Category Archives: Review

Review: KXM – Scatterbrain

KXM - Scatterbrain

Review: KXM – Scatterbrain

Rat Pak Records (March 2017)

Reviewer: David Mark Pearce

KXM – ‘Scatterbrain‘ The second album, the often called “difficult” second album ….. well, it might be for some bands out there – but not for messrs Lynch, Pinnock and Luzier!

Will you hear the same tribal intensity as the first album? – YUP.

Will you hear the same amount of Lynch riffage? – YUP.

And will you hear a band that’s taken what it had on the first outing, put it back in the blender and added some other secret ingredients? – then, simply, yes and more!

I would say the lads have spread their experimental wings even further, but their sound is still very much at the heart of this album. It’s a band which isn’t constrained by some big shot producer saying they should do this or that. As they openly admit, they just get together and, over a short amount of time, days in fact, jam it out until they’ve got their songs together and then record and refine – y’know the way bands used to do it!

Hell, there’s even a kinda soft reggae influence on one of the songs, so that shows how experimental this band is, but don’t let that put you off as the song in question features a searing solo from Lynch. Like I said, there are a few other ingredients in that old Rock ‘n’ Roll blender for y’all! It’s a pleasure to listen to this album, let alone review it. Three musicians who have been at the top of their game for years and still are. Long may it continue!

How about a tour lads?


Review: My Dynamite – Otherside

My Dynamite - Otherside

Review: My Dynamite – Otherside

Listenable Records 2017

Reviewer: Dan Mann

My Dynamite are back, 5 years after their self title debut album, with a brand spanking new release entitled ‘Otherside‘.

If your familiar with the band then you already know exactly what to expect. For the rest of you, prepare to be hit from the off with swathes of the Black Crows, mingled with British 70’s rock/blues eg The Faces, Rolling Stones etc.

I for one am really liking this 70’s rock revisited trend of a lot of bands over the last couple of years. No it’s not all a nostalgia trip as bands such as My Dynamite manage to put their own signature to it.

There are also country undertones with the likes of ‘Can’t Tell Lies‘ and ‘So Familiar‘ which isn’t really my thing, but done very well never the less.

What is my cup of tea are tracks like ‘Round the Bend‘, ‘Witch Hat‘ and ‘Motortalkin’‘. If they don’t get your foot stompin’ and give you a feel good injection then you must be emotionless!

The ballad ending ‘Don’t Steel The Light‘ rounds off the album perfectly with some great acoustic guitar and melancholy vocals.

Overall the album is very pleasing to the ear but for me the country tones creeping in muddy the band’s identity somewhat style wise. However, this is still an album worth checking out.


Review: Ash Wilson – Broken Machine

Broken Machine

Review: Ash Wilson – Broken Machine

Wilson Brothers Music (April 2017)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

I’ll start this review by saying I hadn’t actually heard of Ash Wilson until a promo copy of ‘Broken Machine‘ dropped through the letterbox. However, I’m more then a little pleased that this particular CD landed on the mat.

Talk about an album that ticks many boxes when it comes to my own particular tastes in music. From the outset your greeted with a four and a half minute onslaught of superior blues rock in the shape and form of ‘Show Me How To Love You‘. A real foot stomper of a track that had me reaching for the volume to crank it up!

Ash is certainly no slouch when it comes to twanging on that guitar with vigor, but tracks like ‘Word Of A Woman‘ show that he can lay down a rich, multi layered song filled with feeling and emotion. Reading the accompanying notes, I saw who the musicians were filling the rest of the positions, and boy has Ash got a band behind him. With drummer Phil Wilson and bassist Roger Innis from Laurence Jones’ band and Bob Fridzema of King King on Keyboards, there is a solid bedrock to the album.

Thankfully the production on ‘Broken Machine‘ helps etch out the finer points of the music without falling into the trap of bloated and booming which is all so often the norm these days.

Not only would I strongly suggest you grab yourself a copy of this album when it’s released in a couple of months, but I’d also suggest you catch Ash Wilson on tour with Dan Patlansky in March and April.

All in all it just goes to show the future of blues & blues rock is looking very rosy indeed…


Review: Jim Jidhed – Push On Through

Jim Jidhed – Push On Through

Review: Jim Jidhed Push On Through

AOR Heaven (January 2017)

Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

There are lots of great singers out there on this planet, but there’s definitely some that are just on a different level, Jim Jidhed is definitely one of those. Lead singer of Swedish band Alien, his voice is just like velvet rolling through your ears.

This is Jim’s 6th Solo album and musically the sound is a bit different from the previous releases, this time it’s a little more Rock, a little bit of a harder edge on tracks like ‘Love Was Waiting‘ but it’s still very much an AOR/Melodic Rock record with signature Ballads that are just terrific.

The highlight of this has to be ‘The First Time‘, such a well crafted song, more of a classic AOR track, but just absolutely top notch, Jim delivers, as everywhere else, a confident, smooth and always classy vocal, with the assembled crew adding to the song with some great playing, almost reminiscent in places of a John Waite style of song it just rolls along, with the guitars held just short of exploding into screaming solos, great stuff, not the loudest track on the album, not the brashest, but it’s just got that something a little extra to it.

The tracks like the raucous ‘If We Call It Love‘, which is a cracking rocker and can see this one being very popular live and the beautiful ballad ‘Too Many Words‘ are also all excellent, along with the title track ‘Push On Through‘, I can imagine that the album took some time to put together, and it was worth it, looks like a lot of attention to detail went into the process from putting the songs together to mixing everything, great work all around..

With the likes of Ken Sandin (Alien) on Bass, Michael Palace (Palace) and Philip Lindstrand on Guitar being welcome additions to the creation of this album, not only excellent musicians, but people that know and understand Jim’s music it all helps to create a great package. With the albums producer also looking after Drum duties, Daniel Flores has done a terrific job of both, it’s generally the guitar sound throughout that makes it a little bit outside the AOR standard, but the leanings are still correctly there, it would have been a mistake to make the music any heavier and the blend with Jim’s voice wouldn’t have worked as well as it does, a lot of care has been taken here. While we await a new Alien album don’t overlook this little gem, Jim is on top form, as always and there’s some excellent tracks on this one.

Let’s hope that Jim gets out to do some solo shows around Europe to promote this album, would love to hear these songs live and would be a travesty if they weren’t aired to a wider audience, that’s how good this one is, what a great start to 2017, another bloody cracking album, worth everyone’s attention.

 


Review: Michael Katon – Ror’ Outta Hell

ror-outta-hell

Review: Michael Katon – Ror’ Outta Hell

SunHair Music (February 2017)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

As someone whose been a fan of Mr Katon for quite a few years, enjoying his albums and live sets, I was more then a little interested when Michael first mentioned that he was working on a Rory Gallagher tribute album.

There’s not much that needs to be said regarding the legendary Irish guitarist, and I was sure that Michael would produce a worthy tribute to the great man.

Well having now had the chance to listen to the finished product I can very quickly sum it up as yes it is indeed a worthy tribute.

It has been without doubt a labour of love for Michael, something he’s been working on for quite some time. No doubt Michael Katon fans will buy this album regardless, but this is an album that will please Rory Gallagher fans and blues rock fans alike.

The album consists of ten tracks, coming in a tad under an hour in length. It kicks off with ‘Let Me In‘ from the 1975 release Against The Grain and proceeds to cover the cream of Rory’s musical output.

I’m particularly delighted that Michael has included ‘Mississippi Sheiks‘ and I’ll be honest and say with Michael’s trademark gruff vocals it somehow enhances the track.

So to sum up once again……..thoroughly enjoyable, an album that needs to be added to your blues rock collection.


Review: Marc Jürs – River Of Blood

River Of Blood

Review: Marc Jürs – River Of Blood

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Occasionally I’m sent a CD from someone not familiar to me, which turns out to be something absolutely superb.

On this particular occasion it’s a four track EP from German singer/songwriter Marc Jürs. Marc has enlisted the help of some top notch vocalists, Rob Lamothe (Riverdogs), James Christian (House Of Lords) David Reece (Sainted Sinners, Bangalore Choir) and with Carsten Lizard Schulz (Dead End Heroes, July Reign, Evidence One) on backing vocals.
What this acoustic EP does is together with Marc’s beautiful guitar playing, it really highlights the vocal abilities of the vocalists involved.

Now that I’ve had time to sit down properly and listen uninterrupted I’ve discovered the perfect relaxing soundtrack.

 


Review – White Widdow – Silhouette

white-widdow-silhoulette

Review – White Widdow – Silhouette

AOR Heaven (Nov 2016)

Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

The band is still being led by the Millis brothers, Xavier (Keyboards) and Jules (Vocals), alongside the always impressive Enzo Almanzi (Guitar), and the ever so solid rhythm section of Ben Webster (Bass) and Noel Tenny (Drums), it’s a band I’ve always really liked, the last album Crossfire was excellent so high expectations for this latest release. Ten tracks of pure Melodic Rock goodness here, with some really terrific tracks, in particular ‘Game Of Love‘ that gets you moving and has a nice pace to it, what might seem like a pretty straight forward track in ‘Surrender My Heart‘ but it’s got a great balance to it and a slightly deeper and darker ballad in ‘Damage Done‘ which has a bit of a different feel to it to the rest of the album, but it still fits really well here.

This band has definitely hit their stride with this lineup, the songs on this album will definitely come alive when the band hit a stage, there is, as with Crossfire lots of guitar solos, some fiery playing, but it never overpowers the rest of the playing here, as always the keyboards are as much in the mix and sound great.

One thing on the version of the album I have been listening to that I just can’t seem to get past is a Mobile Phone vibrating on track ‘Waited‘ which is a bloody good track, but sitting on a bus I think it’s a phone someone has left on and ignored and it just shouldn’t be there, I try to ignore it, but now every time I play the track subliminally you just wait to hear that and it detracts from the song, which has a great hook and some terrific guitar work. Really hoping it isn’t on the final release and it got picked up by someone, but 12 seconds of annoying buzzing takes a bit from the song, that’s for sure.

Overall it’s another really good Melodic Rock album, well written and performed, these guys have a formula of their own that just seems to work really well, balance maybe a little bit on the slower side on this release, but it still works very well. Hopefully they will make their way back over to the UK soon to give these new tracks an airing in a live setting.


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