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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!!!

Saturday 14 November 2015

Blood Red Saints - 'Speedway' Album Review

Bugger Me! BRS have only gone and probably come up with the best melodic rock album of 2015! More to follow, but first a little intro…..

A long time ago, probably in a pub far, far away, (the North West?), Blood Red Saints was formed around this time last year by Pete Godfrey and Rob Naylor. Pete’s In Faith album took a few by surprise last year and was one of the genres best in 2014. Pete, who is no spring chicken, made his debut on this In Faith album, and boy was it a good way to introduce yourself, but hungry to be in a band rather than a project so to speak, he formed Blood red Saints with Rob from Angels Or King (another nugget from 2014). So, do two nuggets make a diamond? Read on……

The search for a name came and ended with a chance discovery of a semi legendary speedway team, ‘The Blood Red Saints’ who were formed in Brooklyn in the late 1920s. Their leader was Freddie Rendetti who was allegedly a fiery and colorful character who ultimately lived the fast life a little too fast. It builds up a great background story, right?

Enlisted in as honorary mechanics are James Martin (Vega) who was instrumental in getting the band signed to Frontiers and along with his twin Tom, co-wrote 2 songs on the album. Chief mechanic comes in the form of Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) who mastered the album

The band is completed by another former In Faith member, drummer Pete Newdeck, and on guitar, Lee Revill.

Kicking Up Dust offers up a very lively start. Revill goes all George Lynch on us and it’s a more melodic and ‘sing-ier’ version of Dokken. It offers up more kick and punch than a school full of kick boxers. Throw in Godfrey’s melodic vocals and it makes this one of the tracks of the album, and the year.

Mercy is just an extension of ‘KUD’ instantly hummable and with more than enough bite and hooks to keep the melodic rock fan pulling windmills on his air guitar for days. ‘Best Of Me’ takes its lead from the likes of Foreigner and once again, is under your skin in double quick time. The BVs are so simple and so bloody effective. ‘Dangerous’ fades in and out, subtle one moment, then prowling and pulsating the next. ‘Love Set Me Up Again’ Is BRS Ronseal agreement for a power ballad. Godfrey even sounds like Jon Bon, only when JBJ was good! ‘Better Days’ honestly wouldn’t go amiss on the recent Def Leppard album, as the vocals mirror Leppard at their trademarked best. Should we still live in an era where MTV was king, and made bands millions and household names, then ‘The Best Thing’ could have done the same had it been performed 30 years ago. Thankfully songs of this quality are still being written. ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘Wrapped Up In These Arms are VERY FM–like, and what’s not to like? For my liking, there’s probably one to many ballads, that’s just a small gripe on my part.

 It’s hard to sound original nowadays as so many have trodden the path before them. BRS will be likened to the likes of Giant, FM, and Dare etc, and rightly so. These are bands that were (still are) masters of their trade, and BRS deserve to be likened with such.

There’s been a fair bit of ‘average’ pushed onto the melodic rock fan on 2015, and ‘Speedway’ is anything but average. It isn’t perfect, (its no Night of The Crime) but there’s not a dodgy song or filler in sight, and that makes it one of the best, if not the best melodic rock albums of 2015.

Bands like Blood Red Saints deserve to be huge, HUGE!

BRS have an album launch on 4th Dec at the Railway, Bolton, then HRH AOR 2016, in which I predict they will level Pwllheli!

Score 95/100

Kicking Up Dust
Best Of Me
Love Set Me Up Again
Better Days
The Best Thing
Wrapped Up In These Arms
Feels A Lot Like Love

Pete Godfrey – Vocals
Lee Revill – Guitars
Rob Naylor – Bass
Pete Newdeck – Drums

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