Friday, February 23, 2018

IGNORE THE SIGN - A Line To Cross (2018)

IGNORE THE SIGN - A Line To Cross (2018) full

Released today, "A Line To Cross" is the debut album from IGNORE THE SIGN, a new Hannover, Germany-based band surrounding vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ossy Pfeiffer, including guitarist / vocalist Anca Graterol (ROSY VISTA), bassist Lars Lehmann (UFO, ULI JON ROTH), drummer Kristof Hinz (ELOY) and great British guitarist Steve Mann (LIONHEART).
When you got together such talented musicians you can only expect good things, and “A Line To Cross” it is: quality, consistent classic Melodic Hard Rock.

Opening with the grand statement ‘Saviours Of Rock’, IGNORE THE SIGN set out their musical stall, namely big riffs and darn catchy melodies, reminiscent of DEF LEPPARD (their not mega-produced song / era).
Since this first track you'll notice a very good, polished production with attention to detail, layers of harmony vocals - Anca Graterol sing leads alongside Pfeiffer creating a warm effect - and Mann delivers his trademark melodic solos to complete a solid track.

Title track, 'A Line To Cross' follows, and it's a more classic rock oriented tune, a showcase for Pfeiffer tenor vocals. There's acoustics into the mix, but also a varied range of unusual percussion creating great atmosphere.
DEF LEPPARD again come to mind on the opening guitar on ‘No Way Home’, another enjoyable piece of melodic hard rock. This is easily one of my favorite tracks, extremely catchy.

‘Brother’ is another really, really well crafted song with delicious keyboards and a midtempo AOR feel of all times, not unlike the last BOULEVARD. Another fav of mine.
Then the band shows another side, and a welcomed one; 'The Story Isn’t Over' taps into a 70s hard rock sound driven along by some tasty Hammond playing, which nods towards the sound of URIAH HEEP. Graterol performs lead vocals here, and fit perfectly.

Another clear influence on the album, and again by the hand of classic rock, can be heard in the punchy 'Days Of Thunder' and the elegant ballad 'When Words Ain’t Enough'. I am talking about WHITESNAKE. The former akin 'Saint & Sinners' era, the latter the 'Good To Be Bad' record. Steve Mann kills with a very classy guitar work.

There's more quality on this no-filler record; 'God with a Million Faces' rocks with an arena / stadium feel (valvular guitars all over and a monster bass), 'Sweet Lady' adds a bit of blues, 'Behind the Wall' is an stupendous midtempo which somehow reminds me of HOUSE OF LORDS (great raspy vocals by Pfeiffer), while 'Silver Wind' own a big groove and some GLENN HUGHES.

Graterol fair rips of the studio linings with her passionate singing on ‘Can’t Find The Door’. Again the Hammond and guitars move this song along nicely.
As proper closer, we find another really fine number in the pumping melodic rocker 'Looking in the Sun', plenty of smooth vocals, synths, melodic guitars and a feel-good vibe.

IGNORE THE SIGN - A Line To Cross (2018) inside

With the triumphant return of LIONHEART last year, also including Steve Mann now we find this IGNORE THE SIGN, and let me tell you, his guitar work here is equally impressive.
But overall this is Ossy Pfeiffer's baby, and damn, what a great album he has crafted in "A Line To Cross".
As said, all songs are good, very good, performances from all involved are more than solid, and production is, honestly, awesome.
A mean, I am a bit tired of the same 'production mold' from some artists / labels (you get it, right?), and "A Line To Cross" is a refreshing recording. Everything breath, the mix comes natural, warm, not saturated.

Youl'll be surprised by IGNORE THE SIGN's "A Line To Cross" quality, at all departments. There's timeless music here, melodic hard rock, classic rock, hard, even some AOR.
Do yourself a favor and don't miss this really good, surprising release from Steamhammer / SPV.
HIGHLY Recommended

01. Saviors Of Rock
02. A Line To Cross
03. No Way Home
04. Brother
05. The Story Isn't Over
06. When Words Ain't Enough
07. God with a Million Faces
08. Sweet Lady
09. Days Of Thunder
10. Behind The Wall
11. Can't Find The Door
12. Silver Wind
13. Looking In The Sun

Ossy Pfeiffer (vocals, keyboards)
Anca Graterol (guitar, vocals)
Steve Mann (guitar)
Lars Lehmann (bass)
Kristof Hinz (drums)
Momme Boe (percussion)


ALICE COOPER - The Sound Of A [EP] (2018)

ALICE COOPER - The Sound Of A [EP] (2018) full

Master of shock-rock ALICE COOPER is releasing a new EP today: "The Sound Of A”. The song is part of his latest studio album, and it's accompanied extra tracks of spacial interest for Alice fans.

This is in fact some kind of a 'maxi-single', presenting a main title the song “The Sound Of A”.
This song has a special significance for th singer; it's the first song Alice Cooper wrote entirely by himself. The song was forgotten for decades, until Dennis Dunaway, bass player in the original Alice Cooper Band, reminded it and played it to Alice.
“The Sound Of A” was finally recorded and is one of the most 'hynotic' tracks in Cooper's last album 'Paranormal'.

This EP is of special interest because includes as well four previously unreleased recordings from the Paranormal tour: the rest of the Columbus, OH, live show: Alice classics 'The Black Widow', 'Public Animal #9', 'Is It My Body' and 'Cold Ethyl'.
These live tracks complete the show from which other tracks were previously released as bonus in 'Paranormal [Limited Box Set] featured HERE

ALICE COOPER - The Sound Of A [EP] (2018) back

The good ole ALICE COOPER is still alive & kickin', preparing more music and an upcoming tour.

01 - The Sound Of A [single]
02 - The Black Widow (Live In Columbus)
03 - Public Animal #9 (Live In Columbus)
04 - Is It My Body (Live In Columbus)
05 - Cold Ethyl (Live In Columbus)


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Johan Kihlberg's IMPERA - Age Of Discovery (2018)

Johan Kihlberg's IMPERA - Age Of Discovery (2018) full

To be released tomorrow via AOR Heaven Records, JOHAN KIHLBERG’S IMPERA "Age Of Discovery", the follow-up to the three IMPERA albums, is a really good selection of classic melodic hard rock tunes with a great variety of vocalists and top notch session musicians.
In fact, this is a 'new' IMPERA. Founding drummer Johan Kihlberg decided it was time to spread his wings, and the Swede came up with the idea to record his first solo effort still utilizing the moniker behind his name.
And Johan Kihlberg's Impera is definitely much, much more Melodic Hard Rock oriented.

You get Michael Sadler (SAGA), Nigel Bailey (THREE LIONS, BAILEY, LIFELINE), Göran Edman (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), Nils Patrik Johansson (ASTRAL DOORS, LION’S SHARE), Mick Devine (SEVEN), sharing the lead vocal duties.
And there's Lars Chriss (LION’S SHARE) rippin' all the guitars and producing, plus Mats Vassfjord (220 VOLT) on bass, virtuoso Mattias IA Eklundh (FREAK KITCHEN) dropping a killer solo, and Kay Backlund (LION’S SHARE) & Anders Rybank (COASTLAND RIDE) on keyboards.

The album opens with a 34-second intro titled “Prelude”, then begin properly with “That’s the Way That Life Goes” with Nils Patrik Johansson at the mic. This is a mid-paced rocker of a track with well worked instrumentation where the vocals really fit in. A punchy stater and a pretty killer melody.
Next, “Fear” showcases a more keyboard oriented flavor and finds Mick Devine and Johansson both delivering the voices. A melodic midtempo song until the bite of the chorus. The pace really switches up in the middle, assisting in creating the epic feel.

Unknown to me but a great surprise, Michael J. Scott lends his voice to “Falling” with it’s lighter guitar verses and identifiable chorus. Pounding off the starting line, “The End of the Road” features Mick Devine taking over mic duties once again. An upbeat thumper with some wicked guitar work throughout.

Taking his turn, we find the mighty Goran Edman showcased on “Just a Conversation” which has me thinking '80s AOR with its keyboard beginnings and its superb '80s atmosphere.
We find “The Right Stuff” with Nigel Bailey on vocals for a more uptempo rocker, and again it's clear that Kihlberg / Criss made clever choices in picking the right voices for their songs.

Johan Kihlberg's IMPERA - Age Of Discovery (2018) back

One of Kihlberg‘s all-time favorite singers, Saga‘s Michael Sadler appears on “Why Does She Care”, with a classic SAGA arrangement with a melodic rock keen.
Mick Devine turns in his third performance on “I Am I” which also features Freak Kitchen‘s Mattias Eklundh supplying an engaging guitar solo. We close out the adventure with “It’s a Revolution” witnessing Nigel Bailey‘s return.

Johan Kihlberg's Impera "Age of Discovery" is an elaborated Melodic Hard Rock piece of work, cleverly arranged and produced. Sometimes a project using so many different vocalists can seem disjointed and hard to identify with. Not here, as everything flows perfectly. Tons of masterful guitar work supplied by Lars Chriss is stamped all over the record as well.
I can see why AOR Heaven signed Johan Kihlberg's Impera: "Age Of Discovery" is an awesome Melodic Hard Rock album, which gets better and better with each listen.
HIGHLY Recommended

01. Prelude
02. That's the Way That Life Goes
03. Fear
04. Falling
05. The End of the Road
06. Just a Conversation
07. The Right Stuff
08. Why Does She Care
09. I Am I
10. It's a Revolution

Johan Kihlberg - Drums, Keyboards
Lars Chriss (Lion’s Share) - Guitars
Mats Vassfjord (220 Volt) - Bass
Michael Sadler (Saga) - Lead & Backing Vocals on 8
Göran Edman - Lead & Backing Vocals on 6
Mick Devine (Seven) - Lead Vocals on 3, 5, 9, Backing Vocals
Nigel Bailey (Bailey) - Lead Vocals on 7, 10, Backing Vocals
Nils Patrik Johansson (Lion’s Share) - Lead & Backing Vocals on 2, 3
Michael J. Scott - Lead & Backing Vocals on 4
Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak Kitchen) - solo on 9
Kay Backlund (Lion’s Share) - Keyboards on 1, 3, 6
Anders Rybank (Coastland Ride) - Keyboards on 8


UNRULY CHILD - Unhinged, Live From Milan (2018)

UNRULY CHILD - Unhinged, Live From Milan (2018) full
HERE     The REAL CD version

Last year at the Frontiers Music Festival, UNRULY CHILD put on an great live performance where they accepted to play their critically acclaimed self-titled debut album performed in its entirety. All was captured both audio / video, and the result is "Unhinged, Live From Milan", to be released tomorrow on on CD/DVD and Blu-Ray.

UNRULY CHILD's first, self-titled album is still considered a Melodic Rock / AOR gem for the genre, so it's a pleasure yo hear these great tunes again with the band's current sound.
In fact, "Unruly Child" isn't complete here, because 'Criminal' was replaced with 'Forever', the excellent song appeared in the band's second CD as well as Marcie Free solo album 'Tormented'.
Anyway, the set list is awesome.

UNRULY CHILD sound really well alive. There's a very oiled interplay between Bruce Gowdy's melodic guitars and Guy Allison's keys / synths, while Jay Schellen is always a guarantee behind the drums.
Marcie Free has lost none of his unique pipes, she reach every note from the original studio versions with ease, adding some power at places due the live performance.
They opted for pre-recorded backing vocals, and that's fine because the elaborated harmonies crafted into the studio would have been impossible to replicate in a live show.

All these are terrific songs. “When Love Is Gone”, “Long Hair Woman”, “Take Me Down Nasty” (here baptized “Rock Me Down Nasty”), “Wind Me Up”, are true gems. All sound like if time hasn't pass by.
The version of “On The Rise” is pure adrenaline, with the aforementioned guitar / keyboard interplay, while one of my favorites, “Who Cries Now” feels vital and authentic.

UNRULY CHILD - Unhinged, Live From Milan (2018) back

"Unhinged, Live From Milan" is a really good live album, these terrific songs deserved to be captured live and the band doesn't disappoint.
Be aware that the digital version on sale sounds strange, flat, like if it was taken from a DVD-video. This is the real CD version and everything feels punchy and vibrant.
Highly Recommended

01 - Intro / Wind Me Up (Live)
02 - Lay Down Your Arms (Live)
03 - Rock Me Down Nasty (Live)
04 - Let's Talk About Love (Live)
05 - Is It Over (Live)
06 - On the Rise (Live)
07 - Tunnel of Love (Live)
08 - To Be Your Everything (Live)
09 - Long Hair Woman (Live)
10 - Forever (Live)
11 - When Love is Gone (Live)
12 - Who Cries Now (Live)

Marcie Free - Vocals
Bruce Gowdy - Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals
Guy Allison - Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
Larry Antonino - Bass, Vocals
Jay Schellen - Drums


CATS IN SPACE - Cats Alive! (2018)

CATS IN SPACE - Cats Alive! (2018) full

UK wonders CATS IN SPACE are ready to release their first live recording tomorrow titled "Cats Alive!", recorded last year at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena at a particularly raucous night on the band’s tour with Thunder.
Since this was five months before the release of their second studio album Scarecrow, then unsurprisingly most of the songs featured in their set came from the first album, with just one song from the as then unreleased second album.

The band’s first single ‘Mr. Heartache’ a stand out in the live environment, along with the epic ‘Greatest Story Never Told’. The latter shows how confident the band are in the strength of their songs as not many support acts would be keen to do this.
Paul Manzi is spot on vocally, whilst Greg Hart and Dean Howard are a perfect guitar duo, riffing when required and both capable of playing tasty solos when required.

The fast paced ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ is made for the live stage, while ‘Only In Vegas’ clearly shows the band's love of retro music, be it rock, pop or even a little soul.

CATS IN SPACE - Cats Alive! (2018) inside

Cats In Space continue on their upward trajectory with this live album here to keep their fans satisfied.
And you know what? "Cats Alive!" is benefited by its shortness. Simply that by recording a support set, it’s by necessity a fairly short one – seven songs and just 34 minutes. While some would have wanted a 12-song or more live album, this way works much, much better.
VERY Recommended

01 - Too Many Gods (Live)
02 - Only In Vegas (Live)
03 - Last Man Standing (Live)
04 - The Mad Hatter's Tea Party (Live)
05 - Mr. Heartache (Live)
06 - Greatest Story Never Told (Live)
07 - Five Minute Celebrity (Live)

Paul Manzi - Lead Vocals (Arena)
Dean Howard - Guitar (Airrace)
Jeff Brown - Bass (The Sweet)
Andy Stewart - Keyboards
Greg Hart - Guitars / Vocals
Steevi Bacon - Drums


MICHAEL LANDAU - Rock Bottom (2018)

MICHAEL LANDAU - Rock Bottom (2018) full

Now this is a special post on this blog: guitar master MICHAEL LANDAU is releasing a new solo album titled "Rock Bottom". It's not special 'cos the music style is different from the usually featured here - its title speaks for itself, this is Rock music - but for the fact that Landau is one of our favorite guitar players of all time.
And we celebrate this release, because Landau has been playing mostly instrumental music for the past 10 years, and out of nowhere he woke up one morning with the strong urge to play some hard-edged music with vocals.

Landau says: "Guess it makes sense because it's really the music I grew up on. So I reunited with my ole pal David Frazee from the Burning Water days. We wrote a lot of songs together, most of which ended up on Rock Bottom."
As hired gun, and part of the legendary 80s LA Session scene, Landau has recorded on over 1,000 records, for such diverse artists from Miles Davis, B.B. King or Pink Floyd, to Steve Perry, John Parr, Van Stephenson, Marc Jordan and countless more AOR luminaries.
And it’s to his credit that on "Rock Bottom" he treads his own eclectic path.

He’s a virtuoso, but more a 'feel player' for whom restraint gives him several dynamic options, while he joyfully leans into the grooves and consistently aims to embellish the songs rather than dominate them.
‘Rock Bottom’ is by no means a concept album, but the title could almost be a reference to the feel and ambiance of an album that relies significantly on tones, moods, grooves and contrasting solos, over back drop of a subtle stuttering rhythm section.

Michael Landau is a ‘players player’ who combines notes and feel with tonal depth, only that ones the song need, and an unwavering focus on creative expression.
There's a wide broad stylistic brushstrokes all over "Rock Bottom", an adventurous spirit yet always focused on the song format.

And that TONE... wow, Landau is unique. You KNOW it's him, no matter if it's a simple riff or a concise solo.
Listen for example, to the sheer feel of ‘We’re All The Same’, which is touched by greatness, but much like the album as a whole, doesn’t quite reveal enough of itself to beguile us.
"Rock Bottom" barely wastes a note on an intricately woven album, rooted in exquisite interplay. It sparkles with uplifting musicianship, subtle tonal colors, all at the service of great Rock songs.

Then there’s the conceit of the atmospheric ‘Freedom’ which draws us in, while the languid bluesy shuffle of ‘Heaven In The Alley’ is superbly complemented with David Frazee’s angst ridden vocal.
One of the album highlights is without a doubt ‘One Tear Away’, complete with Landau's harmony vocals contribution.

MICHAEL LANDAU - Rock Bottom (2018) back

The slow ‘Gettin’ Old’ is really atmospheric, complete with an angular solo and spoken word vocals in a classic rock, bluesy warp. On ‘We All Feel The Same’ Landau paint the track with a lovely volley of piercing and aching notes, with some clever wah-wah effects emulating a voice.

"Rock Bottom" is a complete classic rock record from master Michael Landau, an exquisite guitar and tone driven album that dips into blues, rock, funk, a fusion genres to shape its own unique style, which ultimately is timeless, sophisticated Rock music.
The disc reveals a broad musical landscape that goes a long way to explaining Michael Landau’s high standing in the guitar world, and in the history of the Rock scene as a whole.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Squirrels
02 - Bad Friend
03 - Gettin Old
04 - We All Feel The Same
05 - We're Alright
06 - One Tear Away
07 - Poor Dear
08 - Freedom
09 - Heaven In The Alley
10 - Speak Now, Make Your Peace

David Frazee - vocals
Teddy Landau - bass
Alan Hertz - drums
Michael Landau - guitars, vocals


CHRIS BAY - Chasing The Sun (2018)

CHRIS BAY - Chasing The Sun (2018) full

February 23, 2018 will see the release of CHRIS BAY first solo album, "Chasing The Sun", on Steamhammer / SPV. If Bay's name doesn't rings a bell, he's best known as the founder and frontman of German rockers FREEDOM CALL.
It's a well-known predicament that Chris Bay shares with many other composers: occasionally, his wealth of inspiration goes beyond the stylistic and thematic scope of his own band.
So if the metallic sound of FREEDOM CALL is not your thing, better check "Chasing The Sun", it's a surprisingly breezy poppy melodic rock album.

Indeed, since the opening track ‘Flying Hearts’, everything sounds easy to the ears, with gentle guitars, but the big vocals are still there, and the album it’s worth buying for that song alone, akin CASANOVA or DOMINOE. Some good keyboards / synths in there too.
‘Light My Fire’ is more bouncy (Freedom Call dipped into that) but this is slightly more pop metal, very radio friendly akin STAGE DOLLS.

Yes it’s different and it’s definitely not metal, it is as enjoyable as it gets. It’s actually all the more enjoyable too for the fact Bay’s moved away from Freedom Call so an extent. There’s a darker edge to ‘Move On,’ but no matter how dark it has that parp that keeps things light and fresh.
‘Radio Starlight’ moves back to the more commercial side of Freedom Call, in fact, it sounds like a lost TERRA NOVA track, poppy melodic rock with a feel-good vibe.

There’s a sensitive side in ‘Silent Cry’ (a well crafted midtempo with some THE HOLLIES), ‘Hollywood Dancer’ has a touch of a that 'sung down a telephone line' effect to the intro, then it moves to a great upbeat, on-acid melodic rock number in the vein of ENUFF Z'NUFF.

CHRIS BAY - Chasing The Sun (2018) inside

The intro to ‘Where Waters Flow’ is a little haunting, then the song has a classic rock feel mixing various decades of influences into one. There’s a dark effect filled edge to ‘Bad Boyz’, imagine '80s glam metal gone '90s direction. I really like this track because it's different, including a solid solo.

Chis Bay just did it right on first solo album "Chasing The Sun": something different.
It’s definitely radical enough to have hardcore Freedom Call / metal fans wondering and wandering, it is more big melodic rock / classic rock meets power pop in places, but how many solo albums are made pointless by sounding just like the original band?
Too many. Not this one. It may be lighter, but the quality is there and it’s a great listen.
VERY Recommended

01. Flying Hearts
02. Light My Fire
03. Move On
04. Radio Starlight
05. Silent Cry
06. Hollywood Dancer
07. Keep Waiting
08. Misty Rain
09. Where Waters Flow In Heaven
10. Bad Boyz
11. Love Will Never Die


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

BUXX - Knickers Down [self re-release remastered +1] (2017)

BUXX - Knickers Down (2012)

Hailing from Buffalo, NY (the same hometown as Duke Jupiter, Bruce Turgon and Lou Gramm) came this Melodic Rock / AOR band called BUXX. Formed in 1981, they played all around the US Northern states and Canada, and were signed with the small label Panther Records for the release of their 6-track miniLP 'Knickers Down' the following year.
These songs plus other unreleased appeared some years ago via Retrospect Records, but now the band has released the complete "Knickers Down" sessions fully remastered.

Originally recorded in 1982, the band's plan was to release an LP, but the label only authorized a 6-track EP or 'mini-LP' as it was named band in the day. An EP was a common practice in those years for novel groups to 'taste the waters' reception.

Now, on this re-release, we have the opportunity to listen these previously unreleased tracks, plus the extra song 'Out On The Rocks', originally part of the 82 EP but not included into the previous Retrospect reissue.
"Knickers Down" has achieved cult status between fans & collectors, as the musical style here is typical '80s hooky Melodic Rock / Radio-friendly AOR with the occasional injection of Pomp rock.

Compared to Loverboy, Fortnox, Redvette, Boston, Van Halen or The Tubes, the songs are undeniably catchy, with wonderful melodies and big harmony vocals wrapped in a very good production for an indie.
Essentially Buxx have a basic melodic / hard guitar riff based sound with an injection of keyboards to round things out.

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

More than a nostalgic trip back to the golden AOR era, "Knickers Down" is a very good recording with a consistently high quality songwriting.
We have that magical keyboard / guitar interplay throughout the songs and a variety of lead vocals as three of the band members also sing, delivering lovable harmonies.
Remastered from the original master tapes with additional, never heard tracks from the original recording sessions, Buxx's "Knickers Down" is a treat for any '80s AOR / Melodic Rock fan.
Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Not This Time
02 - Don't Blame You
03 - Are You Alone Tonight
04 - Can't Say No
05 - Hangar 18
06 - Where Are You
07 - Free To Rock
08 - Take You Back Anyway
09 - No Way Outta Here
10 - Get Wise
11 - Out On The Rocks [reissue Bonus Track]

Martin Victor - lead vocals, keyboards
Paul Gallop - lead vocals, bass
Bob Norman - lead vocals, guitars
Tommy Smith - drums
Alan Desgrange - drums


DIZZY REED (Guns N' Roses) - Rock 'N Roll Ain't Easy (2018)

DIZZY REED (Guns N' Roses) - Rock 'N Roll Ain't Easy (2018) full

Believe it or not, keyboardist DIZZY REED is the longest serving member of Guns N’ Roses (28 years) apart from Axl Rose, and like many of the band's current & former members Dizzy is releasing his first solo album titled "Rock N’Roll Ain’t Easy".

In the world of music, Guns N' Roses need no introduction. The addition of keyboardist Dizzy Reed in 1990 marked a stylistic turning point in the band's maturity, incorporating piano and the epic tones of the Hammond B-3 into their aggressive hard rock sound.
In 2012, Dizzy was inducted into the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N' Roses. He has played with many artists, and toured, recorded and written with supergroup The Dead Daisies. He also sings lead vocals with his side project, Hookers And Blow.
So it was time for Dizzy Red solo debut.

"Rock N’Roll Ain’t Easy" has actually been in the making for the past 10 years and it was Del James (a long associate of Guns N’ Roses and one of Axl Rose’s best friends) who suggested to Dizzy to go forward with the record and get it out and this also led to James co producing the album.
Dizzy Reed takes his 28 years’ experience as keyboardist and backing vocalist for Guns N’ Roses, adds in his love of classic rock, and calls upon his friendships with the likes of fellow Guns N' Roses member Richard Fortus, Thin Lizzy / The Dead Daisies' Ricky Warwick, Mike Dupke & Mike Duda of W.A.S.P., Psychedelic Furs saxophonist Mars Williams, and many more.

Opening up with the terrific ‘This Don’t Look Like Vegas’ which was co-written by Ricky Warwick (current singer of Black Star Riders and also lends his guitar talents to the record) the song slowly builds up to a fusion of rock. Immediately you are reminded of influences, classic American rock which inevitably includes Guns N’ Roses. But you can hear the old Alice Cooper band here too, this is timeless rock.

‘Cheers 2 R Oblivion’ is probably the most pop sounding track on the record then again it turns heavy rock by its second verse and has a catchy chorus. Of course this is Dizzy’s gig and as well as vocals his playing skills on keys are also prominent especially on ‘Fragile Water’ which has a very Keith Richards vibe.
Dizzy vocals are trained in Rock n' roll, and perhaps we always think of Dizzy at the back of the stage, on keyboards and backing vocals with Guns N’ Roses. In reality, Dizzy is one of the engines behind GN’R, and his debut album certainly brings him to the fore front.

There isn’t a bad moment or a feeling of filler song on the whole album though it is in its second half that "Rock N’ Roll Ain’t Easy" really moves a few gears up.
‘I Celebrate’ has a killer riff and chorus and just becomes infectious, aside from some sliding guitars, Reed’s voice in perfect harmony, we get some saxophone in there too.
‘Crestfallen’ could be the best song on the album starting off slowly as Reed screams out his anguish in this perfect hard rock ballad which includes an insane 30 second guitar solo. ‘Forgotten Cases’ has the best chorus on the album, the type of song that ends and you go immediately back too.

DIZZY REED (Guns N' Roses) - Rock 'N Roll Ain't Easy (2018) inside

‘Reparations’ is probably the heaviest track, and again Dizzy has been able to orchestrate such a catchy chorus. On the title track Dizzy gets out the keys and unlocks this climax to a great record which may well take rock fans and even long standing Guns N’ Roses fans by surprise, this is a great album to kick off 2018.
As for the digital bonus song 'Splendid Isolation', it’s a tongue-in-cheek and cheery look at the idea of living as a hermit by choice or becoming too big a celebrity that you have to live in your own realm in order to find some solitude.
These songs will sound great live as well.

Dizzy Reed has released a classic slice of true classic rock music with "Rock 'N Roll Ain't Easy". Even its artwork emulates a deteriorated LP cover. It is an album that you put on and transport you back to joyful times of the 70s, 80s and early 90s. It’s fun, honest, and feels 'real'. Real rock n' roll.
If this was simply an exercise by Reed to see what he could do as a solo artist, he’s nailed it.
Highly Recommended

01. This Don't Look Like Vegas
02. Mother Theresa
03. Cheers 2 R Oblivion
04. Fragile Water
05. Dirty Bomb
06. Mystery In Exile
07. I Celebrate
08. Understanding
09. Crestfallen
10. Forgotten Cases
11. Reparations
12. Rock 'N Roll Ain't Easy
13. Splendid Isolation (Bonus Track)

Dizzy Reed - Keyboards, Vocals (Guns N' Roses, The Dead Daisies)
Ricky Warwick - Guitars, Vocals (Black Star Riders)
Mike Dupke - Drums (ex- W.A.S.P.)
Mike Duda - Bass (W.A.S.P.)
Mayuko Okai - Guitars
Mars Williams - Sax (Psychedelic Furs)
Richard Fortus - guest Guitar Solo (Guns N' Roses)
Nadja Reed, Chela Johnson and Del James - Backing Vocals


BRUNETTE (pre- Hardline) - Rough Demos [CD release]

BRUNETTE (pre- Hardline) - Rough Demos [CD release] full

Melodic Hard Rock fans have been asking for years the release of all BRUNETTE material, the band that would become Hardline. Founder / lead singer Johnny Gioeli dig deep in his archives and made this music available for the very first time, and the second Brunette release is titled "Rough Demos".

Gioeli, perhaps best known for fronting Hardline in the early '90s together with guitarist Neal Schon (Journey) and for being the 'singing voice' behind many Sonic the Hedgehog games, got his start playing locally in LA and leaving behind a collection of songs that ultimately never got the proper treatment they deserved.
"Brunette Rough Demos" is the second part of two-CD collections of songs by Brunette that capture their complete tenure as a band, enhanced & mastered to get the best sound quality possible.

In 1987, The Gioeli brothers had put together a solid powerhouse band that went by the name of Killerhit in Pennsylvania. On the advice of good friend and fellow Pennsylvania native Bret Michaels (Poison), they packed up their bags and headed out to Los Angeles where their cream of the crop craftsmanship could be better noticed.
When they got to L.A., they had taken notice that the most successful bans all had a blonde front man. Since they didn’t follow the well-recognized blue print of having a blonde lead singer, let alone a blonde in the entire band, they changed their name to Brunette.

Undoubtedly, Brunette was one of Hollywood’s greatest unsigned treasures. Ingenious marketing schemes, standing-room only showcases, and sold-out venues led to the band being courted by every major label big wig in town.
From coast to coast (and even overseas), Brunette’s name was ringing louder than that of any other of their unsigned Sunset Strip cohorts.

Brunette was surely on a path that would give them the same stardom and worldwide recognition, like many of the bands that came before them, who successfully climbed the MTV-Generation X Express to the top.
But internal chaos led to the downfall of the band and what ultimately could be described as one of Melodic Rock’s best kept secrets and untold stories.

BRUNETTE (pre- Hardline) - Rough Demos [CD release] inside

As its title makes clear, "Rough Demos" are indeed rather unpolished material than the demos appeared in the other Brunette release.
Anyway, there's some killer melodic hard rockers here such as 'Aiming for Your Heart'. 'Lady Love', the soaring 'Keeper of My Heart', the fine ballad 'Yesterdays Gone', or the hot 'Keeper of My Heart'.

There's even a Brunette version of the killer melodic rocker 'Hot Cherie' (a Steelheart original) later recorded by Hardline itself, and various bands like Steelhouse Lane, Captive Heart, Danny Spanos, Steve Thomson and who knows else.
We have 3 live cuts as well, but barely listenable. I mean, all are pure noise, what's the point to be included here? To complete the CD space?

Johnny Gioeli would later go onto sing for Axel Rudi Pell while other members of Brunette went on to work with Vince Neil, Bangaloire Choir, Cinderella and Big House. So here we are, more than 25 years in the making, and the fans are getting what they have long been asking for, Brunette's complete recordings.
The sound quality varies in "Rough Demos", and while it isn't that good, it's a fine collectors piece from a band that shoulda been huge.

01 - Killer in Heels
02 - Aiming for Your Heart
03 - Yesterdays Gone
04 - Cure of the Heart
05 - Lazy Sue
06 - Lady Love (Version 2)
07 - Hot Cherie
08 - Keeper of My Heart
09 - Forever Yours
10 - Take It or Leave It
11 - I Scream My Heart Out
12 - Turn It On (Live)
13 - Do or Die (Live)
14 - Blue Eyes (Live)

Johnny Gioeli - Lead Vocals, Guitars
Joey Gioeli - Guitars
Christopher Paul - Guitars
Jay Scott King - Bass
Darek Thomas Cava - Drums



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