Friday, September 22, 2017

THE DARREN PHILLIPS PROJECT - Volume One [digipak +1] (2017)

THE DARREN PHILLIPS PROJECT - Volume One [digipak +1] (2017) full

THE DARREN PHILLIPS PROJECT is the new awesome all-star project which is releasing its debut album "Volume One" next September 23, 2017 and we are presenting it here in exclusive.
Besides mastermind Darren Phillips (songwriting, vocals, production) and multi-instrumentalist / producer Daniel Skeed, the 'who's who' from the international Melodic Rock / AOR world are collaborating here.
Take a quick look; Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Khymera) on lead vocals and mastering, Enzo Almanzi (White Widdow), Robbie LaBlanc (Find Me / Blanc Faces), Philip Lindstrand (Find Me / Jim Jidhed), Michael Palace (Palace, Kryptonite), Erik Heinke (Miss Behaviour), Herman Furin (Work Of Art), Dennis Butabi Borg (Cruzh), Robin & Mats Eriksson (Degreed) ... and many more.

If that ain't enough, Erik Martenssson (Eclipse) and Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) are involved in mastering and mix.

As you can all assume by the musicians that were included in this project, the sound here is moving between classy Melodic Rock, AOR and some edgy Melodic Hard.
Yes, you are guessing right, The Darren Phillips Project "Volume One" is an album that can't be missed by any fan of the melodic scene in general.

Opener "Ready To Fly" is the first highlight. Dennis Ward on lead vocals does an excellent job and the guitar duo of Enzo Almanzi and Heinke is simply breathtaking. "Heartbreaker" is edgier, groovier, with bad-ass attitude and I just love Lindstrand's vocals here.

THE DARREN PHILLIPS PROJECT - Volume One [digipak +1] (2017) booklet

With "I Believe" we are dealing with yet another killer melodic rock gem. Man, I just love this one! Robbie LaBlanc (Find Me) vocals are pure gold and the chorus line is heavenly AOR.

Darren Phillips has an educated, really warm melodic voice and that's a thing that can be heard in "Cold Turkey". This is a beautiful midtempo tune with a retro AOR feel.
The edgier "Defying Gravity" and the groovier "One Shoot" are two more great numbers in a pulsating Melodic Rock fashion which is the heart of this great record.

THE DARREN PHILLIPS PROJECT - Volume One [digipak +1] (2017) back

This digipak version of "Volume One" includes as bonus track the very nice 'Ready To Fly (acoustic version)', stripped and still excellent with a more intimate feel.
If you love classy Melodic Rock / AOR you can't miss THE DARREN PHILLIPS PROJECT debut.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Ready To Fly
Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Khymera) lead vocals
Jace Pawlak - backing vocals
Dennis Butabi Borg (Cruzh) bass
Enzo Almanzi (White Widdow) rhythm guitar
Erik Heinke (Miss Behaviour) lead guitar
Herman Furin (Work Of Art) drums

02 - Heartbreaker
Philip Lindstrand (Find Me / Jim Jidhed) lead vocals
Dennis Butabi Borg (Cruzh) bass
Herman Furin (Work Of Art) drums
Magnus Midelf - backing vocals
Robbie LaBlanc (Find Me / Blanc Faces) backing vocals
Jace Pawlak - backing vocals

03 - Heart Attack
Enzo Almanzi (White Widdow) guitars
Sisters Doll (lead vocals & full band)
Auzy Foxx, Daniel Skeed, Darren Phillips - backing vocals

04 - I Believe
Robbie LaBlanc (Find Me / Blanc Faces) lead vocals
Philip Lindstrand (Find Me / Jim Jidhed) backing vocals
Daniel Skeed - guitars, bass

05 - Monday
Daniel Skeed - lead & backing vocals, guitar, bass
Michael Palace (Palace, Kryptonite) lead guitar

06 - Cold Turkey
Darren Phillips - lead & backing vocals
Enzo Almanzi (White Widdow) lead guitar
Daniel Skeed - guitars, bass, keyboards

07 - Defying Gravity
Robin Ericsson (Degreed) lead & backing vocals
Enzo Almanzi (White Widdow) lead guitar
Ben Webster (White Widdow) bass
Mats Ericsson (Degreed) drums

08 - Thieves in the Night
Jace Pawlak - lead & backing vocals
Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Khymera) bass
Herman Furin (Work Of Art) drums
Enzo Almanzi (White Widdow) guitar
Daniel Skeed - lead guitars
Darren Phillips - backing vocals

09 - One Shot
Darren Phillips - lead & backing vocals
Daniel Skeed - guitars, bass, synths

10 - Ready To Fly (acoustic version) [CD only bonus track]

Produced by Darren Phillips & Daniel Skeed
1 mastered by Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Khymera)
5, 7, 8 mastered by Harry Hess (Harem Scarem)
4 mastered by Erik Martenssson (Eclipse)

Pre Order:


Thursday, September 21, 2017

BOULEVARD - IV : Luminescence (2017)

BOULEVARD - IV : Luminescence (2017) full

Here’s a band I thought I’d never hear new music from and I am very glad to be proved wrong. Canadians BOULEVARD are back with "Boulevard IV Luminescence", their brand new album in decades.
Boulevard - early known as Blvd - released two albums, 1988′s self-titled debut and 1990′s Into the Street, before disbanding in 1991. They did enjoy success in their native Canada and became a cult AOR / Melodic Rock band amongst the fans of the genre.
Fast forward to 2014 and they reformed playing a well received set at that year’s Firefest and released a live DVD in 2015.

Now we have the band’s third studio album (the 'IV' in the album title refers to the fact that the band count the live DVD as album number three).
The band’s line-up includes mainstays David Forbes (vocals), Dave Corman (guitars), Andrew Johns (keyboards / vocals), Mark Holden (saxophone) and Randall Stoll (drums) plus relative newcomer Cory Curtis (bass), who lays down some funky bass lines. Listen out on ‘Come Together’ for proof.

The two opening songs, ‘Out Of The Blue’ and ‘Life Is A Beautiful Thing’, are fine examples of how classy Melodic Rock is made. Both feature glorious harmony vocals, lashings of keys, classy guitar solos, the melodic vocals of David Forbes and the band’s secret weapon, the sax playing of Mark Holden. The way his sax playing links in with the keyboards and guitars is something special and his solos even replace a guitar solo at one stage.
Both songs have positive, uplifting lyrics that raise the spirits no matter what your mood.

‘What I’d Give’ is a soaring ballad, just about beating the gospel tinged ’Confirmation’ as the ballad of the album. David Forbes still has his vocal power intact, and it is a real shame we have had to wait this long for a new Boulevard album.
Oh and if you need some serious rocking, look no further than ‘Slipping Away’, which features a guest spot from long time Bryan Adams’ guitarist Keith Scott. Shades of .38 Special on this one, perfect rock music for a summer’s day.

This is a band that has a unique sound in the Melodic Rock word, some kind of 'elegance' hard to describe into words. For me, Boulevard was THE definition of the '80s Canadian AOR sound.
After all these years, Boulevard still has the spark intact. Believe me, "Boulevard IV Luminescence" is awesome.
If you like your Melodic Rock / Lite AOR served with pristine vocals, superb harmonies and smooth instrumentation, do not look any further: "Boulevard IV Luminescence" is the best you'll hear this year.

01. Out of the Blue
02. Life Is a Beautiful Thing
03. Laugh or Cry
04. What I'd Give
05. Come Together
06. Runnin' Low
07. I Can't Tell You Why
08. Confirmation
09. Slipping Away
10. What Are You Waiting For
11. Don't Stop the Music

David Forbes - vocals
Andrew Johns - keyboards, vocals
Dave Corman - guitar, vocals
Randall Stoll - drums
Cory Curtis - bass
Mark Holden - saxophone



STAN BUSH - Change The World (2017)

STAN BUSH - Change The World (2017) full

Legendary AOR singer/songwriter (Emmy Award winning recording artist) and Melodic Rock icon STAN BUSH will release his 13th studio album, "Change The World", on September 22nd via L.A. Records / Cargo Records worldwide.
I was expecting another good album from Stan Bush, but not that good!

In "Change The World" Stan Bush has created an album that very much feels like his benchmark, the album his whole career has been working towards. With Tom Walsh on drums and Holger Fath providing the rest of the instrumentation, both men enhance the AOR legend’s songwriting abilities and powerful voice.

"Change The World" comes with eleven excellent songs. These days, fans get many new rock / AOR albums on their plate with many of them following a cookie-cutter approach. Stan Bush’s new longplayer doesn’t belong to this category.
This is an album which puts a focus on melodic (hard) rock that appeals to a wider crowd of fans of rock music by utilizing everything AOR can offer.

While there's a revisit to some of Bush's biggest hits into fresh versions such as “The Touch” and “Dare” (both featured in the 80’s Transformers movie), “Never Surrender” from the movie Kickboxer, and the more recent “Warrior” from the Shadow Warrior 2 Video Game, the rest of the album is full of new songs as equally powerful and strong as the classics.

The new album feels like a matter of the heart to Bush and it shows two things; he’s an excellent songwriter and he has a great sense for melodies without forgetting rocking guitars.
Each of the eleven songs represents this very well, starting with the title track. “Change the World” belongs to the category of songs you can’t get out of your mind after having heart them once. It’s a melodic rock per excellence, followed by the steady pounding “Warrior” that reminded me of Survivor.

The light-hearted “Born to Win” and the catchy “Never Surrender” continues this eleven tracks winning streak and the Foreigner-like ballad “The Story of Love” is a joy for ears and mind.
Also the second half of this album comes with more than just one highlight. There’s no loss of quality and songs like “Break These Chains” are to die for to all classic AOR aficionados.

STAN BUSH - Change The World (2017) inside

Stan Bush has paved a career in the AOR / Melodic Rock world unparalleled with such a deep catalog of music. "Change The World" is his 13th album and demonstrates the fact that he truly is one of the best at what he does.
This really is a tremendous album from Mr. Bush - perhaps the most complete of his career - and deserves to have a massive audience, so make sure it gets one by buying it as soon as it’s available.

This is such an immense AOR album it is sure to be near the top of many Best of 2017 lists come December.

01. Change The World
02. Warrior
03. Born To Win
04. Never Surrender
05. The Story of Love
06. Live Your Dream
07. Break These Chains
08. The Other Side of Love
09. Dare
10. The Touch
11. The Secret

Stan Bush – Lead & Backing Vocals, Guitar
Holger Fath – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Tom Walsh – Drums



SCHERER / BATTEN - BattleZone (2017)

SCHERER / BATTEN - BattleZone (2017) full

"BattleZone" is the debut album by SCHERER / BATTEN, the project of vocalist Marc Scherer (who released an album with Jim Peterik in 2015) and guitarist Jennifer Batten, who has worked with Jeff Beck and Michael Jackson amongst others.
Former Survivor member Jim Peterik wrote all the songs on here, three of which were penned exclusively for this album, the rest are from the Peterik songbook.
Of course with Jim Peterik involved there are some top draw musicians playing, including former Survivor bassist Bill Syniar and Chicago’s Bill Champlin.

Marc Scherer has a voice and a half, perfectly suited for the melodic rockers and ballads on here, that have a distinct Survivor feel to many of them.
Not to be outdone, Jennifer Batten lays down some sizzling solos and is all over the title track, one of three new songs, that rocks out big time.

Plenty on here to satisfy melodic rock lovers, be it the big production ballad ‘All Roads’, or the hard rocking opener ‘Crazy Love’ – the guitars on this one are superb.
‘The Sound Of Your Voice’ is an album highlight, a song first recorded by .38 Special on their ‘Bone Against Steel’ album, but here is re-worked in the form of a bright melodic hard rock tune.

Then if you need AOR for your heart you find it here as well.
My favorite in this style is the dreammy 'Space and Time', a delicious tune where some Mecca members play, a dreamy melody with some Toto on it as well.
On closer 'All Roads, I hear some kind of a Styx homage, with that classy pompous sound all over

Basically if you like the music of Survivor and Jim Peterik this is a must have. Classy and well played melodic rock, sung by a talented singer and featuring plenty of guitar action.
Yeah, of course, SCHERER / BATTEN "BattleZone" sounds a lot like Pride Of Lions too.
So, you can't go wrong... run and get your copy now.

01. Crazy Love
02. Rough Diamond
03. What Do You Really Think
04. The Sound of Your Voice
05. BattleZone
06. Cuts Deep
07. The Harder I Try
08. Dreaming with My Eyes Wide Open
09. Space and Time
10. Tender Fire
11. All Roads

Marc Scherer - lead and backing vocals
Jennifer Batten - lead and rhythm guitars
Bill Syniar - bass
Klem Hayes - bass
Dave Kelly - drums
Ed Breckenfeld - drums
Jim Peterik - keyboards, additional guitars
Christian Cullen - keyboards
Chris Neville - keyboards
Barb Unger - keyboards
Mike Aquino - additional guitars
Dave Carl - additional guitars
Bill Champlin - backing vocals
Bryan Cole - backing vocals
Brian Hemstock - backing vocals
Danette Pahl - backing vocals



NEWMAN - Aerial (2017)

NEWMAN - Aerial (2017) full

"Aerial" is the album number eleven by NEWMAN, the band formed around British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Steve Newman, a man who as been crafting high-quality melodic hard rock for two decades.
Released this September 22 via AOR Heaven, for this recording Newman once again has teamed up with drummer Rob McEwen (who has played on the last nine Newman albums), and also features long time friend Mark Thompson-Smith on vocals on two songs.

The album’s mastering was taken care of by none other than Harem Scarem’s Harry Hess.
Busy time for Steve Newman as he is also part of the revamped Burn line-up who have a new album in November, but before that we have this new Newman album to enjoy... and enjoy it you will.

With a Newman album you can guarantee good, catchy melodic rock and on "Aerial" he has a couple of the best tunes he has done to date.
Namely the superb ‘Fear Of Flying’ which gets the album off to a great start, and ‘High Tonight (Aerial)’, that almost delves into a little prog a la It Bites with the mid-section keys solo giving way to a stonking guitar solo.

‘You Don’t Know Me’ is one of those uptempo, feel good tunes Newman does so well, and along with ‘Always Strangers’, would sound good in the live environment.
'Can't Stop Loving You' is pure AOR resembling Newman's early works, and in a similar path you have the pomp-tastic 'Don’t Wake The Lion'.

Newman albums rarely let you down and in "Aerial" we have one of the strongest to date.
It's musically varied - always revolving around Melodic Rock / AOR - very well arranged and performed with quite dexterous musicianship.
Highly Recommended

01. Fear Of Flying
02. Don't Wake The Lion
03. Can't Stop Loving You
04. Life To Remember
05. High Tonight (Aerial)
06. Vertigo (Leap Of Faith)
07. Two Sides
08. I Am Your Man
09. Always Strangers
10. Nothing Left
11. Still Bleeding
12. You Don't Know Me

Steve Newman - vocals, guitar, bass, synths
Mark Thompson-Smith - vocals
Rob McEwen - drums



MARTINA EDOFF - We Will Align (2017)

MARTINA EDOFF - We Will Align (2017) full

Swedish goddess MARTINA EDOFF already released two stupendous Melodic Rock / AOR albums and this 2017 she's coming back with perhaps her stronger effort to date: "We Will Align", to be released By AOR Heaven Records this September 22th.
Being produced by Jona Tee (H.E.A.T keyboard player) who also play all over the album, Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse) helping with songwriting, and mixed by the legendary Tobias Lindell, you know what to espect: bright Melodic Rock with punchy sound.

If you need more, Billy Sheehan (Mr Big, The Winery Dogs) also provided one song, while the rest of the musicians are the best to find and they are by her side in the studio as well on stage, including Nalle Påhlsson (Last Autumn's Dream, Treat), Björn Höglund (The Summit), and Stefan Bergström (Skintrade, Alfonzetti).

“We Will Align” is a melodic hard rock album with a bluesy note along with powerful pieces and it goes back to the roots where Edoff has got her influences. The strong melodies are always there, such as her powerful voice.

The album starts impressively with with the kicking 'Turn Our Pages', a strong rocker full of adrenaline and Martina's melodic power vocals.
More of this 'edgy' side can be heard in as well in 'Set You Free' and 'Truth Came Knocking'. But with that last song you also feel the blues groove mixed in, even more so within the very catchy AOR fueled 'I'm Invincible'.

MARTINA EDOFF - We Will Align (2017) inside

For even more AOR arena-ready accessibility, there's the uber catchy 'Champions', with another killer chorus.
A highlight in the form of a rock anthem arrives with 'Face The Mirror', which starts quietly and then rises strongly with large riffage and synth orchestration, all the time with Edoff soaring voice above.
Frankly, the whole album is pretty terrific, with no down side whatsoever.

Probably the best female-fronted melodic hard rock album you'll hear this year; punchy, dynamic, highly melodic and with a stellar production.

01. Turn our pages
02. Champions
03. Alive
04. We will align
05. Lay down your arms
06. Face the mirror
07. Set you free
08. I’m invincible
09. Truth came knocking
10. Brand new world

Martina Edoff - vocals
Stefan Bergström (Skintrade, Alfonzetti) - guitar
Jona Tee (H.E.A.T) - keyboards
Björn Höglund (The Summit) drums
Nalle Påhlsson (Last Autumn's Dream, Treat) bass



COLDSPELL - A New World Arise (2017)

COLDSPELL - A New World Arise (2017) full

Since appearing in 2005, COLDSPELL has been one of my favorite Swedis bands. "A New World Arise" is the band’s fourth album, with what is quite a gap for them since their last record (2013). However, that extra time in between albums has allowed ColdSpell to hone their sound and create in "A New World Arise", quite possibly their best album to date.

ColdSpell excel at riff-driven melodic hard rock, not dissimilar to Pretty Maids but with less keys.
Guitarist Michael Larsson is the main composer, and you can tell he’s a fan of big riffs, melodic leads, and like all great songwriters, it’s the song that matters most, not its separate pieces.
Opener 'Forevermore' is a testament to that idea with racing riffs, a massive chorus and as anyone who has ever heard ColdSpell, lead singer Niclas Svedentorp has a warm, effortless delivery that is all melody and strength. The freakin’ solo is amazing as well.

‘Call Of The Wild’ fair blast out of the speakers, delivering more polished monster riff and a memorable chorus. ‘Wait Until Tomorrow’ is another corker, mixing heaviness and melody in equal measure.
Quieter moments come along in the shape of ‘Signs’, another facet to the band’s abilities with acoustic guitar at the onset, and a composition that is more of a midtempo rocker, albeit it gets fuller during the chorus. In these moments, Svedentorp gets to shine, as his vocals are highlighted when the music breathes around him.

A song you may not have expected is 'Love Me Like You Do'. It’s bluesy Hard Rock, like Thunder, older Whitesnake, or Badlands. As a stand-alone track, it’s killer. Musically, the band rips things up and you can hear they are loving taking this turn.

COLDSPELL - A New World Arise (2017) back

'Wait Til Tomorrow' goes back to what you’d expect from ColdSpell, but now that you’ve heard it, that sort of bluesy edge seeps back into Svedentorp’s vocals again. This track sounds akin to a Winger anthem, just those overpowering vocal melodies with intricate yet easily digestible songwriting. Again, Larsson brings the heat and melts everything with his solo.
'A New World Arise' closes things out, the album’s namesake. It’s the CD longest and most poignant song, quite elaborated and melodic.

ColdSpell isn’t only an underrated band. They quite honestly just create better music than 99 percent of what is being made today in any part of the world in the Melodic Hard category.
"A New World Arise" sounds fabulous, and it's clear the attention to detail from arrangements to production. A record that should see ColdSpell gain further plaudits and fans with another album chock full of melodic hard rock delights.
VERY, HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Forevermore
02 - Call of the Wild
03 - It Hurts
04 - Miles Away
05 - Signs
06 - Love Me Like You Do
07 - This Is Me
08 - Get to the Top
09 - Wait Until Tomorrow
10 - Losing My Mind
11 - Just One Night
12 - A New World Arise
13 - Signs (Acoustic) [Bonus Track]

Niclas Svedentorp - lead vocals
Michael Larsson - guitars
Chris Goldsmith - bass
Per Johanson - drums
Guest Musicians:
Matti Eklund - keyboards
Jona Tee (H.E.A.T) - keyboards on 3 / 6 / 9
Ged Rylands (Tyketto, Rage Of Angels) - keyboards on 8 / 11



WAYLAND - Rinse & Repeat (2017)

WAYLAND - Rinse & Repeat (2017) full

Managed by Jackyl's Jesse James Dupree, WAYLAND is the band of his son Nigel Dupree which are ready to release their full length CD "Rinse & Repeat" tomorrow September 22.
The band had previously self-released a 2010’s self-titled album and an EP, but this is their debut on a recording label, Mighty Loud / InGrooves.

When listening to Wayland, you wouldn’t think they’re from a northern state with their southern 'twang' and hard rock grooves. However, Wayland is not Jacky at all. The core of the music is much more modern, yet inspired in a classic hard rock path.
It has a balance of crisp lyricism from vocalist Mitch Arnold and perfectly timed solos from guitarist Phillip Vilenski. The rhythm section is dynamic and varied, with Dupree (drums, vocals) showing why he was fronting his own band with success for many years.

Vocally, Arnold mainly stay in high octaves delivering an incredible strong performance, while the guitar work is sharp and intense, with some Zakk Wylde on it. However, Wayland is not metal at all, but melodic, swirling hard rock with a modern approach.
Taking a crack into "Rinse & Repeat", the well thought versing in “Ghost” sets an example of established and seasoned veterans laying down passionate writing.

In many places, Wayland reminds me of Waltham minus the poppy feel. Even Harem Scarem circa 2000's.
Songs such as 'Through The Fire', the catchy 'All Rise', 'Shopping for a Savior' (with a bluesy flavor) are plenty of intensity, as it is one of my favorites, 'The Brave Don’t Run' with a strong early '90s feel.
'Revival' changes the peace for a midtempo run, and you have a couple of songs oriented to modern rock radio (which it's ok) like 'Come Back'.

WAYLAND - Rinse & Repeat (2017) inside

'Back To Life' is my go-to song on this album. It’s got everything I look for in a hit. The feel that the clean vocals have, followed by a killer guitar riff with dirty vocals, and more quintessential melodies, all have the makings of another single, if I were to judge it, of course.

In large, when looking for a new piece to add to the 'Feel-Good' collection, the chance to grab "Rinse & Repeat" will be on September 22, 2017.
Wayland's debut on Mighty Loud / InGrooves rocks really fine, with essence, potential appeal to old and young listeners, and is sure to reach many hearts.
Strongly Recommended

01. Ghost
02. Through The Fire
03. Come Back To Me
04. All Rise
05. All We Had
06. Revival
07. Shopping For A Savior
08. Ode To 37
09. Back To Life
10. Follow
11. The Brave Don’t Run
12. Rabbit River Blues / From The Otherside
13. Welcome To My Head (Bonus Track)
14. On My Knees (Bonus Track)

Mitch Arnold - Lead vocals / guitar
Phillip Vilenski - Lead guitar / vocals
Dean Pizzazz - Bass / vocals
Nigel Dupree - Drums / vocals



ROADCASE ROYALE (Heart) - First Things First (2017)

ROADCASE ROYALE - First Things First (2017) full

Nancy Wilson, one of the founding members of the legendary Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame group Heart, has teamed up with former Prince's New Power Generation band member Liv Warfield to form the soulful, rock supergroup ROADCASE ROYALE. The band recently signed with Loud & Proud Records and plan to release their debut album, "First Things First", on September 22.
The album was produced by fellow Roadcase Royale band member Dan Rothchild (Heart bass player). Also part of the band are Heart members Chris Joyner (keys) and Ben Smith (drums).

So, as you can see Roadcase Royale are full Heart minus Ann Wilson.
The music packed in "First Things First" is a mix of pulsating classic rock build on a funky, nimble groove, led by Warfield's soulful belting and the acoustic / electric guitar attack of Wilson and Ryan Waters (a talented player and Prince protégé ).

The CD opens with jumpin' "Get Loud," and it is followed by the optimistic and empowering, "Not Giving Up," which Warfield nails with her powerhouse pipes.
Equally powerful and emotional is "Hold On To My Hand," a song with some bluesy feel but a strong backbone.

Roadcase Royale throws in a few classic Heart songs in the mix, including "Even It Up" with Nancy Wilson singing lead, and they were able to dust off "These Dreams" and give it a Roadcase Royale treatment, with Warfield and Wilson on heavenly vocals for a tour de force interpretation. They have truly made this classic Heart ballad their own.

RICHIE KOTZEN - I'm Coming Out (2011)tracks

This 10-track album closes with a live rendition of "Mind Your Business" and "Never Say Die," where they leave their fans and listeners yearning for more.

Roadcase Royale delivers on their debut studio album, "First Things First". It is a solid collection from start to finish, and no filler tracks. Each song has its own identity, and there is something in it for everybody.
The musicianship of this band is incredible. Nancy Wilson ages like fine wine, and so does her talent. Liv Warfield knocks the vocals out of the ballpark. They are certainly going places. Grab a bottle of wine, and let Roadcase Royale lure you in.
Highly Recommended

01. Get Loud
02. Not Giving Up
03. Hold On To My Hand
04. Even It Up
05. Cover Each Other
06. The Dragon
07. Insaniac
08. These Dreams
09. Mind Your Business (Live)
10. Never Say Die

Liv Warfield - Vocals
Nancy Wilson (Heart) - Guitars, Vocals
Ryan Waters - Guitars
Dan Rothchild (Heart) - Bass
Ben Smith (Heart) - Drums
Chris Joyner (Heart) - Keyboards



KAIPA - Children Of The Sounds (2017)

KAIPA - Children Of The Sounds (2017) full

To be released tomorrow, "Children Of The Sounds" is the new creation by acclaimed Swedish melodic progressive combo KAIPA.
It certainly looks good from the cover, and you don’t really need to listen too long to realise this is another brilliant effort from these guys – an album that will not disappoint fans of this genre.

"Children Of The Sounds" it's all about progressive rock music of the melodic kind, with exciting atmospheres including all kinds of influences. Production is excellent, the vocals are smooth, as is the drumming, the guitars and keys arrangements working together to great effect.
It’s an album that’s overtly optimistic and positive, packed with the contrast of the vocals of Patrick Lundstrom and Aleena Gibson and catchy hooks and melodies.

The title track kicks things off with a mournful mixture of strings and woodwinds. Soon after, Gibson’s lone angelic rasp cascades over the backing for a bit before being complemented by Lundstrom as more instruments come in. As usual, they make for a lovely duo, issuing inspired lyrics. Per Nilsson’s electric guitar tones start on the first of a series of flying solo accompaniments that weave a constant and sweetly melodious path throughout the album.

Known for his metal / hard rock pedigree, Jonas Reingold (Midnight Sun, Devil's Heaven) is the bass player in Kaipa, and his deep lines build momentum with alternating dominance. Of course, drummer Morgan Ågren (Karmakanic) provides interesting and fitting syncopation throughout, especially as the arrangement becomes extremely fanciful and elaborate.
Just about everyone shines during thealbum's extended instrumental voyage, which is refreshingly dynamic, unpredictable, and hypnotic as they play around the central melodies with vigor and creativity.
It’s a testament to how progressive rock can be simultaneously infectious and intricate, and it leads back to the Gibson and Lundstrom’s harmonies beautifully as it ends, bringing the piece full circle.

Midway through 'On The Edge Of New Horizons' comes a wonderfully quaint section – musically a combination of Hammond, rhythmic acoustic guitar, twanging bass and fleet fingered keyboard soloing alongside lyrical images of birds soaring high, sun shining bright etc.
On the other hand, 'The Shadowy Sunlight' is the one piece that, as the title suggests, has a darker feel despite the welcoming classical string overtones. Then the mood changes to an overcast and ominous front. One that soon passes as the Nilsson guitar wizardry combines with some cutting widdly synth to cast its spell yet again.

KAIPA - Children Of The Sounds (2017) back

Kaipa's "Children Of The Sounds" is true, classic progressive rock from the melodic side of the spectrum. Sure, each player in this band excels as both an individual master and a crucial cog in a cumulative wheel, but that could also be said for countless other acts.
What truly makes Kaipa stand out here, as always, is the ways in which they create celebratory sonic worlds filled with a childlike sense of wonder, hope, and possibility.

Rather than aim for soulless virtuosity (as a fair amount of their peers do), they make each technical moment serve the central goal of enveloping the listener in an aural fairytale of colorful, life-affirming compositions.
"Children Of The Sounds" is as fine an example of that, and it should be cherished as such by as many people as possible.

01. Children of the Sounds
02. On The Edge of New Horizons
- part I / II / III / IV
03. Like A Serpentine
04. The Shadowy Sunlight
05. What’s Behind The Fields

Hans Lundin – Keyboards, Vocals
Per Nilsson – Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Morgan Ågren – Drums
Jonas Reingold – Electric Basses
Patrik Lundström – Vocals
Aleena Gibson – Vocals
Elin Rubinsztein – guest Violin




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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

AUTOGRAPH - The Anthology [rarities 2CD]

AUTOGRAPH - The Anthology [rarities 2CD] full

AUTOGRAPH, one of the most notable acts from the '80s hair metal golden years, brings us from their vaults "The Anthology". This double CD release includes all the band's hits on their prime versions plus a bunch of rarities.

"The Anthology" features the original studio demo version of the band’s monster hit single 'Turn Up The Radio' plus more pre-Sign In Please recordings which landed the group a major label deal with RCA in 1984.

Disc 1 "Studio Demos 1983-1988" consists of almost 2 / 3 of the material appeared into Autograph's first three records: 'Sign In Please', 'That's The Stuff' and 'Loud And Clear'.
All these tracks are pre-production demos / earlier versions (with very good sound quality), including their biggest hit 'Turn Up The Radio'. It's funny to hear this song with a twist in the lyrics.

The second CD "Buzz & Beyond" offers rare songs from the 2nd incarnation of the band when leader Steve Plunkett added to the line-up drummer Matt Laug (Slash), excellent virtuoso guitarist T. J. Helmerich (Dwezil Zappa, Planet X), and Alice Cooper / John Waite bass player Lance Morrison.

AUTOGRAPH - The Anthology [rarities 2CD] back

Autograph's "The Anthology" is a must have release to any collector and fans of the good, catchy hair / soft metal genre.

Disc 1 : Studio Demos 1983-1988
1. Turn Up The Radio (Demo Version)
2. Send Her To Me (Demo Version)
3. Nineteen And Non-Stop (Demo Version)
4. Deep End (Demo Version)
5. Friday (Demo Version)
6. All I'm Gonna Take (Demo Version)
7. Cloud
8. In The Night (Demo Version)
9. Angel In Black
10. All Night Long
11. Heartattack
12. When I'm Gone
13. I've Got You
14. One-Way Dead-End Street
15. Sanctuary
16. Sweet Temptation
17. Love Comes Easy
18. Angela

Disc 2 : Buzz & Beyond
1. Break A Sweat
2. Shake The Tree
3. She's The Reason
4. Fed Up With Bein' Down
5. That
6. Party Like We Did
7. Buzz
8. Like It Hot
9. Heart Raper
10. Can't Stop Rockin'
11. Turn Up The Radio (Unplugged)
12. Turn Up The Radio (Alternate Electric Version)

Steve Plunkett - Vocals, Guitar, Synths
Steve Lynch - Guitar
Randy Rand - Bass
Steven Isham - Keyboards
Keni Richards - Drums
T. J. Helmerich - Guitar
Lance Morrison - Bass
Matt Laug - Drums



AUTOGRAPH - Sign In Please [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded]

AUTOGRAPH - Sign In Please [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded] full

A must have release Remastered & Reloaded by Rock Candy Records is without a doubt "Sign In Please", the awesome debut album by American melodic hard rockers AUTOGRAPH.
Emerging in the early Eighties, unsigned at the time, Autograph were hand picked by Van Halen to open a mammoth North American concert trek – an accomplishment that quickly led to their inking with industry giant RCA Records and an ensuing hit single, the energetic and infectious ‘Turn Up The Radio’ which made the US top 30 in the same year.

Feted and championed by the hard rock cognoscenti (supporters included Motley Crue and Ozzy Osbourne) this Los Angeles based quintet made all the right noises by packing both melody and muscle into their music; highly valuable commodities that found Autograph reaching a level of success that would see them out perform most of the competition.

AUTOGRAPH - Sign In Please [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded] booklet

‘Sign In Please’ was, then, the band's highly praised debut album, unleashing a beast of significant fire power and songs that would stand not only the test of time but would also improve with age including the classic hit single ‘Turn Up The Radio’.
Taped by renowned British producer Neil Kernon (Queensryche, Dokken, etc) the album exudes Class-A melodic hard rock all the way with big hooks and solid riffs.
'Send Her to Me' (another hit), 'My Girlfriend's Boyfriend Isn't Me', 'Thrill Of Love', 'All I'm Gonna Take', all are anthemic commercial rockers in the best 80s US tradition.

AUTOGRAPH - Sign In Please [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded] back

Definitely one of the greatest albums from the '80s LA scene, Autograph's "Sign In Please"
claims a place in your collection, and this Rock Candy 24-bit remastering from original source tapes is the way to do it.
4,000 word story of the making of the album by Pail Suter and exclusive interview with singer / songwriter Steve Plunkett, previously unpublished photos, one bonus track, all spread out over a super 16 page full colour booklet.
A Must Have

01 - Send Her To Me
02 - Turn Up The Radio
03 - Night Teen & Non-Stop
04 - Cloud 10
05 - Deep End
06 - My Girlfriend's Boyfriend Isn't Me
07 - Thrill Of Love
08 - Friday
09 - In The Night
10 - All I'm Gonna Take
11 - Turn Up The Radio (Remix) (bonus track)

Steve Plunkett - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Steve Lynch - lead guitar
Steven Isham - keyboards, backing vocals
Randy Rand - bass, backing vocals
Keni Richards - drums, noises



AUTOGRAPH - Loud & Clear [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded]

AUTOGRAPH - Loud & Clear [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded] full

Between 1984 - 1987, L.A. quintet AUTOGRAPH released a string of successful records, all of them doing their bit to give melodic hard rock a good name. However, it's their third outing that is widely regarded as the pick of the pack... "Loud & Clear" is one of the all time great albums of the '80s US scene, ably produced by studio legend Andy Johns.
Fully digitally remastered by Rock Candy Records, "Loud & Clear" sounds better than ever.

In style, "Loud and Clear" is very similar to Autograph's previous albums, but we have a stronger, mature songwriting, arrangements, musicianship and production.
It's an upbeat, feel-good party rock album with odes to hot girls, loud parties and rocking all nite. Catchy hooks, great melodies and just enough keyboards are all abundant on "Loud & Clear", and Steve Plunkett does another knockout job on vocals.
There really isn't a Turn Up the Radio style hit on this album, but "Dance All Night" and "Just Got Back From Heaven" should have been solid radio hits at the time, and "More Than a Million Times" should have been huge. It's a brilliant, "soundtrack ready" melodic rocker.

AUTOGRAPH - Loud & Clear [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded] back

As good as it is, "Loud and Clear" was Autograph's least successful album, and ended up being their last work as a band, with Plunkett using the moniker but in fact being a solo artist.
If you're a fan of the second half if the '80s glossy melodic rock sound, "Loud & Clear" is a 'can't miss' album from one of the era's more unfairly overlooked bands.
This Rock Candy remaster sounds million bucks.
Highly Recommended.

01 - Loud And Clear
02 - Dance All Night
03 - She Never Looked That Good For Me
04 - Bad Boy
05 - Everytime I Dream
06 - She's A Tease
07 - Just Got Back From Heaven
08 - Down 'N' Dirty
09 - More Than A Million Times
10 - When The Sun Goes Down

Steve Plunkett - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Steve Lynch - Lead Guitar
Randy Rand - Bass, backing vocals
Steven Isham - Keyboards, backing vocals
Keni Richards - Drums



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

AUTOGRAPH - Get Off Your Ass [Japan Edition +1] (2017)

AUTOGRAPH - Get Off Your Ass [Japan Edition +1] (2017) full

"Get Off Your Ass" is the first official studio album of the new AUTOGRAPH to be released next October 6 but just appeared in Japan with a bonus track.
The new record with several years in the making is the first official studio LP from the revamped quartet, featuring original / founding members guitarist Steve Lynch and bassist Randy Rand, alongside new vocalist / rhythm guitarist Simon Daniels (ex Jailhouse) and drummer Marc Wieland.

"Get Off Your Ass" delivers timeless melodic hard rock (keyboards free) music, an updated, hard-edged sound for the band with sharp guitars and a bluesy feel which perfectly fits Simon Daniels' gravely but melodious vocals.
As openers go title track ‘Get Off Your Ass’ might just be the best song Autograph has recorded in the last 25 years. Its rocks with lots of melody.
More remarkable though is that this is an album that doesn’t stop there in terms of quality.

This new Autograph album rocks harder than their Eighties outings, but still retaining that trademark melodic sound, none better perhaps than ‘You Are Us, We Are You’ and the spectacularly catchy AOR anthem ‘I Lost my Mind in America’ which would have given vintage Foreigner a run for their money.
Then 'All Emotions' sounds like Night Ranger, as well as the midtempo ballad 'All I Own', so, as you can see, it's not all about rock hard here.

‘Meet Me Half Way’ swings and rocks with the best of them before ‘All Emotions’ hits the ground running, sweeping you up in a sweet melodic chorus that offsets the grit of the verse, and ‘Ready to Get Down’ gets a new party started. These are indeed something special.
The album of course includes 'that song': 'Turn Up The Radio' and it is of course a roaring live rendition showcasing the great pipes of new vocalist Simon Daniels.

This Japanese edition includes an interesting bonus track: an acoustic rework on 'All I'm Gonna Take (acoustic)', a song originally appeared in the album Sign In Please (1984). It's a really cool version with a completely different approach, and works greatly.

AUTOGRAPH - Get Off Your Ass [Japan Edition +1] (2017) back

With "Get Off Your Ass" Autograph goes into a new territory, rocking, synth-free, but still with the expected melodic hooks.
It's a more mature Autograph, organic, in a direction pretty similar to the one taken by Night Ranger in this new Century.
Oh, and they still write darn good songs.
Highly Recommended

01 - Get Off Your Ass!
02 - Every Generation
03 - All I Own
04 - You Are Us, We Are You
05 - Meet Me Half Way
06 - I Lost My Mind In America
07 - All Emotions
08 - Watch It Now
09 - Ready To Get Down
10 - Turn Up The Radio (live)
11 - All I'm Gonna Take (acoustic) [Japan bonus track]

Steve Lynch - Lead Guitar / Vocals
Randy Rand - Bass / Vocals
Simon Daniels - Lead Vocals / Guitar
Marc Wieland - Drums



DAVE FRIDAY BAND - Life Imitating Art (2017)

DAVE FRIDAY BAND - Life Imitating Art (2017) full

The current American Rock scene isn't completely lost: the DAVE FRIDAY BAND with their debut CD "Life Imitating Art" are here to confirm that classic melodic / hard rock is not dead in the US.

Fronted by songwriter / vocalist / guitarist Dave Friday, the band delivers here eleven meaty melodious rockers crafted in wood 'n steel, no gimmicks and plenty of authenticity. This is classy hard rock with a nod to the '80s yet with an updated sound and top notch production.
You know, "Life Imitating Art" is a self-release via Dave Friday's own label Friday Music, but let me tell you the production quality has nothing to envy to the major recording labels specialized in this musical genre.

Dave Friday Band has a style bringing to mind early Tesla, Mr. Big, some Night Ranger, Y&T (they are currently touring with them) and Johnny Lima.
The latter comparison is no gratuitous, as Johnny Lima co-produce, co-writes some songs and also play additional guitar, bass and keyboards on the album.

Since the killer opener 'Who's Happy Now' (co-written by Lima) you'll be surprised by the Dave Friday Band. Pumping bass lines, punchy drumming, sharp melodious groovy guitars and multi-harmony choruses. Dave Friday owns a strong set of vocal pipes in the vein of a young Bon Jovi and, yes, you guess it, Johnny Lima.
A Killer song that soulda be played at all Rock radio stations all over the world.

DAVE FRIDAY BAND - Life Imitating Art (2017) poster

Then 'Here I Stand' goes for a midtempo melodic hard rock style adding acoustics to the bluesy electric riffs, and Friday's vocals turn more raspy and sensual. There's some of Skid Row's 18 & Life on it, but Dave Friday Band are more 'organic' in its delivery. Awesome tune.
An then arrives 'Love Is Overrated', just another fantastic melodious rocker with a Nelson vibe and multi-part harmony vocals akin Night Ranger.

Holy cow, only 3 songs and I am already sold. Dave Friday Band sounds fantastic, believe me, and they write terrific songs. But there's more quality stuff... in fact, I can't find a weak track on the CD.
'Hang It Up" is another of the Dave Friday / Johnny Lima co-write and rocks with groove and attitude, 'Get It On' is driven by a kick-ass broken riff, while 'Shut Your Mouth' adds a bluesy hard rocking background in the best Great White / Tesla fashion.

The ballad arrives in a midtempo form with 'Don't Say It Like You Mean It', some kind of a mix between Bon Jovi New Jersey era, Johnny Lima first album, and Mr. Big. The chorus kills, multi-layered and pure '80s.

Penned by the Mr. Big team of Eric Martin / Andre Pessis, Dave Friday Band delivers a terrific version of 'Red White Bullet Blues' (originally recorded by TMG), and you enjoy more hard rockin' groove in the funnily titled 'Modern Day Flash Gordon'.
We have the anthemic 'Sunday's Best' for the end, a very Johnny Lima-track plus some Eric Martin solo works.

DAVE FRIDAY BAND - Life Imitating Art (2017) inside

2017 US Rock is not only mainstram, washed up for radio stuff. There's acts such as the Dave Friday Band keeping the flame alive. "Life Imitating Art" not only captures the classic '80s magic and styling, but also the spirit.
The good thing from Friday and the guys is that they also add a very distinctive touch to this type of music. Sure, this is classic melodic hard rock so you have a 'mold' to respect, and despite the aforementioned influences, Dave Friday Band has that required 'something' which makes you unique.

I can't recommend "Life Imitating Art" enough, support this excellent band that proves true Rock n' Roll is still alive & kickin' in America.

Only at 0dayrox

01 - Who's Happy Now
02 - Here I Stand
03 - Love Is Overrated
04 - Hang It Up
05 - Don't Say It Like You Mean It
06 - Red White Bullet Blues
07 - Get It On
08 - Shut Your Mouth
09 - Modern Day Flash Gordon
10 - Only Me
11 - Sunday's Best

Dave Friday - The Voice, Guitar
Jimmy Arceneaux - Guitars, Vocals
Stevie Loveless - Bass, Vocals
Saro Black - Drums
Johnny Lima - guest Guitar, Bass, Piano
Stevie Loveless - Bass on "Shut Your Mouth"

Produced by Johnny Lima, Dave Friday and Neil Evans

Physical CD:


JAVA - Change Of Heart [Limited Numbered Edition - 1,000 copies] (2017)

JAVA - Change Of Heart (2017) full

"Change Of Heart" is the album recorded by JAVA in 1987 but never released... until now. After 30 years shelved, the record from this female-fronted AOR / Melodic Rock act finally sees the light of day. This is a very Limited Numbered Edition on CD only.

Java started off as a covers band in 1987 but they were soon writing their own material which wasn't what the clubs back then wanted. Founding members Rosella Santoro (vocals/keyboards) and partner Rob Deegan (bass) then set about looking for like-minded musicians to make their AOR dreams come true; enter Darran Bridge (drums) and Martin Latham (guitar).
Java soon became firm favorites on the London Rock scene, playing many live dates and filming a video for their song ‘Helpless' which would also end up on the 'Kerrang!' album sampler ‘Powercuts'.

Not long after this, they entered the studio in the summer of 1987 - with Guy Bidmead (Whitesnake, Motorhead, etc.) at the production helm - to start work on their debut album.
Unfortunately, even with this strong record in the can to shop around to the labels of the day, nothing happened and that elusive record deal never arrived.
They soldiered on for a while, with Santoro and Deegan especially keeping positive about things, but eventually, the band split up.

However, for lovers of obscure '80s AOR rejoice, finally this little lost gem sees the light of day in all its remastered glory.
As soon as I played it, "Change Of Heart" took me straight back to those '80s days when bands like Saraya, the melodic era of Girlschool, Laos, If Only (Jackie Bodimead) and alike ruled the female fronted Melodic Rock scene.

JAVA - Change Of Heart (2017) back

What you have here is a very fine example of classy Melodic Rock with a woman at the mic, full of great songs and, for that time, some quite wonderful musicianship.
Just lend an ear to 'Helpless', 'Forever And Ever', the jumping ‘Mama's Boy', ‘You Really Do Know' (with its superb guitar solo) and the big ballad 'For Those That Love You Still' and wonder to yourself just why this lot didn't get anywhere when some acts with half the talent went all the way (another one of music's great mysteries).

Collectors of classy '80s AOR / Melodic Rock will be grinning from ear to ear at its release, and fans of those genres could do a lot worse than to get a copy for themselves, strictly limited to 1,000 units.
"Change Of Heart" is thirty years old now, but it still sounds as fresh as if it came out last week - good music will always win out in the end.
A collectors piece - HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Forever and Ever
02 - Change of Heart
03 - Helpless
04 - For Those Who Love You Still
05 - Hellraiser
06 - Can You Get Enough
07 - You and I
08 - You Really Do Know
09 - This Is the Time
10 - Mama's Boy

Rosella Santoro: Vocals, Keyboards
Rob Deegan: Bass and backing vocals
Darran Bridge: Drums and backing vocals
Martin Latham: All Guitars and backing vocals

Produced by: Guy Bidmead (Whitesnake, Grand Prix)
Engineered by: Guy Bidmead & Dennis Herman
Recorded 1987 at Chestnut studios in Farnham, Surrey



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