Tag Archives: Dan Mann

Review: Black Bambi – Black Bambi

Review: Black Bambi – Black Bambi

20th Century Music (August 2017)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Black Bambi, one of the multitude of bands that never ‘made it’ back in those heady days of the late 80’s and early 90’s. With legendary producer Beau Hill at the helm and with the backing of Atlantic Records everything was lined up for success right?  Wrong! Black Bambi was unfortunately one of those bands that came so close. Now with new re-issues label 20th Century Music about to finally release the album to the masses we can at last hear what all the hype was about.

As expected given the original recorded date, you get a strong dose of hard rock, but with that almost bluesy groove that some bands managed to inject, something that is certainly to my own personal tastes and it’s something that I think helps the album stand out a little more than other releases from that time period.

If there’s one big similarity for me sound wise,  it’s with sorely missed Scandi rockers Aces High with hints of Royal Court Of China. And those are similarities that I’m certainly happy to hear.

Beau Hill’s production across the twelve tracks of this self titled album shines through, with a tight bass line and a spaciousness to the sound with no muddying of vocals and guitar.

Stand out tracks for me – ‘Celebration‘, ‘Shadows‘ and ‘Soul Of A Child‘. Mind you there isn’t a bad track on the album.

Highly recommended.


Review: Devilfire – Dark Manoeuvres

Review: Devilfire – Dark Manoeuvres

Escape The Fire Records (October 2017)

Reviewer: Dan Mann

In a musical landscape of what has lately been relatively boring releases (with some notable exceptions), there are still gems that reach out and grab you. Such a gem is Devilfire‘s ‘Dark Manoeuvres‘. Having had my interest triggered by the video for ‘Waiting For A Rockstar‘, I was looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.

This is certainly a jam packed album with thirteen tracks, kicking off with ‘Ready For War‘, quite a laid back feel but with plenty going on in the background, the instruments and vocals are not fighting or jockeying for position.

Don’t think for one minute that this is a laid back album though. Track two ‘She’s Like Fire‘ picks up the pace without jeopardizing the vocals, the sort of track that calls for the car stereo to be cranked, windows open, ‘educating’ your fellow traveler!

(In And Out Of Love) All Of The Time‘ while having a solid rock rhythm, it leans much more towards the blues end of the spectrum with some lovely guitar injections and a more soulful vocal.

Next up is that track that triggered my interest, namely ‘Waiting For A Rockstar‘. Talk about a catchy tune, another volume cranker for sure! Perfect single choice.

With ‘Lay It On The Line‘ your once again shown what an accomplished vocalist Alex Cooper is. Yes I’ve said it a 1000 times (now 1001) that if I don’t like the vocals regardless of the music then the album is lost to me. It is certainly a catchy tune to boot.

Kill Your Love‘ is leaning more towards melodic hard rock which shows the band’s diversity, it’s almost like Vega with a harder edge and a potential single.

Tear Me Apart‘ is a ballad, and before some of you moan, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With a great late 80’s style guitar break and punctuated with piano it does the job well.

God Give Me Vengeance‘ has elements of angst, an emotional track delivered with real feeling. A track that highlights the bands ability to bring everything to the fore. ‘Devil In Your Eyes‘, one criticism, it’s too short. Just as the band are building up a head of steam for what should be an all out audio assault it ends!

(You Gotta) Revolution‘ starts off with a great guitar intro, reminiscent of Reason, a memorable, punchy chorus underlined by the hard working rhythm section.

The same feel can also be found on the next two tracks. ‘She’s Always On The Run‘, love the vocal twists and turns, leading again to a memorable track. The intro to ‘A Thousand Times‘ again is so like a Reason track, this underlying similarity at times is certainly one of the reasons I’m enjoying this album.

And so the final track arrives. ‘Somehow‘, an acoustic track that draws you in and yet again shows the diversity of this band.

This album has had numerous plays at home, in the car and at work. A potential contender for my albums of the year list. Well worth checking out.

 

 

 

 


Review: Charlie Bonnet III – Sinner With A Song

Review: Charlie Bonnet III – Sinner With A Song

Charlie Bonnet III / Cb3 Music 2017

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Okay I’ll hold my hands up and say I wasn’t aware of Charlie Bonnet III (sorry Charlie), but I initially received a PR release about a collaboration with none other than Tracii Guns.

I was intrigued as to how this would sound, as it wasn’t something that to me was an obvious partnership music wise.

Well having received a copy of the EP from Charlie, all I can say is what a pleasant surprise. This is Southern Rock yes, but with a sleazy slant to it.

Yes there are elements of the EP that have a strong Steve Earle / Lynyrd Skynyrd feel to them, but hey that’s kind of to be expected when it comes to anything Southern Rock.

With  strong melodies and insightful writing it’s a real pleasure to listen to.

For me personally, the two stand out tracks, of the six that are on the EP,  are ‘Restless And Reckless‘ & ‘Heading Home‘.

It would certainly be good to hear a full album’s worth of this material. For Southern Rock fans, it’s certainly worth checking out.

 


Review: Greta Van Fleet – Black Smoke Rising

Review: Greta Van Fleet – Black Smoke Rising

Virgin EMI 2017

Reviewer: Dan Mann

Greta Van Fleet are a band who are certainly making themselves known. I first became aware of them after their video for ‘Highway Tune‘, the first track on the EP, popped up on my YouTube feed. I was amazed to find the band actually formed back in 2012. The amazement kind of turns to annoyance, not in a negative way, but to find out how young they all are, with this amount of talent it’s just sickening haha!

Oh course the first thing that hit’s the listener is the huge comparison between vocalist Josh Kiszka and a certain Robert Plant CBE. It is ridiculous how much they sound the same, what a fabulous voice. Accompanying Josh are his two brothers, Sam (bass guitar) & Jake (lead guitar) and their friend Danny Wagner (drums). These four guys deliver a polished, professional slab of 70’s rock mingled with elements of modern, and absolutely loaded with Led Zeppelin influences.

Yes this influence and the vocal similarity may be held against them by certain quarters, but we need to look past that and applaud them for traveling down the rock route rather than some reality TV pop combo!

Black Smoke Rising‘ is available to download for a mere £2.09! If ever there was a bargain to be had, this is it. Grab yourselves a copy and crank it up….

 


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

Official Website

Facebook


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!

 


%d bloggers like this: