Category Archives: Review

Review: Jetset Royals – Jetset Royals

Review: Jetset Royals – Jetset Royals

Lions Pride Music 2017

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Jetset Royals is the brainchild of former Steelhouse Lane vocalist Keith Slack and is firmly placed as something different from the torrent of samey project bands that are swamping the rock scene.

From the first bars of opener ‘Wearing It Out‘ you know your in for a bit of a foot stomper. This album is not some AOR fantasy or rock by numbers conveyor belt project.

Joining Keith is axe slinger Gerard Garcia, with bassist Micah Denzlinger making up the rest of the engine room. These three blokes have succeeded in recording an album that sounds far bigger than you’d expect.

With twelve tracks on the album, you don’t come away feeling short changed. From the balls out ‘Take This Pain‘ to the country rock ‘Long Way Out‘, to the ballard, ‘Long Way Out‘ there’s something for everyone!

Highlight tracks for me ‘Take This Pain‘ & ‘Ship Of Fools‘.

Well worth checking out…


Review: Broken Teeth – 4 On The Floor

Review: Broken Teeth – 4 On The Floor

EMP Label Group 2017

Reviewer: Grant Foster

Broken Teeth are the brainchild of Dangerous Toy singer Jason McMaster, this being album number eight in their canon, of a twenty year existence so far.

I have the first two in my collection –  the self titled debut and follow up, ‘Guilty Pleasure’ and those were very much a simplistic take on the AC/DC formula, but I haven’t heard any of the others, before I came across this release.

The production overall, is nice and meaty, with guitars high in the mix, although on the title overall track I thought the vocals could have done with being further up. But the tune itself bops along quite nicely in time honoured DC fashion.

Sinful’ is a lovely mid paced shuffle with some nice ZZ top style licks and a chorus that will eventually worm it’s way into your heads. It’s the change of pace as much as anything that helps this song stand out.

All or Nothing’ has a bass line reminiscent of Shot Down In Flames, although it’s a little bit formulaic to these ears.

Getcha Some’ boasts a lovely lyric of when you’re ‘young, face down and wasted’ and it’s very much a summer driving rock song.

Borrowed Time’ is a lot more laid back and bluesy with a nice groove. McMaster’s delivery is spot on here and it’s one of the stand out tracks. ‘House of Damnation’ is a up tempo romp, but average.

But ‘Let The War Machine Roll’, well, it’s almost like a horror film song, sounding really menacing and I’m sure this will go down a storm live……you could almost hear Dee Snider doing this!

Never Dead’ is a tribute to Lemmy…….and boy it could have been on 1916……’I believe in Motorhead, all the gauges in the red’, this really is a fine tune in it’s own right as well as being a nod to the late Motorhead icon. ‘All Day Sucker’, has a chorus that remains and grooves along with another nice change of pace.

Last tune is a cover of ‘Rock Bottom’ by Kiss. However good it is and it’s certainly passable, I’d have preferred another original.

So, to sum up, as I’ve only heard the first two BT releases, it’s certainly a step up from them. Yes, there are times when your mind wanders, but, you can’t deny that BT do this style of rock as good, if not better than most up there.


Review: Mark Slaughter – Halfway There

Review: Mark Slaughter – Halfway There

EMP Label Group May 2017

Reviewer – Dan Mann

Hard rock fans will be more than familiar with Mark Slaughter, originally lead singer for Vinnie Vincent Invasion and then Slaughter. Mark released his last solo effort ‘Reflections In A Rear View Mirror‘ in 2015, and now he’s back with his new solo release ‘Halfway There‘.

Leading us into the album is ‘Hey You‘, an unashamedly late 80’s / early 90’s staple hard rock track. That’s not an issue as far as I’m concerned. I know it’s fashionable in certain circles to dismiss such music, but for me it’s almost nostalgic and just the sort of thing to boost your day!

There are obviously going to be large similarities with the Slaughter sound, but what Mark has done once again is mix in a few different approaches. Examples being ‘Supernatural‘ & ‘Conspiracy‘.  The ballads are there too, with ‘Forevermore‘ and ‘Not Here‘.

If I’m going to compare this with Reflections, I’d say for me personally this album took a couple of plays and then it really started to grab me. A grower for sure and one that will certainly please a fairly wide audience taste wise.


Review: Great White – Full Circle

Review: Great White – Full Circle

Bluez Tone Records June 2017

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Great White are back with a brand new album, ‘Full Circle‘, the second with Terry Ilous on vocal duties, Terry having first sung on ‘Elation‘.

I’m going to nail my sail to the masthead from the off and say I’m not one of those folks who constantly bang on about it not being GW without Jack!  I’m a GW and a Terry Ilous fan and really enjoyed ‘Elation‘, and was intrigued to see if they’d continue in the same vein.

It’s a welcome return to super producer Michael Wagner  to the recording helm. Having been involved with Great White‘s albums at the beginning of their assault on the hard rock world it’s great to see him involved once again.

Kicking off with ‘I’m Alright‘ the band launches into an uptempo foot tapper of a track and straight away Michael Wagner‘s production skills come to the fore. The track sounds fantastic, tight yet spacial, not overblown with everything pushed up to the limit.

The pace doesn’t slow for ‘Movin’ On‘ with a perfect placement of instruments, all complimenting each other, none overpowering, only when Mark Kendall hit’s the guitar break does his volume knob get tweaked up the necessary amount.

This Is The Life‘ is very much a GW track of yore, with it’s blues rock guitar swagger that ramps up to that MK soloing we as fans love.

It’s a Great White album, it must have a ballad? Yes it certainly does in the shape and form of ‘Let Me In‘. And it delivers exactly what you want.

Moonshine‘ is a stripper’s anthem, a swaying, sashaying party delight, hell even my knackered old hips are starting to move!

I absolutely love the intro to ‘Cry Of A Nation‘. the harmonies reinforced with a tight bass line and snare from messers Snyder and Desbrow. The song is nothing clever, no huge guitar solos or screaming vocals. But it’s five and a half minutes of ‘stick on repeat’ total enjoyment.

With a Hendrix like opening few bars, ‘Give It Up‘ once again gets the old feet tapping, with that trademark guitar sound and a great chorus too boot. Love it!

Even if you only heard the opening few seconds of ‘Big Time‘ you’d have no doubt in your mind that it was Great White. This is a jump back to those heady days of the early 90’s, a time machine taking those of us old enough to have lived the scene back then, on a journey of memories.

Never Let You Down‘ once again highlights those underlying blues roots that help galvanize the band’s trademark sound.

Which brings us to the last track on the album. ‘I’ve got Your Back‘ is a straight cut rock track to round things off, bringing a slightly different sound to the guitar and amply showing off Terry’s vocal abilities.

For me this album is an absolute treat, in some ways harking back to the band’s past much more than ‘Elation‘ and that’s got to be in part down to Michael Wagner‘s involvement.

This is without doubt an album Great White fans need to grab and enjoy to the max!

 


Review: Bad Touch / King King – Mick Jagger Centre

Review: Bad Touch / King King – Mick Jagger Centre

April 29th 2017

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Well it was great to be back at the Mick Jagger Centre, always a nice venue for gigs. Kicking off the evening’s proceedings was Norfolk band Bad Touch. This was my first opportunity to see them live, really like their releases, their latest being ‘Truth Be Told‘, so I was really looking forward to hearing their material live.

And boy they didn’t disappoint. If I’m honest I’d say that they were even better live. Yes they’re likened to The Black Crowes etc but they certainly have their own style. I did wonder how they went down with certain sections of the crowd as they bordered on hard rock at times rather than blues rock. However talking to friends that were also there, they found the band as entertaining as I did.

It was good to see how many people made the effort to watch the support band rather than just prop up the bar.

A worthy opening act and one that’s on the rise.

And so to the headliners, King King.  After the issues that have affected front man Alan Nimmo‘s vocals, there wasn’t much evidence on the night, Alan himself stating that he was meant to be taking it easy!

King King should be huge, consummate professionals with some great albums already under their belts/kilt and with a new album on the way, they entertained the audience 110% without any let up for the whole set. With an enthusiastic crowd singing along, the band delivered one of the best gigs of the year for me so far.


Review: Terry Ilous – Gypsy Dreams

Review: Terry Ilous – Gypsy Dreams

Fyco Records April 2017

Reviewer: Dan Mann

I’ve been a fan of Terry’s vocals since XYZ first appeared on the scene back in the 80’s. As a vocalist known for singing predominantly hard rock with aforementioned XYZ & Great White, it was certainly intriguing when the ‘Gypsy Dreams‘ project first appeared on PledgeMusic.

I received the album last week as part of the PledgeMusic process and eagerly cranked up the HiFi and sat back in anticipation.

Now let’s make things clear as to the album’s content. This is not a hard rock album. Wait, don’t be put off or dismiss it as you’ll be missing out on a real gem. What Terry has done is put together nine well known songs and given them a bit of a flamenco twist. Has he pulled it off?………..absolutely.

The key things that help bring the whole thing together apart from Terry’s vocal style, are the talented supporting musicians (Luis Villegas on guitar, Jose Garcia on guitar, Chris Trujillo on drums/percussion, Al Velasquez  on drums/percussion, Mike Paganini on bass, Ben Woods on guitar, Mike Bennett on drums/percussion, Jesse Stern  on bass and Natalie Gelman on background vocals) and the excellent production that’s been done.

The re-working of the tracks just works so well. I for one wouldn’t of imagined I’d have a flamenco version of ‘Ride Like The Wind‘ or ‘Wicked Game‘ on repeat play! I’ve actually played the whole album must be a dozen times already.

I can honestly see this album sneaking into my top twenty releases of 2017.

Highly recommended.

 


Review: Rainbreakers – Rise Up EP

Review: Rainbreakers – Rise Up EP

April 2017

Reviewer: Dan Mann

The Rainbreakers are another young British blues rock band who are taking huge strides in what is a pretty healthy scene here in the UK. Whether the scene is encouraging new bands & artists or whether it’s the other way around doesn’t really matter if the end result is the amount of great music we’re on the receiving end of.

Having already got the band’s previous 4-track release ‘Blood Not Brass‘, which I bought after catching them at the Beaverwood Club, I’m pretty much up to speed so to speak with the band’s music and direction. ‘Rise Up‘ follows in the same vein, highlighting just how accomplished this four piece are. From the opening bars of ‘On My Own‘, the production quality courtesy of Robin Andrews just shines through, with clear, not shrill treble and a fabulous punchy bass.

With the vocal talents of Ben Edwards, the less is more guitar of Charlie Richards, and the rock solid rhythm supplied by messers Peter Adams & Sam Edwards, you are presented with a foot tapping sound that draws you in and demands that you pay attention!

Without a doubt the two tracks that I have played over and over are the laid back ‘Waiting On You‘ with it’s almost soul like qualities, and the last track on the EP, ‘Living Free‘ which sees the band change up a gear and let loose more. On future releases I’d certainly like to see a few more tracks in that vein to compliment the more mellow tunes.

Well the Rainbreakers are without doubt yet another band you need to keep your eyes and of course ears on, look forward to seeing what they have in stock for the future..


%d bloggers like this: