Friday, May 31, 2013
Degreed - We don´t belong (2013) Spinning Inc Records
Produced by Erik Lidbom
Tracks : 1.Intro 2.Black cat 3.What if 4.In for the ride 5.Inside of me 6.Follow her 7.Blind hearted 8.Here I am 9.Access denied 10.Coming home 11.We don´t belong
4 out of 5
From Steve Perry to Chicago, well sort of.....the Swedish AOR band Degreed covered Steve Perry´s "Captured by the moment" on their excellent debut "Life Love Lost" (2010) and finally their long awaited 2nd album "We don´t belong" is out. What about Chicago then? Ohyeah, Bill Champlin is singing on the fab "In for the ride" and this is only one of many great AOR tunes on this new album. Another highlight is the more modern sounding "Inside of me" that can be described as Thirty Seconds To Mars going AOR. "Access denied" is a close fave of mine with it´s killer chorus and the "Lost Boys movie" influenced verse.
Not to mention the strong opener "Black cat" and I don´t mean the Janet Jackson song because this ain´t no cover. I promise you, you won´t be disappointed if you dig the debut.
For fans of W.E.T, Crystal Blue, Ignition
One Mile Left - The high rise afternoon (2013) Independent
Produced by Achim Lindermeir
Tracks : 1.Fast kills, cheap thrills 2.Back in town 3.You, me and the dealer tonight 4.I want to go out with Saylor Twift 5.Jenny
3 out of 5
One Mile Left is a pop punk trio from Germany, they are huge fans of Blink 182 and did covers of "Feeling this" and "I miss you" on their previous "Cover the shit" album released earlier this year. That album also contains covers of The Fray, Taylor Swift, Wheatus, Katy Perry, Westlife, Rihanna etc. One Mile Left has also released an album of original songs in 2012 called "Behind the story" plus this new EP, I think "The high rise afternoon" is a nice EP with 5 uplifting tracks that would do justice on an early Blink 182 record. And why not because Tom DeLonge and Co hardly make pop punk this way anylonger, B182 sound more like DeLonge´s Angels and Airwaves these days. Best song - Jenny.
Misser - Distancing (2013) Rise Records
Produced by Misser
EMO / ALTERNATIVE ROCK
Tracks : 1.Goddamn, salad days 2.Infrared 3.Burn out 4.Alone, die 5.Slow it down, write it out
3 out of 5
The 3rd release "Distancing" from Tim Landers (Transit) and Brad Wiseman (This time next year) is a 5 track EP and another solid effort from their sideproject Misser, I don´t think these 5 new songs matches their previous album "Every day I tell myself I´m going to be a better person" but the new EP is good enough to catch my attention. Especially songs like "Infrared" and "Burn out" are infectious, I love the guitarchords in the chorus of "Burn out". Perhaps there´s less emo on "Distancing" and a bit more punk-ish sound which is cool. I´m pretty sure we can count on a new release from Misser next year too.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
Man Overboard - Heart attack (Rise Records)
Produced by Man Overboard
Tracks : 1.Secret pain 2.Boy without batteries 3.Where I left you 4.Heart attack 5.White lies 6.S.A.D 7.Suppy 8.How to hide your feelings 9.Swan dive 10.Hoodie song 11.Re run 12.Open season 13.Damage control 14.Wide awake
3,5 out of 5
Even though I didn´t mind the similarities with Blink 182 on their self titled album from 2011, I´m glad Man Overboard dropped the B182 cape on the new album "Heart attack" and instead went in a more original direction. The songs are stronger on this album and I truly welcome the new wave influences as well as keeping their punk rock attitude but seen through the eyes of a happy pop punk dude. It feels like they worked harder on more harmony vocals on "Heart attack" which pleases me a lot, it´s time this band is taken seriously. Just listen to the lovely title track, the energy is all over this song. There´s no doubt this is an album filled with hookladen songs, there are many examples but my faves are "White lies", "S.A.D", Hoodie song" and "Open season" featuring Geoff Rickly of Thursday. Great stuff!
Sunday, May 26, 2013
M:Pire Of Evil - Crucified (2013) Mausoleum Records
Produced by M:Pire Of Evil
Tracks : 1.Temples of ice 2.Parasite 3.Kissing the beast 4.Blackened are the priest 5.Carnivorous 6.Black legions 7.Need to kill 8.Wolverine 9.Crucified 10.Demone 11.Taking it all
2,5 out of 5
2/3 former Venom members salute their "Prime evil" era between 1989-1992 with re-recordings of 9 songs from the Venom albums "Prime evil", "Temples of ice" and "The waste lands". "Crucified" is the follow up to M:Pire Of Evil´s debut full length "Hell to the holy" from 2012 that contains all original songs. I enjoyed their first mini album "Creatures of the black" (2011) with covers of classic metal songs, but I´m not much of a fan of Venom featuring guitarist Mantas and bassist/singer Tony Demolition Man Dolan who replaced Cronos in 1988. These versions on "Crucified" are ok, especially "Kissing the beast", "Black legions" and "Carnivorous" are pure metal. Definitely for fans of Venom, Slayer and Def Con One.
It´s nice to see this album being released by the legendary heavy metal label Mausoleum Records, it feels like M:Pire Of Evil do belong on that label. So when are they gonna sign Raven?
The New Regime - Exhibit A (2013) Command! Music
Produced by Ilan Rubin / Aaron Rubin
Tracks : 1.Hope is gone 2.Touch of reality 3.Don´t chase it 4.Daydream 5.This is a new world 6.Say what you will 7.No traces 8.Know how it feels
4 out of 5
Drummer and multi musician Ilan Rubin wrote enough songs for 3 albums for his 3rd release but decided to release it as EP´s with the title "Exhibit" and the first one, A, is available now. He started his music career in Denver Harbor and then played in bands like Lostprophets, Nine Inch Nails, Angels and Airwaves and now he´s currently in Paramore. His solo project The New Regime released the debut "Coup" in 2008 which was followed by "Speak through the white noise" in 2011, the new 8 track "Exhibit A" is an extremely well crafted electro rock affair in the same vein as Ultravox, Thirty Seconds To Mars and Carpark North. I just love how Rubin combines 80´s synth with modern electro rock, it comes out for the best in tunes like "Don´t chase it", "Daydream" and "Hope is gone". But the quality is topnotch here and I can easily recommend tracks like "Touch of reality" and "This is a new world" as well. Way to go!
Have Mercy - The Earth Pushed Back (2013) Topshelf Records
Produced by J. Robbins
Tracks : 1.Level head 2.Ancient west 3.Hell 4.This old ark 5.Weak at the knees 6.Let´s talk about your hair 7.Living dead 8.The gates 9.Cigarettes and old perfume 10.When I sleep
3 out of 5
Baltimore based Have Mercy sound 1995 to me, their music bring thoughts to albums like Foo Fighters first album, Goo Goo Dolls "A boy named goo" and Sunny Day Real Estate´s Pink album. All released in 1995. There are traces of both post-rock, emo and grunge on their first full length album "The Earth Pushed Back" where 3 songs are taken from their debut "My oldest friend" EP. Two of those songs, "Weak at the knees" and "Let´s talk about your hair" are really good. Of the new songs, I really dig the stand up rocker "Hell" and the autumn-like "Living dead". Singer Brian Swindle reminds a bit of both Dave Grohl and John Rzeznik which is cool. However, a solid effort you shouldn´t miss.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
dUg Pinnick - Naked (2013) RockArmy Records
Produced by dUg Pinnick
Tracks : 1.What you gonna do 2.If you fuk up 3.Speeding love 4.Courage 5.Aint that the truth 6.The great big thing 7.The point 8.Take me away from you 9.I hope I dont lose my mind 10.Heart attack 11.I´m not gonna freak out
3,5 out of 5
King´s X man dUg Pinnick is back with his 5th solo album "Naked" and this time he has played, written and produced the album himself. It´s a very personal record from dUg with thoughtful lyrics, the music has traces of both Poundhound and King´s X. I don´t think it matches his previous solo album "Strum sum up" from 2007 but the new album is really good, the only thing I can criticize a bit is that the majority of the songs goes in the same tempo. However, dUg sings like a true vocal hero and there are plenty of classic hard rock riffs lined up on "Naked". I must say that 2013 is a great year for fans of King´s X because earlier we got the splendid album from Pinnick Gales Pridgen and now also "Naked", my favorite tracks are "If you fuk up", "Speeding love" and the ubercool "I´m not gonna freak out". dUg rocks!
Friday, May 24, 2013
Palisades - Outcasts (2013) Rise Records
Produced by Cameron Mizell
Tracks : 1.We are all 2.Your disease 3.Outcasts 4.A disasterpiece 5.The reckoning 6.High and low 7.The arctic 8.A.I 9.Betrayed 10.Sidney 11.Scarred
3,5 out of 5
When you listen to an album, you should always have in mind how much time and effort the artists put down in making a record from songwriting to rehearsing, recording and mixing the music. And in many cases, the listener only listen to a record once or even worse, skip the tracks if you don´t like the first seconds of the song. I haven´t always followed the good will of putting an album on repeat to see if the music will grow but I try to do it as often as I can. Not all albums make a bigger impact right away, so if the music will get better after 3 times you don´t know it after just one time in your stereo/mp3 player. Electro oriented hardcore band Palisades new album "Outcasts" is such an album. I wasn´t too impressed the first time I heard these 11 tracks but after 4 more spins, the music gets stuck like superglue in my head. There are several killer songs here like the single "Outcasts", the beautiful "Sidney" and the powerful "The reckoning". Expect guest appearances on vocals from Andy Leo (Crown the empire), Chris Roetter (Like moths to flames) and Tyler Carter (Issues). Bravo!
Thursday, May 23, 2013
NK - Nothing to be gained here (2013) Triple Crown Records
Produced by Mike Sapone
Tracks : 1.Confessional 2.Kings 3.Memo 4.Customer 5.Shoulder Gorilla 6.Interlude 7.Vacation days 8.X is out 9.Television 10.Sweetness 11.Set a fire
3,5 out of 5
Woah, this mashmash of shoegaze, post-punk, hip hop, soul and experimental metal sounds like it could be a chaotic mess of music but the trio NK´s debut album "Nothing to be gained here" really works for the best. The band is Ryan Hunter - Vocals/Guitar (Envy on the coast), Michael Sadis - Bass (The Rivalry) and Billy Rymer (Dillinger Escape Plan) and they´re influenced by artists like Deftones, My Bloody Valentine, Mike Patton, CKY and Prince. If you have your doubts about Billy Rymer as a suitable drummer for this band, just check out the drum battle between him and Mike Portnoy on youtube. Rymer knocked me down with his impeccable drumming. NK is a supercool band and their debut is both adventurous and unpredictable, songs like "Kings" and "Customer" just scream out longevity. A lyric video for "Shoulder Gorilla" is available on youtube if you want an appetizer straight away, but watch out for "Vacation days" because that song should be released as a single with it´s memorable hooks served on a silver plate.
The Captain Hates The Sea - As you will (2013) Stayposi Records
Produced by Travis Brown
Tracks : 1.Catharsis 2.Broncos in the basement 3.Places we´ve never been 4.Branches 5.Segments 6.Nothing new survives repeating 7.The octothorpe 8.RL Stine 9.Segments (acoustic) 10.What the big people do
2,5 out of 5
To blend electronica and post hardcore have become quite trendy these times with bands like Abandon All Ships, Issues, The Bunny The Bear and now also the Chicago based The Captain Hates The Sea. The full length album "As you will" is the follow up to their debut "Existence" EP from 2010 and the opening track "Catharsis" featuring Garret Rapp (The Color Morale) is a really good start of the new record, but the 2nd track "Broncos in the basement" takes down the level rapidly with it´s amateurish vibes. "As you will" is an uneven album with a few great songs such as "Segments", "Catharsis", "What the big people do" and "RL Stine", too bad the album didn´t contain any more of this quality.
Perhaps they should´ve released an EP instead.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Timo Tolkki´s Avalon - The Land of New Hope (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Timo Tolkki
Tracks : 1.Avalanche anthem 2.A world without us 3.Enshrined in my memory 4.In the name of the rose 5.We will find a way 6.Shine 7.The magic of the night 8.To the edge of the earth 9.I´ll sing you home 10.The land of new hope
2 out of 5
"The land of new hope" is a new metal opera from guitarist Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius, Revolution Renaissance) and the follow up to the Symfonia album "In Paradisium" from 2011. Timo has gathered a fine list of musicians on Timo Tolkki´s Avalon such as drummer Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody of fire), keyboardplayers Jens Johansen (Yngwie Malmsteen) and Derek Sherinian (Black Country Communion) and the singers Elize Ryd (Amaranthe), Russell Allen (Symphony X), Michael Kiske (Helloween), Rob Rock (Impelliteri) and Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica). I think of this album as a traditional metal opera in the same vein as Avantasia, Genius and Lana Lane. Hardly anything new under the sun and it´s filled with plenty of cliche´s so it´s hard to really get any excited over the music even though it´s performed by professionals. There are a couple of good songs though like the title track and the opener "Avalanche anthem", but if you´re a die hard fan of Stratovarius you might dig this album.
The Poodles - Tour De Force (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Mats Valentin
Tracks : 1.Misery loves company 2.Shut up 3.Happily ever after 4.Viva democracy 5.Going down 6.Leaving the past to pass 7.40 days and 40 nights 8.Kings and fools 9.Miracle 10.Godspeed 11.Now is the time 12.Only just begun 13.En för alla för en
3,5 out of 5
The 5th studio album from Swedish hard rock band The Poodles has the same title as 38 Special´s 1984 album "Tour De Force", I´m also pleased to say their new album is the best so far from this quartet. It´s not as poppy as some of their earlier albums, sure "Tour De Force" is very melodic but in a mature way. They´re not focusing on housewives and kids as their main group of fans anylonger, the new single "40 days and 40 nights" is the most radio friendly song on the album along with the National Swedish hockey anthem "En för alla för en". If you want hard rock with more muscles, then check out "Misery loves company" or "Happily ever after". Great stuff. The chorus on "Kings and fools" is huge and who can say no to Judas Priest-like riffs on some of these tracks? I can´t.
Monday, May 20, 2013
John Elefante - On my way to the sun (2013) Kingheir Music
Produced by John Elefante
Tracks : 1.This is how the story goes 2.Where have the old days gone 3.On my way to the sun 4.All I have to do 5.The awakening 6.Half the way home 7.We all fall short 8.Don´t hide away 9.This time 10.Confess
4,5 out of 5
The man is back, the man who got the job in Kansas over Sammy Hagar and Doug Pinnick and also was offered the frontman position in Toto to replace Bobby Kimball in the mid 80´s. After a few laid back solo albums in the 90´s, Elefante returned to his progressive rock roots on Mastedon´s "3" album from 2009. The album featured a guest performance of Kerry Livgren (Kansas) and to my joy, Elefante has now teamed up with Kansas members David Ragsdale and Rich Williams on his new solo album "On my way to the sun" which has the best of both worlds. The listener gets his share of progrock a la Kansas on some of the new tracks as well as classic Elefante solo style, he sings like a true vocal hero and since Kansas don´t release any new music. "On my way to the sun" is the perfect substitute, I can only imagine how great it would be to see Elefante perform live now with a set of songs from this album, the Mastedon catalogue and some Kansas classics. Listen to the 11 minute long "This is how the story goes", it´s epic! I´m stunned.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Burning Rain - Epic Obsession (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Burning Rain
Tracks : 1.Sweet little baby thing 2.The cure 3.Till you die 4.Heaven gets me by 5.Pray out loud 6.Our time is gonna come 7.Too hard to break 8.My lust your fate 9.Made for your heart 10.Ride the monkey 11.Out in the cold again 12.When can I believe in love 13.Kashmir 14.Heaven gets me by (acoustic)
3 out of 5
In 2004, Burning Rain signed a recording contract for a 3rd album to be released on Frontiers when Whitesnake was on hiatus which is now. It´s been 13 years since Doug Aldrich and Keith St.John´s latest Burning Rain album but now they´re back with "Epic obsession". The new one is a bit heavier than the first two albums and they´ve got a new rhythm section in Sean McNabb - Bass (Quiet Riot) and Matt Starr - Drums (Ace Frehley). The sound on "Epic obsession" will appeal to fans of Mr Big, Badlands and Europe´s 2012 album "Bag of bones", just listen to songs like "Sweet little baby thing" and "Our time is gonna come" and you´ll know what I mean. "Heaven gets me by" could´ve been featured on the Coverdale Page album from 1993, and talking about Led Zep-ish music - Burning Rain also give us a cool cover of "Kashmir". I think this is a good album but it´s not as great as "Pleasure to burn" from 2000.
Burning Rain - Pleasure to burn (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Burning Rain
Tracks : 1.Fireball 2.Love emotion 3.Stone cold ´n crazy 4.Cherie, don´t break my heart 5.Shot down 6.Love de jour 7.Faithfully yours 8.Sex machine 9.Metal superman 10.Judgement day 11.Devil money 12.Live for that rush (demo) 13.Cherie, don´t break my heart (acoustic)
3,5 out of 5
Burning Rain´s long out of print records are now available again thanks to Frontiers Records, their 2nd album "Pleasure to burn" was originally released in 2000 but now is re-issued with 2 bonus tracks. I think "Pleasure to burn" is a bit stronger than their self titled debut and the six string work from Doug Aldrich is amazing here. The style on this album lies more towards Whitesnake´s 1987 album, Blue Murder and Hardline. "Cherie, don´t break my heart" is classic AOR while "Love emotion" is a great riff rocker that would please Mr.Coverdale. I just love to crank up the volume to the epic "Stone cold ´n crazy" which bring thoughts to John Sykes Blue Murder, the ballad "Faithfully yours" feels a bit average but there aren´t a lot of fillers on this album. "Sex machine" sounds like Ratt meets Van Halen, cool! The artwork and the unreleased demo "Live for that rush" might not be that classy but the rest is, and by the way, "Fireball" is not a Deep Purple cover. It´s a Burning Rain song and it rocks.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Burning Rain - Burning Rain (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Burning Rain
Tracks : 1.Smooth locomotion 2.Superstar train 3.Jungle queen 4.Making my heart beat 5.Fool no more 6.Cherry grove 7.Can´t cure the fire 8.Can´t turn your back on love 9.Heaven´s garden 10.Tokyo rising 11.Seasons of autumn 12.Smooth locomotion (acoustic) 13.Can´t turn your back on love (acoustic)
3 out of 5
In 1998, guitarist Doug Aldrich and singer Keith St.John formed Burning Rain and released their debut album the year after. In 2001, Aldrich joined Dio and two years later he teamed up with Coverdale in Whitesnake where he´s still a member of. Keith St.John has quite an impressive CV as well with bands like Montrose and Heaven and Earth, Aldrich and St.John are backed up by bassist Ian Mayo (Bangalore Choir) and drummer Alex Macarovich (Steelheart). Their self titled debut is a melodic heavy rock album in the same vein as Lynch Mob, Slaughter and Hurricane. The opening track "Smooth locomotion" is a typical ambassador for the whole album with it´s guitar oriented sound, but there are also a few AOR-ish songs such as "Making my heart beat" and "Can´t turn your back on love" that bring thoughts to Bad Company (Brian Howe era). This re-issue also contains 2 bonus tracks with acoustic versions of "Smooth locomotion" and "Can´t turn your back on love". A good album no doubt.
Guru - White (2013) MelodicRock Records
Produced by Guru
Tracks : 1.White 2.Straight to your heart 3.It´s all different now 4.If you go 5.In my life 6.Break the spell 7.Won´t B 2gether 8.Angry song 9.My rocker ass 10.Ray of light 11.The voice inside 12.I don´t give a damn 13.The voice inside (acoustic) 14.If you go (acoustic) 15.Daddy, brother, lover, little boy 16.Addicted to that rush
3 out of 5
The deluxe edition of Guru´s 2nd album "White" is stricly limited to 500 copies, this exclusive release contains acoustic versions of 2 album tracks and 2 Mr.Big covers. This album is filled with some average AOR tunes as well as a few great songs, you could say they sound a bit like hi-tech Scandi AOR with 80´s soundtrack vibes except they´re from Barcelona and not Scandinavia. It´s a good production, not really great but not that bad either. The overall sound of this album can be described as a mix between 1st Avenue, The Poodles and Jojo. The title track is the best song of the album, it´s slightly pompous somewhere between Prophet and Work of Art. The ToTo-esque "It´s all different now" is another good song that stands out, the songtitle "My rocker ass" is just terrible and the song ain´t that funny either. Thumbs up for the musicianship though, just check out "Break the spell" where the band shows what great players they are.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Voodoo Highway - Showdown (2013) Dust On The Tracks Records
Produced by Dysfunction Productions
Tracks : 1.This is rocknroll, wankers 2.Fly to the rising sun 3.Midnight hour 4.Could you love me 5.Wastin´ miles 6.Church of clay 7.Mountain high 8.Cold white love 9.A spark from the sacred fire 10.Prince of moonlight 11.Till it bleeds 12.Broken Uncle´s Inn
3,5 out of 5
The Italian hard rock band Voodoo Highway received rave reviews of their debut album "Broken Uncle´s Inn" and now they´re back with their 2nd album "Showdown", the amazing artwork is done by the late Storm Thorgerson (Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin). We´re talking classic hard rock here like a mix of Rainbow, Uriah Heep (80´s era) and even Axe at times. But with a bandname taken from Badlands 1991 album, you know pretty much what to expect and these guys are good. I´m sure this album will end up on many toplists when hard rock magazines and e-zines will sum up 2013. The last two tracks "Till it bleeds" and "Broken Uncle´s Inn" are taken from their debut album but I think the 10 brand new tracks are even better, my favorites are "This is rocknroll, wankers", "Midnight hour", "Could you love me" and "A spark from the sacred fire". Oh yeah, this is the next album to be uploaded in my mp3 player and then I´m going out for a long walk.
Produced by Matt Hyde
Tracks : 1.Far from here 2.Sabrina, little angel 3.Allergy 4.Hateful 5.Lindsey 6.Recession
3 out of 5
Don´t judge a book by it´s cover and that goes for album covers as well, the L.A based Harmful if Swallowed won´t exactly attract the listener with their new album artwork of "Allergy" but the music is quite good. It is produced by Matt Hyde (Slayer, No Doubt) and the songs are rather catchy, well I kinda like it because it´s professionally made even though their style ain´t the most unique around. This 6 track EP is the follow up to their 2009 album "The chronicles of losing" and the band says their new EP is the best album so far. Heard that one before? Anyhow, tracks like "Sabrina, little angel" and "Hateful" really do belong on radio.
For fans of Unwritten Law, New Found Glory, Simple Plan
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Koji - Crooked in my mind (2013) Run For Cover Records
Produced by Will Yip
Tracks : 1.Chasing a ghost 2.The near and far 3.Spinning silent 4.Distance Divide 5.Fragile times 6.Creeping 7.In the line 8.Pang and flash 9.What you leave behind
2,5 out of 5
There is something about Koji´s music that reminds me of protest singers of the 60´s, I can definitely sense some folkmusic in there but in a post-punk sort of way. His debut full length "Crooked in my mind" is filled with acoustic driven indie rock tunes, supported by members of Lauryn Hill Band, Title Fight, La Dispute and Balance & Composure. Koji´s songs aren´t exactly uptempo but quite soft and rather emotionally. I really tried to get into this album but it doesn´t seem to move me, there are a couple of good songs like "What you leave behind" and "Chasing a ghost" but I think the sound is just too naked.
For fans of Secondhand Serenade, Mixtapes, Say Anything
Monday, May 13, 2013
Candlelight Red - Reclamation (2013) Imagen Records
Produced by Morgan Rose
ROCK / METAL
Tracks : 1.Reflecting 2.Broken glass 3.Feel the same 4.Life as we know it 5.Requiem 6.Like a disease 7.Control 8.Lifeless 9.RX 10.Cutter 11.Over again 12.Sleeping awake 13.Demons
3,5 out of 5
One cup of strong black coffee, a slice of a chocolate cake with whipped cream and the new album from Candlelight Red in my headphones. That´s a great combination, in fact we get strong riffs in a sweet sound on "Reclamation" which suits the coffee break I´m having. It sounds like Candlelight Red thought about it all when they wrote the songs for their 2nd full length album, with anything from massive metal for the headbangers to radio ready rockers and smart riff driven rock for the thinking man. Sevendust drummer Morgan Rose did a great job on the production and my thoughts go to bands like Dark New Day and 10 Years while listening to this 13 track album. We get 9 brand new tracks and the 4 tracks from the 2012 "Demons" EP. The new single "Feel the same" has potential to be a hit just like their 2011 active rock hit "Closer", I´m impressed by this well crafted album where songs like "Like a disease" and "Reflecting" will end up on many playlists over 2013. Get this album on June 4th when it´s out.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Magnum Bonum - Skott från gevär (2013) Open Fly Records
Produced by Magnum Bonum
POP / ROCK
Tracks : 1.Skott från gevär 2.Kärlek är ett substantiv 3.Satan i gatan 4.Min frusna själ 5.Långt ifrån varann 6.Hårt som fan 7.1 date guy 8.En kväll på alibi 9.Du ljuger 10.Så mycket bättre
4 out of 5
If you were a teenager in Sweden in the late 70´s, you were probably hummin´ on classic pop tunes like "Skateboard", "Loverboy", "Marie" or "Hög hatt" by the Swedish pop/rock band Magnum Bonum. They had their peak between 1977-1985 before the band parted ways, their frontman Lasse Liström sadly passed away in cancer in 1983 and he was shortly replaced by Jan Johansen. Another studio album was released in the mid 90´s that hardly noone took any notice of, however with the brilliant comeback album "Skott från gevär" - things are about to change. I am truly surprised over the quality of these new songs because we get nothing but 100% pure pop/rock where the 70´s meets the 21st century in a perfect way. Their cover of Veronica Maggio´s "Satan i gatan" is even better than the original and the title track "Skott från gevär" sounds like a new Magnum Bonum classic. Songs like the beautiful "Så mycket bättre" and "Min frusna själ" are irresistable while "Du ljuger" breathes The Clash, cool. So many great songs but my personal fave is "Kärlek är ett substantiv", that one deserves a Grammy.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Starewell - Trophy Life (2013) Independent
Produced by Starewell
Tracks : 1.America 2.Upside 3.Human traffic 4.The best of times 5.Rain 6.Sugar (you´re a fighter) 7.Fine 8.Beside me 9.Dream on 10.Terrorize the weak
3 out of 5
The Canadian band Starewell deliver rocknroll that sounds like it would suit the Eleven Seven Music label just fine with bands like Sixx A.M, Buckcherry, Cavo and The Last Vegas. Their 5th album "Trophy life" contains 10 tracks of solid modern rock with traces of 80´s rock, the party factor is high even though some of the lyrics are quite serious in a political aspect. I don´t think their new album matches their previous album "Electric resurrected" in equally strong material but "Trophy life" is solid all the way through where the highlights are "Rain", the new single "The best of times" and the heavy rocker "Terrorize the weak". It´s good to have them back with music though.
Friday, May 10, 2013
Extrema - The seed of foolishness (2013) Scarlet Records
Produced by Extrema
Tracks : 1.Between the lines 2.The politics 3.Pyre of fire 4.The distance 5.Ending of prophecies 6.Bones 7.Again and again 8.Deep infection 9.Sick and tired 10.A moment of truth
3,5 out of 5
Time for some good ol´ thrashmetal from Italy, Extrema have been around since 1987. They have shared the stage with titans like Metallica, Slayer and KoRn and released 6 studio albums including the new one "The seed of foolishness". Page Hamilton of Helmet did a guest appearance on their previous album from 2009 but now they´re back with some classic Bay Area influenced thrashmetal, just listen to the new single "Pyre of fire" that bring thoughts to Metal Church and Anthrax. The 6 minute long "Ending of prophecies" has a majestic ending that would do just fine on a Queensryche album, the more grunge-like "Bones" will please fans of Alice in Chains. What a powerful song. The album closes with a real singalong chorus in "A moment of truth", a nice classic rock tune that could´ve been written by Ugly Kid Joe. This is great metal folks.
Captain We´re Sinking - The Future Is Cancelled (2013) Run For Cover Records
Produced by Captain We´re Sinking
PUNK / HARDCORE
Tracks : 1.Adultery 2.Brother 3.Annina, we will miss you 4.The future is cancelled Part 1 5.Montreal 6.More Tequila, less Joe 7.Beer can 8.You have flaws 9.Lake 10.Here´s to forever 11.A bitter divorce 12.Shoddy workmanship
3 out of 5
So far, I have done reviews of some good bands from the Run For Cover label such as The Tower and The Fool, Vinnie Caruana, Basement and now also Pennsylvania punk band Captain We´re Sinking. I must admit I wasn´t such a big fan of their new album "The future is cancelled" at first but after a few more spins, the album started to grow and now I like it. The album title don´t promise any bright tunes but I don´t think the music is that dark or too aggressive at all, there is some hope after all in songs like "Brother" and "Annina, we will miss you". The beautiful "A bitter divorce" tells a tale of sad topic but the song is one of the best on the album along with the strong opener "Adultery", I also think the band has found a fine balance between punk music and hardcore. Good stuff!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Statelines - For the boats (2013) Tiny Engines Records
Produced by Statelines
Tracks : 1.For the boats 2.The same mistake 3.Water song 4.Shady existence 5.Linger 6.Shit for brains 7.For the ears 8.Kids 9.Garages 10.Indian burn 11.Tuesday morning 12.When it´s warm
2,5 out of 5
Long Island based Statelines sounds like they´re influenced by bands like Saves The Day, Pixies and Radiohead. Their indie rock sound has the melancholy of the North Sea mixed with some sort of folk/punk, there´s no denying the 3rd track "Water song" comes from Nirvana´s "Smells like teen spirit". I can´t really say I find any song that stands out but I like the vibes of the whole album where the band do get a bit artistic from time to time. Statelines music probably work a lot better in a small club than in a big arena, these songs could in fact sound even better as campfire songs. A decent album indeed.
Also available : Hoffman Manor (2011) Statelines EP (2012)
Dikembe - Chicago Bowls (2011) Tiny Engines Records
Produced by Dikembe
Tracks : 1.Scottie Spliffen 2.Luc Bongley 3.Michael Jordank 4.Tony Kukuch
2 out of 5
"Chicago Bowls" is the debut EP from Florida based emo band Dikembe, it was released in 2011 but will be available on vinyl in May this year. Dikembe´s latest album "Broad shoulders" came out last year and they also recently released the brand new single "Keys to the jeep" on Bandcamp. You might have noticed the playful songtitles on this EP where the names refer to famous NBA players in Chicago Bulls such as Scottie Pippen, Luc Longley, Michael Jordan and Toni Kukoc. The music ain´t as playful though, they blend emo with punk and the result feels a bit messy I´m afraid. The vocals is also a bit low in the mix but they save this EP from sinking by their attitude in the performance of the songs, while the band tend to sound a bit disoriented in some moments - they also have that The Who-factor of playing rocknroll to max. There´s no holding back which I like. On the other hand, I guess their music was meant to be messy.
Banquets - Banquets (2013) Black Numbers Records
Produced by Banquets
Tracks : 1.Little shallow 2.Big big waves 3.Call it a comeback 4.Paths 5.March 19th 6.Starts and stops 7.Fade from gold 8.Burns in the breeze 9.The flicker and the flame 10.Dagger
3,5 out of 5
Banquets? Never heard of ´em before! Well I´m glad I finally did discover this awesome band and I suggest you check em out too, the new self titled album is the follow up to their debut "Top button, bottom shelf" from 2011. Are you up for some crunchy guitars, killer hooks and upbeat rock? New Jersey based Banquets deliver melodic rock with traces of pop punk, like a blend of Eddie Money, Sharks and Gaslight Anthem. I can listen to this 30 minute long album over and over again, I just hope more bands could release short full length albums because you don´t need to fill out the whole space of the CD which normally lies around 80 minutes. Your new favorite band perhaps?
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Haverford - Wisdom Lost (2013) Independent
Produced by Haverford
Tracks : 1.Pasta 2.Vacation 3.Counting days 4.Wisdom lost 5.Wisdom lost (acoustic)
2 out of 5
Long Island, New York is the home for newcomers Haverford. Formed in 2012 and already a 5 track EP released, but I think they could´ve taken a while longer to write songs because these are quite forgettable. Only the title track "Wisdom lost" have some quality, I´m looking for some more creativity both behind the music as well as the dull artwork. Their indie rock flavored emo will appeal to fans of The Jealous Sound, Transit and The American Scene. This just wasn´t my cup of tea.
White Willow - Terminal Twilight (2011) Termo Records
Produced by Jacob Holm-Lupo
Tracks : 1.Hawks circle the mountain 2.Snowswept 3.Kansas regrets 4.Red leaves 5.Floor 67 6.Natasha of the burning woods 7.Searise 8.A rumour of twilight
4 out of 5
White Willow is one of the leading progrock bands from Norway, a country with a fine tradition of great progmusic with bands like Ark, Conception, Pagan´s Mind, Gazpacho, Wobbler and Circus Maximus. "Terminal twilight" from 2011 is White Willow´s 6th album and it´s a damn fine album too, we´re talking songbased progrock here in the same family as Genesis and Porcupine Tree. You could actually say they sound a bit like if Steve Hackett was the guitarist in King Crimson with Agnetha Fältskog (ABBA) on lead vocals. Just listen to the 8 minute long "Red leaves" and dream away, what a beautiful soundscape. I love the atmosphere of the whole album, anything from the suggestive "Floor 67" to the super progressive "Hawks circle the mountain". Bravo, job well done!
The Here And Now - Born to make believe Part 1 (2013) Black Numbers Records
Produced by Alan Day / Adam Rourke
Tracks : 1.Born to make believe 2.Falling slower 3.Broken by you 4.Keep me in your heart 5.Numb again
3,5 out of 5
The Here And Now is a new project from Alan Day of pop punk band Four Year Strong, however there aint much pop punk on this 5 track EP. Alan Day focuses more on a mix between folk rock and grunge which really works rather well on this debut, I hear traces of Neil Young, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins and Everclear in these songs. Alan Day is a great songsmith that knows how to put the melody in the centre of the song, I´m also very impressed by the arrangements because the music can go from total calm to a wall of rocknroll. The Here And Now is just too good to be a one album project so I hope Alan Day deliver Part 2 in the near future. If Jimmy Page and Neil Young wrote a song together it could very well sound like "Broken by you", brilliant tune. I also love "Falling slower" mostly because the chorus is Art Alexakis-smart, not to mention the rocker "Numb again" that would make Dave Grohl proud. Highly recommendable.
Crimes - EP (2013) Black Numbers Records
Produced by Crimes
PUNK / POWERPOP
Tracks : 1.Something 2.Miserable fuck 3.Out in the west 4.In my time alone
2,5 out of 5
Crimes is a new trio from New Jersey with former members of Static Radio NJ, their debut EP is available digitally and on cassette! Yeah, that´s right. People are actually buying cassettes again, well as long as it´s a physical product because I´m no fan of mp3´s. I think Crimes have a nice sound with a blend of 70´s punk and powerpop, imagine The Skids meets Treblecharger with a touch of Nirvana and we´re close to the sound of these 4 songs. It´s a decent EP but I do miss a smashing song that stand out with those killer hooks, but they´ve got potential no doubt.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Sainthood Reps / Weatherbox - Split (2013) Topshelf Records
Produced by Sainthood Reps / Weatherbox
Tracks : 1.Sainthood Reps - Deadlines 2.Weatherbox - Big news
3,5 out of 5
The new split single from Topshelf Records is the best release I´ve heard so far from this indie label. It contains one new song each from Long Island based Sainthood Reps and San Diego rockers Weatherbox, both songs are really good and I´ve been spinning this split all evening. "Deadlines" by Sainthood Reps is a great postrock tune and the heavier song of these two, I like how they build up the song and almost crosses over to hardcore territories. The grunge-like chorus has some Kurt Cobain vibes but only some, ohyeah this song rocks. "Big news" by Weatherbox is a bit more technical and emo-esque but in an alternative progrock way, the song is quirky and a bit artsy too and I especially embrace the nuances. Thumbs up for the cool guitarwork and of course the lovely vocal melodies.
Biting Elbows - Bad Motherfucker (2013) Independent
Produced by Biting Elbows
ELECTRONICA / PUNK
Tracks : 1.Bad Motherfucker
3 out of 5
The Russian indie punk band Biting Elbows action video of their new single "Bad motherfucker" has over 13 million views on youtube and even if it´s very violent, I found the video very entertainining and professionally done. This band is all over the internet on websites like Billboard, MTV, ClassicRock Magazine and AbsolutePunk. But it´s hardly their debut single, Biting Elbows released their debut "The dope fiend massacre" EP in 2011 and followed up with the self titled full length album last year. The new single "Bad motherfucker" is a catchy and energetic tune that bring thoughts to Prodigy meets Teddybears Sthlm, I like it and I bet we´re going to see this band on international music festivals this summer.
Wobbler - Rites at dawn (2011) Termo Records
Produced by Wobbler
Tracks : 1.Lucid 2.La Bealtaine 3.In orbit 4.This past presence 5.A faerie´s play 6.The river 7.Lucid dreams
3,5 out of 5
Wobble - To move or rotate with an uneven or rocking motion or unsteadily from side to side. Wobbler - a fishing lure but it´s also a restaurant in my hometown of Orebro. However, in this case this review refer more to the Norwegian progrock band by the same name. They formed in 1999 and released their debut album "Hinterland" in 2005, the follow up "Afterglow" came out in 2009 and two years later their 3rd effort "Rites at dawn" pleased all fans of old school prog, the way it sounded between 1969-1974. You could say Wobbler sound like 75% Yes, 20% Gentle Giant and 10% Jethro Tull, the musicianship is awesome and singer Andreas Wettergren Prestmo would do a fine job replacing Jon Anderson in Yes for sure. This is a highly impressive album but my personal faves are "Le Bealtaine" and "In orbit". Even the production sound exactly like the analog albums from the early 70´s and the Mellotron is right on spot.
Monday, May 6, 2013
John Lee - The Nature Series (2013) Independent
Produced by John Lee / Sean Russell
INSTRUMENTAL GUITAR ROCK
Tracks : 1.In the ground 2.In the wind 3.Vampire groove 4.Return of the frogs 5.In the ground (reprise)
3 out of 5
Now this is a rather odd album, it took a while for me to get the music but now I do. John Lee is a jazz trained guitarist from Washington D.C and he can´t be accused of making the same album twice, he explored world music with his band Caveman that released two albums between 2002-2005. His debut solo "Somewhere impossible to find" was more of a blues oriented postrock affair while the new solo album "The nature series" is a blend of psychedelia, space rock, spaghetti western and jazz. John is an interesting guitarplayer and I find his work quite enjoyable, first you got to broaden your views before listening to this 5 track album. The opening track "In the ground" gives the listener a taste of 60´s guitar rock a la The Shadows while the following "In the wind" could´ve been penned by Ennio Morricone, very cool. The 3rd track "Vampire groove" sounds like Frank Zappa doing a piece with Hawkwind and even a touch of Radiohead on the side, my favorite is the more jazzrocking "Return of the frogs" where John is playing some serious six string work. If you like the Norwegian band Helldorado, you might dig this too.
Amos Slade - Hungry Earth (2013) Independent
Produced by Mike Dresch
Tracks : 1.Sahara 2.Stones 3.Down the map 4.Lunacy 5.Interstates 6.Millions 7.Builder Burglar 8.Haunted 9.Caskets 10.Circles 11.Mara 12.Orphans
4 out of 5
Amos Slade is a new band from South Dakota featuring singer/songwriter Nick Engbers, drummer Phil Mueller and The Spill Canvas members Dan Ludeman - Guitar and Landon Heil - Bass. I can highly recommend their debut album "Hungry Earth" if you´re a fan of midwest rock or alternative rock, the production from Mike Dresch is crystal clear and has that important big budget sound. Nick Engbers vocal performance is the highlight of this album, I bet he could carry the songs with just his voice no matter genre he´s singing. The music bring thoughts to The Almost, Blue October and Green River Ordinance. A blend of modern pop/rock, Americana and roots rock that belong on the charts. I love all the songs on "Hungry Earth" but pay more attention to the brilliance of "Down the map", "Millions" and "Sahara". What a great band!
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Trucker Diablo - Songs of Iron (2013) Ripple Music
Produced by Trucker Diablo
Tracks : 1.Red light on 2.Year of the truck 3.The rebel 4.Drive 5.Not so superstar 6.The streets run red 7.Lie to me 8.Maybe you´re the one 9.Bulldozer 10.Rock Hallelujah 11.Highway radio 12.When´s it gonna rain 13.Shame on you 14.I wanna party with you
3 out of 5
Northern Ireland is the home for rock bands like Ash, In Case of Fire, Fighting With Wire, Mama´s Boys, Therapy? and Trucker Diablo. I reviewed Trucker Diablo´s debut album "The devil rhythm" (2011) at melodic.net and gave it 3 stars, now they´re following up with the new album "Songs of Iron" and they continue to deliver old school hard rock with a touch of NWOBHM. "Songs of Iron" is just as good as the first album but perhaps a bit more melodic, if you mix Praying Mantis, Scorpions and Warrant in a big blender - you´ll get Trucker Diablo´s 2nd album. The southern rock of "Highway radio" is one of the highlights along with the radio ready "Maybe you´re the one", while fans of the debut will enjoy the pumping hard rock of "The rebel" and "Drive". They have opened for Foo Fighters and Thin Lizzy so they have already gotten a taste for the big stages. Keep an eye on Trucker Diablo, they might be headed to a town near you this summer.
Ape Machine - Mangled by the machine (2013) Ripple Music
Produced by Ape Machine
Tracks : 1.Gun you down 2.Every body bleeds 3.Tyrants arm 4.Angry man 5.Mangled by the machine 6.Ruling with intent 7.They want you to bleed, they want 8.Grind of defeat 9.Strange are the people 10.Pay attention
2,5 out of 5
Portland based Ape Machine blend equal parts rocknroll, blues, stoner rock and psychedelia. Their 3rd album "Mangled by the machine" will take the listener back to the heyday of batik clothing, hippie hair and when guitarsolos were just as important as the vocal melody in the song. A chorus wasn´t such a big deal when you wrote a song back in the early 70´s, it was the whole song that counted. And even if a song had a chorus, it didn´t show up until 2-3 minutes into the songs which leads us to Ape Machine that sounds like they´ve gone back in a time machine to 1973. If you´re a fan of let´s say Kyuss or Bolder Damn, this record might get you going. There are some cool moments on the record for sure but some songs tend to soundalike, I really can´t get too excited over "Mangled by the machine" but I do dig the tracks "Gun you down" and "Angry man".
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Death Of An Era - The Great Commonwealth (2013) Artery Recordings / Razor and Tie Records
Produced by Kevin Lankford
Tracks : 1.Create, sustain 2.P.O.S 3.Shapeshifter 4.The helpless settlement 5.American dictation 6.A mother´s love
3,5 out of 5
"The great commonwealth" is the follow up to Ohio based Death of an era´s 2011 "Reviler" EP, the new EP also includes their latest single "American dictation" along with 5 brand new tracks. We´re talking technical deathmetal here where the guitarsound feels like a javelin through your head and I embrace their interesting songstructures that bring thoughts to Opeth, Periphery and Gojira. The killer track "Shapeshifter" is available for streaming online now and it´s also my fave on the EP along with the brutally but melodic "The helpless settlement". Thumbs up for the awesome drumming from Michael Cooper, that guy is the real deal. These guys have potential to be really big in this genre so mark your calendars for May 21st because that´s the date when this EP comes out. Bang your head, metal health will drive you mad!
Tess Henley - High heels and sneakers (2013) Independent
Produced by Dice Raw / Khari Mateen
SOUL / R&B
Tracks : 1.Intro 2.Who are you 3.From the get go 4.Daydreaming 5.Gonna fall in love 6.Going back 7.Live on 8.Heartless queen 9.Something to say 10.Above 11.Vultures 12.Part of my dance 13.You are the one 14.I´d do anything
3 out of 5
Although I focus on reviewing rock, metal and punk here at my blog, there comes a new artist every now and then from another genre I want to support. Seattle based Tess Henley is an amazing singer and she truly suits the songtitle from Survivor "It´s the singer, not the song", I can´t say I´m a big fan of the music she plays because we´re dealing with jazz flavored soul and R&B here like a mix between Lisa Stansfield, Lauryn Hill and Norah Jones. But it´s a true joy to hear Tess sing, and some of her songs really feels like a warm summer breeze. The funky "Heartless queen" is groovy and the beautiful single "Daydreaming" is very nice, and that song wasn´t meant to be on the album in the first place. I´m glad she changed her mind. Tess won the Independent Music Award for best R&B song with "Boy in the window" from her 2011 EP, she can repeat the success with the lovely "From the get go" and get another award. I´m sure we will hear more from this talented artist, I know I will return to rock after this album but if I will listen to another R&B album - "High heels and sneakers" is my first choice.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Battlefield Of The Mind Soundtrack (2013) Kickstarter Music
Produced by Fran Strine / Aaron Lewis / Mike Mushok
Tracks : 1.Eye Empire - War isn´t over yet 2.Mushok/Murray/Ellefson/Sal G - Tear it down 3.When Earth Awakes - Awakening 4.Mushok/Murray/Ellefson/Sal G - No words 5.McLawhorn/Carpenter/Lowery/Mushok/Froedge - Wake of war 6.Lo Pro - Give me life 7.Sal G/Dougherty - Drop us in hell 8.McLawhorn/Murray/Froedge - Not like you 9.Viasava - Witness 10.Benedetto/Caro - Wake up 11.Benedetto/Caro - Save me 12.The Dreaded Marco - Ask McFly 13.Life on Planet 9 - When 14.Otan Vargas - Hollow destination
3,5 out of 5
Battlefield of the mind is a documentary by Fran Strine about war veterans return to U.S.A, suffering from PTSD and what risks they go through when they come home. The original title was Shame on America but was changed to Battlefield of the mind, mostly because the story refer more to shame on politicians and policy makers. The soundtrack feature an all star cast of musicians from bands like Staind, Evanescence, Eye Empire, Megadeth and The Dreaded Marco. They deliver original songs made for this soundtrack and the album also feature new songs from Lo Pro, Eye Empire, Viasava, Life on Planet 9 and Bay Area metallers When Earth Awakes. The music goes in the same vein as Sevendust, Breaking Benjamin and Filter. Especially Life on Planet 9´s song "When" sounds like an unreleased song by Filter. There´s no doubt this is a strong soundtrack for fans of tough modern rock and numetal, lots of goodies in here for sure. Highlights are "Not like you" and "War isn´t over yet". Play it loud!
Bleu - To hell with you (2013) Independent
Produced by Bleu
Tracks : 1.Overture 2.To hell with you 3.All downhill from here 4.In my own little world 5.Merry go-around 6.I have to have you 7.It´s not over til it´s over and done 8.Grasping at straws 9.The bottom of my heart 10.Endwell 11.Odd future 12.Won´t make it out alive
4,5 out of 5
Songsmith Bleu has a very high "low-level" when it comes to making music, he hardly ever puts anything mediocre out but instead gives the listener brilliant pop with a smorgasbord of intelligent melodies. His new studio album "To hell with you" was financed through PledgeMusic, a popular tool for artists to make records with the help from their fans. The new album has a more modernized sound but still with echoes of classic 70´s pop, you can´t stop to wonder where Bleu gets all his amazing songs from. It´s been 3 years since his latest album "Four" if we don´t count the b-sides collection "Besides" that came out recently, but let me tell you - "To hell with you" is one of his greatest albums so far with masterpieces like the E.L.O-esque "Grasping at straws", the infectious "Merry go-around" and the awesome title track "To hell with you". The question is, when will he get that Grammy Award?