Sunday, May 31, 2015

THE DEAD DAISIES - Revolucion (2015)

THE DEAD DAISIES - Revolucion (2015) full


One thing is for sure; THE DEAD DAISIES is a name we have to keep in mind. The band has released their debut in 2013 (presented here on the blog) and now it's time for the second strike. After having been the support for Kiss and Def Leapprd on their US tour the guys got now the support slot for Kiss' European tour too.
And timing couldn't be better since the band has the new record ready to be released today: "Revolución".

If you are new to them, the names behind The Dead Daisies are some 'cats': Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake), Dizzy Reed (Guns'n'Roses) David Lowy, Richard Fortus (Guns'n'Roses) and singer Jihn Corabi (Mötley Crüe, The Scream).
The drums on the album have been done by Jackie Barnes (Jimmy Barnes Band) and all these guys together recorded an album that grooves from the first to the last tone.

THE DEAD DAISIES - Revolucion (2015) inside

Yes, "Revolución" is Hard Rock mixed with a bigger portion of bluesy Classic Rock. Those dudes blow again live into the famous rock of the '70s and '80s, as there are a lot of cross-references to those glorious days of Rock, but all with a modern touch and a crystal clear sound.

I think what added something extra to the vibe of the album is the fact that the recording took place in Cuba; with Ben Grosse as producer. I must say that this album sounds like fun and sun. It's good time rock'n'roll with a high standard.
Sometimes Whitesnake breaks through, especially with "Looking for the One", but my favorite three songs are placed in the middle. "Empty Heart" catches you and doesn't let loose again. The hook is an irresistable one, the groove makes you move, and the chorus is catchy, but not sweet. An 'empty heart' never sounded that good.

THE DEAD DAISIES - Revolucion (2015) back

The following "Make the Best of It" easily maintains the high level of the previous via a bluesy melting riff that is the base for the track enriched by Corabi's raspy vocals and some Hammond organ parts.
Another highlight is the ballad "Something I Said"; traditional Hard Rock meets blues meets a bit of soul. The outcome is a powerful, meaty ballad instead of a quiet song drowning in cliches.
Those are just a few songs, but also the rest of "Revolucion" is far above average - real, blood-pumped Hard Rock pearls.
Strongly Recommended.

01. Mexico
02. Evil
03. Looking For The One
04. Empty Heart
05. Make The Best Of It
06. Something I Said
07. Get Up Get Ready
08. With You And I
09. Sleep
10. My Time
11. Midnight Moses
12. Devil Out Of Time
13. Critical

John Corabi – lead vocals (Motley Crue, Union, The Scream)
Richard Fortus – lead guitar (Guns N' Roses)
David Lowy – rhythm guitar (Mink)
Dizzy Reed – keyboards (Guns N' Roses)
Marco Mendoza – bass (Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent)
Jackie Barnes – drums (Tin Lids, Jimmy Barnes)



CORVUS - Chasing Miracles (2015)

CORVUS - Chasing Miracles (2015) full


CORVUS is a new British AOR / Melodic Rock band that came into existence as the result of a completely unexpected scenario that saw the members working as session musicians on another project. Happily they stayed in touch and because of guitarist John Clews wish to join an original band, Corvus was formed after a brief stint with Welsh AORsters Serpentine.
The result is “Chasing Miracles” a delicious slice of catchy as hell pure AOR album, which easily shows up some of the big boy’s of the genre’s releases in recent years.
Corvus to me come across as the UK version of Work Of Art, whilst remaining quintessentially British they do show off their American and Scandinavian influences.

Recorded at Arkham Studio’s under the guiding hand of Alex Cooper (Hanging Dolls) who has also worked with Spike (Quireboys) and Shy to name but a few. Alex also lends his not inconsiderable skills on the drums to the album.
“Chasing Miracles” is from start to finish an instant and enjoyable rollercoaster of catchy as hell songs that get you cranking the volume and dancing along. To be honest, catchy as hell is a massive understatement, this album has had a lot of time and love spent on it in all departments and trust me no hook is left unused and it shows in abundance on every single track.
Another startling thing is the supreme level of musicianship shown throughout the band, for most the names here will be unknown but I assure you, they don’t play like nobodies.

CORVUS - Chasing Miracles (2015) inside

Guitarist John Clews is probably the best known for his time with Serpentine and the guitar work across the entire album is phenomenal. I’m not one for guitar histrionics but Clews has an uncanny ear for the melodic and slips in some awesome fret board work into these songs which only increases their appeal. Clews shines on ‘Retribution’ (track 10) which actually reminds me of Gerhard Pilcher’s instrumentals with Melodica.

Lead singer Ciaran James has a really cool deep tone and this brings out a great vibe in the flow of the songs. Even in AOR circles Keyboardists seem to remain the unsung heroes, but I have to highlight Nick Jeavon’s playing here.
He doesn’t play fluff and filler, his wonderfully adventurous and delivers varied keyboard licks which enhance the feel good factor of all these already smile inducing songs.

Opening track 'All I Need' is a pure unadulterated slice of melodic rock lushness, 'Can't Get Enough' which follows carries on the poppy rock template. However this song has more edge to it, and the main melody is awesome.
Then the title track comes up and slays what went before it. This track is a great piece of feel-good, leave your worries behind kind of rock, ready for the Summer.

'How Long' questions the strength of love in a relationship - which, all told, is a pretty decent attempt at a love song albeit with a mid-paced AOR feel.
The intro to 'Turn To Stone' meanwhile evokes Bon Jovi's 'Wanted Dead or Alive' which is not a bad thing but a homage can be dangerous. Thankfully the song goes down an epic road, which once again showcases the band's talent.

CORVUS - Chasing Miracles (2015) back

"Chasing Miracles" is a delicious debut from Corvus. These guys are a real revelation and all pure AOR fans really should prepare themselves for the feel-good record of the year.
This album is so uplifting you may find yourself floating away as you listen, singing along, involuntarily dancing and with big smile on your face. There's some things to polish, and I believe that the next album from Corvus will show the world what they are truly capable of, which is great things.
Welcome guys! Highly Recommended.

01. All I Need
02. Can't Get Enough
03. Chasing Miracles
04. How Long
05. Turn to Stone
06. Can't Stop Falling
07. When You Love Someone
08. Believe
09. Truth or Lies
10. Retribution
11. Face the World
12. Where Do We Run
13. Don't Let the Sun

Ciaran James - Vocals
John Clews - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Nick Jeavons - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Jordan Brown - Bass, Backing Vocals
Alex Cooper - Drums



HOUSE OF LORDS - Indestructible (2015)

HOUSE OF LORDS - Indestructible (2015) full


Superb vocalist James Christian and his band HOUSE OF LORDS are celebrating with their soon-to-be-released new album "Indestructible": it's their tenth studio album in a career that dates to 1987, but also marks ten years with the same line up: Christian, Jimi Bell on guitars, bassist Chris McCarvill, and BJ Zampa on drums.

Another thing that hasn't changed is House Of Lords' approach to music; the last several albums find the band delivering classic melodic hard rock with a strong edgy sound. Of course, all this is wrapped up of big melodies, arrangement and lyrical hooks, fiery guitar solos, and lush production.
Some of the heavier and hard charging songs come at the start with 'Go To Hell' and title track 'Indestructible', but also later with 'Die To Tell'. That song has this guitar synth mixture with chanting vocals over steady drums at the start, only to erupt into some blistering metallic melody.

The following 'Another Dream' has another interesting intro from guitars which leads into catchy melodic rock anthem, moved mostly by the groove and Christian's vocal arrangement, while '100 MPH' is the type of song that you could crank loud while driving either on a real road or a virtual one.

James Christian never forgets his fist love, and of course AOR melodies are present on the new CD.
Just listen 'We Will Always Be One' which is a soft and beautifully crafted ballad, and the stadium feel of 'Call My Bluff' that revolves around a catchy AOR melody and smooth lead vocals. It's likely the lightest number here, very melodious all over.
The album rounds out with more of the Lords edgy melodic hard rock. 'Ain't Suicidal' features some sharp guitars and a brisk pace. 'Stand And Deliver' also races with song largely moved by riffs and rhythm section powering the pace.

HOUSE OF LORDS - Indestructible (2015) inside

The new album from House Of Lords is pretty much what you expect from Christian & Co: very well elaborated, polished melodic hard rock songs with hooks and catchy choruses, and a bombastic (quite punchy) production.
This does not mean that "Indestructible" is more-of-the-same... although the band's sound is maintained from the previous records, I can hear a different 'feel' in the approach here: James has built this album interpersing heavier tracks with melodic ones.
Then you have an edgy hard rocker followed by a melodic rocker / AORish number, and this, on the contrary of breaking the flow, results in an impactful melodious product.
"Indestructible" is one of the strongest House Of Lords album from the last fifteen years, and it's very, Highly Recommended by this blog.

01. Go To Hell
02. Indestructible
03. Pillar Of Salt
04. 100 Mph
05. Call My Bluff
06. We Will Always Be One
07. Die To Tell
08. Another Dawn
09. Eye Of The Storm
10. Ain't Suicidal
11. Stand And Deliver

James Christian - Lead Vocals
Jimi Bell - Guitar, Vocals
Chris McCarvill - Bass, Vocals
BJ Zampa - Drums, Vocals



WIRELESS - No Static [Rock Candy remaster]

WIRELESS - No Static [Rock Candy remaster] full


WIRELESS were one of the best kept secrets in Canadian rock. An obscure Toronto - via Australia - based quartet with a neat line in quirky yet powerful hard rock, sending out a message with every turn of the screw.
Rock Candy Records have rescued two of the Wireless' essentials, providing a clear remastering.

Prior to this "No Static", the band had issued two warmly received if poorly selling albums leaving them to question their very existence. Indeed, all but resigned to breaking up, word reached Rush bassist/singer Geddy Lee who immediately jumped to the rescue, offering his production services if they would consider sticking together and making another album.
Faced with such overwhelming enthusiasm and a label (Anthem) keen as mustard to bank roll another record, they humbly acceded to demand.

WIRELESS - No Static [Rock Candy remaster] booklet

Recorded at Le Studio, Moran Heights, just outside Montreal, "No Static" takes the Wireless mandate to its logical conclusion, crafting arguably the band's definitive musical statement.
Geddy Lee's hands on approach documents a band very much on the attack, leading by example and ramping up the energy level on all fronts. Mike Tilka from Max Webster Band also helped in the process.
Heavier, harder, yet always hummable, "No Static" makes its intent clear from the lead-off track "Pay To Ride" through to the very closing fade of "Journey Of A Possible Hero" and all points in between.
Look out for the epic "East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon", a peach of a tune perfectly encapsulating Wireless' ability impress at every turn.

WIRELESS - No Static [Rock Candy remaster] back

Properly released on CD for the first time, the sound quality on "No Static" is second to none in this excellent digital remaster by Rock Candy.
The complete liner notes takes a deep inside look at the group's creation, roots and demise, a pleasant memorabilia for any '80s rock music fan and collector.
Another great rescue by Rock Candy to a Canadian band that's faded away but not forgotten by true hard rock enthusiasts.

01 - Pay To Ride
02 - Timekeeper
03 - Go Naked Through The World
04 - One Of A Kind
05 - East Of The Sun, West Of The Moon
06 - Deep Heat
07 - Warm Night With A 3/4 Moon
08 - Friends
09 - Journey Of A Possible Hero

Mike Crawford - guitars & backing vocals
Steve McMurray - guitars & backing vocals
Allan Marshall - bass, lead backing vocals
Marty Morin - drums & backing vocals
Produced by Geddy Lee (Rush)



WIRELESS - Positively Human Relatively Sane [Rock Candy remaster]

WIRELESS - Positively Human Relatively Sane [Rock Candy remaster] full


WIRELESS were one of the best kept secrets in Canadian Rock. An obscure Toronto - via Australia - based quartet with a neat line in quirky yet powerful Hard Rock, sending out a message with every turn of the screw.
Rock Candy Records has provided a clear remastering to two of the Wireless' essentials, including this "Positively Human, Relatively Sane"

When the dust begins to settle on the story of Canadian Rock, Wireless will make but a small footnote in its vast canon. Whilst others may have achieved huge international acclaim there will be a handful that, although selling very few records, will always be remembered and respected for creating some of the most challenging music of our times.
Step forward Wireless, a Toronto based quartet who utilised a quirky progressive rock template whilst designating a purposeful hard rock backbone to songs that had both meaning and message.

WIRELESS - Positively Human Relatively Sane [Rock Candy remaster] booklet

Managed by SRO, the same people behind premiere Canadian rock band Rush, and signed to Anthem Records (another Rush related spin-off venture) "Positively Human, Relatively Sane" was greeted with universal acclaim by those fed-up to the back teeth with schlock rock and pop.
Wireless' music was both demanding yet accessible, harbouring subterfuge and surprise as weapons of choice.
Produced my ex Max Webster bassist Mike Tilka and boasting nine tracks of superlative, quirky yet original hard rock, the album surfs the surface of convention whilst making inroads regular into progressive complexity. Imagine Steely Dan jamming with the Blue Öyster Cult and that might give some indication of the kind of musical magic we're talking about.

WIRELESS - Positively Human Relatively Sane [Rock Candy remaster] back

If you've never heard Wireless' music or even if you've never actually heard their name before, then might we suggest you get it on the action now or forever hold your curiosity.
On CD for the first time, the sound quality on "Positively Human, Relatively Sane" is really good. The complete liner notes takes a deep inside look at the group's creation, roots and demise, a pleasant memorabilia for any rock music fan and collector.
Another great rescue by Rock Candy to a Canadian band that's faded away but not forgotten by true hard rock enthusiasts.

1. I Know You Know
2. No Way Out
3. Goodnight Ladies
4. Right To Beg
5. What You Make It
6. The Hard Way
7. Sign Right Here
8. The Rut
9. 461 Markham

Michael Crawfords (guitar, vocals)
Steve McMurray (guitar)
Allan Marshall (bass, vocals)
Marty Morin (drums, vocals)



DEEP PURPLE - Shades Of Deep Purple [Hi-Res Remastering] (2015)

DEEP PURPLE - Shades Of Deep Purple [Hi-Res Remastering] (2015) full


HighResAudio is a music download service for audiophiles offering albums and songs in 24-bit at sampling rates from 44.1kHz up to the highest in 192kHz. It's a company similar to American HDtracks, but established in Hamburg, Berlin.
Warner Music Group International has commissioned to HighResAudio for their 2015 remasters of the first three DEEP PURPLE albums. These early recordings needed a re-vamped sonic treatment, and the results are pretty awesome.
Let's go with Deep Purple's first album ever: "Shades Of Deep Purple".

The usual perception of early Deep Purple is that it was a band with a lot of potential in search of a direction. And that might be true of their debut LP, put together in three days of sessions, but it's still a hell of an album.
From the opening bars of "And the Address," it's clear that they'd gotten down the fundamentals of heavy metal from day one, and at various points the electricity and the beat just surge forth in ways that were startlingly new in the summer of 1968.

Ritchie Blackmore never sounded this clean thanks to this remaster, as the original mix doesn't exactly favored the heavier side of his playing, the rhythm section of Nick Simper and Ian Paice rumble forward, and Jon Lord's organ flourishes, weaving classical riffs, and unexpected arabesques into "I'm So Glad," which sounds rather majestic here.
"Hush" was the number that most people knew at the time (it was a hit single in America), and it is a smooth, crunchy interpretation of the Joe South song.

DEEP PURPLE - Shades Of Deep Purple [Hi-Res Remastering] (2015) hi-res

But nobody could have been disappointed with the rest of this record - one can even hear the very distant origins of 'Smoke on the Water' in "Mandrake Root," once one gets past the similarities to Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady"; by the song's extended finale, they sound more like The Nice.
Their version of "Help" is one of the more interesting reinterpretations of a Beatles song, as a slow, rough-textured dirge.
"Hey Joe" is a bit overblown, and the group clearly had to work a bit at both songwriting and their presentation, but one key attribute that runs through most of this record -- even more so than the very pronounced heaviness of the playing - is a spirit of fun; these guys are obviously having the time of their lives rushing through their limited repertoire, and it's infectious to the listener; it gives this record much more of a '60s feel than we're accustomed to hearing from this band.

This HighResAudio sound is notably superior to any prior version of the album, with textures far closer and crisper than have ever been heard before.
A piece of history restored in great form.

1 - And the Address
2 - Hush
3 - One More Rainy Day
4 - Prelude: Happiness / I'm So Glad
5 - Mandrake Root
6 - Help
7 - Love Help Me
8 - Hey Joe

Rod Evans – lead vocals
Ritchie Blackmore – guitar
Jon Lord – organ, backing vocals
Nick Simper – bass, backing vocals
Ian Paice – drums



Saturday, May 30, 2015

GRAND PRIX - Samurai [Rock Candy remaster]

GRAND PRIX - Samurai [Rock Candy remaster] full


Originally formed back in the late seventies as Paris, GRAND PRIX was from the start a different beast in the UK scene.
Their melody-rich blend of guitars and pomp-fueled keys were much more in tune with what was happening on the other side of the Atlantic than anything remotely British or European sounding.
Following time spent on the live circuit they came to the attention of RCA who signed them up ... on condition they changed their name to Grand Prix.

Their tenure with RCA produced two albums – their eponymous debut with original vocalist Bernie Shaw (now of Uriah Heep) was particularly memorable – but it will be for their swansong "Samurai" that the band are best remembered.
Shaw was dropped in favour of Robin McAuley (later to achieve international fame with Michael Schenker), and perhaps the superb singer was the catalyst for the band to record one of the most memorable pompous AOR Melodic Rock albums of its day.

GRAND PRIX - Samurai [Rock Candy remaster] booklet

"Samurai" showcased a newfound maturity in the songwriting department and a glossier sound aimed squarely at the American market.
From the moment crescendo-driven opener "Give Me What’s Mine" kicked in it was clear that Grand Prix had evolved into a band with a truly international pedigree and then some.
Boasting more hooks than most rock&pop bands could muster, tracks like the smouldering power ballad "Here We Go Again", rabble rousing "Freedom", the swaggering "Countdown To Zero" and shimmering title track "Samurai" were a bold revelation, affirmation that the UK finally had a serious contender to the likes of Styx, Journey and Foreigner.

That the band never went on to achieve fame and fortune (indeed, they split soon after the album was released) is once again testament to the ineptitude of the clueless executives who ran the record industry at the time.

GRAND PRIX - Samurai [Rock Candy remaster] (2012) back cover

Lovingly rescued from the vaults, "Samurai" is brilliantly remastered by the ever dependable Jon Astley and presented with all the usual Rock Candy Records trimmings.
Great packaging with extensive sleeve notes about the making of the album and a couple of previously unreleased live bonus tracks taken from their Reading Festival appearance in '82.
"Samurai" is a prime example of British Pomp infused AOR at its best, and as such is utterly indispensable in your collection.

01 - Give Me What's Mine
02 - Shout
03 - 50/50
04 - Here We Go Again
05 - Countdown To Zero
06 - Somewhere Tonight
07 - High Time
08 - Never Before
09 - Freedom
10 - Samurai
11 - Keep On Believing (Live) (Bonus Track)
12 - Feels Good (Live) (Bonus Track)

Robin McAuley - lead vocals
Michael O'Donoghue - guitar, backing vocals
Phil Lanzon - keyboards, backing vocals
Ralph Hood - bass, backing vocals
Andy Berne - drums, percussion



TERI DeSARIO - Caught [Rock Candy remaster]

TERI DeSARIO - Caught [Rock Candy remaster]  full


For many years, one of the most sought after releases from the early '80s was TERI DeSARIO's "Caught", now avaliable in a full remastered mode thanks to Rock Candy specialists.

Back in the very early '80s the female musical domain was mainly restricted to disco or pop, and that’s exactly the place where you would have found Teri DeSario.
Signed to the flamboyant Casablanca label, Teri’s recorded output had consisted of two thoroughly unremarkable poppy albums before the company and her new management had the vision to rethink this approach.
They secured Humberto Gatica as engineer, and top AOR / Melodic Rock songwriters such as Joey Carbone, Desmond Child, Richie Zito and Tom Keane to name some.
Focussing on her phenomenal vocal range she was soon cutting one of the great, if undiscovered, Melodic Rock albums of the era.

TERI DeSARIO - Caught [Rock Candy remaster] booklet 1

Recruiting some of the best L.A. session musicians including Steve Lukather, Steve Porcaro, Mike Landau, Ritchie Zito, David Foster or Mike Baird, "Caught" explodes with pure melodic mayhem.
Sharp, yet ballsy, every track is pure dynamite with "All I Wanna Do", "Hittin’ Below The Belt" and the title track all delivering big time, whilst the smooth AOR of the day was well represented by the catchy "Time After Time", the quirky "I Hate You" and "Standin' On The Edge" with its memorable chorus and no less than two searing guitar solos from Lukather and Zito.
Look out for Teri’s exceptional vocals in "I've Got A Secret", truly one of the greatest female rock performances from the golden decade.

TERI DeSARIO - Caught [Rock Candy remaster] booklet 2

"Caught" 'Remastered & Reloaded' comes with the usual high quality package by Rock Candy specialists featuring a glossy booklet complete with rare photos, a 3,500 word essay about the making of the album and a new interview with Teri. However, and although the sound obtained on this remaster by Andy Pierce is quite good and clear, it doesn't have the sparkle that Rock Candy's other 'go to' guy Jon Astley would probably have brought to the table.
Anyway, this is the first time for "Caught" on CD, and a great opportunity to discover this fine slice of classy American female melodic rock.

TERI DeSARIO - Caught [Rock Candy remaster] back cover

01 - Caught
02 - Time After Time
03 - I'm With You Now
04 - Standin' On The Edge
05 - Hittin' Below The Belt
06 - I've Got A Secret
07 - All I Wanna Do
08 - I Hate You
09 - I Should Have Known Better

Teri DeSario: Vocals
Mike Landau: Guitars
Richie Zito: Guitars
Steve Lukather: Guitars
John Pierce: Bass
Dennis Belfield: Bass
David Foster: Synthesizer, Keyboards
Michael Boddicker: Synthesizer
James Newton Howard: Synthesizer
Steve Porcaro: Synthesizer
Bill Purse: Keyboards
Mike Baird: Drums
Carlos Vega: Drums
Paulinho Da Costa: Percussion
Backing Vocals: Bill Champlin, Tom Kelley, Jim Haas, Bruce Hornsby, John Joyce, Jeannie Campbell, Joey Carbone, Teri DeSario



DEEP PURPLE - The Book of Taliesyn [Hi-Res Remastering] (2015)

DEEP PURPLE - The Book of Taliesyn [Hi-Res Remastering] (2015) full


HighResAudio is a music download service for audiophiles offering albums and songs in 24-bit at sampling rates from 44.1kHz up to the highest in 192kHz. It's a company similar to American HDtracks, but established in Hamburg, Berlin.
Warner Music Group International has commissioned to HighResAudio for their 2015 remasters of the first three DEEP PURPLE albums. These early recordings needed a re-vamped sonic treatment, and the results are pretty awesome.
Let's go with Deep Purple second album; "The Book of Taliesyn".

Several months after the innovative remake of "You Keep Me Hanging On," England's answer to Vanilla Fudge, was this early version of Deep Purple, which featured vocalist Rod Evans, and bassist Nick Simper, along with mainstays Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, and Ian Paice.
This, their second album, followed on the heels of "Hush," a dynamic arrangement of a Joe South tune, far removed from the flavor of his own hits. Four months later, this album's cover of Neil Diamond's Top 25 gem "Kentucky Woman," went Top 40 for Deep Purple.
Also like Vanilla Fudge, the group's own originals were creative, thought-provoking, but not nearly as interesting as their take on cover tunes. Vanilla Fudge did "Eleanor Rigby," and Deep Purple respond by going inside "We Can Work It Out" - it falls out of nowhere after the progressive rock jam "Exposition," Ritchie Blackmore's leads zipping in between Rod Evans smooth and precise vocals.

As Vanilla Fudge was progressively leaning more towards psychedelia, here Deep Purple are the opposite. The boys claim to be inspired by the Bard of King Arthur's court in Camelot, Taliesyn.
John Vernon Lord, under the art direction of Les Weisbrich, paints a superb wonderland on the album jacket, equal to the madness of Hieronymous Bosch's cover painting used for the third album.

DEEP PURPLE - The Book of Taliesyn [Hi-Res Remastering] (2015) hi-res

Originals "The Shield" and "Anthem" make early Syd Barrett Pink Floyd appear punk in comparison. Novel sounds are aided by Lord's dominating keyboards, a signature of this group.
Though "The Anthem" is more intriguing than the heavy metal thunder of Machine Head, it is overwhelmed by the majesty of their "River Deep, Mountain High" cover, definitely not the inspiration for the Supremes and Four Tops 1971 hit version.

By the time 1972 came around, Deep Purple immersed themselves into rocking riffs and a huge presence, much like Black Sabbath. The evolution from progressive to hard rock was complete, but a combination of what they did here ON "The Book of Taliesyn" - words that mattered matched by innovative musical passages - was unique.
A piece of history restored in great form.

1 - Listen, Learn, Read On
2 - Wring That Neck
3 - Kentucky Woman
4 - Exposition / We Can Work It Out
5 - Shield
6 - Anthem
7 - River Deep, Mountain High

Rod Evans - lead vocals
Ritchie Blackmore - guitar
Jon Lord - Hammond organ, keyboards, backing vocals
Nick Simper - bass, backing vocals
Ian Paice - drums



HELLOWEEN - My God-Given Right [3D Deluxe Earbook Bonus CD] (2015)

HELLOWEEN - My God-Given Right [3D Deluxe Earbook Bonus CD] (2015)


HELLOWEEN's new album "My God-Given Right" has been released on various formats. One of these it's this awesome "3D Deluxe Earbook" featuring a bonus CD.

Exclusively available at the Nuclear Blast Records mailorder this special edition with 3D cover (28x28cm) includes an extra CD with 4 bonus tracks.
Strictly limited to 1000 units.

HELLOWEEN - My God-Given Right [3D Deluxe Earbook Bonus CD] (2015) discs photo

CD 2 (Bonus):
01. I Wish I Were There
02. Wicked Game
03. Nightmare
04. More Than A Lifetime

Andi Deris (ex-Pink Cream 69, ex-Kymera) - Vocals
Michael Weikath (ex-Powerfool) - Guitars
Sascha Gerstner (ex-Freedom Call) - Guitars
Markus Grosskopf (ex-Avantasia) - Bass
Dani Löble (Krokus) - Drums



Friday, May 29, 2015

ARMORED SAINT - Win Hands Down (2015)

ARMORED SAINT - Win Hands Down (2015) full


My beloved musical genres always gonna be Melodic Hard Rock / AOR, but I was born and raised listening classic Metal too, and ARMORED SAINT is one of my strongest references. Their '80s albums and the superb '91 release are amongst the best the US scene has offered.
Armored Saint disappeared along the Nineties, and while they returned during the past decade producing 3 albums, the charm was not the same for me.
But truth has to be said: if consistency was a power source, Armored Saint could illuminate a small city. Few traditional metal bands can match what this L.A. crew have generated, and "Win Hands Down" - their brand new album - has all the Saint finery.

"Win Hands Down" is Armored Saint's first album in 5 years. Under no pressure these days, the band record albums when they feel the circumstances are right, which is why this is all fired up on every level.
Phil Sandoval’s and Jeff Duncan’s riffs are disciplined yet riotous and John Bush’s vocals are smoothly incendiary.
What really clinches the deal, though, is that the quintet have recorded nine quickfire anthems, going for quality rather than lacing the album with filler.

ARMORED SAINT - Win Hands Down (2015) inside

Screaming pick slides open up the CD with the title track, “Win Hands Done.” The guitars are muscular and in-front of the mix. This is just fine as the playing by Jeff Duncan and Phil Sandoval is nuanced and exceptional. The jam interlude at about the 2:40 mark on showcases another great element of this album; the band explores dynamic changes to shift the mood and tone on each song.
This record is definitely melodic US metal, but Armored Saint do quiet the job of breaking the molds and exploring boundaries, and at many places you can hear their usual Hard Rock grooves injected to their music.

Yes, "Win Hands Down" is a metallic album, but catchy as hell too, something Armored Saint always has in delivered in spades.
“Mess” and “Muscle Memory” have catchy choruses that buried the music deep inside your brain. Those tunes also have superb chord progressions opening up each tune to create space for some majestic guitar solos.

ARMORED SAINT - Win Hands Down (2015) cd scan

The bass work of Joey Vera and the granite crushing chops of Gonzo Sandoval on drums give lots of punch to “With A Head Full of Steam.” This song also finds John Bush sharing vocals duties with Pearl Aday who is the vocalist for the band Pearl. She also happens to be the wife of Scott Ian (Anthrax).

Speaking of John Bush, the man still has one hell of a set of pipes on him. His vocal delivery is one of the factors that makes Armored Saint stand above the fray. The gritty texture - yet quite clean - combined with the overall power of his vocals adds to the appeal of each song on this album.
The pace changes on “Dive.” The song again showcases the songwriting ability of the band, featuring a piano as the lead instrument for the first time, which is very different for the band and it slots in well with the overall feel of the record. The guitar solo blazes while still capturing the melancholy within this tune.
Armored Saint finishes up with a big middle finger on “Up Yours.” It’s a bit of f@ck you to the press and media who stalk celebrities. The song could apply to anyone that has their business where it doesn’t belong.

ARMORED SAINT - Win Hands Down (2015) back

"Win Hands Down" might be the best Armored Saint album since the cult classic 1984’s March Of The Saint. Overall, includes by far the best material the band has written. From start to finish, each song immediately hooks the listener’s ear and pulls them into exploring the many facets within the music.
The production is punchy & loud and will appeal wider Rock-related audiences, as Armored Saint's music is driven by true melodies.
A superb album from a cult band that really deserve more adulation and respect for their output.
Get out there and buy this one : ROCKS.

01 - Win Hands Down
02 - Mess
03 - An Exercise In Debauchery
04 - Muscle Memory
05 - That Was Then, Way Back When
06 - With A Head Full Of Steam
07 - In A Instant
08 - Dive
09 - Up Yours

John Bush: Vocals
Joey Vera: Bass
Phil Sandoval: Guitars
Jeff Duncan: Guitars
Gonza Sandoval: Drums



IRON MAIDEN - The Number Of The Beast (2015 Remaster for iTunes)

IRON MAIDEN - The Number Of The Beast (2015 Remaster for iTunes) full


Parlophone Records (BMG/INgrooves Music Group for the USA) have released nineteen IRON MAIDEN catalog albums which have been Remastered for iTunes, encoded from 24-bit / 96 khz high resolution masters. All these albums have been remastered with iTunes in mind, delivering the music to listeners exactly the way the artist and recording engineer intended.
These are brand new 2015 remasters from their original analog sources, exclusively produced for iTunes.
Now let's take a listen to my favorite Iron Maiden album, the essential "The Number Of The Beast".

Iron Maiden's founder member Steve Harris comments about this superior mastering technique:
"The Remastering for iTunes procedure allows the listener to experience the music as close as possible to the way the artist intended it to be heard. So, of course, I was very keen for the Iron Maiden albums to be mastered in this way.
The records have been available digitally before, when this medium first became a platform for music distribution, but were mastered with CDs in mind. The iTunes process involves a different approach and it's great to finally deliver the music to our fans in as close to a pure and accurate sound as we could possibly achieve."

IRON MAIDEN - The Number Of The Beast (2015 Remaster for iTunes) inside

"Now, the guitars are louder, the drums more substantial and the overall tone is so very much improved, in my opinion.
Tony Newton and Ade Emsley, who worked closely with me on the project, did a terrific job recapturing everything from the original masters, and together we've re- mastered them all digitally and I'm really happy with the results."

Tony Newton adds: "The process started with locating all of the original album mix tapes (or whichever format they were mixed to). Then the choice of analogue to digital convertor was chosen for the most accurate capture to make it as close as possible to the sound of the mix as it was intended by the band.
When a lot of these tapes were last captured it was in the 1980s, early days of digital and only 44.1khz/16bit files were possible. On top of this, the new A/D convertors are far superior now, and, of course, it is possible to produce files of far higher resolution.
The result of this is that the songs now sound more defined with added depth and warmth.

Steve Harris ends; "I was very excited to be asked to be part of this project. I honestly feel that there is a massive improvement in the quality of these classic albums.”

And you can tell it: this remaster sounds AWESOME.
A Must Have.

1 - Invaders
2 - Children Of The Damned
3 - The Prisoner
4 - 22 Acacia Avenue
5 - The Number Of The Beast
6 - Run to the Hills
7 - Gangland
8 - Hallowed Be Thy Name

Bruce Dickinson – lead vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar
Steve Harris – bass guitar
Clive Burr – drums



HARMONY - Remembrance (2015)

HARMONY - Remembrance (2015) full


Swedes HARMONY delivered a very good album last year (presented on the blog) and now are back with EP entitled "Remembrance", again as guest with one of the most reputed vocalist from Scandinavia, the one and only Daniel Heiman (Lost Horizon).

Harmony's style is essentially melodic metal, but as their name states, there's lots of harmonies here and due their pristine sound sometimes the band's sound has melodic hard rock nuances akin Pretty Maids and alike.
"Remembrance" is a six track EP which includes four re-recorded songs from Harmony’s 2003 debut album, now with an updated production and arrangements, plus the new line-up performing.
There's as well two new tracks.

The four re-recorded tracks are up first. "Eternity" is a thumping good opener, fast and furious yet pristine as ice water, with nice string effects two minutes in and intriguing references in the lyrics.

Next is "Dreaming Awake", the title track of the original first album release, and it's one of my favorite cuts. It truly represents Harmony's style: extremely melodic, very close to the edgier side of modern Swedish melodic hard rock, with some groove in the middle part and smooth vocal arrangements.

"Without You" it's another highlight, finding the band slipping into power ballad mode and demonstrating the breadth of their repertoire. There's clean electric guitars, nice keys, layers of harmony vocals and a chorus that somehow - and strangely - reminds me Def Leppard. But overall the song sounds like modern day Europe or Serpentine.
"She" is pretty fast, however with a groovy rhythm, followed by one of the new tracks; "In His Heart", driven by a broken riff, a strong chorus (great backing vocals arrangement) and excellent guitar work from founder member Markus Sigfridsson.
The other is "Feed My Hunger", starting with an Eastern inspired snaking riff, and then turning more rocking, with a touch of progressive and nice keyboard arrangements.

HARMONY - Remembrance (2015) inside

Harmony is a really solid unit delivering very strong songwriting, adorned with accomplished hooks / melodies blended with refined musicianship and some intricate (but not boring) arrangements, crowned by an immaculate production.
"Remembrance" (and the band, overall) are tagged as melodic metal, but they go beyond that: as said, on many places they sound melodic hard rock, edgy, yes, but groovy and melodic.
Quite Recommended.

01. Eternity
02. Dreaming Awake
03. Without You
04. She
05. In His Heart
06. Feed My Hunger

Daniel Heiman (ex-Crystal Eyes, Lost Horizon) - Lead Vocals
Markus Sigfridsson - Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards, Programming
Raphael Dafras (Almah, Seven Horizons) - Bass
John Svensson - Keyboards
Tobias Enbert (Darkwater) - Drums



MARK KNOPFLER - Tracker [2CD Deluxe Edition] (2015)

MARK KNOPFLER - Tracker [2CD Deluxe Edition] (2015) full


Dire Straits were big. Stadium big, big on that MTV, big on headbands and padded suits – aesthetically Eighties. To the music and guitar aficionados MARK KNOPFLER has always been held in high esteem; a finessed finger-picker, witty balladeer, reluctant pop star and a country wise man – a bloody good Jack of all trades basically.
His new album "Tracker" has been released as well in a Deluxe Edition, featuring a bonus disc that well worth the investment.

The record opens in typical Knopfler dialect with "Laughs and Jokes and Drinks and Smokes". Low whistles permeate the song whilst strings, acoustic and brushes offsetting the distinctive low grumble that’s epitomises Knopfler’s restrained approach to vocals. His greatest ability lies in his effortless talent to form epics from the minor moments of happiness and content that occur on a daily basis and seldom make it to song format.
Knopfler says: 'The album title Tracker arrived out of me trying to find my way over the decades. Out of me tracking time - looking at people, places and things from my past, and out of the process of tracking as in recording tracks in the studio.'
And that’s very indicative towards the feel of the songs here.

MARK KNOPFLER - Tracker [2CD Deluxe Edition] (2015) discs scan

Perhaps the most representative song on "Tracker" is the first single / video "Beryl", combining Knopfler's trademark narrative with his idiosyncratic, eternally resonant picking style, sounding something like Dire Straits during a front-porch picking session. The plucked guitar intro has the evocative atmosphere of famous works like ‘Telegraph Road’ – like Dave Gilmour, Knopfler is one of the few guitarists who can be identified from a single note.

He’s telling here the story of an author misunderstood in her own time. Named after Beryl Bainbridge, Knopfler’s subject found herself serially nominated for the UK’s prestigious Booker Prize for fiction writers, but never received one until after passing in 2010. Of course, while Bainbridge was so often overlooked — and, in fact, already in her grave (“after all she gave”) by the time recognition finally arrived — Knopfler has led that life in reverse.

The bonus disc features 6 extra tracks that will delight Knopfler fans for sure, including '.38 Special' (with its tasty clawhammer banjo), the melancholic 'My Heart Has Never Changed', 'Oklahoma Ponies' (with its characteristically 'woody' Les Paul sound), and the very Dire Straits-like (Love Over Gold era) 'Terminal Of Tribute To'.

MARK KNOPFLER - Tracker [2CD Deluxe Edition] (2015) back

With smash hits like ‘Sultans of Swing’, ‘Money for Nothing’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Brothers in Arms’ you have to wonder how Knopfler stays so humble.
Acclaimed perhaps beyond his own imagining three decades ago, Mark Knopfler pushed back from that stardom, and has done his level best never to return, focusing instead on smaller projects (collaborations, soundtracks and detailed but dilated solo efforts).
"Tracker" is another example of an icon whose honesty and integrity is what has made his previous seven solo albums such a joy.
Yes, I know, this is not your typical kind of music featured here, but equally enjoyable.

01 - Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
02 - Basil
03 - River Towns
04 - Skydiver
05 - Mighty Man
06 - Broken Bones
07 - Long Cool Girl
08 - Lights Of Taormina
09 - Silver Eagle
10 - Beryl
11 - Wherever I Go (featuring Ruth Moody)

Deluxe Edition bonus disc:
01 - .38 Special
02 - My Heart Has Never Changed
03 - Terminal Of Tribute To
04 - Heart Of Oak
05 - Oklahoma Ponies
06 - Time Will End All Sorrow

Mark Knopfler - Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Jim Cox - Organ, Piano
Tim O'Brien - Mandolin, Vocals
Glenn Worf - Bass
Ian Thomas - Drums
Mike McGoldrick - Pipes, Whistle
Ruth Moody - Vocals



Thursday, May 28, 2015

KING KING - Reaching For The Light (2015)

KING KING - Reaching For The Light (2015) full


This year has already been a great year for fans of bluesy hard rock / classic rock, but it still manages to keep on getting better, and the new album from Glasgow's KING KING "Reaching For The Light" definitely raises the bar for rivals to match.
"Reaching For The Light" is their 3rd album and my first approach to the guys, but after the first listen I assure you they are ready for big things.

King King did extremely well at the British Blues Awards 2014, winning awards for Album of the Year, Band of the Year, Male vocal, Bass player and and Drummer of the year (!), and as you listen to this new album you have to think they’ll be picking up a load more awards before long.
Fronted by Alan Nimmo (also guitarist), his voice is full of passion and a with remarkable amount of subtlety for a big man while his lead guitar is rocking, full of riffery and when he play the solos hits you between the eyes.
Wayne Proctor's drumming shows just why he win the prize, and Lindsay Coulson's groovy bass is perfect for this band, fluid but with a heartbeat that underpins the music with real granite. To that add Bob Fridzema's Hammond and keyboards and the band gets a fully three dimensional sound that pins you in your seat but brings you along with the melodies and the rhythm too.

KING KING - Reaching For The Light (2015) disc

The album features 8 original songs plus one cover – Paul Carrack’s 'Just a Little Lie'.
But all starts with the anthemic blues rocker 'Hurricane' plenty of big riffs and soaring keys, followed by the melodic 'You Stopped The Rain' showing Nimmo's softer vocal side.
Then the awesome 'Rush Hour', deep in Bad Company territory with softly picked guitar and whispering keys leading into a huge riff, a massive chorus and a solo that will have air-guitarists everywhere reaching for their space.

'Lay With Me' is a lovely ballad, gospel tinged and pleading with wonderful Hammond from Fridzema and 'Take A Look' is a groovy slow tune in the classic rock sense. Surely this will be a live favorite for years.
There's another stadium-ready cut in 'Crazy', later the aforementioned 'Just A Little Lie' shows that King King can funk it up too, lighter and less of a slab, but closer 'Stranger To Love' is THE one bringing all their power, huge choruses, melodies and riffs into a package you don't want to end.

KING KING - Reaching For The Light (2015) back

"Reaching For The Light" really is a stunningly good album – beautiful guitar playing, the rich tones of the Hammond organ and a strong contribution from the drums & bass combine to make some fantastic classic rock music, and then Alan Nimmo’s vocals are just the icing on the cake.
After the first single teaser one month ago I expected to like the album, but man, this has surprised me in more than a positive way.
King King plays proper bluesy classic rock with tons of consistency and sheer balls, superbly executed, and with so much heart and gusto that many 'big names' in the genre pales in its shadow.
Highly Recommended.

1 - Hurricane
2 - You Stopped The Rain
3 - Waking Up
4 - Rush Hour
5 - Crazy
6 - Lay With Me
7 - Just A Little Lie
8 - Take A Look
9 - Stranger To Love

Alan Nimmo - vocals, guitars
Bob Fridzema - keyboards, Hammond
Lindsay Coulson - bass
Wayne Proctor - drums



HELLOWEEN - My God-Given Right [Japan SHM-CD Limited Edition] (2015)

HELLOWEEN - My God-Given Right [Japan SHM-CD Limited Edition] (2015) full

* exclusive

One of my youth's favorite bands, German wonders HELLOWEEN, are back with their 15th album "My God-Given Right". Helloween are celebrating 30 years together in June... it seems it was just yesterday that we were blasting The Keeper of Seven Keys on cassette. It was the beginning of power/speed metal, some kind of Scorpions on steroids and it was new and fresh. I still listen to Walls of Jericho and the two Keeper of Seven Keys albums fairly often, and they sound just as good today as they did back then.
In many ways, "My God-Given Right" is a return to the roots for Helloween; the songs are instantly likeable, with distinctive choruses and '80s hooklines.

In fact, the songwriting on "My God-Given Right" is pretty easygoing: there's simple and effective arrangements and as usual with Halloween, lots of humor.
And for me, it works; not everyone wants serious and challenging music all of the time. There are times when I want a blast of classic melodic metal that offers the kind of music when I can throw back my head and sing along with manly gusto.
"My God-Given Right" provides just this kind of tonic and, for the most part it is fantastic.

The album opens strongly with a trio of tracks that are simply brilliant. 'Heroes' offers a nicely-crafted melodic and almost soothing verse with a punchy chorus, 'Battle’s Won' is a fast-paced double-pedal driven power metal anthem with an overblown, hook-laden chorus and the title track is, if anything, even better.

HELLOWEEN - My God-Given Right [Japan SHM-CD Limited Edition] (2015) inside

The verse of 'My God-Given Right' has an understated feel to it that is reminiscent of Master Of The Rings era material but it’s the chorus that transcends the song into Godly anthemic realms. Deris belts it out as powerfully as I’ve ever heard him and, coupled with a gorgeously memorable melody and more double-pedal drumming, it is devastatingly infectious. There’s even a moment in the middle where everything quietens down before building inexorably to another rendition of the chorus. Magnificent.
The good news is that even after such a great opening, there are plenty of high points remaining within the album.

'Stay Crazy' features some utterly ridiculous lyrics but thanks to a classic '80s metal-meets-melodic hard rock sheen and another breezy carefree chorus, the silliness is easily overlooked. To be honest, silly lyrics are part of the charm of Helloween and would be missed if absent.
To underline this point and the humorous element of the band, look no further than the preposterous ‘If God Loves Rock ‘n’ Roll’ and the spoken word segment that suggests that ‘even in heaven you need a bass guitar, a guitar and a second guitar’. The track is not meant to be taken seriously and is saved by another chorus that’s relatively strong and worthy of attention.

'Lost In America' is another fun (glammy?) hard rocker, and also 'Like Everybody Else' is very '80s sounding, a ballad of sorts with a really good main melody.
But as evidenced within the ominous overtone of ‘A Swing Of A Fallen World’ and closer ‘You, Still Of War’, however, Helloween demonstrate that they have not entirely abandoned their more symphonic and epic attributes. That said, these moments are definitely the exception rather than the rule on this record.

HELLOWEEN - My God-Given Right [Japan SHM-CD Limited Edition] (2015) back

"My God-Given Right" is, in my opinion, the most enjoyable album that Helloween have released for quite some time. Perhaps it's too long and there's a couple of fillers, but the good far outweighs the not so good and when all is said and done, when Helloween get it right on this album, they get it very, very right indeed.
You want melody, fun and a care-free classic metal listening experience? Then I suggest you unpack your air guitar, warm up the vocal chords and get your ears around "My God-Given Right".
This Japanese SHM-CD Limited Edition is truly luxurious; includes three bonus tracks, one of which is exclusively included for this edition, a special bandana, an application card, and the digipak comes with an amazing textured 3D cover.

JVC / Victor Entertainment 初回限定盤, デラックスエディション
【SHM-CD】 ~ VIZP-136

01 - Heroes
02 - Battle's Won
03 - My God-Given Right
04 - Stay Crazy
05 - Lost In America
06 - Russian Roulé
07 - The Swing Of A Fallen World
08 - Like Everybody Else
09 - Creatures In Heaven
10 - If God Loves Rock 'N' Roll
11 - Living On The Edge
12 - Claws
13 - You, Still Of War
14 - I Wish I Were There (bonus track)
15 - Wicked Game (bonus track)
16 - Free World (bonus track)

Andi Deris (ex-Pink Cream 69, ex-Kymera) - Vocals
Michael Weikath (ex-Powerfool) - Guitars
Sascha Gerstner (ex-Freedom Call) - Guitars
Markus Grosskopf (ex-Avantasia) - Bass
Dani Löble (Krokus) - Drums



Wednesday, May 27, 2015

CHERIE CURRIE - Reverie (2015)

CHERIE CURRIE - Reverie (2015) full


CHERIE CURRIE burst onto the public stage as the lead singer of The Runaways. Since the 2010 biography feature film The Runaways reminded everyone that Joan Jett and Lita Ford were once part of a pioneering all-girl band, Currie has made a concerted effort to regain a foothold in the music world.
It hasn't been easy, as she spent countless hours in the studio with various vested parties and entities that ultimately cut her recording efforts short before they even gained traction. That put a real damper on things.
More recently, however, the support of her musician son Jake Hays, along with renewed associations with the late Runaways mastermind Kim Fowley and former bandmate Lita Ford, helped her realize the dream of "Reverie", her first album in 35 years.

Back in the in the mid-seventies, Joan Jett and eccentric producer/songwriter Kim Fowley walked into an all ages club in Hollywood looking for a singer. She had to sing a little bit yeah, but if she was hot they could probably work around those smaller details.
They happened upon a 15-year old blonde bombshell named Cherie Currie. Kim and Joan, and Cherie herself for that matter, didn't really know if she could sing. Having no prior experience or formal training, she auditioned for the job with the sly and sultry classic, "Fever".
Kim and Joan were looking for a more balls-to-the-wall rock song, so they wrote a raw fist-pumping anthem that toyed with the name of their young candidate. They wrote "Cherry Bomb" on the spot, Cherie sunk her teeth deep into the song, and the rest - as they say - is history.
The Runaways were born. Cherie Currie was the prettiest face that hard rock had ever seen, and all kinds of doors fell opened for female rockers.

Fast forward 2015 and we still have a stunning blonde rock star - now 55 instead of 15 - and most of her audience has not heard her sing in over 35 years. I think the older fan wants more than a pretty face at this point, so the big question is can she bring some vocal prowess to a new set of songs?
This is a question that gets answered in the very first song from "Reverie". It's the title track, and it sent a shiver down your spine.
Written with her son Jake Hays, "Reverie" is a soaring, vocally driven rocking song. My first thought was, this is the best vocal performance that she's ever recorded. She was an angst-ridden dynamo in her teen years with The Runaways, but her voice has matured into one with immense depth and shockingly great tone.

CHERIE CURRIE - Reverie (2015) inside

The ten songs on this record may not be what you expect. Currie fronted a band that was all about being aggressive, naughty, and in-your-face. This record reminisces in that spirit a little bit, but much of what's here is finely crafted Rock art more than teen angst.
"Reverie" is also the final work of Kim Fowley. Two Fowley-penned Runaways songs are covered here in the form of "Is It Day Or Night" and "American Nights" (with fellow Runaways bandmate Lita Ford lending her voice to both tracks).
He is also featured as a co-writer on the songs "Dark World" (another track featuring Lita Ford), "Inner You," "I'm Happy," and "Queen Of The Asphalt Jungle". With the exception of the latter, these songs are emotionally moody and lyrically deep with an intriguing, mature sound.

"Queen Of The Asphalt Jungle" is more of what you might expect; an instant hard rock song that has Currie taking on more of the rocker chick persona that she's famous for. And, although it's great to hear Currie return with solid rockers like "Queen Of The Asphalt Jungle," the majesty of this record lies in its maturity.
Jake Hays is a huge part of this record, offering his talents as songwriter on seven of the ten tracks. He also plays just about every instrument here, along with being producer or co-producer on the entire record.
Jake is Currie's son with actor Robert Hays, and it seems the talented bloodline has continued on in good fashion.

One of my favorite tracks, "Shades Of Me," puts Hays' singing talents on display, in an effective duet with Cherie with tons of texture. "Inner You," a song written by Hays and Currie with Kim Fowley, is another solid cut that lives with you after a few listens.
But, it's a song called "Believe" that really shows the growth of Cherie Currie and her instrument. "Believe" is a beautifully arranged mid-tempo ballad with a beautifully lush orchestral arrangement and a tremendous vocal part from Currie.

CHERIE CURRIE - Reverie (2015) back

I must also mention the standout quality of the overall sound of the record. Hays does a fine job producing, and Brant Biles should be applauded for his mix and engineering of the material. Biles has worked with everyone from Stevie Wonder and Bonnie Raitt to Lisa Loeb and Gwar, and he lays down a mix here that has every element shining as brightly as possible.

The wait to hear this return of Cherie Currie was a brutal form of torture for Runaways fans. We've had great Joan Jett songs, and Lita Ford has done her share of excellent solo work over the years, but there has always been an emptiness to it all for the purest of Runaways fans.
Cherie Currie was our Cherry Bomb, our blonde bombshell, and we wanted to hear from her. With her autobiography, Neon Angel: The Memoir Of A Runaway, inspiring the Runaways biopic, we were able to ride along with Currie on a life adventure that saw her go through Hell and back many times over.
Now it's time to ride with her on the next journey. A journey that starts with a great record called "Reverie".

01 - Reverie
02 - Inner You
03 - Is It Day or Night?
04 - Shades of Me
05 - Queen of the Asphalt Jungle
06 - American Nights
07 - Dark World
08 - Believe
09 - I'm Happy
10 - Another Dream

Cherie Currie: Lead & Background Vocals
Jake Hays: Guitar, Drums, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Lita Ford: Lead & Background Vocals (duet on 3, 6)
Nick Maybury: Guitars
Grant Fitzapatrick: Bass
Cliff Retallick: Piano, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Mike Wolf, Jonathan Barrick Griffiths: Strings
Mitch Perry: Slide Guitar
Mickey Miller: Guitars, Percussion, Background Vocals
Elizabeth Aston, Patrick Golenberg, Nick Bral: Background Vocals



PETERIK / SCHERER - Risk Everything [Japanese Edition +2] (2015)

PETERIK / SCHERER - Risk Everything [Japanese Edition +2] (2015) full


Jim Peterik, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and the man behind Survivor success, without a doubt has an ear for great vocalists. He 'discovered' Marc Scherer, a master jeweler by profession, when he was recording vocals for his group in Peterik's studio three years ago.
Since then, Peterik has wanted to craft songs and an album to showcase Scherer's superb vocals, and the result is "Risk Everything", a CD released under the names of both artists PETERIK / SCHERER by Frontiers Records, and in Japan by Marquee / Avalon with excellent 2 bonus tracks.

And indeed, Scherer owns a powerful and melodic voice, a full five octave range. He can belt it out or bring it down to a whisper. And his voice is in the proper context.
Of course, Peterik has crafted classy AOR / Melodic Rock songs: lots of melody, harmony and groove with catchy refrains and vibrant guitar solos. Considering his nearly inexhaustible experience, sounds from Survivor to Toto to Journey, among others, come to mind.
Properly, not only do his commanding presence, the production keeps Scherer in front of the music; it's there to support and carry him along. And it sounds pretty fandamntastic too.

PETERIK / SCHERER - Risk Everything [Japanese Edition +2] (2015) booklet

From the first crystal clean guitar tones in opener title track “Risk Everything” to the autobiographical undertones of brilliant storytelling and ultra-melodic grandeur of “Independence Day”, this album is everything fans of the genre could have asked for.
The music fittingly illustrates the stories told in Marc Scherer’s clean-cut voice, all embroidered with flawless vocal harmonies. But what perhaps what strikes here the most is the fact Jim Peterik still hasn’t run out of ideas for composing tunes that are catchy but tasteful, and simply captivating.

Plenty of tracks on the album are kept at a mid-tempo groove, ‘80s infused keyboard sound upfront and juxtaposed with rich lead guitar work like in “Chance Of A Lifetime”, “The Dying Of The Light”, “Cold Blooded” or the rocking “Brand New Heart”.
You have a few songs that blur the line between anthem and ballad as on “Desperate In Love”, its first part ballad-esque only to morph smoothly into an AOR Melodic mid-tempo further on. Also “The Crescendo” has this feeling, bringing to mind '80s Styx.

There’s also a true ballad, the charming, heart-tugging “How Long Is A Moment” with all that classic melodies we love.
Then, albeit somewhat tempered by tinkly keyboards, the distinct, thumping rhythm of “Milestones” reminds you classic Survivor with a 'fresh' vocalist.
One brilliant song after another, there’s hardly a highlight to be picked among the eleven songs on 'Risk Everything' – each of them equally great.

This Japanese Edition exclusively features 2 extra gems to enjoy.
The first is the anthemic AOR midtempo "The Man I Am". Peterik carves deep into his '86 Survivor-like arsenal of superb melodies for this one, while Scherer provides his most emotional performance on the record. A winner!
Then "Moments To Memories" go for a sweet, warm melodic line in a song that wouldn't had been out of place on any late Eighties movie soundtrack, or in Pride Of Lions' first album.
Both bonuses are pure gold and worth the extra pennies for this Japan CD.

PETERIK / SCHERER - Risk Everything [Japanese Edition +2] (2015) back

"Risk Everything" is yet another jewel in Jim Peterik’s crown – an musician and songwriter that doesn’t need more recognition or acclaim, but the one who still can surprise a listener with quite a few melodic aces up his sleeve.
And simultaneously, an album that put the relatively little known Marc Scherer in the same league as the mentioned singers Peterik’s previously collaborated with – Toby Hitchcock, Dave Bickler and the late, great Jimi Jamison.

Apart from perfectly crafted melodies, it’s Scherer’s range and clear vocal tone one of the biggest assets to the record. Peterik is there to add harmony vocals and his share of strong guitar work / sparkling keyboard lines ... and his terrific songcraft, of course.
Yes, the combo PETERIK / SCHERER works like a charm, and let’s only hope – on behalf of all Melodic Rock aficionados out there – that "Risk Everything" it’s only the first of many albums released under their collaborative moniker.

Marquee / Avalon Japan
【CD】リスク・エヴリシング/ピートリック/シェラー [MICP-11217]

01 - Risk Everything
02 - Chance Of A Lifetime
03 - Cold Blooded
04 - Desperate In Love
05 - Thee Crescendo
06 - The Dying Of The Light
07 - How Long Is A Moment
08 - Brand New Heart
09 - Broken Home
10 - Milestones
11 - Independence Day
12 - The Man I Am (bonus track for Japan)
13 - Moments To Memories (bonus track for Japan)

Marc Scherer – lead vocals
Jim Peterik – guitars, keyboards, vocals
Ed Breckenfeld (Pride of Lions, Jimi Jamison) – drums
Nick Rich – drums
Klem Hayes (Pride of Lions) – bass
Bob Lizik (Dennis DeYoung, Pride of Lions) – bass
Bill Syniar (Survivor, Kelly Keagy) – bass
Mike Aquino (Mecca, Pride of Lions) – add. guitars



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