- 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, 30 April 2020
Sam Millar – Radio Gouda EP
I loved Sam Millar’s first EP Holy Sass, for me it was one of the best releases last year with a fresh sound and a break away from the heavier Bigfoot sound. With this in mind I was looking forward to hearing the second EP immensely.
Sam’s Facebook page – “Sam Millar – Music” has clips of Sam playing various covers and basically being, well, just Sam, mental, funny and well worth checking it out.
Radio Gouda – the intro is the sound of a radio being tuned with music fading in and out as the dial is turned before DJ Dairylea is found. He’s not right in the head I tell ya.
Human kicks things off in earnest, it starts with a staccato kind of guitar riff which leads up to Sam’s vocals kicking in. What has become clear is that Sammy can sing, he has a distinctive voice suited perfectly to the music he writes. Human is a great piece of soft rock, a catchy chorus and the obligatory Sam guitar solo. Again Sam’s guitar sound and solos are distinctive, the lad can play.
Forbidden is the first track to be released and it would have fitted in perfectly on the first EP in the sound and structure of the song (hark at me talking as if I’ve actually got a clue about music), the chorus is catchier than a STI and it’s 4 and half minutes of quality.
Let it Rain is a slower moodier track and leads with the vocals full of angst with keyboards providing a mellow undercurrent before the guitars come in and take over nicely. The choral middle section is a smart touch and complements the overall sound.
Sober kicks off with a guitar riff that definitely nods in the direction of “Why Can’t This Be Love” by Van Halen. It’s a sad song about trying to stop a break up “If it’s over say it’s over, I’ll believe it when you’re sober”. The chorus is haunting and the guitar solo is a belter, cool and considered.
Levi’s brings the EP to a rocking end, the most energetic and hi-energy track with a bit of Sammy humour chucked in for good measure singing about a cold shower at midnight.
So Radio Gouda is another belter from Sam, I loved the first one and this is as good if not better. It’s a lifetime away from the Bigfoot songs and cements Sam’s style as a solo artist. When you have a 5 track EP you can’t hide weak songs, well there aren’t any so that’s a result.
For a self-written and home produced EP it really is superb stuff, it’s melodic, thoughtful with a well-considered guitar solo on every track. I would hope that a label will pick this up and invest in giving the songs just that little bit of a polish.
I’m gutted that this bloody virus has stopped the Sam Millar and the Sass Bandits tour. I was going to Newcastle to see him and can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to seeing Sam do his thing with his own band. I didn’t ask for a refund, not because I’m kind but because it was free gig.
My advice is simple – Check out the Sam Millar – Music page and invest a couple of quid on a young talented artist who also happens to be a nice guy, you won’t regret it…..probably.
1. Radio Gouda
4. Let it Rain
REVIEW BY LAWRIE
Monday, 13 April 2020
Jase Old – Hemisphere
‘Hemisphere’ is the debut solo album from Jase Old. He of prolific Aussie rock band The Radio Sun and also Starchase. Its TRS where I first clapped eyes on them appearing at HRH AOR for something like 4 years on the trot. In case you’re wondering, he’s the one who usually wears pink and tells jokes.
Some bands have a definite ‘sound’ because of their vocalists. Jase is one such fellow. His voice is pretty distinctive. However, with Hemisphere, thats about to change. Take opening track ‘I Hope You Find The One’ which is a broody, and more emotional song to what you would hear from his day job. The phrasing is different with a bit of Richard Marx rasp and Myles Kennedy (YOTT) going on. It makes for a pretty good start. ‘Tell Me How To Mend A Broken Heart’ follows suit. Despite the jangly keyboard and synth, its honest songwriting wrenched from his experiences. ‘Take Me As I Am’ is a lighter number that is something you would hear on mainstream radio. The reins are off for Jason to roam into different styles.
‘And You’ is definitely from the Marx school of performing arts. Think emotional ballad, and its where we find Jase, opening up and bearing his soul for these songs. ‘Breaking Down The Lie’ is the Jase Old I like best, a song that has a good melody and is more pulsating and menacing. ‘You’re A Star’ is one of the stars on Hemispheres, anyone who rhymes ‘beautiful’ with ‘irrefutable’ gets my vote. ‘Love Is What You’re Looking For’ is old school pop-rock with a nice layered chorus that’s ELO-esque. The title track ‘Hemisphere’ has a lot going on. Its mainly acoustical with a prominent synth beat, but still with a drive and power, that picks up and leaves you wanting more, which is never a bad thing. On ‘One Life’ he sings ‘just give it all you’ve got, you may not get another shot, because there is only one life’. Quite apt. ‘Sometimes’ is on the heavier side of Jase’s style, and is a favourite. ‘Like It Used To Be’ is the closest Jase comes to TRS, which finishes the album on a positive and high note.
I have to say that there’s a lot to like on Jase’s debut. He has certainly mixed it up a bit, as there’s different styles, emotions, and more depth to the subject matter. The songs are varied enough and come at you thick and fast. Its something I want to see developed further as Jase Old definitely has something to say and a solo artist suits him. ‘Hemisphere’ is a very pleasant surprise. Obviously it will attract fans of The Radio Sun, but that’s where it ends. There’s only one song that didn’t resonate with me. The album gets better as you work your way through it, and deserves repeat playing. There’s certainly a few songs here that will end up on my ipad and that’s a tough selection process!!
A solid 7/10
I Hope You Find The One*
Tell Me How To Mend A Broken Heart*
Take Me As I Am
Breaking Down The Lie*
You’re A Star
Love Is What You’re Looking For
Like It Used To Be*
Released Friday 18th on all major streaming platforms