Tuesday, April 24, 2018

STAGE DOLLS - The New & The Rare (0dayrox exclusive)

STAGE DOLLS - The New & The Rare (0dayrox exclusive) full

After the request for some STAGE DOLLS remastered albums - and being the only available remastered their third effort 'Commandos' featured here - we at 0dayrox decided to make a rarities own compilation.
To make this kind of compilations isn't the usual procedure by this blog, but this "STAGE DOLLS : The New & The Rare" really worth it, believe me.

Last Stage Dolls studio album titled 'Always' appeared in 2010, but since then the band has been recording and releasing singles.
We have all of them here, from 2011 to this very 2018, with their latest titled 'You'll Find Me'.
All really good tunes.

From the 'Rare' side, we have Stage Dolls tribute album contributions: the rocking cover "Splitter Pine" - DumDum Boys tribute, a popular Norwegian band, and their version of classic 'Beth', from 'Gods of Thunder: A Norwegian Tribute to Kiss'.

Also from the very hard to find 'Always' Japanese Edition, here's the two Asian bonus tracks 'Wings of Steel' and 'Love Don't Bother Me'.
Additionally, in the '90s Stage Dolls and their label released the Greatest Hits album 'Stories We Could Tell', including two new, previously unreleased songs; 'Lawyers, Guns & Money', and ballad 'Hard To Say Goodbye'. Not 'so rare', but never appeared into any other CD.

And for the end, perhaps the rarest of all; CDsingle "Love", released in 1993 including the title track and two more songs; 'Siamese' and 'Wonder Land', all exclusive to this maxi-single, never included into any other release, and of course, out of print.
Collector's stuff for Stage Dolls and quality Melodic Rock fans.

The New: singles 2011-2018
01 - Highway of life
02 - Into The Fire
03 - 5 Minutes of Fame
04 - The One
05 - Drive for Life
06 - Hey Rock'n Roll
07 - One Of These Days
08 - You'll Find Me
09 - Rock'n Roll Train

Rare Tribute album contributions:
10 - Splitter Pine (DumDum Boys tribute)
11 - Beth (Kiss tribute)

Rare Bonus Tracks:
12 - Wings of Steel (Always Japan bonus track)
13 - Love Don't Bother Me (Always Japan bonus track)
14 - Lawyers, Guns & Money (Stories We Could Tell new track)
15 - Hard To Say Goodbye (Stories We Could Tell new track)

Rare CDsingle "Love", 1993
01 - Love
02 - Siamese
03 - Wonder Land

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STONELAKE - Thunder And Rain (2018)

STONELAKE - Thunder And Rain (2018) full

Swedish melodic hard rockers STONELAKE are releasing their new studio album "Thunder And Rain", their first for MelodicRock Records. Founded by Jan Akesson (S.A.Y., Jan Akesson’s Shadow Rain) the band has grown in all aspects, but essentially, they turned much more Melodic Hard Rock oriented adding keyboards, soaring harmonies and a very polished sound to their music.

Indeed, previous Stonelake style combined modern Euro Hard Rock and classic Melodic Metal, and now, while still retaining a set of high octane guitar riffs and a pounding rhythm section, everything is totally Melodic Hard Rock oriented. The band even changed its logo.

To give you a quick idea, just check below the video-track of opener and title track 'Thunder and Rain', some kind of a mix between Yngwie Malmasteen / Joe Lynn Turner circa 1988 and Eighties TNT. Killer stuff.

Follower 'Hold On To You' is another winner with its infectious chorus, 'Dreams' is a superb ballad with great atmospheres, and the sharp 'Sent From Heaven' sounds like lost Axel Rudi Pell track.
'When There Is Love' is classy Scandinavian melodic stuff with swirling guitar riffs and powerful vocals - Peter Grundström does an amazing job all over the CD, while 'Don’t Lose the Faith In Your Heart' is almost 'epic melodic hard', and a very good one.

'Only Shadows' adds some acoustics and 'clean' electric guitars, a song that reminds me the recent S.A.Y. disc, the band where Åkesson and drummer Jens Westberg were involved.
'Where Are You Running' brings a welcomed dose of punchy Scandi AOR (recalling Dalton) with a delicious chorus. 'You Can't Do Wrong' rocks with style (and shades of heavier SHY), while closer 'Waiting For Tonight' is an unexpected Jennifer Lopez cover (!) done in a heavy fashion.

StoneLake were already a really good band, now, with their first album in 5 years and a change of style, they are even better. The Melodic Hard Rock groove and melodies suit these guys perfectly, resulting in punchy slab of rockin' Scandi magic.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Thunder and Rain
02 - Hold On To You
03 - Dreams
04 - Sent From Heaven
05 - When There Is Love
06 - Don’t Lose the Faith In Your Heart
07 - Only Shadows
08 - Where Are You Running
09 - You Can't Do Wrong
10 - Red Sun
11 - Waiting For Tonight (Jennifer Lopez cover)

Peter Grundström - Vocals (Kee Avenue, Whitelight)
Jan Åkesson - Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals (S.A.Y.)
Lasse Johansson - Bass (Jan Åkesson's Shadow Rain)
Jens Westberg - Drums (Jan Åkesson's Shadow Rain, S.A.Y.)



CHEAP TRICK - Greatest Hits ~ Japanese Single Collection ~ [Blu-spec CD2] (2018)

CHEAP TRICK - Greatest Hits ~ Japanese Single Collection ~ [Blu-spec CD2] (2018) full

This just released "CHEAP TRICK - Greatest Hits ~ Japanese Single Collection ~" pressed on high quality Blu-spec CD2 includes all the tracks from their singles released in Japan in their Epic Records era (1977-1990).
The track list is done in order of their release dates, and they are the US original versions, featuring a fresh 2017 DSD remastering.
The Japanese Bonus Track is the rare single version of 'Ain't That A Shame (Live At Budokan).

All songs are classic stuff, and it's great to hear the older material - and of course Mighty Wings (Top Gun soundtrack) - freshly remastered with a superb sound.
A Must Have

01 - I Want You To Want Me
02 - Clock Strikes Ten
03 - Surrender
04 - California Man
05 - Voices
06 - Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace
07 - Dream Police
08 - Everything Works If You Let It
09 - Stop This Game
10 - (Love Comes) A-Tumblin' Down
11 - If You Want My Love
12 - Dancing The Night Away
13 - Tonight It's You
14 - Mighty Wings (Top Gun soundtrack)
15 - The Flame
16 - Don't Be Crue
17 - Stop That Thief (Another Way soundtrack)
18 - Ghost Town
19 - Can't Stop Fallin' Into Love
20 - Wherever Would I Be
Japan Bonus Track:
21 - Ain't That A Shame (Live At Budokan, Single Version)

Robin Zander – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Rick Nielsen – lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Tom Petersson – bass, backing vocals
Bun E. Carlos – drums, backing vocals

CHEAP TRICK - Greatest Hits ~ Japanese Single Collection ~ [Blu-spec CD2] (2018) - back



AMERICAN TEARS (Mark Mangold) - Hard Core (2018)

AMERICAN TEARS (Mark Mangold) - Hard Core (2018) full

Superb keyboardist Mark Mangold (Touch, Drive She Said) has resurrected his very first band AMERICAN TEARS for a new album titled "Hard Core" released by Escape Music on physical CD only.
American Tears first surfaced in the Seventies and were a power trio focused around the keyboards of Mangold, who is the sole remaining original member on this album, and indeed the only musician playing all the keys and drums.

American Tears made three albums before morphing into AOR / melodic rock favorites Touch.
For this album Mark Mangold wanted to capture the progressive sound and style of American Tears origins, using for the recording only keyboards available in the '70s - analog synthesizers, Moog, Hammond, etc.
Lovers of Seventies prog and pomptastic bombast will certainly enjoy the music on here.

‘The Ferryman’ is the nearest the album gets to his other bands Touch and Drive She Said (the lyric even mentions silver white which was a Drive, She Said song) sound, making for a classy piece of AOR.
‘Fyre’ is the only song to feature a guest musician, Jake E on backing vocals. The organ and keys playing are top notch on this one and throughout the album. Just check out 'Lords of Light' for some spacey / alien like synths galore.
'Bottoms Up' is another favorite, plenty of runs and twist here and there.
Mangold sings with a lot of emphasis on all tracks, sometimes in some kind of a duel with his keyboard arsenal.

You could argue this is a Mark Mangold solo album, however the music remains faithful to the band’s original remit of keyboards led rock and the American Tears’ sound was built around the keyboards of Mark.
’Hard Core’ will surprise and delight fans of Mangold, keyboard driven rock, and of course American Tears devotee who would have rightly thought that this band were consigned to the musical history books.
Highly Recommended

01 - Hard Core
02 - Carnivore
03 - Lost in Time
04 - Fyre
05 - Smoke and Mirrors
06 - The Ferryman
07 - Nuclear
08 - Tear Gas
09 - Lords of Light
10 - Deplorable
11 - Bottoms Up
12 - At Last

Mark Mangold - Keys, synths, drums, bass and vocals
Jake E - Backing Vocals (4)



KANE'D - Show Me Your Skeleton (2018)

KANE'D - Show Me Your Skeleton (2018) full

We were quite impressed by Swansea (Wales) outfit KANE'D previous album, and now the band is back with the new CD "Show Me Your Skeleton". In case you haven't heard of them, Kane'd are a 7 piece fronted by three sisters; Stephanie, Stacey and Chez Kane (yeah, 3 vocalists).

With total control of their art - the album is self released - Kane'd creates an extremely well done approach to modern hard rock. They are not inventing any new genres, but they are providing 11 well crafted songs that would be well suited on modern rock radio with the ability to crossover to mainstream stations as well. And traditional hard rock fans will enjoy this as well.
Vocals are provided by the three Kane sisters who are incredible throughout the album with each doing the lead at times and creating some terrific harmonies together.

‘Invidia’ begins with some dark guitar notes before quickly picking up the pace with the lead vocal given cool effects in the verses while the chorus burrows into the head.
The title track follows next and is just an ideal single for me. There is a huge hook to it that would play well at radio, and it must be said that this album sounds like it was done by a major label with a big budget.
‘I Won’t Bite’ continues the hard rock bliss and overcomes the lyrical clichés through the spot on execution of the song. The bass is a growling beast in this song and the drums thunderous.

The band slow things with ‘Don’t Turn On the Lights’ being another early favorite from the album. The chorus is extremely catchy and features some great harmonies showcasing the mix on the album really shines with this being a clear example where there are some cool touches under the verses. Harry Scott Elliott has outdone himself as the producer and on the lead guitar and bass.

‘I Do What I Want’ turns up the hard rock again and shows a band that can take an AOR approach to another level by injecting some more aggression into the music and giving some attitude to the vocals. I'm freaked out by some kind of The Exorcist sounds at the start of the song. This is a devil-may-care frolic of a track, which also closes with that freaky tinkling exorcist theme.

‘Reckless’ marks the halfway point of the album and actually reminds me a little of a modern version of late '90s Ratt with a very different vocal approach. Elliott shines on the six-strings and would be an up and coming guitar god if this were a few decades ago.

'Hey Hello' - wow, I really love those riffs with a massive hook and an awesome pre-chorus that pulls me in every time. The Kane sisters blend their voices perfectly on the harmonies and throughout the lead vocals.
'Never Surrender’ delivers more crunch with an '80s edge, a heavier beat, and the sisters nailing the higher notes with ease. The end of the album approaches with the aggressive ‘Sin’ featuring even more excellent guitar work starting the final trio of songs, and I want to give a shout out to Josh Raw who provides rhythm guitar throughout and some lead guitar work here and on the aforementioned ‘Reckless.’

KANE'D - Show Me Your Skeleton (2018) inside

'Angry' is exactly that. Passionately delivered, maintains the punch with a really cool transition into a fist in the air chorus. This is a great running track.
The album comes to a close with the excellent ‘I’ll Bring You Home’ being another standout. The balladistic verses contrast perfectly with the power in the pre-choruses and choruses. In the slow moments it's some kind of epic, and when explodes even feels like a hair-metal tune, with flashy guitars, soaring vocals and lots of charisma.

Doing everything by themselves, Kane’d have self-released an album that can take the band to another level, and I would love to see them garner a support slot on a bigger tour so that more people can hear the talent in this band. For some, the immediate draw might be the singing by the Kane sisters while others will be drawn to the guitar prowess of Harry Scott Elliott.
They bring a fresh sound to the typically male-dominated stage. Never make the mistake of thinking that female singers lack power or only perform ballads as these girls do not.
"Show Me Your Skeleton" is a really strong release, modern, but rocking as hell.
Highly Recommended

01 - Invidia
02 - Show Me Your Skeleton
03 - I Won't Bite
04 - Don't Turn On The Lights
05 - I Do What I Want
06 - Reckless
07 - Hey, Hello
08 - Never Surrender
09 - Sin
10 - Angry
11 - I'll Bring You Home

Stephanie, Stacey and Chez Kane: vocals
Harry Scott Elliott: guitars, bass
George Elliott: drums
Josh Raw: guitar
Jack Davies: bass



Monday, April 23, 2018

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases April-May 2018 - Vol.4

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases April-May 2018 - Vol.4 full

Spring is here, and new singles from upcoming released appear to our delight.
British melodic rock wonders VEGA will release their fifth studio album, 'Only Human', on May 11th via Frontiers Music. The band self-produced the record, but teamed up with legendary Canadian musician and producer Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) for the mixing and mastering to bring their fans another gem of a release. Another great single has surfaced, titled "All Over Now".

Legendary British rockers PRAYING MANTIS will release their 11th studio album, "Gravity", on May 11 via Frontiers Music. The new single is the disc's opening track, "Keep It Alive".
Norwegian hard rockers TNT have released a new song called "Get Ready For Some Hard Rock". The track is taken from their upcoming studio album, "XIII", due on June 8 via Frontiers Music. This is a cool rocking advanced track as a teaser and a 'message' to rockers all over the world.

Also from Norway, melodic rock act BIG CITY will release their new album ‘Big City Life‘ via Roar! / Rock Of Angels Records soon, and are presenting the first single “From This Day“. The band's debut, ‘Wintersleep‘ (featured on this blog) was released by themselves not so long ago, and will be re-released by the label as well. Very nice stuff.

Mr. Robby VALENTINE has his new album ready, and as advance we have the CDsingle "Soldiers of Light". This is a limited edition: only 100 copies printed, and this 'Soldiers of Light (radio edit)' version is exclusive to this CDsingle - the album version is different.

Michael Schinkel's ETERNAL FLAME have presented the song ‘Queen Of The Hill‘, taken from their third album ‘Smoke On The Mountain‘, to be out on May 18th, 2018 via ROAR! / Rock Of Angles Records. The album includes 13 tracks, featuring Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, Ring of Fire) and Göran Edman (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, John Norum) on vocals. Despite the band's neoclassical style, the song is pretty melodic hard rock oriented.

One of the most interesting American bands appeared this decade, TAKING DAWN, released a superb album several years ago (featured at 0dayrox) then disappeared. They are back, working in a new album, and the properly titled advance 'Just a Taste' is a very good rocker.

The unmistakable voice from one of the most loved hard rock bands of the early 1990s is returning this spring. JIZZY PEARL of LOVE/HATE is back with his new solo album, "All You Need Is Soul". This highly anticipated studio release will be made available May 11 via Frontiers Music Srl. 'High for an Eye' is the fresh single.

“Victorious” is the first single off SEVENTH WONDER’s new studio album 'Tiara', to be released on October 12th. I love these Swedes music, truly progressive metal greats
Swedish melodic hard rockers STONELAKE will release soon their new studio album ‘Thunder And Rain’. Founded by Jan Akesson (S.A.Y., Jan Akesson’s Shadow Rain) the band has grown in all aspects judging the very good melodious track 'When There Is Love'.

Amanda Somerville returns with a new TRILLIUM album, entitled 'Tectonic', on June 8th. "Time To Shine" is the first advance, much more melodic than the previous efforts, and I like it.
Melodic hard rockers ROX DIAMOND are back, with their new album ‘Let The Music Do The Talkin“ to be released by Lions Pride Music on May 28th. “Lonely Without You“ is the first advance and I like what I hear.

Influenced by great rock bands of both the past and present, THE BRINK bring new life and energy
to today’s scene with their vibrant 21st Century form of balls-to-the-wall Rock N’ Roll. Following two self-released EP’s, they signed to Frontiers Music and have been recording a debut album with producer Nick Tauber (Thin Lizzy, UFO, Marillion) for release next Autumn. Check out the rocking advance 'Little Janie'.

For decades, cult US metallers LIZZY BORDEN has been one of theatrical rock’s top acts. And on June 15th, Borden will issue his first album in 11 years, 'My Midnight Things', via Metal Blade Records. With the first hard n’ heavy advance (title track), the extends their desire to rock and shock.

01 - Vega - All Over Now
02 - TNT - Get Ready for Some Hard Rock
03 - Praying Mantis - Keep It Alive
04 - Big City - From This Day
05 - Valentine - Soldiers of Light (radio edit)
06 - Rox Diamond - Lonely Without You
07 - Michael Schinkel's Eternal Flame - Queen of the Hill
08 - Taking Dawn - Just a Taste
09 - Jizzy Pearl - High for an Eye
10 - Seventh Wonder - Victorious
11 - StoneLake - When There Is Love
12 - Amanda Somerville's Trillium - Time to Shine
13 - The Brink - Little Janie
14 - Lizzy Borden - My Midnight Things

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JETBONE - Come Out And Play (2018)

JETBONE - Come Out And Play (2018) full

"Come Out And Play" is the just released new album from the dynamically named rockers JETBONE, their first on a major label.
Founded in December 2011 Jetbone hail from Sundsvall, Sweden, and wear their influences very firmly on their sleeves, this is classic rock / funky rock at its very best.

Jetbone sounds as if they’ve been listening to their parent’s LP record collection for years. They’ve stepped into the studio with strong enough material to record an album full of real swagger and exuberant musical twists and turns.
The band features two songwriting vocalists; bass player Gurten Sjödin and guitarist Alin Riabouchkin, whose contrasting phrasing brings light and shade to the band’s collective intensity.
They sparkle on expansive arrangements, catchy hooks, booming vocals and scintillating playing that contributes to, rather than dominates the songs.

Jetbone tear into each song with a real ferocity to suggest this is a one shot deal. The album derives its coherence from a rich production by Martin Karlegard and mix by legendary Stefan Glaumann (Backyard Babies).
Both the band and Karlegard place a high emphasis on a layered wall of sound and salient vocals, as evidenced by the funky groove of opener title track ‘Come Out and Play’ with some early Aerosmith swagger on it as well.

At times they explore a good old fashioned rock and roll vibe, but Jetbone is a broad musical church that brings together hard rock, blues, funk and soul with total commitment.
As example, on the smooth melodic-rocky 'It's So Hard' I hear some Eagles harmonies with that sunny, feel-good California sound. Love this tune, one of the highlights on this CD.
'Chickadee' add a lot of soul to the proceedings, but still the riffs rock hard, and the band are able to create great ballads as well as heard on 'Road In The Sky' with pianos, acoustics and deep vocals.

Clocking at only 2:21 minutes 'Lady' captivates with classic hard rock riffs, some kind of a mix between Led Zeppelin II and the more modern approach of The Answer.

JETBONE - Come Out And Play (2018) back

The first bars of 'Not A Fool To Cry' immediately brings to mind Lynyrd Skynyrd updated to 2018 with sweet bluesy melodies, while 'Don't Hold Me Back' rocks again with funky riffs and organ all over.

With their youthful age (the youngest just turned 21) and their true classic rock spirit Jetbone is just another proof that true rock n' roll is not dead.
Strong songs and a vital production makes this "Come Out And Play" a winner, ready to conquer the world thanks to a major recording label distribution.
No, timeless classic rock isn't dead yet.
Highly Recommended

01 - Come Out and Play
02 - Are You Ready?
03 - It's So Hard
04 - Chickadee
05 - Road in the Sky
06 - Lady
07 - Twisted Company
08 - Not a Fool to Cry
09 - Don't Hold Me Back
10 - Make This Song Together

Gurten Sjödin - Vocals, Bass
Alin Riabouchkin - Vocals, Guitar
Sebastian Engberg - Guitar
Rasmus Fors - Keys
Albin Linder - Drums



Sunday, April 22, 2018

GUARDIAN - First Watch [RetroActive Legends Remastered +2] (2018)

GUARDIAN - First Watch [RetroActive Legends Remastered +2] (2018) full

GUARDIAN is been a household name in Christian hard rock and metal circles contemporaries with Stryper and Whitecross, debuting in 1989 with this properly titled "First Watch". This Retroactive Records reissue has been freshly remastered by Rob Colwell of Bombworks Sound and features 2 rare and hard to find bonus tracks - the fist recorded by the band while still unsigned - produced by John and Dino Elefante (Kansas / Mastedon).

"First Watch" is the first official album of Guardian, released in 1989 by Enigma Records and produced by Stryper's guitarist, Oz Fox, who also contribute backing vocals.
This is the only album of the band to feature former members Paul Cawley (vocals) - later replaced by Jamie Rowe - and Rikk Hart (drums). Both left the band after the tour supporting this album.

Guardian‘s debut album "First Watch" was one of those Christian-based releases that really stood out back in the day. Following on the coat tails of bands like Stryper, this release found a warm reception amongst many fans of the style that seemed to blend both a Glam and Hair Metal influence with edgy Hard Rock / US metal.
To this day, it is still considered one of the more important releases in the Christian Rock and US Metal movements, and there are plenty out there that still remember some of the catchier and heavier tracks on here, and for good reason.

The album starts off great with the well done hard rockers “I’ll Never Leave You” and “Mystery Man” to appeal the mainstream hard rock audience. Both are among the best tracks off the entire release with opener being catchy enough that you’ll wind up singing the simple chorus to yourself over and over.
“Livin’ For The Promise” is a straightforward and mid-paced hard rocker with crunchy guitars, followed by “Miracles”, a classic '80s lighter-in-the-air power ballad filled with abundant harmonies.
“Saint’s Battalion” is heavy but melodic, a stylishly mid-paced rocker with very good guitar work and nice keyboards.

Three-minute arena metal anthem “Kingdom Of Rock” rocks with hyper-accelerated guitar riffs and intense low-end bass underpinnings. Great song where the guitar tones reflect some bluesy qualities.
Speaking of the bluesy hard riffs, “The Good Life” revels in it alongside the group's spotless vocal melodies, coalesce to make an infectious statement. All the while Cawley shines with his signature classic tenor charismatic vocal abilities.

“One Of A Kind” in contrast kicks up quite the storm with its Van Halen style party flair and loads of catchy rhythms. Here some of the album's biggest hooks rise to the surface and stand alongside pristine furbishing in the form of acoustic layers and atmospheric keyboards.
“World Without Love” proves a guitar harmony driven monster. Tony Palacios puts on a literal clinic throughout the song, as his churning riffs helps fortify the plodding verses.

“Rock In Victory” is another favorite, a melodic metal anthem front to back, with headlong guitars and keyed up rhythm section setting the irrefutable tone and copious vocal melodies lending a brightening (if not outright commercial) effect. Play this one loud as possible for maximum impact.

“Hyperdrive” pay tribute to the group’s space metal early indie days, as found in not only its science fiction themed title but also spacey keyboard arrangements. I particularly enjoy the closing lead guitar duel between Palacios and Stryper's Oz Fox, of which the latter gets the best of the deal.
“Marching On” moves at the more forward tempo, with its catchy hooks to spare and ample portions of guitar driven muscle turning it into another Guardian favorite. Of note is how Cawley lends an element of lower register grit to his delivery.

GUARDIAN - First Watch [RetroActive Legends Remastered +2] (2018) inside

The bonus tracks were recorded before the "First Watch" sessions, produced by John and Dino Elefante. “Spiritual Warfare” also touches upon space metal leanings, as an out of this world keyboard solo at the start and 'alien' sound effects complement galloping rhythms and shouted backing vocals to create a near classic.
“Marching On ['87 version]” does not differ significantly from its "First Watch" counterpart other than Cawley sings in a smoother classic tenor style instead. Besides, the song is so good it deserves inclusion twice.

"First Watch" put Guardian on the mainstream US hard rock map, plenty of well composed rocking tunes. Another plus going for this one is that the songs aren’t preachy, which is something very hard to find when it comes to any recordings that are based solely on Christianity, so you can take the songs as they are, or with your own perception of how the tracks are being presented lyrically.
This RetroActive Legends Remastered reissue sounds great, featuring the original cover art and two worthy, collectible bonus tracks.
Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - I'll Never Leave You
02 - Mystery Man
03 - Livin' For The Promise
04 - Miracle
05 - Saints Batallion
06 - Kingdom of Rock
07 - The Good Life
08 - One of A Kind
09 - World Without Love
10 - Rock In Victory
11 - Hyperdrive
12 - Marching On
13 - Spiritual Warfare
14 - Marching On ['87 version]

Paul Cawley - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Tony Palacios - Guitars, Backing Vocals
David Bach - Bass, Backing Vocals
Rikk Hart - Drums
guest musicians:
Brent Jeffers - keyboards
Leslie Fox - backing vocals in "The Good Life"
Oz Fox (Stryper) - backing vocals and guitar solo in "Hyperdrive"
Robert Sweet (Stryper) - backing vocals in "Hyperdrive"



GUARDIAN - Fire And Love [RetroActive Legends Remastered +1] (2017)

GUARDIAN - Fire And Love [RetroActive Legends Remastered +1] (2017) full

Freshly remastered from the original tapes, at the very end of past year RetroActive Records released "Fire And Love", GUARDIAN's finest moment, including an exclusive bonus track.

The second release from Guardian was something of a breakthrough for the band.
After being dropped from the Enigma label, they found a new lead vocalist in former Tempest singer Jamie Rowe and was signed to Pakaderm Records, the imprint label of the production sibling duo John & Dino Elefante (Kansas, Mastedon).
Fine songwriting, of course, also helps take things to the next level from how "Fire And Love" features 10 equally good songs characterized by ‘big guitars, big hooks and (and even bigger) choruses’ (as taken from the group's press material).

Nowhere does Guardian better exemplify this than on opening cut “Power Of Love”, a classic melodic hard rocker in which a ton of groove laden bass (courtesy of David Bach) and gritty guitar riffs (credit Tony Palacios) touch upon equal parts commercial and driving. Great, great song in which the group recorded a music video (I am uncertain if it ever aired on MTV).

“Send A Message” maintains the commercial leanings but in the more up-tempo package.bExuding buoyant energy front to back, the song paints the backdrop with some keyboards. Palacios literally melts the fret board with one of his trademark inspired guitar solos.

“Time Stands Still” tempers impetus with its airy mid-paced AOR qualities. Guitars might settle somewhat in the backend while keyboards play the more forthright role, with emphasis on the hook driven asserts. Standing out every bit much are the groups graceful backing vocals not to mention Rowe, whose gravelly delivery shines within a lighter musical framework.

Guardian can do the ballad thing as well as anyone, and such is the case with “Forever And A Day”. This one slows impetus even further, as keyboards play a more prominent role as does acoustic guitar (but not to a fault either way), while the eloquent lead guitar enhance the stirring atmosphere at hand. Of note is how the pronounced low-end makes “Forever And A Day” come across heavier than it actually is.

The album returns to upbeat hard rock territory on “Takin’ On The World”. This one kicks in to full on momentum from the get go, with a ton of heartfelt groove and dogged guitars (again, noting the Bach and Palacios partnership) allowing for a heavier edge but not without the silky Guardian backing vocals providing a smoother touch.

The album scintillating title track ensues and further play up the melodic hard rock qualities, albeit in not quite the same effervescent framework. The group’s penchant for catchy hooks and decisive energy, nonetheless, remains unchallenged, as does its inherent sense of the radio friendly.
Which leads to the question at hand: where was FM radio back in the day? Perhaps playing too much ‘hair metal’, while criminally overlooking an album in Fire And Love chock full of choice material deserving airplay.

“Turnaround” returns things to an up-tempo form. By far the album's heaviest track - the big background vocal driven refrain proves near mesmerizing in heightening energy levels further.
Slowing things to a mid-paced romp is “Time And Time Again”, bottom heavy and melancholy but accessible all the same, the song drips with emotion in switching between its elevated first chorus and darker and more resonant second. In the end, what we have is as fine a deep cut you will find that helps make a great album even better.

Speaking of which, “The Rain” is one of the highlights as the group's digs deep to take the bluesy aspects to the next level.
Final ballad “Never Say Goodbye” closes the album. As with everything here, Guardian performs it with a ton of class as acoustic guitar and hints of slide guitar convey the song its lush distance.

Extra track “Take Up Your Cross” - a studio song recorded shortly after Guardian signed with Pakaderm Records - is neither a muddy demo or second rate bonus track.
Rather, it is an album worthy blues based worship rocker upheld acoustically with ample does of harmonica and clasping hands.

GUARDIAN - Fire And Love [RetroActive Legends Remastered +1] (2017) back

Production might have been quite good to begin with, but the RetroActive remastering takes things to the next level. As is often the case with re-releases to older albums, volume levels increase to align with that of modern records with the upshot that much more detail standing out in the background.
Keyboards now comes across better defined, while same applies for acoustic guitar (on the two ballads) and bass (entire album). Guitars deliver added punch in terms of the foreground.

"Fire And Love" (1990) is considered by many to be Guardian’s finest release, and for good reason. Jamie Rowe brought a new level to the vocals, bringing the songs a strength I doubt the previous singer could have.
Featuring some fantastic crank-’em-in-the-car melodic hard rockers in the vein of GIANT, WINGER and FIREHOUSE this is a must listen for every melodic rock lover.

Exclusive - Only at 0dayrox

01 - Power of Love
02 - Send a Message
03 - Time Stands Still
04 - Forever and a Day
05 - Takin' On the World
06 - Fire and Love
07 - Turnaround
08 - Time and Time Again
09 - The Rain
10 - Never Say Goodbye
11 - Take Up Your Cross

Jamie Rowe - Lead and Backing Vocals
Tony Palacios - Guitars, Backing Vocals
David Bach - Bass, Backing Vocals
Karl Ney - Drums



JK NORTHRUP & DAVID CAGLE - That’s Gonna Leave A Mark (2018)

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

"That’s Gonna Leave A Mark" is the debut from the collaboration project JK NORTHRUP & DAVID CAGLE between guitarist JK Northrup (King Kobra) and vocalist David Cagle (Liberty N 'Justice) featuring some well known names from the Melodic Rock field such as Eric Ragno (First Signal, Dante Fox), Larry Hart (Montrose, King Kobra), Steve Brown (Montrose), Gunnar Nelson, Kelly Keeling, and more.

An interesting match-up here as guitarist JK Northrup is well known to hard rock fans for his work with King Kobra, Paul Shortino et al, however vocalist David Cagle will be a new name for some people, having recorded vocals for Liberty N 'Justice. And boy does he have a rocking good voice.
Joining these two are Larry Hart (bass), Steve Brown (drums and younger brother of Dokken drummer Mick) and Eric Ragno (keyboards).
The album was started back in 2014 but for various reasons hasn’t been completed and released until now.

Plenty of great rock to be had on here, from the opener ‘The Night Is Mine’ with its distinct classic hard rock feel and for those after a decent ballad look no further than ‘I Found You’.
Album closer ‘Chasing Ghosts’ is another top notch ballad, with sweet keyboard work from Ragno - he adds a modern feel with his keys on ‘Gone’ as well.

On the title track Steve Brown shows his skills with some great beats, whilst ‘For Sure Thing’ is an instant melodic rock hit on the ears, with Cagle’s vocals recalling Foreigner’s Lou Gramm.
Bit of a curveball on ‘Siren’ which has a funky groove, although the chorus again brings Foreigner to mind. On this one Larry Hart impresses with syncopated bass runs.

JK NORTHRUP and DAVID CAGLE - That’s Gonna Leave A Mark (2018)

JK Northrup keeps the old riffs coming throughout the rockier moments and plays a couple of sublime solos. The good thing is he never overdoes any solo and keeps it short ‘n’ sweet for good effect.
An entertaining melodic rock debut and hopefully we will hear a lot more from David Cagle.
Strongly Recommended

01 - The Night Is Mine
02 - Gone
03 - The Moment
04 - Can't
05 - Sting of Her Kiss
06 - Another Goodbye
07 - Honeymoon Is Over
08 - That's Gonna Leave a Mark
09 - For Sure Thing
10 - Siren
11 - Forever Starts Tonight
12 - Chasing Ghosts

JK Northrup (guitars, backing vocals)
David Cagle (vocals)
Larry Hart (bass)
Steve Brown (drums)
Eric Ragno (keyboards)
Gunnar Nelson - backing vocal on Forever Starts Tonight
Richard Kendrick - backing vocal on Can't
Kelly Keeling - backing vocal on For Sure Thing
DanZoid - drums on That's Gonna Leave A Mark



Saturday, April 21, 2018

RAIN OR SHINE - Seize The Night (2018)

RAIN OR SHINE - Seize The Night (2018) full

A new promising Melodic Rock act is coming out from Greece; RAIN OR SHINE, with their debut CD "Seize The Night" to be released by Lions Pride Music next April 27, 2018, presented in exclusive at 0dayrox.
The band put out the album by themselves some time ago, but now gets a proper international physical CD distribution plus a previously unreleased bonus track.

Seems that part of the globe is a fertile land for Melodic Rock / AOR groups molded in the classic sound of the genre, as recently heard from acts such as Wild Rose, Farraday, Kingdragon or Andy Rock.
Add Rain Or Shine to that list, as these guys have the talent for big things...
Actually, Rain Or Shine is the brainchild of musician, producer and sound engineer Steve S.R. who played in several underground Greek bands like Perfume and Backstage Love for the last ten years.
But one year ago, Steve decided to write his first own whole album.

Apart from his finely modulated lead vocals (very good English), Steve S.R. did everything from rhythm & lead guitars, bass and pianos to the synthesizers which are always all over these melodic songs.
The good thing is that on the entire album there are real drums played by bandmate Andy R. McCormick who also provided percussion and programming.

What we find on "Seize The Night" is pure late '80s / early '90 sounding Melodic Rock with Hard Rock / AOR touches, mostly crafted with an European sound in mind.
Skagarack, early Bonfire, Da Vinci, and alike come to mind listening these ultra catchy songs like the hook-laden riff of opener "Fool's Paradise", the pulsating bass lines / keys of "It's a Crime" (adorned with excellent female backing vocals during the chorus) or the AORish "Heartbreak".
I hear some Europe and perhaps some Gary Hughes / Ten on the awesome groove of "Believe", then title track "Seize The Night" gets harder yet melodious as hell, same as "All That Really Matters".

"Spell I'm Under" is not a Winger cover, but a great midtempo melodic rocker which turns AOR during the highly harmonized chorus (again with effective female backing vocals).
Yes, of course, we have ballads; "Don't Go" is an elegant, acoustic / electric guitar filled tune orchestrated by beautiful keyboards, and "Don't Give Up" is the vehicle for Steve S.R. to showcase his talents just with piano, background synths and his lead vocals, although there's a short electric guitar solo near the end.

RAIN OR SHINE - Seize The Night (2018) inside

Rain Or Shine has delivered and incredibly effective record on "Seize The Night". Evidently, Steve S.R. not only knows how to write & arrange a pure Melodic Rock tune in the classic style, he also is a very good producer / sound engineer as the sound of "Seize The Night" is bright and dynamic.
Let's hope Steve S.R. assemble a full band soon and start to play live, as all the songs on this CD deserve to be cranked at big venues.
Fans of classic Melodic Rock / AOR, I strongly advise you; don't miss Rain Or Shine's "Seize The Night".
Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Fool's Paradise
02 - It's a Crime
03 - Believe
04 - Heartbreak
05 - Seize The Night
06 - Don't Go
07 - Spell I'm Under
08 - Don't Give Up
09 - All That Really Matters
10 - Believe (Acoustic Bonus Track)

Steve S.R. - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Synths
Andy R. McCormick - Drums, Percussion



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