Review: Carl Dixon – Unbroken

AOR Heaven (November 29th 2019)

Reviewer: Peter Scallan

Carl Dixon is better known as silver throated singer of Canadian melodic rockers Coney Hatch. They were the classic example of critical success and had three magnificent albums in the 1980s. The last of these was the humungous ‘Friction‘, which to this day is still one of my favourite albums. I did see Coney Hatch in 2014 at Firefest to coincide with their comeback album ‘Four‘. However, I must confess, I haven’t really kept up with Carl’s solo career, so I was intrigued to get this one to review.

Opening with ‘Can’t Love a Memory‘, this is a pacey, melodic rocker that illustrates just how much influence Dixon exerted over the Coney Hatch sound. And the man hasn’t lost his voice either! Great start! The intro of keyboards and guitar are reminiscent of Journey for the next number. Called ‘Bowl Me Over‘, once the song kicks in properly it is another riff-lade melodic rocker and I am back in 80s heyday of melodic rock. The clean guitar intro belies the pacey melodic rocker that is ‘Nothing Lasts Forever‘. Lyrically the song is obviously a biographical song about Carl’s days in 80s with Coney Hatch and takes me back to my own days in the 80s with Moritz when I lived in London.

‘Every Step of the Way‘ has an almost contemporary rock intro but then kicks into a great staccato guitar riff with overlayed lead licks. Another well-arranged and executed melodic rocker with great light and shade. There is a harmony vocal intro to ‘Summer Nights‘ but the song doesn’t turn into the poppy summertime melodic rocker I anticipated. Instead what get is a more complexly arranged number which ebbs and flows with a number of changes of beat which work well. Next up is ‘All My Love and Hopes for You‘, which is a ballad. For me this is possibly the weakest song on the album and just doesn’t really get going, albeit there is a pretty catchy chorus. Maybe one that will grow on me with a few more listens.

‘This Isn’t The End‘ opens with an archetypal Coney Hatch guitar riff and continues in that vein and could easily sit on Outa Hand, Coney Hatch’s second album. Another great melodic rocker. Continuing in that vein, ‘Drive Just Drive‘ opens up a like a track from ‘Friction‘ and is another powerful melodic riffing rocker. However, the chorus is a little weak for me compared with the rest of the song. Good none the less! Next song, ‘Roll the Dice‘, just picks up from the last song and delivers another solid slice of melodic rock with some nice guitar work too.

With a sequenced keyboard intro and guitar lick over it, ‘Keep the Faith‘ is more 80s AOR than straight forward melodic rock. Again, this song didn’t quite gel for me until after a couple of listens, but once it did it really grew on me. Last but by no means least, is the title track ‘Unbroken‘. This strangely sounds a little like Eden’s Curse with the guitar playing, especially the harmony guitars. A mid-paced rocker it fittingly brings the album to a close.

This is a great album, but unlikely to make Carl Dixon many new fans. There are some great songs here, but it lacks a little in consistency. However, there are no fillers. If you like Coney Hatch and you are looking for a new fix, then my advice would be to get a hold of this and you won’t be disappointed.

Swiss rockers Daxx & Roxane are heading back to the studio to record their sophomore album, set for release early 2020! The band have recently launched a Kickstarter Campaign to fund the a;bum.

We are setting up this campaign to help us fund the project and make this the best it can be. It is a huge investment and we wouldn’t be able to achieve it without the support from our fans. We have come up with some great rewards in return for supporting Daxx & Roxane and helping bringing this new album to life!

You kind find their Kickstarter CampaignHERE

Originally from Montreux Switzerland, Daxx & Roxane are four childhood friends who packed their rock n’ roll dreams in their bags and booked a one way ticket to London to pursue a musical career. Releasing a debut album ‘Ticket To Rock‘ in 2017, they made a name for themselves with great rock press reviews and 4 singles being picked up by the Planet Rock Radio playlist. Daxx & Roxane toured extensively across the UK, as well as playing in front of large audiences at the world famous Montreux Jazz Festival or supporting Finish rockers HIM on their sold out farewell show at the Roundhouse in London.

Line up:

Cedric Pfister – Vocals/Bass

Luca Senaldi – Drums

Cal Wymann – Lead Guitar

Simon Golaz – Rhythm Guitar/Harmonica

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Vancouver’s Celestial Ruin has just debuted a new single ‘Heart Shaped Ashes‘. Produced in Los Angeles by Mike Plotnikoff (In Flames, Three Days Grace, The Cranberries), the hard rock tune has a variety of elements that will appeal to fans around the world.

With powerful riffs accented with a phenomenal soaring voice, the track is a melodic depiction of heartbreak and the self-evolution that follows. Celestial Ruin explains the meaning behind the song:

“The song is about how even when you are doing everything you can to save a relationship, sometimes, certain people are destined to bring you nothing but heartache and destruction.”

For fans of Halestorm, In This Moment, Nightwish and Evanescence, Celestial Ruin brings you dynamic and heartfelt rock with a gritty edge, the single is out as of November 5, 2019 and will be available on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Review: Burnt Out Wreck – This Is Hell

Burnt Out Wreck (October 11th 2019)

Reviewer: Peter Scallan

This is the follow-up to the 2017 debut for Burnt Out Wreck. For those of you who don’t know, this is former Heavy Pettin’ drummer Gary Moat’s baby. However, he is the main songwriter and singer this time around. And a what singer too! Although I must confess to being a little biased here having watched this guy rip into AC/DC covers at The Venue Rock Xmas party and just think, ‘Git!’

The nine song album kicks off in arse-kicking fashion with ‘Dead or Alive‘. It opens with a riff that could sit comfortably on any classic AC/DC album. It rattles along at a fair pace and doesn’t let up at all except for a few breakdowns before kicking back up through the gears. From the outset ‘Positive‘ sounds like it could be from Powerage (my favourite DC album) and the song builds nicely into a massive bridge and chorus with huge vocals.

The amusingly-titled ‘Paddywack‘ opens up with a twelve-bar intro and the swings throughout with a great quirky chorus. We then have the straight-forward ‘Headfuck‘ which is most definitely not a song to be fucked with. While it has elements of AC/DC I can also hear other influences in there such as Judas Priest. The song just bulldozers its way through to the end and has another great chorus and some great guitar parts. ‘Guitars Amplified‘ is just that with the guitars cranked up both left and right. What a great riff the vocal melody is woven around – superb.

The title track ‘This is Hell‘ starts with a lone guitar and then another massive riff until the rest of the band kicks in – in fact with my headphones on they kicked my head in. While just as powerful, ‘Rock Hard Sticky Sweet‘ returns to more playful mood in terms of the riffage and story-telling and of course a killer chorus. ‘Just a Dog‘ moves to a more heavy blues style and grooves along nicely. There is also a very tasteful solo section too before the huge chorus kicks back in. And all too soon we are at the last song – noooooo! Entitled ‘Snow Falls Down‘ the song immortalises a famous rock pub in Glasgow called the Burns Howff. In fact if I am correct, the song is about the very last night the pub was open and as everybody spilled out into the snow filled streets we all started pelting people coming out the pub across the road. It got a little out of hand in terms of size and the police eventually arrived by which time I was standing watching on the sidelines. It was one of those I was there moments – and I remember that night Mr Moat!

Yeah – I know the album has a fair AC/DC influence and Gary sounds a little like Bon Scott in places. Yeah – I know it is hardly innovative or ground-breaking. But feck me, this album is chock-full of superb songs with more balls than an elephant after a vasectomy! It also has some superb lead guitar playing and a voice I would die for. So if this is hell, then hell ain’t a bad place to be my friends! Let’s all burn together!

Review: Black Stone Cherry – Back to the Blues 2

Mascot Records (November 1st 2019)

Reviewer: Peter Scallan

This is the second of Black Stone Cherry’s ‘Back to Blues‘ EPs. The first one was released in 2017 and received such a great reaction the guys thought they would do it again! Sandwiched in between these has been the full studio album ‘Family Tree‘, which is also much more bluesy than previous BSC offerings. Quite what the purpose of this second blues outing is, I am unsure. However, I am sure glad they did!

With only six tracks on it, the proceedings open with ‘Big Legged Woman‘, which is a Freddie King song. It swaggers along and the addition of the keyboard player pays dividend, with some great blues piano.

Next up is ‘Me and the Devil Blues‘ which also has some great electric piano in it. An original from Robert Johnson, the song has some great twin guitar parts reminiscent of the Allman Brothers. It is breaks down in the middle with the piano being more prominent providing some great light and shade in this version.

All Your Love (I Miss Loving)‘ is I believe a blues standard brought to prominence by Otis Rush and grooves along nicely on a great drum beat with some nice blues licks throughout before breaking into a twelve-bar section. The pace is picked up a little with ‘Down In The Bottom‘ which drives along on a ferocious drum rhythm and is great version of a Howlin’ Wolf song.

We then get treated to the out and out twelve-bar blues intro of ‘Early One Morning‘ before it drops down into a laid back funky rhythm that Elmore James would be proud of. The closing song opens with piano and military-style snare drums that make it sound like a Free song before the guitars kick in. The song in question is Son House’s ‘Death Letter Blues‘ and the guys absolutely rock this number.

Now I know it is an album full of standard covers, and some might say it’s for the collectors only. But I have got to say I have absolutely loved both the Back To Blues EP, and even gladder it is filtering into their original material as evidenced by Family Tree. For once it is nice to see a band grow and just get better and bigger which doesn’t really happen much these days. Perhaps there should also be a little kudos for their label and other labels should have a look at what can be achieved if you truly nurture an artist. Well done to both and long may it continue!

Laurence Jones Band are pleased to announce that Jack Alexander Timmis join the band as their bassist permanently. Jack previously filled in on the band’s European tour. Tickets for the Planet Rock Presents UK tour are on sale via The Gig Cartel and Planet Rock.

Says Laurence Jones: “I’m happy to announce the newest addition to the Laurence Jones Band Jack Alexander Timmis. With a wealth of experience and knowledge Jacks sound brings a new excitement to the band that I can’t wait for you all to hear”.

Jack adds: “I’m so excited to be working with Laurence and his incredible band. To be out on the road with these guys is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to meet all of his amazing fans.

UK Rising Blues Rock sensation Laurence Jones releases the new studio eponymous studio album ‘Laurence Jones Band’. The accomplished new album, recorded in Miami, and produced by Gregory Elias was released on Friday 27th September 2019 on Top Stop Music via Sony.

The band is comprised of Laurence Jones (vocals and guitar), Phil Wilson (drums), Bennett Holland (keyboard) and Jack Alexander Timmis (bass).

Laurence Jones has been writing songs and releasing albums since 2012. During this time, the Blues Rock troubadour has been busy fine-tuning his sound playing to packed house across Europe, paving the way for a new generation of Blues rock performers, guitarists and singer songwriters.

Award winning guitarist, Laurence Jones says, “I’m really proud to bring you this new album, two years of hard work have gone into the planning and recording of it. I will let the music do the talking though and see you on the road at a show!

The album will be available on CD, Vinyl, limited Deluxe Vinyl (coloured – Amethyst) and in the bundles – such as a deluxe bundle including the Signed Deluxe Edition Vinyl, Ltd Edition T-shirt, Signed CD, Ltd Edition collectors badge set and signed photo of Laurence Jones Band. The album and bundles are available for pre-order now via www.laurencejonesmusic.com.

Norwich, Waterfront Studio Friday 22 November
London, Oslo Saturday 23 November
Southampton, 1865 Sunday 24 November
Shoreham, Ropetackle Tuesday 26 November
Newcastle, The Cluny Saturday 30 November
Glasgow, Oran Mor Sunday 1 December
Sheffield, The Greystones Tuesday 3 December
Chester, The Live Rooms Wednesday 4 December
Birmingham, The Actress & Bishop Thursday 5 December
Porthcawl, Planet Rock Stock Friday 6 December
Leek, Foxlowe Arts Centre Saturday 7 December
Nottingham, The Bodega Sunday 8 December
Leeds, Lending Room Thursday 12 December
Manchester, Night & Day Friday 13 December

 

Kickin’ Valentina have just released an Official music video for the song ‘Sweat‘.

Sweat‘ is taken from the EP ‘Chaos In Copenhagen‘ released worldwide through Mighty Music / Target Group. Order CD and LP here: targetshop.dk/kickin-valentina

Line-up:

D.K. Revelle – Vocals

Heber Pampillon – Guitar

Chris Taylor – Bass

Jimmy Berdine – Drums

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In the wake of their brand new album, ‘Angel Of Light‘ – already being described by some as the band’s finest work since the legendary debut – Angel Witch are proud to present their first bona fide music video since their eponymous single nearly forty years ago: the incendiary and extraterrestrial-themed ‘Death From Andromeda‘.

The handiwork of the Brighton-based production team Wild Stag Studio, this six minute piece forms a homage of sorts to the sci-fi and horror dreamworlds that have haunted the collective subconscious and fired the imagination of the band since its earliest incarnation.

Even before the day in 1979 when Kevin Heybourne used the recently viewed Alien as inspiration for the hellish guitar noise that kicks off “Baphomet”, the mystical aural landscapes that Angel Witch creates had always been heavily informed by futuristic dystopias, dark mythos and the kind of culture oft found in yellowing paperbacks, midnight movie screenings and on the flickering of small-hours television.

What’s more, whilst recording ‘Angel Of Light‘ in early 2019, the band were holed up together for three weeks in an AirBnB in Leeds, and found themselves spending most of their time in the evenings watching movies and TV, which naturally gravitated towards grand guignol horror and old-school sci-fi – from classics like ’60s Star Trek and the Hammer House Of Horror series to celluloid escapism from the sublime (The Devil Rides Out) to the ridiculous (Lair Of The White Worm).

Death From Andromeda‘ (with its lyrical influence drawn from the Michael Crichton 1969 novel The Andromeda Strain) reflects all these obsessions and more, a gloriously outlandish and suitably OTT journey into the trash and terror of the past, invoking the timeless headspace of eternal favourites like kitsch classic Barbarella, the fantastically overblown 1980 remake of Flash Gordon, the famously overambitious Starcrash, and the dark low-budget majesty of ’70s British classics such as Space 1999Dr. Who (with particular reference to the Tom Baker-era story Planet Of Evil).

To stream ‘Angel Of Light‘, head over to: metalblade.com/angelwitch – where the album can also be purchased in the following formats:
– digipak-CD
– deluxe box set (digipak CD, red/white/black marbled vinyl, 7″, flag, backpatch, art print – limited to 1000 copies)
– 180g black vinyl (EU exclusive)
– orange / purple marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 666 copies)
– signal orange vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 400 copies)
– light yellow vinyl (EMP exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– sungaze swirl vinyl (EU Webshop exclusive – limited to 100 copies)
– blue vinyl (High Roller exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– clear vinyl (Band exclusive – limited to 100 copies)
– transparent red vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 700 copies)
– yellow / red marbled vinyl (US exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
* exclusive bundles with shirts, plus digital options are also available!

Angel Witch‘s current line-up is comprised of Kevin Heybourne (vocals, lead guitar), Jimmy Martin (rhythm guitar), Will Palmer (bass), Fredrik Jansson Punkka (drums) – the nucleus of which (Heybourne & Palmer) first formed eleven years ago, delivering 2012’s critically acclaimed album, ‘As Above, So Below‘. This time around, the band went to the Stationhouse in Leeds (UK) to record ‘Angel of Light‘ with producer James Atkinson (Gentleman’s Pistols/Voorhees). The result is a revelation; Angel Witch is reborn and more powerful than ever, retaining every iota of the melodious finesse and metaphysical intrigue that elevated them above their contemporaries from day one.

Be sure to catch Angel Witch at their release shows this weekend! See below for all dates:
Nov. 1 – Mannheim, Germany – 7er Club
Nov. 2 – Berlin, Germany – Cassiopeia
Nov. 3 – Köln, Germany – Helios 37

Line-up:
Kevin Heybourne – vocals, lead guitar
Jimmy Martin – rhythm guitar
Will Palmer – bass
Fredrik Jansson Punkka – drums

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Heavy rock band Devilfire are set to change the way we release records.

With high expectations on their eagerly awaited second album, following their outstanding 2017 debut release ‘Dark Manoeuvres‘, Midlands and UK favourites Devilfire‘ are certainly making their mark on the music industry!

Not content to simply follow the status quo (forgive the pun) these innovative rockers are making the most of these uncertain times by releasing their new album, entitled ‘Black Soul Vendetta with the option of a subscription platform too.

Whilst fans can of course still pre-order the album as normal in physical format, which will be released on the 29th of May 2020, on both CD and vinyl. The band are also offering a subscription service called ‘Devilfire AAA‘ which will let fans hear the new tracks before the album release… for just £3 a month!

The first track will be waiting for fans upon signing up to AAA with a new track following every 2 weeks!

With ‘Devilfire AAA‘ fans will also join a exclusive community inside Devilfire‘s website! This will allow them to interact with the band directly, give their thoughts on the album as well as view videos and access content created entirely for AAA fans!

Lead singer, Alex Cooper, commented – “The new albums material is amazing and the fact that you can see a lot more with Devilfire AAA means that everyone gets a chance to see and experience what a band truly goes through when making a record. Also, it helps directly fund the band without any need for third parties. It’s different, we know that…. but! once you sign up you’ll see there is so much content you are entitled to that you would normally never get to see. It’s a true insight into the pain and emotion that comes from being in a band. If this way of releasing records catches on it could give the power back to bands!

The band is set to launch news of the new mega 14-Track album ‘Black Soul Vendetta‘ on November 1st.

As of November 1st fans will be able to ​pre-order the album or sign up to ‘Devilfire AAA‘ and hear the first new track straight away!

 Track Listing:

  1. Cruelest Animal
  2. Chasing The Pain
  3. Live A Lie
  4. Vendetta
  5. Dead Man Walking
  6. Dream Evil
  7. Justify
  8. Sell My Soul
  9. You’re Gonna Break My Heart
  10. What You Pay For
  11. Black Soul Bones
  12. Decadence
  13. Wasn’t It Love?
  14. Gimme Shelter

The physical release will be May 29th 2020.

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Dream Company have released a video for the track ‘Revolution‘. ‘Revolution’ is the third single taken from Dream Company‘s debut album ‘The Wildest Season‘, released on October 15th via Tanzan Music.

The song is a powerful melodic hard rock anthem about the personal revolutions that sometimes we need to pursue to change our life and the world around us in positive way

The story behind the video, directed by Moviedel Italia production, is one of the ten that Dream Company has included in this new record.

The Wildest Season‘ is a musical portrait composed by their songs where there’s someone who’s ‘Scared To Be Loved‘, someone angry because of a world full of “Liars”, someone who needs to kill “The Ghost” living inside his mind and someone who needs his own ‘Revolution‘, the only way to change the world.

Dream Company‘s line up features, Tanzan Music artist Giulio Garghentini as singer, he released his solo album ‘Believe‘ with the Italian record label in 2013; Stefano Scola bass player also for Hungryheart; Enrico Modini on guitar and piano and Davide Colombi on drums.

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