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!!!

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Screaming Eagles - 'Stand Up And Be Counted' Album Review

I must admit, it took me a while to get my mitts of the Screaming Eagles debut. Not so sure why it took me so long, but it immediately became like seeing a long lost friend. Everything felt familiar and comfortable, in a great way of course.

The Northern Irish foursome recently achieved international recognition from Sony Music Pictures in Los Angeles, who after signing a licensing agreement with the band, featured their first single release “Rock N’ Roll Soul” on the Hit US TV Show - Justified, Season 6 Episode 1, starring Timothy Olyphant and airing to an audience of more than 4 million viewers in the US.
Screaming Eagles have shared bills with the likes of Airbourne, UFO, Black Star Riders and The Answer, at various festivals such as Giants Of Rock, The Great British Rock N Blues Festival, Hard Rock Hell and their biker edition in Ibiza.

To kick-start the next chapter of the Screaming Eagles, the band will be releasing a multi track EP, titled ‘Save Me’ with bonus material including a cover of Australian rock classic “Good Times” featuring guest vocals from Pontus Snibb of Bonafide as well as some live material recorded at Hard Rock Hell, 2 years ago.
The 7 track ‘Save Me’ EP will be released digitally and worldwide on 24th June; with an exclusive new video shot in their home country to back it up.

The new album ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’ contains ten tracks of blistering rock n roll, recorded in the band's home country, Northern Ireland during March/April 2015.

All the Screaming Eagles hallmarks are there from the off – DC/Airbourne style classic rock with a Punch! There’s no need to be able to be a Malmsteen and play 150 notes a second when you can be as effective and hard hitting as this. Ready For The Fall is as close to Airbourne as you will ever get. Its not a bad thing by any means – its in yer face, right to the point high voltage rock n roll done extremely well. If Bon Scott had a baby with Joel O’Keefe then Chris Fry would be the said adopted offspring. Strike that – if AC/DC gangbanged Airbourne then Screaming Eagles would be the bastard offspring of such a dalliance. ‘Save Me’ takes off on very similar note. An air raid siren gives the game away to what is approaching, riffs of seismic proportions coupled with fire and brimstone. ‘Stand Up And Be Counter has all the air guitar knobs set to 11 for those of you wanting to join in at home (why can’t bands give away free air guitars and wigs with cds?). ‘Bow Down To The Blues does what it says on the tin, old skool blues-rock with a modern edge. ‘Chase You Down sees the SE’s throwing in a bit of funk. ’Breaking All The Rules’ makes for a refreshing refrain. Part country rock, then exploding into this delightful meaty riff.

A few bands are looking to step into AC/DC’s soon vacant shoes. Few are doing it as good as Screaming Eagles. Chris Fry’s (or shout that be fries) voice shines like a beacon in the darkest of nights.

If you love the debut then this is a no brainer of gargantuan proportions. It’s a step up from ‘From The Flames’. Screaming Eagles deserve greater things and 'SUABC' will get them their deserved rewards. Give this a while and they will be on the long road to rock stardom.

Score 88/100

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Twitter – @screagle83
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Kelly Keeling - Mind Radio Album review

Well-known to melodic rock aficionados, Keeling has a decent pedigree with namely Baton Rouge, Heaven & Earth, TSO, work with Schenker, Norum etc, and Blue Murder on his extensive CV.  All in all, he has appeared or written songs on 60 albums! His excellent Red Zone Rider album was one of the highlights of 2014. 2015 sees him shacked up in the Frontier stable with the Frontiers ‘go-to’ guy, Alessandro Del Vecchio

Mind Radio gets off to a great start with the energetic up-tempo ‘This Love Is Our Paradise’ and the pacey  ‘Isolated Man’.  The decent pace continues thru the first half of Mind Radio with ‘Sunshine Over Me’ the best of the bunch. Once the second half hits its more music by numbers and sees a dip in quality, which is unusual considering the talents of Keeling and Del Vecchio. God only knows what the fuck they were thinking of with the god-awful Monkey House, a whiney, mess of a song.

Red Zone Rider is an album that I turn back to frequently, but sadly Mind Radio isn’t one to have repeated listens beyond 3 or 4 tracks

Score 65/100

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Dimino - Old Habits Die Hard Album Review

Out of all the five Frontiers releases planned for this week, the Dimino album was the one that I wanted to hear the most. Most people who will be drawn to the Frontiers roster will know of Frank Diminos past glory and pedigree with glam rockers Angel. Yes you remember them, the ones Gene Simmons plucked from obscurity, and dropped them back into obscurity when they failed to ignite on five albums. Perhaps it was the androgynous white outfits, or maybe just that they were overhyped and not that good!

As all good Frontier bands projects, this one is no different. Pick a singer from the past (check), put him with some other old musicians (check), and hopefully some of the cream will rise to the top? Involved in Dimino are Oz Fox (Stryper), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), Ricky Medlocke (Blackfoot, Lynyrd Skynyrd), and former Angel band mates Punky Meadows and Barry Brandt.

First thing to not is that Frank sounds good. Great even. Even better is the fact that he has gone for his own thing and not done like others have and tried to recreate the past he had with Angel. ‘Old Habits Die Hard’ is a straight 6, out and out powerhouse rock album.

‘Never Again’ roars out of the blocks like Usain Bolt wearing a meat unitard being chased by a rabid hoard of zombies.  ‘Mad As hell’, ‘Rockin’ In The City’ and ‘The Quest’ just powers along with a sense of power and purpose; all have great riffs and soaring soloing.  ‘I Cant Stop Loving You’ sees Dimino in great vocal form. He probably, (strike that), definitely sounds better than his Angel days. ‘Tears Will Fall’ is in a similar soaring vein, and sounds like a song that Dokken could have written in the days when they were great! Top it all off with ‘Sweet Sensation’, and OHDH is a very surprising and welcome addition to the Frontiers label

It’s a mystery why he hasn’t been plying his trade globally these past years as he is a man right on top of his game. I’ve hyped up a few Frontiers releases this year, but if you have to buy one, make it this one! If there’s to be a 3rd Frontiers fest next year, Dimino surely must be on it!

Score 85/100

 Frank DiMino: Lead Vocals
Justin Avery: Organ, Background Vocals
John Miceli: Drums
Oz Fox / Paul Crook / Jeff Labansky / Punky Meadows / Jeff Duncan / Eddie Ojeda / Dylan DiMino / Rickey Medlocke: Guitars
Danny Miranda / Paul Crook: Bass

Released 3/7/15 

The V - Now Or Never Album Review

Veronica Freeman the front woman of Benedictum and Dio wannabe moves out of her comfort zone to do a solo album for the Frontiers label. To say Frontiers have thrown the kitchen sink at this is an understatement. Either that, or Ms. Freeman has a blackmail (little black) book of decent proportions (see and I didn’t mention her boobies at all!). She has gathered a rather impressive array of talent from the rock-pool! Band mates Pete Wells, Aric Avina and Rikard Stjernquist (Benedictum), Michael Sweet (Stryper), Garry Bordonaro (The Rods), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner, T&N), Mike Lepond (Symphony X), Tony Martin (Sabbath), Jerry Dixon (Warrant) and many, many more!

Her music with Benedictum started out as a novelty for me as they did excellent Dio covers. Now Or Never is a decent departure from the more metal vocals of Benedictum and proves that Freeman has a decent singing voice on her when not forcing the issue. The album kicks off with a few above average songs, with opener ‘Again’ showing the talents of Freeman and Michael Sweet, advertising the modern, harder edge of Sweets talents on guitar and production. ‘Roller Coaster’ jumps out of the blocks like a classic Kiss song, think Strutter or Deuce. ‘L.O.V.E.’ and ‘Ready To Run’ have their musical roots firmly planted in the 80s. There are a couple of duets worth a mention here. Firstly ‘Kiss My Lips’ with Leather Leone of Chastain (with both sounding very similar in style) and showing that the vocal similarity blends well. The second duet ‘King For A Day’ with Tony Martin shows he has lost none of his power and is as good as his Sabbath days.

All in all ‘Now or Never’; proves to be a decent album, and one I suspect that will top the Frontiers sales come the end of the year such is the pull across the metal fraternity for Ms. Freeman. It’s not far removed from her Benedictum stuff, but she is given more chance to shine. I’m expecting greater things should no2 be on the cards.

Score 75/100

 Veronica Freeman – Lead vocals
Leather Leone – Duet vocals  “Kiss my Lips”
Tony Martin- Duet vocals “King for a Day”
Meliesa McDonell- additional vocals “Star Shine” & Acoustic guitars
Derek Kerswill- drums
Jeff Pilson, Mel Brown, Garry Bordonaro, Aric Avina, John O’Boyle & Mike Lepond- Bass
Pete Wells, Michael Sweet ,Peter Tentindo, Jimmy Durkin, Mick Tucker, Jordan Ziff, Michael Harris  – Guitars

Produced by John Herrera
except for:
King for a Day (produced by Kenny Lewis)
Love Should be to Blame & Again (produced by Michael Sweet)

Released 3/7/15