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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Top 10 Gigs of 2013

Its been quite an active year again here at CRR towers with almost 40 gigs attended. These are just the paid ones! It’s a bit more difficult in nailing down a top 10 list of gigs, as generally most attended are pretty damn good in their own way. From a gig in a back room of a hotel or pub, to a massive show at an arena

All have been really enjoyable – except one or two who will get their notable mention….

Biggest Disappointment – Journey / Whitesnake – Phones4U Arena
An accident on the M56 put paid to getting to the gig in time to see the excellent Thunder. Whitesnake were much better than the last time I saw them, but I think sentimentality had more of a bearing on my perception. However Journey were just plain boring. One of my all time faves, it was bland, corporate cack. Pineda was the only plus, at least he made a concerted effort. Only Steve Perry will save the day…

Special mention goes out to Steel House Festival – excellent weekend, wonderfully organized, and a cracking line up to boot

10. Dan Reed – Railway Venue Bolton
Now its not very often you can stand 3 feet away from one of you fave artists who are still plying their trade from their heyday, and the Railway makes this happen. Just Dan and his guitar/ organ (f'narr!)banging out the tunes that should have made DRN gods. To top it all off, he is a genuinely nice fella

9. Alter Bridge – Phones4UArena, Manchester
Not my fave venue by far but the seats we had this time were pretty damn good. AB to be honest were very good, but I think that when you play an arena you need more than 4 guys on a stage with little lighting. They were very good like I said, but I want a little more ‘bang for my buck’ with a headliner such as AB. Halestorm were excellent, and despite the excellent review for Shinedown in Powerplay, they were pretty poor. Check            youtube PPlay dude for the evidence of miming!!!

8. Y&T Manchester Academy 2
Yes its only Dave Meniketti from the band we loved from the 80s, but bugger me the bloke is still on fire. Excellent voice, great guitar player and now well backed on this 2000s version. Currently a perennial tourer of the UK, but this wont be forever so I implore you to catch this excellent band while you can. Its two hours plus of pure Y&T magic

7. Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock – Parr Hall Warrington
How this venue isn’t used more by band’s is beyond me! Mad Mickey is bang on form, and with this current line up of Rarebell / Bucholz / White & Findlay theres plenty of life in this band yet. Its bit too UFO heavy for my liking, I'd have loved a bit more MSG to even out proceedings, but brilliant all the same. A special mention goes out to the support band of the year, Virgil & The Accelerators

6. Coheed & Cambria – O2 Liverpool
I just wish that C&C would tour as a 2 band line-up as yet again, its way too short a gig considering the amount of albums they have produced. For the hour and 15 they were awesome, Claudio is singing better than ever, and most of the anthems were played. Only thing is, I feel about 20 years out of my depth at a Coheed gig, but I don’t give a shit

5. FM – Bingley / Manchester / Ebbw Vale
Sill one of my all-time faves, I hope they stick around for a few more years yet, as their current line up is probably the best, and the output is both excellent and bloody plentiful. The Bingley gig shaded it, lovely little venue, and with the FM lads on form (to be fair Ive never seen them off form in over 30 gigs), they are tight as a nut and with harmonies to die for

4. Rush – Phones4U Arena, Manchester
Probably the biggest gig of the year. Despite not being too over enamoured with them on the last tour, they were bloody excellent here. More bands need to go down this route if they have the balls; drop the support and go for an all out assault. Even at £80 a ticket. It still represented great value for money for the 3 hrs on stage

3. Bonafide – Marine Hotel Colwyn Bay
Only decided on the day to go. Thankfully I think we had the last pair of tickets and the decision was totally justified. Bonafide are a red-hot live band. No frills AC/DC style in your face, pure unadulterated rock. Crammed in on a hot evening, whats the point in going around the audience to play you guitar when you have your timings sorted, and its easier to do a lap of the car park and come back in through the Marines reception area. And they are back in March…

2. Romeos Daughter – Railway Bolton / Assembly Rooms Derby
The Assembly Rooms proved to be the quaintest venue for a rock gig I’ve ever witnessed. Bijou, intimate, and closer to any band as you’re likely to get. The a crowd witnessed an excellent gig, with some rarely played songs (certainly not aired since the late 80s!), and it was also filmed for a DVD release. Gigs don’t come much better than this. Except maybe for this one.....

1. The Temperance Movement – O2 Liverpool / Ebbw Vale Steel House Festival
Closely pipped for my album of the year, there was no way that they were going to lose gig/s of the year. New band, but with guys that have all paid their dues and on a vast projecton to stardom. When you’re new you have no other option but to play the whole of the album, but when an album is this good, the live experience is a joy to behold. Phil Campbell is a God in waiting

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Mustasch - 'Thank You For The Demon' Album Review

So 2014 is off to a cracking start already!

Thankfully being a Chesworth, its not every time you fall into a bucket of tits that you come out sucking you thumb! This rarity happened back in 2007 (and my very early reviewing days) when I was given the task of reviewing a band I’d never ever head of...and that was Mustasch’s ‘Latest Version Of The Truth’. I must admit I was completely blown away by the Swedish Riff-Meisters, and I have been ever since! From the first bars of ‘In The Night’ that was me - (pick your idiom)…hooked like a salmon, rabbit/deer in the headlights, like a dog with 2 dicks, like a child on Jim’ll Fixit…ok so maybe not the last one, but I was sold!

I think that Mustasch have one of the best combination of styles in the world, heavy and crunching solos, a singer like Ian Astbury on steroids, but with a melody that gets under your skin like a nice Dracunculiasis! Look it up people, I had to!! This writing shit is not easy.

'Feared and Hated' starts off a little pub singer-y (whoa-oh-ohooohhhh) before unleashing a hellfire riff that Mark Tremonti would be proud of; a gun-fire burst of riffage! All this power and with a bridge/chorus that's instantly memorable.

Title track ‘Thank You For The Demon’ has a gently piano accompaniment, before the ‘Lords Of The Riff’  break out and shows the band evolving with a slightly different direction than normal.

'From Euphoria To Dystopia' sees Mustasch channel their inner Maiden/Lizzy, and then give Tony Iommi a run for his money with the doom laden ‘The Mauler’. One thing that stands out rather nicely after repeated listenings are the subtlety of the string arrangement they throw into many of their compositions. Its not just 4 blokes bludgeoning their instruments for pain and our pleasure, they are far more clever than that

'All My Life' is probably the closest the Swedes come to a ballad, or so you think. Its just 50% less metal than the norm.

Its short and sweet, weighing in at less than 37 minutes. Bur what 'TYFTD' lacks in minutes, it makes up for it in pure unadulterated quality. Not every album needs to fill 700Mb of data on a cd and be 75mins long.

To be fair to the guys, they have a formula that works, plain and simple. Its metal for us masses; powerful, brutal, and hellishly melodic to boot. 'Thank You For The Demon' is a stand out album in the Mustasch catalogue. It’s too early to be included in my top albums of 2013, as its not due out until Jan, but I can guarantee you already that it will be in my Top 10 of 2014 whatever happens.

Now PLEASE, get your asses over to the UK!



Feared And Hated
Thank You For The Demon
From Euphoria to Dystopia
The Mauler
All My Life
Lowlife Highlights
I Hate To Dance
Dont Want To Be Who I Am

Friday, 6 December 2013

Chesyrockreviews Top Rock Albums of 2013

Well folks its that time of year again for a totally (un)biased review of this years best albums. On a good month 2500-4000 visit CRR towers a month and I thank you sincerely for that. Why not subscribe like the 3 other people who fancy a regular dose of what chesyrockreviews has to offer. Go on, ya know ya wanna!!

2013 has been another decent year for fans of all genres of rock music, except if your name begins with 'I' and ends with 'an Watkins'. Shame about the poor fucker from Steps with the same name who was hounded off twitter recently (do your homework trolls!). All we have to do now is get AC/DC to the top of the UK charts for Xmas before some Simon Cowell controlled puppety mannequin fuckwitt hypnotizes every 8-15yr old girl (and also housewife) in the UK. Enough of the topical stuff heres a rundown of my Top albums of 2013.

To be totally honest to all the bands, 10 thru to 3 had nothing in them at all, they were all so close its merely a matter of personal preference. If you are in 10-3 then your albums been pretty awesome indeed!

So…to the list
Just bubbling under…..in no particular order….deserving an honourable mention are…

Lion Twin - Nashville – crackin 80s rock riffs
Edens Curse – now more of a band and the resulting album confirms this
Queensryche – the Todd-ryche version pisses over the Tate-ryche version.
King Bathmat – British Prog band deserving a greater audience
Anneke Van Giersbergen – Infectious and gorgeous in equal measure
Mystery – Belting 80s style rock from a bunch of kids who should know better!!
Laneslide – Mighty fine AOR from the voice of Mr. Vestry

20. Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock – Bridge The Gap
Probably the best piece of work from Mad Mickey since his best MSG days. A storming line-up means business right from the off. Its great to see (and hear) him back on fine form indeed

19. Sammy Hagar & Friends
The RED rocker is refusing to enter into his old age graciously and the result is rather splendid

18. Trucker Diablo –  Songs Of Iron
Irelands answer to Black Stone Cherry. These lads are on the path to greater things in 2014.

17. Dream Theater – ST
Now firmly established with Mike Mancini in the ranks the DT guys come out with all guns blazing and prove there's many a long like left in them after Portnoy

16. Vega –What The Hell
UK melodic rock starlets hit you with the Def Leppard playbook. Massive hooks and catchy choruses make for a plush listening experience. Time to make their own way as a major act in 2014

15. Volbeat –Outlaw Gentleman & Shady Ladies
Wonderfully strange and strangely wonderful. Mix Johnny Cash with Elvis, Country and Metal, and the end result is ‘OG&SL’

14. Bonafide  - Bombo
The Swedish AC/DC hit the ground running this year with Bombo. A straight shootin', no nonsense, rock ya between the eyes approach to metal

13. Charming Grace
Unusual approach saw Davide Barbieri duetting with many a well known (well in AOR circles) melodic rock starlet (most of them blokes). Thankfully an 80s passion for rock saw one of the interesting melodic rock releases of the year

12. WET - Rise UP
The 2nd album syndrome was easily brushed aside. It has more hooks than a fishing tackle box. On longer a 'project' WET are a bonafide band thanks to the Godfather of AOR at Frontiers!
11. Pamela Moore - Resurrect Me
Life after Queensryche? You bloody bet there is! Not a single ‘one trick pony’ (i.e Mindcrime Starlet) to be seen in the stable , Miss Moore comes out of the blocks sprinting for gold. Excellent metal from Sister Mary and one of the finest female metal vocalists plying their trade today

10. Von Hertzen Bros- Nine Lives
They’ve taken a while to get a foothold in the UK, but with Nine Lives, VHB have unleashed their finest album to date. Typically prog, but they mix this with a melodic-ness that many cant muster. King Crimson meets Genesis. As popular in Finland as 1D are over here, its just a matter of time before they break through into the mainstream

 Listen to - Insomniac / Flowers and Rust

9. FM – Rockville
In their most prolific form of their lives, FM prove they are not reformed just to make up the numbers. The finest of the melodic rock albums with not one, not two, but three classic tracks that fit nicely with their best work. After many a workout on BBC R2 FM can still make a go of it, and they bloody well deserve to

Listen to - Crosstown Train / Tough Love / Only Foolin'

8. Monster Truck – Furiosity
When young Chesy came home from Download, Monster Truck is one he said I should listen to. Bugger me, if you’re a fan of CLASSIC 70s rock in the vein of all your fave bands like Purple / Rainbow / Zep, then look no further than Monster Truck. Powerful stoner riffs, a melodic finesse, and with a singer in the classic style of Morrison/Cocker/with a bit of roughness for good measure, makes MTs debut a thing of beauty

Listen to - Sweet Mountain River / For The Sun / The Lion

7. Moritz – S.O.S.
How this band hasn’t got the backing of a label is beyond me. Also how the fuck didn’t they get on the unsigned Firefest 2014 bill?? I lose my faith in humanity sometimes. Anyway, SOS kicks off where Undivided left of, only with much better production, and a polished set of songs many an melodic rock band would swap their Granny for. The Americans have Journey, we in the UK have Moritz. The UK wins by a knockout!

Listen to - SOS / Fire / Cant Hide My Heart / Gonna Lose Her

6. Newman – Siren
Mr Newman’s not a man for writing in the “Melodic Rock I-Spy” book of songwriting. The songs are more personal, thought provoking which leads to a most enjoyable album. Self written, played and produced, its about time the world woke up to Newman. A hidden gem of a talent. Siren has hardly been out of the CD player since July. The reason? No its not stuck, its simply brilliant

Listen to - Scar Of Love / Arcadia / Had Enough

5. Black Sabbath – 13
Finally the UK market put Sabbath at the top of the charts. It wasn’t just for posterity, its because its Sabbaths best album with Ozzy since Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Iommi’s playing at his darkest and brilliant best, possibly because it could be his last album? I certainly hope not. I just wish they could have acted more like grown ups and got Ward back in the fold. I suppose they know best as the end result is Sab-tastic

Listen To - God Is Dead / Age Of Reason

4. Stryper – No More Hell To Pay
Yes I know that Sabbath should be higher than Stryper, but its my list! When they reformed a few years back I was quite sure if the punters were ready for another God Bothering. NMHTP sees Stryper at their very best. Gone are the sickly power ballads and in come a more consistent and metal approach. When you have one of the finest vocalists in Michael Sweet, the outcome is the unknown 11th Commandment ‘ Thou Shalt listen to Stryper’

 Listen to - No More Hell To Pay / Saved By Love / Legacy

3. The Winery Dogs
A bit of a Mega group going on here from Messers Portnoy, Sheehan, and…er…Ritchie Kotzen! OK so some may not have come across Mr Kotzens prowess, but he’s as good a singer as he is a guitarist, and whoevers idea it was to get him on board was an inspired choice. One of my fave albums of the year

Listen to -  Desire / I'M No Angel / Elevate

2. The Temperance Movement
My fave album for all of 4 days. A stunning debut from a bunch of lads who have paid their dues. In coming together as TTM, they are on their way to become one of the hottest and best bands the UK has to offer. They’ve been compared with The Faces, Black Crowes etc, but not for much longer. A gem of a singer in Phil Campbell, a slight Scot with the power of Joe Cocker on steroids and a imperious persona. My fave new band (and debut) of the year

Listen to - pretty much everything!

1.Alter Bridge – Fortress
One of my all time fave bands, but even I couldn’t see this one on the horizon. To be honest I thought they peaked with Blackbird, but Fortress picked up the baton, and ran off into the distance such is its quality. Tremonti’s riffs are downright pulverizing, and they have a perfect foil in Myles Kennedy’s vocals and guitar playing (Led Zep checked him out for a bloody good reason). Couple this with Flips drumming and a more dominant bass sound from Brian Marshall, and 'Fortress' is THE most powerful album of 2014, and its friggin awesome! AWESOME \m/

And heres what some of the others think........

Jim Kirkpartick - FM
1. Tedeschi Trucks Band - Made Up Mind
2. The Temperance Movement
3. FM - Rockville

Actually it will be interesting to see if TTB release an album in 2014 as Jim's picked them both last and this year as his fave. Big Fan of the Trucks (and Tedeschi) methinks, and I cant blame him for a second!

Allee Martell - Purrfect Timing Radio Host \m/eow!

Killer DWaRfs - Start @One 
Coldspell - Frozen Paradise 
A World With Heroes - Kiss 40th Anniversary Tribute Album 
Brett Walker - Straight Jacket Vacation

Alessandro Del Vecchio - Hardline / Ian Paice Band / Singer/ Songwriter / Producer and much more!
John Elefante - ON MY WAY TO THE SUN
Anneke van Giersbergen - DRIVE
Little River Band - CUTS LIKE A DIAMOND

Peter Scallan - Frontman for Moritz, and competitor for Rock Fusion!! And all round nice guy!!

Houston II (pure AOR), 
Rage of Angels - Dreamworld (Classic Rock) 
Stratovarios - Nemesis 

Matthew Gilmore - Bassist Extraordinare for Skam

1. Black Sabbath - 13, its great they made a classic "Sabbath" album, it could have gone so wrong 
2. Tracer - el Pistolero, its hard making album 2, but they nailed it! 
3. Freefall - Power & Volume - best new band of 2013, good old Rock n Roll.

Gareth Vanstone - Bassist for Welsh AOR big guns, Serpentine!

1) The Winery Dogs - The Winery Dogs 
2) FM - Rockville 
3) Deep Purple - What If

Heleno Vale - Soulspell founder and Brazils equivalent to Ayreon!