Tag Archives: Dan Mann

Review: Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics – The Man With Stars On His Knees

Review: Aaron Buchanan And The Cult Classics – The Man With Stars On His Knees

May 2016

Reviewer: Dan Mann

After leaving Heaven’s Basement, Aaron Buchanan wasted no time in putting together a stellar group of fellow musicians, namely The Cult Classics. What we have here is the first fruits of the collaboration, namely the band’s debut album ‘The Man With Stars On His Knees‘.

If I was only allowed to use one word to review / describe this release, it would without doubt be ‘energetic’. From the off, you are dragged kicking and screaming into a wall of sound. Not a shoutry / screamy wall, but a high octane fueled powerhouse, the bass reaching down and making your furniture vibrate! It just made me turn it up even more and to hell with the neighbors!

There are a multitude of influences on the album, each blending seamlessly into the next, giving you what is without doubt an absolute monster of a release.

Stand out tracks for me, ‘Dancin’ Down Below‘, ‘A God Is No Friend‘ & ‘Morals‘.

Looking forward to catching the band out on the road this Summer when they’ll be airing this material live. You can see them on the following dates –

June

3rd Camden Rocks Festival.

11th Download Festival.

25th Wildfire Festival.

July

29th Ramblin’ Man Fair.


Review: Bonfire – Byte The Bullet

Review: Bonfire – Byte The Bullet

UDR (March 2017)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

German hard rock band Bonfire are back with believe it or not their sixteenth album. With new vocalist Alexx Stahl, whose taken over from Michael Bormann after his short stint, who himself replaced David Reece who had been vocalist since the departure of the band’s original vocalist Claus Lessmann. A lot of people never seem to get over the fact a band’s vocalist has been replaced, refusing to accept the replacements regardless of talent. I’m not one of those people, preferring to concentrate on the actual music, and it’s got to be said, Alexx fits the band perfectly.

And so to the album itself. ‘Byte The Bullet‘ is without doubt a repeat spinner. Having already sampled the two singles, I was looking forward to seeing if the remainder of the album was of the same ilk. Opening an album with a seven minute track certainly nails things firmly to the mast, ‘Power Train‘ building slowly before launching into a pounding, rip roaring hard rock track.

The remainder of the album follows in good stead, the two singles ‘Praying 4 A Miracle‘, and a great cover of Jethro Tull’s ‘Locomotive Breath‘ certainly good choices as said singles. There is one slightly bizarre track, track ten to be exact, which has bassist Ronnie Parkes being asked to repeatedly say the track name ‘Friedensreich‘ to much amusement and laughter. That’s followed by an instrumental, ‘Instrumetal‘, which is a slight speed-fest by the band, as it’s played with a fairly hasty tempo combining well known segments of songs, ‘Hall Of The Mountain King’ being one.

The ballard ‘ Without You‘ highlight’s Bonfire’s passion for such songs, and shows that Alexx is more than capable of slowing things down as well as belting out songs.

The album rounds off with another version of the classic Bonfire track ‘Sweet Obsession‘ which of course made it’s first appearance on their legendary 1987 album ‘Fireworks‘. While it’s never going to hold the same position as the original, which I’ve played to death, it is certainly a worthy version and not one to be dismissed out of hand.

To sum up, I can see this being one to consider when it comes time to compile my favorite album releases of the year. Highly recommended.

 

 


Review: Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo

Review: Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo

in-akustik (March 2017)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Unbelievably it’s 35 years since ‘One Night At Budokan‘ was released, and here we have Michael Schenker return to Japan, this time at The Tokyo International Forum Hall, accompanied by three vocalists who’ve made appearances on a plethora of MSG releases. The vocalists in question are of course Gary Barden, Robin McAuley and Graham Bonnet.

Photo by Emili Muraki©

It will be released on 2CD, 2CD+DVD, Vinyl, DVD, Blu-ray and Digital download. If you limit yourself to just the audio formats, you’ll be missing out on some excellently produced concert footage.

I personally have preferred watching the footage as you get a far better feel of the concert as well as better sound quality. The 2 CD’s have a total of 18 tracks running at just over an hour and a half, fifteen and a half minutes of which is Michael letting lose on an extended ‘Rock Bottom‘!

Photo by Emili Muraki©

This release is without doubt a ‘must buy’ for Michael Schenker fans, as it covers his long and illustrious musical career. If he never released another thing, Michael Schenker Fest “Live” Tokyo, would be a fitting tribute to the Flying V legend.

 


New Interview With Brian Vollmer (Helix)

helix

Brian Vollmer, vocalist for Canadian hard rock band Helix joins Dan Mann for a catch up on the band’s future plans etc..

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Interview With George Lynch

KXM - Scatterbrain

George Lynch joins Dan Mann once again, this time to chat about the brand new KXM album ‘Scatterbrain‘, which will be released on March 17th via Rat Pak Records.


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…


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