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Rock Reviews - Classic. AOR. Prog. Metal.
Album Reviews - Interviews - Live Reviews
A blog dedicated to followers of Rock music.
email - email@example.com
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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!!!
30 years on we are happy to announce that we have decided to record a modern-day version of our classic debut album INDISCREET.
We have been asked many times if we would consider re-recording some of
these tracks using today's modern technology and recording techniques
and giving the songs the sound of FM as it is today. We realise what an
iconic album this is to so many fans so we have always steered clear of
tampering with it too much but whilst in the studio recording the
follow-up to HEROES & VILLAINS one night at the end of a session we decided to put down a backing track to "That Girl"
to see how it would sound with the huge sounds we were getting at the
time. It gave the song a new dynamic and power that we couldn't achieve
in the 80s. We played it back the following morning and decided it would
be great to hear all these classic songs with this new lease of life.
We are not trying to recreate the original but this is our
interpretation played by FM as we are today with the sound of FM 2016.
In addition to the re-recording of the original album, INDISCREET 30 also features seven bonus tracks including brand new song "Running On Empty" and a new recording of "Let Love Be The Leader".
30 was produced by FM, recorded at Tremolo Studios and Coal House
Studios, Staffordshire and mixed by Jeff Knowler (METROPOLIS, ROCKVILLE
and HEROES & VILLAINS).
Full Track Listing That Girl Other Side Of Midnight Love Lies Dying I Belong To The Night American Girls Hotwired Face To Face Frozen Heart Heart Of The Matter
Bonus Tracks Let Love Be The Leader Running On Empty Rainbow's End Shot In The Dark Bad That's Good In You Love & Hate That Girl (Acoustic Version) RELEASE DATE: 28 October 2016
There are two ways of getting your copy of INDISCREET 30 before the official release date:
August 26th sees the release of
the much-anticipated release from Stryper front-man Michael Sweet. (well, its
anticipated in my house!) ‘One Sided War’ is his seventh solo release and it
feels like five minutes since his last solo album ‘I’m Not Your Suicide’. I
have to say that I’ve really enjoyed the heavier approach that Stryper have
taken on their last two albums, and I’m very glad to report that this rich
metal vein has transferred to his solo album also. Helping to add the ‘metal’
is none other than guitarist Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake / ex-Night Ranger), Will
Hunt (drums, Evanescence), John O’Boyle (bass), and rounding out is East Coast
shred-meister Ethan Brosh.
‘’Musically its my heaviest solo album. Its
not thrash metal but there are definitely some songs on there that will pop out
at you. There are some songs that have a bit of the Iron Maiden/ Dio feel to
them, as well as some songs that have a little bit of Van Halen influence to
them. It’s a very guitar-oriented, hard rock/metal album with lots of melodies
and hooks,’’ explains Michael Sweet.
….and he is not wrong!
One Sided War, sees Sweet’s guitar army
going straight for the jugular with an old school ‘twiddly-widdly’ opening,
then it turns into a straight up hair metal fest with Sweet’s vocals taking
centre place, trading licks with the guitars of Hoekstra and Brosh. It’s a fast and frenetic
opening salvo. Title track ‘One Sided War’ is more common fare, but is no less
I could go for hidden meanings, with the
first 2 songs being 3:28 (Galatians – “There is Neither Jew nor Gentile,
neither slave nor free, not is there male and female, for you are all one in
Jesus Christ”) Pure guesswork on my part I guess, but it’s a strong sentence.
It’s a wise and bold move for Sweet bringing
in Hoekstra and Brosh. Hoekstra is bringing 80s head turning, ear melting
solos, backed with the ‘apprentice’ Brosh. He (Sweet) doesn’t exactly need to
concentrate on his vocals as he still has a great voice.
‘Cant Take This Life’, has the type of
modern riff that would fit in with current Thrash or a band like Alter Bridge.
One thing with Sweet is his strength of melody, especially with strong choruses
that just trip off the tongue and straight into your ears for instant aural
gratification. ‘Radio’ shows off Sweet’s
lighter and humorous side, ripping into the ‘Rock Guys’ (you know who you are),
those bands moving over to Nashville, no doubt going ‘back to their roots’.
(Yeah, right. More for the money I think!). I can't wait for the full video. ‘Golden Age’ is a thunderous tune,
and has Hoekstra and Brosh trading licks aplenty. ‘Only You’ sees Sweet singing
about God’s love and forgiveness. ‘I Am’ is more dirtier song and slower than
its predecessors, and comes straight into Dio territory. Its more chugging than
blistering, until we get to the solo of course. Sweet has a strong rasp than
the usual soft vocals and is a different sound to normal. He is pushing his
Stryper day job well to the side for ‘OSW’.
Michael Sweet wouldn’t be Sweet without a
ballad (of sorts). I’m not a huge fan of the Stryper mushy ballads of old, and ‘Who
Am I’ is more akin to ‘Whitesnake’s “Is This Love’ than ‘Honestly’. It’s a job
well done. ‘Make Me Wanna’ gets straight to speed with yet another hook-laden
chorus.‘One Way Up’ is up far too
quickly and sees ‘OSW’ just fly by. Its more straight up rock and roll than
anything else on the album, and is a bar room belter that’s for sure.
As a bonus, Michael seems to have unearthed
a gem in teenager Moriah Formica. She takes vocals on ‘Cant Take This Like’ and
really proves to be a potential star in the making. Just stay away from
X-Factor / The Voice type shows and you’ll do great!
The cover is unapologetically ‘Christ-like’.
A ‘Crown of Thorns’, with right hand about to display the sign of the cross,
it’s a striking image, even for an atheist like me. I won’t let religion get in
the way of a good tune and a great singer, that’s for sure
So to sum up, its Stryper (ish), but ‘OSW’
sees Sweet go heavier than he has done before and it’s the right call for him. Its
got metal infused songs, with ‘that’ voice, ramped up with pulsating
drums/bass, and topped off with 80s ear blistering guitar solos. Dig out your
denim vest, original 80s Dio /Maiden T-shirt, drainpipe bleached jeans (leg
warmers are optional) buy the best rock wig you can buy, and head-bang away to
an 80s inspired metal fest with Sweet’s modern twist and great production.
Don’t think ‘Stryper are God lovin’ wimps’ you uneducated pussies; put
your prejudice aside, and listen to some mighty fine rock songs. I have been
good so far and haven’t sworn at all, so excuse me, as I have to say, its
One Sided War
Can’t Take This Life
Who I Am
You Make Me Wanna
One Way Up
Can’t Take This Like (Bonus – feat. Moriah
To be fair, 2016 is a good year to be a fan of either
Southern Rock / Country Rock. Its not all about Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet
and .38 Special (or the boy band version of Blackfoot!).Like the NWOBHM in the late 70s early 80s,
something akin is taking place in the deep south over the past few years, and
whilst not new, bands like Whiskey Myers, BSC, The Cadillac Three, and
Blackberry Smoke are all gaining some serious momentum. Hot on the heels of
these guys are the likes of Jared James Nichols and now Christopher Shayne. They
are a part of the NWoUSSR – New Wave of US Southern Rock! It just rolls of the
tongue like the Brit version. Not.
If any of the aforementioned bands make you want to break
out and wear cowboy boots, drink whiskey out of a jam jar and have a hankering
for Georgia peaches then add Shayne to your list. Its been penned as ‘Arizona
Outlaw Desert Rock’ whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean. I just call it
Southern Rock, infused with a good dose of Country and good ‘ol Rock ‘n’ Roll!
Straight out of the box on ‘Give A Damn’, vocalist Chris
Shayne has a gritty, earthy sound to his voice that screams Southern Rawk.Starting off the opening line like Chris Rea
on steroids before letting rip. It’s the first single from ‘Turning Stones’,
and there’s good reason for it, it’s a groove laden beast of a song that you
cant help moving to – if you cant move ‘n’ groove to this then you’re dead!
‘Rock Show’ is straight down the middle Rock & Roll (Show). You don’t have
to be a redneck to appreciate music like Shayne produces. ‘When I Come Down’
could easily fit onto Nashville. It’s a smooth, melodic number that would sound
even greater, live and stripped down to its bare bones. ‘The River Revival'
sees Shayne and Lansing trade licks to great effect, coupled with Shayne’s
other instrument (vox) and some nice BVs and it makes for a cool tune indeed,
taking its nod from Skynyrd. They even
have a third guitarist in Zachary Hughes, making Christopher Shayne the Iron
Maiden of Southern Rock. Making up the rest of the band are bassist Mark
Blades, and drummer Trevor Hammer (one of the best surnames for a drummer,
Shayne’s songs epitomise a life that’s being lived through
his songs. ‘Where is my American dream…..looks so much better on TV! I need
that American dream’ Well I’m certain its on the horizon and getting nearer
after every listen. ‘Find Our Way’ is obviously an anthem for the modern
Arizona cowboy? ‘Outcha Mind’ gets the tempo back up to eleven, with some great
slide accompanying Shayne’s vocal blast. ‘Heartache’ does exactly what it says
on the tin, a heartfelt southern ballad.
I mentioned some great bands at the top of this review. Well
Chris Shayne is not out of place with any of these bands. If you haven’t had
the pleasure of him/the band so far, then what are you waiting for…..?
‘Turning Stones’ is full of menacing guitars, whiskey soaked
lyrics and choc full of life and soul, what more could you ask for. A diamond
in the rough methinks.
There’s not that many albums I listen to repeatedly ‘start
to finish’ but this is one of them. This is better than the recent Cadillac
Three album, and that’s saying something. The kind of band that SHOULD be
supporting The Cadillac Three in the UK later this year (but I have to add, not
First of all, my keyboard isn’t buggered,
DOROTHY is meant to be spelt in CAPS! I found these guys completely my accident
on YouTube and I’m absolutely staggered by the quality of their music.
They are stated as saying in an interview,
‘’Basically, we want to make songs that we think Beavis and Butthead would
like’’. I’m exactly not sold on that, as I’m one of the minority who hated them
with a vengeance, but if you’re a fan of ‘proper, old school, classic rock
music’ then you can look no further that this.
DOROTHY’s music has been heard by millions
and featured on such TV shows as ‘Orange Is The new Black’ and ‘Pretty Little
Liars’. The band is Dorothy Martin (vocals), Zac Morris (drums, not Saved By
The Bell), DJ Black (guitars) and Gregg Cash (bass).
My love of this band comes with a caveat - If
you’re NOT a fan of reverb and distortion then keep well away, as its used in
abundance on every song. I cant work out of Dorothy Martin has….
a.natural reverb in her voice
b.she is singing through a loud
c.it was recorded in someone’s
bog (for those not in the UK, bog = toilet)
d.it has shitloads of intended
reverb and distortion
Basically, if the reverb in her voice is
say for example at a level ‘100’ as a measuring tool, then bass is ‘110’, drums
‘120’ and guitar is somewhere above ‘150’!!! On every bleedin’ song.
This is something that could easily get up
your tits, but it all adds to the experience, as the quality of the songs (for me, anyway) completely bypass any
‘dist-verb’ sensory overload.
‘Kiss It’ immediately gets all limbs kicked
into gear, and the use of her ‘ahhh-ahhhhs’ takes the melody higher. I have to
say that her voice is one of the few that has had me excited in quite some
time. ‘Dark Nights’ has this pulsating rhythm thread that weaves its way
through every song on the album (except the last). ‘Raise Hell’ is a song that
screams Southern US, down and dirty, sweaty, sexy, and rhythmic; the kind of
song that would feature on True Blood or Banshee. ‘Wicked Ones’ is my personal
favourite on ‘Rockisdead’. Again the use of ‘eee-hooos’ is a simple thing, but
oh so effective. ‘Gun In My Hand’ comes across as hymn, a powerful preach of a
song, and Martins voice mixed with the harp, and acoustic slide combine
beautifully. ‘Medicine’ man is simple bewitching, like a voodoo ceremony that
you would see on the Discovery Channel. ‘Woman’ had a classic rock vibe, with
Zac Morris twatting holy hell out of his kit, and DJ pushing them to the limit.
Only ‘Whiskey Fever’ is the song that falls behind DOROTHY’s high standards,
it’s a little repetitive. Its good, but as everything that comes before is so
wonderful, ‘good’ is a noticeable drop! ‘After Midnight’ and ‘Missile’ bring
the quality back up to 11,and they
finish on a ballad (of sorts) with ‘Shelter’ a bluesy number that I could
easily hear Jay Buchannan adding his voice to. For me, to hear Rival Sons
similarities is a big complement. The song revolves around Martin’s raspy,
sultry and emotional voice and is a great finish.
Lots of female fronted bands in the 80s and
90s go deals on the gorgeousness of their singer. Dorothy Martin is a beautiful
woman, but her voice is the key here as it’s just bloody fantastic
It is probably one of the best 35 mins set to
vinyl / CD I’ve come across in ages. The songs are mostly sort, snappy and
straight to the point. An album doesn’t have to be 75mins to be good!
The album is great. Take my work for it.
Also check out YouTube for some live performances that’ll really set your pulse
racing. It’s pushing Rival Sons for my album of the year so far and that is
saying something….my hope is that they make it big, really big. “Rockisdead’ is
a bit of a ‘one-trick’, but that ‘trick’ is one of the best you’ll hear or see.
There’s now’t wrong with a huge slab of blues/ heavy / swamp / stadium rock. I can’t
wait to see where they go next.
Check out their version of Jay Z (Zed in
the UK) and Kanye West’s version of‘Church
In The Wild’ below. DOROTHY’s is a far superior version. Now THAT’S how you do
a cover version)