Tuesday, January 16, 2018

AMMUNITION - Ammunition [Japanese Edition +1] (2018)

AMMUNITION - Ammunition [Japanese Edition +1] (2018) full

Scandinavian supergroup AMMUNITION are set to release their self-titled album via Frontiers Music on January 26, 2018. But the Advanced Japanese release appeared a couple hours ago (yes, two hours) and you already have it at 0dayrox.
The who's who from the Swedish / Norwegian melodic hard rock scene are here: Age Sten Nilsen (ex Wig Wam), Erik Martensson (Eclipse, W.E.T., Nordic Union), Victor Cito Borge (TNT), Lasse Finbråten (from Circus Maximus, also ex-Wig Wam), Magnus Ulfstedt (Eclipse) and Jon Pettersen on guitar.

This album consists of 11 tracks (plus a Japanese exclusive bonus) of melodic bliss for fans to fall in love with. Bouncy n' hooky Melodic Rock is something this band has completely captured on this record.
Musically, they did a great job in claiming their own unique sound that can just be referenced as Ammunition.

"Ammunition" kicks off as Nilsen belts out a long-held scream to some quick guitar work that leads you into 'Time', a song that will have you shaking your hips to the beat as your body finally catches up with the music and you’re humming along to the track.
The momentum continues on into the second track 'Freedom Finder' which is also the second single released off of Ammunition (see the video below). The song is really groovy / melodic with great harmonies throughout and catchy choruses that let fans start singing along quickly too.

As the album continues on, listeners are brought to a fun track with 'Virtual Reality Boy'. Great punchy and entertaining lyrics, pay close attention to this one, I think it will become a favorite for many.
We get a slower midtempo semi-ballad with 'Eye For An Eye', a very well arranged song where you can hear Eclipse's Erik Martensson hand, then back into more uptempo territory there's 'Tear Your City Down', a tune that I almost thought Joey Tempest from Europe was doing guest vocals on, but nope, Åge completely caught me off guard with his vocals on this track. Pretty awesome actually!

The album will keep you rocking out with 'Caveman', and then turn things up a bit when you get to track 8 'Wrecking Crew' another cut that had me second guessing if Joey Tempest was actually singing! This song also placed second in the Norwegian ESC Finale (Melodi Grand Prix) back in March 2017.

The CD wraps up with the final 3 tracks; 'Miss Summertime' that slows down in a ballad mode with the typical Scandinavian class, then pick up the pace with 'Bad Bones', a sassy and hooky tune.
The album ends on a rocking note with 'Klondike', a killer, gritty melodic hard track that will keep fans moving until the last note.

AMMUNITION - Ammunition [Japanese Edition +1] (2018) back

As Japanese bonus track there's 'Eye For An Eye (Acoustic Version)', a very nice re-work on the fifth track showcasing how good these guys are composing.

Bravo Ammunition. What a spectacular new record. You’ve given melodic hard rock music fans an album to rejoice over early in 2018. Thanks for kicking the year off for all of us with such a masterful and enjoyable CD.

01. Time
02. Freedom Finder
03. Virtual Reality Boy
04. Gung Ho (I Told You So)
05. Eye For An Eye
06. Tear Your City Down
07. Caveman
08. Wrecking Crew
09. Miss Summertime
10. Bad Bones
11. Klondike
12. Eye For An Eye (Acoustic) (Japanese Bonus Track)

Age Sten Nilsen (ex Wig Wam) - lead and backing vocals
Magnus Ulfstedt (Eclipse) - drums
Victor Cito Borge (TNT) - bass
Jon Pettersen - guitars
Lasse Finbrathen (Circus Maximus, ex Wig Wam) - keyboards
Erik Martensson (Eclipse, W.E.T., Nordic Union) - guitars, bass, programming, keys, backing vocals



Y&T - Acoustic Classix, Vol.1 (2018) + Bonus

Y&T - Acoustic Classix, Vol.1 (2018) + Bonus full

Bay Area hard rock pioneers Y&T, who have been kicking around since the Seventies, are releasing their first acoustic album titled "Acoustic Classix Vol. 1". Still active and commanded by founder Dave Meniketti, Y&T are returning to their catalog to put a new spin on a few of their classics.

Recorded in December 2017, the band has included classic Y&T songs on this first acoustic release, with a few songs you wouldn't expect to hear acoustically, each with a different spin.
This is a very special release that gives Y&T fans a whole new way to enjoy these classic Y&T tunes.

Before Mötley Crüe, before RATT, even before there was a Metallica, Y&T was slogging away in sweaty rock clubs around America. When the band formed in the 70s, little did they know they would set the standard for hard rock bands that trailed.
Many of the biggest acts of the ’80s became popular opening for headliners Y&T — and cut their teeth on the band, as evidenced by the Y&T mentions in tell-all books by acts such as Metallica and Mötley Crüe.

Born in Oakland, California, Y&T is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s own innovators of the hard rock sound. Whether performing to a festival crowd of fifty-thousand or in an intimate nightclub, Y&T’s high-energy set and passionate performances still captivate legions of fans around the globe, proving Y&T’s music timeless.

Originally formed as Yesterday and Today, the initial powerhouse quartet—featuring Dave Meniketti (lead guitar/lead vocals), Phil Kennemore (bass), Leonard Haze (drums), and Joey Alves (rhythm guitar)—tore through the ’70s and ’80s with their own brand of hard rock.
After two ’70s albums on London Records, they shortened their name to Y&T and released eight albums on A&M in the ’80s.
Two more albums with Geffen Records marked an era of change with Jimmy DeGrasso (Alice Cooper, Suicidal Tendencies, Megadeth) on drums and Stef Burns (Alice Cooper, Berlin, Huey Lewis) on guitar.

With a discography of 18 albums, three greatest hits collections, plus a boxed set, Y&T has sold over four million albums since their 1974 inception.
Y&T received extensive airplay with hits such as 'Forever', 'Rescue Me', 'Mean Streak', 'Don’t Stop Runnin’, and 'Summertime Girls' — which played in heavy rotation on MTV.
Y&T songs have been featured in a multitude of movies and television shows, including Real Genius, Out of Bounds, Baywatch, and Hunter. After five top 100 albums, songs that tipped into the 40s, two Bammie Awards, and many international television appearances, Y&T’s hits are still played on VH1 Classic and classic rock radio stations worldwide.

With Kennemore’s untimely passing from lung cancer, the band carries on the legacy that is Y&T.
Y&T continues to tour the world, playing songs that span the band’s five-decade career and including all the hits and fan favorites

Y&T - Acoustic Classix, Vol.1 (2018) + Bonus - inside

So this "Acoustic Classix Vol. 1" is a really welcomed release.
Alongside classics such as 'Contagious', 'Summertime Girls' and 'Black Tiger', there's the fun 'Barroom Boogie', all re-done into an organic, acoustic shape.
With the physical CD purchase you have as bonus a rare acoustic version of 'Hands Of Time ', plus a 5-track acoustic performance recorded Live At The Bone Studios for radio broadcast, taken from Y&T's vaults.
Highly Recommended

Acoustic Classix, Acoustic - Re-recorded:
01. Contagious
(originally on Contagious, 1987)
02. Rock 'n Roll's Gonna Save The World
(originally on In Rock We Trust, 1984)
03. Summertime Girls
(originally on Down For the Count, 1985)
04. Black Tiger
(originally on Black Tiger, 1982)
05. Barroom Boogie
(originally on Black Tiger, 1982)
06. Rescue Me
(originally on Earthshaker, 1981)
07 - Hands Of Time (Acoustic) [bonus]

BONUS: Unplugged - Live At The Bone Studios
01 - Intro
02 - Summertime Girls (Acoustic)
03 - Dirty Girl (Acoustic)
04 - Alcohol (Acoustic)
05 - Rescue Me (Acoustic)
06 - Eyes Of A Stranger (Acoustic)

Dave Meniketti - vocals, acoustic guitar
John Nymann - acoustic guitar, vocals
Aaron Leigh - acoustic bass
Mike Vanderhule - drums



LIONE / CONTI - Lione / Conti (2018)

LIONE / CONTI - Lione / Conti (2018) full

Frontiers Music will release the self-titled debut album from LIONE / CONTI on January 26, 2018. Judging by the art-cover of this new project, it looks like a 'new version' of Allen / Lande albums, and indeed, musically is pretty close: powerful tunes yet highly melodic.

Alessandro Conti is the singer of Italian's Trick Or Treat, and Fabio Lione is the original singer of Rhaposdy, who fronted the band’s classic albums.
These two renewed musicians join their forces for this project alongside Marco Lanciotti on drums, Filippo Martignano on keyboards and talented Simone Mularoni on guitars and bass (who is also responsible for the production / mixing / mastering).

For those of you that are into the melodic / power scene, this album will make your day; no doubt about that. The same goes, also, for those who loved the Allen / Lande albums, Millenium, Jorn, etc.
In general, this record is full of big melodies, huge vocals, heavy guitars and some incredible hooks and choruses to sing-a-long for days.

"Ascension" is the opening number and it's simply a killer track all the way. Powerful, ridiculously melodic with a hook line that grabs you at once.
"Outcome" is slightly heavier but again extremely melodic, while in "Somebody Else" we are dealing with another highlight out of this debut, an epic power metal ballad that features big orchestrations and a huge guitar work that rockets this song to a higher level. Excellent stuff.

LIONE / CONTI - Lione / Conti (2018) inside

The fast-paced "Misbeliever", "Destruction Show" and the hymn "Glories" will put a wide smile upon the face of classic metal freak out there. With "Gravity" Lione / Conti deliver yet another killer melodic metal gem (that features an insane guitar solo) that is among my personal favorites here.

As mentioned above, this album is a must have for each and every serious modern melodic metal / hard rock fan out there. If you already love Allen / Lande albums, Millenium, Jorn even the lighter side of Masterplan, then you will love this one equally. Vocal performances are top notch, the guitar work is stupendous and production bright & punchy.
HIGHLY Recommended

01. Ascension
02. Outcome
03. You're Falling
04. Somebody Else
05. Misbeliever
06. Destruction Show
07. Glories
08. Truth
09. Gravity
10. Crosswinds

Fabio Lione - Vocals
Alessandro Conti - Vocals
Marco Lanciotti - Drums
Filippo Martignano - Keyboards
Simone Mularoni - Guitars, Bass



Monday, January 15, 2018

FIRE TIGER - Suddenly Heavenly (2018)

FIRE TIGER - Suddenly Heavenly (2018) full

FIRE TIGER is an atypical band from the current L.A. scene: after listening to the band's just released new album "Suddenly Heavenly" their '80s sound is certainly inescapable.
This album takes you back to the days when you could dance around in your room to the latest videos on MTV, via catchy poppy melodic rock melodies and its feel-good vibe.

While the days of watching the top 20 on MTV may be long gone, there are still few decent videos on youtube, stations devoted it to, and (of course) the CD / LP and even Cassete Tapes ("Suddenly Heavenly" is available on this format too).
Yes, from their band name FIRE TIGER to the look and sound of the decade where leg warmers were a fashion statement you can't go wrong: FIRE TIGER are pure '80s.

"Suddenly Heavenly" is the band's second effort, a ten-song collection that will seriously leave you wondering what year it is. Even the track list at the back cover is presented as 'Side A / Side B'
Everything from the vocals to the music is true classic ’80s Melodic poppy Rock and I am totally obsessed after just one listen.

There's catchy melodies, strong guitars, glossy production and great harmony vocals. Vocalist Tiffany Alkouri’s style and soulful delivery are reminiscent of Bonnie Tyler or Sandi Saraya and again I’m sure those comparisons have been iterated times over.

FIRE TIGER - Suddenly Heavenly (2018) cd

While all the songs are fun, there are a few in particular I really like.
Opener 'Love the Way' is a highlight, a moving melodic rocker filled with soaring vocals and sharp guitars / solos all over. Some kind of SARAYA with more punch.

The instant melody & lyrics of 'Sailing to Neverland' brings to mind a young ROBIN BECK, then 'Be Bygones' - with a cool guest guitar solo courtesy of Steve Lukather's son Trev - easily could have been part of a teen movie soundtrack in 1987.
There's a nice midtempo ballad in 'Feeling' with some BANGLES on it, and a very KRISTINE-like lovely tune in the title track.

FIRE TIGER - Suddenly Heavenly (2018) back

We need more bands like FIRE TIGER, especially the US market needs it.
Honestly, "Suddenly Heavenly" a loveable album from start to finish, it sounds like a 'lost 80s LP' bringing a huge breath of fresh air to the current scene.
Eighties suckers, you need this one.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Love the Way
02 - Ice Age
03 - Sailing to Neverland
04 - Be Bygones
05 - Faces
06 - Guarantee
07 - Feeling
08 - You Changed Me
09 - Easy Road
10 - Suddenly Heavenly

Tiffany Alkouri - vocals, percussion
James Ramsey - keys, guitar, vocals
Jordan Lucas - guitar
Chris Cuomo - bass
Tyler Moore - drums
Riker Lynch - bass (10)
Trev Lukather - guitar (4)
Chris Knapp - drums (4,7)
Clark Souter - bass (4-7,9)
Jordan Stricklen - guitar (9)



GIRLSCHOOL - Play Dirty [SHM-CD MiniLP +5] Out Of Print

GIRLSCHOOL - Play Dirty [SHM-CD MiniLP +5] Out Of Print full

One of you asked for the out of print, remastered Limited Edition Japanese miniLP of GIRLSCHOOL's most famous albums pressed on high quality SHM-CD. Here's more.
"Play Dirty" is the fourth studio album by the British girls released on Bronze Records in 1983 and produced by Noddy Holder & Jim Lea both from the hard rock band SLADE.

"Play Dirty" was the first Girlschool record signalling an inclination towards a softer, commercial hard rock sound.
Indeed, the keyboard synth textures added into "Play Dirty" surprised many fans (I loved it) and rougher edges of Girlschool's abrasive hard rock sound have been buffed smooth for a more radio friendly version of the band.

This would seem to be an overt attempt to remold the band into the sort of pop-metal act that would be more palatable to U.S. audiences.
"Breaking All The Rules" is proto hair metal fun, while with the title "Rock Me, Shock Me" you only can expect a party-ready glammy hard rocker.
Title track "Play Dirty" and "High and Dry" add more muscle but its commercialism and catchiness is evident via synth stabs.

"Burning In The Heat" mixes poppy verses with Kiss-like harmonies during the chorus while a fairly lively guitar provides a melodic solo.
There'a also a cover of T. Rex's "20th Century Boy" dome with an 80s mega-produced sound, and I like it a lot.
The album is balanced with some raw rockers driven by the urgency of Girlschool earlier records, such as "Going Under", a riff driven metal song - even factoring in the glossy production.

As bonus tracks, is nice to have 5 cuts which were previously only available on the band's 12" EP's, including '1-2-3-4 Rock and Roll'. Its 'Extended Version' is my favorite from the bunch, a must for 80s collectors.

GIRLSCHOOL - Play Dirty [SHM-CD MiniLP +5] Out Of Print - back

"Play Dirty" is a very good collection of US-styled melodic hard rockers with that 80s feel, utilising a sound that the likes of HEART or VIXEN would capitalize in the near future.
You know what I mean: catchy choruses, polished guitar riffs, synths and that typical reverb on the snare drum.
Melodic Hard Rock fans should give this album a proper listen, still unknown for many.

Very good release, as usual, with the superb Japanese SHM-CD quality.
0dayrox Team is always eager to fulfill everyone's requests, if it's out there, we'll do our best. And here's another one (more to come).
Highly Recommended piece of '80s rock.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

Universal Japan ~UICY-93881 (MiniLP CD)

01 - Going Under
02 - High 'n' Dry
03 - Play Dirty
04 - 20th Century Boy (T. Rex cover)
05 - Breaking All The Rules
06 - Burning In The Heat (Slade cover)
07 - Surrender
08 - Rock Me Shock Me
09 - Running For Cover
10 - Breakout (Knob In The Media)
11 - 1-2-3-4 Rock 'n' Roll
12 - Don't Call It Love (New Version)
13 - Tush (ZZ Top cover) (New Version)
14 - Like It Like That
15 - 1-2-3-4 Rock 'n' Roll (12" Extended Version)

Kim McAuliffe – rhythm guitar, vocals
Kelly Johnson – lead guitar, vocals
Gil Weston – bass, backing vocals
Denise Dufort – drums
additional musicians:
Lemmy - backing vocals
Vicki Blue - backing vocals
Don Garbutt - keyboards and explosions
Mark Haircut - tambourine, backing vocals
Paul Samson - handclaps and general noise

Out Of Print


Sunday, January 14, 2018

STRAIGHT LINES - Straight Lines [Remastered / AOR CITY Series 2017]

STRAIGHT LINES - Straight Lines [Remastered / AOR CITY Series 2017] full

From the great Sony Music Japan campaign AOR CITY Series Vol.2, a low-priced remastered reissue on 100 classic AOR / AC albums from their back catalog (many of them out of print or hard to find) here's STRAIGHT LINES first album, the self-titled debut "Straight Lines".

This Canadian outfit was founded by seasoned studio musicians David Sinclair and Bob Buckley, whom recorded for many well known artists.
The band originally gained popularity undedr the name Dogstar and attracted the attention of CBS Records in Toronto. The label loved the act (and the songs) but not the name so it was effectively changed to STRAIGHT LINES.

After a succession of songwriting episodes with Chilliwack's Howie Vickers, the band went into the studio with producers Martin Shaer (The Runaways, Sweeney Todd) and Jack Richardson (Coney Hatch) to lay down tracks for their self-titled debut.

STRAIGHT LINES - Straight Lines [Remastered / AOR CITY Series 2017] disc

The LP spawn two singles; "Heads Are Gonna Roll" and "Roanne" (both made the Top 100 in the Canadian Rock chart).
To present the album, STRAIGHT LINES hit the road in 1981 with another Canadian awesome AOR act, Prism.

This first STRAIGHT LINES effort has a typical Canadian melodious waves from the early 80s; crystal clear sound and easy to the ear arrangements.
You'll find here lovely melodies in the vein of Beau Geste, Duke Jupiter, HYTS, Balance, 707, Novo Combo or i-TEN, the type of songs to appeal the US market as well.

STRAIGHT LINES - Straight Lines [Remastered / AOR CITY Series 2017] back

After many years impossible to find even in its original vinyl LP version, finally we have a superb "Straight Lines" remaster from the master tapes. The sound quality and manufacturing in this Japanese AOR CITY Series Vol.2 is excellent.
Hurry up, it's available for a limited period of time until the end of 2018, sold at a really affordable price.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

Sony Music Japan ~ 【SICP-5487-CD】
A O R  C I T Y  1000  VOL 2

01 - Heads Are Gonna Roll
02 - Flyin' Blind
03 - Hope I'm Feelin' Better
04 - Sweet Water
05 - Midnight Woman
06 - Roanne
07 - Heart To Heart
08 - She's A Rounder
09 - Everybody Wants To Be A Star
10 - The Things You Didn't Do

Bass, Vocals – Peter Clarke
Guitar, Vocals – David Sinclair
Saxophone, Strings – Bob Buckley
Drums, Percussion – Daryl Burgess
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Peter Padden



HARDLAND (Netherlands) - Hardland (2017)

HARDLAND (Netherlands) - Hardland (2017) full

Not to be confused with the American act of the same name, this HARDLAND is a Dutch band making their debut into the classic rock scene with this self-titled CD "Hardland", released in the second half of 2017 by themselves.

All personnel are experinced musicians from the local scene having played on several bands before. The seeds of HARDLAND were planted in the '80s, but the project fully materialised a couple years ago.
So it makes sense that HARDLAND's sound it's absolutely based in the glorious decade style, with an updated production.

However, what makes the album so appealing is the old-school, analog-like production, very well managed to obtain a balanced, classy dynamic range avoiding modern saturation.
Musically, this is guitar driven hard rock but not specifically based on groove, with the riffs at the service of harmonies resulting into some kind of a melodic hard / classic rock mix.
Additionally, there's AOR-style keyboard touches to fill out the sound.

The pair of opening tracks are my favorites, being 'Any Way That You Want It' a catchy number with very well placed harmony / backing vocals and sweet keyboards, while 'Hot Gypsy' is a bouncy and pretty 'Americanized' rocker.
In 'Life's A Bitch' there's cool riffs, and midtempo 'Until The Night Is Through' adds some kind of classy '80s atmospheres.

Speaking about atmospheres, on the instrumental 'Interstellar Traveller' HARDLAND creates a very interesting tune with the help of clever synths over the fine guitar work which gets full development halfway the song. There's a mid-Eighties British feel that I liked a lot.
'Depending On You' rocks with harder twin guitar delivery and tougher vocals, 'Dream Into Nightmare' mix melody with muscle, while 'The Only Answer' is a meaty, not syruped at all ballad written in the '80s but never recorded until now.

HARDLAND (Netherlands) - Hardland (2017) inside

Press sheet described "Hardland" as hard rock meets AOR. There's both in the mix, overall I would say 'the harder side of the AOR', timeless melodies shaped in a very melodic mould. As said, production is very good for an independent band.
Silently released with little promotion, "Hardland" is a really good record that slipped under our radar in 2017, but never it's too late to discover this welcomed, solid Dutch act.
Strongly Recommended

01. Any Way That You Want It
02. Hot Gypsy
03. Life's a Bitch
04. Until the Night Is Through
05. Interstellar Traveller
06. Depending on You
07. The Only Answer
08. Under My Skin
09. Say It!
10. Dream into Nightmare

Paul Evers - vocals, guitars
Aielko Venema - vocals, guitars
Eric Gijsen - drums
Toine Vanderlinden - bass
Marco Kuiper - keyboards



BETH HART & JOE BONAMASSA - Black Coffee (2018)

BETH HART & JOE BONAMASSA - Black Coffee (2018) full

Two blues-rock powerhouses, singer / songwriter Beth Hart and guitar hero Joe Bonamassa team up on their new album, "Black Coffee", to be released January 26, 2018.
BETH HART & JOE BONAMASSA reunited for this collection of scorching interpretations of soul songs done in a quite rocking mode that pair Beth Hart’s thrilling vocals with Joe B.’s masterful playing.

With producer extraordinaire Kevin 'The Caveman' Shirley (Led Zeppelin,Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Rush) back at the helm, the result digs deep into the soul catalogue where they honour and re-imagine songs from such diverse artists like Edgar Winter, Ike & Tina Turner - Steve Marriot / Humble Pie, etc.
Recorded in 5 days at the Palms, Las Vegas, there's also at session some of the greatest musicians around; Anton Fig (Kiss, Joe Satriani) on drums & percussion, Reese Wynans (Stevie Ray Vaughan, Van Zant) on keys, Michael Rhodes on bass, and many more.

Waht really surprised me about "Black Coffee" is the mostly upbeat, hard-hitting rocking approach on these soul music tunes. A collection of (mostly) not-so-familiar songs by familiar artists, its earthy, electrified reinventions breathe new life into old numbers while giving the guitarist and the singer plenty of room to show off, all within icy-tight arrangements.

A fiery no-holds-barred take on Edgar Winter's "Give It Everything You Got" opens the album. A clawing guitar riff introduces a soul barrage fueled by steely horns and glistening backing vocals. Equally good is Etta James' "Damn Your Eyes," with Hart's bluesy belt dripping with passion.
The title track, originally by Ike & Tina Turner and covered by Humble Pie in the 1970s, with the ensemble here sounding fury and emotional.

"Why Don't You Do It Right", a hit for Peggy Lee in 1941, re-emerges swinging like a Joe Jackson revival amid swirls of blues-rock guitar from Bonamassa, who seems even more inspired than usual.
One of the most surprising and effective tracks is "Lullaby of the Leaves", written for Broadway in the early 1930s and recorded beautifully by Ella Fitzgerald in 1964. The ballad moves Hart into smoky torch-song territory, her low velvety tones choked with sublimated pain. It then grows into a dramatic rock tour-de-force as Bonamassa delivers a guitar solo over a great rhythmic development.

Another highlight, "Sittin' on Top of the World," gets a smooth Chicago-blues interpretation and more gravitas than it can bear. There's a heavy arrangement on LaVern Baker's "Soul on Fire", while on Lucinda Williams' "Joy," Hart sings her heart out over an electronic-style track.

BETH HART & JOE BONAMASSA - Black Coffee (2018) back

The album closes with the obscure "Addicted," copped from '90s Austrian electronic trio Waldeck and given a dark, pop-electronic sheen. Muted vocals from Hart suggest Adele at her grimmest.
It's a weird ending to an album loaded with brilliant energy and musicianship and a fair number of surprises.

Together these 10 tracks reinforce Bonamassa's versatility and Hart's status as one of our era's supreme blueswomen. They're a match made someplace pretty darned close to heaven.
Honestly, here's some of the most inspired Bonamassa's playing from the last ten years, and it's possibly Hart's best album ever.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Give It Everything You Got
02 - Dam Your Eyes
03 - Black Coffee
04 - Lullaby Of The Leaves
05 - Why Don't You Do Right
06 - Saved
07 - Sitting On Top Of The World
08 - Joy
09 - Soul On Fire
10 - Addicted

Beth Hart - Vocals
Joe Bonamassa - Guitars
Michael Rhodes - Bass
Anton Fig - Drums, Percussion
Reese Wynans - Keyboards
Ron Dziubla, Paulie Cerra - Saxophone
Lee Thornburg - Horns
Rob McNelley - Rhythm Guitar
Mahalia Barnes - Backing Vocals
Jade Macrae - Backing Vocals
Juanita Tippins - Backing vocals



Saturday, January 13, 2018

STRAIGHT LINES - Run For Cover [Remastered / AOR CITY Series 2017]

BSTRAIGHT LINES - Run For Cover [AOR CITY Series 2017] full

Now this is a very special post here from a band not much known by AOR fans, but a personal '80s favorite to me: STRAIGHT LINES. From the great Sony Music Japan campaign AOR CITY Series Vol.2, a low-priced remastered reissue on 100 classic AOR / AC albums from their back catalog (many of them out of print or hard to find) here's STRAIGHT LINES second and final album "Run For Cover".

This Canadian outfit was founded by seasoned studio musicians David Sinclair and Bob Buckley, whom recorded for many well known artists.
The band originally gained popularity under the name Dogstar and attracted the attention of CBS Records in Toronto. The label loved the act (and the songs) but not the name so it was effectively changed to STRAIGHT LINES.

After a succession of songwriting episodes with Chilliwack's Howie Vickers, the band went into the studio with producers Martin Shaer (Sweeney Todd) and Jack Richardson (Guess Who) to lay down tracks for their self-titled debut which featured two singles - "Heads Are Gonna Roll" and "Roanne" (both made the Top 100 in the Canadian Rock chart).
To present the album, STRAIGHT LINES hit the road in 1981 with another Canadian awesome AOR act, Prism.

For the second album, this "Run For Cover", with new producer Jeffrey Lesser (Pat Travers, Head East) and engineered by a young Bob Rock (Motley Crue, Aerosmith), STRAIGHT LINES returned to Little Mountain with the intention of making a more radio-ready, catchy accessible record.
The band played here a combination of Melodic Rock / AOR very much of its era (first half of the 80s) with a pristine sound and refined arrangements.

STRAIGHT LINES - Run For Cover [AOR CITY Series 2017] disc

Since the start with title track, you are taken back to an era where melodic guitar riffs, splashes of keyboards / synths, vital harmonies and smooth vocals were the rule.
To give you an idea, think Bob Kulick's BALANCE (album In For The Count), PREVIEW, Peter Beckett / PLAYER's more AOR side circa the album Spies Of Life, i-TEN... you get the picture.

Things looked promising for STRAIGHT LINES. First single, the catchy 'Letting Go' broke the Top 10 on Billboard's Canadian chart, and synth-filled 'There Are No Secrets made RPM Chart's Top 40, and earned them a Juno Award nomination for Composers Of The Year, eventually losing out to Loverboy's duo of Mike Reno and Paul Dean for "Turn Me Loose."

But when the third single 'Illusions', featuring Sinclair on lead vocals failed to follow suit in the spring of '82, label executives lost interest, and before the end of the year the band had called it quits.
Buckley and Sinclair went on to form another great Canadian act; Body Electric.

STRAIGHT LINES - Run For Cover [AOR CITY Series 2017] back

I love STRAIGHT LINES "Run For Cover", a true early '80s albums plenty of elegant melodies and that unique Canadian touch.
Finally we have a superb remaster on this beloved album. The sound quality and manufacturing from this Japanese AOR CITY Series Vol.2 is excellent.
Hurry up, it's available for a limited period of time until the end of 2018, sold at a really affordable price.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

Sony Music Japan 【SICP-5488-CD】
A O R   C I T Y  1000   VOL 2

01 - Run For Cover
02 - There Are No Secrets
03 - It's Gotta Be Tonight
04 - Letting Go
05 - Illusions
06 - Lighten Up
07 - I've Heard It All Before
08 - I'm Talking To You
09 - I've Got News For You
10 - Easy To Run

Bass, Lead Vocals – Peter Clarke
Guitar, Vocals – David Sinclair
Keyboards, Saxophone, Vocals – Bob Buckley
Drums, Vocals – Geoff Eyre



REO SPEEDWAGON - Wheels Are Turnin' [Rock Candy remastered]

REO SPEEDWAGON - Wheels Are Turnin' [Rock Candy remastered] full

REO SPEEDWAGON detonated the charts with their 1980's ten million selling LP Hi Infidelity, but the follow up album Good Trouble 'only' sold two million copies and failed to produce a top-10 ten hit. Any band would have killed for a performance like that, but REO Speedwagon is an act always aiming for more.
For the next record, the band refocused their skills to produce another killer record and the result was "Wheels Are Turnin`", recently reissued by Rock Candy Records in a 'Remastered & Reloaded' form.

Kevin Cronin and Co. called some external connoisseurs to help not only in the songwriting, but also collaborating in the 'concept' and sound.
Among the big cats involved in the craft of the album we find AOR magician Tom Kelly (Toto, Van Stephenson, Survivor, et all) who co-wrote some songs and did backing vocals, Richard Page (Mr. Mister, Pages), Tommy Funderburk (Airplay) and many more, some of them uncredited.

The results were spectacular. "Wheels Are Turnin`", originally issued in 1984, was an unqualified success (their second best-selling album ever), going platinum several times over and producing two bonafide hit singles in "One Lonely Night" and the blockbusting number one "Can't Fight This Feeling".

"Wheels Are Turnin`" it was also a record that truly married the band's historical hard rock sensibilities with their penchant for writing catchy Melodic Rock / AOR radio friendly tunes propelled by Kevin Cronin's unique vocals and Gary Richrath's searing lead guitar playing.
Other successful singles released include the great midtempo "One Lonely Night" (love the guitar solo), and the melodic rock bliss of "Live Every Moment".

REO SPEEDWAGON - Wheels Are Turnin' [Rock Candy remastered] back

A perfectly produced and balanced record, the disc also features strong and yet catchy rocking anthems proving that their rock spirit is still alive, as opener "I Do' Wanna Know" (also single), "Rock 'N' Roll Star" (great solo / guitar work), or the lively title track "Wheels Are Turnin`", perhaps the best and more complete REO Speedwagon composition ever.
Excellent remaster by Rock Candy.

01 - I Do' Wanna Know
02 - One Lonely Night
03 - Thru The Window
04 - Rock 'N Roll Star
05 - Live Every Moment
06 - Can't Fight This Feeling
07 - Gotta Feel More
08 - Break His Spell
09 - Wheels Are Turnin'

Kevin Cronin - vocals, guitar
Gary Richrath - guitar
Neal Doughty - keyboards, synthesizer, piano
Bruce Hall - bass
Alan Gratzer - drums
Steve Forman - percussion
Bill Cuomo - orchestration (track 6)
Tom Kelly - backing vocals, songwriting
Richard Page - backing vocals
Tommy Funderburk - backing vocals



DIVING FOR PEARLS - Diving For Pearls [Rock Candy remastered +5]

DIVING FOR PEARLS - ST [Rock Candy remaster] full

DIVING FOR PEARLS self-titled debut is one of those albums that you enjoy from start to finish, never drops in quality and where every cut should have been a hit. This Melodic Rock / AOR gem was remastered by Rock Candy with 5 bonus tracks, and it's a must have in your collection.

The late ’80s produced a plethora of Melodic Rock acts from North America – none more special than Diving For Pearls.
Led by supremely talented frontman Danny Malone and terrific guitarist Yul Vazquez (previously part of the excellent Urgent US), this NY-based five piece forged one of the finest records of the era, at a time when the likes of Bon Jovi, Winger, White Lion & Whitesnake were receiving platinum trophies as a matter of course.

Acclaimed by the critics and embraced by American radio programmers, the "Diving For Pearls" album made an immediate impact and looked set to take the band to the top of the AOR mountain.

With 'sixth member' David Prater producing, mixing, dropping some backing vocals / keyboards and providing an awesome polished sound, the band enjoyed a high rotation on MTV for first single "Gimme Your Good Lovin", and spawned another radio favorite, "I Don't Want To Cry".
But all tracks are pure gold.
The record went on to sell over 250.000 copies in the US alone and was named as one of Kerrang! magazine's Top 20 for 1989.

"I Close My Eyes" is nothing short of magnificent, its melodic rock leanings putting it close in spirit to those bastions of this type of Melodic Rock like Bad English or Night Ranger. Yul Vasquez run through a classic three chord progression topped by Malone's impassioned vocals.

DIVING FOR PEARLS - Diving For Pearls [Rock Candy remaster] booklet

On "The Girl Can't Help It" we have prime time melodic AOR at it's best. Then the amazingly heartfelt ballad "New Moon" is a diamond, and the luxuriant guitar thrust of "Never On Monday" force you to move your feet.

Diving For Pearls toured successfully with the best, and from one of these gigs come the live bonus tracks present on the rock Candy reissue, recorded at the Toy Tiger club in Louisville, KY in 1990, including a cover of The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary".

However, despite healthy international interest and great album sales, a series of promotional hiccups and marketing blunders left Diving For Pearls floundering, forcing the band to abandon any dreams of melodic rock supremacy. When their second album was in the works the band was dropped by the label due the changing musical climate.

DIVING FOR PEARLS - Diving For Pearls [Rock Candy remaster] back

Failed potential aside, the ensuing years have been increasingly kind to Diving For Pearls, with many revaluating their debut as quite possibly one of the most overlooked works of a time when great hooks, savage guitars, enthralling song structures and expressive vocals ruled the world with a rod of (velvet-coated) iron.
A Must Have for every Melodic Rock / AOR fan.

01 - Gimme Your Good Lovin'
02 - Have You Forgotten?
03 - I Close My Eyes
04 - New Moon
05 - Never On Monday
06 - You're All I Know
07 - Mystery To Me
08 - I Don't Want To Cry
09 - Keep Our Love Alive
10 - The Girl Can't Stop It
11 - Dear Prudence (Demo)
12 - I Close My Eyes (Live)
13 - Gimme Your Good Lovin' (Live)
14 - The Girl Can't Stop It (Live)
15 - She Sells Sanctuary (Live)

Danny Malone - lead vocals, guitar
Yul Vazquez - guitar, vocals
Jack Moran - keyboards
David Weeks - bass
Peter Clemente - drums
David Prater - backing vocals, producer



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