Review: Vega – Grit Your Teeth

Frontiers Records (12th June 2020)

Reviewer: Stephen Brophy

VEGA are and have been one of the best AOR/Melodic Rock bands in the UK for a number of years now, releasing some excellent albums and renowned for their high energy live shows, the hard work ethic and memorable shows have garnered them a growing fan base both at home and across the Globe. And with their 6th studio album ‘Grit Your Teeth‘ that will I’m sure be expanded as it’s a great album.

This time around there are 11 tracks on offer and the album kicks off with an absolute cracker with ‘Blind‘, it certainly blast things off in style, no messing around here, and this one has VEGA written all over it. It’s punchy, the chorus is just beaming. It’s not a full on in your face album from beginning to end, but it’s certainly powerful. For me VEGA are a band at the top of their powers, that’s not to say that their output won’t continue to get better and they won’t continue to develop in different directions, but they are creating music of a consistently high standard, this release has a heavier kick to it for sure, always love Marcus Thurston’s guitar work, and they’re certainly a leading light of the UK Melodic Rock scene.

The one track that I just can’t get out of my head is ‘Save Me From Myself‘, it’s just stunning. There’s something a bit different about it, I love the opening keyboard section. It’s not the first time I’ve heard lyrics of a similar nature, but this time the song and the arrangement just grab me from the off and it makes perfect sense to me. As with everywhere else on this album, Nick’s vocals are exemplary. The keyboard riff seems simple, but there’s something about it that I can’t get out of my head, love this song.

The first single off the album ‘(I Don’t Need) Perfection‘ is another cracking rocker, another example of what’s so good here, it sounds different, some of the rockier tracks have a similar tempo but a very different sound. This album is certainly a band effort and there aren’t weak spots for me. An accusation levelled at a number of melodic releases from Frontiers over the years was a very similar sound resulting from the production, but that’s certainly not something that can be levelled here, this is polished, but not overly so, the sound is great, the instruments all come through clearly in the mix and aren’t overshadowed, great work from all involved.

There are catchy riffs all over the place, ‘This One’s For You‘ being a prime example, but we also get stuff like ‘Battles Ain’t A War‘ which is very different, but works so well and is almost an anti ballad, it’s one of the tracks that grew on me the more I listened to the album.

This really is a superb piece of work from the guys, a mature and interesting album, not all one flavour, toned down in places which changes the whole perspective and well written and structured songs that are not just fleeting moments in the mind. For me this is definitely one of my favourite albums of 2020 so far, can’t wait to hear some of these songs in a live set soon, I know the band are gutted to not be out on the road with this one straight away, but when they do get out there it will be well worth the wait. Do yourself a favour and get out and pick this one up, it doesn’t disappoint.

British rock band VEGA will release their new album ‘Grit Your Teeth‘ on Friday 12th June 2020 via Frontier Records. The album will be available pre-order from March 20th from https://orcd.co/grityourteeth and www.vegaofficial.co.uk. The first single ‘Grit Your Teeth‘ will be released Friday March 20th and will available digitally from Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify.

Buckle up and hold tight, VEGA are back with the album of their career. ‘Grit Your Teeth‘ will take you to screaming highs and gritty lows. It’ll keep you coming back for more.

Says the band’s lead singer and frontman, Nick Workman, “Selfishly, we’ve taken a few risks by recording an album, that, first and foremost, we can be proud of. Don’t try and tag it with any sub-genre of rock or metal, just enjoy it.

Nick’s right”, says VEGA’s keyboardist, James Martin. “We set out to do something different on this album. We wanted to stand out from the rest of the pack.

The band agreed on making a more modern sounding and edgy record.” Reflects VEGA’s drummer, Martin Hutchinson. “I think we definitely achieved that.

I think it’s our best album yet,” adds guitarist Mikey Kew.

If the last album, ‘Only Human‘, was a commentary of what was going on our lives. The new album is very much a reflection of those times and the outcomes. It’s a very positive album in its overall message, but it also has a lot of dark moments. It was very therapeutic for the band to write and record the album.

VEGA’s love for love rock from the 80’s and early 90’s shines through without rehashing it. Their inspiration comes from the 80’s and 90’s (they even have a Miami Vice drum roll), however, the album also draws inspiration from other places, and dragged into 2020.

VEGA wrote the album from January 2019 until they started recording in August 2019. The album was recorded in an industrial unit in York with the Graves Brothers who have previously produced Asking Alexandria. That is more the “metal” side of the album and was a perfect fit for VEGA as they wanted to blend melody and hooks with power.

Joe and Sam Graves did a great job producing the album. They knew exactly what the band were trying to achieve,” says Workman. Tracking finished by September 2019. Mixing and mastering was completed before Christmas.

Says VEGA’s bass player, Tom Martin – “This is stadium rock for 2020.

H.E.A.T MAY 2020 UK TOUR WITH SPECIAL GUESTS VEGA

Tickets via https://myticket.co.uk

Wolverhampton, KK’s Steel Mill Thursday 28 May
London, The Garage Friday 29 May SOLD OUT
Swansea, Patti Pavilion Saturday 30 May

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Swedish rock band H.E.A.T will play three exclusive UK shows in May 2020. The band will tour with British rock band VEGA, award winning band Mason Hill and 4-piece Collateral. The four bands will play Wolverhampton KK’s Steel Mill (May 28), the London Garage (May 29) and Swansea Patti Pavilion (May 30).

H.E.A.T‘s brand new album ‘H.E.A.T II‘ will be available as CD Digipak, Vinyl and Digital on February 21, 2020 via earMUSIC. The album will be ready to pre-order from Friday, November 29,2019 on: https://heat.lnk.to/Heat-II

H.E.A.T II‘ is the first album to be produced entirely by the band – with Jona Tee and Dave Dalone as producers. “This is what we would sound like if we made a debut album 2019, hence the titl.”

The first single One By One (released September 27th) gave a first glance into what is to come for the new album and was followed by the second single Rise. The band explains: “Rise is about uniting and rebelling against the powers that be. Whatever that may be is subjective to the listener.” 

H.E.A.T II‘ is the first album by Swedish hard rock sensation H.E.A.T to be produced entirely by the band – with Jona Tee and Dave Dalone as producers. This album goes back to the band’s beginnings, redefining the raw H.E.A.T sound – a sound that oozes classic rock coolness paired with the snotty confidence of one of rock and roll’s most talented bands today. “This is what we would sound like if we made a debut album 2019, hence the title.”

In a time when artists like Foreigner, Journey and Whitesnake are enjoying a resurgence, teenagers are re-discovering the melodic approach to hard rock. The kids are suddenly wearing their classic rock band logos on t-shirts. H.E.A.T is the beacon of light that many say will carry this tradition into the future. They’re young, ambitious and full of energy and ideas.

Line up:

Erik Grönwall – Vocals

Dave Dalone – Guitar

Jimmy Jay – Bass 

Jona Tee – Keyboards

Don Crash – Drums

H.E.A.T May 2020 UK Tour

With VEGA, Mason Hill & Collateral
Tickets –
www.planetrocktickets.co.uk & https://myticket.co.uk/artists/heat

Wolverhampton, KK’s Steel Mill Thursday 28 May
London, The Garage Friday 29 May
Swansea, Patti Pavilion Saturday 30 May

Official Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

YouTube

Spotify

Norwich five-piece Bad Touch are happy to announce that they will be special guests on The Quireboys and FM co-headline nationwide UK tour in April 2019. Planet Rock will launch a 48-hour ticket pre-sale at 9am on Wednesday 12th December via www.planetrocktickets.co.uk and www.seetickets.com.

Tickets will then go on sale to the general public on Friday 14th December from the following online ticket retailers: www.alttickets.com, www.gigantic.com, www.seetickets.com and www.planetrocktickets.co.uk.

The 7-date UK tour takes in Nottingham Rock City (April 1), Cardiff Tramshed (April 2), Wakefield Warehouse23 (April 4), Sheffield Corporation (April 6), Manchester Ritz (April 7), Glasgow Garage (April 8), and Wolverhampton KK’s Steel Mill (April 9).

In addition to the above UK tour, Bad Touch will also play various festivals in 2019 including Giants of Rock in Minehead in January, Planet Rock Winter’s End in March and a welcome return to Leo’s The Red Lion supported by Collateral.

In October 2018, Bad Touch released their third studio album “Shake A Leg” via Marshall Records. The album received rave reviews and was followed by a UK Tour. The album, which featured the rock radio single “Lift Your Head Up”, was recorded in their home county of Norfolk at Orange Tree Studios and followed their critically acclaimed 2016 album ‘Truth Be Told‘ which featured the rock radio hit ‘99%‘.

Shake A Leg‘ takes a more personal and ambitious approach in song-writing and production due to the bands choice to write more spontaneously within the studio itself resulting in more emotional ‘in-the-moment’ performances. The new album features hand-picked songs that originate from a collective of all the members influences which they proudly wear on their sleeve. Known by fans and critics alike for having a reputation as a busy and hard-working band, Bad Touch continue to tour far and wide and are looking forward to playing tracks from the new album when they tour the UK in 2019.

Crammed into a hot and sweaty 100 Club on a Friday night, the evening’s entertainment was kicked off in fine style by British melodic rockers Vega.

photo by Eric Duvet Photography

Having seen them a few times over the years, I kind of knew what to expect. However, I was wrong……….the band kicked things up not one notch, but three or four! Vocalist Nick Workman‘s voice just seems to get better and better and he and the rest of the band were truly on fine form.

The enthusiastic crowd sang along to every track and the band could quite easily have performed for a couple of hours. They certainly deserve to be headlining Festivals in my humble opinion.

And so to the headliners, Dan Reed Network. I was fortunate enough to have seen them the first three times they visited these shores, including the awesome, more than capacity crowd gig at the sorely missed Marquee.

Dan Reed announced that they would be ‘starting slow’. This ‘announcement was said with a twinkle in the eye, the band launching into their performance with boosters firmly on full power.

We were barely into the set when minutes after I was chatting to Nathan James (Inglorious) in the crowd , he took to the stage for a ‘duet’ with Dan Reed & Co of Kiss track ‘Rock And Roll All Nite’. The crowd lapping it up, the vibe already firmly set that it was time to get into the groove and let the music take you along for the ride.

photo by Eric Duvet Photography

It’s wonderful to hear so many favorites live once again, from the superb ‘Get To You‘ through to ‘Cruise Together‘. The on stage banter and camaraderie of the band is something that makes you smile from ear to ear. Dan Reed announcing he’s Trump, and issuing an ‘executive order’ to guitarist extraordinaire Brion James to play some Steely Dan, Brion rising to the challenge with a rendition of ‘Rikki Don’t Lose That Number’ accompanied by Dan proceeding to eat his own t-shirt!

The crowd were actively encouraged to get involved, either singing along to ‘Seven Sisters Road’ or shouting requests.

photo by Eric Duvet Photography

We were treated to keyboardist Rob Daiker taking to the guitar to perform one of his solo songs, ‘All For A Kiss’, which I’ve got to say was fantastic, and just highlights the overflowing talent this band has.

You can tell the professionalism of a band by how they act when gremlins affect the sound or equipment. Strange buzzing caused Dan Reed to initially ‘accuse’ the master of the bass line, Melvin Brannon, of having a faulty amp. All taken in good jest and the vibe didn’t drop 1%, the crowd laughing along.

The highlight for me was ‘Champion‘ from their latest album ‘Fight Another Day‘. It caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up and reinforced the fact that the passage of time has done nothing to reduce the impact this band has, either recorded or live!

Overall, this is going to be a hard evening to beat this year, both bands giving us a performance to relish and remember.

we-still-rock-the-compilation

Alessandro Del Vecchio‘s ‘Strange World‘ is taken from the ‘We Still Rock – The Compilation‘, which features the best bands of the Italian Melodic Rock scene plus a very special guest, the acclaimed British rockers Vega.

The compilation album is available now direct from Tanzan Music, or from iTunes

Track listing:

01 I.F.O.R. – We Still Rock
02 Vega – Every Little Monster (Acoustic Version)
03 Laneslide – Together As One
04 Wheels Of Fire – Love Nest (Acoustic Version)
05 Alessandro Del Vecchio – Strange World
06 Charming Grace – Gotta Get Away
07 Danger Zone – Walk Away (2016 Version)
08 Room Experience – No Time Yet For A Lullaby (Alternative Vocals Version)
09 Soul Seller – Memories (Alternative Mix)
10 Hungryheart – Nothing But You (Acoustic Version)
11 Alchemy – Revolution
12 Highway Dream – Runaway

 

we-still-rock-the-compilation

Tanzan Music, in collaboration with Melodicrock.it, will release ‘We Still Rock – The Compilation’ on October 3rd, 2016.

Less than one year from the release in digital format via Tanzan Music of the I.F.O.R. project with the single ‘We Still Rock’, the Italian melodic rock and AOR label come back with a compilation of unreleased tracks that are finally available in CD format.

We Still Rock – The Compilation’ is a collection of unreleased and re-visited tunes coming from some of the most renowned artists of the Italian melodic rock scene, conceived from an idea of Melodicrock.it, and released in support of ‘A Melodic Rock Night‘, the mini-festival scheduled in Padova on October 1, 2016 at the Grindhouse Club.
Very special guests for the compilation are British melodic rockers Vega, who headline this one-off Italian show as part of their ‘Who We Are‘ European Tour.

Tracklist :

01 I.F.O.R. – We Still Rock
02 Vega – Every Little Monster (Acoustic Version)
03 Laneslide – Together As One
04 Wheels Of Fire – Love Nest (Acoustic Version)
05 Alessandro Del Vecchio – Strange World
06 Charming Grace – Gotta Get Away
07 Danger Zone – Walk Away (2016 Version)
08 Room Experience – No Time Yet For A Lullaby (Alternative Vocals Version)
09 Soul Seller – Memories (Alternative Mix)
10 Hungryheart – Nothing But You (Acoustic Version)
11 Alchemy – Revolution
12 Highway Dream – Runaway

 

 

 

HRH AOR 5

With only 18 rooms left on an even bigger site, HRH AOR, now in its 5th cycle are pleased to announce its first round of bands as demanded by its fans.

Leading the charge are some rare and much anticipated performances by the Queen of Rock n Roll herself, Lita Ford, the incredible talents of Finnish Sleaze Lord, Michael Monroe, plus Melodic Riff Machines, Autograph, Bang Tango and the multi million record selling outfit, Slaughter who have not been in the UK since 1992.

or Melodic Rock Fans, HRH AOR 5  will be an epoch of Melodic Rock which will also feature sister brands on separate arenas, HRH Sleaze & HRH Glam.

Other bands performing include the Legendary Quireboys, GUN, Love/Hate, Mike Tramp, Bonafide, Romeos Daughter, Chase the Ace,  Vega, Psycho Kiss & Dante Fox.

With another 20 plus bands to come, HRH AOR 5 will be the pinnacle event for Melodic Rock enthusiasts.

With only 18 rooms left, you’ll have to move quickly to make sure you reserve your AOR Throne for cycle 5.

HRH AOR 5 takes place at Camp HRH, Pwllheli, North Wales between 9th – 12th  March 2017 and tickets can be booked online at  www.hrhaor.com or by ringing Fleur very quickly on 0203 287 6684

Current line so far is

Lita Ford

Michael Monroe

Slaughter

Quireboys

Autograph

Bang Tango

GUN

Love/Hate

Mike Tramp

Bonafide

Romeos Daughter

Vega

Chase the Ace

Psycho a Kiss

Dante Fox

Plus more to be announced shortly