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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, 13 June 2019

Cassidy Paris - 'Broken Hearted' E.P. Review

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' Album Review

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
Never Surrender
Heartbreak Suicide
In The night
Bad Girls
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

AOR Heaven
Released 21.6.19

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Bexatron - 'Hey You' Album Review

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
Line Up:
Lead Vocals  - BeXXX
Greg Paco Radcliffe  - Guitar/Vocals
Adam Adorjan – Bass/Vocals
Belle Star – Drums
Track Listing
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' Album review

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
Score 7.5/10
Tillian are:
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' EP Review

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

Tracklisting - 
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

Saturday, 27 April 2019

Tillian - 'Lotus Graveyard' Album review

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

Tillian are

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

Frozen Sun
I’m Too Close
Moonlight Dancer
Black Holes
Caught In Your Slough
The Beggar
Love Or heaven
Earth Walker

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Hardline - 'Life' Album REview

Hardline - 'Life'

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.
Score 9/10
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  
Helios Sun  
Page Of Your Life  
Out Of Time  
Hold On To Right  
Handful Of Sand  
This Love  
Story Of My Life  
Who Wants To Live Forever  
My Friend  

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

The Treatment - 'Power Crazy' Album Review

The Treatment – Power Crazy

I was a fan back in the early days of this band, seeing them supporting (and demolish) their headline act at the time who was Thin Lizzy. For some strange reason I parted ways with them not long after their second album, only to come around full circle again after seeing them in Rebellion last year with Dhani Mansworth’s dads band, Airrace in support (emphasis on ‘ace!’). The catalyst for this change was down to (recent) new vocalist Tom Rampton. He had more style and swagger, was a pretty good front man, and most importantly, the bloke could sing. Here we are, at album number four, ‘Power Crazy’ and I wanted to see if the live show energy is represented and transferred onto an album…

The guys have taken the basic ingredients of bands such as AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Accept and Krokus, (if you’re in the 30 and under age group you may need to ask your dad about Krokus, Rose Tattoo and Accept), and mix simple but splintering riffs, with more than a splash of melody – and opening track ‘Let’s Get Dirty’ is a prime example of this recipe. Its instantly headbang-able, and worm planted in your lug’oles for instant repeat and gratification. ‘Rising Power’ is similarly based, but with a bit more speed and tempo. ’On The Money’ is bluesier, and could be a ZZ Top song in any other life. With a song like ‘Bite Back’ you don’t need to delve into your thesaurus to get to know that the song is going to have punch, and er…..bite! The immediate impact that Rampton has given The Treatment is hard to deny, as rasp and pitch to his vocals that make a match made in heaven. He is even elevating what could be an average song for anyone else, but in their hands, as song like ‘Luck Of The Draw’ rises like cream.

‘Hang Them High’ (watch the video above, its proper old skool), shows the lads taking on the best and winning. Fast, frenetic, dirty - it ticks a lot of boxes – and AC/DC could only dream of a song like this at their age! ‘Scar With Her Name’ riff reminds me a bit of Andy Taylors ‘I Might Lie’, but I’m probably writing shite as usual. ‘King Of the City’ should be on the next GTA -  its just me kind of music to run someone over in! ‘Waiting For The Call’ takes a step back, and goes for the slower, but non-less effective approach. ‘Laying It Down’ is full on in yer face, and expect it to be a live addition. ’The Fighting Song’ encapsulates all that is good about The Treatment; bluesy, hard and gritty. Closer ‘Falling Down’ is in more of a classic rock style if Quo and Rainbow got together for a session. The album also has a bonus of an acoustic version of  ‘Bite Back’. The vocals are pretty much the same as the fully powered 240V version, when I was expecting a little more subtlety.

The Treatment have laid their collective hearts on the line to bring you ‘Power Crazy’. It’s the best I’ve heard them sound. They have always been very good, but its now their time to shine.

It’s not difficult to emulate bands like AC/DC, but very few bands can do it as well as them. The Treatment have the craft, age, and experience on their side. If you think this is good, well, they are only just hitting their stride….

Should AC/DC do a final flurry of a tour, I can think of no better band to support them (and to push and cajole a performance out of them)

The Treatment? Its just what the Doctor ordered!


The Treatment -
Tom Rampton – Vocals
Tagore Grey – Guitar
Tao Grey – Guitar
Dhani Mansworth – Drums
Rick Newman - Bass

Tracklisting -
Rising Power
On The Money
Bite Back
Luck Of The Draw
Hang Them High
Scar With Her Name
King Of The City
Waiting For The Call
Laying It Down
The Fighting Song
Falling Down

Released 22nd March 2019

The End Machine - 'ST' Album review

The End Machine

Between 1986 and 1990 I would like to think that I was Dokken’s biggest fan in Rhostyllen. Big words, eh? Fuck that, I was Dokken’s biggest fan in Wrexham, and I still am. That said, I don’t like Dons voice anymore, because its fucked. However, I still love that golden period from 83-89 where they were metal Gods!

In about 1987 I ditched my weekly fix of ‘Roy Of The Rovers’ and ‘Scoop’ and got my dad to subscribe (at a Wrexham newsagents) to ‘Hit Parader’, in the main hope of getting more of my Dokken fix that ‘Kerrang!’ and ‘Sounds’ could no longer feed. It was an expensive mag, and it was shite in comparison, but it felt cool to say I got a copy. Basically HP was like reading the transcript to Kramer vs Kramer. Don and George hated each other so much, I felt like the kid in the middle. Its continued on and off to this very day.

I’ve followed all the guys exploits since, from Lynch Mob, to T&N, the corporate version of Foreigner, KXM, Sweet & Lynch and Ultraphonix to name but a few of the Dokken Family Tree Branches. When news appeared about The End Machine, I have to admit that I let out a little wee. Lynch, Pilson and Brown were coming out with a new album that would feature the excellent pipes of (Ex-Lynch Mob, and current Warrant vocalist, Robert Mason) What is not to like? Well, thankfully nothing. But its not close to an album like ‘Under Lock And Key’ (not much is though to be honest with ya!)

Thanks to Frontiers Don, Serafino Perugino, bands like this would not exist in 2019 if it were not down to love and enthusiasm for 80s AOR and Hair Metal. He has revived more 80s careers than Stormy Daniels has revived flaccid cocks!

‘Leap Of Faith is more Lynch-ken than Dok-Mob. Its ‘Dysfuctional’ era Dokken only with Lynch Mob playing all the song. Mason sounds pretty great to be honest and gives the song an added lift. ‘Hold Me Down’ has all the hallmark of any of these guys previous, crunching riffs, Pilson and Brown harmonies and Lynch letting rip like only Lynch can. ‘No Game’ is classic 80-s metal, and I can see the video, recorded in the middle of a desert with helicopters and lost of posturing! ‘Bulletproof’ has anthem written all over it and Lynch’s guitar work takes me back 30-plus years! ‘Ride It’ and ‘Hard Road’ are standard fare really, but the stripped back cowboy sound of ‘Burn The Truth’ is more on the mark. ‘Alive Today’ is back on point and had a cool riff, and above average chorus, and a thunderous Pilson bass groove, making it one the best so far. ‘Line Of Division’ could easily draw comparisons to the first Lynch Mob album. ‘Sleeping Voices’ chorus is powerful and with everything thrown into it. Its both the longest and best song on the album by far as it builds to a crescendo. ‘Life Is Love Is Music’ keeps the album on a strong finish.

If it’s a replacement Dokken album you’re looking for, it’s clearly not that, although many comparisons will be drawn across the world. Mason has a great voice still, and Lynch has lost none of his ability (he is my second fave guitarist only to Ritchie Blackmore). The harmonies are what I expect from this talented bunch. Put it this way, its way better than any Dokken album you have heard in the past few years, and what’s to come. It stands clearly on its own, which I suspect its exactly what they wanted.


The End Machine –
Robert Mason – Vocals
Jeff Pilson – Bass
George Lynch – Guitar
Mick Brown – Drums

Released March 22nd 2019


Leap Of Faith
Hold Me Down
No Game
Ride It
Burn The Truth
Hard Road
Alive Today
Line Of Division
Sleeping Voices
Life Is Love Is Music

Highlighted tracks

Monday, 18 March 2019

HRH AOR VII - Saturday 16th March 2019, Presthaven Sands, Prestatyn

HRH VII - Presthaven Sands, Prestatyn. Saturday 16th March

After the Friday shows, I think we acclimatised to Saturday much better. There seemed fewer people around, I didn’t witness queuing, but that bloke who smelt of piss was still following me around!

Saturday or as I prefer to call it, MSM (military style metal) as its an endurance in standing, and is like a cult meeting/conversion all rolled into one. You come out the end of it a new person’ and with feet like a ballet dancer - fucked!
Those who decided to stay away, or were hungover, or waiting Wales win the Grand Slam (Get in!),  they missed some belters…..

Psycho Kiss were on the bill back in '15, and left me a bit underwhelmed back then.
This time though they got their act together and were not going to let a second chance on the big stage go begging. In this PC world I’m not sure I can say if Helen Ceri Clark had a set of lungs on her, but hey, I'm 52 and not going to change any day soon. She commanded the stage with a lot of energy (she had to as the others up front were as active as mannequins) and her raspy wail was a huge bonus. They started off well, and just got a better response after each and every song, and even got a loud ‘awwww’ when they announced their last song. A definite improvement on their last showing. Highlights were ‘No Good Pretending’, ‘Grieve For You’ and ‘Home’. And a few songs about drinking! Great start.

I had seen some clips of  Saints Of Sin and was expecting something good. What I wasn’t expecting was how fucking good they actually were. They completely shattered my expectations. In a world of cheap imitations,  they were the real deal in fact. They were immediately accepted by the big crowd; they had the looks, energy, were polished and even well choreographed. SoS therefore were not going to take any prisoners. Vocalist Rui Brito could be Gary Cherone visually, but he was his own singer. Confident, with a great voice and even greater stage presence, this guy fucking rocked, as did all of Saints Of Sin. The twin guitar attack of Sophie Burrell and Marcus Sparxx Jenkins was a joy to watch. With bassist Ashley Jenkins adding in harmonies with Burrell and the other Jenkins I was completely sold. Kudos as well to Josh Rose to keep everything hammering along. Oh, and the songs were fab! These guys deserve to go far. My only doubt is they very few bands make any money out of being a hair metal band, but hey, these guys are heroes in my mind for pushing this brand. Closer '21 Shots' is a belting new track that could catapult them. 'Heart Attack', 'Feed The Fire', it was blam, blam blam! Those who were still hungover missed the band of the day for me  ( didn’t need to see anyone else Sat to confirm this), as they levelled Stage 1. What. A. Band.

Daylight Robbery announced that they were a singer short in Tony Nicholl for HRH,
and just posted a pic of a four piece only last week leading up to HRH. We were speculating who was going to sing. Mr Fluffy had his money on the bassist  (Colin Murdoch), me the guitarist (Mark Carleton). We were both right (yay) and also pleasantly surprised as they both alternated lines and shared vocals. To say they were a Poundland Coverdale/Hughes would be rude, but no pair can match these two, so I’ll settle on John Lewis instead. In fact with these two in charge, they upped their game and the songs were fresh and strong. The new dynamic made for a stronger set, even though it was probably similar  to the last time. Any band that has harmonies, uses his whammy bar and has a Hammond organ sound gets my vote!! ‘Digital Preacher’ made me prick up my ears, due to the surprise of vocals from both fellas, and the usual suspect of ‘Samara Never Sleeps’ gets the biggest cheer.

Kane’d are now seasoned professionals at HRH and the crowd had built in anticipation
for them.  I don’t know why there was a lot of blokes in the audience - Im guessing they are fans of triple vocals/harmonies.  Someone else stated perverts! The first time I saw Kane’d I was blown away, the second, not so much. However, three times the charm is the saying I’m searching for, because in Kane sisters Steph, Chez and Stacy, they are three strong, powerful women who can pretty much sing anything! They have been hard at it on the road the past few years and its now showing in their confident performance. With the recent new album, they now have additional material that adds to an already good set of songs. I only caught part of their set, but the likes of lively opener ‘Show Me Your Skeleton’, the fab ‘Guilty Of Nothin’’, and the infectious ‘La Di Da’ they went down a storm. Da Iawn.

I ambled over to catch  Blood Red Saints, also known as ‘TBA’ to see a masterclass in both stand up comedy and 80s rock! Thankfully Pete McIntyre didn’t go on about his ‘man drawer’ and settled in belting out some cracking tunes. ‘Freak’ is a Nickleback sound for BRS, new song ‘Cross To Bare’ from their critically slammed album is a belter. I like the heavier stuff! Godfrey went into the crowd and used the 80s ego ramp (fuck know what it is actually there for!) and dedicated ‘Unbreakable’ to a friend a lot of us know who had some bad news dealt on Friday. This moment would make him and his friends very proud. They did a Steel Panther for ‘Message to God’ where Godfrey shouts out a number and the band play that note, first ‘5 times’ and then ’23’ and was nailed to the incredulity of the crowd and Godfrey! With songs like ‘Dangerous’, I’m Your Devil’, and closer ‘Better Days’ BRS are one of the few actual AOR bands to play HRH AOR. Considering they were a late announcement, their set was bloody brilliant. I’m just glad they weren’t The Quireboys! Next year give them a higher slot as they thoroughly deserve it.

In any other era, but most likely the 1980s, Rob Wylde would have been a rock god. A couple of years back, his Teenage Casket Company had one the sets of the weekend, and in Midnite City they were not going to let an opportunity like this slip either. In Josh Williams, Shawn Charvette, and Pete Newdeck, the combination of harmonies and backing vocals are off the scale! With Miles Meakin that have a guitarist who can play anything. Rob prances around with intent, but not too far away from his stage fan (A Harmony hairspray endorsement is on it way!) and shows he is a consummate front man. It’s very easy to look the part, but Midnite City actually sound the part, and like Vega, their songs are perfect for a festival crowd and are both anthemic and powerful. I get the impression that everything is planned, from the outfits, the hair, and more importantly their stellar performances. There is nothing wrong with planning, as it pays dividends when you want to stand out above all others, and they certainly did so today. ‘Here Comes The Party’ is a cracking opener, and with huge songs like ‘One Step Away’, ‘Summer Of Our Lives’, ‘Life Aint Like This On The Radio’ and ‘Give Me Love’, Midnite City gave one of the performances of the day. These guys should be huge I tell ya, HUGE!

The Electric Boys were the Ronseal band of the day, as in, you know exactly what it
says on the tin, lots of groove laden songs, and in Conny Bloom, a singer who is a rock star from head to toe. Some thirty odd years down the line, he still sounds (and looks), great. If you didn’t think they had enough groove for ‘Groovus Maximus,’ they actually dialled up the groove for Electrified. Their RSD song ‘Gone, Gone, Gone’ was more straight down the line rock, and was a great song. More like this please to liven up the set. The highlight for me was the obvious ‘All Hips and Lips’ a true classic and was the song that most wanted, and expected as a closer. They were good, but it was all very similar.

I arrived half way into the set for Pretty Boy Floyd and I was wondering what the noise was. A wail that can only be described as Jizzy Pearl on helium, whilst being kicked in the bollox at the same time welcomed me, and it was downhill from there for me. Mr Fluffy thought they were awesome, but I though the polar opposite. Steve ‘Sex’ Summers (yeah) talked way too much for my liking, and drew a few comments from around me to ‘get on with it you twat). I suppose this is a plus point, as it meant less singing (screaming) for me. He stated that ‘ we are trying to keep sleaze metal alive’. I thought he is going a long way to killing it off altogether.

The term ‘legend’ is used way too frequently, but in Ted ‘call me Ted’ Poley, the ‘legend’ term is justified. His credentials are second to none, he engages with the crowd, a lot to be honest, to the point where he just wants to be with his people and it makes for a great gig. By ‘Out Of Control’, Ted was on fire, and it wasn’t just his piss that was burning!! Thankfully his stone passed the day before and made for a nice bit of medical history and a good laugh. Little Ted is now fully operational! With Degreed as his band, they were great, and with songs from his solo career, Tokyo Motor Fist and Danger Danger, all basses were covered. For me, it was the Danger Danger songs that were the best - 'Bang Bang', 'Under The Gun', 'Crazy Nites', 'Monkey Business', and the awesome singalong encore of 'I Still Think About You'. The guy is absolutely genuine in his love for his audience, and that love is paid back ten-fold. Ted is King! Please don't retire in three years time while you still have so much to give!

Heavy Pettin’ were on stage 2 to close out the festival. HRH need kicking in the bollox
for putting them on there as they are a bonafide nailed down certainty for the main stage. In my eyes, they should have been in place of Pretty Boy Floyd as they have a set of songs that deserve a packed audience. It’s only Hamie and Bonnar from the 80s, but the new guys (especially Dave Aitken) add some punch to an already great band. I never saw them back in the 80s but was a big fan, and after tonight's performance even more so. The stage is a bit crowded for the five of them but that leads to numerous opportunities for the guys to jump off the stage and milk the crowd for its worth. ‘Love Times Love’, In And Out Of Love’, ‘Break It Down’ and ‘Rock Me’ are massive, and you somewhat forget how great a set of songs Heavy Pettin’ have to fall on. The inclusion of ‘Soul Survivor’ was as big for me as UFO playing ‘Making Moves’ so I was extremely happy. Hamie does not has his ‘yip’ at the end of his lines anymore, but if anything, he is all the better for it. I am just glad that Heavy Pettin’ are back! If you enjoyed Burnt Out Wrecks version of ‘Rock Aint Dead’, Hamie, Bonnar et al showed how it should really be done. If you didn’t catch them, you missed a huge performance. What a way to finish the Saturday…….