- 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, 13 June 2019
Cassidy Paris – EP ‘Song For The Broken Hearted’ Review
I have had Cassidy’s EP on spin for a few days now, and after her debut last year, she is coming on leaps and bounds. I do have a bit of form here as I am well aware of dad Stevie’s output, but having this knowledge does not affect my reviewing. What I will say, is that anyone (so young) who proudly wears a Dokken ‘Back For The Attack’, Cheap Trick, Butch Walker and Enuff Z’nuff tees, certainly starts off with a few more brownie points than they should.
Anywho, on to the EP. ‘Song For The Broken Hearted’ is the lead song, and if you like your pop-rock delivered with a large amount of sass and attitude, with copious amounts of ‘head flicking’ to hammer home said sass, then you are in the right place. It’s the right song to lead the EP as its by far the best on offer here. Production values are big to say the least, the chorus is great, with enough guitar to make it more on the heavier side, and some good harmonies. If fact, more established solo artists would kill for a song like this one.
‘Walking On Fire’ sounds a bit auto-tuney, and is more electronica until we get to the catchy chorus. I suppose its good to mix up a few styles to draw in a potentially bigger audience. It’s my least liked on the EP, but it’s a good enough song, its just not my cup of tea. It is certainly made a lot better with the strength of the chorus. It’s a song that could lead to a Eurovision appearance for Australia now that they are in the EU!!
‘Stand’ is the type of song that has the potential to be a big anther for Cassidy. It’s a close second to ‘Broken Hearted’. It has a bridge section similar to Coldplay's ‘Clocks’ (I’m ashamed I know this), and dad rips it up nicely with a guitar solo. I’d really like to see (hear) Cassidy explore her upper range a bit as this could be an absolute cracker with some soaring vocals fuelling the chorus.
‘Talk About It’ has been around for some time now (Aug 2017), and deserves its place here. It’s a song that launched Cassidy, and is in the style of an Avril Lavigne, Pink number. Its catchy as hell, and the riff is in the vein of Rick Springfield, and is a close a song to dad’s band The Radio Sun as can be, although Jase Old doesn’t sing about boyfriends!!
One thing I will say, is that all the songs here are accompanied by some good videos if you check out her YouTube page. Lots of bands would only go for one video, but Cassidy's done the lot. I doubt any cost a packet, but with the kit available today its good to see someone packing it all in across all media outlets.
In such a short time, Cassidy is turning into quite the artiste and performer.
Saturday, 8 June 2019
Nitrate – Open Wide
If your idea of a ‘who’s who’ of a band made up of members with extensive CVs (not because they cant hold a job, the opposite, because they are so much in demand) then look no further than Nitrate. If you think that the music on offer gives a nice warm comforting feel, that’s because main guy Nick Hogg , bass and keys co-wrote the songs with Robb Wylde (Teenage Casket Company / Midnite City / Tigertailz / Vega). Robb is also providing rhythm guitar on Open Wide. Also present are Mike Newdeck - drums & mixing (Midnite City / Edens Curse / Blood Red Saints / Newman), Marcus Thurston - guitar (Vega), vocals from Philip Lindstrand (Find Me / east Temple Avenue / Strong), and mastering from Harry Hess (Harem Scarem). Fuck, just to make sure, Nick Hogg got the other three-fifths of Vega (Martin Bros and Wilson) to chip in with one song (Bad Girls). Nick Workman was obviously having his hair done!
With all the Vega-ing, and Midnite City-ing, this is a Ronseal album straight out of the box. You know what you’re gonna get, and its gonna be good. ‘You Want It You Got It’ sprints out of the starting blocks like a stabbed rat. Its a good riff, and an instantly sing-able chorus. Whats not to like? Well, nothing thankfully.
‘Night Time City’ is another in the ‘big sound’ vein, and just like Vega and Midnight City, I’m already seeing a pattern. ‘’Only A Heartache Away’ is a ballad of sorts, but in a Ted Poley vein, a harder edged and melodic ballad. ‘Heart Go Wild’ steps back on the gas to anthem-ville! ‘I Don’t Want To Live’ is all about the chorus, and it’s a big one. ‘Never Surrender’ is as 80s as Coverdale’s legwarmers, and would be a shoe-in for MTV back in the day. ‘Heartbreak Suicide’ could only come out of the pen od someone like Wylde in 2019, thanks to his random song name generator, and a knack for a riff / bridge / chorus that few can copy, or emulate and is one of the stand out songs on the album. ‘In The Night’ reminds me instantly of JonBon or Poison in their element – all cowboy boots, leather chaps and it would have had a hand 1000s of births if it was 1988. It’s a little belter. ‘Bad Girls’ riff is laid on the foundation of ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ and you can tell is a Martin penned tune just by the number of ‘whooaa’s’ in it! ‘Shot In The Dark’ is a blend of Robin beck, and Vinnie Vincent’s Invasion, if that’s ever possible. I must cut back on my meds. Its soon onto the last number, ‘Waiting On You’ which again has a nailed down chorus.
All I can tell you is that Nitrate has some powerful tunes with Thurston’s riffery and playing some of the best that’s this side of Ritchie Blackmore's wig.
I do have one tiny irritation and that’s Linstrand’s phrasing of the word ‘you’. But then again, his English is definitely better than my Swedish, so I can go and fuck right off.
It’s hard not to make comparisons to Teenage Vega City, or Midnight Vega, when the songwriters concerned want all the songs to be an anthem, or a big number. And that’s a good stall to set out. With Nick Hogg pulling the bass strings of a puppet-master, he has pulled off a shrewd move and come out the other end with an album that will be at the top end of the best lists come the year end. I’ll have to go out and get my mitts on the debut.
You Want It You Got It
Night Time City
Only A Heartache Away
Heart Go Wild
I Don’t Want To Live
In The night
Shot In The Dark
Waiting On You
Nick Hogg – Bass & Keyboards
Robb Wylde – Rhythm Guitar & Keyboards
Philip Lindstrand – Vocals
Mike Newdeck – Drums
Marcus Thurston – Guitars
Mixed by Mike Newdeck
Mastered by Harry Hess
Saturday, 25 May 2019
Bexatron are an up and coming band currently kicking up a storm around the capitol and judging by what I’m currently listening to and hearing it’s hardly surprising that they’re turning heads. Their debut album Hey You is filled with a mixture of post punk, blues, heavy rock and sleaze and I defy you to listen to this album and not get carried away by the music. What I really like about Hey You is that you can tell that the band have put a lot of hard work into their work and had a bloody good time doing it. Whether it’s an out and out foot stomping rocker like Get Out Of My Tree, the sleazy Hex My Ex or the ballad like Mandy Meldown this album has an infectious beat that will keep you hooked.
Hey You is an album that deserves to be heard and I can guarantee you that as a listener you will hear a different sound every time you play the album, one moment you could be forgiven for thinking you’re listening to and 80’s era Grace Jones the next time the cheeky 90’s noise of Shampoo. I listened to the album for the last few hours now and it is definitely worth splashing out for a copy.
Score - 8/10
Lead Vocals - BeXXX
Greg Paco Radcliffe - Guitar/Vocals
Adam Adorjan – Bass/Vocals
Belle Star – Drums
1. Get Out Of My Tree
2. Dirty Disco
3. CoCo (I should)
4. New York Doll
5. Subway Freeks
6. Mandy Meltdown
7. Take Me Back
8. I’m Trash
9. Love And Distortion
10.Hex Your Ex
Wednesday, 15 May 2019
Tillian: Lotus Graveyard
I’m new to the band Tillian but I do like bands of the same genre and I’m always happy to discover new and exciting artists.
Tillian's offering, 'Lotus Garden' is an extremely well produced album with a highly polished sound and extremely well composed. Leah has an excellent voice and she switches between an almost ethereal sound to an operatic powerhouse and Leah has no problem utilising her entire vocal range.
Tillian are not afraid to musical styles several times during one song however although it has been done really well there were times when I felt that it affected the flow of the album.
I’ve had 'Lotus Graveyard' on repeat for several hours now and it is growing on me, I’m picking up different nuances every time I listen to it and it does pull you in and I would really like to hear and see how that transfers to a live setting
In my opinion 'Lotus Graveyard' is a solid album and it fits nicely into the same genre with bands such as Delain and Within Temptation but on a mellower scale.
At the moment I’m giving the album a strong 7.5/10 but that score may go up with future listens. This is a good debut album, I’d like to hear what they’re capable of doing with future releases.
I definitely suggest putting Lotus Graveyard on your shopping list
Review by Marc
Leah Marcu Lead Vocals
Alexandra Marcu Cello & Vocals
Inbal Rosenhouse Keyboards & Vocals
Opher Vishnia Guitar & Vocals
Yaron Gilad Guitar
Alon Shulman Bass & Vocals
Gil Idan Drums
Friday, 3 May 2019
Nötorious - Seducer
This is the first time that I have heard of Nötorious and I have to say that I am extremely impressed with what I have heard:
The first track off the E.P is 'Nötorious' and it is a solid opener and is a good taste of what is to come, the track is well produced and you can certainly hear what bands have inspired them. In my opinion Nötorious sounds a lot like Ratt crossed with the band Cold Sweat and it is very easy on the ears.
'Friday Night (Get Ready)' is in the same vein of opener Nötorious, Chris Houdini is an excellent vocalist , there are times when he reminds me of Mark Slaughter especially when he lets loose. The harmonies are superb and Nikki DiCato’s guitar work is sublime and you can definitely hear Yngwie Malmsteen’s influence.
'Have A Good Time' keeps up the high quality of the first two tracks, solid guitar backed by a brilliant rhythm section, this is a song that when played live will have the audience joining in with the woa woahs.
I only heard the opening chords of 'Seducer' to know that this was going to be one of, if not my favourite track off this E.P, it flows beautifully and had me playing air drums, I was useless but had a lot of fun trying. There are times when I felt like Nikki was channeling Sonic Temple era The Cult.
'Tonight (Gonna Get It)' closes the E.P and I hate to be repetitive but you can certainly hear the influences throughout the track, Chris utilises his voice to the fullest on this track and truly let rip and if I didn’t know better I would have thought that I was listening to Firehouses CJ Snare.
To conclude 'Seducer' is a well produced E.P that will take anyone who liked bands such as Poison, Pretty Boy Floyd, Bonfire and L.A Guns reminiscing the good old days of spandex and heavy makeup and that was just the men.
This is a release that flows smoothly and is a great CD to play before a gig or a night out at a rock bar, some people believe that this genre is outdated and had it’s heyday 30 years ago however Nötorious have proven that this style of music is as good now as it was so many years ago.
This could have been a 10/10 E.P however I was unable to give it that score because I have heard it all done before, Nötorious missed a great chance to stamp their own sound on the scene, they’ve relied heavily on their influences and it shows. I do look forward to hearing further releases from this band and I hope that they have a long and successful career.
SCORE - 9/10 - review by Hollywood Vampyre
Check out their YouTube page for all their songs from this EP - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQK1tnXzBf9OugOA2FRwz1g
Friday Night (Get Ready)
Have A Good Time
Tonight (Gonna Get It)
The band consists of:
Chris Hoüdini – lead vocals
Nikki DiCato – guitar/backing vocals
Andy Sweet – bass/backing vocals
Freddy Kixx – drums
Chris Hoüdini – lead vocals
Nikki DiCato – guitar/backing vocals
Andy Sweet – bass/backing vocals
Freddy Kixx – drums
Saturday, 27 April 2019
Tillian – Lotus Graveyard
Tillian is a female fronted prog-rock band from Tel-Aviv, Israel. Influenced by artists such as Kate Bush, Pain of Salvation and Ayreon, singer-songwriter Leah Marcu likes to set her stall very high when it comes to influences!! Their journey began in 2014 when Leah Marcu started writing and composing a solo album around the concept of alchemical transformations of the self (!?). She drew from her personal well as well as her background in psychology and mysticism. She explored a cycle of inner progressions; Love to pain; pain to beauty; beauty to spirit and spirit to love. I personally am not a great interpreter of lyrics, I just like to know if it makes me get excited and pay air guitar etc.
Working with Orphaned Land and Amaseffer’s producer, Forrester Savell, the music began to crystalize into Tillian's debut album. It soon progressed into a band of 7. From a first listen, it may be a band, but it is all very much in the name of Leah Marcu.
Opener, ‘Reborn’ is almost out of the Opeth Damnation playbook! It teases you with its opening salvo, the listener not certain of which way its going to go. Ill break it to you, its mellow, but not to the point of boring the arse off you. Almost immediately, you can tell is Leah’s show. She is surround by some consummate professionals, but its Leah who is up front and centre. It builds to a good guitar solo, where I wanted it to build into a much heavier and darker song. ‘Touched’ is a song of two halves, and it’s the latter half that pushes the (heavier) envelope a bit more. ‘Frozen Sun’ is more like it. Tillian go for it a lot more, with some powerful drumming pushing it along and a bit more ‘oomph’ from Marcu is definitely the way to go. The best song so far by a mile. (Or kilometer if you’re European). ‘I’m Too Close’ is cello driven in the first part, before expanding and busting out of her chrysalis.
‘Monster’s’ riff is straight out of the 80s, and once again, I am drawn to the powerful side of the personality. And with lyrics like ‘you really fucked me over’, you know you’re not expecting a ballad. but segues into flamenco in the middle /latter section. ‘Moonlight Dancer’ is the first song that draws musically from their middle eastern roots. It sounds like a soundtrack song that would accompany a market scene or Kasbah. ‘Black Holes’ enter Myrath mode and really push the Middle Eastern sound. Again, you are unsure of where you are about to be led, but its nice not knowing. Its very theatrical, as if it were in a musical, and is part storytelling, anthemic, with a good chorus, and is very good. It’s a song that tells of a dance with an inner demon and the need to find hope through personal struggle; I don’t think it knows what it quite wants to be, but that’s part of the fun. It’s a song that deserves multiple listens. ‘Caught In Your Slough’ is a strange title and lets leave it at that. An intro effectively to ‘The Beggar’, a song that has a lot of emotion to it. Marcu certainly knows how to put herself across.
‘Love or Heaven’ sees Tillian go for the jugular, with some dark vocals underlying Marcu’s. It’s the big song on ‘Lotus Graveyard’ time-wise and musically., bordering of death metal almost. Its this direction in particular I would like to see (and hear) Marcu explore in future. Not the grunting, just the sheer heaviness of it. ‘Finally we are onto ‘Earth Walker’, cello and piano driven, and is here they go all Kate Bush on you. Its eerie, haunting, and equally lovely. It’s a good way to end the album.
Leah certainly works it all to her strengths. She is a good songwriter and decent singer. I wanted her to push herself a bit more and take it up a notch, if it is possible for her to do? That said, I was very satisfied come the end of the album.
Some of ‘Lotus Graveyard’ can be a bit all over the place. It’s not a criticism, I just think its Marcu trying to find her feet and find a direction. The clue was in the influences at the beginning of the review. Expect the unexpected if you draw from Bush, Gildenlow and Lucassen!!!
It’s a very decent debut from a very accomplished woman. Personally I preferred the heavier side on songs like Frozen Sun, Monster, Black Holes, and Love Or Heaven. Although the downright passion of Earth Walker, was spellbinding. There’s certainly a lot of style and substance and a lot to take in here.
8 out of 10
Leah Marcu – Lead Vocals
Alexandra Marcu – Cello & Vocals
Inbal Rosenhouse – Keyboard & Vocals
Opher Vishnia – Guitar & Vocals
Yaron Gilad – Guitar
Alon Shulman – Bass & Vocals
Gil Idan – Drums
I’m Too Close
Caught In Your Slough
Love Or heaven
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
I’ve been a fan of Hardline since hearing the track 'Can’t Find My Way' during the Brandon Lee movie Rapid Fire, I went out and bought 'Double Eclipse' the following day. 27 years have passed since that album and now Johnny and the gang are back with their new album, 'Life'.
The first play through of this album had me looking for ripped jeans, a bandana and a trusty bud bottle to use as my mic, it was a sheer blast from the past and I loved it. I have all of Hardline’s albums and in my opinion they never reached the quality of 'Double Eclipse' again.....until now that is!
'Place To Call Home' is a fantastic opener, well structured with excellent harmonies and hooks this is a song that you need to play loud, whether you’re in a car or in the house open the windows and let everybody hear.
'Take A Chance' is a decent track, it’s not the fastest paced track but it’s extremely well layered with the thundering bass line and guitars melding perfectly, this is a song that all Hardline fans will enjoy listening and singing along to.
'Helio’s Sun' had me going from the first chord, fast paced with a driving beat that had my feet pounding along in time which made typing quite hard. I’m sure I annoyed the neighbours with this song as I played it so many times, definitely one of the highlights of the album for me.
'Page Of Your Life' is the first ballad on the album with a soulful piano opening leading into a guitar laden power ballad that Hardline are so adept at producing , it’s definitely a song that will have people with their phones lit up swaying backwards and forwards trying to reach the stars.
'Out Of Time' sets off at a blistering pace that is relentless and is an almost perfect song except for a slight tempo change at 2.36 that just felt out of place, up until that point the song flowed beautifully and would have been my pick of the bunch if it wasn’t that change.
'Hold On To Right' with a solid hard rock opening this track had the potential to be a true gem sadly whilst I usually love hearing guitar work as good as this I felt it became a little bit self indulgent which took a bit of shine off the track.
I loved the opening of 'Handful Of Sand', Speaking of the quality that was about to become and it did not disappoint, beautifully composed this is a song that should be playing on radio stations around the world.
'This Love' is the second true ballad of the album the band utilized a piano opening again,the problem with some rock ballads is that it doesn’t matter how good a band is more often than not they sound similar to many bands of the same genre.
'Story Of My Life' comes blasting out of the start gates and tears along at a nice uptempo pace and I must admit that at times it reminded me of 'Hot Cherie' from 'Double Eclipse' and it also my favourite song on this album.
Of all the Queen songs to cover I thought that this, 'Who Wants To Live Forever', would be a mistake but it was me who was mistaken, while Johnny never quite reached the pitch Freddie Mercury did, he did himself proud and can hold his head up high for successfully taking on one of in my opinion Queens best songs.
'Chameleon' started of slowly and built up to a steady mid tempo rocker, it has the kind of rhythm that will get people out of their seats and have them punching the air while trying to drunkenly remember the words.
'My Friend', the closer is another ballad. However this is an entirely acoustic/semi-acoustic number which sets it apart from the majority of ballads, there are no soaring vocals or power chords and is the perfect kind of song to finish an album of this high quality.
Hardline's latest offering 'Life' does have it’s flaws but they are few and far between and they don’t affect the overall quality of the album and in my opinion is the best that they’ve released since Double Eclipse way back in 1992, and proves that there is plenty of 'Life' left in Hardline yet.
I highly recommend spending your hard earned money on this album you won’t be disappointed.
Review by Hollywood Vampyre
Johnny Gioeli - Vocals
Alessandro Del Vecchio - keyboards
Mario Percudani - guitar
Marco Di Salvia - Drums
Anna Portalupi - bass
|Place To Call Home|
|Take A Chance|
|Page Of Your Life|
|Out Of Time|
|Hold On To Right|
|Handful Of Sand|
|Story Of My Life|
|Who Wants To Live Forever|