Σάββατο, 26 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

Vavoura Band - Live, the early days

One of the most underated hard rockin' bands in Greece presents here a compilation including various live recordings , from the group's early days ...
The band, (with it's two original members ; Johnny Vavouras on bass , Yiannis Drolapas on guitar and session drummers ) still perform live acts in small pubs all over Athens...
Enjoy !

Orion - The Hunter

While Tom Schlotz was in his basement studio trying to get the third Boston album put together, band mates Barry Goudreau, Brad Delp and Fran Cosmo teamed up with bassist Bruce Smith and Heart drummer Michael De Rosier and gave us a good idea what Boston might have sounded like if they had kept their original line-up. While De Rosier does a great job on the skins I would have rather seen Sib Hashain in his place, but that's a moot point. Orion the Hunter is a great rock and roll album that sadly seems to have drifted in obscurity. If you're a Boston fan, chances are you'll like Orion the Hunter.

Παρασκευή, 25 Δεκεμβρίου 2009

Vavoura Band - Soundtracks for films

When I bought this cd,I was hoping for a decent ethnic release from my country.Well I was wrong...It isn't just decent,it's very good!This release features a successful combination of rock with greek traditional sounds,mostly from countryside.If you are into world/ethnic music and consider yourselves open-minded just knock it back!!!

Κυριακή, 11 Οκτωβρίου 2009

Vortex Navigation Company - Things Make Patterns As They Fall

Vortex Navigation Company is the duo of Salamander's Sean Connaughty and Wes Morden (sharing duties on guitar, vocals, and loops/fX), with various guests (mainly percussion), to a large part doing spontaneous improvisations in one or the other's basement 'studios.' "Green Pyramid" is an experiment in mild droney dissonance and spooky lead guitar - not bad for a start. One of the few composed numbers, "Holler" features peculiar extra-bassy vocals over a misty potpourri of acoustic guitar, cricket chirping, and Peter Hollis' organ. It's October and Halloween is almost here... perfect timing! As you can probably tell, the whole album is moody and (presumably) introspective, and "Europa" is perhaps the best result of this approach. Subtle mallet percussion (by Wivinus no less) works beautifully behind the tapestry of warm echoey sounds... hard to distinguish the synthetic loops from the guitars sometimes. Later in the 20-minute piece, it turns slightly grey and even more soupy...a mind-numbing bliss out. Perhaps you won't even notice the Little Drummer Boy making an appearance in the background. "Down in the Willow Garden" is a traditional folk ditty that Sean probably heard drifting across a plantation one day while time-travelling from his current Georgia home-away-from-home. The other VNC original composition is "The Welcoming River," an acoustic piece but is rather unsettling in a very intriguing way - probably my favorite track on the album. On a par with Roger Waters' better dark-toned works anyway. 'Things' wraps up with another lengthy echo-drone work "Flying Low over Green Hills" that builds towards a freak-out climax and then a gradual easing off. All in all, this album is a pretty nice collection of things to lighten your spirit even as it darkens the skies overhead.

Kansas - Vinyl Confessions

Replacing Steve Walsh with singer/keyboard player John Elefante, Kansas demonstrated that they could carry on by scoring their biggest hit in four years with the Top 20 "Play the Game Tonight," the leadoff track from Vinyl Confessions. Like now-undisputed group leader Kerry Livgren, Elefante was a born-again Christian, however, and his involvement in the songwriting turned the group decisively toward religious lyrical sentiments, often of a judgmental, us-versus-you nature. It's possible that fans who had been happy to accept the notion that "we are dust in the wind" were less patient with the ideas expressed in Elefante's "Face It" ("How many times do I have to tell you?") or Livgren's "(You're Standing on The) Borderline." Or maybe it was just that it was getting hard to distinguish Kansas from Foreigner and Journey. In any case, Vinyl Confessions was Kansas' first album since their debut not to go gold.

Tangle Edge - Tarka

TANGLE EDGE is a norwegian music group that plays a kind of music that is purely instrumental and mixes improvisation with written parts. Stylistic they combine rock with elements of jazz, etnic and classical music. Though their style is very personal and unique blend, they have by their audience been categorized as differently as progressive rock, krautrock, free- jazz, space rock, canterbury rock, psychedelia, jazz- rock and experimental rock. The band was founded around 1980 by Ronald Nygård (guitars and keyboards) and Hasse Horrigmoe (bass guitar and 12-string acoustic guitar). The current lineup including Kjell Oluf Johansen on drums, has been operating since 1988. Since 1989 they have released four CD's, and toured England, Russia, Italy, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Verity - Interrupted Journey

John Verity has been jobbing around the music scene since the sixties forming one band after another. He was spotted by Rod Argent and asked if he'd be interested in joining Argent as vocalist as the band's original singer Russ Ballard had departed. He stuck with them for a few years tasting a modicum of success before Argent decided to disband the group. Verity then decided to try his hand at producing before going back into the studio with a new band and producing Interrupted Journey. I use the term band loosely because various people have been invited along to contribute – including Rod Argent, Russ Ballard and Mike Rutherford.This is a surprisingly good album that's worn well over the years. Sure it's hard rock with an AOR bent but there's a solid journeyman approach to the project that retains its credibility. Tracks like "Rescue Me", "Just Another Day (In The Life Of A Fool)" and "Are You Ready For This" will never win any awards for originality but there is an integrity and belief inherent in Verity's powerful voice and proficient guitar playing that makes you sit up and listen. Even powerful ballads like "Fallin'" and "In The Arms Of Someone Else" sound fresh and meaningful. There's an absolutely superb version of "Stay With Me Baby" and special mention must be given to "It's Comin' Right". The song is so much like Styx I was looking for credits for Dennis De Young and Tommy Shaw on backing vocals!

Mandragora - Earthdance

Mandragora are a space-rock/world dance-music band from Brighton, England, whose formative output can be described as psychedelic rock with ethnic sounds and tribal rhythms. Formed in 1983, the band have released 5 albums of their own, and a collaborative album with Phil Thornton. They built up a loyal following on the free festival circuit of the 1980s and '90s, and were signed to Delerium Records. In recent years Mandragora have evolved into a world music/electronic dance act featuring singers and musicians from all corners of the globe.

Cirkus - One

This is a good re-master of the debut album by this typical UK "Proto-prog" band... a kind of stuff that is not absolutely fascinating, nevertheless it's a good example of the early 70's UK "Proto-prog" (Moody Blues, Spring and Cressida oriented), with a soft symphonic mellow touch. There are interesting and simple songs here, such as "April 73", "You are" and other sad songs like "A prayer"; moreover you find here the best and most progressive song, the title-track, which is divided into two parts, by adding the mellow sound, the classic organ and real fine strings ... well I don't like this genre very much (actually I don't like the majority of the bands whose sound is too much Moody Blues and Barclay James Harvest oriented !!), but anyway I recognize a certain taste within these simple compositions, making this album quite interesting ...

Mike Harrison - Smokestack Lightning

Best known as one of the founding members of The V.I.P.s and Spooky Tooth , following the release of 1971's "The Last Puff" and the breakup of Spooky Tooth, vocalist/guitarist Mike Harrison set off in pursuit of a solo career. Recorded at Muscle Shoals Studios, 1972's "Smokestack Lightning" was co-produced by Harrison and Chris Blackwell. While it wasn't perfect, his sophomore release was far stronger than the debut. On the downside Harrison remained a singer of limited capabilities (an expansive vocal range wasn't one of his strengths). Moreover, on tracks such as "Paid My Dues" Harry Robinson's extensive string arrangements all but drown Harrison's lower register vocals. Those criticisms aside, backing from Spooky Tooth alumnus Luther Grosvenor (who turned in a couple of tasty guitar solos - check out "I Wanna Be Free") and the cream of Muscle Shoals studio players (Barry Beckett, Clayton Ivey, Roger Hawkins, etc.) certainly helped salvage material such as "Tears Behind My Eyes" and the self-penned "Turn It Over". Harrison also proved fairly deft working with the blues - "What a Price" and the title track (though clocking it at over 12 minutes, it was six minutes too long), were both impressive, sounding like something off one of the early Spooky Tooth LPs. To our ears it's probably the best of his three solo releases. Unfortunately, with sales proving non-existent, the following year Harrison and Gary Wright (to that point equally unsuccessful with his solo career) reformed Spooky Tooth. "Smokestack Lightning" track listing: 1.) Tears Behind My Eyes (Jimmy Stevens) - 4:13 2.) Paid My Dues (Jimmy Stevens) - 4:20 3.) What a Price (Domino - Maddux - Jussup) - 5:51 4.) I Wanna Be Free (Joe Tex) - 4:12 5.) Turn It Over (Mike Harrison - Luther Grosvenor) - 6:30 6.) Smokestack Lightening (C. Burnett) - 12:29

Τετάρτη, 30 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009

Psycho - Montage Fatal

The group was formed by Dora Antoniadi and Stefanos Kotatis in the early 80's .They tried to mix rock music with jazz,ethnic and opera.This one and only lp ,although it suffered from poor production,introduced something completely different from the other Greek productions during the same time.The well known in local scene ,Stamatis Spanoudakis made the string arrangement and played all the instruments in the album.Also Gary Wright played the keybords on "The Prisoner".However, the highlight of the album is the alternative version of Talking Heads "Psycho Killer".

The Ides of March - Friendly Strangers

Everything the Ides of March released on Warner Bros. is on this double CD, including not only all the tracks from both of their Warners albums (1970's Vehicle and 1971's Common Bond), but also the non-LP B-sides "High on a Hillside" and "Lead Me Home, Gently," as well as the 1970 non-LP single "Melody" and the single version of "Vehicle." It's a comprehensive but odd document of a band that seemed torn between commercial and progressive impulses, resulting in a variety that seemed as indicative of uncertain direction as eclecticism. The lay-it-on-heavy Blood, Sweat & Tears-like horn rock is the most dominant sensibility. But there's also room for smooth MOR harmony rock, blatant Creedence Clearwater Revival imitation ("Factory Band"), blatant Crosby, Stills & Nash imitation ("L.A. Goodbye," "We Are Pillows"), a Chicago-like arrangement of Crosby, Stills & Nash's "Wooden Ships," and a way-drawn-out symphonic arrangement of "Eleanor Rigby." Then there's the eleven-minute opus "Tie-Dye Princess," which boasts the immortally dated lyric "Hail hail to the tie-dye princess, hail hail to the tie-dye queen!" Yes, it is a second-division mishmash of the trendily commercial and the trendily progressive. But it's rather enjoyable in its competent, energetic mirroring of some of the period's fads, the heart of a Midwestern horn pop/rock band always beating under the ambition. It's an oddly structured reissue, though. The first disc is jammed with 21 tracks and 79 minutes of music, while the second plays out the string with four tracks and 20 minutes.

La Bambibanda E Melodie - st

Bambi Fossati (of Gleemen and Garybaldi) formed this band in 1974 together with old cohort Maurizio Cassinelli on drums, bassist Roberto Ricci and indian percussionist Ramasandiran Somusundaram. The music is more interesting than the Garybaldi recordings, mostly because Fossati's guitar playing isn't as dominant as on those albums. The percussion gives the music a sound quite similar to Embryo/Kollektiv at times. And even if it has some dull moments, I still must recommend this album.

Tomita - Kosmos

Tomita is a classical symphonic electronic keyboards musician. Well made, this album is full of symphonic keyboards well recorded. Entirely electronic, it is sometimes quite spacy. Tons of different keyboards involved. Choir imitations, string ensemble simulations, it as really special atmosphere. He interprets many works of the great classical composers.

Lee Michaels - The Collection

A good 18-track overview of his A&M work, drawing from all six of the albums he released between 1968 and 1972. Includes "Do You Know What I Mean," "Stormy Monday," "Heighty Hi," "Hello," "The War," and "Carnival of Life," as well as the 1969 non-LP B-side "Goodbye, Goodbye" and his only Top 40 single besides "Do You Know What I Mean," a cover of "Can I Get a Witness."

Moxy - Ridin' High

On their third album Buzz Shearman and co. are offering great hard rock for us. The sound is massive and I truly mean it. This album serves us with many awesome tracks like the opener "Nothin´ Comes Easy", "Ridin´ High", "Young Legs" and "Are You Ready" are entertaining stuff which give you great vibes. Fan of hard rock? Get this one.

Ray Manzarek - The Golden Scarab

Signed by Mercury, Manzarek's 1975 debut "The Golden Scarab" found him sounding considerably more relaxed than on the final two post-Morrison Doors albums ("Full Circle'' and '"Other Voices"). With longtime Doors producer Bruce Botnick handling the boards and with support from Doors sessions bassist Jerry Scheff, guitarist Larry Carlton and drummer Tony Williams (the latter two aptly displaying some of their classy jazz moves throughout the album), the collection highlighted Manzarek's passable voice on a musically diverse set which curiously downplayed his unique organ runs. Apparently intended as a concept piece, at least to my simplistic ears the plotline was vague, though it seemed to have something to do with Egyptology - witness material like the pseudo-funky title track, 'Solar Boat' and the instrumental 'The Moorish Idol'. Bouncing between tuneful, straightforward rock and more experimental endeavors like 'Oh, Thou Precious Nectar Filled Form (or) a Little Fart', it wasn't the year's most consistent release, nor was it likely to change your life one way or the other, but still had it's share of minor pleasures. Carlton turned in several noteworthy guitar solos including a killer performance on 'Solar Boat. Other highlights included the bossa nova styled 'He Can't Come Today' and the three songs that came the closest to recalling The Doors' rock catalog - 'Downbound Train', the bluesy 'Purpose of Existence Is?, and 'Choose Up and Choose Off''. For some reason Manzarek's voice sounded way better on these three rockers ... Mercury also tapped the album for a pair of singles: - 1974's 'Solar Boat' b/w '' (Mercury catalog number 73477) - 1974's 'Downbound Train' b/w 'Choose Up and Choose Off ' (Mercury catalog number 73601) This was a set that's grown on me over the years and may be the best post-Doors release by any of the band members. Nice Goldfinger-styled makeup there guy ... "The Golden Scarab" track listing: (side 1) 1.) He Can't Come Tomorrow - 4:35 2.) Solar Boat - 5:15 3.) Downbound Train - 5:27 4.) Golden Scarab - 6:42 (side 2) 1.) Purpose of Existence Is? - 6:42 2.) The Moorish Idol (instrumental) - 5:40 3.) Choose Up and Choose Off - 4:42 4.) Oh, Thou Precious Nectar Filled Form (or) a Little Fart - 4:58

Παρασκευή, 18 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009

Pretty Maids - Sin Decade

The Pretty Maids, headed by vocalist Ronnie Atkins and guitarist Ken Hammer, recorded Sin-Decade from July through September of 1991. The eleven song disc was subsequently released in 1992. The production was handled by Flemming Rasmussen, who had previously worked closely with Metallica.

_Sin-Decade_ features ten Atkins/Hammer numbers, and one additional cut, "Please Don't Leave Me", which was penned by the legendary Philip Paris Lynott, with assistance from guitarist John Sykes. "Please Don't Leave Me", which was released as a single, closes the hard-hitting Sin-Decade with style. The ballad was recorded as a tribute to the former Thin Lizzy leader. Throughout the years Lynott and the wealth of music Lizzy recorded, has been a vital influence on the Pretty Maids. The evidence rings true in the music laid down by the Danish rockers from day one.

_Sin-Decade_ features several hard songs that feature killer guitar work and kick ass vocals. "Running Out" opens the disc and sets the stage for the heavy numbers on offer, which include the title track, "Come On Tough, Come On Nasty", "Raise Your Flag", "Credit Card Lover", "Healing Touch" and the ripping "In The Flesh". Besides the ballad "Please Don't Leave Me", "Know It Ain't Easy" is a mid-tempo melodic cut, that features a slow burning groove.

Hard and heavy, laid down with style... it's a trademark of the Pretty Maids!


Σάββατο, 12 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009

Guardian - Miracle Mile

Miracle Mile is the third album of Christian rock band Guardian. It was recorded at the end of 1992 and released in 1993. The album was produced by the Elefante brothers, who were also producing albums for legendary Christian band Petra.
This is considered the band's most successful album to date.

Phoenix Down - Under a Wild Sky

Another long departed but not forgotten cult icon of hard rock returns!Kane Roberts, one time axe slinger for Alice Cooper and part time solo star with albums like the quite impressive and much loved Saints & Sinners, is back after spending the best part of 2 years recording this fresh new studio album.Those expecting him to immediately pick up where he left off will certainly be surprised.Pleasantly though, I think, because this album grows with every listen and will undoubtedly become a new cult favourite.The style is certainly varied, but the album carries a common thread, so the songs do not sound too much out of place.With the style jumping around a lot, there is the danger that some fans are going to hate or at least dislike some elements of the album.

Le Orme - Felona e Sorona

This album is a concept album, telling the tale of two planets. Felona is prosperous and happy, while Sorona is a horrid world filled with famine and plague. However, the fates of the two switch. Since I don’t speak Italian, I can’t say ant more about the plot than that. Felona e Sorona is relatively short for a Prog album, lasting under 35 minutes. 8:46 of that makes up “Sospesi nell 'incredibile”, the opening track. It features ethereal sounding keyboards and synths, and sounds generally spacey and isolated. The bass work here provides a solid backing for creeping synthesizer work. Overall, a good piece of prog. This is followed by “Felona”, a very short piece of bells and acoustic guitar, with an upbeat vocal. Here the band makes it quite obvious that Felona is a great place to be, but those ghostly keyboards tell something is beginning to go wrong. Another short piece “La solitudine di chi protegge il mondo”, follows with nice grand piano fills. “L'equilibrio” then begins and suddenly adds energy and aggression to the momentum of the album. More keyboards here, and this one sounds very similar to “Sospesi nell 'incredibile”, but with grand piano added. On to side two. To accomapny “Felona”, “Sorona” gets its turn in the spotlight. As would be expected, the music is slow, gloomy, and ghastly. Another song that fits the mood it wants to portray perfectly. Follow up songs “Attese inerte” is more of the same keyboard driven mid tempo work that the band played on side A, while “Ritratto di un mattino” echoes “Sorona” very closely for its first half before switchign to “Felona” like structure. “All'infuori del tempo” continues this upbeatness with the acoustic guitar coming back to a prominent role. The album ends with a song called “Ritorno al nulla” which finally injects some needed originality to this album. Here we have the gloominess of the other numbers, but at a faster pace. Thus song defiantly sounds very alien, and ends with bombastic amounts of synthesizer. Felona e Sorona has numerous strengths. The acoustic guitar pieces prove very nice on the ears. The real star of the show is the keyboards, as Pagliuca adds multi- layered keyboards to the mix in spectacular fashion. Le Orme’s great strength lies here. However, there are weaknesses to the album. For one, the repetitiveness is extremely high, even for a concept album. Additonaly, the album aside from the keyboards is pretty generic and uninventive. Pound for Pound, this one falls short of essential. On the whole however, we have a solid album showing off the greatness of the Italian keybaord in Progressive rock.

Neil Merryweather - Word of Mouth

The year was 1969, one year after Al Kooper brought Mike Bloomfield and Stephen Stills into the studio to record what became the legendary 'Super Session' disc. It's difficult to resist comparing that historic trio with the trio Neil Merryweather brought together for his 'Word of Mouth' double LP. As on 'Super Session', only harpist/vocalist Charlie Musselwhite actually gets together in the studio with the other name performers, Steve "Guitar" Miller and Dave Mason. While Stills and Bloomfield never shared studio time on 'Super Session', there is no evidence that Steve Miller and Dave Mason ever recorded together for 'Word of Mouth'. In most respects, in fact, the contributions of Miller, and especially Dave Mason, are nominal. But just as Harvey Brooks added some stunning bass lines on 'Super Session', Neil Merryweather receives some stunning support from lead guitarist Dave Burt, and quality contributions from a host of talented session musicians. Even the multiple photographs of the studio scene included in the liner notes are reminicent of the 'Super Session' package. As mentioned, the original vinyl 'Word of Mouth' product consisted of four album sides and just over sixty-one minutes of music. The contributions of Miller, Musselwhite, and Mason are scattered about rather democratically. Steve Miller is credited with a co-write, lead vocal, and lead guitar on 'Just a Little Bit', featured on side one. It has a two minute piano coda, so Miller occupies only about half of the track. Side two offers a Charlie Musselwhite co-write, harp, and vocal on the standard blues piece, 'Hello Little Girl'. Dave Mason gets his turn with a co-write and lead vocal on the six-minute side three opener, 'Sun Down Lady'. Each featured performer has a co-write and lead vocal on side four. So, all told, only six of the fourteen tracks feature the three M's. Neil Merryweather himself does a good deal of composing for the disc, revealing himself as a specialist in heavy rock ballads, such as he serves up on the two opening tracks, 'I Found Love' and 'Teach You How To Fly', and later on 'The Hard Times'. He also supplies the bass and the majority of the lead vocals on the disc. He's adequate at all three, but rarely exceptional, and this is the major shortcoming of the disc. Many of the songs come off as generic rock numbers without memorable hooks or melodies. Songs such as 'Where I Am' and 'News' suffer from weak lyrical passages and derivitive instrumental backing. The choicest segment of the disc kicks off with the nine-minute 'Mrs. Robert's Son', apparently an homage to guitarist Howard Roberts, who plays on the track. It features an outstanding two lead guitar jam that progressively becomes less and less structured. More excellent guitar work follows on 'Licked the Spoon' and 'Sun Down Lady'. 'The Hard Times' concludes this stellar quartet of songs, featuring a unique electric violin lead from Bobby Notkoff. Another highlight appears on side four, with Charlie Musselwhite delivering an impressive lead vocal on an electric blues number he penned with Dave Mason, 'Rough Dried Woman'. That track is also interesting as Mason takes on bass guitar duties. Two other tracks from side four, the closer 'Hooker Blues' and the opener, 'We Can Make It', deserve mention as well. 'Hooker Blues' is the most psychedelic piece in the set, winding things up with some cool sound effects produced through playing tapes backwards. And I could be wrong, but it sure sounds to me like the melody from Steve Miller's 'We Can Make It' was borrowed for the 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' theme song. Give it a listen and judge for yourself. Neil Merryweather's 'Word of Mouth' certainly has its moments, but much of the disc, unfortunately, is rather generic sounding. Few of the tunes stick in your head and/or demand a fresh replay. So the potters are working with substandard clay, but we are fortunate to be in the presence of such acclaimed potters. The musicianship is clearly the main attraction to this production, and their talent comes through loud and clear. At times Merryweather forces his talent over the brink, such as on the opening track, where his lead vocal resembles David Clayton Thomas on methamphetamine, or the overdone string accompaniment on 'Where Am I'. But all in all, 'Word of Mouth' is certainly deserving of a listen or two, especially for fans of Mason, Miller, and especially Charlie Musselwhite, whose contributions may be the most impeccable of the bunch. It's a rarity often overlooked from a sparkling period in rock and roll music.

Samurai - Green Tea

This Samurai is not to be confused with the British band with Dave Lawson that existed at the same time. This Samurai was a Japanese psych/prog band that resided in England in 1970 and released this album, Green Tea on Philips. Not exactly an easy to come by album, and I had to get a CD-R of this, which they didn't even have the track listings in correct order, so there's a few songs that I don't know are the correct titles. Nor did the CD-R mention who was in the band (although there were band photos). Upon digging up further information of this band, I found out the band consisted of: - Miki Curtis: vocals, flutes - Joe Dunnet: guitar - Hiro Izumi: guitar, koto - John Redfern: organ - Tetsu Yamauchi: bass - Mike Walker: vocals, piano - Graham Smith: harmonica - Yuji Harada (I think they mean Yujin Harada): drums I have no idea which ones were actual members and which ones were just guests, but it looked like the band recruited some British musicians while they were staying in London. Looking at the list, three names are familiar to me. There's Graham Smith, who was later a member of String Driven Thing, before joining the final version of Van der Graaf Generator (when they were simply known as Van der Graaf). Of course, with Samurai he played harmonica, but later, with String Driven Thing and Van der Graaf, it was violin. Then you have Tetsu Yamauchi, better known as a latter-day member of both Free and Rod Stewart's Faces. And finally, Yujin Harada (sources called him Yuji, probably because they didn't hear it pronounced right), though probably totally unknown to most, was in the final version of Far East Family Band (that is after Kitaro, Akira Ito, and Shizuo Takasaki left) and appeared on their final album, Tenkujin in 1977. For a band so obscure (even more obscure than Dave Lawson's band that existed the same time) I am actually surprised to see the amount of familiar musicians who played in this band. Anyway, the music is a combination of late '60s psych, early prog, and some Japanese influences. For being a 1970 recording, I am rather surprised of some of the lyrics and mood of the album have that "flower power" feel to it, but if you're having nightmares of The Strawberry Alarm Clock and the Lemon Pipers (in which bands like that got away with writing "flower power" anthems because it was 1967, not 1970), don't worry, it's still a lot better than those American pop-psychedelic bands that came in a dime-a-dozen (especially from California), and as mentioned, early prog elements do surface. "Intermediate Stages" reminds me most of Syd Barret's Pink Floyd or perhaps one of the cuts off the Swedish band International Harvester's Sov Gott Rose-Marie. "Boy With a Gun" is a rather Japanese-sounding piece with koto. "Daffy Drake" (I believe) is a rather idiotic sounding piece I can live without, especially the squeely vocals. The album really starts getting adventurous with songs like "Four Seasons", "18th Century", "Eagles Eye" and "Five Tone Blues". Not knowing which is which, I think "Five Tone Blues" (or perhaps "Eagles Eye" - I really need the original LP, which is probably very unlikely given its rarity) is the side-length experiment that starts off as a pleasant late '60s psych piece before moving on to a bizarre percussion experiment. After that, it's more back to actual music like "Green Tea" and "Mandalay", the latter with some rather obvious Eastern-influenced lyrics. Judging by the length of the album, it was likely released as a double album set. Totally obscure album to say the least (despite future members of Free, Van der Graaf, and Far East Family Band playing) and if you like late '60s psych, early proto-prog, and the occasional Japanese influence, you're certain to enjoy Green Tea

John Norum - Total Control

John Norum's first solo venture divorced from his Europe band mates proves to be a huge success and perhaps the best album he ever wrote. Europe were hot, coming off of their iconic Final Countdown world tour when John expressed an interest in writing the bands songs along side their lead singer. When management asked him not to get involved in the song writing, and when the band choose to move into a more keyboard oriented style, Norum made the biggest decision of his life and left the band. His decision, although upsetting, was justified by this fantastic melodic hair metal rock out. As was the norm in his albums, John had many guest singers and musicians and it’s Norum’s powerful anthem Back On The Streets sung by Goran Edman which is the best track of the record. The last track is noticeably the weakest of the set, but it’s just a bonus track so no harm done. A superb set of melodic rock tracks which Norum delivers with great heart and skill.

Παρασκευή, 21 Αυγούστου 2009

Emergency - No compromise

Excellent German jazz rock band.
Presented here is the 4th and final release ...
Enjoy !

Teaze - s/t

The story of Teaze is one of unbridled success in foreign lands, yet a constant struggle for mere recognition on their native soil. Formed in 1975 by Brian Danter on bass guitar and vocals and Marc Bradac on guitars in Windsor, Ontario, the group also consisted of Mike Kozak on drums and guitarist Chuck Price. The group was powered by a heavy but no-nonsense approach. Dinghy bars and crowded nightclubs served as the group's backdrop for the next couple of years, all the while honing their sound, but never really gaining a substantial following with the local crowds.
Despite this, Teaze was recognized by Bob Rags at Terry Flood Management and the group was signed to Aquarius records in 1977. Their debut album was self-titled and failed to make a dent in the charts or an impression with the audience. Driven by straight-forward low production, their first record was as raw a sound as one could capture in a studio, as evidenced by the tracks "Rockin With The Music", co-written by George Young - older brother and producer of Ac/Dc's Angus & Malcolm, "Hot To Trot" and "Boys' Night Out".

Streets - Crimes in mind

Featuring Kansas singer/keyboardist Steve Walsh and City Boy shredder Mike Slamer, Streets were a short-lived AOR "super-group" of sorts, never taking off despite an abundance of radio-friendly hooks left and right on their two LPs of heavy, early/mid-'80s AOR. I can imagine almost any of the highly melodic and mostly rockin' cuts on Crimes in Mind on the airwaves or featured on any number of movie soundtracks circa 1985, though neither happened for whatever reason. AOR fanatics will surely dig at least a few tracks, most specifically the awesome title track, whose chorus always gets stuck in my head every time my eyes even glance across the album's spine on the shelf.

Phoenix - s/t

Phoenix is a Romanian band founded in the mid-60's which in this release plays much more rock than prog or folk, although there are covered elements of both here. The band plays well: inventive and athletic basslines, beautiful vocal harmonies, all with a nice, crunchy guitar sound. The album offers a lot of mood, melody, and just solid songwriting. There are weak moments, for sure: hard rock can get generic, as it happens in songs like Vara, Toamna, Nunta (all good songs nonetheless).

Phil Manzanera - K scope

Musically 1978's self-produced "K-Scope" may be Phil Manzanera's most commercial and enjoyable solo release. Surrounded by an all star cast of friends and supporters, including Lol Creme, Kevin Godley, Simon Phillips, John Wetton and three quarters of Crowded House (Neal and Tim Finn and Eddie Rayner), the set certainly sports one of the year's most impressive cast of players. Anyone familiar with Manzanera's more experimental outings is likely to be surprised (and perhaps even disappointed) by how commercial material such as 'Remote Control', the reggae flavored Cuban Crisis'', and 'Walking Through Heaven's Door' is. All three selections would have made dandy top-40 singles. Elsewhere, tracks such as 'Numbers' and 'Slow Motion TV' are a little quirkier, recalling something out of the weirder part of 10 CC's catalog (or Godley and Creme's solo catalog). Longstanding fans will at least be happy to know that Manzanera's patented guitar sound is scattered throughout the album, including some tasty soloing on the leadoff title track instrumental and 'Hot Spot'.

Κυριακή, 16 Αυγούστου 2009

Παλιρροια - Διαθεση κατω απ' το φεγγαρι

Greek pop-rock group from the '90s.
Presented here are tracks from the 1st and only release plus 2 tracks from a demo recorded some years later.
Lyrics are in Greek ...

D emotion Project - Hybrid

Enigma's side project released in 1992.
Rare to find !

Del Amitri - Twisted

Supposedly, Del Amitri were getting tired of the quiet folky pop songs they'd presented on earlier recordings, and this time they decided to drag the electric guitars out of the closet, and turn up the volume. The result? Good, but not brilliant. The opening tracks, "Food for Songs" and "Start with me" definitely shows this new, up-tempo side of Del Amitri. And while the first, with it's combination of rocking guitars and great harmonica, is pretty succesful, the latter is, well, not quite as impressive. Impressive, though, is the three following tracks, all classic Del Amitri ballads. Especially "One Thing left to do", with it's gentle piano, guitar and beautiful vocals, are among the highlights. The first half of the album ends with the surprisingly noisy "Being Somebody Else". At six and a half minutes, it's probably the most ambitious Del Amitri song to date. And the outcome is great. Unfortunately, the second half is not as convincing as the first, with the annoying hit single "Roll to me" being the obvious low point. Besides that, it consists of a couple of half-hearted ballads, and a few decent, but not too interesting mid-tempo rockers. The album ends on a high note, though, with the beautiful ballad "Driving with the Brakes on".

Τρίτη, 11 Αυγούστου 2009

Axis - s/t

The album doesn't seem to have a strong direction but everything the band touches turns into something wicked. Hard rock, mellotron washes that could have become King Crimson's worst nightmare and Canterbury gentle touches on Fender Rhodes. Some moments lack consistence but overall this is a surprising recording from the golden age.

Axe - Offering

While 1982 saw the release of several hard rock hammers from European heavy weights that included Judas Priest (Screaming for Vengeance), the Scorpions (Blackout), Iron Maiden (The Number of the Beast), Rainbow (Straight Between the Eyes), and Motörhead (Iron Fist), second stringers such as Florida's Axe chipped-in with a hot summertime set of just-go-for-it rock 'n' roll songs that fill out the Offering LP. After delivering a pair of albums for MCA since 1979, Axe returned in '82 with Offering, their first recording for Atco Records. The Al Nalli produced Offering kicks in with a dynamic three-minute, blue collar weekend stormer in "Rock 'n' Roll Party in the Street". Penned by main man Bobby Barth, the ass kickin', knock-down-drag-out roller opens with tasty keyboard work from Edgar Riley before guitars set the wild beer drinkin' 'n' Hell raisin' song in high gear, while drummer Teddy Mueller's steady back beat, along with new bassist Wayne Haner, anchors the big bottom end. Axe chase the up-all-night party action of Offering's lead-off track with the hard edged "Video Inspiration". The futurist themed rocker, which sounds like a thundering Blackfoot number, is paced by locked-in, freight train guitar work from Barth and Michael Osbourne. Axe pull back on the melodic "Steal Another Fantasy", as well as the mellow "Jennifer", before burning through a fast 'n' furious cover of Montrose's searing "I've Got the Fire". The inspired remake rages with blazing intensity. It's back to high-octane, warm summer night swinging action on the spirited "Burn the City Down", while "Now of Never" contrasts the amped-up action of the two previous numbers, simply serving as a four-minute filler. Quick hitter "Holdin' On" packs a punch before the nine song, no-frills Offering closes with the LP's longest cut, the stomping "Silent Soldier", which is augmented by a short, but cool guitar solo from Barth.

Matia Bazar - Melancholia

Born from the ashes of the prog band Jet, whose sole album was 1972's Fede Speranza Carità, Matia Bazar formed in Genoa in 1975, with a line-up comprising Piero Cassano (keyboards), Aldo Stellita (bass), Carlo "Bimbo" Marrale (guitar), iancarlo Golzi (drums) and singer Antonella Ruggiero. The very first releases — e.g. the singles "Stasera Che Sera", "Cavallo Bianco", "Per un'Ora d'Amore", "Solo Tu" and "Mister Mandarino" and the albums Matia Bazar (1976), Gran Bazar (1977) and the anthology L'Oro dei Matia Bazar — showcased the band's ability to build well-crafted and lush pop songs, made unique by the huge extension and versatility of Ruggiero's voice. In 1978 the song "… E Dirsi Ciao" (from Semplicità finished first at that year's edition of the Sanremo Music Festival. The live album Tournée and Il Tempo del Sole followed respectively in 1979 and 1980.With 1981's Berlino Parigi Londra Matia Bazar introduced strong electronic elements in its sound. Immediately after its release, Cassano quit the band to pursue a new career as a producer (he would later work with Eros Ramazzotti), replaced by Mauro Sabbione. 1983's Tango included one of Matia Bazar's most successful singles, "Vacanze Romane", and was followed one year later by Aristocratica, in which debuted new keyboardist Sergio Cossu. In 1985 the band reached the top notches of the Italian charts for the last time with "Ti Sento" (a.k.a. "I Feel You", in its English translation), taken from the album Melanchòlia, the first recorded after the band quit ways with producer Roberto Colombo. After 1987's elò and 1989's Red Corner Antonella Ruggiero quit the band in order to start a solo career, and was replaced by Laura Valente, whose voice can be heard on Anime Pigre (1991), Dove le Canzoni Si Avverano (1993, including the single "Dedicato a Te") and, Radio Matia (1995, a collection of new versions of older songs) and Benvenuti a Sausalito (1997). In the meantime, Marrale too had quit the band. In 1998 founding member ldo Stellita died of cancer.A new line-up of Matia Bazar including Golzi, the returning Cassano, Fabio Perversi on keyboards and singer Silvia Mezzanotte debuted in 2000 with Brivido Caldo. 2001's Dolce Canto and 2002's Messaggi dal Vivo followed — the latter, a live album, included the song "Messaggi d'Amore", with which Matia Bazar won 2002's Sanremo Music Festival. Then, with new singer Roberta Faccani, the band released Profili Svelati (2005) and One1 Two2 Three3 Four4 (2007), a collection of hits from other Italian bands from the 60s on.

Τετάρτη, 5 Αυγούστου 2009

Black Mountain - In the Future

Totally rocking album, with a touching experimental folk aspect to it as well, reminds me immediately of bands like Black Sabbath, Jefferson Airplane and Iron Butterfly, but also bands like Neil Young. The long tracks and the best, especially the epic Bright Lights that conjures up memories of some of Pink Floyd's classics like Shine On or Atom Heart Mother with it's ambient organ chords. The drumset is used in a way similar to Liars, with the toms ringing out percussive, prog beats that accompany the swirling organ and heavy lead guitar that runs throughout every track. Like Wolfmother but more experimental and much better. Standouts are Stormy High, Tyrants, Wild Wind and Bright Lights.

Dodgy - Homegrown

This is very much a summer album, for my money it ranks among the very best of the britpop wave of the nineties. The sound is dominated by guitar and vocal harmonies, and the songs are little melancholic masterpieces to make your hair stand on end. The whole album is a winner, but my favourites are "So Let Me Go Far", "Grassman" and the opener, "Staying Out for the Summer".

Julliet - s/t

A very strong Glam Rock album from the so called hair band genre. Good production, good song writing and good preformances. This album is perfect party album as the songs are fun and energetic. If you love big hooks, strong melodies and great harmony than this album will satisfy all your needs.

Nightstalker - The Ritual

Superb work by the Greek stoner rock GODS. These guys are simply amazing. I must say I was lucky to come across this recording as the group is considered underground even in their country (Greece) and their albums are hard to find. A dark stoner rock masterpiece, the album contains 5 real diamonds but one must really check out "Never Know (Supersonic)" the most hard-rockin' song on it. Fuckin' awesome. All the rest are simply fantastic. "Galactic Revolution" & "Hide Your Sun" are considered classic songs by the group. I read somewhere that bands like Monster Magnet admire Nightstalker. Listening to The Ritual I can see why. And to imagine that this is not considered to be their best work.

Τετάρτη, 22 Ιουλίου 2009

Helen Schneider - Schneider with the kick

They don't make them like this anymore. Only covers but played with Gusto. Perfect for listening in the car or bringing back all these childhood memories.Today she is a famous musical singer, but in the early eighties Helen Schneider had a short and quite successful rock career - at least in Germany and continental Europe. Schneider With The Kick was her breakthrough and contained her most acclaimed single "Rock'n Roll Gypsy", a song written by Australian hard rockers Rose Tattoo.

Δευτέρα, 20 Ιουλίου 2009

Various Artists - The spirit of the Black Rose

CD 1
Philomena Lynott (IRE) -- Dublin / spoken
Celtic Legacy -- Glen Corr (The Spirit of the Vagabond)
Lotus (SWE) -- Gonna Creep Up On You
Loaded Dice (FIN) -- It's Only Money
Randy Bachman (CAN) from BTO -- The Boys Are Back In Town
Locomotive Breath (SWE) -- Warriors
Carl Dixon (CAN) -- Romeo and the Lonely Girl
Southern Rock Allstars (USA) -- Southbound
Yellow Pearl (NOR) -- Rocky
Motherlode (SWE) -- Killer Without A Cause
Ten Jinn (USA) -- Angel of Death
Dogface (SWE) -- Suicide
Ian Osbourne and the Voodoo Hounds (USA) -- Fighting My Way Back
Robin George (UK) -- King's Call
Damon Johnson (USA) -- Borderline
Tribe Of Gypsies (USA) -- Parisienne Walkways
Primal Fear (GER) -- Out In The Fields (bonus track)
Thin Az Lizzy (IRE) -- Little Darling
CD 2
Roddy Cleere (IRE) -- A Song For While I'm Away / spoken
Robin George (UK) -- Crying Diamonds
Nitzinger (USA) -- Cowboy Song
Demon (UK) -- Emerald
The Boys Are Back (SWE) -- Johnny
Kurgan’s Bane (USA) -- Opium Trail
Ken Hensley (USA) -- Dear Lord
Fatt Elizabeth (USA) -- Freedom Song
Doc Holliday (USA) -- Jailbreak
Bigelf (USA) -- Bad Reputation
Hobbit (USA) -- Fool's Gold
Thin Lipztick (SWE) -- Do Anything You Want To
Celtic Legacy -- Vagabonds of the Western World
Vick LeCar’s Blue Moon (USA) -- Thunder & Lightning
Parris (HOLL) -- Baby Please Don't Go
Sinner (GER) -- The Sun Goes Down
Thin Az Lizzy (IRE) -- Ode To A Black Man

Automat - s/t

A nice (and rare) example of late 70s italian electronica; akin to Ashra, Schulze and Tangerine Dream. At its' peaks, it rivals Schulze's X-album in dark intensity. Some of the tracks are a bit too relaxed and light to be effective, but overall, this is a keeper. The highlight of the album is probably the 16+ minutes title track.

Τρίτη, 14 Ιουλίου 2009

Clearlight Symphony - s/t

This one had been Cyrille Verdaux’ first composition recorded between 1973 and 1974 and released under the title “Clearlight Symphony” in 1975 which would be continued by him in later releases (i.e. “Symphony II”) and finally finding perfection in his “Infinite Symphony”. Comparisons of the music here with Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” are certainly justified though one should emphasize as well that it’s more complex and versatile than that one. Basically that’s symphonic rock inspired by classical romanticism with a strong touch of space fusion and especially part one (which actually had been 2nd movement, a mistake being corrected on the CD reissue) featuring Gong members Hillage and Malherbe breathes some Canterburian atmosphere. Electronic sounds contributed by the two keyboarders Blake and Verdaux are dominating in this part which becomes even quite odd at times like around 5:00 when experimentation gets a bit pointless and almost disturbing I’ve to say. Part two is the more rocking one with Lard Free-drummer Gilbert Artman and bassist Martin Isaacs added. Christian Boulé presents here a brilliant guitar work not a bit inferior to Hillage’s in part one and Artman’s vibraphone play adds a nice jazzy touch. Verdaux used here more analogue keyboard sounds like piano, organ and Mellotron and though the composition becomes slightly repetitive at times it never sounds boring at any moment. Overall this one had been a very strong and impressing but not perfect debut by a highly talented composer and musician which should be certainly considered an essential release in Prog.

Luther Grosvenor - Under open skies

Guitarist Luther Grovenor (aka Ariel Bender) is a guy who defines the term "journey man musician". Over the last four decades he's recorded music spanning all types of genres, enjoying massive commercial popularity with some of the world's most commercially successful bands. In spite of that success, he's all but unknown to most people. Here's a little bit of biographical information on the man. Grovesnor was born in Evesham, England. Interested in music from a young age, by the time he was a teenager he'd been in a number of local bands including Wavelength and Deep Feeling. The latter included lifelong friend/drummer Jim Capaldi, Gordon Jackson, Dave Mason, Dave Meredith and John Palmer. In early 1967 Capaldi and Mason left to join Steve Winwood in Traffic. Grosvenor subsequently joined the VIPs. Grosvenor's VIP stint was brief. After two singles, 1968 saw the band fell apart with keyboardist Keith Emerson joining The Nice, while Grovsenor, Mike Harrison, Mike Kellie and Greg Ridley regrouped as Art. Art lasted long enough to complete one LP, before adding singer/guitarist Gary Wright to the line up and metamorphosing into Spooky Tooth. Between 1968 and 1970, Spooky Tooth churned out a series of four LPs. Following the release of 1970's "The Last Puff", the band collapsed. Against this backdrop Island Records owner Chris Blackwell offered Grosvenor a solo deal. Recognizing most solo efforts simply suck, 1972's "Under Open Skies" is one of those rare exceptions. Co-produced by Grosveor and Tony Platt, the LP was written and recorded over a three month period in Blackwell's Spanish villa. The LP certainly sported one of the year's more impressive supporting casts, including The Moves' Trevor Burton, longtime buddy Capaldi, former Spooky Tooth alumnus Mike Kellie, Fairport Convention drummer Trevor Lucas and Mott the Hopple guitarist Mick Ralphs. In terms of performances most folks won't be shocked to hear that Grosvenor was a competent, if under whelming singer. That said, on tracks like "When I Met You" and "Waiting" his fragile voice occasionally recalled Steve Winwood. Certainly a bigger surprise, anyone expecting to hear an album of power guitar was probably somewhat disappointed. "When I Met You" and "Rocket" found Grosvenor aptly displaying his cops, but the overall feel was quite pastoral and reflective. "Under Open Skies" track listing: 1.) Ride On (Luther Grovesnor) - 2.) Here Comes the Queen (Luther Grovesnor - Githa Grosvenor) - 3.) When I Met You (Luther Grovesnor) - 4.) Love the Way (Luther Grovesnor - Githa Grosvenor) - 5.) Waiting (Luther Grovesnor) - 6.) Rocket (Luther Grovesnor) - 7.) Under Open Skies (Luther Grovesnor - Githa Grosvenor) - With the album vanishing without a trace, plans for a supporting tour and a follow-up LP with buddy Capaldi never saw the light of day. Opting not to participate in a 1972 Spooky Tooth reunion, Grosvenor instead replaced Gerry Rafferty in a late-inning version of Stealers Wheel. The following year he replaced Mick Ralphs in Mott the Hoople (under the name Ariel Bender). 1976 saw Grosvenor forming the short-lived Widowmaker. The late 80s saw him rejoin Spooky Tooth.

Spitfire - First Attack

Spitfire are one of the most important groups of the underground scene from the 80's in Greece. Their debut and only studio album First attack is considered a classic cult album by the Greek heavy metal audience and its compositions only confirm such characterizations. The band dives into NWOBHM sounds with influences from Saxon, Iron Maiden and Dio and has a Deep Purple feeling while it also explores power metal territories on numerous occasions. The album throughout contains a highly commercial echo (80's style) which gives listeners a better opportunity to enjoy its music. Unique it is not and it could have used a better production but the compositions are almost perfect which leaves unanswered questions to why such a band remained buried by the media and unknown to the mass. Songs like "Lady of the night", "Lead me on", "Evil thoughts around" and "Whispers" are brilliant examples of skillful songwriting and have the sound and style necessary for their era to become classics. Still, although Spitfire remained famous only to those who searched music to its depth they were worthy of a brighter future which never met with its expectations as the band split up after the unfortunate injury of the singer Dinos Kostakis in a car accident who spent two years in a coma. Highly recommended to NWOBHM and power metal fans.

Παρασκευή, 10 Ιουλίου 2009

Gorky Park - s/t

Despite being quite similar to most of the hair metal releases of the late '80s, Gorky Park's debut album is a solid freshman outing. The lead track "Bang" with its mix of Russian and English lyrics gave the band its first hit. The album also contains a collaboration with Bon Jovi, "Peace I Our Time," a ballad about the end of the cold war. The strangest tune is a cover of the Who's "My Generation" that when sung in the hair metal style appears to be a bit of a hack cover, until the band breaks into a Russian chorus giving the song a decent yet somewhat weird update. Despite the presence of some run-of-the-mill hair metal filler, this album holds up rather well. But with changing musical tastes in the early '90s this was to be band's only popular U.S. release.

Pallas - Beat the drum

A very welcome return and a good, although not terrific album. Well, the drummer ain't exactly Phil Collins, and the production is a bit ... clumsy at times, but with tracks like the opener "Call to Arms", "Wilderness Years", "Fragments of the Sun" and the two beautiful prog ballads "Spirits" and "Blood & Roses" this recording is worth more than three or four spins in your player.

Plasmatics - Coup d'etat

Fronted by the outrageous Wendy O. Williams and molded by the ultra-radical conceptual artist Rod Swenson, Plasmatics literally blasted their way on to the New York underground music scene in 1978. Swenson, who has a degree from Yale, met Wendy O. Williams during a job interview in 1977 whilst he was producing Counter-Culture Theater at NYC's Times Square. At the time, he was heavily involved in the New York underground rock scene producing shows and videos of unknown up and coming US bands such as Patti Smith, Ramones and Blondie. Swenson next project aim was the production of the world's most controversial and outrageous rock band and decided Wendy O. Williams was the logical star. Thus the Plasmatics were assembled and it was not long before night after night of sell out shows around the New York music scene were common placed and by 1979 they became the first unsigned band to headline New York's Palladium Theatre. During the show they christened one of their trademark stunts - blowing up an actual Cadillac car whilst onstage! Following a series of self produced and funded singles and EPs released throughout 1978-1979, the first full studio album, “New Hope for the Wretched", was issued by Stiff Records in 1980. Six further studio albums and several EPs followed during a decade of recording. On stage, the Plasmatics' performances were famed for the outrageous stunts including guitars being sawn in half with a chainsaw, cars being blown up, TVs sledge hammered and exploding speaker cabinets. Things were often so excessive they were, in the view of Billboard's Roman Kozak, "The absolute limit of what can be accomplished in Rock’N’Roll theatrics". This summarizes what the Plasmatics’ were out to, and did, accomplish. Following the success of “New Hope for the Wretched” and a sell out national tour of the USA, the Plasmatics headed to the UK for their first European show. On their arrival in London the waiting UK press were greeted by Wendy O. Williams dressed as a nurse telling them she had come to give "A cultural Enema to the British People." The sold out debut show planned at London's Hammersmith Odeon was cancelled at the eleventh hour by Greater London Council after labeling her an “anarchist”. Within a month “Butcher Baby” was riding high in the UK singles chart! Shortly after the release of their second album “Beyond the Valley of 1984” Wendy O. Williams faced multiple arrests in the US, following disruption on the accompanying US tour, on alleged obscenity charges and a much publicized beating at the hands of the US vice squad followed. Similar head lines were to follow the Plasmatics’ around the US and Europe through to their disbandment.Coup d'etat was released in 1982 and was a bridge between punk and heavy metal.It took decent critics from the music scene and included tracks worth-hearing :Put your love in me, Stop ,Rock n roll and The damned... The final Plasmatics record was released in 1987. Wendy O. Williams had further solo work but faded into obscurity. On April 6, 1998, in a final uncompromising act, Wendy O. Williams took her own life.

Σάββατο, 4 Ιουλίου 2009

Phenomena III - Innervision

This album brings together the talents of Scott Gorham(ex Thin Lizzy) and Queen guitarist Brian May. Any one who bought the first two albums should love this one. I thought the vocalist Keith Murrel who I had never heard of, is one of the most underrated singers of the Time. A great album !!!!

Hughes Thrall - s/t

The fruit of a one-off collaboration between ex-Deep Purple bassist/singer Glenn Hughes and journeyman guitarist Pat Thrall, Hughes/Thrall is full of the energy of early-'80s rock. With lyrics like "You got the power/Turn on the light" sung in best Ian Gillan fashion and buoyed by relentless grooves and Thrall's virtuosic guitar, this album is an overlooked gem. Thrall's use of the guitar synthesizer is very interesting. Throughout the album, he combines the muscle of hard rock with the textures of post-punk and new wave, as if Andy Summers were sitting around jamming with Eddie Van Halen. Take, for example, "Beg, Borrow or Steal." The verse is pure new wave, with its straight-eighth synth chords, but it soon gives way to the sleazy rock of the chorus. Much of this sound may in fact trace its origin to Queen and Rush, but listening to Hughes/Thrall in its historical context places it firmly in the same territory in which Billy Idol was to have so much success. The performances by the two leaders are fantastic. Hughes' voice and bass playing are in fine form, and Thrall exhibits a healthy dose of Allan Holdsworth in his playing. The mix, handled by none other than Andy Johns, tends to bury Thrall's guitar a bit, but the drums and bass sound great for an album from this period. This is aggressive and vital hard rock, with a healthy dose of texture and subtlety that prevents it from descending to the depths of self-parody that so much rock from the late '70s and early '80s was unable to save itself from. Worth searching out.