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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Saturday 30 December 2023

Top 10 Albums of 2023 (and a few extra)

Well dear reader its that time of year again. I appreciate the number of visits to this site that you made (well over half a million now). It’s much appreciated for a one man band of a site. It’s been a bit of a restricted year, with not many albums reviewed at all, so the Top 10 in this list are all albums I have purchased in 2023 and all come highly recommended.

1. Rival Sons - Darkfighter/Lightbringer

Darkfighter just shaded it for me out of the 2 offerings in 2023. Rival Sons has seen each album getting better than the last. I’m not 100% sure that Darkfighter is better than Feral Roots (yet), but I would have also preferred this to be a double album. To quote the Fuzzlord, Darkfighter is ‘cinematic’ which is a perfect description, and Lightbringer ‘watching the same film’. I have been watching these guys since 2011 and few bands can match them. 

Hot Track - Nobody Wants To Die / Mosaic

2. Romeos Daughter - Slipstream

Romeos Daughters first release in 8 years since Spin makes Guns ’n' Roses look prolific in their output. But….give me time over prolific any day of the week. You see, RD have never made a duff album and with Craig Joiner pulling the strings together with Leigh Matty's sultry and velvety vocals enveloping you like a warm blanket - it (Slipstream) really is Heaven In the Back Seat

Hot Track - Over You 

3. Dirty Honey - Cant Find The Brakes

Dirty Honey have been conquering the UK and Europe for the last two years. Similar to Rival Sons, Alter Bridge and now Dirty Honey, these bands are more appreciated on this side of the pond than their homeland. Their sophomore album carries on where the EP and debut album left off. In Mark LaBelle and John Notto they have one of the best rock pairings since Jon Bon and Ritchie

Hot Track - Won’t Take Me Alive

4. Steven Wilson - The Harmony Codex

Whilst SWs ‘The Future Bites’ didn’t light much of a fire for me personally, its what makes Steven Wilson one of music’s great artists. He doesn’t stand still. All albums sound different, he is always pushing the envelope and rightly so. Just when you think you have the measure of him, he releases something completely different. Impossible Tightrope sounds like it’s from a 70s soundtrack to a Dirty Harry movie and then just adds more sublime layers - a choir, true prog rhythms, and seagulls. Yes, seagulls. Its 10 mins of pure unadulterated joy. Its YYZ for the twenties.

Hot Track -  Impossible Tightrope 

5. Chris Stapleton - Higher

Higher is CS’s fifth album, and bugger me its a great one. He started off in a rock band and did what is now known as a Michael Bolton, switching sides and became a songwriter and then performer. His top 5 songs on Spotify have a total (as of time of writing) of 1.8 Billion listens. No wonder his UK tour next year sold out quicker than….well, Chris Stapleton tour tickets

Hot Track - White Horse

6. Crown Lands - Fearless

Got a Rush sized hole in your life? Look no further than fellow Canadians, Crown Lands. Only in this instance they are only two. Drummer Bowles has a range every bit as high as Geddy Lee, and in Comeau multi talented doesn’t do the guy enough justice. Starlifter:Fearless Pt.II has its roots firmly planted in Hemispheres and 2112.

Hot Track - Starlifter:Fearless Pt II

7. WVH - Mammoth II

As talented as Comeau is, Wolfgang Van Halen takes it up a notch. The Van Halen name means that he will always be compared to his dad. With Mammoth II WVH has levelled any such comparison. II is more accomplished than the debut and shows he isn’t a flash in the pan and living off the name. He has even inherited the knack of making a stand out video to accompany his songs in a time when bands aren’t doing this anymore. Check out the 8minute ‘Another Celebration At The End of The World’. If this doesn’t bring a smile to your face, nothing will.

Hot Track - Another Celebration At The End Of The World

8. Ayron Jones - Chronicles Of The Kid

Thanks to my mate in the US, Gene I might never have come across AJ. Only been a fan for 2 months and his 2020s output has blown me away. He really deserves to be massive, and not in an obese way. He is probably the best solo artist you have never heard of…yet after Steven Wilson. I think 2024 is going to change that. ’Chronicles….’ is peppered with great songs. 

Hot Track - Blood In The Water

9. Those Damn Crows - Inhale/ Exhale

In late ’22 TDC supported Monster Truck. It was my first time seeing and hearing TDC and completely became a fan as they levelled The Ritz in Manchester. I/E is clearly their best album yet and are a band quickly going places. TDC dip into Alter Bridge territory with This Time Im ready, a song about the loss of Greenhalls father that resonates to everybody who has lost a loved one

Hot Track - Takedown

10. The Answer - Sundowners

I saw The Answer early on in their career supporting Alter Bridge and they blew me away. They petered away with a flicker, but returned seven years later with all guns blazing. Neeson is one rocks finest vocalists. They deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Rival Sons, just give it time and they will hopefully

Hot Track - California Rust

A few more lists....

Best Gig(s) - Overland Kirkpatrick, Romeos Daughter, The Sheepdogs, Marcus King, Larkin Poe, Dirty Honey

Best Support Band - Those Damn Crows, Ida Mae, The Sheepdogs, The Damn Truth 

Best Reissue/Box Set - Thin Lizzy Live and Dangerous

Top 5 AOR

1.Romeos Daughter - Slipstream

2.Nitrate - Feel The Heat

3.Steve Overland - Six

4.Streetlight - Ignition

5.The Defiants - Drive

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Steel Panther - 'On The Prowl' Album Review


Steel Panther - On The Prowl

By Paul Chesworth

Amongst the rock fraternity, no one divides the rock fans more than Steel Panther. Oh, and Nickleback. Although one website who clearly know fuck all about rock and metal have named Sabbaths Heaven and Hell as an example.

There are some people out there who think that Steel Panther are a parody band and shouldn’t exist. These people are WRONG! The other half, like me, think that Steel Panther are coming up with some of the best riffs and songs this side of Tony Iommi’s moustache. Dont get me wrong, these guys can do comedy, and take it to another level, but my learned friend, I would also like to submit Exhibit A (Tomorrow Night), Exhibit B (Gloryhole), Exhibit C (Gold Digging Whore) and my latest Exhibit, Exhibit D, the new (Friends With Benefits) as songs that are just as good, if not better than a lot of glam/sleaze/hair metal bands produced in the heyday of the 80s and early 90s.  Parody my arse!

I wasn’t overly enamoured with the last two albums ‘Heavy Metal Rules’, and ‘Lower The Bar’. Thankfully the guys have used lockdown as the perfect opportunity to get their act in order and snorted their weight in nose candy and have come back in glorious style with ‘On The Prowl’. Apparently they all worked from home, and it has paid dividends. 

The nucleus is still there - Michael Starr, Stix Zadinia, and Satchel. If you have been living in a case for the last few years, Lexxi has gone, and after a porno version of American Idol and a few temporary solutions, the guys announced Spyder into the fold in September 2022.

In today's cancel culture where you tread on eggshells on what you can say without offending anyone, Steel Panther come right out of the blocks and set their stall with ‘Never Too Late (To Get Some Pussy Tonight). In an uncertain World its good to know that some things stay the same. ‘Friends With Benefits’ is the first cut above track. It has LAs Sunset Strip threaded through it like a stick of rock with Satchel delving deep into his bag of 80s riffs. They go mushy with the social media ballad ‘On Your Instagram’, ‘why can’t you look like you do on your Instagram’ telling you everything you need to know in a simple rhyme about todays state of affairs. ‘1987’ is another stand out track with Starr proclaiming ‘Coverdale banging Tawny Kitaen and the World just felt alright’, and ‘the music scene will never be the same, but I didn’t realise that things would get this lame’. Its one of the best songs they have ever written. Thankfully we have Steel Panther on a one man (band) mission to rectify all that was great about the 80s and then some.

If you think that the song titles are a bit ‘normal’, they revert to type (Yay!) with Dweezil Zappa sining up to shred on ‘Is My D**k Enough’, and the wonderfully titled ‘Magical Vagina’, I’d like to know what a magical vagina does? Card tricks? Levitation? Pull a tiger out? 

’Pornstar’ is a song that only Steel Panther could write, AND get away with. ‘If Harvey Weinstein was still free he wouldn’t care if you resisted’. Oof! ‘Aint For Dead’ is a biographical song about getting old and lamenting about times past, but they still have a part to play, and party.

‘On The Prowl’ is an album that gets Steel Panther back on track after the last couple of ‘Panther by Numbers’ albums. Theres nowt wrong with music by numbers, but its back on a par with early Steel Panther music when they were on fire (and I’m not talking about Michael Starrs chlamydia!!)

If you love Steel Panther then this is everything you want from a new SP album. If you are a naysayer then there’s nothing here for you whatsoever, and I don’t think the guys give a flying fuck either way. In an uncertain world, its good that some things never change. All hail Steel Panther.


Tracklisting - 

Never Too Late (To Get Some Pussy Tonight)

Friends With Benefits

On Your Instagram

Put My Money Where Your Mouth Is



Is My Dick Enough (Featuring Dweezil Zappa)

Magical Vagina

All That And More

One Pump Chump


Ain’t Dead Yet

Sleeping On The Rollaway

Steel Panther

Michael Starr - Vocals

Satchel - Guitar

Stix Zadinia - Drums

Spyder - Bass