Tuesday, February 20, 2018

DUKES OF THE ORIENT - Dukes Of The Orient [Japan Edition +1] (2018)

DUKES OF THE ORIENT - Dukes Of The Orient [Japan Edition +1] (2018) full

What do you get when you match a Brit from London who loves American AOR with an American from California who grew up on British prog? DUKES OF THE ORIENT is the masterful pairing of vocalist John Payne (ex-ASIA, GPS) with keyboardist Erik Norlander (LAST IN LINE, LANA LANE) who now present their eponymous debut album, ten years in the making.
The album will be released via Frontiers Music, but just surfaced in Japan with a superb bonus track.

John Payne was the lead vocalist and bass player of Asia from 1991 to 2006, replacing John Wetton. With Payne at the helm, the English band released eight studio albums, from 1992’s Aqua to 2004’s Silent Nation. In 2006, the original lineup of Asia reunited (Keyboardist Geoff Downes, Guitarist Steve Howe, Drummer Carl Palmer, and Wetton), leaving Payne out of the group and prompting him to continue with the moniker 'Asia Featuring John Payne', backed up by the remaining members of the group who were also sidetracked by the reunion.

The new outfit resumed activity and started to work on a new album, but was also beset with occasional personnel changes. However, when Wetton died in January 2017, Payne and Erik Norlander (his keyboardist in Asia Featuring John Payne), ultimately decided to drop the appellation altogether and assume a new name in respect to Wetton’s memory, ultimately relinquishing Asia once and for all, also for the sake of Downes and Palmer.
Thus, Dukes Of The Orient was born.

The re-christened group did not waste any more time. Led by Payne (vocals, bass, guitar) as well as Norlander (keyboards) and augmented by Jeff Kollman (guitar), Guthrie Govan (guitar), Moni Scaria (guitar), Bruce Bouillet (guitar), Molly Rogers (strings), and Jay Schellen (drums), Dukes Of The Orient finally finished the recordings that they had been working on for almost a decade as Asia feat. John Payne.

The self-titled album opens with the melodramatic chops of “Brother in Arms,” which glows warmly with an aura of Journey’s Separate Ways (Worlds Apart). Flickering and undulating next in the same vibrations is the mid-tempo ballad “Strange Days,” whose catchy guitar and anthemic keyboard interlude are just the right flare and lick, never overbearing but complementing instead Payne’s trademark vocal harmonies.

The Dukes then turn sentimental with the ensuing piano-led “Amor Vincit Omnia [Love Conquers All],” showcasing their wizard hands in power balladry. “Time Waits for No One” then builds on its romantic subtlety, with a spice of the customary guitar pyrotechnics.
Payne & Co. then takes the listener to a Gospel-inspired trip down memory lane with the nostalgic vibes of the ominous and rather dark “A Sorrow’s Crown,” whose keyboard acrobatics hark back to the Asia of old.

Then there is the stadium-worthy “Fourth of July” – brimming with enough proggy-AOR synthesizer-oriented sensibilities; certainly a cause for a fireworks-adorned celebration.
“Seasons Will Change” is definitely Payne’s pained voice and Norlander’s heat of the moment, exhibiting a sonic painting of what Dukes Of The Orient is all about.
On the final cut on the regular Euro release, the Dukes of lush harmonies and compelling melodies wave their last stroke with the ten-minute, epic “Give Another Reason” – Classical guitar intro, filmic soundscape, slow symphonic buildup from a distant past into a neon-lit motorway, exuding a whiff of more things to come from the sunny orient.

DUKES OF THE ORIENT - Dukes Of The Orient [Japan Edition +1] (2018) inside

I love the Japan bonus track: "The Rebel". At first glance, it sounds like a gentle, slow melodic proggy ballad, but it really has a tremendous essence, emotional, to enjoy turn-off-the-lights with a 12-year old scotch at hand.

Payne & Norlander have really made the right decision in coming up with a fresh collective, for this resulted in their ten-year-in-the-making album’s achieving both a sense of familiarity and a glaze of currency.
With the songs’ ornate structures and arrangements and pristine production, "Dukes Of The Orient" is undoubtedly a masterstroke wrought with passion and time by such experienced and masterful hands.

01. Brother In Arms
02. Strange Days
03. Amor Vincit Omnia
04. Time Waits For No One
05. A Sorrow’s Crown
06. Fourth Of July
07. Seasons Will Change
08. Give Another Reason
09. The Rebel (Japan Bonus Track)

John Payne - vocals, bass, guitars
Erik Norlander - keyboards
Jay Schellen - drums
Moni Scaria - guitars
Guthrie Govan - guitars
Bruce Bouillet - guitars
Molly Rogers - strings
thanks to Alfie Vera Mella



SIGNAL RED - Under The Radar [Japanese Edition +1] (2018)

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

SIGNAL RED is a brand new band from the UK formed by two very respected musicians namely guitarist Steve Grocott (TEN) and vocalist Lee Small (PHENOMENA / SHY / LIONHEART). Their debut CD "Under The Radar" will appear in Europe soon, while it has been released in Japan few hours ago.

You need good songs. That's it. Ah, and a top class vocalist. SIGNAL RED goth both.
Lee Small is a brilliant vocalist, you will probably have heard of his work with Shy, a breakthrough for him on many levels, thankfully he is still around fermenting great music. His voice can best be described as a mix of Glenn Hughes soulful jibes, strong metal-esque range ala Lance King and throw in a little Chris Ousey tuneful spark. What a comparison no?
Regardless is not just the vocals here, their new album “Under The Radar” boasts some incredibly high tempo flying guitars and rhythm and bass, enslaving the listener from the very first tune.

The record kicks starts your heart with “Defiant”, hell of a jump tune totally hooked from the beginning, guitars and vocals ready and amped shoot out like a bat out of hell. The next two tracks 'Houdini' and 'Stronger' leave you breathless, non stop melodic prodigious bliss.
Steve Grocott is a terrific, underrated guitar player, the keen changes of tempo between the songs here just scream out class, great job, looks like they took a while to get this one done and for good reason. Every beat, every rhythm just works in sync with the overall feel of the record.

The trip keeps riding along nicely with 'Monster Truck', another example of both melody and crushing backbone rhythm, Lee’s vocals take the cake again, solid tune with Journey-esque guitars.
An enigmatic sound erupts at the beginning of “Pyramid of Mars”, then your ears get crushed again, as lyrics travelling through time and space, and superior technology I can’t tell if I’m listening to Hughes or Lance King... no, it's the versatile Lee Small. Great song.

They slow things a bit with the elegant “Emotions In Motion”, the recurrent edgy sound comes back and reinforces itself purposely in “Highwire” and the exquisite “Making Contact”, with some delightful keyboards setting the mood just right.
Final two songs come epic, with the strangely yet aptly titled “Goth the Girl” delivering onto the finale of “The Time Machine” that creeps with escalating anticipation that this great album is coming to an end.

SIGNAL RED's "Under The Radar" is a journey through time and space, and signals of futuristic hope. There's some kind of a concept, a nice little story line, but the real deal is the music, just fantastic uptempo stuff from all in the band.
Just one of those albums you won't hear much from around the music scene, but damn it is superbly done, delivering and amazing songwriting
Great job Steve and Lee, what a combo, please don’t disappear of the face of the Earth, and keep sending these 'signal' music wonders through the Universe.
One of the albums of the year.

01. Defiant
02. Houdini
03. Stronger
04. Tell It To The Bees
05. Monster Truck
06. Pyramids Of Mars
07. Emotions In Motion
08. Highwire
09. Making Contact
10. Goth The Girl
11. The Time Machine
12. Listen To Your Heartbeat (Japan Bonus Track)

Lee Small: All vocals (Phenomena / Shy)
Steve Grocott: All guitars, keyboards, strings (Ten)
Brian J Anthony: Bass (Steve Walsh)
Dave Anthony: Drums (Dennis DeYoung)



SHIRAZ LANE - Carnival Days [Japanese Edition +1] (2018)

SHIRAZ LANE - Carnival Days [Japanese Edition +1] (2018) full

The sophomore album from Finland’s SHIRAZ LANE, "Carnival Days", will be released on February 23rd via Frontiers Music. The band has been extremely busy throughout 2017 composing, producing and recording their new album in collaboration with the Swedish producer Per Aldeheim (Def Leppard), and the result is a big step forward for this quintet.
This Japanese Edition appeared today, featuring the bonus track "Song Of Retribution".

I’ve been a fan of this band since their debut album with Frontiers Music. They are different, always revolving around melodic hard rock waves, but with a very own identity.
And Shiraz Lane proves it from the start: title track “Carnival Days” begins with a saxophone - used in a 'hard' way, akin a guitar, and while the song develops into some kind of a melodic rocker, the sax is present all over the tune creating a unique effect.
Like it or not, but it's darn original, and you need to have balls to start your new album with such a track.

Traditional Shiraz Lane arrives with song 2, “The Crown”, a killer hard rocker with blazing guitars akin SKID ROW. The riff kills, and the harmony vocals are superbly arranged. “Harder To Breathe” is bit more modern, very Scandinavian with some H.E.A.T on it, but in fact this is the sound & style of Shiraz Lane.
“Tidal Wave” has all the ingredients to also appeal to a broader audience than just us hard rockers, it’s poppier than the rest of the album (like early RECKLESS LOVE), but has everything to become the tune we will be stuck in our heads with during the Summer. It’s the kind of song that when you’d hear it on your car radio, it would blast through the speakers and you would still turn up the sound.

“Gotta Be Real” shows a different side of the band again (and again a more matured sound), it’s a slower paced melodic rocker song with an American middle-of-the-road sound, this time recalling SKID ROW but their first album midtempo ballads.

Coming off the softer side, “People Like Us” hammers back with powerful guitars and a quirky piano background. The melodic “Shangri-La” highlights the high-end vocals of Hannes Kett, then “War Of Mine” returns to proper hard rock territory with muscular riffs and great verses.
I have to say that the guitar/vocal mix on “Shot Of Life” are captivating me. This track is fantastic in its soaring vocals and very good guitar line, strong groove and overall melody. A highlight.

SHIRAZ LANE - Carnival Days [Japanese Edition +1] (2018) inside

The album closes with “Reincarnation”, especially the intro of the song sounds more progressive than any other Shiraz Lane song has ever sounded. The clock that’s ticking is driving the song forward, then somehow explode into a massive hard rock song. I hear some JONO here, but in fact many classic bands influence. Great composition.
Japanese bonus track "Song Of Retribution" is a fun rocker, a little tongue-in-cheek with a very poppy chorus in the vein of many current Scandinavian acts.

Thankfully, Shiraz Lane isn't repeating themselves on this second effort. The band has grew in all aspects; mature, varied, and original songwriting, better musicianship and the aim to create a new sound.
The band clearly challenged the more traditional hard rock frameworks, and success. Composition and production wise this album is a killer. It sounds massive, plenty of details.
"Carnival Days" is a very, very strong full-length sophomore effort that deserves to be heard, original and rocking at the same time.
HIGHLY Recommended

01. Carnival Days
02. The Crown
03. Harder To Breathe
04. Tidal Wave
05. Gotta Be Real
06. People Like Us
07. Shangri-La
08. War Of Mine
09. Shot Of Life
10. Hope
11. Reincarnation
12. Song Of Retribution (Japan Bonus Track)

Hannes Kett - lead vocals
Jani Laine - lead guitar
Miki Kalske - rhythm guitar
Joel Alex - bass
Ana Willman - drums



REACH - The Great Divine (2018)

REACH - The Great Divine (2018) full

Swedish melodic hard rockers REACH surprised us with a great album years ago, now reduced as a three-piece, the guys are back with ”The Great Divine”, their fresh CD to be released March 3rd.
Produced by Jona Tee (H.E.A.T) and mixed by Tobias Lindell (Europe), this is a 'new' REACH, where guitarist Ludvig Turner has taken over the lead vocal duties / songwriting, and musically everything turns more modern and 'big'.

Soundwise, the classic melodic hard rock from the debut akin Danger Danger, Black´n´Blue, etc, has been tweaked into a much modern sound, still retaining the essence of the genre yet with a modernized patina.
"Into Tomorrow" opens this new record with a blast; it's a fast-paced melodic hard rock song that features heavy guitars, powerful vocals and an overall 'punchier' sound that makes you think of the last ART NATION.
Next, title track "The Great Divine" is more groovy, plenty of 'oh-ohs' but not in the hair metal fashion, it's build over a modern riff, and while I am not completely convinced, it works pretty well.

With "Live Or Die" the deep bass lines continues, the verses are poppy and the chorus is strong (bring to mind the modern side of WIGELIUS), followed by the darker midtempo "Nightmare", with an atmosphere not dissimilar to some new millennium WINGER.
The ultra-melodic "Off The Edge" has some VEGA on it which is good thing, however I found the calmer rhythm of "One Life" a bit uninspired and toooo much NICKELBACK for my tastes.

Things get much better with the commercial "Running On Empty", a well crafted modern Scandi melodic rocker, in "Shame" the band try something different with a little proggy feel and busy intrumentation, while "You Say" rocks fine with a cool rhythm section.

REACH - The Great Divine (2018) inside

Definitely you'll find a 'new' REACH, different band in "The Great Divine". I guess the album title should have been The Great Divide, because fans of the first record may result deeply disappointed with this fresh effort.
If you love the band's debut, you need to open your mind to listen to "The Great Divine"; it's catchy at places yet different, modern. And for those new to these Swedes, expect a current sound from the Scandinavian factory, aiming to radio.

01. Into Tomorrow
02. The Great Divine
03. Live or Die
04. Nightmare
05. Off the Edge
06. One Life
07. Running on Empty
08. Shame
09. You Say
10. River Deep

Ludvig Turner - Guitars, Vocals
Soufian Ma’Aoui - Bass
Marcus Johansson - Drums

produced by Jona Tee (H.E.A.T)
mixed by Tobias Lindell (Europe)



SPIRAL KEY - An Error Of Judgement (2018)

SPIRAL KEY - An Error Of Judgement (2018) full

Britain's SPIRAL KEY are releasing their second effort titled “An Error of Judgement”, the first via the very good, varied in musical styles Pride & Joy Music label (and distributed by ComeBack Media, ex YesterRock). Basically, Spiral Key mix Progressive with some Symphonic passages, specializing in melody and thoughtful lyrics.
The band includes the distinctive voice and intricate guitar work of David McCabe, the thunderous bass work of Ken Wynne, and dynamic drummer Chris Allan. The album features guest musical appearances by guitarist John Mitchell (Frost*, It Bites, Arena), vocalist Miguel Espinoza (Persefone), and guitarist Dan Carter.

SPIRAL KEY's larger musical context is elaborated progressive metal with a symphonic side, all very melodious & clean. Their sound is punchy because it revolves around an abundance of dense intense riffage from McCabe and Wynne's thick and thundering bass.
“Reason Revolution” leads us off, a 'song format' composition. Following some clean bass guitar notes, a heavy riff plods in. From there the sound varies with some softer passages followed by more aggressive ones. I do hear some DREAM THEATER influence here and it's nice… especially the keyboard presence, which adds some texture to the song.

“Dark Path” is a bit longer, and proggy, with a dark and suspenseful sound in a mid-tempo pace. The chorus is big and full, pushing a lot of melody. “Freeze Time” features some really strong musicianship via its weighted and energetic tempo, and the guitar work is on full display. It has a jovial and groovy sound, brimming with life. Bass guitar notes dance all over as well.
“Possessive” is the monster on the album. It has a sweeping entrance, with Classical chord progressions. This is where some of the more Symphonic elements can be heard. Keys lead the verses, with poignant vocals. Then a heavy riff drops with a darker ambiance. The vast sound is akin to me of bands like QUEEN and MARILLION.

“Hollywood Dreams” is the most commercial song on the CD, very accessible and one that will appeal a vast range of audiences. I found a bit of QUEENSRYCHE on it.
“West Facing” has a swinging groove with heavy staccato accents along the way. The fuzzy bass guitar notes are quite bossy, and the song builds a good deal of ambiance and more ethereal, warm parts.

“Sanctimoniuos” has a quicker pace out of the gate, and some notable Progressive elements with cool shifts. It’s probably the heaviest song on the album, fueled by an aggressive riff.
“Dead End” closes the album and it's one of my favorites, with a dark yet inviting melodic atmosphere, something like MARILLON or IQ on steroids.

SPIRAL KEY - An Error Of Judgement (2018) back

You can easily tag SPIRAL KEY as prog metal, but there's much more going on through “An Error of Judgement”.
It's a varied, always interesting record, well balanced and with melody as focus. Production & mix is very good, clear, and punchy when needed to provide impact.
A really strong 'new' band from the overcrowded progressive scene, and one you should check out if you like the influences mentioned above.
Strongly Recommended

01. Reason Revolution
02. Dark Path
03. Freeze Time
04. Hollywood Dreams
05. Possessive
06. West Facing
07. Sanctimonious
08. Dead End

David McCabe - vocals, guitar
Ken Wynne - bass
Chris Allan - drums
John Mitchell (Frost*, It Bites, Arena) - guitar solo (2)
Miguel Espinoza (Persefone) - vocals (5)
Dan Carter - guitar solo (7)



Monday, February 19, 2018

TOTO - XX [Japan Cardboard Sleeve miniLP remastered] Out Of Print

TOTO - XX [Japan Cardboard Sleeve miniLP remastered] Out Of Print -  full

With this "TOTO - XX : 1977-1997" we complete here the TOTO's 4-disc Japanese Cardboard Sleeve miniLP replica reissue campaign (sold out), fully remastered.
"Toto XX: 1977-1997" was released to celebrate the band's 20th Anniversary, including previously unreleased songs from all eras, outtakes, and live tracks from the band's 20-year career.

Among the highlights there's the brilliant AOR tune 'Goin' Home', recorded during Bobby Kimball's brief first reunion with the band in 1989, prior to the record company's decision to replace him with new lead singer Jean-Michel Byron.
The song had later been recorded by Joseph Williams (co-written by him) and released on his 1997 album '3'.

Another great tune - and I scratch my head wondering why it never was released before - is the big ballad "Right Part Of Me" recorded in 1984. With lead vocals perfomed by Kimball, an exquisite co-production by master Greg Ladanyi, and strings arranged by James Newton Howard / performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, this track easily could have been a hit in the mid-Eightes.

TOTO - XX [Japan Cardboard Sleeve miniLP remastered] - disc

It's great see that some older, previously unheard Toto songs have been finally released, like 'Mrs. Johnson', 'Love Is a Man's World' and 'Miss Sun' (all recorded in 1977) or the excellent 'Tale of a Man' (1979).

If you want material from the more 'commercial' Toto era, the bright 'Last Night' (recorded in 1987), and 'In a Word' and 'Modern Eyes' (both from 1986) will make your day for your classic AOR needs.

Additionally, we have some stupendous live recordings: the rocking take of "On the Run" is to die for, while the extended performance of 'Africa' captured at the Standard Bank Arena, Johannesburg, South Africa in 1997, is simply great.

TOTO - XX [Japan Cardboard Sleeve miniLP remastered] - back

Your Toto collection isn't complete without "TOTO - XX : 1977-1997", a collection of previously unreleased great tunes. A must for the fans, and a fine slice of classic AOR for all aficionados to this genre.
Highly Recommended

Sony Music Japan 【SICP-3120】
T O T O XX 『 来日記念 紙ジャケ③ 』

01 - Goin' Home (Recorded in 1989)
02 - Tale of a Man (Recorded in 1979)
03 - Last Night (Recorded in 1987)
04 - In a Word (Recorded in 1986)
05 - Modern Eyes (Recorded in 1986)
06 - Right Part of Me (Recorded in 1984)
07 - Mrs. Johnson (Recorded in 1977)
08 - Miss Sun (Recorded in 1977)
09 - Love Is a Man's World (Recorded in 1977)
10 - On the Run (Recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival '91)
11 - Dave's Gone Skiing (Live, Recorded in 1997)
12 - Baba Mnumzane (Live, Recorded in 1997)
13 - Africa (Live, Recorded in 1997)

Bobby Kimball, Joseph Williams - vocals
Steve Lukather - guitars, vocals
David Paich - keyboards, vocals
Mike Porcaro, David Hungate - bass
Jeff Porcaro, Simon Phillips - drums, percussion

Out Of Print


BRUNETTE (pre- Hardline) - 1989-1990 Demos [CD release]

BRUNETTE (pre- Hardline) - 1989-1990 Demos (2014) full

Melodic Hard Rock fans have been asking for years the release of all BRUNETTE material, the band that would become Hardline. Finally lead singer Johnny Gioeli dig deep in his archives and made this music available for the very first time under the title "Brunette 1989-1990 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 1989-1990 Demos" is part of two-CD collections of songs by Brunette that capture their complete tenure as a band, enhanced & remastered to get the best sound 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) - 1989-1990 Demos [CD release] back

The material on this rescued tapes are pure, first class Melodic Hard Rock. Brunette was not the kind of 'party-only' band, their songs are stronger, more elaborated and with substance. This characteristic is what made Hardline's album so fantastic, easily in my Top 5 from the Nineties.
Well, "Brunette 1989-1990 Demos" is Pre- Hardline indeed, and all these songs are terrific. The sound quality varies, but all are listeneable and highly enjoyable. Wonderful I'd say.

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 fantastic songs.
Highly Recommended.

01 - Brunette Intro
02 - Wanted for Love
03 - Do You Know Me
04 - Smash Crash & Burn
05 - Let It Go Down
06 - Lady Love (Version 1)
07 - Blue Eyes
08 - One On One
09 - Do or Die
10 - Play All Day
11 - Don't Throw My Love Away
12 - Danger of Love
13 - Hold On
14 - Texas Soul
15 - Just What the Doctor Ordered

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



THE BABYS - On The Edge [Rock Candy remaster]

THE BABYS - On The Edge [Rock Candy remaster] full

As requested, here's British melodic rockers THE BABYS album "On The Edge" , as part of the 3 original albums by the band 'Remastered & Reloaded' not so long ago by Rock Candy Records.
THE BABYS fifth (and final album) "On The Edge" was conceived and executed in an atmosphere of confusion and fatigue due the endless tours. And the fact that it still managed to feature numbers that would be able to muscle their way into any fan’s top twenty Babys tunes is testament to many things.

Apart from the music, however, the band was beginning to implode. Chrysalis Records had gone through an organisational restructure, internal band relationships were at breaking point, Jonathan Cain was about to jump ship and join tour headliners Journey and, at a fateful gig in Cincinnati, John Waite severely injured his knee, forcing the band to cancel all live work.

THE BABYS - On The Edge [Rock Candy remaster] booklet

Produced, once again, by Keith Olsen (Foreigner, Preview, Whitesnake, etc) and recorded in Los Angeles, "On The Edge" contains ten slices of top class melodic hard rock, with all the accoutrements that you might reasonably expect from such a seasoned band - from lean and mean commercial hard rock to more melodic affair and all points in between.

This final album is more urgent and rocking than its predecessors. In many ways reminds me Canadians Loverboy, early Foreigner, and Streets.

THE BABYS - On The Edge [Rock Candy remaster] back cover

The 24-bit remastering by Rock Candy Records is great, very sharp I'd say.
There's an exclusive interview with John Waite, rare photos and memorabilia, all spread out over a superb 16 page full colour booklet.
Highly Recommended

01 - Turn And Walk Away
02 - Sweet 17
03 - She's My Girl
04 - Darker Side Of Town
05 - Rock 'N Roll Is (Alive And Well)
06 - Downtown
07 - Postcard
08 - Too Far Gone
09 - Gonna Be Somebody
10 - Love Won't Wait

John Waite – Lead Vocals
Wally Stocker – Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Ricky Phillips – Bass
Jonathan Cain – Keyboards, Rhythm Guitar & Vocals
Tony Brock – Drums



Sunday, February 18, 2018

D'MOLLS - D'Molls [Rock Candy Remaster] (2018)

D'MOLLS - D'Molls [Rock Candy Remaster] (2018) full

Rock Candy Records has an insatiable appetite for unearthing hard rock / glam bands from the late Eighties, and the remastered reissue of D'MOLLS first album "D’Molls" results one of the most welcomed lately, because this pretty unknown US act deserve to be listened by all fans of the genre.

D'MOLLS was a very special band that caught pretty much attention for not only their rough and tumble music, but also for their extreme look.
They sported hair big enough to hide the Empire State building inside, pants so tight that their legs looked like pipe cleaners and enough mascara and lipstick to supply a beauty pageant.

That they stood out as the potential kings of the scene was not in question. Originally formed in Chicago by vocalist Desi Rexx and guitarist S.S. Priest, and with connections to Diamond Rexx, Cheap Trick and Enuff Z’Nuff, the band eventually moved to Los Angeles in an effort to solidify not only their line up but also their reputation.

The LA and Sunset Strip scene welcomed them with open arms, leading to a contract with Atlantic Records.
Issued in 1988, their debut album failed to move significant numbers but it did establish them as one of the rising glam rock acts of the time, chasing at the heels of such big sellers as Poison, Mötley Crüe and RATT.

I know many of you never heard about D'MOLLS, so let me share my impression with you.
I still remember back in the day D'MOLLS being marketed as the 'new sleazy sensation'. Certainly, on the photos and 'interviews' (in fact press promotion) the band looked 'sleazy hairspray' at maximum.
Well, while there's some little sleazy touches on this debut "D’Molls", to my ears, they sound more glammy hard rock than anything else.
And that's a good thing, because the album has stood the test of time.

Indeed, to me, most the songs in "D’Molls" sound like a mix between Helix, Mötley Crüe and Poison. The album is cocked and loaded with prime slices of provocative anthems, such as ‘Crimes Of Fashion’, ‘All I Want’, ‘Dressed To Thrill’, or the stadium-ready ‘A-C-T-I-O-N’ (akin Twisted Sister).
As you see, musicially, D’Molls, at least on this debut album, sounds more US hair metal with cowbells et all, than sleazy. Well, that's my humble opinion.

D'MOLLS - D'Molls [Rock Candy Remaster] (2018) back

Anyway, the important thing in "D’Molls" are the songs. And these are really good second half of the '80s glammy hard rock tunes. Call it hair metal, US glam, even sleazy (I repeat, to me it's not), but most of these songs would make your Eighties party a success.
"D’Molls" has "somethin" you can't explain into words, you need to listen to it and you'll get it.
The album was very well produced back in the day, and with this bright Rock Candy remaster it sounds even better.
HIGHLY Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - All I Want
02 - 777
03 - Rally Baby
04 - Dressed To Thrill
05 - Supersonic
06 - D' Stroll
07 - All Night Long
08 - French Quarter
09 - High 'N' Low
10 - Crimes Of Fashion
11 - A-C-T-I-O-N

Desi Rexx - lead vocals, guitars
S.S. Priest - lead guitar
Lizzy Valentine - bass, backing vocals
Billy Dior - drums, backing vocals



JOHN CORABI - Live ’94 [One Night In Nashville] (2018)

JOHN CORABI - Live ’94 [One Night In Nashville] (2018) full

Former Motley Crue and current The Dead Daisies singer JOHN CORABI is releasing a new album titled "Live 94 (One Night in Nashville)", a live album featuring solo performances of tracks from the album he recorded with Motley Crue.
Corabi, who replaced Vince Neil in 1992, was part of the lineup that released the band's self-titled sixth album in 1994. By 1997 he’d been removed in favor of the returning Neil following record company pressure.

Before start, read this to avoid confusion: this album was recorded in 2015, during Corabi's tour called "Motley 94" where he performed in its entirety 'Motley Crue", the self-titled disc he recorded as lead vocalist during the Nineties.
Corabi even performs the bonus track “10,000 Miles Away,” which originally was released as a bonus track on the Japanese version of the “Quaternary” EP.

On “Live ‘94 (One Night in Nashville)” - recorded on Oct. 27, 2015, in (obviously) Nashville, Tennessee - the songs written and originally recorded more than two decades ago sound just as fresh, vital and exhilarating as ever - maybe even more so now because of how overlooked they’ve been over the years.

Time has robbed Corabi’s raspy voice of none of its power, and his band, Jeremy Asbrock (guitar/vocals), Tommy Daley (guitar), Topher Nolen (bass guitar/vocals) and his son Ian Corabi (drums/percussions), perfectly recreates the songs, which could not have been an easy task given some of the complicated arrangements.
Knowing how little Motley ended up touring behind this album, Corabi’s tour likely was the first time many of these songs were performed live.

The material runs the gamut from riff-driven numbers like “Power to the Music” and “Hammered,” to the even heavier “Smoke the Sky,” to the single “Hooligan’s Holiday,” to the acoustic “Loveshine,” to the brilliant “Misunderstood,” which is almost three songs in one and, from more of an objective standpoint, might very well be the best piece of music Motley Crue ever wrote.

After running through the 12 album tracks, Corabi and the band return for “10,000 Miles,” originally released on the Japanese edition of the “Quaternary” EP. Nice choice, a song I’d never heard before in any form is a nice treat.

JOHN CORABI - Live ’94 [One Night In Nashville] (2018) inside

"Live 94 (One Night in Nashville)" is Corabi and his solo band blasting through the entire 'Motley Crue' album. The recording sounds ‘huge’ like John promised but not overly compressed as we find these days with acts trying to outdo their contemporaries in a battle for the loudest record.
Vocally, Corabi sounds fantastic. It’s fair to say that if you’re a fan of the 'Motley Crue' album, then there’s no question that you’ll be thrilled with "Live 94 (One Night in Nashville)".

This isn't just another live album. When originally released in 1994 the Corabi-fronted Motley Crue album was criminally ignored, so the idea that these songs are not just alive but being celebrated in 2018 is a great thing, and an opportunity to re-discover a bunch of very good tunes.
Highly Recommended

01 - Power to the Music (Live)
02 - Uncle Jack (Live)
03 - Hooligan's Holiday (Live)
04 - Misunderstood (Live)
05 - Loveshine (Live)
06 - Poison Apples (Live)
07 - John Joins the Band (Live)
08 - Hammered (Live)
09 - Til Death Do Us Part (Live)
10 - Welcome to the Numb (Live)
11 - Smoke the Sky (Live)
12 - Here's the Band (Live)
13 - Droppin' like Flies (Live)
14 - Driftaway (Live)
15 - 10,000 Miles Away (Live) Bonus Track

John Corabi – lead vocals, guitar
Jeremy Asbrock – guitar, vocals
Phil Shouse – guitar, vocals
Tommy Daley – guitar
Topher Nolen – bass
Ian Corabi – drums, percussion



AXE - Axeology 1979-2001 - Remastered [Full 2-CD digipak]

AXE - Axeology 1979-2001 - Remastered [Full 2-CD digipak]

Cleopatra / Deadline Records has given us an excuse to revisit AXE’s back catalogue with "Axeology", a remastered two-disc retrospective that spans the band’s career from 1979 though 2001. All housed in a deluxe digipak, the huge history of AXE written by founder Bobby Barth, plus tons of additional photos and memorabilia spread out over a full colour booklet.

There are 36 songs total – six from 1979’s Axe, six from 1980’s Living On The Edge, seven from 1982’s Offering, six from 1983’s Nemesis, five from 1996’s Five, and four from their 2000 album The Crown.
Rounding out the collection there's a pair of previously unreleased ‘80s era songs – “Bad Sometimes” and “No Heroes.”
Some of these great songs have been re-recorded with modern technology, while the original recordings have been remastered with a 24-bit process.

There are a lot of 'should have made it' stories from the '80s, but one that really stands out is the American melodic rock band AXE. If you remember them at all, it’s probably from their anthemic hit – 1982’s “Rock n’ Roll Party in the Streets.”

AXE - Axeology 1979-2001 - Remastered [Full 2-CD digipak] discs

Aside from that, the band never really caught on the major leagues, despite they fact that their hard rocking (yet always melodic) sound was tailor made for AOR radio in the ‘80s.
Maybe their 'heavy metal' band name and album covers were at odds with their overall sound? Whatever the reason, AXE remains one of the more overlooked bands from the Eighties Melodic Rock scene.

"Axeology" is the perfect AXE anthology, packaged in a deluxe 8-panel digipak with full liner notes written by Axe leader Bobby Barth, original LP sleeve artwork, rare photos, and more.
It not only covers their best albums, but you get a hefty chunk of their long out of print first two albums as well as some of their later material.

AXE - Axeology 1979-2001 - Remastered [Full 2-CD digipak] back

Honestly, the remastered tracks from the first two albums "Axe" and "Living on the Edge" worth the price of admission alone.
But we have more, as the songs from "Nemesis" and "Offering" are newly re-recorded versions done specifically for this compilation, showing that AXE got the fire intact and still rocks!

If you’re new to AXE, "Axeology" really is a fantastic starting point, and longtime fans will probably want to check it out just to hear the remastered versions of the early songs and the bonus tracks.
Awesome double CD-set. Highly Recommended

01. Life's Just An Illusion
02. Hang On
03. Sympathize
04. Forever
05. Back On The Streets
06. Battles
07. Living On The Edge
08. Fantasy Of Love
09. First Time, Last Time
10. Carry On
11. Running The Gauntlet
12. For A Little While
13. Rock 'n' Roll Party In The Streets*
14. Steal Another Fantasy*
15. Jennifer*
16. Burn The City Down*
17. Now Or Never*
18. Holdin' On*
19. Silent Soldiers*
20. BONUS TRACK: Bad Sometimes [prev. unreleased]

01. Heat In The Streets*
02. Young Hearts*
03. All Through The Night*
04. Eagle Flies Alone*
05. Let The Music Come Back*
06. Masquerade*
07. Magic (In Our Eyes)
08. Heroes and Legends
09. Burn Me Once Burn Me Twice
10. Where There's Smoke, There's Fire
11. Any Place On This Highway (Is Home)
12. The Crown
13. Good Times
14. Torturous Game
15. Foolish Deception
16. BONUS TRACK: No Heroes [prev. unreleased]

*Re-Recorded Versions

Bobby Barth - guitars, lead and backing vocals
Bob Harris - lead and backing vocals, keyboards
Edgar Riley, Jr. - keyboards, backing vocals
Wayne Haner - bass
Teddy Mueller - drums
Michael Osbourne - lead guitars, vocals
Michael Turpin - bass, vocals



Unique Visitors
View My Stats

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP