DAKOTA is one of the best representatives of the pure '80s AOR sound, and their self-titled debut highly deserved this Rock Candy 'Remastered & Reloaded' reissue.
Formed by vocalists / guitarists Jerry Hludzik and Bill Kelly, Dakota had their roots in the late '70s as ex members of The Buoys and Jerry/Kelly Band, before signing to Columbia / CBS in 1980.
That same year they released their self-titled album which yielded a regional hit across the country called "If It Takes All Night" (regional hit means that some radio stations played it, and most didn't).
Thanks to this moderated success and manager contacts, Dakota later snagged the opening slot on part of Queen’s U.S. tour, which included three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden.
Dakota's self-titled debut sports a sumptuous AOR coat blending pomp rock, West Coast and classic AOR, with hints of Le Roux, Toto, Trillion and Styx.
Opener and first single "If It Takes All Night" launched Dakota's career combining superb guitar melodies, breezy vintage keyboards and an anthemic, fantastic chorus. The verses are pure midtempo magic but in the chorus the song explodes with tons of harmony vocals.
"Crazy For Your Love" is a much calmer smooth AOR in the vein of Le Roux, with a West Coast approach and a big groove.
"Possession" rocks with a sustained riff and synth arrangements, while follower "You Can't Live Without It" is a dreamy ballad with classic pianos. "One Step" returns to the rockier territory, with an early '80s trademark sound including staccato keyboards and a great chorus.
"Restless" starts slowly but soon evolves into a hooky rocker with irresistible harmonic vocals and an outstanding melodic line.
"Crazy Love" has a radio friendly sound, while "It Gets Easier" includes lovely vocal cascades and a feel-good vibe.
This Rock Candy re-issue at 24-bit remastering from original source tapes is just awesome. Not only the sound is terrific, it includes two very good Bonus Tracks as well.
"The Higher You Rise" is an awesome early Eighties AOR tune with synths and layers of vocals, and "Give Love Another Try" has a magical melodic rock refrain, great guitars and swirling keys.
"Dakota" is a truly superlative slice of period-perfect AOR.
A Must Have
01 - If It Takes All Night
02 - Crazy for Your Love
03 - Possession
04 - You Can't Live Without It
05 - One Step
06 - Lady
07 - Restless
08 - Crazy Love
09 - It Gets Easier
10 - The Higher You Rise
11 - Give Love Another Try
Bill Kelly - vocals, guitars
Jerry Hludzik - vocals, guitars
Louie Cossa - keyboards
Jeff Mitchell - keyboards, background vocals
Bill McHale - bass, background vocals
John Robinson - drums
Jon Lorance - guitar
Rick Manwiller - keyboards, vocals [Bonus]
Tony Romano - drums [Bonus]
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Monday, October 31, 2016
DAKOTA is one of the seminal American AOR acts. This 2016 reissued 2CD "Looking Back [The Anthology]" is a perfect compendium of their entire discography, with a revised sound by the band's founder members.
Created in 1980 by Bill Kelly and Jerry Hludzik from the ashes of 'The Jerry-Kelly Band', they have recorded a bunch of excellent albums, with the band's 2nd 'Runaway' (1984) still being one of my all-time favorites in the genre.
Dakota's blend of Classy AOR and refined West Coast touches is filled with big hooklines, fluffy keyboards and harmony vocals to die for. Later the group also developed a a strong melodic hard rock sound with an updated sound yet retaining the '80s feel.
Dakota experienced many line-up changes, besides, high class session musicians were part of their studio recordings, such as Richie Zito (Bad English, Heart), Paul Jackson (Pages, David Foster), bassist Neil Stubenhaus (Robin Beck, Steve Lukather), Chicago singer Bill Champlin, Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro and many more.
Simply put; if you like Classic, pure AOR of the best lineage, "Looking Back [The Anthology]" is a Must Have.
01 - Runaway
02 - Crazy For Your Love
03 - Brothers In Arms
04 - Last Standing Man
05 - Mr. Lucky
06 - Prelude To Victories
07 - Little Victories
08 - Holdin' Your Own
09 - Brother To Brother
10 - Hot Nights
11 - When The Rebel Comes Home
12 - You Can't Live Without It
13 - Over In A Minute
14 - What Were You Thinkin'
15 - The Deep
16 - Don't Count Me Out
01 - If It Takes All Night
02 - Mama Teach
03 - Angry Men
04 - Next In Line
05 - Right This Minute
06 - Only Game In Town
07 - Not So Much In Love
08 - Back To Me
09 - Into The Night
10 - Heroes
11 - Run With The Wind
12 - Hearts On Fire
13 - Somebody's Hero
14 - Wish
15 - Go Easy On My Heart
Jerry G. Hludzik - vocals, guitars
Bill Kelly - vocals, guitars
Rick Manwiller - keyboards, programming, backing vocals
Louie Cossa, Jeff Mitchell - keyboards
Bill McHale, Neil Stubenhaus, Bill McHale - bass
John Robinson, Danny Seraphine, Eli M.Hludzik - drums
Jon Lorance, Eric Kudy, Nat Gardner - guitar
Bill Champlin - backing vocals
Steve Porcaro - additional guitars
Chris Pinnick - additional guitars
Richie Zito - additional guitars
Paul Jackson Jr. - additional guitars
David Hawk Wolinski - additional guitars
Jeff Mitchell - electric piano
Tony Romano - drums
"Barceloningham" is the new album by crazy rockers STOP STOP. There should not be a harder-working band than StOp sToP in the U.K. right now, playing everywhere. As suggested by the ridiculous title afforded this, their third album, this merry band of retro-fuelled hair metal folks formed in Spain, Barcelona, before choosing the United Kingdom (or, rather, its legion of rock clubs the length and breadth of the country) as its sleazy spiritual home.
There isn't a week that goes by without this tousled trio playing at least four shows in sweaty, packed U.K. venues and clubs.
"Barceloningham" features a dozen tracks that have not one iota of originality between them... but who gives a toss? If you've ever seen this band live then you'll know that fun is of the highest order and this record pretty much captures that spirit in its virtual grooves.
Mainman Jacob A.M. is the star of the show here, and, as he veers from Brian Vollmer (Helix) to Vicki James Wright (Johnny Crash) soundalike, you can't help but throw a horned salute towards his seemingly unfaltering commitment to Eighties hard rock and all its party-hardy trappings.
Throw in some Jizzy Pearl, some Helix, a sprinkle of Skid Row, a rubbing of Roxx Gang, blend it with some Britny Fox and you've got a no frills, all thrills album that offers exactly what it says on the (shocking pink) tin.
Opening track 'Won't Hold Me Back' the perfect sample of StOp sToP's music; loud, ballsy sleazy / glam, some kind of bastard child from Skid Row and Steel Panther.
'Spit It Out' is pretty Helix, 'Over &Out' Poison on steroids, we have a Steelheart-esque song in 'Billy No Mates', and more hair metal-related sleazy cuts in 'Out The Fire', 'Into The Pan' and 'Johnny Ten-Men'.
I guess that the majority of the copies of "Barceloningham" sold, will be after the band has just played another blinding, shit-eating grin-inducing live show in some grubby rock club. Not one person who buys it on the strength of the performance they will have just witnessed will be disappointed by its glam-smeared hard rocking wares.
Fun and entertaining stuff.
01 - Won't Hold Me Back
02 - Spit It Out
03 - Over & Out
04 - Humbug
05 - Little Fighter
06 - Billy No Mates
07 - Out The Fire, Into The Pan
08 - Walk N' Stalk
09 - Spanish Fly
10 - Barceloningham
11 - Johnny Ten-Men
12 - Your World
Jacob A.M. (vocals, bass)
Vega (guitars, backing vocals)
Danny Stix (drums, backing vocals)
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Sunday, October 30, 2016
Journey's vocalist ARNEL PINEDA recently signed a multi-record deal with Imagen Records and we already enjoyed a nice Christmas album at the end of past year. Now arrives Pineda's first solo album with the label simply titled "AP".
There is no denying the exceptional vocal talents of Arnel Pineda, as evidenced with his longtime work with one of melodic hard rock’s most enduring acts, Journey.
As a member of Journey Pineda co-wrote and performed on a pair of studio recordings, 2008's "Revelation" and 2011's "Eclipse", as well as a concert DVD, 2009's "Live In Manila".
Well, on "AP" there's rockers and ballads.
The disc opens with the funky rocker 'Ewan Ko Ba', sung in Filipino, Pineda's native language. This happens as well on the weird 'Paumanhin' and the piano ballad 'Hiling', the latter very good musically but sorry, the Filipino do not glue for me.
On the other hand, the English songs are really strong.
There's a superb ballad in 'Owe', very Journey-esque in arrangements, and a very atmospheric tune in 'Wrong' which at the end explodes into a solid melodic rocker.
'Soulmate' adds a Flamenco / Spanish touch with acoustic guitars and we discover here a different vocal side from Pineda, 'Invincible Side' is a cool poppy midtempo, and closer 'Say Goodbye (I Can't Let You)' is the best track on the album, a punchy melodic hard rocker with driven guitars and Pineda's voice in full form.
Arnel Pineda's solo debut "AP" is a mixed bag: some very good tracks with others not so convincing. But don't get me wrong: these are not bad, I just do not dig the language. It doesn't fit the rock & pop metrics.
On the other side, the English songs are pretty good of course showcasing Pineda's wide and elastic vocals.
Incredibly 8 years have already passed since the vocalist debut as the lead singer of Journey. If you like this period of the band with Arnel at front, this is a must-check album.
1 - Ewan Ko Ba
2 - Owe
3 - Paumanhin
4 - Hiling
5 - Wrong
6 - Soulmate
7 - Invincible Side
8 - Say Goodbye (I Can't Let You)
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"Game Of Love" is the new album from Greek melodic hard rockers WILD SOULS to be released tomorrow October 31. Monday is a strange day to release a Rock album but there's a reason; Halloween, and not so strange as Wild Souls' style & sound are absolutely 'Americanized'.
"Game Of Love" is the second Wild Souls album, but their first for Lions Pride Music, the new melodic hard rock specialized label that doesn't stop signing really good bands.
And Wild Soul are really good at their game; classic late '80s / early '90s US MHR akin FireHouse, Tyketto, etc. spiced with a modern AOR touch here and there.
The CD kicks-off with the self-titled track in an impressive way; a fast-paced and old-fashioned hard rocker with a strong chorus line and superb guitar lines. There's a very clean and polished sound and the lead vocals manages to raise the quality of each song.
More consistency is found on the groovy 'Dirty Mind', the rocking 'Riding' and the bluesy 'Pretty Babe'.
But my favorites are the melodic rock little gem of 'Shame On You', the really good midtempo 'Moonlight' and the well elaborated ballad 'One More Night'
Also, for the end, 'I Need Your Love' delivers another classic Americanized catchy melody with a feel-good energy and some AOR touches.
"Game Of Love" is classy US Melodic Hard Rock, from the melodies, the sweet harmonies, the clean guitar work to the cover artwork. Yeah, nothing new under the sun... and that's exactly what fan of the genre want.
You only need good songs and Wild Souls delivers; just 9, but no fillers. And sound & vibe; Wild Souls also delivers, capturing the genre's essence in all departments.
I hope that will be hear more and bigger things from Wild Souls in the near future. They're a very, very good band.
1 - Game Of Love
2 - Dirty Mind
3 - Shame On You
4 - Pretty Babe
5 - Riding
6 - Rock My World
7 - Moonlight
8 - One More Night
9 - I Need Your Love
George Nikolaou - Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Kostis Tsiligiris - Guitars
Nikos Tsiligoudis - Drums
Tasos Karapapazoglou - Bass, Backing Vocals
Manos Skaramagkas - Keyboards
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Saturday, October 29, 2016
the REAL one
Now it's time to feature here one of my favorite albums from the last twenty-five years; RTZ "Return To Zero", brilliantly remastered by Rock Candy Records. This record, simply put, it's a Melodic Rock Heaven.
There is no question that Boston, the band, pretty much re-wrote the rule book when it came to defining the sound of melodic (hard) rock. Their self titled debut album established a blue print that provided a touchstone for every similar act that came in its wake, paving the way for numerous artists to carve out successful commercial careers for themselves; Foreigner, Journey and Survivor spring immediately to mind.
After attaining huge success and experiencing all the pressures that such achievement often brings, Boston, understandably, started to fracture, with leader Tom Scholz taking complete control of his vision.
Guitarist Barry Goudreau was the first member to strike out on his own, issuing a well received solo album in 1980, followed by the formation of Orion The Hunter, who released a stellar record in 1984 (featured HERE).
Looking to further build on his reputation, he reunited with his former Boston colleague vocalist Brad Delp, the duo founded RTZ, a brand new project.
Anyone travelling up and down AOR boulevard during these unseemly times would've been highly intrigued by a new project involving two fifths of Boston, notably the 'voice' Bradley Delp and guitarist Barry Goudreau.
Issued in 1991, RTZ "Return To Zero" took the Boston blue print one step further, writing songs very much influenced by the sound of their previous outfits, but also injected with the spit and polish of the late '80s.
And this is why I love this album so much: apart from the excellent songs and performances, I-Love-The-Sound on this album, that 'glossy' late Eighties paint.
Recorded in Los Angeles by the great Chris Lord Alge, the album boasts some of the most arresting melodic hard rock that has ever been crafted. Every song is a true winner, with Brad Delp excelling beyond our wildest dreams.
Overlooked at the time, primarily due to the arrival of the grunge movement, this album is actually amonumental sonic achievement.
None, I repeat, none Melodic Rock / AOR collection is complete without this gem.
Terrific remaster by Rock Candy.
A MUST HAVE
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 - Face The Music
02 - There's Another Side
03 - All You've Got
04 - This Is My Life
05 - Rain Down On Me
06 - Every Door Is Open
07 - Devil To Pay
08 - Until Your Love Comes Back Around
09 - Livin' For The Rock 'N' Roll
10 - Hard Time (In The Big House)
11 - Return To Zero
Brad Delp: lead and backing vocals
Barry Goudreau: guitar, backing vocals
Brian Maes: keyboards, backing vocals
Tim Archibald: bass
David Stefanelli: drums, backing vocals
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Bristol hard rock quintet HUNTED arrived too late into the scene in the early '90s, but it's never too late to discover their recorded (and unreleased) music now compiled under the title "Fallen Angel : The Collection" just released yesterday.
If talent and timing are the two prerequisites for success, Hunted had only the first of them working in their favour. Back in the early Nineties, the fashion in rock music was to schlep around in plaid shirts pretending to be glum in emulation of such grungemeisters as Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
This was not a time to launch a career in well-crafted melodic hard rock with soaring twin lead guitars. With the odds stacked against them from the outset, the remarkable thing about Hunted was that they managed to achieve so much during their all-too-brief flowering, winning a national battle of the bands contest and building an enviable live following.
Guitarist and Hunted founder Bob Starling had already tasted a modicum of success with Stormtrooper. Joining forces with old chum and fellow guitarist Dave Preston in the spring of 1992, Bob swiftly secured the services of vocalist Andy Milsom, bassist Mark Williams and drummer Andy 'Woody' Knight. By Christmas, the band had clocked up gigs at all the key venues on the local live circuit, including the Bristol Bridge Inn, the Fleece and the Bierkeller.
But 1993 was to be Hunted's big year. In January, they recorded their first, self-financed EP, 'Streets of Fire', as a statement of intent to become more than just another bunch of wannabes playing local pubs for beer money. On a roll, they entered and won Radio 1's Rock Wars contest in June, bagging a recording session at the legendary Maida Vale Studios. This was broadcast twice on The Friday Rock Show, in August 1993 and January 1994.
Now established as Bristol's leading hard rock act, they secured coveted local support slots with Steve Grimmett's Lionsheart and ex-Iron Maiden men Paul Di'Anno and Adrian Smith's respective solo projects.
1994 continued on a high with an invitation to go to New York to discuss a potential development deal with RCA. Six new songs were recorded for the occasion and the A&R people were suitably enthusiastic.
Back in the UK, Hunted played the Marquee and recorded more material for their proposed debut album, 'Crawl'. But the RCA deal fell through, hitting the band hard.
With disillusion setting in, it was only a matter of time until the inevitable split in 1995.
"Fallen Angel [The Collection]" comprises all these recordings.
Musically Hunted was classic Eighties melodic hard rock with a little edge, in the same vein of other British acts such as Skin, Little Angels, or the great and underrated Kiss Of The Gypsy.
The songs are filled with melody, twin guitar and vocal harmony, groove, catchy hooks and refrains in the arrangements, and rippin' guitar solos. Andy Milsom has a classic singing voice, pure rock with a smooth, melodic, yet determined, style.
The production across all the songs, considering no label support, is pretty good giving every element clarity, notable in the definition of the bass lines.
In other words, it's everything you love about classic hard rock whatever the decade.
This 15-track collection delivers a welcomed variety, being among the highlights 'Strangers', the edgy 'Judgement', and 'Streets Of Fire'. Then 'Wish U Wuz Dead' is a tongue-in-cheek rocker, while 'Victim' has a heavier thumping attitude.
Another favorite is 'Swing Of The Pendulum' which has this Middle Eastern feeling in the guitar line. It's a fast-paced number with lots of groove, a great vocal arrangement and abundance of glimmering guitar lines. Surprisingly, or maybe not, there are no ballads to be found in the collection.
Not to be confused with the currently active progressive power metal band of the same (also from England), Hunter was, from songwriting to musicianship to production, an immensely talented band with great ideas for some really good hard rocking music.
But you know how music industry works, moving by the next big that's the next big profit. Hunter was playing this brand of hard rock at the wrong time. Yet, fans of the classic sounds of the genre get the last laugh with Hunted's "Fallen Angel (The Collection)".
01 - Strangers
02 - Judgement
03 - This Must Be Love
04 - I See the Sun
05 - Fallen Angel
06 - Broken Heart
07 - Three Wise Monkeys
08 - Two Timed
09 - Crawl
10 - Streets of Fire
11 - Wish U Wuz Ded
12 - Destiny
13 - Kill Me
14 - Victim
15 - Swing of the Pendulum
Tracks 1,2 Recorded at Christchurch Studios, Bristol, 1994
Tracks 3,7,10,11,14,15 Coach-house Studios, Bristol, 1993
Tracks 4,8 Recorded at Koh-San studios, Bath 1993
Tracks 5,6,9,12,13 Recorded at Grenville studios, Bristol, 1995
Andy Milsom: Lead Vocals and acoustic guitar
Dave Preston: Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
Bob Starling: Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
Mark Williams: Bass and Backing Vocals
Andrew “Woody“ Knight: Drums
BUY IT !
Friday, October 28, 2016
Released today via Cherry Red Records, "Too Late To Hate" is LUCIFER’S FRIEND first true new studio record since 1981. Lucifer's Friend reformed in 2015 featuring core original members John Lawton (ex- Uriah Heep, Zar), Peter Hesslein and Dieter Horns, along with long-term members Jogi Wichmann and Stephan Eggert.
About one year ago, when it was announced that cult rockers Lucifer's Friend were to return for the last time with John Lawton at the front, nobody thought there would be something more than a few new tracks for a classics collection and selected festival dates.
But first, those dates had been extended well into 2016, and then, rather unexpectedly, a new album was announced.
Not only we have a dozen cuts of brand new material, of which one is live, but quite possibly it won’t be the last we’ll hear from Lucifer's Friend.
Lawton said after the band having played the Rock Of Ages festival recently, and the Prog Night at the Loreley Festival in Germany: "things are looking good for the future of LUCIFER’S FRIEND.”
There has been some reissues, re-recordings and recorded reunion shows by Lucifer's Friend in the last 30 years, but never a full album, a full-band package.
The first thing that impressed me of "Too Late To Hate" is how glued the band feels. The year touring with many gigs and festivals has paid off.
Secondly, the really good material on offer. And third, the very strong production, akin the Lucifer's of old but truly dynamic, modern, updated to current times.
New album "Too Late To Hate" sounds like mix of classic Uriah Heep, 85's Deep Purple and why not, some House Of Lords / Ten. Just check the great 'Straight for the Heart' for the latter comparisons.
'Demolition Man' is driven by a very modern riff, while 'Tears' sounds very contemporary and even melodic rock / poppy at places.
But of course, the classic style is still present on 'Tell Me Why' (epic vocals by Lawton), the slightly progressive 'I Will Be There', and the Hammond organ filled 'Sea of Promises' (some DIO on it).
If you need some AOR (in the vein of '90s TEN) then listen to 'When Children Cry' (one of the highlights for me) or the excellent 'Don't Talk to Strangers'.
For a true classic rock ballad, 'This Time' fulfills your expectations with a bluesy touch.
Lucifer's Friend returned with their spirit intact, mixing their classic style with some modernized touches. Of course, the 'modernized' word applies for production, as song-wise we are dealing with Seventies / Eighties stuff here, and some of the best quality.
Very, strongly recommended.
01 - Demolition Man
02 - Jokers & Fools
03 - When Children Cry
04 - Straight for the Heart
05 - Tell Me Why
06 - Don't Talk to Strangers
07 - I Will Be There
08 - This Time
09 - Tears
10 - Sea of Promises
11 - Brothers Without a Name
12 - When You're Gone (Live)
John Lawton - Vocals
Peter Hesslein - Guitars
Dieter Horns - Bass
Jogi Wichmann - Keyboards
Stephan Eggert - Drums
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Fronted by Welsh rock legend Nev MacDonald HAND OF DIMES are presenting "Rise", the band's full length debut after their really good EP presented on this blog when appeared.
MacDonald was the founder member of UK hard rock favorites Skin during the Nineties. But Nev also was part of the acclaimed Welsh AOR act Kooga who released the much beloved disc Across The Water in 1986.
His partner in crime in Kooga was the excellent songwriter / keyboardist Neil Garland, and both accomplished musicians joined forces again for HAND OF DIMES, a band that has been relentless playing shows since its formation and currently supporting FM at their 'Indiscreet 30' tour. So this give you an idea of their quality.
Hand Of Dimes has a classic rock sound with pulsating guitars, classy keyboards and a bouncy rhythm section guided by MacDonald's enormous bluesy roar. Nev's vocals are powerful, controlled and full of emotion. Just check the incredible 'Another Sunday', a true gem.
Songs like ‘Looking at You’ and ‘Bad Reputation’ were given the spacious arrangements to show that off, much in the way Free and Bad Co. did with Paul Rodgers voice.
‘Angels and Demons’ and ‘Jacobs Ladder’ are both more midtempo paced, atmospheric pieces creating a more intimate mood, the for pumping rockers, 'Pinstriped Arrogance' with its classy Whitesnake feel, the kickin' opener 'Guilty' and the funkier 'Come the Hour' are real winners.
Neil Garland add some great keyboard work on the likes of ‘Stranger in my Home Town’ or the soulful 'Sail On', while hiding behind shades the guitar work of Colin Edwards is really tasteful.
"Rise" is a terrific classic rock debut from Hand Of Dimes full of excellent melodies and some truly awesome songs. There's not a single filler among the 13 tracks on offer, produced in the old-fashioned way but with potent output.
Don't miss "Rise", believe me, it's a fantastic record.
01 - Guilty
02 - Moonlight Mile
03 - Stranger in My Home Town
04 - Pinstriped Arrogance
05 - Jacob's Ladder
06 - The Drifter
07 - Looking at You
08 - Angels and Demons
09 - Sail On
10 - Bad Reputation
11 - Come the Hour
12 - Another Sunday
13 - If I Hold You (Bonus Track)
Nev MacDonald - vocals, guitar
Neil Garland - keyboards
Colin Edwards - lead guitar
Mark Maybry - bass
David Stephenson - drums
BUY IT !
the Real One
DEMON, a true British legend and possibly the most underrated metal band of all time, have burst out of the studio with yet another essential album for any fans of classic hard rock / traditional melodic metal titled "Cemetery Junction".
Never ones to repeat themselves, DEMON have proved time and time again that they are as good as - if not better - than their peers, even if they aren’t a household name.
"Cemetery Junction" may just change this lack of notoriety though, carefully crafted, this 11 track rocking CD is something the band are immensely proud of, and rightfully so, whilst the phrase 'All Killer-No Filler' is thrown around a lot, never has it been more true than in this instance.
From the opening track 'Are You Just Like Me', it’s clear that the band are firing on all cylinders, and demand your full and undivided attention.
Before go on read this; Demon 2016 and "Cemetery Junction" is not 'heavy metal', this is classic hard rock with a lot of groove & catchiness, of course with a pinch of Demon's traditional melodic metal sound.
Vocalist Dave Hill may be the only constant since the bands inception, but that doesn’t mean the band have lost any of their sound, in fact, they are possibly one of the few bands who have managed to maintain their signature sound but as well as adapting it according to times and keeping the identity of each member intact.
Neil Ogden and Ray Walmsley who provide the rhythm section are clearly identifiable, Paul Hume / David Cotterill both have unique playing styles when it comes to the twin guitar work, Karl Waye has an individual sound on the keyboard that is different to his predecessors, and time itself has been kind to Hill, his voice is as strong as it was in the '80s now with more melodic arrangements.
Closing the CD is 'Some’s Watching You', almost a reprise to the supernatural themes that Demon were known for in their early years, a haunting almost nursery rhyme-esque track that sends shivers down your spine.
This throwback shows that at heart, this is still the band that emerged in the '80s, but now in 2016, they have come a long way, but they’ve still got a long way to go.
In their last release Unbroken, Demon's the message was clear; the band are unbroken, they are still standing despite the trials and tribulations.
With "Cemetery Junction", the band have stated themselves that 'The Best Is Yet To Come', these aren’t empty words either, the band have stuck to their guns through thick and thin and only they know what’s around the corner.
But for now, we can enjoy "Cemetery Junction" for all it is, a great rocking album that hopefully solidifies this band in the annals of Rock music history.
Speaking of production the sound is spot on and there is lots of effects and little musical nuances going on in the background of most songs that reveal themselves after repeated plays.
Demon did it again, with another album of high quality songs and for me their one of the best of their career.
01 - Are You Just Like Me (Spirit of Man)
02 - Life in Berlin
03 - Turn on the Magic
04 - The Best Is Yet to Come
05 - Queen of Hollywood
06 - Thin Disguise
07 - Cemetery Junction
08 - Drive
09 - Miracle
10 - Out of Control
11 - Someone's Watching You
Dave Hill (Vocals)
Ray Walmsley (Bass)
David Cotterill (Guitars)
Paul Hume (Guitars)
Paul 'Fazza' Farrington (Keyboards)
Neil Ogden (Drums)
BUY IT !
"Tailor Made" is the new album released today from Hamburg-based hard rockers HARDBONE. This is their 4th record, and you can say the band has been pretty consistent as their debut appeared only six years ago.
I liked the band's previous album despite some flaws in production, but for "Tailor Made" Hardbone have done that necessary 'step forward'.
They have a new rhythm section and this has benefited the overall tightness, and alongside the solid twin guitar attack and the more polished production this new album comes punchier like never before.
Hardbone premise is really simple: full throttle classic hard rock, riff-based, groove, raspy vocals, no place for ballads. This is an old-school kind of record; 40 minutes in he vein of AC/DC, Airbourne, Rose Tatoo, Black Aces, etc.
However, and perhaps due to their Germanic origin, Hardbone reminds me more of their country neighbors Krokus.
'No Man's Land', the dirty 'Blood from Hell', the rolling 'Tear It Up' and especially the extremely catchy 'Cannonball' (complete with gang vocals) are among the best of the bunch.
But if you like this style, all are solid numbers in this vein.
No-frills rock n' roll is the motto of Hardbone in "Tailor Made", a well crafted, effective classic hard rock record.
Those who have an ear for 'the power of simplicity' will enjoy this, a cool ten-track corker to enjoy with your preferred booze at hand.
01 - No Man's Land
02 - It's a Man Thing
03 - Tailor-Made Woman
04 - Blood from Hell
05 - What's Going On
06 - Cannonball
07 - When It Comes Down to It
08 - We're All Gonna Die
09 - Barfly
10 - Tear It Up
Tim Dammann - Vocals
Sebastian Kranke - Lead Guitar
Tommy Lindemann - Rhythm Guitar
Tim Schwarz - Bass
Benjamin Ulrich - Drums
BUY IT !
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Former Lion’s Share vocalist Tony Niva will release tomorrow his own band NIVA sixth album titled "Atmospherical" via AOR Heaven Records. On this album he is joined by Lars Chriss - who has played and produced on many melodic rock albums including Overland, Seven and Radioactive, Kay Backlund (Lion’s Share) on keys and bassist Andy Loos (Covered Call, Seven), plus Nigel Bailey (Lifeline, Three Lions) adds backing vocals.
The Lion’s Share connection appears not only in the musicians involved but in the reworking of that band’s B-side ‘I’m On A Roll’, complete with a Dio-era Rainbow keyboard intro.
This one and ‘Deja Vu’ reminded me of Treat, another band who seem to produce melodic rock gems at the drop of a hat. 'Dressed to Kill' is a fine opener but it's strange that has been chosen as single / video as it isn't the best song on the album.
The hooks keep on coming in the songs be it the instant melody on ‘Evil Rose’ or the keyboards-led AOR of ‘The Mountain’. I am a sucker for a harmony filled chorus and this song hits the spot nicely.
Despite the press release saying Tony Niva wanted a heavier sound and less emphasis on the keyboards on this new Niva album, they still play an important role in the majority of the songs.
In fact, I found "Atmospherical" even more melodic and AORrish than the previous Niva album.
"Atmospherical" is another fine Melodic Rock / AOR album featuring the vocal talents of Tony Niva.
It has the songs and musicianship to make this one go to the top of melodic rock fans’ shopping lists this year. Yeah, it's really solid stuff through all its 10 tracks.
01 - Dressed to Kill
02 - Deja Vu
03 - Spirit of the Night
04 - Forbidden Lover
05 - I'm on a Roll
06 - Evil Rose
07 - Raise Your Voice
08 - The Mountain
09 - Play Our Songs
10 - Wall of Bricks
Tony Niva – Lead vocals
Lars Chriss – Guitars, Drums
Andy Loos – Bass
Kay Backlund, Fredrik Bergh – Keyboards
Nigel Bailey – Backing vocals
Mick Devine, George Bailey – Add. backing vocals
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Here's another request fulfilled in the form of the Friday Music Records remastered edition of THE LAW self-titled album plus a previously unreleased track. In 1991, the legendary Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Co., Queen) and powerhouse drummer Kenney Jones (The Faces, The Who) teamed up as THE LAW and delivered one incredible smash album.
Although a short venture, it's been an enduring chapter in the career of both superstars.
With some major player help from David Gilmour, Bryan Adams, Chris Rea, and Pino Palladino, the album netted the duo a #1 AOR smash in the track 'Laying Down The Law'.
Phil Collen (lDef Leppard), wrote 'Miss You In A Heartbeat' for this album (later recorded by Def Leppard for their Retrospective album), while Bryan Adams co-wrote and plays guitar on 'Nature of the Beast'.
"The Law" had it’s share of songwriters and guest musicians, yet the end result are eleven songs that possess the Classic Rock / Hard Rock sound that hooks me each time I listen.
In fact, the record sounds pretty '80s production-wise, think Bad Company's AORish albums from that era.
Additionally, one of the greatest things of this recording is that it captured Paul Rodgers when he still had that amazing voice. His vocals started to change and weaken by the time he got around to that blues album he did after The Law, 1994s Muddy Water Blues.
Paul's voice today is nothing like it was on this "The Law" CD. So appreciate this at least for one last collection of Paul singing the way he did in his golden days.
This long overdue re-issue is now a Deluxe Edition remastered impeccably by Joe Reagoso (Doobie Brothers, David Lee Roth, Deep Purple), and includes the very rare and unreleased gem 'That's When You Fall In Love'.
If you missed this the first time around, catch up with The Law now. It's a really good album with a classic feel and a second half of the '80s sound.
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 - For A Little Ride
02 - Miss You In A Hearbeat
03 - Stone Cold
04 - Come Save Me (Julianne)
05 - Laying Down The Law
06 - Nature Of The Beast
07 - Stone
08 - Anything For You
09 - Best Of My Love
10 - Tough Love
11 - Missing You Bad Girl
12 - That's When You Fall In Love (prev. unreleased)
Paul Rodgers - vocals, keyboards
Kenney Jones - drums
Jim Barber, Mike Hehir, John Staehely - guitar
Pino Palladino, George Hawkins Jr. - bass
Steve Pigott, Jon Astley - keyboards
Steve Butler, Ian Wilson - backing vocals
Bryan Adams, Dave Gilmour, Chris Rea - guest guitar
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ROCK WOLVES, the new all-star trio featuring Herman Rarebell, Michael Voss and Stephan "Gudze" Hinz, will release its self-titled debut album tomorrow October 28 via Steamhammer/SPV.
The alpha male from this pack (founding member) ex Scorpions Mr. Rarebell describes his new band as “classic rock music, powerful but not too heavy”. The band features three musicians with some 40 years of experience: drummer Hermann Rarebell (Michael Schenker, Ex-Scorpions), vocalist and guitarist Michael Voss (Mad Max, Michael Schenker), and bass player Stephan Hinz aka Gudze (H-Blockx).
With such a diverse assembly of experience and talent this band seems practically spoiled for choice and ideas, this is clearly evident as you make your way through the record.
Rock Wolves is a band that is clearly in pursuit of perfection – the passion and eagerness is driven right home by a monster truck in the opening track ‘Rock For The Nations’ beautifully uplifting and full of character that I assume only comes from guys in love with the concepts they are creating; this tune is straight up classic hard rock with an epic atmosphere that could easily be the next rock anthem.
Make no mistake, this is a melodic hard rock album in the best classic sense, yet also touched with a some edge and neatly tucked into an AOR wrapper. The songs are loaded with melody, harmony, and groove, with catchy refrains and bright guitar solos. Of course, Mr Voss is an exceptional rock vocalist, singing clean with natural melody and harmony to his voice.
The song that was hardest to get past after the first listen (6 times before I got to the 3rd track!) and yes you’ve guessed it, my standout track, is track 2 ‘Surrounded By Fools’. A gut grabbing intro loaded to the gills with sexy groovy riffs, a bluesy breakdown before a sensual solo and a catchy chorus that slapped a huge smile all over my face.
They don’t stop with the wonderment there either, as the pace quickens in ’Out Of Time’ where they definitely don’t miss and hit the wall, totally hard rock chops bursting out of this one.
As this album plays out you’ll begin to notice that it has just that little extra something for everyone, from hard rock to romance to pure haunting ambience in tracks like ‘The Lion Is Loose’ and for AC/DC fans ‘I Need Your Love’, yes this record is for true rock fans containing whole-hearted and profound lyrics which caress our innermost hidden feelings at times.
Isn’t this what rock is all about?
The diversity doesn’t end there either, as the ballads kick in and drop down to a very calculated pace in ‘Nothings Gonna Bring Me Down’ and their cover of the 1985 classic by Heart ‘What About Love’. “Our new version has been given the blessing by songwriter Jim Vallance himself" said Rarebell, "His only comment was: this is even better than my original, so go for it”. Indeed it's a very cool version.
Closer ‘Lay With Me’ has a strong, passionate vocal delivery with subtle harmonies and a feel of beckoning to someone’s arms with a classy melody surrounding the air.
For their first album Rock Wolves has dropped a really strong platter of melodic hard rock. It's a powerfully and intelligently written record that will reach out and touch a wide audience. Because of the absolutely rock solid foundations it has emerged from, just like a phoenix from the flames, it will rise and it will succeed.
These three renowned German musicians that span a stunning 40 years in the business have produced a killer rocking album saturated in melody, relentless riffs to gorge on, high spirited and drenched with hard hitting hooks – what more could anyone want from a classic rock album?
Hopefully this will not be a one-off event, and we will hear more in the future.
01 - Rock For The Nations
02 - Surround By Fools
03 - Out Of Time
04 - What About Love
05 - The Blame Game
06 - Riding Shotgun
07 - Nothings Gonna Bring Me Down
08 - The Lion Is Loose
09 - I Need Your Love
10 - Lay With Me
Hermann Rarebell - drums, vocals
Michael Voss - vocals, guitars
Stephan Hinz - bass, vocals
Last year 0dayrox presented the debut EP from MARENNA, a really promising Melodic Rock & AOR project which next month will see its full length first album "No Regrets" out on the streets via Lions Pride Music.
Marenna is a project started in 2014 by songwriter and lead singer Rodrigo Marenna, an experienced Brazilian musician who was part of many local bands.
In this new challenge, Marenna's focus is to launch the vocalist to an international career, leading to public his own compositions and loved music style that combines influences from '80s AOR, early '90s Melodic Hard Rock and contemporary elements of sounds and arrangements.
Just check the album video promo below, you can't go wrong with Marenna's music: soaring melodies and a pure AOR / Melodic Hard Rock feel.
There's a pulsating rockers in 'Reason to Live', the catchy 'About Love', the anthemic title track 'No Regrets' and the more groovy 'Can't Let You Go', primo modern AOR on the excellent 'Never Surrender' (legendary title for AOR songs) and 'Fall in Love Again' plenty of keyboards, while Marenna provide variation with the sweet midtempo 'Come Back' adding acoustics to the mix and an elegant ballad in 'So Different'.
"No Regrets" is the kind of albums that fans of the pure side of Melodic Rock / AOR love from start to finish. There's no tricks, no alternative or slightly experimental tracks here, just true '80/'90s music with melodies galore.
Marenna owns a solid deep tenor register specially designed for this type of music, and his bandmates are all seasoned musicians.
You can't miss this baby.
01 - Reason to Live
02 - Can't Let You Go
03 - Never Surrender
04 - Come Back
05 - The Price
06 - Fall in Love Again
07 - About Love
08 - Forever
09 - So Different
10 - No Regrets
Rodrigo Marenna - lead & backing vocals
Jonas Godoy - guitar, bass, keyboards, backing vocals
Guilherme Mello, Matheus Tofehrn - drums
Sasha Zavistanovicz, Geraldo Aita - guest lead guitar
Arthur Appel, Aaron Alves - backing vocals
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Wednesday, October 26, 2016
To be released next November 4, "This House is Not for Sale" is BON JOVI’s fourteenth studio album in a long and winding musical road that spans more than three decades and total record sales of more than 130 million units worldwide. Bon Jovi is, quite simply, one of the best-selling bands of all time. And, like many other mega-bands, its members have weathered their share of storms.
Yes, Bon Jovi's hair metal heyday has long faded, as has the band's prolific right-hand shredder Richie Sambora, who split for good in 2014. Also erased, so Bon Jovi says, is the ongoing dispute with 32-year record label partner Mercury Records which kept the band in limbo for the last three years.
Opener title track "This House is not for Sale" has an explanation; "The House" described in this arena-ready single is the band itself, and the whole "not for sale" aspect seems to be an extra punch toward the label, as well as a beat toward the future, which the singer assured "is bright."
"Living with a Ghost" ia another straightaway rock banger with a sweeping guitar melody, then "Knockout", the album's eventual second single, felt fairly old-school, '80s in essence.
"Labor of Love" is the album's first ballad, pretty Springsteen-esque for my tastes."Born Again Tomorrow" is the "we need to sound like 2016" song, and I don't like it.
Things get better with follower "Rollercoaster", an uptempo rocker with a fine dynamic chorus, and even much better with "The Devils in the Temple" and its lyrics with a explicit "screw you" to the record label.
Lyrically, "Scars on this Guitar" s Bon Jovi's best work in a while, an ode to a lover — presumably wife Dorothea — who sticks around through thick and thin. It's not that the ballad is so poetic, it just feels like more real, from the heart, and not written solely to blare from MetLife Stadium speakers.
"God Bless this Mess" rocks again with a cool melody and nice guitar riffs, and "Come on up to our House" is a decent midtempo with a contemporary feel.
The Deluxe Edition featured 3 bonus; the first being the really good (to me) "Real Love". Kudos to Bryan on the bounding, tonally beautiful piano melody for this tune, written in Nashville with longtime Bon Jovi collaborator Billy Falcon, and in the same vein as Bed of Roses.
"All Hail the King" is a typical 2YK light rocker, and "We Don't Run" is taken from 2015's fan album/record label demand Burning Bridges, another big rock chorus ready for large stages.
The Target version of the album include some exclusive bonuses as well: "I Will Drive You Home" is a slow midtempo with a kind atmosphere though nothing memorable, then "Goodnight New York" is much better with catchy rhythm guitars and a fun vibe.
As said above, Bon Jovi's hair metal heyday has long faded, and "This House is Not for Sale" follow the musical path chosen by the band since fifteen years ago or so.
Do I miss Sambora guitar? Yes, I do. New axeman Phil X does a good job, but Richie was unique.
Decent new album from the New Jersey famous band.
01. This House Is Not For Sale
02. Living With The Ghost
04. Labor Of Love
05. Born Again Tomorrow
06. Roller Coaster
07. New Year's Day
08. The Devil's In The Temple
09. Scars On This Guitar
10. God Bless This Mess
12. Come On Up To Our House
Deluxe Edition Bonus Tracks:
13. Real Love
14. All Hail The King
15. We Don't Run
Target Bonus Tracks:
16. I Will Drive You Home
17. Goodnight New York
Jon Bon Jovi – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar
David Bryan – keyboards, backing vocals
Tico Torres – drums, percussion, backing vocals
Hugh McDonald – bass, backing vocals
Phil X – lead guitar, talkbox, backing vocals
Kivel Records is a prestigious melodic hard rock label known for some really killer releases in the past, and they continue in this vein with "Frozen Hell", the new album from New Yorkers LIVESAY.
The band was formed back in 1991 and has already released three full-length efforts, but for this new album they have developed a new sound: gone are the slightly neo-classical metal touches in favor of melodic hard rock stylings, and there's a much modern production but still retaining their classic '80s / early '90s type of songwriting.
After the first spin I have to say "Frozen Hell" rocks big, big time. Livesay offer a brand of classy melodic hard rock spiced with some edgy moments, yet always melodic.
You have sharp guitar lines, passionate vocals, catchy hooks & choruses and a bunch of solid tracks in it. I am not completely convinced by the drum arrangements on a couple of tracks, but overall, the disc sounds punchy and clear.
Guitarist Gregg Livesay comes from the famous 'Shrapnel school' with his guitar licks bringing to mind George Lynch (and alike) and the kind of playing he develops in Lynch Mob. This is one of the things that I loved from "Frozen Hell".
And of course, Shawn Pelata (ex Line of Fire) potent at the same time clean vocals and the way he arranges & perform a multi-layered set of vocals resulting in a stupendous harmony work, especially on the choruses.
After a short but intense intro comes the first big moment from the new record; "Leaving" grabs you at first listen, a groovy hard rock stomper with a strong '80s vibe to it and lots of attitude. It's followed by a more midtempo paced rocker titled "Slaved And Bounded", equally effective.
Next, "With Or Without You" is one of the highlights from "Frozen Hell", starting with that kind of late '80s AOR feeling complete with classy keyboards. Big guitars, solid verses and a killer chorus. Additionally, the drums sound great here. This track alone worth the album.
Another winner is "Welcome To The Real World", a song that will be appreciated by each and every fan of bands such as earlier Winger and Dokken.
We have another AORish tune on "Stop Believing" with some Europe feel circa Prisoners In Paradise yet clearly 'American'. Awesome harmony vocals here.
The faster-paced rocker of "Comes Of Age" has lots of groove, while in "Since You've Been Gone" we are dealing with a fine cover from this Rainbow classic.
Title track "Frozen Hell" add some edge over its pumping rhythm section, then "Spread Your Wings", the song that closes the new album, is a well crafted power ballad with a strong backbone.
Livesay's last album "Frozen Hell" sports a more modern sound production-wise, but the skeleton of the songwriting is classic late 80s / early 90s melodic rock / hard rock with some killer edgy AOR touches here and there.
It's a truly effective album as a whole. And Rocks.
01 - Intro
02 - Leaving
03 - Slaved and Bound
04 - With or Without You
05 - Age of Reason
06 - Welcome to the Real World
07 - Stop Believing
08 - Comes of Age
09 - Since You've Been Gone
10 - Frozen Hell
11 - Spread Your Wings
Shawn Pelata (vocals)
Gregg Livesay (guitars)
Mat Mahoney (bass)
Tony Stahl (keyboards, vocals)
Tim Hunington (drums)
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San Francisco-based '80s hard rockers JETBOY have released a new European Edition of "Off Your Rocker !" with a bonus track via City Of Light Records, their new label in the old continent.
Jetboy rocked America during the Eighties with two cult albums and played tons of concerts and festivals with the likes of Twisted Sister, Warrant, Ratt, Whitesnake, Scorpions, Cinderella, etc.
But Jetboy are still on the road for touring and recorded the new album “Off Your Rocker!“ some time ago, never released in Europe. Now the fans there have the chance to get the album with a newly added track.
Now that Jetboy is now longer being controlled by a major label they can do things their own way, and give their songs the punch and rocking attack they want.
"Off Your Rocker !" is straight-up hard rock. There is no studio trickery, instead the band sat down together and kicked the new three studio tracks on this album. This approach has given Jetboy a more honest sound — the production is still tight, yet doesn’t completely strip the rawness of the band from the recordings.
Not only that, but the three new songs are some of Jetboy‘s best work. “Perfectly Wrong” shuffles along like classic Aerosmith, “Going Down (Above The Clouds)” delivers straight-up hard rock with a heavy beat and steady rhythm while the best song here, “Dogs Gotta Roam”, is a great slab of ’80s hair metal.
The three live tracks sound great, especially their classic "Crank It Up" which performed by this current line-up feels fresh and kickin'. As bonus there's "Stolen People", a more modern oriented track still retaining Jetboy's trademark.
"Off Your Rocker !" showcases Jetboy recapturing their creative spark and here’s hoping this gives the band the kick they need to record a full-length album.
If they are able to make an entire CD that sounds as good as the first three songs on this extended play CD we will all be in for a treat.
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01. Perfectly Wrong
02. Going Down (From Above The Clouds)
03. Dogs Gotta Roam
04. High Gear [Live]
05. Crank It Up [Live]
06. Losin’ Streak [Live]
07. Stolen People [bonus track]
Mickey Finn (vocals)
Billy Rowe (guitars)
Fernie Rod (guitars)
Charles Norman (bass)
Ron Tostenson (drums)
Michael Butler (bass on 1-3)
Doug Hovan (drums on 1-3)
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