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!!!

Thursday 31 May 2018

No Hot Ashes - Release new video, “Glow”

No Hot Ashes have released a brand new video (29th May) for “Glow”, one of the songs from their cracking debut album, which was released a mere 33years after their formation. Great things come to those who wait, I say. None more so than in this instance.

If you want further proof of why you need some No Hot Ashes in your life, and record collection, here’s a taster......

My review of No Hot Ashes debut album

Saturday 26 May 2018

Hogjaw - 'Way Down Yonder' Album Review

Hogjaw – Way Down Yonder

Hogjaw hail from the deserts of Arizona, and are no strangers to European shores. Last year they played 40 plus headline shows supporting the release of their new album, ‘Way Down Yonder’, recently released by Snakefarm Records.

‘WDW’ is album number six, and I’m sorry to say I’ve not heard of them before now. If you are like me, and not a hardened fan, but a complete newcomer, here’s a quick low down on Hogjaw. I spent all of my teenage years in the 1980’s, and listened (still do) to the main players at that time – Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot being a staple diet, alongside an entrée of Molly Hatchet and .38 Special.  If any of these 4 bands make you all nostalgic for the 70s and 80s, then please, please look no further than these guys, as they epitomize all that is good and was great about American Southern rock. Hogjaw wear their music on their sleeve (literally) – its creepy swamp water and is as Southern as moonshine. In fact, I’m guessing its what they had in their bottles as babies.

I have no point of reference with their previous output, just my 1980s upbringing. With opening song ‘Back Home Today’ one thing strikes me immediately, and that’s how good Jonboat Jones is (great forename, dude!). He reminds me of Darius Rucker of 90s band Hootie & The Blowfish. There’s also a running riff that very similar to Queen Of The Stoneage’s ‘No One Knows’. We’re  off to a good start.

There’s some song titles that could only come from a Southern Rock band – ‘Brown Water’, (I’m scared too to read the lyric sheet), ‘North Carolina Way’, ‘Talk About Fishin’’ and the un-mistakeable ‘Got A Pencil’.

‘To Hell With The Rest’ melds Skynyrd with ZZ Top with some pretty decent guitar playing, and Jones’ melody shining through. “Brown Water’ thankfully isn’t a song about the shits, its whisky, thankfully. It’s a faster paced rocker with plenty of energy. ‘North Carolina Way’ is 100% proof pure Lynyrd Skynyrd, with JJ sounding a lot like Van Zandt, with its relaxed verse, before unleashing a powerful chorus.  Title track, ‘Way Down Yonder’’s’ riff, is almost a toned back version of Rainbows Sixteenth Century Greensleeves (more to follow…). It has smokin’ and smoulderin’ guitar work, coupled with decent harmonies, and even some a capella with added handclaps for added effect. Its the best song on WDY by a country mile – its their Stargazer (Hint. Or is it?).

‘Dark Horse’ is a slow down, a chance to take stock and catch your breath, with its darker lyrical content. ‘I take back (almost) what I said about the title track, ‘Redemption’ is the best track on the album. It’s a sprawling, moody beast of a number. Like any good song its based around a great guitar sound, harmonies, and an anthemic like chorus. Played live, this will probably be a 15 minute opus! ‘Got A Pencil’ goes back to its Southern roots, slide guitar, machine gun drumming (like Brian Downey), and when combined, takes the song up a level or two. ‘Never Surrender’ has its riff come right out of the blocks at ya. It has more of a spoken word vocal for the verse, and shows that Hogjaw do not follow trends and do things their own way.

Tracks 1-9 are pretty much southern rock staples, until track ten. ‘Beast Of Burden (Roll On)’ made me do a double take at my computer as I thought I’d skipped a track or two. The riff for this almost note for note ‘Stargazer’ with new lyrics, make no bones about it. You could call it plagiarism, I prefer to call it a tribute to obviously one of their favourite bands. If they love it as much as I do, then good on ya. Try and get past the riff and it’s a good enough song. Finally its onto the last track ‘Talk About Fishin’’ which is bluegrass/country and like Star-Burden is far removed from the rest of the songs.

Despite know having a Scooby Doo about Hogjaw, it’s been a very pleasant surprise in hearing them six albums in. That said, I’ll be checking out my digital supplier of streamed music to check out their back catalogue, and if you’re a fan of any of the bands I discussed at the top of this review, then you should to.

Catch them on tour in the UK in October

Score 7/10

Back Home Today
To Hell With The Rest
Brown Water
North Carolina Way
Way Down Yonder
Dark Horse
Got A Pencil
Never Surrender
Beast Of Burden (Roll On)
Talk About Fishin’

Hogjaw are

Jonboat Jones – Vocals & Guitar
Jimmy Rose – Lead Guitar
Elvis DD – Bass
Kwall - Drums

Amanda Somerville's TRILLIUM - "Tectonic" Album Review

Review by - Hollywoodvampyre

Amanda Somerville is an American singer-songwriter best known for her collaborations with various European metal bands such as Avantasia, Epica, Kamelot, and After Forever. Since the late 90’s Amanda has worked mainly in Germany and the Netherlands. With a vocal range from tenor to soprano and stylistically diverse, Amanda s solo career has mostly comprised of pop/soft rock and hard rock but has experience over a wide selection of musical influences. In 2011 Amanda became the lead vocalist of the band Trillium who released their debut 'Alloy'.

After a seven year gap Amanda is ready to grace us with Trillium’s sophomore album 'Tectonic'.

'Tectonic' is a worthy follow up to 2011’s 'Alloy' and it’s a very good album. In my opinion  there isn’t actually a weak track on this album in fact the majority of the compositions are sublime.

Vocally Amanda has a phenomenal range and it doesn’t matter whether she’s singing gentle ballads, belting out  hard rock or soaring opera she changes between styles flawlessly. Instrumentally the band are on top form, symphonic keyboards, thunderous percussion and riffs that will make your toes curl with pleasure and when you put them all together you will experience multiple eargasms.

However despite all that praise there is a BUT and I think the majority of people will know what that is, whilst 'Tectonic' is an excellent album it’s nothing new there are simply far too many bands out there that sound the same. Trillium may not be breaking any boundaries but they are making excellent music and are keeping good company with bands such as Nightwish, Epica, Leaves Eyes, Within Temptation and Delain.

It’s such a shame that there is nothing unique about this album as that would have made it possible for me to give it a 10/10 score unfortunately because there isn’t I’m awarding it a measly 9/10

1. Time To Shine
2. Stand Up
3. Full Speed Ahead
4. Hit Me
5. Fighting Fate
6. Nocturna
7. Fatal Mistake
8. Shards
9. Cliché Freak Show
10. Eternal Spring

Produced by Amanda Somerville & Sander Gommans

Amanda Somerville – vocals
Sander Gommans - guitars & bass
Erik Van Ittersum – keyboards
Andre Borgman - drums

Except on:
“Full Speed Ahead”: bass by Mark Burnash, 2nd guitar solo by Paul Owsinski 

Saxon - Deluxe Reissues


25th MAY 2018 - Saxon, over the decades have gone from being pioneers of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, to becoming one of the most successful UK rock acts of all time. The truth, though, is that Saxon have always transcended trends and eras. From 1979's 'Saxon' album to new album ‘Thunderbolt’, the band have enjoyed considerable success. Five Top 40 albums in the UK, with four Top 20 singles. And they were similarly successful in other parts of the world as well. It's no wonder their influence spread across the globe, and played a crucial role in the way we look at hard rock and heavy metal today. 

Saxon’s fourth album, Denim And Leather was originally released on 5th October 1981. It was recorded at Aquarius Studios in Geneva. Arguably their most successful record to date it spawned the classic singles ‘Princess Of The Night’, ‘Never Surrender’ and the song ‘And The Band’s Played On’, which was inspired by their appearance at the inaugural Monsters Of Rock festival in 1980. This edition contains the B Sides of the ‘Never Surrender’ single and seven live tracks recorded on the Denim And Leather tour of 1981.

1. Princess Of The Night
2. Never Surrender
3. Out Of Control
4. Rough And Ready
5. Play It Loud
6. And The Bands Played On
7. Midnight Rider
8. Fire In The Sky
9. Denim And Leather
CD Bonus Tracks
10. 20,000Ft (Remix)
11. Bap Shoo Ap (Live At Donington)
12. Intro / And The Bands Played On (Live)
13. Princess Of The Night (Live At The Rainbow ’81)
14. Midnight Rider (Live At Hammersmith ’81)
15. Never Surrender (Live At Hammersmith ’81)
16. Machine Gun (Live At Hammersmith ’81)
17. Play It Loud (Live At Hammersmith ’81

ORDER HERE - https://saxonband.lnk.to/Denim_Leather

Saxon’s fifth album, Power And The Glory was originally released on 21st March 1983 and was produced by Jeff Glixman at Axis Sound Studios in Atlanta. The album spawned two singles, ‘Nightmare’ and the title track, ‘Power And The Glory’ and also marked the replacement of drummer Pete Gill with Nigel Glockler, who remains a member of Saxon to this day. This version includes early working demos of songs from the album, recorded in 1982. Including tracks that didn’t make the final track listing

1. 1. Power And The Glory
2. Redline
3. Warrior
4. Nightmare
5. This Town Rocks
6. Watching The Sky
7. Midas Touch
8. The Eagle Has Landed
CD Bonus Tracks
9. Make Em Rock
10. Turn Out The Lights
11. Turn Out The Lights (Demo ’82)
12. Stand Up And Rock (Demo ’82)
13. Power And The Glory (Demo ’82)
14. Saturday Night (Demo ’82)
15. Midas Touch (Demo ’82)
16. Nightmare (Demo ’82)
17. Redline (Demo ’82)

Originally released on 16th April 1984, Saxon’s sixth album was produced by Kevin Beamish at the legendary Sound City Studios, in Los Angeles. It featured the band’s first recorded cover song, a version of the Sweet’s ‘Set Me Free’ and the singles’ Sailing To America’, ‘Just Let me Rock’ and ‘Do It All For You’. This version includes early working versions of some of the songs featured on the album and also the songs ‘Borderline’ and ‘Helter Skelter’ that didn’t make the final track listing of Crusader.

1. The Crusader Prelude
2. Crusader
3. A Little Bit Of What You Fancy
4. Sailing To America
5. Set Me Free
6. Just Let Me Rock
7. Bad Boys (Life To Rock N’Roll)
8. Do It All For You
9. Rock City
10. Run For Your Lives
CD Bonus Tracks
11. Borderline
12. Helter Skelter
13. Crusader
14. Do It All For You
15. A Little Bit Of What You Fancy
16. Sailing To America
17. Just Let Me Rock
18. Do It All For You (Intro) / Run For Your Lives
19. Living For The Weekend

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Ghost - 'Prequelle' Album Review

Ghost – Prequelle

Fans have come along for the ride for years, not knowing for certain who was behind the anonymous band… that is, until Tobias Forge recently revealed himself as the man behind Ghost. Each album is more like a film release than a record release. In addition to serving as director, Forge conceives the role of every character, and oversees everything from the screenplay to video to wardrobe design to artwork to cinematography to soundtrack.

For a brief Ghost 101 – Papa Emeritus I was singer on the first album. Papa II on Infintessimum, and Papa III on Meliora. Papa Emeritus Nil or Zero is the father of Papa’s II and III. II & III are brothers born three months apart! Papa Nil is considered too old for fronting Ghost, so in comes Cardinal Copia, who is an apprentice who needs to learn from the master, with a view to becoming Papa Emeritus IV and is vocalist for Prequelle.

Lyrically, Prequelle delves into the plague, the apocalypse, and dark ages.

Now, back at the beginning I thought that Ghost were a gimmick band (Think Kiss, only in robes and slightly less make up). I dismissed tham at my peril. I didn’t even want to know what they sounded like, as to me, it all looked shite. I would have closed the curtains had they been playing in my back yard (etc,.). Until last year…

I caught them on the ‘Meliora’ tour and was completely blown away, with their blend of metal riffs and a definite knack for melody, almost bordering on mainstream. So I went out and bought all the albums within days, on vinyl of course. I fully emersed myself in the history and wonderfulness that is Ghost.

On to ‘Prequelle’, and just like old school, we get an intro based on the plague, with “Ashes’, or as we Brits call it, ‘Ring a ring o roses’, before expanding into what becomes the unbelievably sing-a-long-a-tastic ‘Rats’. If anyone can make a poetic and infectious song about vermin, its Ghost. In fact, I cant tell the difference between Papa II and Copia. (That’s because they are all the same, dumbass!) Rats is based on 80s hair metal riffs, with the melody of J-pop! ‘Faith’ is old-metal neo-classical riffage, with their trade mark chugging riff overlaid,  and is the heaviest song on the album with some great harmonies – its probably the only song on ‘Prequelle’ that references their past. It ends with a choral passage leading into ‘See The Light’ and is gonna be a big hit for Ghost. The verse and chorus are opposites light and shade, with a delicate piano being the light, and powerful darkness of the chorus.

‘Miasma’ is a bit of a strange beast in todays World, an instrumental from a bygone age of the 70s and 80s when albums used to be full of the buggers. I always thought instrumentals were a lazy option, but in this instance, guitars, retro keyboard synth and even a saxaphone at the end all come to play their part, and it is glorious. ‘Dance Macabre’ is an old school rocker that would have blitzed the Billboard charts back in the day and is different to anything that Ghost have perviously given us, its something like Abba could have written back in the day, and is absolutely massive. ‘Pro Memoria’ starts as if it were a soundtrack piece, or written for a musical not to dissimilar from Jeff Wayne, and is like a old 70s prog song full of storytelling. Different, but in a great way. ‘Witch Image’s’ opening riff is just like klassik Kiss, and is catchy as Hell, with the keyboard and guitar riff interplaying with the melodic verse and chorus to great effect.

When you think one instrumental is one too many, then we get a second one. ‘Helvetesfonster’ is part X-Files intro, part Jethro Tull, and Ayreon, which is folky, earthy and just feels as if there are lyrics itching to reveal themselves, and for a 51 year old, brought up on shit like like this, is manna from Heaven. Its quickly onto the final song, ‘Life Eternal’, a more melancholic song for them and it proves to be a fitting end to this strange, different and beautiful album.

All the old elements are there from Ghosts past, but I think that this is an album that could get them even wider appeal as the songs of offer could, and should cross borders and open them up to a whole new audience. Its rock, metal, pop, prog, soundtrack and Broadway/West End musical running all they way through the veins, which is all down to the huge talent that is Tobias Forge.

Ghost  have announced their fourth sacred psalm Prequelle (pronounced prē-KWELL) will be released on June 1, 2018 via Spinefarm/Loma Vista Recordings. Limited edition bundles including 8-Tracks, Casettes and more are available exclusively in the Ghost shop HERE.

Score 9/10

Tracklisting -

See The Light
Dance Macabre
Pro Memoria
Witch Image
Life Eternal

Saturday 19 May 2018

Refuge - 'Solitary Man' Album Review

Refuge – Solitary Man

Peavy Wagner, Manni Schmidt & Christos Efthimiadis released five critically acclaimed albums as one of the most successful line-ups of the German metal band RAGE and have now reunited under the name REFUGE to carry on the sonic assault they started back in ’87. What started out as a “fun thing” in 2014 has turned into a real band again! Refuge’s debut album, ‘Solitary Men’ will see the light of day in summer 2018. It will be the first album of original material from this classic Rage line-up in 25 years and will surely satisfy fans who remember those now legendary albums!

My initial thoughts when this album starts is how far stuck in the late 80’s these guys are. There’s a really nice slow bit towards the end of ‘Summer’s Winter’ but that’s all that pulls me in so far.
‘The Man In The Ivory Tower’s’ opening riff gives me some hope but vocally, for me, something isn’t right, it doesn’t gel with the music. ‘Bleeding From Inside’ kicks in and that’s exactly how I feel listening to it. The opening riff is great but as soon as the lyrics kick in the song is destroyed. These guys are typical mid 80’s Megadeth / Iron Maiden style heavy rock and if you’re from that era it may be right up your street. I’m from that era and it isn’t, but I’ll continue to listen and give my fair opinion.

‘From The Ashes’ offers hope with it’s Dave Mustaine inspired opening which is great, but again doesn’t live up to expectations. ‘Living On The Edge Of Time’ is the best offering so far, with it’s ‘South of Heaven’ style intro. It is a very Helloween-style song.

As the album progresses its fair to say that fans of RAGE will love this. ‘We Owe A Life To A Death’ confirms what I’ve been thinking. I’m hearing, Maiden, Sacred Reich, Holy Terror. Nothing wrong with that, however, most 80’s bands have been able to drag themselves and their music into our current era. These guys haven’t and it’s a shame.

‘Let Me Go’ gives us a more rock’n’roll feel to the album but lyrically it just doesn’t work.
Overall this album will be a great addition for RAGE fans, but I can’t see it attracting any new fans. There just isn’t any song that stands out and shouts to a new audience. If you love RAGE buy it, if you’ve never heard RAGE………………Don’t.

Score 4/10

Reviewed by Sty

Track Listing

1 - Summer's Winter
2 - The Man In The Ivory Tower
3 - Bleeding From Inside
4 - From The Ashes
5 - Living On The Edge Of Time
6 - We Owe A Life To Death
7 - Mind Over Matter
8 - Let Me Go
9 - Hell Freeze Over
10 - Waterfalls
11 - Another Kind Of Madness (Bonus Track)


Peavy Wagner –bass & vocals
Manni Schmidt - guitars
Christos Efthimiadis - drums

Kendell Marvel - 'Lowdown & Lonesome' Album Review

Kendell Marvel – Lowdown & Lonesome

What’s in a name? For me, I like the musicality of Ken-dell Mar-vell, with added inflection on the dell & vel. I'm probably wrong, but its a great name. Lowdown & Lonesome is KM’s debut album and is released through Snakefarm Records today, May 18th.

I've had a love of what Id call ‘true country’ right from the early 70s as a young child, where my mum and dad would watch what would become and annual country fest out of the Wembley Arena with the likes of Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Don Williams and George Hamilton IV. It was supposed to be a dead genre, but ran in the UK well into the 80s and in recent years has been resurrected. I’ve been a fan ever since. Enough of ‘lil ‘ol me, over to Kendell...

Says KM ‘I’m really looking forward to the release of my debut record. It was produced by Keith Gattis, and I refer to it as ZZ Top meets Merle Haggard’, and THAT is a damn good description of where to start. He has a pretty incredible back story – he moved from his native Illinois to Music City in 1998 intent on pursuing a music career. On his first day working in the city, he wrote ‘Right Where I need To Be’ - a huge Top 5 hit for country music singer Gary Allan. Putting his dreams of being an artiste on the back-burner, he continued to build his career and reputation, penning hits for and with famed artists such as George Strait, Jake Owen, Blake Shelton (U.S., The Voice), and Chris Stapleton. Now, some 20 years down the line, Marvel is thriving as a singer songwriter in his own right. He hosts his own monthly show in Nashville, and is one of the hottest tickets in town, thanks to a wide range of guest appearances from the like of Alison Krauss, Foo Fighters, The Black Crowes and Brothers Osbourne. You don’t get that kind of help and support if you’re not very good!

To be honest, if you are a fan of any of the aforementioned names, Nashville, Country Rock, and the likes of Johnny Cash, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Rayna James, Deacon Claybourne, and The Good ‘Ol Boys (I could keep going for some time), mixed with a great knack of story telling and instantly memorable songs then you need look no further than Kendell Marvell and ‘Lowdown & Lonesome’.

Its a mixed bag of songs that range from what I’d call ‘proper old school country’ to more mainstream country rock and all the above with a hint of blues. Opening track and title track ‘Lowdown & Lonesome’ is a great country rock n roll song. Full stop. It draws on Johnny Cash (think ‘Man Comes Around’) to the heavier end of country such as Eric Church. Its a country check list of lyrics - ‘Fulsom’, ‘Walk The Line’, ‘Whiskey River’ etc. You could play a drinking game to the country metaphors listed here in this one song. ’Marvell’s vocals have a gritty and gravelly sound that just draws you in for the long haul. ‘Gypsy Woman’ is acoustical and just so achingly good. Especially with its little Hammond lilts, and has a warmth due to is really cool harmonies. ‘Heartache Off My Back’ just powers forward and just makes you want to get up out of your chair and dance! ‘Watch Your Heart’ showcases KM’s vocals, a slow burner where the first half shows off his lower register, then it soars on the latter half. There is a mid-section of songs that makes me sit up as they are co-written with Chris Stapleton amongst others. ‘Untangle My Mind’ with its honky-tonk piano transports me to ‘Bobs Country Bunker’ chock full of beer-swillers and whiskey drinkers.

‘Tryin’ Not To Love You’ I think will be a big hit for Marvell. It covers all the bases by a ‘country mile’ (yup, that was intentional). ‘Hurtin’ Gets Hard’ is a country ballad that sticks its head above the others on this record. Complete with harmonies from Melonie Cannon, they work together really nicely, just like Mr & Mrs Stapleton. ‘Closer To Hell’ is sung with enough tongue-in-cheek ‘so I started confessing, and he started sweating till he had to get up and leave, I guess the preacher agrees...’. ‘That Seat’s Saved’ finished the originals with a pure bottled country track, steel gee-tar, spoken word and all, sung about a love waiting to return ‘sit anywhere you want to, mister, anywhere but there….it’ll have her name on it till I don’t have a prayer’. It will have aficionados crying into their beers for sure. The final track is a more upbeat note, a cover of a classic from Charlie Daniels ‘Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye’ (Feat. Jamey Johnson)

Kendell clearly has some friends in very high places – most of whom have turned out to play on this album, and he has used them to great effect. If you think county is a bit ‘samey’ and jaded, then look at Kendell, he is trying to break free of the chains. He is cut from the same cloth as some of the greats. Whilst he is no spring chicken, he has an even greater future ahead of him as a performer. There’s enough variation on offer here to keep a wide ranging country fan invested, both classic and modern country.

I'm just pissed off that I only found out about him this week, just one week after he has toured the UK with Brothers Osborne. Dayum.

Score 9/10

Tracks – (Are there no words ending in ‘g’ in country??)
Lowdown & Lonesome
Gypsy Woman
Heartache Off My Back
Watch Your Heart
Untangle My Mind
Tryin’ Not To Love You
Hurtin’ Gets Hard
Closer To Hell
That Seat’s Saved
Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye (Feat. Jamey Johnson)

Thursday 17 May 2018

Hartmann - 'Hands On The Wheel' Album Review

Hands On The Wheel : Hartmann

Review by HollywoodVampyre

Hartmann burst on to the hard rock scene in 2005 with their well received debut album 'Out In The Cold', since then the band have worked tirelessly releasing an impressive 6 albums consisting of 1 live and 5 studio albums the last being 2016’s 'Shadows And Silhouettes'.  When not in the studio the band were busy building an impressive touring resume playing with the likes of Toto,Y&T  and House Of Lords.

Jumping forward to 2018 and Hartmann are getting ready to unleash their latest album 'Hands On The Wheel'. 

In my opinion 'Hands on The Wheel' is for the most part an excellent album but I felt that there was something missing. 'Don’t Want Back Down' is an excellent  opener and sets the tone for the majority of the album, 'Your Best Excuse' and 'Cold As Stone' are solid rock anthems that will have you reaching for the volume and introducing your neighbours to the band. 'Simple Man' is an extremely well put together track and the opening actually sent shivers down my spine. 'Last Plane Out' will transport you back in time to the late 80’s early 90’s when poodle perms and leather trousers were all the rage. 

The next track however is where things seem to go south, 'Soulmates' is a song that when played live will have lighters in the air but I found it extremely dull and sleep inducing however hearing the opening of 'The Harder They Come' soon pulled me out of the stupor, it’s the type of track that makes you sit up and start pumping your fist in time, 'Dream World' carries on in the same vein and will have you screaming 'Dream World' at the top of your lungs. 'I Remember' and 'Lost In Translation' were decent enough tracks however they just don’t belong on this album, listening to them actually made me think of Queensryche’s Empire. 'The Sky Is Falling' is a typical power ballad with a steady build up before the soaring vocals and would have been an excellent closer to this album but sadly that was left to 'Heart Of Gold', just like 'Soulmates', 'Heart Of Gold' is a lighter waving ballad but just like 'Soulmates' I found it extremely boring.

'Hands On The Wheel' gets a solid 7/10 it’s a good album just not as good as their earlier material.

Hartmann Are:
Oliver Hartmann vocals, guitar
Mario Reck guitar
Armin Donderer bass
Markus Kullmann drums
Jimmy Kresic additional keyboards

Monday 7 May 2018

Rose Tattoo - 'Blood Brothers' Review

Rose Tattoo will be kicking off their Blood Brothers 2018 tour at the end of March with the 2018 bonus re-issue edition of their classic 2007 album set for release on 18th May through Golden Robot Records. 
The re-issue features killer live versions of some of the albums finest tracks, including Man About Town, Black Eyed Bruiser, Once in A Lifetime, Sweat Meat, Standover Man and Nothing to Lose recorded live in all their glory and captured on disc. This is the Tats at their best. Raw, rough and ready for a fight, but also tight as a fist and sounding bigger than ever.
Opening track ‘Black Eyed Bruiser’ is a very welcomed mixture of The Kinks ‘You really got me’ with vocals reminiscent of AC/DC’s Brian Johnson. Having never heard Rose Tattoo before, that’s the first thing that hit me. A great opening track. Proper Rock. And this continues into ‘Slipping Away’, an Aerosmith type rock n roll classic with some nice slides.
The album progresses into ‘Once in A Lifetime’, which has a fantastic drop chord for the chorus that keeps it chugging along just nicely. This is proper driving rock, with the window down, arm out.
I’m hearing lots of bands from my teenage days here. AC/DC, Aerosmith, Thunder, Kiss, even Little Angels to an extent. All of which make this album more enjoyable as it rolls on. ‘City Blues’ is a nice, dark, crawler of a song which slows the album down a touch, and probably at the right time too, concentrating on some more nice slide work and clever guitar riffs, which allows ‘Sweet Meat’ to unleash it’s opening chords with venom. This is a classic rock and blues number with a killer riff. ‘Man About Town’ has a Kiss ‘Cold Gin’ feel to it which works well. What’s great about Rose Tattoo is that when a lot of these songs start, your initial impression is that the song is just ‘ok’, but as each chorus kicks in, it changes everything. They become really good songs. ‘Nothing To Lose’ is probably the weakest song on the album in my opinion. Not much going on in this song to be fair, nothing that really stands out and makes me take notice, which is why I’m surprised that this was chosen as one of the bonus live tracks. The album concludes with six live tracks from the album which capture the live element of the band really well. A good addition to this re-issue.
Fans of AC/DC, Aerosmith etc will love this album. It’s a great rock and roll album, but slightly lacking in originality but enjoyable none the less.

Score 7/10

Reviewed by Sty

Track Listing

1 – Black Eyed Bruiser
2 – Slipping Away
3 – Once In A Lifetime
4 – 1854
5 – City Blues
6 – Sweet Meat
7 – Man About Town
8 – Creeper
9 – Stand Over Man
10 – Nothing To Lose
11 – Lubricated
12 – Man About Town (Live)
13 – Black Eyed Bruiser (Live)
14 – Once In A Lifetime (Live)
15 – Sweet Meat (Live)
16 – Standover Man (Live)
17 – Nothing To Lose (Live)