About Me

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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!!!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Rated X - ST Album Review

In the true style of Frontiers Records, Perugino Serafino has installed a group coming from 3 bastions of rocks finest heritage. If the likes of Rainbow, Deep Purple (or Deep Rainbow as it was in JLTs tenure), Malmsteen, Blue Murder, Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra, The Firm, Ozzy, Rod Stewart and Frehley rock your musical world then Rated X is definitely to be on your shopping list of new CDs .Perugino wanted to build a group to show of JLTs immeasurable and undiminished vocal talent, and so Rated X was conceived. If it was a whim project for Perugino, then they don’t come much better than this.

Appice was first on board given his long history with Turner. So who better to bring on next that
Appice’s partner in crime at Blue Murder, bassist Tony Franklin. Long time JLH cohort and collaborator Karl Cochran was an obvious choice for guitar. With a combined age of well over 200, there’s no law that states that you are too old to rock and kick some ass! Not only that some well known guitarists have assisted on the album, Nikolo Kotsev (Baltimoore & Brazen Abbot) and Daniel Palmqvist (X Origin). To think that Cochran

Rated X came under the executive direction of Frontiers ‘go to guy’ Alessandro Del Vecchio, which is the equivalent of the Frontiers seal of approval for quality. We’ve mentioned that bands that rock your (and the RX guys) world, Rated X take all these influences from their past on the chin and have written and produced an album that typifies the term CLASSIC ROCK.

Absolute key to the sound is the husky vocal stylings on Joe Lynn Turner, unaffected and undiminished in power from his Rainbow & Fandango days.  Get Back My Crown is aptly titled as it shows JLT in fine fettle indeed. Never one to be away for more than what seems 5 minutes its great to see him in a band function rather than what seems to be a ‘pay money will travel’ kind of vocalist in recent years. The first video ‘This Is Who I Am’ once more has a formulaic chorus but a bloody catchy and hooky one all the same. “Lhasa’ (no its not a song about JLTs dog) is a Valley of The Kings type affair, (more so for the fact that he sings VOTK in the opening lines) with Cochran pulling (and plucking) the strings. ‘You Are The Music’ drags a little, mainly due the quality preceding it, but again the pace picks up for ‘Peace Of Mind’. The Kotzev guitar fronted ‘I Don’t Cry No More’ and the hard hitting, and belting closer, ‘Stranger In Us All’ and are the closest they come to JLTs and Kotzev’s pomp and classy Brazen Abbot/Rainbow sounding days.

Ale certainly knows how to assist a band with production skills to get the best out of the band dynamic that is Rated X. No doubt adding keyboard fills and BVs?

Basically Rated X could have just come in, taken the money and run by doing a music by numbers album. This is a better bet than I ever envisaged. A sterling effort from some of rocks elders.

Score 85/100

Rated X is…
Joe Lynn Turner – Vocals
Carmine Appice – Drums
Karl Cochran – Guitars
Tony Franklin – Bass

Nikolo Kotsev – guitars on 'Maybe Tonight', 'Peace of Mind', 'Our Love is Not Over'; and lead guitars on 'Stranger In Us All' and 'I Don’t Cry No More'
Daniel Palmqvist – guitars on 'You Are The Music'

Produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio
Mixed by Pat Regan

Release date 7th Nov in EU / 10th Nov NA


Get Back My Crown
This Is Who I Am
Fire And ice
I Don’t Cry No More
Devil In Disguise
You Are The Music
Peace Of Mind
Maybe Tonight
On The Way To Paradise
Our Love Is Not Over
Stranger In Us All

 Rated X - Stranger In Us All

Friday, 10 October 2014

Jimmy Barnes - 30:30 Hindsight Album Review

2014 sees the 30th (yup, thirtieth!) anniversary of Jimmy Barnes’ debut as Scottish born Aussie rock singer/songwriter, and to celebrate this feat, Mr. Barnes has recorded ’30:30 Hindsight’, his 15th studio album (not bad…an average of 2 a year, that would take some bands 60 years to emulate).

Barnes explains the thought process behind creating a collaborative album of his own tracks:

“I wanted to do something special for the 30th anniversary…  There was talk of a tribute album, but that idea would have taken me out of the picture. So then I thought of a much better idea – I’ll get all my favourite artists and sing with them!”

Personally, I think the blokes amazing, his voice has stood the test of time. Whilst never being truly soulful (certainly if comparing to Sam Cooke) his is a very distinctive sound. To top it off, his stats are pretty damn good as well – NINE no.1 albums; all bar one of his 14 studio albums debuted in the Top 3, and twice inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame as a solo artist and also as a member of Chisel

Not only that, when he can call on the likes of Neal Schon & Jonathon Cain (Journey), Keith Urban, Joe Bonamassa, Steven Van Zandt and Baby Animals, they you know he is well and truly respected and admired amongst his peers

There was a time in the mid 80s when Barnes career was on fire – Working Class Man, Two Fires, Heat and the immense Jimmy Barnes S/T (aka For The Working Class Man). Amazingly only ‘Walk On’ and ‘Still On Your Side’ is represented from FTH album on the standard version of Milestone. The problem is – if you have a HUGE number of songs in your repertoire, which ones do you pick. Good Time with Keith Urban was one late casualty – in fact its pretty good to have to miss the cut. On this ‘standard’ version a lot miss the cut. All I can say is that there is a fairly good mix of songs from right across the Barnes spectrum, with even the likes of ‘Psyclone’ and ‘Love & Fear’ albums represented.

‘Lay Down Your Guns’ (w/The Living End) is as good as the original version, slightly altered but excellent all the same. Its great to hear Suze DeMarchi of Baby Animals and the rest of the Baby Animals appearing on ‘Time Will Tell’). For ‘Ride The Night Away’, Barnes teams up with original co writer Van Zant. Originally written for Barnes it’s fitting that VZ play a part on what is a belting modernized version. Talent runs in the Barnes family as his daughter Mahalia shows she has a stunning set of pipes on her on the raucous Stand Up. Jimmy’s brother in law Diesel (even the bloody in-laws are talented!) duets on a cool version of ‘I’d Die To Be With You Tonight’. Bonamassa and Tina Arena are pulled out for the blues standard ‘Stone Cold’ with Bonamassa given free reign to do what only he can do. ‘Working Class Man’, a song designed to break JB in the states is assisted by the writer, Jonathan Cain, with guitar from Ian Moss (Diesel). Both Cain and Journey cohort Neal Schon appear on ‘Going Down Alone’ from the under appreciated ‘Psyclone’. It’s a broody song given the ‘what for’ by Schon and is definitely in good company on this album. Shit! Its one of the BEST songs on 'Hindsight' (check out the video below). Shihad and Barnes combine for ‘Love and Hate’ and I admit I prefer this to the original as its even more pulsating and in yer face than the original.

All in all you can see what I’m getting at. 30:30 Hindsight is a bloody good album as it stands. With newer and modernised / alternate versions of some of Barnes’ fave tunes. It may not please everyone due to some glaring omissions – ‘Driving Wheels’ / ‘Too Much Aint Enough’ / ‘Promise Me You’ll Call’, and ‘Good Times’, but what is here hits the mark.

Don’t bother buying the single CD version, there’s a belting 3 CD version for only a £6.50 more than the standard version. For the audiophiles there is also a limited edition of 1000 x 180g pressings. Go on, you know you want to.

Score 85/100

1. Lay Down Your Guns (w/ The Living End)
2. Time Will Tell (w/ The Baby Animals)
3. Ride The Night Away (w/ Little Steven)
4. Stand Up (w/ Mahalia Barnes + The Soul Mates)
5. I'd Die To Be With You (w/ Diesel)
6. Stone Cold (w/ Tina Arena & Joe Bonamassa)
7. Working Class Man (w/ Jonathan Cain and Ian Moss)
8. Going Down Alone (w/ Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain)
9. Love And Hate (w/ Shihad)
10. No Second Prize (w/ the Family Choir)
11. I'd Rather Be Blind (w/ Jon Stevens)
12. When Your Love Is Gone (W/ Ruby Rodgers and the Tin Lids)
13. The Other Kind (w/ Troy Cassar-Daley)
14. Walk On (w/ David Campbell)
15. Still On Your Side (w/ Bernard Fanning) 

Going Down Alone

Stone Cold

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Driftwood Sign - releases new single and video

The Driftwood Sign releases single and video 

The Driftwood Sign, rockers from Malmo Sweden, releases the new single "Disorder" together with a music video. The single is the first of two songs recorded at Berno Studio in November. 'This time we wanted to do everything right and focused on qualityThat's why we chose to record at Berno with over 30 years of experience in the studio', says Anders, singer in the band. Mixing and mastering was made by Beau Hill (Europe, Ratt).  'Beau really delivered and we're happy with the end result', Anders continues. 

The next single, "No Longer Young" is set to be released early fall. 

Never heard of them? Me neither. But after recent support with Tremonti, then it wont be too long before you do!!! Check out their video below 

Hornet - NEW EP due to drop in November

HORNET have announced that they will be releasing a brand new EP, the follow up to their debut album ‘Skies Are Falling’, alongside a modern sound and look.  The first single ‘Cry Wolf’, from their as-yet-untitled EP will be dropping on November 25th with a dramatic music video. Phil Kinman (Tank, New Device) returns to produce the record along with Dick Beetham (Enter Shikari, Young Guns) mastering.

Frontman, Joe Thompson explains "With the new EP we really wanted to just expand the sound we already had by incorporating more of our influences to make our sound more modern and diverse, something in the now, you know? The same can be said for our image. It’s definitely more relatable to us as individuals. It's still Hornet through and through but as we've found ourselves developing both as a band and as musicians it has really shone through in our new songs. It’s modern but still hard, heavy and in your face!"

The band will be building up to the release with exclusive behind the scenes videos, photos and more, so be sure to follow the band  

@OfficialHornet and