Sunday, January 31, 2016

CD Review: Wagons Frontman Releases Debut Solo Album And Forgotten Gems Gets Rediscovered

From Australia comes the debut album from Wagons band frontman Henry Wagons titled "After What I Did Last Night..." It will be released on February 16th through Goldview/MGM and features twelve tracks seeped in classic country. Henry Wagons has been named one of Melbourne's most influential people and his music has been described at "Dr. Seuss meets Conway Twitty." The new album begins with "Cold Burger, Cold Fries," and this would be what Neil Diamond would sound like if he went country as Wagons pulls no punches on this new alt-country gem. The music gets down and dirty with the rawness of "King Hit" as Wagons demands you attention on this country-rocker. Wagons evokes the spirit of Johnny Cash on the classic country swing of "Head Of Heart," then plugs in for the aggressive, southern hard rock of "Tomboy." The album finishes with the gentle, loving delivery of "Only Child" and the acoustic, cowboy tribute to his home city of "Melbourne." To find out more about Henry Wagons and his new album "After What I Did Las Night...," please visit wagonsmusic.com.

Then, on March 18, the Numero Group record label is releasing a 19-song compilation titled "Wayfaring Strangers: Cosmic American Music." It features some of the best American roots music that you may have never heart before. Inspired by bands like The Eagles and artists like Gram Parsons and Linda Ronstadt, these musicians created some outstanding pieces of music that deserve your attention. The compilation opens with the classic, country swing of Jimmy Carter And Dallas County Green on "Travelin'," as their harmonies highlight the song. That inspired classic California soft rock sound of the seventies is heart in Plain Jane's "You Can't Make It Alone" and in Angel Oak's "I See Her Cry." The up-tempo rhythm of Arrogance's song "To See Her Smile" brings you back to the AM radio days, while The Black Canyon Gang followed the Eagles blueprint to a "t" with their song "Lonesome City" with no success. The eight-minute story of "Buffalo Skinners" is delivered perfectly by Bill Madison and the laid back gallop of White Cloud's "All Cried Out" has southern rock success written all over it, if it only had the chance, like many of this songs. To find out more about the new, soon to be released compilation "Wayfaring Strangers," please visit numerogroup.com.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

DVD Review: Gonzo Multimedia Uncovers "The Lost Broadcast" From Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention

Gonzo Multimedia took a step back in time with the newly released video "Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention...The Lost Broadcast, The Full Performance." It features new, unseen footage of Frank Zappa and his band in 1968 rehearsing for their appearance in the TV show "The Beat Club." Much of the rehearsal footage has never been seen, so this DVD is a special glimpse into the musical world of Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Inventions.

The film footage is raw, black & white with touches of special effects to give the film a psychedelic tone, but then again the music is the important part here. It feels like being invited to a jam session by Frank Zappa as you are up front, experiencing what few get to see during their live performances. Their session features some-type of version of their songs "King Kong," "Uncle Meat," "A Pound For A Brown On The Bus" and "Sleeping In A Jar." All of which would appear on the band's forthcoming album "Uncle Meat." Frank Zappa appears more as a conductor during this rehearsal as the band locks into some of the greatest prog-rock instrumentals that you will ever hear performed live on the spot. Watching Zappa perform is always a treat as his hand gestures and head nods are the signals for the band to speed up or slow down or switch tempos. A master of his trade, Frank Zappa was the ultimate bandleader for over 25 years.

The other half of the disc shows the band's full performance of their appearance on the Germany television show "The Beat Club." The music performed during this show is like a blueprint for jazz fusion as flutes and horns mixed with a piano, drums and guitar make for an amazing adventure into sound. To find out more about this newly released DVD, "Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Inventions...The Lost Broadcast, The Full Performance," please visit gonzomultimedia.co.uk.

Friday, January 29, 2016

CD Review: Wolfmother Are Finally "Victorious" With 4th Album

On February 19th, hard rock band Wolfmother will be releasing their fourth studio album titled "Victorious" through Universal Music Enterprises. After bursting onto the music scene in 2005 with their amazing debut album, Wolfmother had high expectations from fans to continue with their onslaught of metal guitar riffs and thunderous drumming, but line-up changes derailed the band for five years. They quietly self-released an album in 2014 titled "New Crown," which gave hope for Wolfmother to gather up momentum again for more albums and tours. Now with "Victorious," Wolfmother are back with their raw brand of hard rock to blow your eardrums away.
 
The new ten-song release begins with "Love That You Give," as original member Andrew Stockdale leads the way with his chugging guitars and undeniable, high-octave singing. The energy continues with the title-song, "Victorious" as the drum duties on this release were split between Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails) and Joey Waronker (R.E.M.) as Stockdale pulls off a Black Sabbath-style guitar solo. The only time that Stockdale mis-steps on this new album is with the pop/rock sound of "Pretty Peggy," which is a very good song, but not what one would expect from Wolfmother as they look to become one of the premier hard rock bands in the world. They come roaring back with the screaming guitars of "City Lights" and the classic chugging metal riffs of "Happy Face," before closing with the power of the "Eye Of The Beholder." Filled with classic riffs and outstanding songwriting, Wolfmother delivers another classic album that will stand the test of time. 
 
Wolfmother will be touring behind their release of the new album "Victorious," beginning on February 24 in Minneapolis. To find out more about the new album, please visit wolfmother.com.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

CD Review: Lucifer's Friend Return With New Live Album

German hard rock band Lucifer's Friend exploded onto the music scene in the seventies with a progressive sound that have influenced many of today's heavy metal bands. After disbanding in 1982, the members of the band have regrouped only once for the 1994 album "Sumo Grip." Their latest release is a live album that covers their show at the Sweden Rock Festival last year. This was the first time that the band performed together in over twenty years as they remind fans of how good this band was in their heyday. 
 
The new twelve-song release begins with the thunderous praise during the introduction, which leads into the up-tempo rocker "Pray." Lucifer's Friend continue to electrify the audience with classic cuts like "Fire And Rain" and "Keep Going." They showcase their progressive rock side with the seven-plus minute "Riding High" and also keep that hard rock edge to songs like "Moonshine Rider" and "Ride The Sky." The album closes with the seventies rocker "High Flying Lady" that has Lucifer's Friend reaching the same heights as long-time classic bands like Styx and Kansas. To find out more about Lucifer's Friend and their new release "Live @Sweden Rock 2015," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/LucifersFriendOfficial.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Imports From High Hopes, Foret D'Orient And Shevils

From the U.K. comes the sophomore album from High Hopes titled "Sights & Sounds." It will be released on February 5th through their new label Victory Records. The new ten-song release begins with a quick announcement before kicking down the door with the force of "The Callout." Since beginning in 2012, High Hopes have matured tremendously on this latest release. They have added a more melodic tone to their delivery of songs like "Vanguard" and "Milk," but still keep that hardcore metal edge as in "Manipulator." The album finishes with the speed and power of "The Greater Plan" and the quiet strength of "Sights & Sounds," which showcases the band's diversity. To find out more about High Hopes and their latest release "Sights & Sounds," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ihavehighhopesofficial.

From Venice, Italy comes the latest release from symphonic black metal band Foret D'Orient titled "Venetia." The new seven-song concept album incorporates full orchestration along with an aggressive death metal attack. The combination of the two genres works together perfectly as the powerful vocals and drums are balanced by the intense classical music backdrops that turns songs like "A Reitia" and "Del Mare Alla Terra Adhuc Viventi" into complete metal masterpieces. They add a prog-metal element to "Lepanto" and close the album with the famous symphony "Adagio In Sol Minore." The album was released earlier in the month through Visionaire Records. To find out more about Foret D'Orient and their latest release "Venetia," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/VisionaireRecords.

From Oslo, Norway comes the latest release from independent hardcore metal band Shevils titled "The White Sea." Their sound combines elements of grunge with raw, heavy garage rock to create a hardcore sound that adds a blast of pure energy to the music. The new ten-song release starts with the quick-hitting metal appeal of "I Wear The Skies" as screaming vocals and simple guitar riffs kick things off. They combine all of their influences within "One Thousand Years" as their energy pushes these songs to their limits. The stomping rhythm of "Wordsmith" and frenzied guitars of "When Will I See You Again" display a controlled chaos to what Shevils have to offer. To find out more about Shevils and their latest release "The White Sea," please visit shevils.com.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

CD Review: New Music From International Singer/Songwriters 8 Ball Aitken, Merival And Chen Firsel


From Australia comes the American self-titled debut release from singer/songwriter 8 Ball Aitken. 8 Ball Aiken has eight albums released in his home country and is ready to bring his new new album of Americana music for the U.S. to enjoy. The new twelve song release mixes the down and dirty, Billy Gibbons-type boogie of "Shut The Front Door" with the quiet, slow folk delivery of "Girl In A Million," which sounds like it came from the Ryan Adams songbook. The country pop/rock of "Sleepy" could be a breakthrough hit for 8 Ball Aitken, which should find its way to country radio. They add some country blues to the political opinion of "Monkey In A Suit And A Tie," then head out with the rockabilly swing of "Seven Bucks An Hour In A Chicken Suit." To find out more about 8 Ball Aitken and their new album, "The New Normal," please visit 8ballaitken.com.

Canadian singer/songwriter Merival will be releasing her debut album "Lovers" on January 29th. It features five magical acoustic folk songs that will warm your soul. Her voice is angelic on the opener "A Better Deal" and she works her way into your heart with the emotional delivery of "Kickin You Out." Merival has an innocence to her voice in "Dream Of Yourself," before closing with the gentle, quiet touch of "Calendar." To find out more about Merival and her latest release "Lovers," please visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/Merival.

From Israel comes the latest release from psychedelic singer/songwriter Chen Firsel titled "Sugarush." It is a short four-song EP that gives such depth to his songwriting. Beginning with the two-minute title-song, you feel as if you are entering a journey through sound with a progressive folk feel. An early Pink Floyd influence is heard in "Diamonds," while "Stellar" adds some elements of jazz and Middle-Eastern flair. The album closes with the acoustic, experimental piece "My Last Brain Cells" as Chen continues to push the boundaries of music. To find out more about Chen Firsel and his latest release "Sugarush," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/ChenFirsel.

Monday, January 25, 2016

CD Review: Kevin Godley Helps Turn Richard La Plante's Memoir Into "Hog Fever"

In this day of age, its rare for a former rock star to develop a radio play, which is exactly what Kevin Godley, founding drummer of the English rock band 10CC, did last year. He developed the memoir of Richard La Plante into a radio drama titled "Hog Fever." La Plante is known for his crime novels and love of Harley Davidson motorcycles, but this specific memoir sparked interest in Godley creating a radio movie with a full cast of actors and original music. This new "Ear Movie" was becoming something special once famed actor Terence Stamp signed on to star as "The Shrink."
 
The story takes you on a journey into the mind of Robert Lourdes as he explains his adventures on his Harley Davidson motorcycle to his shrink. The main character, Robert Lourdes, looks for freedom from his current life by escaping on his bike as the iconic voice of Terrence Stamp, as his shrink, gives a pulse to the meaning behind his stories. This midlife crisis story is delivered in five episodes and each one draws you further into the mind of Robert Lourdes. The writing is very descriptive and easily paints a picture in your mind, which allows each listener to experience the story differently.
 
Also included in this four disc set is the soundtrack that feature original music by Kevin Godley and Richard La Plante along with a version of Cole Porter's "Night & Day" performed by Terrence Stamp. The original songs by Godley showcase his expertise for writing pop/rock gems like "The Bad & The Beautiful" and the rhythmic delivery of "Just Write." Fellow English musician Daniel Ash (Bauhaus, Love And Rockets) adds two original compositions to the soundtrack, the raw, punk-like fury of "Flame On" and the album closer "Wanker" performed by Laura Rearwin. To find out more about "Hog Fever," please visit blackstonelibrary.com/hog-fever-episodes-1-6.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

CD/Blu-Ray Review: "I Am Thor" Gives Truthful Insight To A Troubled Career

2015 was the year of THOR as the heavy metal artist re-entered the spotlight with a brand new studio album, "Metal Avenger," a newly remastered version of his 1983 break-through album "Unchained" and the release of a brand new documentary titled "I Am Thor." The film was released on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD on January 19th along with an accompanying soundtrack which was released on January 22nd through Deadline Music in association with Cleopatra Records.

Singer, actor and former weight lifter Jon Mickl Thor finally has his story told in the newly released documentary "I Am Thor." Jon has the biggest heart and the most dedication of any musician, but a string of bad luck and misadventures has derailed him from being a hard rock star. Growing up in Canada, Jon first had aspiration of being a body builder which won him the titles of "Mr Canada" and "Mr USA," the first to ever hold those two titles, but his love for music was burning inside him. After the band, Thor became huge in Europe in the late seventies and early eighties, and it seemed that everything was working for him, but crazy circumstances has halted his dream numerous times. From being kidnapped, drugged, detained, and having a nervous breakdown, Jon Mickl Thor never stopped working toward being a professional musician. He even acted in a few B-movies before again almost getting his big break, playing Thor in "Adventures In Babysitting," before being dropped for another less qualified actor. This documentary will have you viewing Thor in a different light as he continues upon his comeback which started over 15 years ago. It amazing how after 40 years Thor is still making his dream happen as he continues to influence this next generation of fans. To find out more about "I Am Thor" on Blu-ray and DVD, please visit iamthormovie.com.

The soundtrack to the film gathers sixteen classic metal anthems that lead singer Jon Mikl Thor performed throughout his 43 year career. Beginning with early versions of the band, Thor was still searching for that hard rock sound with the very dated pop/rock feel of "We Are Body Rock/Start The Show" and "Hey Tonight." Thor's signature metal sound begins to show with the band's 1977 debut single "Keep The Dogs Away" and 1982 EP "Lightning Strikes Again." The speed and energy that Thor were looking to capture is shown in the song "Anger" as they deliver with a Motorhead-like fury. Speaking of Motorhead, former guitarist Fast Eddie Clarke lends a hand to last year's "Metal Avenger," before finishing with Thor's attempt at punk, backed by The Ass Boys and the short, quick one-minute waltz of "Crunch, Crunch, Yum, Yum." To find out more about "I Am Thor" movie and soundtrack, please visit cleorecs.com.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Releases Lost Alan Price Album

English musician Alan Price was a founding member of the British rock/blues band The Animals, before finding success as a solo artist in 1966 with a cover of the Screamin' Jay Hawkins classic "I Put A Spell On You." To this day, Price still continues to perform as a solo artist and he did partake in three reunion tours with The Animals. Alan Price was also the focus of one of the "lost masterpieces" of rock music when his 1974 studio album "Savaloy Dip" was recorded by never released...until now. On January 15th, Omnivore Recordings finally releasing the Alan Price album "Savaloy Dip: Words & Music By Alan Price."

It features eleven funked fueled, R&B/rock songs that might seem outdated next to some of today's music, but fit the perfect mold for 1974. Beginning with "Smells Like Lemon, Tastes Like Wine," the music's shuffle-rhythm is highlighted with horns as Price's words are fun and exciting. He takes on the blues with a New Orleans, Dr. John-style of "Willie The Queen" and can tell a story as good as anyone with "Poor Jimmy." He plays to his strength with the keyboard-driven "Keep On Doin' It," and delivers a couple pop gems with "Passin' Us By" and "And So Goodbye." To find out more about the newly released "Savaloy Dip: Words & Music By Alan Price," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Friday, January 22, 2016

CD/Digital Review: New Children's Music From Laurie Berkner, Diana Panton & Hullabloo

One of the biggest selling artists of children's music is Laurie Berkner and she has been a mainstay in the genre for almost twenty years. Her music has been featured in numerous television show and commercials and she is preparing to release her latest album entitled "Love," just in time for Valentine's Day. This digital compilation gathers 16 of Berkner's favorite songs about "Love" from her eight best-selling, best-loved albums and the music has been remastered for this ideal release. Beginning with "Open Your Heart," Berkner decided that many of her songs deal with the subject of "love" so to gather them together was a no-brainer. She is very playful with song like "I Love My Rooster," "My Family" and "Froggie West A-Courtin'." She touches your heart with the gentle flow of "Smile" and "Lullabye," but one of her originals that has become a classic with parents is "Under A Shady Tree." She adds on two bonus tracks about the love of sweets like the jazzy sing-along "Choc-o-lot In My Pock-o-lot" and the acoustic strumming of the "The Cookie Bakers Of The Night." Two Tomatoes Records will be releasing this compilation digitally on January 29th. To find out more about Laurie Berkner and her music, please visit laurieberkner.com.
 
Canadian vocalist Diana Panton will be releasing her new album "I Believe In Little Things" on March 18. It features a mix of classic children's songs from Disney, Sesame Street, The Muppets, Willy Wonka and others. Her voice is so pure and gentle that it is a very peaceful, jazzy album that is perfect to sooth a child's nerves and even reminds parents how lovely these songs were growing up. Highlights of new fourteen song album is Panton's delivery of Kermit's "Rainbow Connection" that just has a wonderful warm tone. Her voice for "When You Wish Upon A Star" puts your mind right back to early childhood memories and the playful "Everybody Sleeps" has just the right amount of jazz influence that feels timeless. The album finishes with the perfect setting of the quiet "Hushabye Mountain" and "Slumber My Darling." To find out more about Diana Panton and her latest release "I Believe In Little Things," please visit dianapanton.com.
 
California duo Steve Denyes and Brendan Kremer vowed that for 21 days in February 2015 that they would write, record and release a song a day. They have taken the best of those 21-songs and released them as the latest album from Hullabloo titled "I Chew." The new 16-song album features on the spot creations that are fun, short and easy to remember. Highlights include the folk strumming of "Air-O-Plane" and their funny ode to the color pink with "I Wear Pink." One of the more mature songs on this release is the one-minute love song "Lucky Stars" that shows so much heart, while "Shake, Shake, Shake" is just full of energy that makes you want to get up and dance. To find out more about Hullabloo and their new album "I Chew," please visit hullabalooband.com.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

CD Review: New Indie-Music Arriving From Edward Rogers, Blue Orchids, Andy Metz and Kye Alfred Hillig

From New York comes the latest album from UK-born singer/songwriter Edward Rogers titled "Glass Marbles." This will be his sixth album and will be released on March 11th through Zip Records. Over the last year, Rogers wrote over 50 songs as contenders for his new album and with the help of producer Don Piper knocked it down to the 19 that are featured on this new album. Rogers also had some of the top session musicians to work with him on this release. Beginning with "The World Of Mystery," you get a sense that this album has a special quality to it as Rogers portrays a mature folk/rock sound. His storytelling lyrics are so descriptive as in "Welcome To My Monday Morning" that he paints the perfect picture in your mind of what he is singing about. Rogers is bringing his love for flea market shopping to "Jumbo Sale," before rocking out on the "Olde House On The Hill." This release is filled to brim with many different genres as Rogers's wonderful songwriting becomes the main focus of the album. To find out more about Edward Rogers and his latest album "Glass Marbles," please visit edwardrogersmusic.com.

English post-punk band Blue Orchids are preparing to release their first new album in over fifteen years titled "The Once And Future Thing." It features the great songwriting and distinct vocals of original member Martin Bramah, supported by the latest group of top class of musicians. The new eleven-song release begins with the strong rocker "A Good Day To Live" that demands your attention. They bring us back to the early days with the pop/rock feel of "Jam Today" and add an element of alternative/country to the quick jam of "Motorway," before slowing down for the acoustic folk delivery of "Rosie Hours." The album finishes up with the big build-up of "Running Blind" and the classic bar-room rock of "Road To Perilous" as Blue Orchids look to reclaim their place in rock history. To find out more about their new album "The Once And Future Thing," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Blue-Orchids.

From Chicago comes the full-length debut album from singer/songwriter Andy Metz, titled "Delusions." He begins with the up-beat, acoustic strumming of "Where We Belong" and gets locked into a funky groove of "Evil," before letting out his emotions for "Take My Heart." Andy mixes in some hip-hop lyrics for "Guns," before slowing down for the gentle ballad "Witnesses." The new eleven-song release finishes with a couple of newly discovered folk gems ("I Might Break" and "Old Man") and them closes with the dark, church-hymn "Saved." To find out more about Andy Metz and his latest release "Delusions," please visit andymetz.com.

This year marks the return of Tacoma, WA singer/songwriter Kye Alfred Hillig with his latest album "Great Falls Memorial Interchange." It features a dozen folk/rock gems, beginning with the country strumming of "Always Leaving Early Deb Lake Tahoe" and get the energy flowing on the stomp rhythm of "The Church Street Saint Leads The Marching Band For Truth." He showcases some wonderful harmonizing on the unorthodox subject of "Throwing Up," but you can definitely appreciate his exceptional songwriting in the quiet delivery of "In Tandem." He pays homage to singer "Whitney Houston" with this touching tribute, before finishing with the acoustic country feel of "Ancient Burial Ground" and the solo delivery of "Big Sleeping Nowhere." To find out more about Kye Alfred Hillig and his latest release "Great Falls Memorial Interchange," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/kyealfredhilligmusic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

CD Review: The Rocker Summer Visits Connecticut While Goth Babe And Hold/Transfer Release EPs

Multi-instrumentalist Bryce Avary is releasing his sixth studio album this February titled "Zoetic" under the name The Rocket Summer. Avary writes, records and produces all of his albums, and his last three albums have cracked the top 60 on the Billboard albums chart. He is also headed out on tour, which includes a stop at The Space in Hamden, CT on March 25th. The new eleven-song release begins with the intense, electronic build-up of "Cold War" as The Rocket Summer incorporates elements of hard rock, techno and pop to create an exciting piece of music. His rhythms are wildly attractive as with "UNI" and "Get Over It" as he continues to create what he loves instead of what's popular. He lets up on the beats for the meaningful delivery of "You Are, You Are," before diving back in with the intense "Rule Of Thirds Kind Of Life." The album finishes with the fun, up-tempo beats of "Emergency Landings." To find out more about The Rocket Summer and his latest release "Zoetic," please visit therocketsummer.com.

From Nashville comes the new EP from garage rocker Goth Babe. It features five songs seeped in fuzztone, grunge guitar and a steady, rock rhythm. The lyrics almost seem meaningless behind the growling guitars of "In My Head" as that is where the song's excitement lies. Goth Babe picks up the energy with "Bummed Out," which has a punk-like feel to it and lays down the perfect track for Goth culture with "Wasted Time." Goth Babe showcases the early grunge influence on the raw feel of "Sunshine." To find out more about Goth Babe and the latest EP, please visit facebook.com/gothbabetn.

From Boston comes the latest EP from indie-rockers Hold/Transfer titled "Destined For Lesser Things." This duo keeps things simple with a rawness to their sound as displayed in the opener "Complete Control," before picking up the tempo with the modern alternative sound of "Erase." The short six-song album closes with the up-beat, early R.E.M-feel of "Blue Mind" and the punk-like attitude of "Pick The Carcass." To find out more about Hold/Transfer and their latest release "Destined For Lesser Things," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/holdtransfer.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

CD Review: New Music From Heavy Metal Artists Exumer, Ketzer And Brimstone Coven

Metal Blade Records continues to roll out some of the best independent metal music in the world. They start the year off right with new January releases from Exumer, Ketzer and Brimstone Coven.
 
First up is the January 29th release of German thrash metal veterans Exumer titled "The Raging Tides." It is the band's first release in over four years and it will be their second album released on Metal Blade Records. The new ten-song release brings back that classic thrash metal sound of eighties with a youthful energy added to the music. Beginning with "The Raging Tide," you instantly get engulfed with the speed and power of what Exumer have to offer. They continue with the thrash metal guitar riffs of "Brand Of Evil" and "Welcome To Hellfire" and will blow you away with the intensity of "Sinister Souls." For a band that has been in the metal game for over 30 years, Exumer still keeps their music edgy with songs like "There Will Always Be Blood" and "Death Factory." To find out more about Exumer and their latest release "The Raging Tides," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/exumerofficial.
 
Next we have the latest release from fellow German metal band Ketzer titled "Starless." It is the band's third album as they became inspired to write new music after their first tour of the U.S.. The new ten-s0ng release begins with the title-song, "Starless" as the growling vocals and intense drumming are the driving force behind the song. The dual-guitars electrify "When The Milk Runs Dry" and the classic chugging rhythm of "Count To Ten" explodes during the chorus. They slow down for the grinding death metal tempo of "Shaman's Dance," before closing the album with the quiet, mystical feel of "Limbo." To find out more about Ketzer and their latest release "Starless," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ketzergermany. 
 
Newcomers, Brimstone Coven are releasing their Metal Blade Records debut album on January 29th titled "Black Magic." Their sound dates back to the early days of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, but they are a relatively new band with passion for the classic metal of the sixties and seventies. Their new album begins with the title-song, "Black Magic" as you'd swear this song came from four decades ago. Brimstone Coven have captured something special in their music with songs like "Black Unicorn" and "Beyond The Astral" that gets listeners excited to listen to every track on the album. Their new single "Slow Death" draws in elements of raw, garage rock with undeniable guitar riffs and classic vocals that are unlike anything on the radio now. Their new ten-song release closes with the heavy prog-rock feel of "Forsaken" and the steady, pounding rhythm of "The Eldest Tree." To find out more about Brimstone Coven and their latest release "Black Magic," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/brimstonecoven.

Monday, January 18, 2016

CD Review: New Music From Progressive Rockers Odin's Court And SkyTalk Along With Guitarist Todd Grubbs

From Maryland comes the latest album from the progressive metal band Odin's Court titled "Deathanity (R3)." It is a re-release of their 2008 breakthrough album "Deathanity" with newly recorded vocals and a remixed sound to the album to give it a more modern sound. The musicianship on this album is top-notch as Odin's Court look to draw you in with the opening instrumental "Terracide" and keep you excited with their amazing solos in "Mammanific" and "Esoterica." They recreate Friedrich Schiller's "Ode To Joy," turning the double-bass drums into a heart pumping masterpiece. The album closes with the prog-metal excitement of "Cosmosera" and the classical appeal of "Vastificant." To find out more about Odin's Court and the latest release "Deathanity (R3)," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/OdinsCourtBand.

From the warm sunny shores of Tampa, FL comes the latest album from guitarist Todd Grubbs titled "As The Worm Turns." It is his first primary vocal album and was funded by a Kickstarter program last summer. The new eleven-song release features Todd's iconic progressive guitar throughout with guest vocalists, beginning with Zack Stevens (Savatage) on the intense rocker "The Man In The Hat." Todd turns on the alt-country charm with newcomer Emily Velasco belting out the vocals of "The Other Side Of Forever," then lays down the swamp guitar boogie of "Living The Good Lie" as Todd Plant gives the song an authentic southern rock swing. Grubbs goes acoustic for the folk storytelling tale of "Johnstown," before closing with songstress Melanie Sims on the ballad "Fabric Of The Day" and the raw, garage rock delivery of "Escape From You." To find out more about Todd Grubbs and his new album "As The Worm Turns," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/Todd-Grubbs.

From New York City comes the debut EP from the progressive rock trio SkyTalk titled "Days In The Sun." It features the great musicianship of twin brothers Jordan and Taloy Steinberg, along with Dan Costello, who met while attending Purchase College. They shared a love for classic progressive rock bands like Yes and Rush and found a chemistry and common goal in their collaboration. The new five-song release begins with the funky wizardry of the title song "Days In The Sun" as the music excites more than the vocals. They add some of their progressive influences into the enticing "Fall Awake," before finishing with the bright, energetic power rock delivery of "Foot Traffic." To find out more about SkyTalk, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/skytalkband.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

CD Review: The Music Of Southpaw Steel 'n' Twang Put You In A "Stat(u)e Of Mind"

Finnish trio, Southpaw Steel 'n' Twang return with a brand new studio titled "Stat(u)e Of Mind." It features fourteen exciting new tracks of spaghetti western, California surf, country/rock instrumentals mixed with a few vocal highlights as this band continues to evolve into a underground music force.

Beginning with a short one-minute acoustic instrumental, Southpaw Steel 'n' Twang are ready to take you on an adventure with the sweeping feel of "Gentle Storm" as guitarist Ville Leppanen works in the steel and electric guitars. The energy picks up with the high-powered drumming of Tero Mikkonen in "Aloha Garage" and the driving bass line of JP Monkkonen for "Route 68." The band plays around with the surf guitar instrumental "Hooverville" and then displays the blues of "Something," before finishing up with the Hawaiian island flavor of "Almost Too Beautiful" and the rockabilly groove of "Sergio."

Southpaw Steel 'n' Twang have about a dozen shows line-up in Europe. To find out more about their new album "Stat(u)e Of Mind," please visit bafesfactory.fi.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Re-Introduces The Music Of JD Souther

American singer/songwriter JD Souther has seen his music career last for over four decades. He is best known as the writer of hit songs for The Eagles ("Best Of My Love" and "Heartache Tonight") as well as for Linda Ronstadt ("Faithless Love"). Souther also had a solo hit in 1979 with the song "You're Only Lonely," which hit the top ten on the singles chart.

Beginning on January 8th, Omnivore Recordings will launch their expansion campaign for JD Souther's early albums. His debut solo album "John David Souther" will be remastered and will also include seven bonus tracks made up of demos and alternative takes. The album features Souther's brand of California folk/rock that took The Eagles and Jackson Browne to stardom. The song "How Long" from this album was covered by The Eagles for their 2007 album "Long Road Out Of Eden." Souther's voice on this album is warm and inviting and even has an innocence to it that gives his music heart and soul. The seven bonus tracks on this release begin with an alternative version of "Kite Woman." It has a steady country rhythm that gives the song a different, less intimate feel. The next six bonus tracks are demos that show the growth in songs like "Jesus In 3/4 Time" and "The Fast One." The rawness of these early recordings give insight into how great of a songwriter JD Souther is as you can follow the development of these songs.

The other albums arriving from this new expansion campaign are "Black Rose" and "Home By Dawn," which will arrive during the second week of February. To find out more about this latest version of "John David Souther," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Vinyl Review: Audio Fidelity Breathes New Life Into "Thief" Soundtrack

German electronic band, Tangerine Dream was sought after by director Michael Mann to score his debut film "Thief" back in 1981. The film received rave reviews, but never became a blockbuster smash hit despite the big names attached to this film like Jerry Bruckheimer, James Caan, Tuesday Weld and Willie Nelson. This heist film needed just the right soundtrack to give it a "cutting edge" sound and Tangerine Dream were the perfect band to deliver extra emotion to the film.

Audio Fidelity decided on this soundtrack to be the latest remastered vinyl release. It features a very dated, synthesizer-filled sound, but the perfect setting to be delivered on vinyl, since it has been out of print for some time. Tangerine Dream do a masterful job combining the electronic sounds to develop emotion in these manufactured songs. When played loud, you can truly appreciate the remaster job Kevin Gray did with the music. You will easily get lost in the pulsating rhythm of "Diamond Diary," the sweeping prog-like synth of "Igneous" and the Floydian rock of "Confrontation." 

This newly remastered version of the "Thief Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" may entice many to rediscover the film, 35 years after its debut. It also showcases how good Tangerine Dream were as an instrumental band, creating over sixty soundtracks for film, TV and video games. To find out more about the newly remastered vinyl release of the "Thief Original Motion Picture Soundtrack," please visit audiofidelity.net

Thursday, January 14, 2016

CD Review: New Music From Indie-Artists Andrew Adkins, Sarah Petrella, Sophia Radisch, Jade Mya

From Nashville comes the latest album from country singer/songwriter Andrew Adkins titled "Glass Castles." It features thirteen songs soaked in classic Americana, blues and country music filled with great lyrics and steady rhythms. Beginning with the swing of "Freeborn Heart," Andrew's voice has a familiarity to it that attracts you to his sound. He introduces a bluegrass texture to "The River In All Of Us" and showcases his influence of The Band on the folk/rock story of "The Ballad Of Wayne WV." The great build-up of "Consisting Of Love" shows the true potential in Andrew's songwriting as the feeling of hope swells within the song's delivery. He seems to have the most fun when he quickens the pace as in the up-tempo fun of "Old Coal Town" and "Jubilee (Land Of The Free)." To find out more about Andrew Adkins and his latest release "Glass Castles," please visit andrewadkins.net.

Californian singer/songwriter Sarah Petrella recently released her latest EP titled "Seasons." She mixes in elements of country and rock with her folk-style songwriting to create these epic sounding songs. The new five-song album begins with the powerfully intense rock number "Dancing With The Devil" as Sarah puts everything into her performance. She pulls back the reigns a bit on the country acoustic strumming of "What Am I Waiting For" with subtle hints of banjo to give the song its spark and then struts her stuff on the explosive chorus of "Change." The album's lead single "Mr. Mystery" shows off Sarah's sweet side with her innocent sounding vocals that swell up in this new folk/rock gem that needs to be uncovered. Check out her video for the single on YouTube. To find out more about Sarah Petrella and her latest release "Seasons," please visit sarahpetrella.com.

From Canada comes the sophomore release from rising teen rock singer/songwriter Sophia Radisch titled "Beautiful Sin." The album was produced by former Megadeth guitarist Glen Drover, who also appears on the album along with fellow ex-Megadeth member Shawn Drover on drums. It features 13 soulful rock songs, beginning with the beautiful, smooth acoustic strumming of "Come Around," before getting bluesier on the harder edged "Closed Doors." The tempo picks up on the alternative rocker "Give Me A Soul" and the fun power pop/rock feel of "Hot Blooded." Her sweet, soulful voice shines on "Saint" and swings on the rock ballad "Shiver," before closing with the steady delivery of "Sweet Injustice." To find out more about Sophia Radisch and her latest album "Beautiful Sin," please visit sophiaradisch.com.

Canadian country artist Jade Mya recently released her new EP, "Nashville Covers." It features four songs that have been recently performed on the hit TV show "Nashville." She released her debut single back in October and is quickly rising up the ranks to country superstardom. Jade pours her all into the country rock of "This Love Ain't Big Enough" and adds an extra sultry swing to "Lies Of The Lonely," but her heart and soul is felt in the gentle delivery of "Stronger Than Me." Jade will be touring Canada beginning January 23rd. For a complete list of dates and to find out more about Jade Mya, please visit her website at jademya.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

CD Review: Jazz Drummer Jae Sinnett Goes "Zero To 60" On New Album

Musician/composer Jae Sinnett returns with his most swinging album of his thirty year career. Beginning in 1986, Sinnett has penned over 250 compositions and released 14 albums as a bandleader. His latest release titled "Zero To 60," features ten songs that reflect Sinnett's experiences throughout his sixty years of life.
 
Beginning with the up-tempo "Double Dribble," Sinnett's drumming keeps the energy flowing, while the members of his band take their turn in the spotlight. He keeps the excitement going with the eight-minute "Farm Hands" with sweeping solos and tempo changes. Sinnett and his band slow the tempo down for you to  explore the steady pace of "Quail Creek," before taking off again for the quick jumping rhythm of "Watch Your Step." Sinnett pulls together his version of "Never Let Me Go," then quickens up the tempo once again with "Bowen's Arrow," before finishing up with the delicate, ten-minute adventure of "Omega." To find out more about Jae Sinnett and his latest release "Zero To 60," please visit jaesinnett.com.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music Arriving From The Order Of Elijah, One Morning Left And Ondt Blod

From Joplin, Missouri comes the new album from hardcore Christian metal band The Order Of Elijah titled "War At Heart." It features eleven hard-hitting, adrenaline-fueled tracks, beginning with a spoken word introduction that sets the stage for the themed album. Then the band comes screaming out of the gates with the attack of "War At Heart" and the explosiveness of "Gods Unwanted Children." The intensity of "All American Plague" and NuMetal feel of "Beautiful" closes the album on a high note as The Order Of Elijah continue to grow and evolve in this great hardcore metal band. To find out more about The Order Of Elijah and their latest release, "War At Heart," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/theorderofelijah.

From Finland comes the exciting new metalcore album from One Morning Left titled "Metalcore Superstars." It is the band's first release on their newly signed label Imminence Records. The album features eleven head-banging tracks, beginning with the highly energetic, hardcore feel to "OML_KVLT." Then One Morning Left take a turn to the electronics with the synthesizer driven "Heavy Metal Finland" and "Kings And Queens" Their powers lies in their youth as they display it in the hard-hitting singles "You're Dead! Let's Disco!" and "Eternity," before closing their album with the exciting mainstream metal feel of "Sticks And Stones." To find out more about One Morning Left and their latest release "Metalcore Superstars," please visit onemorningleft.com.

From Norway comes the debut album from the hardcore metal band Ondt Blod titled "Finnmark." It feature ten exciting headbangers that deal with the decline of industrial communities and small town pride as most of the members of this five-piece hail from Norway's northern most county of Finnmark. The album begins with the thrash metal of "Svarte Daga" and the two-minute punk-like fury of "Nye Lydspor." While you may not understand the songs lyrics, which are sung in Norwegian, you still feel the emotions in "Tragedien Kommer" and "Symbola." The album finishes with the monstrous rhythms of "9900 Sodoma" and the prog-metal feel of "Finnmark." To find out more about Ondt Blod and their new album, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ondtblodband.

Monday, January 11, 2016

CD Review: Drowning Pool Scream "Hellelujah" For New Album

In 2016, American hard rock band Drowning Pool will be celebrating their 20th anniversary together as a band and in honor of that accomplishment, Drowning Pool will also be releasing their sixth album titled "Hellelujah." Their music has been built on monstrous riffs and driving heavy metal rhythms to create an exciting, energetic sound.

There new album is described as a "bad attitude record" as the band pulls no punches on the screaming opening track "Push." The album's lead single, "By The Blood," is a guitar driven anthem that has Drowning Pool playing by their own rules as they lay it all on the line. They put their sound into overdrive on the intense, adrenaline induced attack of "Drop" and the shouting chorus of "We Are The Devil." Another solid release from Drowning Pool continues with hard edged delivery of "Goddamn Vultures," before letting up on the attack with the quieter delivery of "Another Name." The new thirteen-song album closes with the roar of "Stomping Ground" and the chugging guitars of "All Saints Day."

The new album comes out on February 5th on eOne Music and look for the band to announce tour dates very soon. To find out more about Drowning Pool and their latest album "Hellelujah," please visit drowningpool.com.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

CD Review: Heavy Metal Band Megadeth Bring Us To "Dystopia"

California thrash metal band Megadeth will be releasing their 15th studio album, "Dystopia" on January 22nd through T-Boy Records, a sublet of the Universal Music Group label. The new album welcomes Kiko Loureiro on guitar, along with Chris Adler (Lamb Of God) on drums and the result is a new exciting, energetic sound added to the evolution of Megadeth.

The new eleven-song release begins with the vicious guitar introduction that leads into the intense opener "The Treat Is Real." New guitarist Loureiro wastes no time introducing himself with an electrifying solo. While lead singer's Dave Mustane's screaming vocals may have diminished, the power and accuracy in his singing still hits its mark on "Fatal Illusion." Mustaine is one of the masters of balancing his sound between thrash and progressive metal with the exceptional musicianship as in "Death From Within" and "Poisonous Shadows." The classical guitar intro of "Conquer Or Die!" quickly gets overtaken by some amazing soloing from newcomer Kiko Loureiro. The album finishes with the thunderous attack of "Lying In State" as the band moves into overdrive, before the short, quick precise delivery of "Foreign Policy."

Megadeth are hitting the road for the next five months beginning February 20th in Texas, before they make their way to the Download Festival and Hellfest in June. To find out more about their new album "Dystopia," please visit dystopia.megadeth.com.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

CD Review: David Bowie's New Album Arrives On A "Blackstar"

The "Thin White Duke" surprised fans three years ago when he released his first single ("Where Are We Now?') in over a decade and quickly followed with a new studio album, "The Next Day." Since then, Bowie has been busy, behind the scenes, writing a new stage production titled "Lazarus" and recording a brand new studio album titled "Blackstar," which was released yesterday on his 69th birthday.

The wonderful thing about David Bowie is that he always follows his heart on which direction he wants his music to go and his instincts are never wrong. His latest album features seven songs of electronic jazz/rock avant garde, beginning with the epic ten-minute masterpiece "Blackstar." The song combines Gregorian chants with sax solos and then turns into a swinging blues number, before returning back to its dark overtones. The music and the energy picks up with the explicit "'Tis A Pity She Was A Whore." The lyrics are somewhat surprising coming from a 69 year old, semi-retired rock artist, but the jazzy musical backdrop sets the stage perfectly for this enticing little number. The album's second single, "Lazarus" continues to grow in strength and intensity as the vocals and music continue to climb higher. Bowie peels off hip-hop lyrics that would rival most rap groups in "Girl Loves Me," but he delivers them in a mature, lush setting with a steady pulsating bass rhythm that seems so natural. The album closes with his only glimpse at his past work with "I Can't Give Everything Away" as the song sounds like an outtake from his 1999 album "Hours."

As long as David Bowie continues to evolve his music, then there is still a sense of excitement in modern rock music. To find out more about his new album "Blackstar," please visit davidbowie.com/blackstar.

Friday, January 8, 2016

CD Review: Rachel Platten Starts A "Wildfire" With Major Label Debut Album

American singer/songwriter Rachel Platten recently released her new album "Wildfire" on January 1st. It her her first album in five years and also her Columbia Records debut. She is best known for this past summer's top 10 single "Fight Song," which appears on this new release along with eleven other pop gems.
 
The new album begins with the powerful "Stand By You" as her voice becomes the new battle cry for friendship. Fellow pop singer/songwriter Andy Grammer lends a hand to the intense dance beats of "Hey Hey Hallalujah" and Platten hones her pop skills on the irresistible rhythm of "Beating Me Up." She has a innocence to her vocals in "Better Place," then takes her music to the next level on the addictive power pop of "You Don't Know My Heart." The album finishes up with the heart-pumping, dance floor rhythm of "Congratulations" and the beautiful build-up of "Superman." 
 
Rachel Platten will be starting her U.S. tour on Feb. 26 in Dallas. For a complete list of shows and to find out more about her new album "Wildfire," please visit rachelplatten.com.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music From Temisto And The Veer Union

From Sweden comes the self-titled debut album from death metal band Temisto. It will be released on February 26th through Pulverised and features only two members, Leo Ekstrom and Sebastian Lindbom Gunnari. The new ten-song album begins with the high-octane guitar attack of "Above Sacred Ground" as the duo draw you in with their musicianship. They look to blow you away with the power of "Descent Into Madness," then show off their skills with "Medusa." Temisto have soft side with the classical acoustic instrumental "The Ritual" and "Seance," but sandwiched between is the heavy metal assault of "Succubus" and "Temple Of The Damned." To find out more about Temisto and their debut release, please visit Facebook page at facebook.com/Temisto.

Canadian rock band, The Veer Union, return with a new album titled "Decade." It will be released on January 29 through Pavement Entertainment and marks ten years since the band's debut release back in 2006. The band has worked along side Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee early in their career and they have also had their songs used by NASCAR and the NHL. Their new ten-song release begins with the hard rock attack of the album's lead single, "Defying Gravity." It's addictive Nu Metal sound becomes a battle cry for the band as they look to return as the premier underground metal band of 2016. They showcase their hard rock sound with the follow-up song "Watch You Lose" and look to hit the mainstream with "You Can't Have It All." They get the blood pumping with the intensity of "Make Believe" and draw on their emotions for for the explosiveness of "The Unwanted," before finishing with the mainstream metal fight song "Underrated." To find out more about The Veer Union and their latest release "Decade," please visit theveerunion.com.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Re-Issues Two Death Angel Albums

A good way the start the new year off right is with the newly re-issued Death Angel albums "Frolic Through The Park" and "Fall From Grace" on vinyl and CD. On January 22nd, Metal Blade Records will be releasing these out-of-print albums. The band's 1988 release "Frolic Through The Park" will be available on CD and limited edition red vinyl double LP. It was a breakthrough for the band as the song "Bored" was featured in the movie "Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III" and was in heavy rotation on MTV's "Headbanger's Ball." The album also contains a beefed-up cover of KISS's "Cold Gin" and shows a band that has taken the next step in becoming a worldwide success.
Unfortunately, riding that wave of success crippled the band in 1990 when their tour bus crashed in Arizona, critically injuring their drummer. What was to be a short hiatus for the band, turned into ten years as Death Angel went their separate ways. Prior to the accident, the band discovered that one of their former record labels released the live album "Fall From Grace" without their consent. This caused the album to become unavailable shortly after Death Angel sued the label. Now, Metal Blade Records will be releasing the album "properly" with all of the same packaging as the original release. The music on this release is high-energy and has Death Angel performing at their best. Do yourself a favor in the new year and re-discover this band by searching out these two new re-issues. To find out more about the reformed Death Angel, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/deathangel.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

CD Review: Exciting New Music From Singer/Songwriters Sarah McGowan And Shaina Taub

First up from Darien, CT, comes the full-length debut album from Sarah McGowan titled "For Whom They Sing." She delivers an exciting pop approach to her music without giving up her folksy songwriting edge. Her voice and style have been compared to Natalie Merchant, but she has a fun innocence to her songs as in "Williamsburg Boy" and "Full Moon Kids." She delivers the dark moving rock ballads "For Who They Sing" and "Indian Summer" that balances her up-beat pop/rock side. She brings in a classic Motown sound with the retro girl group feel of "Desperate As You" and closes with the simple plea of never being a "Young Bride." To find out more about Sarah McGowan and her latest release "For Whom They Sing," please visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/sarahmcgowanmusic.

From New York comes the the latest release from Shaina Taub titled "Visitors." She combines classic soul with elements of jazz into her folk style songwriting, turning the songs "When" into a gospel sing-along and "O Luck Outrageous" into a memorable build-up that places her voice in the spotlight. The ten-song release is filled with grace and poetry as Shaina's songs may not find the pop charts, but have a more realistic, distinct sound as in "Honest Mistakes" and "The Visitors." She returns the church of Soul music with the exciting sound of "Joyful Noise," before closing with the short piano solo of "Room." The album adds a bonus track, the R&B flavored "So Comes Love," which draws similarities to the great Norah Jones. To find out more about Shaina Taub and her latest release "Visitors," please visit shainataub.com.