Sunday, August 20, 2017

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases September 2017 - Vol.3

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases September 2017 - Vol.3 - full

Here's more advanced singles just released from upcoming releases, many coming from Frontiers Music. Can't wait for the new ROBIN BECK album. Entitled Love Is Coming, it will be released on October 13th. The new recording sees her partnering with the great Clif Magness (Steve Perry, Avril Lavigne) who mixed and produced. Beck’s husband James Christian (House Of Lords) co-produced with Tommy Denander giving a hand. Enjoy the title track.

As the revival of the classic ‘80s hard rock and heavy metal scene continues unabated here in the 21st century, one reunion has been at the top of the wishlist of many a fan for a long time: the songwriting combination of Tracii Guns and Philip Lewis under the L.A. GUNS banner.
The new album is arriving next October on Frontiers as well, being 'Sticky Fingers' the second, rocking nasty single.

A well known act in Great Britain, DIRTY THRILLS will release their first CD with Frontiers soon. This unique outfit are bringing back old school rock ‘n’ roll, while all the while applying their oh-so-appealing filthy edge to it. We have another advance in 'I'll Be With You'.

There's more from the September debut of SCHERER / BATTEN, formed by great vocalist Marc Scherer (Scherer / Peterik) and star '80s female guitarist Jennifer Batten (Jeff Beck, Michael Jackson). Produced by Jim Peterik (Survivor, Pride Of Lions) and featuring guests such as Bill Champlin, Bryan Cole, all Mecca members and more, this will be an AOR blast for sure. Check out another fantastic track, 'Cuts Deep'.

If there was a cult AOR band in the '80s, Canadians BOULEVARD were one of them for sure. The group are back with new material on a disc baptized Boulevard IV : Luminescence, out Sept. 22. We have previously presented an advance, taste a new one titled 'I Can't Tell You Why.

Perhaps the last album from SERIOUS BLACK resulted too heavy for some, but you better listen to the first single from the upcoming new album: the song called 'Serious Black Magic' it's the catchiest the band has ever written, and one of the best Melodic / Hard single I heard this month!

Swedish melodic rockers favorites H.E.A.T have released 'Time On Our Side', the first track from the band's upcoming fifth studio album Into The Great Unknown. It also marks the return of guitarist Dave Dalone, who played on the band's first three albums. Melodic Rock fans rejoice.

Another great band returning with a fresh album after 4 years are BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION. 'Collide' is the killer first advance from the super-group including Glenn Hughes, drummer Jason Bonham, Derek Sherinian and blues-rock guitarist Joe Bonamassa.

'Signs Of The Time' is the debut track by SONS OF APOLLO, from the band’s upcoming debut album which will arrive on October 20. The band sees former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy & Derek Sherinian reunited – and they’re joined in the lineup by Mr. Big & The Winery Dogs bassist Billy Sheehan, frontman Jeff Scott Soto and former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal. WOW.

'Solid Gold' is the latest single from THE DARKNESS' forthcoming album Pinewood Smile due out on October 6. The song finds the band on electrifying form, with lyrics taking direct aim at the music industry and addressing record companies, egos and the insincerity that comes with it.

And for the last we have another surprisingly 'melodic & catchy' advance from NOCTURNAL RITES upcoming album, and the fun 'Life Ain't Easy (for a Boy with Long Hair)' from THE NEW ROSES (great band) next album, and 'Signs Of The Time'.

01 - Robin Beck - Love Is Coming
02 - Scherer-Batten - Cuts Deep
03 - Serious Black - Serious Black Magic
04 - L.A. Guns - Sticky Fingers
05 - H.E.A.T - Time On Our Side
06 - Boulevard - I Can't Tell You Why
07 - Black Country Communion - Collide
08 - Dirty Thrills - I'll Be With You
09 - The New Roses - Life Ain't Easy (for a Boy with Long Hair)
10 - The Darkness - Solid Gold
11 - Norturnal Rites - A Heart As Black As Coal
12 - Sons Of Apollo - Signs Of The Time

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V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases September 2017 - Vol.2

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases September 2017 - Vol.2 - full

Here's more advanced singles just released from upcoming releases, many coming from Frontiers Music. REVOLUTION SAINTS, the band featuring Deen Castronovo (Journey, Bad English), Doug Aldrich (Dead Daises, Whitesnake), and Jack Blades (Night Ranger), will release its second album, Light In The Dark, on October 13 via Frontiers. We have the second cut 'Freedom', a melodic song mixing equal parts of Journey / Night Ranger. Killer band.

Also for October, the label has announced the release of the self-titled debut of one of their latest UK signings: BIGFOOT. This is traditional killer hard rock combo with a punchy sound as heard in the new track 'Tell Me A Lie'.

After many years, STEELHEART are back with a new album via Frontiers Music. Always fronted by talented Miljenko Matijevic, the band keeps faithful to their original sound, however the second single 'You Got Me Twisted' is pretty melodic hard rock oriented with an '80s feel.

The Italian label has also released the 3rd single titled 'Crush' from one of their newest acts: WAYWARD SONS. This new band is made up of Toby Jepson (vocals, guitar), Sam Wood (guitar), Nic Wastell (bass), Dave Kemp (keys) and Phil Martini (drums). They have an impressive resume of groups they have previously worked with: Little Angels, Gun, Spear Of Destiny, Treason Kings and Chrome Molly to name a few.

Next September is coming the debut of a terrific association; SCHERER / BATTEN, formed by great vocalist Marc Scherer (Scherer / Peterik) and star '80s female guitarist Jennifer Batten (Jeff Beck, Michael Jackson).
Produced by Jim Peterik (Survivor, Pride Of Lions) and featuring guests such as Bill Champlin, Bryan Cole, all Mecca members and more, this will be an AOR blast for sure. Check the intense title track 'BattleZone'.

We have another great advance from STREAMLINE, the new Swedish band formed by ex members of the now defunct superb melodic rock act Diamond Dawn. 'Blind' is a melodious, pumping rocker.
Also there's the second cut from WAYLAND next album, the band managed by Jackyl's frontman Jesse James Dupree (his son play drums in the band), a modern hard rock band but inspired by the classics.

COLDSPELL is finally back! For the fourth time the band from the land of ice and snow up in the north of Sweden is going to bring the world 12 songs that will melt a rocking heart. Titled 'Call of the Wild', this is the first advance, showing why the group is one of the most elaborated Melodic Hard Rock acts on the current scene. Love it.

GUN's seventh studio album Favourite Pleasures (out on September 15) promise to stand proudly alongside the very best of their work. The band just released the second single, 'She Knows'.

Another long awaited return is LIVING COLOUR with the original line up. You’ve still got a month to go before you can hear their new album, but we are featuring here in exclusive the second advance 'Program'. A blast of a song, a blast of a band.

And we are presenting a couple of new artists ready to release their debut CDs; FICTION SYXX including Tony “The Fretless Monster” Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder), Eric Ragno (Joe Lynn Turner) and produced by JK Northrup (King Kobra).
The other is JAN AKESSON'S SHADOW RAIN, a new project from Swedish guitarist / vocalist / songwriter / producer Jan Akesson, formerly known for the very good act S-A-Y.

01 - Revolution Saints - Freedom
02 - SteelHeart - You Got Me Twisted
03 - Scherer-Batten - BattleZone
04 - ColdSpell - Call of the Wild
05 - Bigfoot - Tell Me A Lie
06 - Fiction Syxx - Given Sight
07 - Gun - She Knows
08 - Streamline - Blind
09 - Wayward Sons - Crush
10 - Living Colour - Program
11 - Wayland - Through The Fire
12 - Jan Akesson's Shadow Rain - A Sound For Death

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases September 2017 - Vol.1

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases September 2017 - Vol.1 full

Let's go with advanced singles from upcoming releases, many of these presented yesterday.
From the evergreen Frontiers Music camp with have "Bridge To Heaven", another advance from which promises to be one of the albums of the year; the debut of KEE OF HEARTS, a new band built around true melodic rock superstars Tommy Heart (singer of Fair Warning) and Kee Marcello, former Europe guitarist, with a line-up rounded out by Ken Sandin (ex-Alien) on bass. Killer tune.

As the revival of the classic ‘80s hard rock and metal scene continues unabated here in the 21st century, one reunion has been at the top of the wishlist of many a fan for a long time: the songwriting combination of Tracii Guns and Philip Lewis under the L.A. GUNS banner. There's a new album via Frontiers in October, and first single 'Speed' simply rocks.
Also in October super-group PHANTOM 5 will release their second album Play II Win. The band includes former Bonfire singer Claus Lessmann, producer and guitar player Michael Voss (Michael Schenker), Robby Boebel (Fontline) and Axel Kruse (Jaded Heart). Second single 'Crossfire' is just another fist-pumping melodic rock anthem.

Frontiers have finally signed HELL IN THE CLUB, a killer hard rock / metal band that has staked a serious claim in the European scene based on a lot of hard work and the resumes of the members. The new single 'The Phantom Punch' is the catchiest song ever penned by the band.
We have another strong single from DEGREED's upcoming album, the dynamic melodic rocker 'Sugar', and second advance from THE NEW ROSES (great band) next album to be released soon.

Great Melodic Rockers LIONHEART are back and with which seems an awesome record judging the quality of first single 'Don't Pay The Ferryman'. The band is signed by AOR Heaven and the album will be released soon.
Speaking about '80s cult bands, Canadians BOULEVARD are back with a new album in September. Advance 'Out Of The Blue' is a lovely, breezy AOR tune.

Also in September is coming the debut of a terrific association; SCHERER / BATTEN, formed by great vocalist Marc Scherer (Scherer / Peterik) and star '80s female guitarist Jennifer Batten (Jeff Beck, Michael Jackson).
Produced by Jim Peterik (Survivor, Pride Of Lions) and featuring guests such as Bill Champlin, Bryan Cole, all Mecca members and more, this will be an AOR blast for sure.

You better be prepared for STREAMLINE, the new Swedish band formed by ex members of the now defunct superb melodic rock act Diamond Dawn. 'Save Me' is the first single from their upcoming debut, catchy 'n rocking.
I really love the '80s Dokken-esque feel of 'Live Forever', the first advance from ARCHANGE, a new stunning band which debut album will be titled 'FlashBack'... its title says all.
And we have the rocking first single from WAYLAND, the band managed by Jackyl's frontman Jesse James Dupree (his son play drums in the band), a modern hard rock bunch but inspired by the classics.
More to come...

01 - Kee Of Hearts - Bridge To Heaven
02 - Scherer-Batten - The Sound Of Your Voice
03 - Lionheart - Don't Pay The Ferryman
04 - L.A. Guns - Speed
05 - Phantom 5 - Crossfire
06 - Degreed - Sugar
07 - Boulevard - Out Of The Blue
08 - Archange - Live Forever
09 - Streamline - Save Me
10 - The New Roses - Dancing On A Razor Blade
11 - Wayland - Shopping For A Savior
12 - Hell In The Club - The Phantom Punch

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JEFF WESTLAKE (Hydrogyn) - In The Key Of Blue (2017)

JEFF WESTLAKE (Hydrogyn) - In The Key Of Blue (2017) full

JEFF WESTLAKE is best known as the founder, guitarist and songwriter for Hydrogyn, a band that has been making noise on the hard rock scene for many years now and most currently with their last 2017 release (featured in this blog). Westlake forever being a musician that loves to break into new territory, has taken his guitar playing and songwriting into the world of classic, heavy blues rock. This journey has resulted in an amazing debut titled “In The Key Of Blue.”
From hard rock & metal influences, a new player in this genre has entering into the arena with both fists swinging. The result, a high powered knockout of an album that delivers the best of Gary Moore, Dave Meniketti (Y&T), Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Richie Kotzen, ZZ Top, etc.

The album opens with “Midnight Whisper” which gives off the Stevie Ray vibe right from the start. Westlake takes his guitar playing to another level and shows a precision and feel that just oozes thru every single note.
More of the same swagger appear with track 2 “Heart To Burn” which has a more aggressive vocal and a harder touch with some good ole ZZ Top on it.

The basis of any song is what comes from the heart of the artist, and Westlake has laid down a a little blues masterpiece in “So Much Love To Give”. The song encompasses elements of Dave Meniketti and Gary Moore: lots of feeling and guitar playing that is just outright mesmerizing. From the opening riff to the volume swells at the end, you'll enjoy this one over and over.

There is just an abundance of styles in this album and “Who Gets Vodooed” delivers a heavier sound and more powerful presence of '80s Gary Moore. Jeff’s influences are noticeable, but he defines his style and makes every song his own.
The songwriting is very diverse and “Love Your Way” gives me the Santana vibe and an eerie feeling blues ballad that just projects style, passion and presence. A beautiful piano intro and Westlake delivering a powerful vocal right from the start

With the next cut, title track “In The Key Of Blue,” I get more of that classic rock feel with a touch of keyboard accompanying more of the 6 string excellence that is prominent throughout, in the vein of Richie Kotzen solo.
The power and aggression kicks back in with “Whats In The Fire” which is a flat-out power jam, a song to be enjoyed with the volume control being cranked on.

The disc keeps in powers in “Queen Of Sorrow”, with a driving harmonica and a crunchy guitar riff. This is a true foot tapper with a massive groove and powerful vocal. I also get an Aerosmith type energy here, with the Steven Tyler wails and the heavy distortion grinding behind the vocal; more of the diversity and style that burns hot in the core of this album.

JEFF WESTLAKE (Hydrogyn) - In The Key Of Blue (2017) back

Did I mention influneces? Well, “Mountain” is aptly titled as I hear a ton of Leslie West in this one. Groove based and heavy is Westlake’s hard rockin' fortay and he delivers it with a bluesy foundation. Massive distortion and guitar playing bliss is where this reaches and is a fitting way to end a glorious ride through the keyhole and opening the door to one fantastic blues rock album.

So often in music the artists are only recognized for a certain style of music or playing. We often never get a chance to see or hear the styles that influence them and empower them to write their music.
Jeff Westlake has shown us that in every Hard Rock song that he has written, there is another side. The other side of an artist that is impassioned is delivered from the heart here.
If you love guitar playing, then the table is set and the key that opens an incredible blues rock album is right here “In The Key Of Blue.”
Highly Recommended

1 - Midnight Whisper
2 - Heart To Burn
3 - So Much Love To Give
4 - Who Gets Voodooed
5 - Love Your Way
6 - In The Key Of Blue
7 - What's In The Fire
8 - Queen Of Sorrow
9 - Mountain

Jeff Westlake: vocals, guitars
rest of personnel unlisted


Friday, August 18, 2017

TOTO & Friends - The Jeff Porcaro Tribute Concert (2017)

TOTO & Friends - The Jeff Porcaro Tribute Concert (2017) full

TOTO & Friends : The Jeff Porcaro Tribute Concert, has been reissued few weeks ago in a quality never heard before. This was recorded back in 1992 at Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles, California, just some months after the loss of one of the greatest drummers in the world / all categories: Mr. Jeffrey Porcaro.
Alongside the Toto crew, there's some impressive guests including Eddie Van Halen, Michael McDonald, Don Henley, George Harrison, Boz Scaggs and more.

"The Jeff Porcaro Tribute Concert" is considered as an 'official bootleg' by the Toto family. It was released on CD some years ago, but while the recording sound quality is excellent, it was poorly mastered / tracked.
Now it has been re-released with a fine sequencing and sound.

All the classic songs are here, we have great musicianship as usual with Toto and superb guests, but you gotta check Eddie Van Halen's participation.
Eddie plays all over Toto's classic 'Hold the Line', but he especially shine in a killer guitar fight with Steve Lukather during VH's 'Ain't Talkin' Bout Love and Hendrix's 'Fire', both on fire indeed.

This is not the fake reissue floating the web nor the soundboard-boot.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Gypsy Train
02 - Child's Anthem
03 - I'll Supply the Love
04 - I'll Be over You
05 - I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)
06 - Takin' It to the Streets
07 - Georgy Porgy
08 - 99
09 - If It's the Last Night
10 - Angela
11 - I Won't Hold You Back
12 - Don't Stop Me Now
13 - Africa / Percussion Solo
14 - Chain Lightning
15 - Josie
16 - Little Wing
17 - Kingdom of Desire
18 - Lowdown
19 - Lido Shuffle
20 - Angel Don't Cry
21 - Don't Chain My Heart
22 - Rosanna
23 - Dirty Laundry
24 - You Better Hang Up
25 - Come Rain or Come Shine
26 - Fire (with Eddie Van Halen)
27 - Ain't Talkin' Bout Love (with Eddie Van Halen)
28 - Hold the Line (with Eddie Van Halen)
29 - With a Little Help from My Friends

Steve Lukather – Guitars & Vocals
David Paich – Keyboards & Vocals
Mike Porcaro – Bass
Simon Phillips – Drums
Steve Porcaro – Keyboards
Chris Trujillo, Lenny Castro – Percussion
John James, Paulette Browne, Jackie Mahgee – Bkg Vocals
Special Guests:
Michael McDonald - vocals 5, 6
Don Henley - drums, vocals 24, 24, 25
Donald Fagen - vocals 14, 15
Boz Scaggs - vocals 18, 19
Eddie Van Halen - Guitar
George Harrison - Guitar, Bkg Vocals
Denny Dias - Guitar
David Crosby - Bkg Vocals


DANNY JOE BROWN and The Danny Joe Brown Band [Rock Candy remastered]

DANNY JOE BROWN and The Danny Joe Brown Band [Rock Candy remastered] full

One of the most puzzling moves in the history of Southern Rock occurred when vocalist Danny Joe Brown left Molly Hatchet at the top of their huge late Seventies success. He formed THE DANNY JOE BROWN and released the group's self-titled debut, finely remastered by Rock Candy Records.

Shortly before Brown abandon Molly Hatchet, the group recorded one of the genre's definitive albums, but Brown wanted his own career.
Hence, this album is of interest to Southern Rock fans because it should come as no surprise that it sounds like Molly Hatchet around that era - the early '80s.

Like Molly Hatchet, Brown's band also featured a three-guitar attack, courtesy of Bobby Ingram, Steve Wheeler and Kenny McVay.
A couple of extra musical touches support Brown's throaty growl: slide guitar riffing by Ingram and Wheeler, keyboard accents by John Galvin and harmony vocals that certainly must have been encouraged by producer / engineer Glyn Johns, a legend who'd worked with The Rolling Stones, The Who, Eagles and Eric Clapton.

The "The Danny Joe Brown Band" album is about as good a Southern Rock record as you will ever hear. With impassioned vocals and copious lead guitar playing, the songs are superior examples of a genre now considered as part of the classic rock legacy.
Indeed, it houses two of the movement’s greatest signature tracks; ‘The Alamo’ and ‘Edge Of Sundown’, the latter a mythical guitar-driven epic containing an extended guitar showdown in the finest Southern Rock tradition.

DANNY JOE BROWN and The Danny Joe Brown Band [Rock Candy remastered] back

The Southern Rock hall of fame is decorated with some of the finest voices in the music business; Ronnie Van Zant and Gregg Allman being two fine examples. Equally as impressive is the immediate and identifiable rasp of Danny Joe Brown.
A fine remaster by Rock Candy on this very good slice of moving Classic Rock. Requested by one of you... enjoy.
Very Recommended

01 - 01 Sundance
02 - 02 Nobody Walks On Me
03 - 03 The Alamo
04 - 04 Two Days Home
05 - 05 Edge Of Sundown
06 - 06 Beggar Man
07 - 07 Run For Your Life
08 - 08 Hear My Song
09 - 09 Gamblerґs dream
10 - 10 Hit The Road

Danny Joe Brown - lead vocals
Bobby Ingram - guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals
Steve Wheeler - guitar, slide guitar
Kenny McVay - guitar
John Galvin - keyboards, backing vocals
Buzzy Meekin - bass, backing vocals
Jimmy Glenn - drums


CONFESS - Haunters [Japan Edition +2] (2017)

CONFESS - Haunters [Japan Edition +2] (2017) full

After three long year wait, finally Swedish melodic rockers CONFESS are releasing their awaited new album entitled "Haunters", in this Japanese Edition including 2 exclusive bonus tracks.
Mixing Melodic Hard Rock with '80s Sleaze in a true Scandinavian fashion, Confess' previous album was one of this blog pick of the year.
Well, "Haunters" is even better, showcasing a mature songwriting and some killer musicianship.

Formed in 2008, Confess are part of the new wave of Swedish sleaze commanded by Crashdiet, but these guys are much more melodic, clean and polished than the gritty sleaze of Crashdiet, recalling Shotgun Messiah second, commercial era.
Additionally, Confess injects into their songs a strong sense of musicality and catchy (harmonized) choruses in the vein of the first Crazy Lixx and a slick production similar to Hardcore Superstar.

"Haunters", indeed, is much melodic hard rock than sleaze, and believe me, it rocks.
You got more metallic rockers such as 'Strange Kind of Affection' (think a mix of Motley Crue & Skid Row), the Dokken meets Wasp "We Are the Rats", and the punchy 'Animal Attraction', all balanced by awesome midtempo rockers such as 'Stand Our Ground', a terrific tune driven by a solid melody with big production and huge gang vocals, or the highly melodic 'Haunting You', a sure hit in 1989.

CONFESS - Haunters [Japan Edition +2] (2017) disc

'Talia' adds some electronics and synths at the begining, then it turns Def Leppard / Hysteria era with monster verses and a catchy chorus that Mutt Lange would be proud of.
'How Could I Let You Go' is a superb ballad with a great atmosphere, and 'Lady of Night' is simply awesome with its, again, Def Leppard feel, but this time circa 1982.
'Tonight' is a short ballad only surrounded by synths (brings to mind early '90s Europe), then 'Let the Show Go On' is all feel-good melodic rock with that '80s magic.

The last two tracks are Japan bonuses. 'Exit Light' starts slow with lovely acoustics, but don't be fooled, at the middle it blasts into a killer uptempo rocker, the 'Awake' is pure Scandi modern melodic hard rock drivem by pumping bass lines and an anthemic feel.

CONFESS - Haunters [Japan Edition +2] (2017) back

"Haunters" is one of the best melodic hard rock albums spiced with sleaze I heard in long time.
Confess are ready to explode into the major leagues with "Haunters": killer songs, the guys are playing better than ever (there's a new guitarist and bass player) and production is huge, polished, like it used to be circa 1987.
An album to be included into my 'best of the year list' for sure.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Irony
02 - Strange Kind Of Affection
03 - Stand Our Ground
04 - We Are The Rats
05 - Haunting You
06 - Talia
07 - How Could I Let You Go
08 - Animal Attraction
09 - I Won't Die
10 - Lady Of Night
11 - Tonight
12 - Let The Show Go On
13 - Exit Light (Bonus Track For Japan)
14 - Awake (Bonus Track For Japan)

John Elliot - Vox
Samael - Drums
Blomman - Guitar
Van Noice - Bass
Richie - Guitar


CLEAVAGE - 15 Gets Ya 20

CLEAVAGE - 15 Gets Ya 20 - download

In the very early '90s New Jersey Hard Rockers CLEAVAGE were one of the most promising bands of the area, prepping to be the 'next big thing from the Garden State', but as many, arrived too late into the scene for national success. Anyway, Cleavage managed to self-release in limited quantities their album 'The Demo', a highly sought after CD for years among fans and collectors of the genre.
Forward this new century, Cleavage in association with FnA records is re-releasing, officially on a label for the first time 'The Demo' (don't let the title fool you, it's a professional recording) re-entitled "15 Gets Ya 20" with eight additional bonus tracks.

The music in "15 Gets Ya 20" is pure American Hard / Hair Metal from the late '80s in the same game of Warrant, Ratt, Friction, Lancia or Rock Boulevard.
The musicians in Cleavage weren't newcomers at all; founder Larry Ganci used to play in Hollywood Tease (which released an indie record), brothers Mike and Ronnie Parkes played for Benny Mardones (Ronnie now handles bass in FarCry and Seven Witches) and drummer Scott Nazz worked as session man on many recordings.

CLEAVAGE - 15 Gets Ya 20 - inside

What you get here are catchy hard rockers with melodic rocking guitars ala Warrant, sticky choruses and a swaggering singer sounding a lot like Autograph's Steve Plunkett.
Sometimes laid back with acoustic tracks thrown in the best MTV style, the good thing in this recording is the attitude, the freshness of the Hair Metal in its pure essence.

Tonge-in-cheek rockers like "In Your Face" (title says all), the Ratt-like "In Your Face", "Shake It For The Boyz" and the Warrant-riff bounce of "Grease Monkey" are fun and contagious.
The corky title track "15 Gets Ya 20" was some kind of a local hit in Jersey's radio station for several weeks in a row and it's another cool rocker.

The slower tunes are quite good and melodic as well, like midtempo "Blood And Wine" or the acoustically filled "Time May Rust" which reminds me Mariah or XYZ.
But the best is "It's Not Goodbye Forever", a wonderful power ballad akin Danger Danger best moments plenty of nice harmonies, a sustained melodic guitar solo and a lighters-in-the air feel.

CLEAVAGE - 15 Gets Ya 20 - back cover

"15 Gets Ya 20" is a great testament of the Hair Metal era from a band with a superstar potential.
The songwriting quality is not sub par to anything released by Warrant, Ratt of Danger Danger in the late Eighties, extremely catchy, really well composed and performed with the typical 'juice' of the genre. You can't hear that guitar sound anymore...
Production is very good for an early Nineties indie (with slightly differences in the bonuses, obviously from different sessions) professionally recorded & mixed, surely remastered for this reissue obtaining a quite crisp sound.
A cool, fun, magical trip back to the Hair Metal heyday, really, really enjoyable. If you're fan of the genre, "15 Gets Ya 20" is a must have.

01 - Un Da Fi Uh
02 - In Your Face
03 - Blood And Wine
04 - I Got The Gun
05 - Shake It For The Boyz
06 - Hard To Get
07 - 15 Gets Ya 20
08 - It's Not Goodbye Forever
09 - Grease Monkey
10 - Little Girl
11 - I'm No Angel
12 - Time May Rust (Billboard Winner)
13 - Blood And Wine (Unedited)
14 - Take Me Back [Bonus Track]
15 - Getting Away With Murder [Bonus Track]

Larry Ganci - Vocals
Ronnie Parkes - Guitars
Mike Parkes - Bass
Scott Nazz - Drums
Joe Osso, Steve Ceragno - add. guitar


Thursday, August 17, 2017

JANET GARDNER (Vixen) - Janet Gardner (2017)

JANET GARDNER (Vixen) - Janet Gardner (2017) full

A solo album wasn't necessarily part of JANET GARDNER's master career plan. But a glut of material the Vixen frontwoman wrote with her husband, guitarist / producer Justin James (Tyketto), made her self-titled effort - coming out Friday, August 18 - inevitable.

"It sort of happened honestly," Gardner said. "We set up a studio in our new house and we were both down there fiddling around, and eventually we started to exchange ideas. We probably had written about five songs and thought, 'This is working pretty good. What are we gonna do with this?'"
Gardner and James initially thought about another group or duo name. "Then we said let's call it my solo album. Why not? I've never done one. Even though it is a really strong collaboration, let's call it that."

So here she is, after almost 30 years of Vixen's heyday, Janet Gardner is back with something that is more modern – and way better – than you’d expect.
The ten tracks on the album see Gardner team up with Justin James to come up with a collection that is resolutely hard rock, but also coming in with a harder edge than anything she might have done before.
Don't worry, that classic late '80s Vixen melodies are still all over the record.

The opener “Rat Hole” lays its cards out straight away. A first line that rhymes “suckers” with “dirty motherfuckers” is surely designed to say, “yeah this is me in 2017, love ain’t a killer anymore….” The music too, is tight, taut, modern and catchy.
Then “Hippycrite” does much the same, and comes in with a wave of really dark guitar over a melodic hard rock hook.

There is an absolute confidence here too. “If You Want Me” smashes down anything in its path and almost dares you to doubt that she means it. The sound, agin is modern, but the skeleton of the song is pure Vixen 1990.
Even more classic stuff arrive with midtempo ballad “Candle”, you'll find the '80s atmosphere all over, but there is nothing demur or weak about it. Instead it is an arena rocker that puts the likes of Halestorm to shame.

Songs – very deliberately you imagine – are kept short and to the point, but even then the likes of “Your Problem Now” know where the trouble is, and are happy to get amongst the fray.
The clever harmonies on “Let It Be Over” usher in what amounts to Gardner’s state of the union address, taking in environmental concerns as well as gun control laws and just about everything else, and the guitar solo here is particularly spectacular.

JANET GARDNER (Vixen) - Janet Gardner (2017) inside

“Lost” juxtaposes all this nicely with a lighter melodic rock touch and killer verses, while “The Grind” comes on like an outtake from Motley’s “Generation Swine”.
“Best Friend” is the one foray into acoustics, but is superbly done – and indeed the record benefits from the stripped back breather.
Thing end with “The Good Or The Bye” and the bluesy hard rock boogie is a perfect illustration of why the album is so good. A cut that positively revels in dumping her man, in a way it brings things full circle.

"Janet Gardner" is a killer blend of modern sounding hard rock with an old school late '80s flare that will turn the heads of generations of fans fo the genre.
Janet Gardner doesn’t need anyone in 2017. A record that began with the thought that this time she wasn’t suffering fools, ends with the very real suggestion that no one best dare get in her way.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Rat Hole
02 - Hippycrite
03 - If You Want Me
04 - Candle
05 - Your Problem Now
06 - Let It Be Over
07 - Lost
08 - The Grind
09 - Best Friend
10 - The Good or the Bye

Janet Gardner - vocals, guitat
Justin James - guitar, keyboards
Mike Thorn - bass
Denise Blair - drums
thanks to Andy Thorley

Pre Order:

UNRULY CHILD - Reigning Frogs Box Set; CD4 Worlds Collide (2017) retail

UNRULY CHILD - Reigning Frogs Box Set; CD4 Worlds Collide (2017) retail - full

Frontiers Music has released a special box set from UNRULY CHILD, titled "Reigning Frogs – The Box Set Collection”, a limited edition 5CD pack including the rare and hard-to-find releases from the band's catalog which encompasses their whole independent productions.
In all, five full length studio albums from this excellent Melodic Hard Rock combo founded by guitarist Bruce Gowdy (Stone Fury, World Trade) and drummer Jay Schellen (Hurricane, Asia).

Disc 4 in the box is the awesome “Worlds Collide” which featured the full reunion of the original lineup of the band featuring Gowdy / Allison / Marcie Free / Antonino / Schellen. This is truly a release that brings back the magic of the early demos and first record.
This rebirth of Unruly Child took many fans by surprise. On “Worlds Collide” the band springs to life with all the excitement and energy of a newborn.

UNRULY CHILD - Reigning Frogs Box Set; CD4 Worlds Collide (2017) retail - disc

The first two tracks are a bit modern and dark, but then “When We Were Young” kicks off a six-song string that 1990 radio would have been all over.
“When We Were Young” has highly melodic, nostalgic theme perfect for a reunion of this kind and and has become afan favorite. “Love Is Blind” is another great song that fuses the classic Unruly Child sound with that of contemporary hard rock, all helped by a huge sing-a-long chorus with great backing vocals.
Title track “When Worlds Collide” is an engaging tune with interesting time changes and another memorable chorus.

UNRULY CHILD - Reigning Frogs Box Set; CD4 Worlds Collide (2017) retail booklet

Things stay strong as we move into the final stretch of the album with terrific AOR candy like “Read My Mind”, and the rugged cry to be forever young in “Neverland.”
“Very First Time” is another winner, with one of the most instantly enjoyable choruses on the album. If power ballads are your thing, there are a couple of belters such as “Tell Another Lie” and “Talk To Me,” the latter featuring one of the more chill-inducing vocal performances by the great Marcie Michelle Free.

UNRULY CHILD - Reigning Frogs Box Set; CD4 Worlds Collide (2017) retail - back

This exclusive, limited edition, brand new "Reigning Frogs – The Box Set Collection” is beautifully packaged, not only including an extensive booklet with Unruly Child's story written by Gowdy, Free and Allison and photos from the archives, but also an individual booklet for each album plus complete lyrics.
The CDs are pressed as Vinyl LP replica, cardboard sleeve, and you have a total of three bonus tracks unreleased outside Japan.

This is the retail physical box/CD, not the poor digital version floating around which, by the way, doesn't include the original Japan bonus track, the really nice "Talk To Me (acoustic remix)".
A superb Box limited to 1000 copies only worldwide!

01 - Show Me The Money
02 - Insane
03 - When We Were Young
04 - Tell Another Lie
05 - Love Is Blind
06 - When Worlds Collide
07 - Talk To Me
08 - Life Death
09 - Read My Mind
10 - Neverland
11 - Very First Time
12 - You Don't Understand
13 - Talk To Me (acoustic remix) [Japan bonus track]

Marcie Michelle Free - vocals
Bruce Gowdy - guitars
Guy Allison - keyboards
Larry Antonino - bass
Jay Schellen - drums



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