Tag Archives: Dan Mann

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…


Interview With Great White’s Michael Lardie

Chatting to Great White‘s  Michael Lardie about the band’s new album Full Circle (out June 2nd 2017) as well as about the band’s career and future plans.

photo by Neil Zlozower

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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: 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.

 

 


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