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.