Sunday, December 10, 2017

KENNY LOGGINS - Vox Humana [AOR CITY Series 2017 - remastered +2] EXCLUSIVE

KENNY LOGGINS - Vox Humana [AOR CITY Series 2017 - remastered +2] full

Last year we featured some titles from the great Sony Music Japan campaign AOR CITY 1000, a low-priced remastered reissue on 100 classic AOR / AC albums from their back catalog, many of them out of print or hard to find. Now the label has presented AOR CITY Series Vol.2 2017, new 100 classic albums available for a limited period of time until the end of 2018.
There's some little gems in these new series such a this KENNY LOGGINS "Vox Humana", a lovely melodic album with that unmistakable mid-80s sound & production.

After Loggins & Messina, KENNY LOGGINS solo carreer explored a mix of styles ranging from R&B / funk to Westcoast smooth poppy AOR.
But then, the dividing point for Kenny was, naturally, Footloose, the blockbuster 1984 hit that helped turn him into something of a teen sensation at the age of 36, and with the assistance of Michael Omartian and David Foster, he dove headfirst into synthesizers, radio-ready rock&pop / lite AOR, hugely layered backing vocals and chicken-scratch guitars.

With a polished, crystal clear production, KENNY LOGGINS released "Vox Humana" (Latin phrase meaning "human voice") in 1985, including the who's who in the recording sessions, such as Toto's Steve Lukather, David Paich & Steve Porcaro, top AOR guitar players Tim Pierce and Michael Landau, bass guitar monster Nathan East, Mr. Mister's Richard Page on harmony vocals and the stellar cast continues.

AOR Music 40th Anniversary AOR CITY 1000

"No Lookin' Back" and "Let There Be Love" are two high spirited tunes with that classic R&B foundation yet with a commercial patina, while "I'll Be There" and the sensual "Loraine" are flat out '80s styled lite AOR tunes with some great pumping basslines, sweet guitar work and Loggin's soulful vocal instrument working the tunes on every end of the spectrum helped by a star backing vocalists.

Occasionally, he tossed a glance back to the his previous Westcoast -- "I'm Gonna Do It Right" is a nice Michael McDonald song, just given a tight sequencing; "At Last" also contains similar shimmering soft echoes -- but a good chunk of "Vox Humana" is bombastic and uptempo bright.

KENNY LOGGINS - Vox Humana [AOR CITY Series 2017 - remastered +2] BACK

The original CD edition of "Vox Humana" suffered from a poor digital transfer with a very low sound signal. This remaster finally makes justice to the album: compared to the 1985 release and 2008 Wounded Bird CDs, the difference is immediate and profoundly noticable.
Additionally, it's nice to have for the first time the previously unreleased on CD two tracks from the Caddyshack movie soundtrack as bonus tracks.

This is you chance to get a Japanese remastered edition of this true '80s album remastered with a pristine sound and now sold at a really affordable price. The sound quality and manufacturing is excellent.
HIGHLY Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

Sony Music Japan ~ 【SICP-5486-CD】
A O R C I T Y 1000 VOL 2

01 - Vox Humana
02 - No Lookin' Back
03 - Let There Be Love
04 - I'll Be There
05 - I'm Gonna Do It Right
06 - Forever
07 - At Last
08 - Loraine
09 - Love Will Follow
10 - Lead The Way (from the movie Caddyshack)
11 - Make The Move (from the movie Caddyshack)

Lead vocals: Kenny Loggins
Guest Lead Vocals: Sheena Easton (track 5)
Guitars: Kenny Loggins, Tim Pierce, Michael Landau, Paul Jackson, Jr., Steve Lukather, David Williams
Keyboards, synthesizers: Michael Omartian, David Foster, Randy Kerber, Neil Larsen, Steve Wood, Michael Boddicker, Greg Phillinganes, Randy Waldman, David Paich, Steve Porcaro, Bo Tomlyn
Bass guitar: Nathan East
Drums: Tris Imboden, John "JR" Robinson, Michael Baird
Percussion: Paulinho da Costa, Sheila E
Saxophone: David Sanborn
String arrangement: Jeremy Lubbock (track 5)
Backing vocals: Richard Page, Steve George, El Debarge, Hamish Stuart, Sheena Easton, Marilyn Martin (track 9), Donna McDaniel, The Pointer Sisters, Philip Bailey, Carl Anderson, Carl Caldwell, Howard Hewett



MORIAH - Moriah EP + Mirror Man [2-CD digitally remastered reissue]

MORIAH - Moriah EP + Mirror Man [2-CD digitally remastered reissue] (2016) full

Easily among of the best US Melodic Hard Rock indie releases from the beginning of the '90s, both MORIAH albums "Moriah EP" & "Mirror Man" have been digitally remastered & released by the band themselves in a 2-CD set.

Formed in 1986 Moriah soon became very popular in the upstate NY region during the late '80s / early '90s. In 1991 the band released a self-titled 5 song EP, including the power ballad 'Sun Always Shines' which soon became a staple for local airplay in Rochester, NY, and wound up on the stations top 50 most requested songs of that year.

But Moriah main sound was the US Melodic Hard Rock style so popular in the era, influenced by Night Ranger, XYZ, Warrant, Lynch Mob and alike.
The rest of the tracks from the EP are in this style, like the punchy 'Hit And Run', 'Bleeding Heart' with subtle AOR touches, the solid midtempo 'Billy Raise Your Guns', and the the also midtempo but plenty of energy 'I Need Your Love' including lovely keyboards.

MORIAH - Moriah EP + Mirror Man [2-CD digitally remastered reissue] (2016) discs

In 1993 Moriah released the full length CD "Mirror Man", again with a couple of singles hitting the radio and with the band gaining even more fans and touring all over the US East coast.
With more mature songwriting & arrangements, "Mirror Man" is a bit harder than its predecessor, but still melodic and catchy with great songs like 'Money Talks', 'Lies', the highly melodic 'All Night & Day', and another very good power ballad in 'Dreamin' About You'.

As many bands of this ilk, Moriah split with the change of musical climate in the US. But the band delivered these two stupendous albums which despite its indie origin were really well recorded with a high production standard.

MORIAH - Moriah EP + Mirror Man [2-CD digitally remastered reissue] (2016) back

For years out of print and with rare copies sold for over $100, now both Moriah albums are available in this remastered 2-CD set thanks to ex- band members which decided the re-release due to fans demand.
A great slice of pure late '80s US Melodic Hard Rock. (thanks to Jody for this one!)
Very, Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

DISC 1: Moriah EP remastered
01 - Hit And Run
02 - Bleeding Heart
03 - Sun Always Shines
04 - Billy Raise Your Guns
05 - I Need Your Love

DISC 2: Mirror Man remastered
01 - Money Talks
02 - Mirror Man
03 - Angels & Sinners
04 - Lies
05 - Dreamin' About You
06 - Fight For Your Life
07 - All Night & Day
08 - Nuts & Bolts
09 - Never Far From You
10 - W.A.C. (White American Child)
11 - Hidden Track

Mic Cardone: Vocals
Pete Manuel: Guitars
Curt Allen: Bass
Tom Bittner: Drums
Jeff Koza, Nick Levine: Keyboards



ROBERT PALMER - Riptide [HD Remaster Paper Sleeve LP replica]

ROBERT PALMER - Riptide [HD Remaster Paper Sleeve] download

One of the most underrated artists in popular music, English singer, songwriter & gentleman ROBERT PALMER gained the reputation as something of a maverick. There was no consistent style between his albums, which many put down to his keenness to adapt his musical output to the trends of the time. He has done everything; blues, soul, funk-disco and new wave, but yes, also rock or power rock&pop if you prefer.
Palmer’s 1985 chart topper "Riptide" is his best and most iconic album, and now it's being reissued in an incredible remastered HQ sound Deluxe CD Paper Sleeve Vinyl Replica by the specialized label Culture Factory.

I don't know you, but for me, Palmer's supergroup The Power Station and their debut album released at the very beginning of 1985 still is one of my favorite '80s power rock&pop recordings from that glorious decade.
Coming on the heels of the massive success of The Power Station, "Riptide" (released in November, 1985) packages a similar musical punch whilst giving more prominence to Palmer’s unique vocal sound into a commercial series of mostly rocking songs that seem custom-tailored to be chart hits.
As soon as you hear the album’s signature tune "Addicted To Love", you might as well be on the set of Miami Vice cruising around the sun drench strip in pastel suits and aviator sunglasses.

The Power Station connection threatens to overpower Palmer’s usually more eclectic musical interest, but with that band’s producer/member Bernard Edwards handling production duties and members Andy Taylor and Tony Thompson contributing as well, stylistic similarities were inevitable... and welcomed.
"Flesh Wound" with its squelching staccato guitars and tribal drums indeed sounds like 'Some Like It Hot', and together with the vital "Discipline Of Love" both come straight off the mid '80s production line. And I love it.

ROBERT PALMER - Riptide [HD Remaster Paper Sleeve] CD

However, there are plenty of moments in this disc where Robert shows his versatility. The spare, synclavier heavy, reinterpretation of Earl King’s "Trick Bag" showcases Palmer’s awesome blues voice and makes one question why he didn’t do more of this stuff in his lifetime.
This is neatly juxtaposed by the silky smooth, ultra-yuppie (this pure '80s my friends), slow burner "Get It Through Your Heart" and marvellously betrays his crooner credentials. Another cut full of his innate sense of rhythm comes in the stylized "I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On", where as plus Eddie Martinez (David Lee Roth band) provides a free lesson on how to track down 'dry' percussive pin-up guitars.

If there was ever an album which defined yuppie-dom (with the good and the bad of it) and consequently the pure mid-'80s sounds & stylings, it is this one. "Riptide" showcases the energy, atmosphere and sheer joy of that decade wrapped by an impeccable production.
This Culture Factory limited edition / high quality remastered release (96 kHz / 24 BIT) is the 'state of the art', reproducing meticulously as well all the components of the original LP with authentic gatefold cardboard jacket and paper sleeves.
Yes, to me, this is a must have.

01 - Riptide
02 - Hyperactive
03 - Addicted To Love
04 - Trick Bag
05 - Get It Through Your Heart
06 - I Didn't Mean To Turn You On
07 - Flesh Wound
08 - Discipline Of Love
09 - Riptide (Reprise)

Robert Palmer – Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Drums, Keyboards
Bernard Edwards – Bass, Production
Tony Thompson – Drums
Eddie Martinez – Guitar
Andy Taylor – Guitar (track 3)
Donny Wynn – Drums (tracks 5, 8)
Guy Pratt – Bass (track 8)
Jeff Bova, Wally Badarou Jack Waldman – Keyboards
Lenny Pickett – Horns
Benny Diggs, Fonzi Thornton – Background Vocals (track 3)
Chaka Khan – Vocal Arrangement (track 3)



Saturday, December 9, 2017

NEON ANIMAL - Bring Back Rock 'N' Roll From The Dead (2017) [0dayrox exclusive]

NEON ANIMAL - Bring Back Rock 'N' Roll From The Dead (2017) [0dayrox exclusive] full

We continue bringing to you exclusive releases, this time from a band that needs and deserve major exposure. You just simply can't love when someone title their debut album "Bring Back Rock 'N' Roll From The Dead", the first effort by NEON ANIMAL.
This is what happens when the spirit of Hanoi Rocks, the soul of the Rolling Stones and the swagger of an early Guns N' Roses collides all full-on with a serious dose of attitude.
This London outfit are currently making waves and it's easy to see why on this wonderful album.

NEON ANIMAL envision a world where we’re all young and skinny forever, Marc Bolan’s hair is still a mass of glammy curls, and Guns N’ Roses are still eating hot dogs in a storage space, and the only way to hear the true voice of God is to listen to the Top 20 countdown on the radio.
Will we get there? No. Does this album sound like we could? Yes, it really does, man.

"Bring Back Rock 'N' Roll From The Dead" is sleazy, slinky 70s glitter and 80s glam scrubbed clean with digital zap and flash, and while it’s not exactly reinventing any wheels, it does make ‘em spin and hum majestically.

Every song features a big gooey chorus and rampant guitar heroism, but the pick to click for sheer audacity is the brilliantly titled opener 'I’m Killing Myself & Everyone Is Helping Me'. It is a sleazy n’ roll joy of a song with a hook that will stay in the brain.
The band throws in an unexpected breakdown on the back half of the track and includes a quick solo. I imagine this song kicks off the live show more often than not.

‘Spin’ follows with the band going for a groove, where the lead guitar work by Miguel Martins stands out on this one, as well as the excellent lyrics by lead singer Mark Thorn. There is a section before the solo where I can see future crowds pumping their fist and singing the “hey” for them.
We find some cool acoustic guitar touches throughout the uptempo title track, a pure rocker but with some vintage Cheap Trick on it as well.

I must emphasize that while NEON ANIMAL rocks pretty hard with a glammy / sleazy attitude, their playing, arrangements and production are extremely clean. This is step up by 3 members doing backing / harmony vocals which contribute to the overall melodic delivery.
At times, some of the album’s songs like 'From Hero To Zero' remind me of some eclectic or lesser known tracks that you might find on an Alice Cooper record.

NEON ANIMAL - Bring Back Rock 'N' Roll From The Dead (2017) [0dayrox exclusive] inside

This album rocks, however one of my favorites is the atmospheric (but not a ballad) ‘This Is The End’. Iv K. Lizz shows he is a really clever drummer; Jonathan Gaglione shines on the bass as Martin’s guitar playing is flawless.
This slow haunting six-minute number climbs into the soul and drags the hand to the “repeat” button. The final 90 seconds or so sees the band speed up the pace for a thunderous end.

You should get the picture that I am trying to create here for NEON ANIMAL‘s "Bring Back Rock N Roll From The Dead". The band rocks, the tracklist rocks and you can smell the attitude and authenticity.
All is served with a polished production sound, and at eight songs, the band does not overstay its welcome and leaves this listener wanting for more.
I highly recommend checking these guys out live if they are playing near you, as well as taking some time to check out this pretty killer debut. I am sure glad I did.
Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - I'm Killing Myself & Everyone Else Is Helping Me
02 - Spin
03 - Bring Back Rock 'n' Roll from the Dead
04 - This Is the End
05 - Kiss Like Dynamite
06 - Gimme More
07 - From Hero to Zero
08 - Bedtime Stories

Mark Thorn - Lead Vocals
Jonathan Gaglione - Bass & Backing Vocals
Iv K. Lizz - Drums
Miguel Martins - Guitar & Backing Vocals



CRAAFT - Second Honeymoon [YesterRock remastered +3]

CRAAFT - Second Honeymoon [YesterRock remastered +3] full
HERE fresh rip Full

Many asked for a refresh of this excellent YesterRock remastered reissue of CRAAFT second album "Second Honeymoon" including 3 bonus tracks.
"Second Honeymoon" (or just titled 'Craaft' in the US) was the second album from these German melodic rockers originally released in the endearing period of classic Melodic Rock / AOR back in the '80s.

"Second Honeymoon" is a killer album from start to finish.
Kicks off in a rather typical melodic fashion, the kind of thing that's expected from an album from the aforementioned golden years, with greater vocal passages amidst the chugging guitars and keyboards on 'Run Away'.
This new expanded version of 'Second Honeymoon' is brought right up to date though with the benefit of the remastering, with tunes like "Twisted Up All Inside" and "Chance Of Your Life" all shining through in the modern day.

The big ballad "Jane" should have sold million copies, as it is the typical big chorus kind of tune that has become so essential for commercial purposes. The rockin' sounds return with the guitar driven "Gimme What You Got" which evolves into an anthemic song with it's catchy chorus and of course the obligatory keyboards, which in some ways is THE main element for any harmonic Euro-AOR offering.
This parp attack also introduces "Running On Love", a bouncy kinda foot stomper of a track, and the Craaft guys are even including some heavy-funk stuff that played such a large part in rock during the MTV glory days on "Hey Babe".

CRAAFT - Second Honeymoon [YesterRock remastered +3] booklet

We have another chugging hooky tune in the form of "Illusions" and then it's time for the well crafted piano ballad "Don't You Know What Love Can Be" with a very nice choral progression.
"Are You Ready To Rock" meanwhile is another big-sounding / sing-along song, and just as "Right To Your Heart" seems to be slipping into that album filler slot, these guys pull yet another infectious hooky chorus out of the bag.
The catchy and cleverly mixed "Don't Stop To Rock" offers once again more great harmonies and arrangements, whilst the awesome midtempo AOR of "Something For Nothing" ends the original album in great form.

This re-issue comes with the 1987 demos "Long, Long Time", "Break Away" and "Take It Easy", all great additions to this album with their melodic Euro-rock overtones and making this whole package something of a hidden gem from the often overcrowded '80s Melodic Rock / AOR scene.

CRAAFT - Second Honeymoon [YesterRock remastered +3] back

Along with Bonfire's 'Fireworks' and few others of that ilk, in my humble opinion CRAAFT's "Second Honeymoon" is among the best Melodic Hard Rock / AOR album to come out of Germany during the '80s.
If you like your melodic rock to be solidly built with catchy choruses and damn good playing then you will love this CD. You have great hooks, big choruses, tons of synths, sharp guitars and those grandiose 'huge reverb' drums.
Another cracker of a re-release from YesterRock Records with a superb sound.
A must have album for any '80s Melodic Rock / AOR fan.

01 - Run Away
02 - Twisted Up All Inside
03 - Chance Of Your Life
04 - Jane
05 - Gimme What You Got
06 - Running On Love
07 - Hey Babe
08 - Illusions
09 - Don't You Know What Love Can Be
10 - Are You Ready To Rock
11 - Right To Your Heart
12 - Don't Stop To Rock
13 - Something For Nothing
14 - Long, Long Time [demo 1987]
15 - Break Away [demo 1987]
16 - Take It Easy [demo 1987]

Klaus Luley - lead vocals, guitar, bass
Franz Keil - keyboards, backing vocals
Marcus Schleicher - guitars, backing vocals
Thommy Schneider - drums, percussion



CRAAFT - Craaft [YesterRock remastered +8]

CRAAFT - Craaft [YesterRock remastered +8] full
HERE   fresh rip Full

Many asked for a refresh of this excellent YesterRock remastered reissue of CRAAFT self-titled album "Craaft", including no less than 8 bonus tracks.
Founded by ex- Tokio Klaus Luley and keyboard player Franz Keil around 1983, their aim was recreate the American Melodic Rock / AOR style but with their own German spin; commercial melodic tunes plenty of hooky choruses, chugging guitars and lots of keyboards / synths.

To capture the American sound and and sonic design better, "Craaft" was recorded at Bob Dylan's studio in New York, produced by Peter Hauke (White Lion), with session drummer Sandy Gennaro (Blackjack, Y&T) behind the skins.
The album sound is typically Mid-Eighties, with most of the songs composed & recorded between 1984-85, but the record was finally released in 1986.

Opener "I Wanna Look In Your Eyes" is the definition of '80s rockin' AOR: bombastic drums, synths galore and soaring vocals. Follower "Breakin' Walls Ain't Easy" is more Melodic Hard oriented but extremely melodic, same with "Hold Me" although more AOR infused, specially on the killer chorus.

CRAAFT - Craaft [YesterRock remastered +8] booklet

As you suspect with the title, "You're The Best Thing In My Life" is a heavily orchestrated ballad, and a very good one. "I Guess You Are the Number One" rocks in a commercial Hard Rock fashion, "Stranger" adds some parping keyboards to the mix, while "Now That You're Gone" slower things with an emotional Euro-AOR feeling.
One of my favorites is "Wasted Years" which has a melodic line similar to Foreigner, and on last track "Cool Town Lovers" Craaft goes a bit more stomping hard rock with strong riffs reminding Swedes' Glory.

The 8 bonus tracks are the pre-production demos tracked-down when Craaft formed. Although most of them were recorded on an 8 track Fostex tape machine, the sound is quite good. When the band get signed by CBS, they transferred the recordings to a 24 track tape, added some more stuff and re-recorded the vocals.
Some of these songs ended in the debut album, but here are in their original form with different arrangements and lyrics, later polished by Tony Carey. Because of this, some demos still feature some 'working texts' by Klaus Luley.

CRAAFT - Craaft [YesterRock remastered +8] back

For a novel band, "Craaft" was a successful album in Europe, presented live all over the continent as a support act with Queen.
Their second album 'Second Honeymoon' is superior in production and songwriting, but Craaft's debut has all the magic of the glorious Mid-Eighties AOR / Melodic Rock sounds blending both the American & European styling.
All is plesent here; sharp guitars, sugary harmonies, lashings of keyboards and a general sense of the bombastic overblown.
A must have for classic '80s rockin' AOR aficionados.

01 - I Wanna Look In Your Eyes
02 - Breakin' Walls Ain't Easy
03 - Hold Me
04 - You're the Best Thing In My Life
05 - I Guess You Are The Number One
06 - Stranger
07 - Don't Wanna Wait No More
08 - Now That You're Gone
09 - Wasted Years
10 - Cool Town Lovers
11 - I'm A Mover
12 - High, High, High
13 - Takin' My Time
14 - Don't Wanna Wait [original version]
15 - Babe, You're the No.1 [original version]
16 - You're the Best Thing In My Life [original version]
17 - Cool Town Lovers [original version]
18 - Hold Me [original version]

Klaus Luley - vocals, guitar, bass
Franz Keil - keyboards, backing vocals
Reinhard Besser - guitars, bass, backing vocals
Sandy Gennaro - drums, percussion
Jurgen Zoller - drums



MICHAEL C. DRAGON - Transsylvania Calling (YesterRock remaster)

MICHAEL C. DRAGON - Transsylvania Calling (YesterRock remaster) full

MICHAEL C. DRAGON's 'Transsylvania' was originally released as private pressing on the artist’s own label in 1997 and has become a much sought after piece by collectors and Melodic Rock fans. YesterRock has remastered and reissued the album in a new version, re-entitled "Dragon Of Transsylvania" and now has to offer 10 tracks instead of the original 7.

Musically, "Dragon Of Transsylvania" is a mix of AOR and Melodic Rock with a cool feeling and great melodies in the typical German mould. The brilliant ballad "Still Loving You" is reminiscent of the best times of Blue Tears and the straight rocker "Fire In Your Eyes" is the perfect counterpart, a bouncy mid-tempo masher.

"Wishing", "Gladiator - No Time To Cry", the acoustically driven "Beyond - The Blue Of The Sky" and the ballad "Song Of Hope" are smooth, melodious numbers with Michael C. Dragon (real name Manfred Michael Seile) delivering fine vocals, helped by the services of several fellow countrymen providing instrumentation.

MICHAEL C. DRAGON - Transsylvania Calling (YesterRock remaster) back

Well recorded & produced, "Dragon Of Transsylvania" will appeal fans of German Melodic Rock like Casanova, Zeno, Mat Sinner works, but also Bon Jovi, Blue Tears and alike.
Quite unknown and Highly Recommended album.

01 - Wishing (dedicated to Sammy B. Karoly Uhrmann)
02 - Transsylvania Calling (New Version)
03 - Still Loving You
04 - Fire In Your Eyes
05 - Stop The Countdown
06 - Transsylvania Calling (Video Version)
07 - Beyond - The Blue Of The Sky
08 - Ghetto Blues
09 - Song Of Hope
10 - Gladiator - No Time To Cry (bonus track)

Michael C. Dragon - vocals
Mathias Church - guitar
Stefan Hiemer - bass
Jessie Milliner - keyboards
Roland Depner - drums
Rüdiger Berg - add. guitar
Dieter Roth - add. guitar
Mathias Dieth - add. guitar



Friday, December 8, 2017

CRYSTAL BALL - Hellvetia [2017 Digipak reissue +1] (0dayrox exclusive)

CRYSTAL BALL - Hellvetia [2017 Digipak reissue +1] (exclusive) full

Reissued few days ago by Metalopolis Records on digipak and including a bonus track, "HELLvetia" is the fourth album from Swiss Hard Rock outfit CRYSTAL BALL.
Produced by ex- ACCEPT member Stefan Kaufmann it was originally released in 2003. For the fans it is still the band's most popular album with the old line-up including great front man Mark Sweeney, and the title track is still part of every show nowadays.

"HELLvetia" is pure Euro Melodic Hard Rock, in the vein of JADED HEART, GOTTHARD, PRETTY MAIDS, etc, with some real hard edged guitars yet balanced by Sweeney's melodious pipes.
As expected, this album is chocked full of infectious melodies and thick harmony vocals.
Mark Sweeney's unmistakable, unique voice sounds great as usual, adding that special, personalized touch to the music of CRYSTAL BALL. He is very aware of his vocal abilities, as he doesn't make the mistake of belting out high notes that are simply out of his range.

The rhythm guitar work is really sharp via the twin attack, while the solos are quite flamboyant and standout much more compared to the band's previous efforts. Furthermore, this album is about as consistent as the sun rising each morning.
From the first track, all the way the guys deliver catchy, guitar driven melodious hard rock tunes. Each song flows very naturally into the next, meaning that the album seems to come to a close very quickly.

CRYSTAL BALL - Hellvetia [2017 Digipak reissue +1] (exclusive) booklet

The CD opens with blast, the racing title track driven by a metallic riff. The first thing that stands out is the awesome sound, especially the drums are really impressive. Next up is the more catchy 'Forever And Eternally', a melodic hard rocker with that classic Euro feel.
The band is at its best on songs like 'Misery Needs Company' and 'Opposites Attract', where the punchy rhythm section contrasts with the melodic vocals.

There are no sleeper tracks on this disc, each song jumps on you instantly.
Well, there's a midtempo semi-ballad in 'Wasn't It Love' with pianos and an intimate atmosphere, but overall the CD rocks hard, with melody.
This digipak reissue includes the bonus track 'Seeing Is Believing' from the limited metal box edition, which is a very rare collector's item now.

CRYSTAL BALL - Hellvetia [2017 Digipak reissue +1] (exclusive) back

"HELLvetia" is a really strong, edgy melodic hard rock album from CRYSTAL BALL, plenty of solid songs, inspired performances and a bright production.
Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01. Hellvetia
02. Forever And Eternally
03. My Life
04. Last Dance
05. Opposites Attract
06. Want It All
07. One Day At A Time
08. Pictures Of Love
09. Misery Needs Company
10. Bird On A Wire
11. Wasn't It Love
12. Seeing Is Believing (bonus track)

Mark Sweeney - Vocals
Scott Leach - Guitars
Tom Graber - Guitars, Keyboards
Dany Schällibaum - Bass
Marcel Sardella - Drums



NEWMAN - Newman [Re-Recorded +4] (Out Of Print)

NEWMAN - ST [Re-Recorded +4] full

After two decades of hard graft and a series of quality albums, Steve Newman has established himself as a highly respected name among Melodic Rock / AOR fans. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since his self-titled debut back in 1997, so with the album long out of print he and his band NEWMAN have taken advantage of the advances in studio technology since them to re-record the album.
NEWMAN has re-recorded their first album, offering the chance to fans not only to complete the band's collection, but to listen to these songs in a new shape, mastered with new technology, and added bonus tracks that were written at the time of the original sessions.

The material from the first album is more straight ahead in style than NEWMAN's more recent adventurous releases.
Broadly the songs fall into two categories; classic, bouncy British AOR in the mould of FM or SHY, such as on the opener "If It’s Love" which is still a live favourite to this day, "Let Your Heart Rule Your Head" and the keyboard driven "That Kind Of Girl".

NEWMAN - ST [Re-Recorded +4] cd photo

The other style, which will probably appeal more to present-day NEWMAN fans, is in a series of moodier, more atmospheric pieces, notably the lush ballad "Say You Believe", "Faith" whose spacious feel shows off his deep vocal style perfectly, and the great "Tears Are Not Enough" which closed the original album.
I like both styles in this new refreshed, energetic yet melodic versions.

For added value the original 10 tracks on the album are accompanied by 4 bonus songs penned at the same period but never recorded and previously unreleased.
All these are really good tunes, mixing the smooth AOR melodies of mid-tempo "Crush On You" (love the keyboards) with cool riffs, as heard on the bluesy rocker "Backdoor Man".
"Love By Design" adds a slightly funkier feel to the rocking riff, while the elegant AOR ballad "Stand Up" reminds you of masters STRANGEWAYS.

NEWMAN - ST [Re-Recorded +4] back cover

"Newman" self-titled is Classic British AOR / Melodic Rock made with style, next to STRANGEWAYS, FM, HEARTLAND, etc, now re-recorded with a very good production and offering 4 strong previously unreleased tracks.
This is a Limited Edition, collector's item CD-only release (500 units), now sold-out with used copies being sold at a very expensive price.

01. If It's Love
02. A Million Men
03. Say You Believe
04. What Does It Take
05. Faith
06. Let Your Heart Rule
07. When I Wake Uo
08. That Kind Of Girl
09. I Know You
10. Tears Are Not Enough
11. Backdoor Man (Bonus Track) *
12. Crush On You (Bonus Track) *
13. Love By Design (Bonus Track) *
14. Stand Up (Bonus Track) *

* Previously Unreleased

Steve Newman - Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Shaun Bessant - Guitar
Paul Boyle - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Pete Newdeck, Rob McEwen - Drums, Backing Vocals



Thursday, December 7, 2017

STILL LIVING - YmmiJ (2017)

STILL LIVING - YmmiJ (2017) full

The curiously titled "YmmiJ" is the new album from Brazilian Melodic Hard Rockers STILL LIVING to be released tomorrow December 8. It marks a new step for the band as with this third effort STILL LIVING have created some kind of a concept, however all songs work on their own wrapped with infectious hooks that will appeal to any lover of classic / 80s influenced melodic hard rock.

While most of the songs in "YmmiJ" are linked by a story about modern age tribulations of a guy called Jimmy (hence the album's title, his name backwards "YmmiJ"), you can easily enjoy all songs separately.
And what really matters with STILL LIVING is their music, melodic hooky rockers very well rounded.
'Reign of Pills' opens the album in great form somehow reminding me of MISS BEHAVIOUR formula of sweet guitar riffs, nice keyboards, melodic verses and a catchy chorus. Renato Costa owns a proper tenor rocking voice for this kind of rock - a bit accented but it provides an exotic charm, while the rest of the guys are solid musicians.

Harder, second cut 'On the Edge' is driven by sharp guitars, even increased on the bouncy rocker 'Call of the Night', but next 'Dusty Blue Shadow' returns to a familiar Melodic Rock territory.
'The Man I've Become' is one of my favorites, with a clear American Melodic Rock influx in the JOURNEY vein complete with lovely keyboards and an anthemic feel. 'King of Nothing' provides a groovy rocking rhythm and darker lyrics, followed by the quite solid ballad 'Haunted' with fine clean guitar creating atmosphere.

STILL LIVING - YmmiJ (2017) back

The midtempo AORish 'Peace or Pieces?' musically brings to my mind Kevin Chalfant's TWO FIRES, 'I.M. Jimmy' rocks with an European touch (compared with Italians WHEELS OF FIRE), and 'Mr. Mirror' is another good ballad, this time with piano as main instrument.
Reaching the end, 'Cult of the Rough Awakening' is more like a hard rocker, then 'In the Dark' is the final short spoken interlude (there's 4 in the tracklist) before closing with the very melodic instrumental 'As Shallow as It Gets'.

It's great to hear bands like STILL LIVING keeping the Melodic Rock / AOR flame alive at every corner of the planet.
"YmmiJ" is solid, entertaining record mixing hooks & melodies with a concept story - follow it or not, in any way you will enjoy it.
Strongly Recommended

01 - Reign of Pills
02 - On the Edge
03 - Call of the Night
04 - Dusty Blue Shadow
05 - Listen to Me!
06 - The Man I've Become
07 - King of Nothing
08 - Haunted
09 - Peace or Pieces?
10 - Who Are You?
11 - Mr. Mirror
12 - I.M. Jimmy
13 - Jane
14 - Cult of the Rough Awakening
15 - In the Dark / As Shallow as It Gets

Renato Costa - Vocals
Eduardo Holanda - Guitars
Wagner Souza - Bass
Thiago Nascimento - Keyboards
Cleber Melo - Drums



Reuben Archer's PERSONAL SIN - Petrolhead (2017)

Reuben Archer's PERSONAL SIN - Petrolhead (2017) full

Fronted by STAMPEDE frontman Reuben Archer, "Petrolhead" is the brand new album by his side band PERSONAL SIN. With song titles such as 'No Gasoline' ''My Limousine', 'Oil and Water' or 'Grand Theft Auto' you can easily guess what this album is all about: love for cars / bikes, life on the road, and rock n' roll music.

Produced by Archer and co-writer and guitarist Rob Wolverson, the album features 11 auto-themed bluesy hard rock, some with a funky feeling which pay homage to one of the oldest and best-loved marriages in British & American music culture – that between rock ‘n’ roll and fast cars.
A self-confessed lifelong ‘petrolhead’, Reuben says of the concept: “Consider this album my tribute to what may become a bygone age; a chance to revel in the splendor of the sound of a V8 engine; that old romantic vision captured so intoxicatingly back in the 50s and 60s by pioneering R&B stalwarts such as Chuck Berry’s ‘No Particular Place To Go’ and Wilson Pickett’s ‘Mustang Sally’, to name but a few!”

It is to Reuben Archer’s PERSONAL SIN that the confession of love must be allowed to become an open secret, which the Petrolhead has always been there in one form or another in the guise of music.
The open road of Britain might not seem too cosy, too packed with the want away driver and far less miles available in which to stroke the engine in which to understand why it a dream relationship for some; but transport that adoration across the Atlantic Ocean and look at the open highway, then the argument becomes one of automobile class, of the stories that permeate the skin of the leather seat and the roar between the cities visited.

The former LAUTREC, WILDHORSES and LIONHEART vocalist has once again brought to mind a sense of purpose to the Rock environment, a type of manual for the appreciation of the life that is that symbolic with the post war generation, the chance to own something that would be part of your dreams, your aspiration and be there, even if you could not afford to fill the beast up, when all around is flat and the battery spent.

The noise of the turning of the key is enough to make songs such as 'No Gasoline', the poignant 'Last Chance Station', 'Good Times Rolled Away', 'Stone Cold Turkey' and 'Ballad of Junior Johnson' all leave their tire marks over the listener’s conscious, the rubber ready, the gasoline pumped and the story of the uncharted road ahead, for the "Petrolhead", for the Rock lover, there is no better place to be and with no finer confession as a travelling companion.
Fun and entertaining album with a true classic Hard / Rock N' Roll spirit.

01. No Gasoline
02. My Limousine
03. Last Chance
04. White Knuckle Ride
05. Oil and Water
06. Grand Theft Auto
07. Good Times Rolled Away
08. Long Time Running
09. Stonecold Turkey
10. Ballad of Junior Johnson
11. Caught in the Rain

Reuben Archer (vocals)
Rob Wolverson (guitars / production)
Chris Clowsley (guitars)
Neil Ablard (drums)
Jim Cooper (bass)
Linda Kelsey-Foster (keyboards)
Mat Taylor (saxophone)
Rebecca Downes (backing vocals)



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