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!!!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Midnite City - 'ST' Album Review


‘Wylde Summer Nites’

Midnite City were formed at the beginning of 2017 by current Tigertailz front man (he was meant for that job by the way!), and former Vega, Steevi Jaimz and Teenage Casket Company.

He was armed with an albums worth of material (35:34 if you’re following VHs first epic, or 130:23 for Dream Theater's last effort), thankfully Rob’s idea turned out to be a trim 45min! Anyway, he approached Pete Newdeck to produce three songs for him to shop around record labels. Rob played guitar, bass and handled vox, and Newdeck played drums, provided BV's and mixed the songs. Wylde brought in Miles Meakin on guitar, and former Vega band mate James Martin (keys). Three songs were mixed by Harry Hess and were picked up by AOR Heaven.

With a deal in place, Newdeck was officially on board, joining Miles Meakin (guitar), and Shawn Charvette (keys).

Looking at Rob, the lad was born to be in a band. He looks as if he’s just walked off the Strip. That’s the L.A. one, and not Blackpool.

The opening track, ‘We Belong’ is absolute melodic rock heaven. It has the perfect blend of crunch in the riffs, and melody in the song to make it a strong contender for shortlists come the end of the year. It’s pure ‘80s. ‘Ghost Of My Old Friends’ is a bit of a creeper. After repeated listens, it just gets better and better. ‘Summer Of Our Lives’ is one of the three songs used to clinch the deal. It certainly ticks the ‘anthemic’ box when it comes to the chorus, a feel-good Summer track for sure. ‘Nothings Like Losing You’ follows on in a similar vein. Four songs in and the production so far is as sweet as a nut, very clear, everything sounds great, no dullness, mushed up sound – all instruments clear as a bell, and every single word of Robs vocals understood. May not seem like much to you, but to me its heaven!

‘Last Beat Of My Heart’ is another of the highlights from MC. The bloke knows melody, I’ll give him that. ‘Everything You Meant To Me’ shows the more balladic side to Midnite City with its stripped back sound, and will be a sure-fire hit when played live. ‘Can’t Wait For The Nights’ is akin to the style of The Radio Sun, more ‘pop’ than ‘rock’ but all the same its still enjoyable. ‘One Step Away’ has this chugging guitar sound and refrain that Rick Springfield seems to have trademarked. Rob sure likes his ‘top down Summer anthems’, and chuck in some ‘whoa-ohs!’ and the Summer season continues with ‘I Just Cant Take It’. ‘Things She Said’ sounds like it might be a down beat track, but even this has the ability to be uplifting, especially with Newdeck’s quality BV’s adding to the charm. ‘ Think About You’ , one of the ‘three’ that got them this deal, as a great way to round off a very solid and promising debut.

Midnite City have recently added bassist Josh ’tabbie’ Williams to the line up, that will make it a perfect fit, just like the one fingerless studded leather glove that Rob probably wears around the house to do the washing up!

It’s Frontiers that are pushing out the volume of melodic rock, but AOR Heaven seem to have signed up the quality.

There’s nothing new about this album as its been done before, but I do think that what Rob and the guys have come up with is an album that is very good indeed. I’m expecting it to be on quite a few fave lists, mine included.

Score 88/100

Tracklisting

We Belong
Ghost Of My Old Friends
Summer Of Our Lives
Nothing’s Like Losing You
Last Beat Of My Heart
Everything You Meant To Me
Can’t Wait For The Nights
One Step Away
I Just Cant Take It
Things She Said

Think About You

RELEASED 20.10.17


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Radio Sun - 'Unstoppable' Album Review

The Radio Sun - Unstoppable


Now I couldn’t normally give a Castlemaine XXXX if a band is melodic rock, melodic hard rock, AOR or West Coast. OK, so I really draw the line at West Coast. But normally, I don’t care what label a band is tagged with, only if
a.     its good enough, and
b.     makes me feel good.
c.      all the above

Thankfully, the previous three albums by my favourite antipodean band, The Radio Sun, have ticked all the boxes for me so far. This fourth album, ‘Unstoppable’ which is aptly named by the way, feels like bands from the 70s, whereby they seemed to release an album every 6-9 months. Its probably because I only got in on the game with their second release, so what with this, it seems like three albums in very quick succession!

Either Messers Janevski, Old, Wong, and Annese don’t like their wives much, or they really like churning out albums quicker than a Koala can pop out ‘Joeys’. If you need to look, I’ll save you time….its 35 days! It’s a slight exaggeration, but what I’m saying is that The Radio Sun are bloody prolific.

Now you would think that ‘prolific’, and ‘quality output’ may not go together as quality takes time to produce. Well, nobody told these guys….

If you know The Radio Sun, then you will know what to expect from them. If you don’t, then pull up a chair and I’ll fill you in….’Heaven On Earth’ sees TRS lay out their stall with their pop-rock treats. In the days of the ‘traditional’ single, Unstoppable would be chock full if ‘em, none more so than the infectious ‘Only You’. In fact it’s the musical equivalent of the Liverpool Hospital of infectious diseases! ‘You’ve Got The Tough’ displays The Radio Sun’s knack of an ear for great harmonies. Mix it up with Janevski’s understated solos adding the right level of melody and riffage and it’s a perfect match. There’s no swiping left here folks.

‘Tonight’s The Night’ has a harder edge than usual, and is a firm favourite for me with its 80s groove. ‘Surrender Your Heart’ draws on further 80s influences like US pop/rock princes Cheap Trick. Roxus’ Andy Shanahan adds even more class to the excellent ‘Dreams Should Last Forever’ with they guys certainly building this one up to the max. The tempo remains firmly in the ‘up’ position for ‘Set The Night On Fire’, and the anthemic title track, ‘Unstoppable’. ‘Whenever You Want’ is one of those songs that The Radio Sun do ever so well, catchy as hell, instantly memorized, and a fun, upbeat song. Other bands work their balls off to write a song like this, yet TRS seem to do it regularly and consistently.

There’s a good reason why TRS are over in the UK again for their 3rd HRH appearance in a row. If you need me to tell ya, then you’re in the wrong place. It's not because they are cheap!

Existing fans of The Radio Sun will crack a fat one listening to ‘Unstoppable’. Potential fans thinking of dipping a toe into the best Aussie band this side of Bundoora, give it a burl.

A bonzer album from a ripper band.

The Radio Sun head to Japan in November and back to Europe in March 2018 with shows at HRH AOR amongst others

Score 90/100

Tracklisting –

Heaven On Earth
Only You
You’ve Got The Touch
Tonight’s The Night
Surrender Your heart
Dreams Should Last Forever
Set The Night On Fire
Why Must I
Unstoppable
Whenever You Want
You’re Everything To Me

The Radio Sun - 

Jason Old – Vocals
Stevie Janevski – Guitars & Vox
Gilbert Annese – Drums & Vox
Anthony Wong – Bass & Vox

Produced by The Radio Sun
Mixed By Paul Laine

Released 20th Oct. 

Pre-order now and you can still get a signed copy. Just visit the lads FB page for details......






Saturday, 9 September 2017

H.E.A.T. - 'Into The Great Unknown' Album Review


H.E.A.T. – Into The Great Unknown

I must admit, I've always looked forward to a H.E.A.T. release. They are one of the few more modern melodic rock bands that could fit in AND hold their own in the BN* or BG* era of music (*Before Nirvana and Before Grunge!). Especially since Eric Grönwall came on board, as this fella is a whirlwind of energy.

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since ‘Tearing Down The Walls’ was released! Where bands like BCC go into the studio and write and record 23 songs in 36 hours, 'Into The Great Unknown' took place over a period of 18 months, so I’m expecting great things. Dave Dalone/ Sky Davids is back in the mix, not exactly replacing Eric Rivers, more or less returning like your favourite armchair.

‘ITGU’ opens up with the wonderfully titled ‘Bastard Of Society’ and its like a Ferrari ripping through a sheet of glass at breakneck speed. Grönwall sounds the best he ever has. Marry his operatic vocals with some guitar shredding theatrics and a kick-ass chorus, and trademark harmonies and it’s off to a perfect start. Redefined is almost subdued in comparison, but is still effective. If 'BOS’ was great, then ’Shit City’ wins the naming stakes. Its full of their youthful ‘piss n vinegar’ even tough they are not kids anymore. It has a chorus for arenas and the disaffected masses.

’Time On Our Side’ is the polar opposite of 'Shit City', a positive and uplifting vibe, that just drives along at pace and is a personal favourite (so far). ‘Best Of The Broken’ takes a while to get going, and its a case of ‘fuck the verse, lets get to the chorus’ as this is where the meat and potatoes are. ‘Eye Of The Storm’ is grandiose and sees Grönwall reaching for his falsetto and sounding pretty magnificent. It's Eurovision rock at its finest, and is one for the H.E.A.T. fans to devour. ‘Blind Leads The Blind’ has taken its opening synth salvo from 'Tarot Woman' methinks, which is no bad thing. It's what you would define as Scandi metal and it’s running through BLTB like a stick of rock! ‘We Rule’ takes its charm and lead from Queen. It has snippets of ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ and just builds to a huge climax (F’narr!). Queen would love a song like this to perform. With the wonderful lyric ‘Is the turbulence that cause my mind to spin like a sex train off the rails’, ’Do You Want It’ is built for the live stage and would easily submit to being an extended mix dance track.

If H.E.A.T. have gone out of their comfort zone to make ‘ITGU’ then look no further than the seven-and-a-half minute closing track ‘Into The Great Unknown’. If they were aiming for their very own ‘Blackbird’, ‘Heaven and Hell’ or Stargazer’, then H.E.A.T. have achieved it. They have thrown all they can at it, it even borders on prog.

All the H.E.A.T. guys have pulled one out of the bag, and even producer Tobias Lindell deserves a special mention.

 Why write and submit 17 songs for an album when you can write 10 sticks of dynamite (well the 10th song is more of a force 10). Its a different H.E.A.T. to what you are used to, but once you embrace the difference, its all for the better.

Basically I can sum it up like this….if you thought that ‘Address The Nation’, or ‘Tearing Down The Walls’ were their creative peak, then you’re so wrong. This eclipses everything and it’s their most complete album to date. Going back to my physics and chemistry lessons, H.E.A.T. rises!

Score 90/100

Tracklisting -
Bastard Of Society
Redefined
Shit City
Time On Our Side
Best Of The Broken
Eye Of The Storm
Blind Leads The Blind
We Rule
Do You Want It?
Into The Great Unknown

H.E.A.T.
Eric Grönwall - Vocals
Sky Davids - Guitar
Jimmy Jay - Bass
Jona Tee - Keys
Crash - Drums & Percussion


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Tilt - 'Hinterland' Album review


Tilt – Hinterland

Well….if you are going to hit 300 reviews, no. 300 might as well be worthy of a milestone, and this one is an absolute belter from last year, but it passed me by and its such a good album I wanted to review it still.

One of the absolute highlights for me as a blogger was back in 2009 when I was sent a cd of a band I’d never heard of called Tilt. It was a 4 track EP that completely blew me away. I’ve pestered band leader Steve Vantsis (Bass) a couple of times over the years asking when an album was in the mix. A random tweet I found a few weeks in my feed informed me of a new Tilt album called Hinterland, released in April 2016. Bugger.

A hasty purchase was made of the vinyl. If you’re a vinyl fanatic, this version is one of the most sumptuous versions I have in my collection. Heavyweight vinyl to be played at 45 speed for ultimate sound, gatefold sleeve with some mighty fine inner sleeves and lyric postcards. Basically before I even listened – it’s a thing of beauty. Its the real reason vinyl was made for. Enough of the gushing, back to the review.

There’s been a personnel change from Million Dollar Wound. Its still Steve Vantsis (Bass), Dave Stewart (Drums), Robin Boult (Guitars), and Paul Dourley (Vocals), now graduated from ‘featured’ vocalist to the main man.  In comes Paul Humphreys (guitars), with guest appearances from John Beck (It Bites) and guitarist John Mitchell (It Bites, Lonely Robot, Kino, Frost*). Steve, Dave and Robin have been associated with Fish (the human) on his solo albums and tours for twenty-plus years. Mitchell is also responsible for the final mix.

 Well as per the EP, not a lot has changed (in a great way!). The music on offer rises and falls like the tide, one minute subtle and mellow, the next a crescendo of riffs, and textures that just hit you full on. 

‘Hinterland’ is an area lying beyond what is visible or known. If you can’t see it, you can certainly hear this Hinterland. Opener ‘_Assembly’ is straight up in the same vein as the EP a few years back. It has a bit of an electronica and somber opening, before Dourley’s vocals drag you in to its latter intensity. Its a song (and album) that could easily be played as background music, or full on ‘open the windows mode’ for all your neighbours!! Right out of the box, ‘Hinterland’ is a song that just hits you straight between the ears with its metal-prog riff and up-tempo vibe, and carries you right along for the ride. ‘Against The Rain’ is a song that you could easily hear on a Scandi drama, drawing you into the action with its atmospheric sound, mournful even. It’s the polar opposite of ‘Hinterland’, its a prog ballad in essence, but it is equally fantastic. It’s fairly minimal in its approach, with Dourley’s haunting vocals moving the listener.

‘No Superman’ is the sole survivor from MDW to be worthy of its place on the album (I wish some of the others had made it across). Its rock all the way with this one and Dourley’s vocals when hitting the higher notes have a tone of Chris Cornell to them. Its not grunge, far from it, as this has more textures than Edinburgh Woolen Mill, and is still a fave of mine a further 8 yrs down the line. ‘Growing Colder’ is just beautiful, right from the delicate piano opening, through to the instantly memorable sing-a-long chorus to the gorgeous orchestral string ending. ‘Strontium Burning’ is in the realms of arena rock. I can just imagine this one being belted out at full pelt at Wembley. ‘Bloodline’s’ opening section is similar in stature to OSI (look ‘em up), a gentle opening feeding into a pulsating bass line and chorus, and a crackin’ guitar solo from Mitchell, before reaching its chilled and relaxed finale. ‘_Disassembly’ bookends Hinterland with ‘_Assembly’ as a companion piece – it has an atmospheric opening, centred around Dourley’s delicate and moving vocals before the song slips away via its long fade-out. Fantastic!

Think of a film that you get more out of it the more you watch it. Hinterland is exactly the same; it deserves multiple listens before you can really comment – just like a Rush album in the 70s/early 80s. Whilst most of the site and mags that review this I expect to be prog specialists, but to me, its an album for all tastes, covering electronic, pop, metal, rock and more. It truly is one of my fave albums of recent times. I cant single out any individual, as all of Tilt has worked their arses off to make such a superb album.

This is not a typical album by any stretch of the imagination. My brain has already been conditioned to Tilt for some years, so it’s been like shaking hands with an old friend. It may take non-believers a couple of listens, but once you’re ‘in’, I guarantee you, there’s no way out!

Hinterland has been picked up by Classic Rock ‘PROG’ mag for its awards ceremony. Stealing a line from that M&S woman, ‘this isn’t any old Prog rock, this is Tilt prog rock’ and long may they continue.

Score 95/100

Tracklisting
_Assembly
Hinterland
Against The Rain
No Superman
Growing Colder
Strontium Burning
Bloodline
_Disassembly

Tilt –
Steve Vantsis – Bass, double bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, programming, loops
Paul Dourley – Vocals
Dave Stewart – Drums – Percussion
Paul Humphreys – Electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboards, programming, loops

Robin Boult – Electric Guitar, acoustic guitar
John Beck – Piano, strings, organ on 2,3,5 & 6
Irvin Duguid – Keyboards on ‘No Superman’
John Mitchell – Guitar solo on ‘Bloodline’





 Catch Tilt on tour in August with Lonely Robot....








Saturday, 5 August 2017

Atlas (UK) - 'World In Motion' EP review


Atlas – World In Motion EP

I really look forward to the days when either a friend (Michael K) recommends a band, or just a band themselves gets in contact, especially if it’s a gem of a release. In this instance it’s a UK melodic rock band from Manchester called Atlas. Just don’t confuse them with the other Atlas who is a metal Bengali band.

Atlas (UK) consists of Craig Wells (Vocals), Howie Little (Guitars), John Moss (Guitars), James Thorley (Keys/Percussion) and Christian Redfearn (Bass).

‘World In Motion’ is a four track EP that I’ve been waiting to hear since I heard a song of theirs a couple of months back. On early inspection vocalist Craig Wells is a mix of Tony Mills and Vince Neil. Guitarist John Moss has recently been added and his guitar work is exemplary. Just check out the Atlas FB page, which shows John jamming along to a couple of Work of Art tracks which, is no bad thing in my opinion.

Opening track ‘Change Of Heart’ sounds as if Tony Mills is fronting Vega. There’s some definite Vega-esque ‘Whoa’s’ and keyboard riffage along with some excellent guitar work from both Little and Moss. ‘Alexandria’ is the weakest of the four. It’s not bad, but Atlas has some good stuff going on for the rest of the EP. The pitch is high on the vocals for the early part, but settles into place once the chorus comes into play.

The stand out tracks by a country mile is the latter two. First is the rather excellent ‘Cross The Line’ a true melodic rock song in a 80s influenced style, everything about it is good.  (Bloody Good!) It brings in influences from Survivor, and sees Moss trading riffs with James Thorley’s keyboards. Exceeding it for brilliance is ‘Lost In The Moment’. There’s a lot more going on with this track, its more in line with something on the lighter side that Dream Theater would do, it ranges from complex, to acoustic and then technical, before finishing with a more West Coast vibe, this my dear reader is a damn good song.

If the first two songs were on a par with the last two, then Atlas would have an absolute pearler on their hands. As it stands its comfortably good. This is a very promising EP. The guitar work from John Moss is particularly of note, but when it is set amongst the mix of the other guys its taken up another notch as what could be some humdrum songs by others is given a kick up the arse and you just have to take notice.

I hope that some bands touring the UK (especially those from Sweden) would take Atlas under their wing and get them out to a decent audience. Also HRH, Rockingham SOS and JSY could do these guys a favour and get them on their bills.

80/100

Atlas
Craig Wells- Vocals
Howie Little – Guitars
John Moss – Guitars
James Thorley – Keys / Percussion
Christian Redfearn – Bass

Tracklisting
Change Of Heart
Alexandria
Cross The Line
Lost In The Moment

Monday, 31 July 2017

Walkway - 'WWIII' Album Review


Walkway – WWIII

Its bleedin’ criminal how a band like Walkway can go virtually unnoticed in the UK, especially when they are as good as they are. They opened up the HRH AOR festival back in March. I dug out a YouTube vid a couple of days before and was blown away as to how good they were. It turned out they were as good as I hoped they were going to be, probably, no, definitely even better than imagined.

To emphasise how good, they were as tight as a very tight thing at HRH towers. Why? Ill tell you why….when this album was launched recently, Walkway performed their 1000th gig to launch this album. If you follow them on FB, it seems like it was their 1000th gig just of 2017. If they have endorsements, a couple should be Dunlop Tyres, Kwik Fit, and Premier Inn, as these guys are away from home more than a Jehovah’s Witness.

Walkway doesn’t take any prisoners, whether it’s in the recording of the album (just 13 days at Sonic One Studio in Wales and mastered at Abbey Road), or the songs themselves. Walkway is based around the Ready brothers – Chris (guitar lead vocals) and James (lead guitar, backing vocals), and Andy Burlace (drums and backing vocals). The subsequent output from these guys in nothing short of memorable

I don’t have the first two albums to make that contrast, so it’s all on this one for analysis. I definitely wouldn’t class Walkway in the AOR bracket. They just happen to be a very good rock band with a knack for melody and hooks.  ‘Stutter’ has a big dirty riff, that’s up Nickleback’s street. Add in the chorus, and is a good a song as Kroeger can muster up. Its stadium rock at its finest. ‘Best I Ever Had’ again is to grab the listener by the ears and force-feed you with a giant riff and instantly memorable chorus. If this were an established US band like say Nickleback, then the radio play, and plaudits would be all over it. ‘Get A Grip’s’ chorus again is nothing short of ear candy. Add in James’ rolling guitar lick and its song that screams quality. Casey in particular takes some of its lead from Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar…’ – especially the ‘Whoa’s!’ If you are going to nail your flag to the mast, it may as well be a good one. ‘Kiss Me Hard’ falls on the grittier side of their repertoire, such as ‘Stutter’ and ‘GAG’. ‘Holding On To Letting Go’ is Walkways ballad; all good bands should have one. ‘HOTLO’ builds up its pace and is in a similar vein to Skid Rows ‘I Remember You’. It is also included as an acoustical bonus track. Both stand tall in their own way.

The rawk returns for the frenetic ‘Leap Of Faith’ with James Ready letting rip in the soloing stakes and is as good as anyone I’ve heard in some time. ‘Something ‘Bout You’ falls on the heavy side, more Grunge than anything preceding this, and sees James making good use of his wah-wah!

There’s three bonus tracks to take on board….‘Rain’ a great Quo cover and tribute to the late Rick Parfitt, and features John Coghlan on drums, ‘Mission Impossible’, another Leppard-esque air punching anthem if ever I heard one, and finally the afore mentioned ‘HOTLO’

Chris has a bit of Robert Plant in him (oo-er), and is a front man of excellence. Couple this with James’ ability to rattle off huge riffs for breakfast and is in the style of some 80s classic guitarists, and it all makes for a sumptuous experience.

To be honest, this is a good a release as any band you’ll hear this year. The songs are great, performed with a swagger and an experience that only comes from experience and age, and constant touring. Walkway has two of these in abundance (age is on their side). See these guys live, as this is definitely where the magic happens. They tour that much, there’s a bloody good chance they will be hitting a town near you soon!

If there’s any justice, more festival appearances should be on the cards for Walkway, as they would play to many more I’m guessing than playing 3-5 gigs a week in pubs up and down the UK. It’s certainly honing their quality, but they truly deserve to play in front of bigger audiences. Walkway are going places, and its only in one direction….up!

Score 89/100

Tracklisting -

Stutter
Best I Ever Had
Get A Grip
Casey
Kiss Me Hard
Modern Day
Same Old Situation
Holding On To Letting Go
Leap Of faith
Something ‘Bout You
Rain (Bonus)
Mission Impossible (Bonus)
Holding On To Letting Go (Acoustic) (Bonus)

Walkway -
Chris Ready – Lead Vocals, rhythm guitar, keys
James Ready – Lead Guitar, backing vocals
Andy Burlace – Drums, backing vocals



Sunday, 23 July 2017

Moritz - 'About Time Too'



Moritz – ‘About Time Too’

Well I thought if I was going to do a last review, it might as well be a good one! Moritz are back in the game, it’s been four years since SOS was released and a mighty 30 years since their first. In terms of Prog bands, Moritz are still pretty damn prolific by comparison!

There been some changes since the last album. Greg Hart has departed to form his ‘Kittens In Orbit’ band, or ‘Moggies on Mars’, or whatever it is. Hart was one of the main songwriters in Moritz, and you would think that his trip into space would affect the Moritz output. Well, you’re completely wrong, because ‘About Time Too’ sees Moritz ditch some of the pomp and go more rock than roll and added a bit of soul and blues without losing any of the melody that the AOR crowd love them for.

I was fortunate to be given the demoes to listen to a few months back, and they were a stellar set of songs before they were tweaked and polished. I can’t believe it was 10 months ago.

The band still consists of its core members Peter Scallan (Vox), Mike Nolan (guitars) and Ian Edwards (Bass/Keys). In comes long time cohort Kenny Evans (guitars) and John Tonks (drums). I add that for the ‘up and coming gigs’, Moritz will be joined by Chris Teeder (keys) and Russ Wilson (drums). Cool. Everyone’s got a mention.

The demoes didn’t need much polishing, but they have pulled out all the stops and raided both Auto Glym and Mr Sheene and its been polished to within an inch of its life (in an utterly good way). The change is fantastic.

Scallan has had his shackles unleashed and is like a different singer. No longer trying to be pushed into being a Scottish Freddie Mercury, the guy now has a  more bluesy raspiness to his tone. And the result on the opener ‘One More Beautiful Day’ is brilliant. Couple this with the sumptuous harmonies and the wonderous composition, and starts to albums don’t get much better than this.

‘Moon And Back’ is like ear candy of the highest order. The chorus just infecting your lug’oles and embedding itself after just one listen. It's like something that the lapsed Rock God Michael Bolton would have done in his brief dalliance with AOR. ‘Chance of a Lifetime’ has a great 80s lyric, ‘walking on a thin line, between love and hate’. It’s a huge 80s influenced song. In fact, if it were 1986 we would all be shitting ourselves with excitement! I’m an old fart brought up on music like this, and I did let out a little excited trump if I’m honest, as it brings back a lot of great memories from so many great bands (and times). The melodic rock community will love this. 'Dreamland’ is probably the only song on the album that keeps it all reined in. It shows a different side to Moritz and never attempts to go for the huge riff. ‘Take it On The Chin’ kicks off with Flight Lieutenant Mike Nolan (he of the flying V display troupe) who steps up and produces a face melting riff, combined with Ian’s Hammond sound which also sees Peter Scallan catching his balls on razor wire and hitting a note that only dogs and teenagers can hear. Scallan sings, ‘Some you lose, some you win, you gotta take it on the chin.’ Well based on this selection, Moritz will undoubtedly be winners.

‘Run’ shows that its not all about pure pink fluffiness. The Moritz boys like to rock out occasionally and this is a prime example. A co-write with Ivan Gunn, it gets full marks as a soft/LOUD rocker; the best ones mix the tempo, and this one does it with flair, and has a cracking guitar solo. It will sound massive live. ‘Love Long Gone’ is the kind of song that bands tried to coax out of the ‘masters’ such as Diane Warren or Desmond Child back in the day, and it wants to make you dig out your bleached denims and leg-warmers, and buy a DeLorean and head back to the 80s. ‘Own Little World’ is ‘Styx-esque’ with layers upon layers of vocal harmonies. It is a ‘Part II’ companion piece of ‘Caught Between Life & The Light’ from SOS and is an absolute delight.

Next up is my outright favourite on ‘ATT’. The demo stood out like a baboon’s arse, and it does today even though I had to go looking for it as the title has changed to ‘You Don’t Know What Love Is’. It's Like Procul Harum, Percy Sledge, and Lorraine Ellison got down and dirty, and 9 months later it spawned ‘YDKWLI’ (it just rolls off the tongue)! The guitar solo from Mike Nolan is up there with some of the best. Moritz hit the final furlong full in their stride with ‘There’s Something About/Unwanted Man’. Its got a moving synth intro (think Tarot Woman), before unleashing the beast. Fuck. Me. ‘Unwanted Man’ is huge. The opening riff is to die for, then it steps back to build its tempo to a crescendo and ‘that chorus’. Evans and Nolan trade licks like Robbo and Gorham back in the day. Wow! It's one of the best finishes to an album I’ve heard in quite some time.

Kids, there’s a bloody good reason why Moritz are so damn good. They have influences from a time when there were lots of great melodic rock bands around. They take snippets from the best and turn them into their own style. When other labels are turning out ‘average’ as being acceptable, it's great to see some local boys leading the charge and showing the rest how it should be done.

I’ve loved ‘Undivided’, and ‘SOS’, but ‘About Time Too’ takes it all to a whole different level.

95/100*  (5 deducted for Peters' taste in footwear! Courtesy of Grant Foster)

Photo credit - John Bull
Rockrpix -  website here - http://www.rockrpix.com/

Moritz –
Peter Scallan – Lead & backing vocals
Mike Nolan – Electric & acoustic guitars, vocals
Ian Edwards – Bass, synthesizers, Hammond organ, vocals
Kenny Evans – Electric & acoustic 6 and 12 string guitars
John Tonks – Drums

Tracklisting –

About Time Too (Intro)
One More Beautiful Day
To The Moon and Back
Chance Of A Lifetime
Dreamland
Forever Is
Take It On The Chin
Run
Love Long Gone
Own Little World
You Don’t Know What Love Is
There’s Something About (Intro)
Unwanted Man



Thursday, 11 May 2017

Inglorious - 'II' Album Review







Inglorious – II

Somewhere in a Faraway land, a Change Is Coming. Come Hell Or High Water, I Got A Feeling that Inglorious 'II' has been fed n watered on Black Magic. Read All About It here -


I am hoping that the album had a bit more planning and substance in the songwriting and performance than the meeting to name the album. Serafino, “Ciao Nathan, any names for the new album?’’ Nathan, ‘’Er, I quite like ‘II’’’ Meeting over.

I am a big advocate of these fellas, especially ‘The James’.  I liked the debut album, I really did, but the ‘shining light’ moment comes in the live performance, as they are eons better in the flesh

The theme of the debut was infused with influences like  Purple, Zeppelin, Whitesnake, bad Co., and Aerosmith.  With II James wanted to make inspires=d and incredible rock in a very honest fashion. Nathan thought to himself, “Why are those classic albums so awesome?” He realised it was because “the musicians were recording in an organic way; they could track it live and capture amazing energy."

“Not only in rock but in Motown and even classical music they tracked everyone in the room at the same time,” adds Nathan.  “The air movement from a bass drum, that same excitement you get when you perform, and that's exactly how I wanted the album to feel."

Nathan wanted all his fellow musicians in the room at the same time, no click tracks, no auto tune and no overdubs. He wasn't willing to compromise.  Says Nathan - "For so long people have been hiding mistakes, singers using auto tune to make them sound perfect, double tracking to make it sound bigger and using click to play in time. There is none of that on this album.

This record is about vibe, feeling, excitement, energy and performance of songs we all wrote together. That's how it came out that day and it will never be exactly the same again. We captured a series of moments that make up our debut album."

Well said that man. What I can say is that if you’re a big fan of any or all other the aforementioned bands (and their debut) then look no further. Even if you’re brand new to Inglorious, this is a perfect opportunity to get on board the Inglorious train, as this is a little belter.

‘I Don’t Need Your Loving’ teases you into thinking its this demure, quiet opening before letting loose into a typical Inglorious rock explosion with James’ vocals being the fifth and most prominent instrument. ‘Taking The Blame’ picks up the batten and is faster than Usain Bolt with a case of the trots! I don’t think this will be the first reference to Coverdale in this review, but James is one of the few who can match and out-Coverdale’s Coverdale!  ‘Tell Me Why’ has one of those instantly memorable choruses that just sticks like glue, and wont let go. ‘Change Is Coming’ looks to lull you into a false sense of security, before the riff and pulsating bass line kicks in.

I warned you about the WS references, and its here in abundance with ‘Makin Me Pay’. It’s the great WS, not the fluffed up and Harmony hairspray version. ‘Hell Or High Water’ takes me straight to LLRNR era Rainbow, and is short but very sweet.

The album ends on a high. ‘Faraway’ gives any of your fave singers in the World a run for their money. It’s an acoustic triumph and knocks the album up into sixth gear for me. This is old school brilliance that few do nowadays. Its almost part Soundgarden/Mother Love Bone/Zeppelin and Whitesnake rolled into one gem. Awesome. When I think its peaked, then comes this riff….’into ‘High Class Woman’, its one of my riffs of the year. Damn!

When people say ‘it ends on a high note’, never has a saying been more truly stated? If James were a beer, ‘He hits the parts other singers cannot (and dare not) reach!’

A good friend and me resort back to a conversation regularly whereby new bands don’t do their homework and listen to what made great albums and great bands. Well not on this watch, it’s all in abundance. I’m expecting the probably named ‘III’ to be epic! Somebody get these lads on a major US tour, as they will destroy the headliners.

A mere handful of bands for me are driving rock forward at moment – Alter Bridge, Rival Sons, and Inglorious. Great things await Inglorious.

‘II’ is great. Its no 100/100, but also its no ‘Back In Black’, ‘Burn’, ‘Heaven & Hell’

95/100

Inglorious are
Nathan James – Vocals (and sonic boom!)
Andreas Eriksson – Lead Guitars
Wil Taylor – Guitars
Colin Parkinson – Bass
Phil Beaver – Drums

Tracklisting
I Don’t Need No Loving
Taking The Blame
Tell Me Why
Read All About It
Change Is Coming
Making Me Pay
Hell Or High Water
No Good For You
I Got A Feeling
Black Magic
Faraway
High Class Woman