Saturday, October 21, 2017

WHITESNAKE - Working Versions 1983-1987

WHITESNAKE - Working Versions 1983-1987 full

While WHITESNAKE's classic album 1987 just appeared in its 2017 remastered form, the release of the 5-disc Super Deluxe Edition has been moved back a few weeks due to unforeseen manufacturing delays.
So to soothe your appetite, here's "Working Versions" - requested by one of you - a bootleg with some rarities from the White Serpens.

This is not the titled '1987 Working Versions' disc released by a Japanese bootleg label, but a better one: it includes not only tracks from the 1987 sessions but also from the Slide It In era, plus the rare, hard to find vinyl 7" single Guilty Of Love remixed by the legendary Eddie Kramer.
This material appeared on CD (bootleg) and it's almost impossible to find now.

First, you have the 7'' single 'Guilty Of Love / Gambler' originally released August 1983 with both songs produced & mixed by Eddie Kramer, the man chosen to record the album Slide It In.
But then Coveredale & Co. decided to replace Kramer, and re-record Slide It In with Martin Birch and Keith Olsen producing, which was made the final UK/US versions.

So this single includes the only Eddie Kramer mixes ever officially released.
Oddly, this bootleg CD feature first the B-side 'Gambler', and as track 2 'Guilty Of Love' (A side). Both are quite different from the Birch / Olsen versions, and I especially love Gambler's more 'dry' output. Obviously taken from vinyl, the sound quality could be better but it's enough to enjoy these rare versions.

Next we find working versions from the "Slide It In" album: 'Spit It Out', 'All Or Nothing' and 'Hungry For Love', pre-production takes quite raw but darn good, lively versions.
Additionally, there's 'Slow An' Easy (Backing Track)', only instrumental where you can appreciate Cozy Powell's awesome drumming very upfront in the mix. Sound quality is fine on all these.

And for the end are featured the '1987 working versions'. We hear a long, extended 'Still Of The Night' with Coverdale in a wild performance, a heavier 'Bad Boys', and one of my favorite Whitesnake songs, 'Looking For Love', done in a more 'vintage' sounding version.
You can even hear Coverdale's breath in 'Crying In The Rain', while 'Is This Love' features even more relaxed, sensual vocals than the finally published. I think this version is also known as ‘Is This Love (Evolutions Version)'.

I find the overall sound quality here much better than on the aforementioned '1987 Working Versions' Japanese bootleg (Bondage Music BON251).
Anyway, this is material oriented to fans, and while it isn't an A+ grade sound CD, it represents a must have stuff for collectors.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Gambler (1983 Single B-side Eddie Kramer mix)
02 - Guilty Of Love (1983 Single A-side Eddie Kramer mix)
03 - Slide It In (working version)
04 - Spit It Out (working version)
05 - All Or Nothing (working version)
06 - Hungry For Love (working version)
07 - Slow An' Easy (backing track)
08 - Still Of The Night (working version)
09 - Bad Boys (working version)
10 - Looking For Love (working version)
11 - Crying In The Rain (working version)
12 - Is This Love (working version / Evolutions Version?)
13 - Bad Boys (Rehearsal)

Not on sale / unavailable


WHITESNAKE - 1987 Versions [Japan Only Mini-Album official release] Out Of Print

WHITESNAKE - 1987 Versions [Japan Only Mini-Album] Out Of Print - full

From the revisted WHITESNAKE '80s discography, here's another 'extra' you need to check and collect; the mega-rare Japan-only EP "87 Versions". The versions / mixes on this EP were exclusive of this out of print release.
The upcoming "Whitesnake / 1987: 30th anniversary 5-disc super deluxe edition box set" will include, in disc 4, all these versions for the first time outside Asia.

While some tracks here already surfaced as bonus tracks years after - such as 'Here I Go Again (New Version)' also known as 'Radio Version' or 'AOR Mix' - when this "87 Versions" CD appeared in Japan in 1987 all these were unique to this EP.

WHITESNAKE - 1987 Versions [Japan Only Mini-Album] Out Of Print - inside

However, as example, the Remix of 'Need Your Love So Bad' remains rare until this day, something that will be solved soon with the 5-disc super deluxe edition box set.

The excellent central poster included, shows the 'band evolution' from the Deep Purple / Coverdale era to the Whitesnake days when this EP was released.
Great detailed info with all the countless line-up changes.

WHITESNAKE - 1987 Versions [Japan Only Mini-Album] Out Of Print - back

"87 Versions" was a limited edition piece, even rarely seen at auction sites.
A MUST HAVE for Whitesnake fans, and a collector's item for everyone.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Here I Go Again (New Version)
02 - Standing In The Shadows (Remix)
03 - Looking For Love (Unreleased)
04 - You're Gonna Break My Heart (Unreleased)
05 - Need Your Love So Bad (Remix)

Out Of Print


REVLIN PROJECT - Dimensión (2017)

REVLIN PROJECT - Dimensión (2017) full

AOR / Melodic Rock music has no boundaries: REVLIN PROJECT is a South American project entirely composed and produced by Peru-born Nilver Perez (a 20 year-old young prodigy) who also play keyboards in various other bands (Arise to Heaven, Verqserek, etc) and the collaboration of various vocalists coming from different locations such as Colombia, Spain, Peru and Brazil.
With influences ranging from American AOR like Journey, Danger Danger, Signal or Foreigner to European - Lionville, Work Of Art, Eclipse, etc, they just released the debut CD titled "Dimensión".

Yeah, most of the songs are sung in Spanish, but let me tell you this is not a letdown because the music is so universal AOR sounding that you'll love it.
You have as well 4 tracks in English, one of them performed by Brazilian Rodrigo Marenna, which very good debut EP was already presented on this blog.

With Nilver as composer of all songs you may think the focus here will be on the keyboards, but that’s not the case here. Sure, you have keys / synths all over, but also sharp guitar riff-driven tunes provided by Aquiles Solar - a complete musician who also plays guitars, bass, drums and also mixed & mastered the album.

After an amazing "Intro" (lots of keys here) the album starts with “Sólo Tú” where you immediatly hear that Nilver masters his instrument extremely well, orchestrating this energetic AOR song with well balanced arrangements, sung by Jordi Castilla (lead singer in Carta Magna).
“Vive”, performed by Sairon Solano, has a more Melodic Rock approach to it. Sairon’s voice has that typical Spanish touch, and soften the track for good effect.

REVLIN PROJECT - Dimensión (2017) disc

“Llevame a Ti” sung by Ziko Franco is plenty of beautifull keyboards at the beginning, and develops into a great '80s AOR style song with some Lionville on it, accompanied as well by excellent guitar playing.
“Enamorándote” with colombian David Fernandez on vocals is a quite beautifull ballad with acoustic guitars. The song has an American melodic rock feel with some sweet strings on it.

“So alive” is performed by Ziko Franco, but this time in English and I must say he sings even better here. Just listen to this song with a Journey spirit and let it take you away to a time where great
melodic music was made.
There's more variety with midtempo “Te sueno en Silencio”, the rocking “Recuerdos” (great guitar solo), “Pantheismum” (close to the edgy Eclipse stuff), and “Hasta el Fin”, an amazing AOR tune sung by both Sairon Solano & David Fernandez.

Listed as bonus tracks are “Live Again” (solid performance by Rodrigo Marenna with a Bon Jovi feel) and “Keep holding On” (featuring Harold Waller from Supremacy on lead vocals), both are English versions of the songs “Vive” & "Solo Tu”.
And then the last song “Til the end”, only on the European version of the album. It should be one of the best songs on the entire album. Sung by Renato Costa, he sounds simply stunning here. A very good midtempo AOR tune with that classy oomph...

REVLIN PROJECT - Dimensión (2017) back

For sure Nilver Perez has grown listening to his parents (or even his grandpa!) LP collection of Journey, Foreigner, etc, and the guy deserves some respect in the way he compose and arrange his music.
He has brought to this project very good musicians who all have the skills and talent to make this album - which is a clear labor of love - demonstrating that classic AOR / Melodic Rock music is universal... and timeless.
Very well done guys!

01. Intro
02. Sólo tú
03. Vive
04. Llévame a ti
05. Enamorándote
06. So alive
07. Te sueño en silencio
08. Recuerdos
09. Pantheismum
10. Nova
11. Hasta el fin
12. Live again (bonus track)
13. Keep holding on (bonus track)
14. Til the end (exclusive European bonus)

Nilver Pérez - keyboards, orchestrations
Aquiles Solar - guitars, bass, drums
Lead Vocals:
Ziko Franco (Peru) 4, 6
David Fernandez Cely (Colombia) 5, 7, 9, 10, 11
Jordi Castilla (Spain) 2
Sairon Solano (Colombia) 3, 11
Ricardo Esteban (Colombia) 8
Harold Waller (Colombia) 13
Rodrigo Marenna (Brazil) 12
Harold Waller (Brazil) 13
Renato Costa (Brazil) 14



RIK EMMETT - Then Again... Acoustic Selections from the Triumph Catalogue (Out Of Print)

RIK EMMETT - Then Again... Acoustic Selections from the Triumph Catalogue (2012) full

Now this is a very special post; "RIK EMMETT - Then Again... Acoustic Selections from the Triumph Catalogue", a disc released a couple years ago, but now out of print. It was requested many times at 0dayrox but we were not able to put our hands on it... until now.

For over a decade, the Canadian hard rock trio Triumph fronted by guitarist / vocalist Rik Emmett was the darling of its home country, eventually crossing over to break into the American music charts with songs like “Lay It On The Line,” “Never Surrender” and “Somebody’s Out There.”
Four gold & platinum decades in the music biz have provided entry into the Canadian Rock Hall of Fame, the Music Industry Hall of Fame and the Junos Hall of Fame, with a few 'Best Guitarist' awards in various categories garnered along the way.
But by 1988, Emmett was feeling the need to leave the Triumph and do something fresh. Venturing out on his own, his first album 'Absolutely' - quite melodic hard rock oriented, was a nice success.

Since then, the talented guitar player continued his commitment to prolific and conscientious music-making, morphing into different musical genres such as Prog, Jazz, Classical and more. Since 2006 Emmett also formed a duo with guitarist Dave Dunlop, which last album will be presented in this blog soon.

RIK EMMETT - Then Again... Acoustic Selections from the Triumph Catalogue (2012) back

Precisely with the help of Dunlop on guitar, backing vocals and production, in 2012 Rik Emmett decided to bump into his past band once again... but in a very different way.
"Then Again... Acoustic Selections from the Triumph Catalogue" brings Triumph oldies but goodies back to life in refreshing new arrangements of these timeless classics.

What I expected from this collection was essentially acoustic 'self-covers' of classic Triumph songs, but Rik did a great job making each track stand on its own, not just as a homage to the original.
"Ordinary Man" is the stand-out piece for me - incredible adaptation, powerful and engaging. Of course there's the hits "Lay It On The Line" done with a very intimate feel, and "Never Surrender" in a punchy acoustic take with passionate vocalization by Rik.
His voice is still in great shape after belting out such rockin' songs in such a high range for so many years... impressive. The wonderful timbre that made him one of the best rock vocalists of his time is still very much there.

RIK EMMETT - Then Again... Acoustic Selections from the Triumph Catalogue (2012) inside

"Then Again... Acoustic Selections from the Triumph Catalogue" presents great versions of classic Triumph numbers quality made by the man who created them.
Over the years Rik Emmet has become an accomplished virtuoso maestro on acoustic guitar, and his distinctive touch is all over the place on this nicely done recording, an enjoyable re-imagination of the excellent Triumph catalogue.
Highly Recommended.

01 - Never Surrender
02 - Ordinary Man
03 - Midsummer Day Dream
04 - Magic Power
05 - Fight The Good Fight
06 - Petite Etude
07 - Lay It On The Line
08 - Fantasy Serenade
09 - Hold On
10 - Suitcase Blues
11 - No Rest For The Wicked (bonus track)
12 - Secret Wishes (bonus track)

Rik Emmett - vocals, guitar
Dave Dunlop - guitar, backing vocals, percussion

Out Of Print :


Friday, October 20, 2017

TOM KEIFER (Cinderella) - The Way Life Goes [Deluxe Edition] (2017)

TOM KEIFER (Cinderella) - The Way Life Goes [Deluxe Edition] (2017) full

Today October 20, Cinderella vocalist TOM KEIFER presents a special Deluxe Edition release of his critically acclaimed solo album "The Way Life Goes". This CD/DVD set features 2 new studio tracks recorded by 3-time Grammy Award-winner Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton) including the long-awaited studio recording of the Beatles’ 'With A Little Help From My Friends' and the spectacular duet recording of 'Nobody’s Fool' with Lzzy Hale of Halestorm.

Also featured is a bonus DVD with 'The Way Life’s Goin' a 30-minute documentary on the making of the bonus tracks as well as videos, live footage and more - all packaged in a gorgeous 6-panel digipak featuring all new artwork and a 20-page book with original illustrations for each track.

"The Way Life Goes" is a tapestry of some of the finest rockin' bluesy songs to emerge from Cinderella's founder. Tom Keifer shines as he weaves his magic of heart provoking lyrics and gives the vocal performance of his career, accompanied by an organic, solid backing band.
The songs are so strong it truly rivals anything on Night Songs or Long Cold Winter. Each individual track shines with its own resolute style, bringing with it a warmth of familiarity like an old friend.
Tom's experience and maturity create stories that fall into place like magic. His rhythms are refreshing while still conjuring the blues and rock and roll he was raised on.

"Solid Ground" start the engines with a stomping hard rock beat that sends the gypsy road dust spiraling up into an air. A track plenty of those harmonies and slide guitar that openly invites fans - old and new - to the party, embracing a sound that while not a million miles away from Cinderella's heyday has both feet stamping firmly in the present. I really enjoy the female harmonies on the chorus – a Keifer staple.

Tom slows done the pace for a moment with the mid-tempo, feel good vibe of "A Different Light". Keifer is really feeling good about life on this one, you can sense it throughout, musically showing his love for American music. Next, the funky rhythms of "Its Not Enough" showcases Tom's bluesy style brilliantly.

He keeps the blues groove flowing with the hard driving "Cold Day In Hell", a swaggerin' track in the Cinderella vein. Works all the way around – awesome hook, catchy harmonies and some slick harmonica. This may be my favorite song on the record.
Keifer has a unique way of making you feel and drawing you into his world with his ballads. "Thick And Thin" is a song that Tom wrote for his wife Savannah (who also did some backing vocals). It is a beautiful piano ballad in the vein of 'Don’t Know What You Got...' with Tom reaching higher notes on the chorus. I love this.

"Ask Me Yesterday" keeps the acoustic vein but this time via beautifully arranged guitars. Totally different from the previous track and even more haunting lyrically. This gets a crowd with their hands raised swaying back and forth because the song flows so well.
The bluesy rock returns with the mid-tempo "Fools Paradise" constructed over punchy riffs to boot. "The Flower Song" also follows this style showing Keifer's classic rock influence (some Zeppelin) with cool bluesy licks and slide guitars.

"Mood Elevator" will blow you away with its intense groove. This song just jumps out at you with some serious flair and attitude. The hardest drumming on the whole record can be found here. "Welcome To My Mind" is quite heavy as well and somehow reminds me Alice Cooper.
Another highlight arrives with the lovable harmonies of the emotional ballad "You Showed Me", a commercial yet personal track with a strong Cinderella wink.

"Ain't That A Bitch" rocks strongly again, very '70s sounding with Hammond organ surrounding and an Aerosmith swagger on the guitars.
Title track "The Way Life Goes" is really groovy via a soaked riff accented by killer harmonica licks, and "Babylon" bows out with a final hard rocking bad attitude shuffle. A sure fire signature tune that's as gritty as any Cinderella were/are best known for capping off fourteen tracks of solid gold.

TOM KEIFER (Cinderella) - The Way Life Goes [Deluxe Edition] (2017) disc

There isn't a dull moment on Tom Keifer's solo debut. Never mimicking the successful sound of Cinderella, Keifer establishes his own style without abandoning what he does best.
Clearly rock and roll, clearly using that signature inimitable vocal rasp nature gave him, clearly this is Tom Keifer – not a blast from the past. Still, longstanding Cinderella fans will find a lot from the band here (even Jeff LaBar plays some guitar).

"The Way Life Goes" is a truly organic sounding album, you can almost hear its heartbeat. The sterling production is free of pretence and fully loaded with soul and integrity.
This is a winner from end to end, a journey through time. The good times and the bad times, the new and the old, all in one combined.

"The Way Life Goes" is what radio used to be. If you were a kid in the '80s, you should remember FM stations playing everything that was worth listening to. This disc would be in high rotation without a doubt.
This Deluxe Edition worth the purchase alone for he bonus 'Nobody's Fool - Piano Version' (just Tom and the piano) a terrific version of this immortal song.
Highly Recommended

01 - Solid Ground
02 - A Different Light
03 - It's Not Enough
04 - Cold Day in Hell
05 - Thick and Thin
06 - Ask Me Yesterday
07 - Fool's Paradise
08 - The Flower Song
09 - Mood Elevator
10 - Welcome to My Mind
11 - You Showed Me
12 - Ain't That a Bitch
13 - The Way Life Goes
14 - Babylon
15 - Nobody's Fool (Duet Version)
16 - With a Little Help from My Friends
17 - Nobody's Fool (Piano Version)

Tom Keifer: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Pat Buchanan: Guitars, Harmonica
Gary Burnette: Guitars
Jeff LaBar: Guitar
Ron Wallace: Acoustic Guitar
Tony Harrell: Piano, Clavinet, Wurlitzer, Hammond B3
Michael Rhodes: Bass
Greg Morrow: Drums, Percussion
Bobby Keys, Jim Horne: Sax
Mitch Goldfarb: Strings
Etta Britt, Kent Agee, Chuck Tuner, Crystal Taliaferro, Vicki Carraco, Savannah Keifer: Background Vocals



AILAFAR - Heartbeat (2017)

BLACK ACES - Shot In The Dark [European CD version +3] (2016) full

Greek AOR combo AILAFAR return with new album titled "Heartbeat", and new label, Perris Records, so it's granted the album will be available in America as well. Ailafar sound & style is absolutely second half of the '80s AOR mixed with Melodic Rock, plenty of classy guitars typical from these genres and of course, layers of keyboards / synths all over.

And "Heartbeat" is not an exception regarding these genres.
As happened on the previous, this new album features guest vocalists including Steve Overland from FM, Dean Mess of hard rockers W.A.N.T.ED band, Kelly Blake of Jailcat, and Constantine Maris of Forbidden Sin.
But now Ailafar sounds more tight than never before. It features the wonderful vocals of Elisabeth Mari who is a long time live member from the band.
So in "Heartbeat" you have male / female lead vocals resulting in a more enjoyable set of songs.

The album opens with the juicy midtempo 'Do You Really Want My Love?', a great melodic rocker where you can hear Ailafar step further in terms of production. Everything sounds crear and very well mixed.
Then on 'Stop Running Away', the first of the female-fronted songs, the group bring to mind Saraya, while 'Bucket List' has a Vixen feel.
'Now We Rock' is driven by more biting guitars, as well as 'Cast Away' a very catchy song with nice harmony vocals and a certain Robin Beck feel.

There's Steve Overland providing class on the synth filled AOR of 'Dream Date' (one of the highlights), 'Come Like an Angel' is an organic melodic rocker with an American touch, and we find more AOR melodies on the semi-ballad 'Forever As One' (Heart / Ann Wilson influence), and a pumping AOR tune in the delicious duet 'My Heart Belongs to You'.

"Heartbeat" is another very strong album from Ailafar, a pure delight for '80s AOR / Melodic Rock fans. Tzortzis is a skilled songwriter and as guitarist keeps things simple adding an occasional solo but always concentrated in the rhythm of the tracks. And believe me, this provide a lot of catchiness.
The band as a whole feels like a 'real band' indeed, and despite the male guest singers, Ailafar works darn fine as a female-fronted outfit as well.
'80s AOR / Melodic Rock fans you need to listen to this one.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Do You Really Want My Love?
02 - Stop Running Away
03 - Bucket List
04 - Now We Rock
05 - Dream Date (feat. Steve Overland)
06 - Live Love Dream
07 - Come Like an Angel
08 - Forever as One
09 - My Heart Belongs to You
10 - Another You
11 - Cast Away
12 - Pulse

Vocals: Elisabeth Mari
Guitars: John Tzortzis
Bass: Kostas Mauroudis
Keyboards: Vangelis Valis
Drums: Fotis Nestor
guest lead vocals:
Steve Overland (FM)
Dean Mess (W.A.N.T.E.D)
Kelly Blake (Jailcat)
Constantine Maris (Forbidden Sin)



THE RADIO SUN - Unstoppable (2017)

THE RADIO SUN - Unstoppable (2017) full

Australian melodic hard rock band THE RADIO SUN are releasing today their fourth full length album "Unstoppable". Vocalist Jase Old and guitarist Stevie Janevski have written a bunch of new catchy, well constructed melodious songs with the guidance of producer Paul Laine (Danger Danger, Dark Horse, The Defiants).

For "Unstoppable" The Radio Sun have certainly set their harmony vocals button to ‘max’ – check out the glorious harmonies on ‘You’ve Got The Touch’ for proof. These harmony vocals are a real feature of the band’s sound, along with the guitar solos of Janevski, who puts style and melody ahead of flashy solos.

The Radio Sun also like a good, radio friendly poppy rocker and ‘Only You’ reminds you of Cheap Trick and Danger Danger in their prime.
Andy Shanahan of legendary Aussie melodic rockers Roxus adds suitably grandiose keys to ‘Dreams Should Last Forever’. Even on a slower number like this the guitars still play a major role, providing a bit of crunch to the proceedings.

THE RADIO SUN - Unstoppable (2017) inside

With each new album, The Radio Sun are getting better and better in the their craft of pure Melodic Rock.
"Unstoppable" is an album chock full of catchy riffs and sticky choruses. The band show no signs of letting up in terms of the quality of their songs, and they will play in Japan next month with plans of an European tour soon.
Highly Recommended

01. Heaven On Earth
02. Only You
03. You've Got the Touch
04. Tonight's the Night
05. Surrender Your Heart
06. Dreams Should Last Forever
07. Set the Night On Fire
08. Why Must I
09. Unstoppable
10. Whenever You Want
11. You're Everything To Me

Jase Old (vocals, guitar)
Steve Janevski (guitar, vocals)
Anthony Wong (bass, vocals)
Gilbert Annese (drums, vocals)
Andy Shanahan [Roxus] (guest keyboards)



Thursday, October 19, 2017

CODE RED - Incendiary (2017)

CODE RED - Incendiary (2017) full

New Swedish outfit CODE RED and their pure AOR are fantastic. The band's debut via AOR Heaven Records titled "Incendiary" is a true treat for lovers of keyboard-driven sounds full of melody, truly inspired in the glorious '80s.
Frontman Ulrick Lönnquist (SAHARA) and Morgan Jensen (SWEDISH EROTICA) on guitar as well as Michael Palace (PALACE) on bass, and Daniel Flores (JIM JIDHED, FIND ME) on drums (who also produced the record), indeed have created a mighty set of 'incendiary' fireworks.

‘I Won’t Be Your Hero’, the opening track, confused me in the first few bars of its techno / modern keyboard & beat but it rapidly introduces the melodious vocals of Lönnqvist and has some great guitar riffage going on in the background. The hook is huge, and this cut is easily among my favourites on the album.

Then it comes 'Heat Of The Night'.... a song like this should be enough to purchase this album: this is true, killer keyboard driven '80s AOR with that kind of action-movie feel we all love.
Code Red are the real thing, and speaking about classy AOR, these guys deliver it in spades.

"Incendiary" is inspired as whole by the American tradition of the genre with Foreigner / Journey in mind, but also the new wave of Scandinavian style.
The skilled Daniel Flores has put all his experience (Find Me, The Murder of My Sweet, Jim Jidhed, First Signal) at the production desk, handling the drums on the record as well.

For instance songs like 'Saving Grace', 'Returning The Flame', 'My Hollywood Ending' immediately find their way into your ear canals and refuse to ever leave again. You know, that kind of Melodic Rock AOR that gets like an earworm.
Musicianship is very polished with a superb balance between each individual instrument, then the vocals sit on the top of the mix which makes it very easy to listen to the lyrics and backing vocals. Lönnqvist has owns flexible vocal range, at places reminiscent of Hugo (Journey, Valentine).

With their debut "Incendiary", Code Red delivers one of the strongest AOR albums of the year, 10 hook-line monsters making every fan of the genre constantly smile all over its 46 minutes.
HIGHLY Recommended

01. I Won’t Be Your Hero
02. Heat Of The Night
03. Lift Me Up
04. My Hollywood Ending
05. Saving Grace
06. Eternal Pretender
07. Like I Remember You
08. Forever And A Day
09. Returning The Flame
10. Are You Leaving Now

Ulrick Lönnqvist - Lead and backing vocals, Acoustic guitars
Morgan Jensen - Electric guitars (Swedish Erotica)
Oscar Bromvall - Lead guitars (Palace, Erika)
Michael Palace - Bass and backing vocals (Palace)
Kaspar Dahlqvist - Keyboards (Shadowquest, Dionysus)
Daniel Flores - Drums (The Murder Of My Sweet, Find Me)



MIDNITE CITY - Midnite City (2017)

MIDNITE CITY - Midnite City (2017) full

MIDNITE CITY is a new English band led by Rob Wylde (ex Teenage Casket Company, Vega), who also fronts Tigertailz for some time now. For the band's self-titled debut "Midnite City" on AOR Heaven Records, Wylde teamed up with Tainted Nation / Eden's Curse's Pete Newdeck (who back in 2014 released one of the best British AOR albums In Faith's ‘There's A Storm Coming’) a partner in crime who can deliver the Melodic Rock sound we all know and love, and that Wylde has been searching for.

This album is very special indeed. Wylde and Newdeck have managed to replicate the sound and feel of the late '80s / early '90s bands such as Danger Danger, Lillian Axe, Autograph, but also bring it smack bang into the now.
The optimism of the opening trio of 'We Belong', 'Ghost Of My Old Friends' and 'Summer Of Our Lives' is infectious. The feeling I get when listening to 'Ghost of My Old Friends' rings true so for so many reasons. Be it old places that have gone, or friends no longer with us, to me it's about remembering where you've come from and also looking to the future of what's yet to come.

Up next is the first single, which is 'Summer Of Our Lives', which does sound a lot like the recent release from Degreed. Wylde and co. deliver a glorious, feel-good summer song. One of the shining lights on this band is the guitar work of Wylde and new kid Miles Meakin – who shreds with the best of them.

On 'Nothin's Like Losing You', the band slow things down but still deliver a killer hook. Same goes with the acoustic led 'Everything You Meant To Me'.
With 'One Step Away', Midnite City take the storytelling up a notch and sound all the better for it. Another thing I love about this album, is the perfect blend of styles ranging from AOR, cock rock and power pop all in one great, big sounding CD.

All killer no filler is definitely an apt tagline for this album. "Midnite City" has it all: catchy melodies, hooks galore, great musicianship and a sweet production.
This is more than a love letter to the feel-good rock of before ,and that's the thing I love about this album: the positive vibes I, as the listener, get and will feel when I listen back to it, as I can guarantee that this CD will be getting spun for quite some time.
A fantastic debut album from one of the UK's newest melodic rock bands.
Highly Recommended

01. We Belong
02. Ghost Of My Old Friends
03. Summer Of Our Lives
04. Nothing’s Like Losing You
05. Last Beat Of My Heart
06. Everything You Meant To Me
07. Can’t Wait For The Nights
08. One Step Away
09. I Just Can’t Take It
10. Things She Said
11. Think About You

Rob Wylde (Tigertailz, ex Vega) - Lead Vocals & Guitar
Pete Newdeck (Newman, Eden's Curse) - Drums, Backing Vocals
Miles Meakin - Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Shawn Charvette - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Josh 'Tabbie' Williams - Bass, Backing Vocals
mastered by Harry Hess (Harem Scarem)



SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE - Californisoul (2017)

SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE - Californisoul (2017) full

The all star SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE’s second album "Californisoul" isn’t so much a concept as a feel and attitude, as revealed by the album title. It’s all there in the sparkling interplay on a subtle melange of rock, blues and soul with the kind of deep grooves you might expect from a band helmed by legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff, soulful singer / guitarist Lance Lopez and bass player / producer Fabrizio Grossi.
"Californisoul" is also a very organic album that leaves enough headroom for the grooves to bubble up, the solos to build and the hooks to sink in. Above all, the core trio successfully integrates 5 special guests into their own musical creation.

All 5 guests subtly color and shape an album that draws the listener into Lance Lopez’s impassioned vocals and the up in the mix backing vocals from co-writer / keyboardist Sergei Ximic and Andrea & Francis Benitez Grossi.
And we might as well deal with them first: Billy Gibbons, Steve Lukather, Eric Gales, Robben Ford and Walter Trout delivering some awesome solos.

Gibbons absolutely nails the classic ZZ Top style with the southern fried boogie of the brilliant “Broken Heart”. Lukather is to the fore on “Hard Times”, which combines an Allman Brothers style grit with a quite magnificent guitar solo.
Gales blows in for his turn on the stomping “Elevate” which he turns into one of his trademark funky jams, Robben Ford appears on the harmonica drenched outright blues of “Somebody’s Fool”, and Walter Trout cements his status as the Godfather of modern blues on the slowed down class of “What’s Wrong” and, like on his own recent solo work, there is no doubt that the special guests are perfectly picked out on “Californisoul”.

However, it is to the eternal credit of Supersonic Blues Machine that it never feels like they are playing on the undercard of their own headline show. And if we may torture the boxing analogy a little further, they deliver plenty of knockout blows elsewhere.
“I Am Done Missing You” for example makes good on the soul part of the title early on, “L.O.V.E”, which sees keyboards man Serge Simic to the fore with some superb work, wouldn’t have been out of place on a mid-period Black Crowes record, and “Bad Boys” offers a real dirty groove and you’d best believe it knows where the trouble is at.

It’s striking that there are no real weak spots here. “The One” has a carefree air and has the sort of vibe Grossi talked about when he said the record was “the missing soundtrack to a summertime drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 1971!”.
“Cry” takes a more introspective, almost mournful turn, but that is balanced out with “The Stranger”, which is chock a block with talkbox licks and it is more or less impossible to write a downbeat song with talkbox all over it.

SUPERSONIC BLUES MACHINE - Californisoul (2017) back

“Thank You” sees things get – to coin a phrase – horny, as a horn section propels this beyond ebullience. There’s one more piece of summertime blues, if you will, before the end.
“This Is Love” is poppy infused and Lopez shows himself to be one of the most versatile players and singers there is.

Supersonic Blues Machine’s second album is everything modern blues should be, and yet so very much more. It's classic rock at its best, delivers a pocket full of awesome melodies, and some fantastic guitar solos to boot.
“Californisoul” is warm, welcoming and a tremendously fun journey.
HIGHLY Recommended

01. I Am Done Missing You
02. Somebody's Fool (feat. Robben Ford)
03. L.O.V.E.
04. Broken Heart (feat. Billy F. Gibbons)
05. Bad Boys
06. Elevate (feat. Eric Gales)
07. The One
08. Hard Times (feat. Steve Lukather)
09. Cry
10. The Stranger
11. What's Wrong (feat. Walter Trout)
12. Thank You
13. This Is Love

Lance Lopez (lead vocals, guitar)
Fabrizio V. Zee Grossi (bass)
Kenny Aronoff (drums)
Sergei Ximic (keyboards, backing vocals)
Andrea & Francis Benitez Grossi (backing vocals)



SONS OF APOLLO - Psychotic Symphony (2017) retail

SONS OF APOLLO - Psychotic Symphony (2017) retail full

SONS OF APOLLO is the mega super group featuring former Dream Theater members Mike Portnoy and Derek Sherinian alongside Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (ex- Guns N’ Roses), Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs / Mr. Big) and the mighty Jeff Scott Soto on lead vocals. Their debut album, "Psychotic Symphony", will be released on October 20 via InsideOut Music.
The disc was produced by the dynamic production duo of Portnoy and Sherinian, also affectionately known as 'The Del Fuvio Brothers' which is the nickname given to them over twenty years ago during their time together in Dream Theater.

I’ve heard a lot of 'super groups'. It very rarely really works; too many cooks, too many egos etc. When I first heard that these five monster musicians were making a band my first thought was; there’s not enough room for all these individuals to fit into one song, much less a full album...
Boy oh boy was I wrong… and I’m so glad I was.

"Psychotic Symphony" is as close to a perfect Rock album as you can get. You have it all here, from progressive inventiveness to hard rock swagger to ridiculously catchiness.
From Bumblefoot’s first riff on 'God of the Sun' to Sherinian’s fade out on 'Opus Maximus', I was mesmerized.
Maybe I’m wrong, but the point of reviewing an album is to let people know whether they should dole out their hard earned cash for a product.
The answer here is a resounding YES!

I’m not going to do a song by song write-up. Discover it by yourself; it's a fantastic musical journey.
Each member of Sons Of Apollo is at the top of their game on "Psychotic Symphony", which is funny since I thought they no room for improvement from their already stellar catalogs.
The sum of these parts is truly breathtaking to listen to.

SONS OF APOLLO - Psychotic Symphony (2017) retail back

Bumblefoot and Sheehan made me want to smash my guitar. Those riffs!!! And I mean bass riffs too, an instrument used here as a true 'bass guitar'
Portnoy is a BEAST. I always liked his playing, but he owns this album. Sherinian compliments every single song perfectly, and what can I say about the incredible Jeff Scott Soto... this is one of the best works of his impressive career, and that’s saying a lot.
I can only pray to the Rock Gods that they continue this SUPER group for many more albums.

01 - God of the Sun
02 - Coming Home
03 - Signs of the Time
04 - Labyrinth
05 - Alive
06 - Lost in Oblivion
07 - Figaro's Whore
08 - Divine Addiction
09 - Opus Maximus

Jeff Scott Soto (vocals, Soto / W.E.T. / ex-Talisman / ex-Journey)
Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar, Art Of Anarchy / ex-Guns N’ Roses)
Billy Sheehan (bass, The Winery Dogs / Mr. Big)
Mike Portnoy (drums, The Winery Dogs / ex-Dream Theater)
Derek Sherinian (keyboards, Black Country Communion / ex-Dream Theater)



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