heart
07. Bane of my Existence
08. More than one Way home
09. The Killer in you
10. The Saint and the Sinner
11. Victim of Love
12. Open Your Eyes
13. Shape Of Things To Come
14. Castles Burn

Alex Beyrodt (PRIMAL FEAR, SINNER) - Guitar
David Readman (PINK CREAM 69) - Vocals
Mat Sinner (SINNER, PRIMAL FEAR) - Bass
Markus Kullmann (DEZPERADOZ) - Drums
Zlatko Kresic (LIQUID HOME) - Keyboards


Friday, October 13, 2017

KING KING - Exile & Grace (2017)

KING KING - Exile & Grace (2017) full

The previous KING KING record surprised us greatly with their mature, soulful sound. After listening to their new album "Exile & Grace" released today I can see why Black Country Communion has chosen King King as supporting band for their next tour.

King King really do make this kind of Classic Rock thing sound so effortless. Having bagged yet more bluesy gongs over the past year or so, this fourth album and follow-up to 2015’s Reaching For The Light finds the band on top form, the warmth and power of their sound given a welcome tougher, riffier edge by a muscular mix from Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters).

'Tear It All Up' and opener '(She Don’t) Gimme No Lovin’ are the main tracks benefitting from grittier guitars, but the entire album has a ballsier feel than before.
They rock hard enough to suggest their recent arena tour has helped shape their riff driven material into a coherent new direction.

They maintain the momentum on the muscular funky groove of ‘Heed The Warning’, which boasts one of the best hooks on the album, while 'Long Time Running' in particular boast a wonderfully confident bluesy swagger.
'Broken' and 'Find Your Way Home' do the whole soulful thing the band already carry off so well. 'Broken' even sports a little AOR feeling (akin Thunder) with a good use of harmony vocals and a sweeping organ on a heartfelt piece that in spite of the doomy lyrics has an anthemic feel.

The band is gracious in its appreciation of the musical influences – Whitesnake, Bad Company and Thunder with Thin Lizzy style harmony guitars on ‘Betrayed Me’.
On the other hand, 'I Don't Wanna Lie' mix some Bonamassa commercial riffs with some vintage, lovely Gary Moore soloing.

KING KING - Exile & Grace (2017) inside

Several years passed since King King set out as a blues band and since then they’ve moved more towards a stadium rock sound. They’ve sharpened their riffs, honed their songcraft and put all their trust in booming memorable choruses.
And if each album so far has been a progression in terms of songwriting, then ‘Exile & Grace’ fully reveals the band’s stylistic hand.
Most of the material is centred round Alan Nimmo’s intense guitar work and is offset by Bob Fridzema’s keys, as it shifts from bone crunching rock to subtle grooves that bubble up and draw the listener in.

If the title of King King’s last studio album Reaching For The Light was a statement of intent, then "Exile & Grace" cements the deal for a hard rocking band with a bluesy heart and an armoury of riffs powerful enough to help project them on to the next level.
With not an ounce of songwriting fat on display, every song contributes to the overwhelming sense of a band enjoying a seriously creative purple patch. Long may it run.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - (She Don't) Gimme No Lovin'
02 - Heed the Warning
03 - Broken
04 - Find Your Way Home
05 - Tear It All Up
06 - Betrayed Me
07 - Long Time Running
08 - Nobody Knows Your Name
09 - I Don't Wanna Lie

Alan Nimmo - lead vocals, guitars
Bob Fridzema - keyboards, vocals
Lindsay Coulson - bass, vocals
Wayne Proctor - drums



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