Saturday, November 23, 2013


by Humble Pie
(Omnivore Recordings)

If you enjoyed the original, 'Rockin' The Fillmore' then this is a no brainer, get this set now. The sound couldn't be better it just jumps out of the speakers. If your thinking all versions of the songs are the same you would be mistaken. The guitar playing of Peter Frampton is written all over these recordings and he doesn't play the same solo's that were used to from the original recordings its all fresh searing licks. By the way Steve Marriott's  guitar sounds great as well and of course his voice and all the new banter. What you get with this "Thunderbox" of a box set are all four shows that the original Humble Pie - Steve Marriott, Peter Frampton, Jerry Shirley and Greg Ridley - recorded whilst opening for Lee Michaels at the Fillmore East in New York City back in 1971.  And while Humble Pie, both with and without Frampton, made some great studio tracks, Performance: 'Rockin' the Fillmore' is unquestionably their crowning achievement. Disc one starts from Friday the 28th, and while it's a bit shaky, there's no question that the groove is already there. Across all four discs, "I'm Ready" is one of the most solidly rockin' tracks you will ever want to hear - as soon as Jerry Shirley goes into the opening drum part, you just know it's going to be good. Indeed, the first four songs of each disc are consistently the same: "Four Day Creep," "I'm Ready," "I Walk on Gilded Splinters" and a smokin' take of the Ray Charles classic, "Hallelujah (I Love Her So)". There are three recordings of "I Don't Need No Doctor" and ladies and gents, this is THE MUST HAVE recording of this song. Talk about a song that blows you away. There is a reason why many described Steve Marriott as a Black man trapped in a White man's body. Along with Marriott's soulfully powerhouse vocals the band seriously cooks! There are two different takes on Muddy Waters' classic, "Rollin' Stone," but only one version of "Stone Cold Fever," which the band had put on their second album, 1971's 'Rock On'. With any reservations, I'd recommend 'Performance: Rockin' the Fillmore' to any fan of Humble Pie or anyone who wants to hear what a great live album should and sound like. The original album was great and those of us from that era know what a great band this was with Peter Frampton and Steve Marriott as twin guitar players. I invite you to relive an amazing live recording by one of the best rock bands to ever evolve, HUMBLE PIE! It is like having a front row seat at the Fillmore. I couldn't believe how great it sounds. - Essential Listen
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

WE DON'T BELONG by Degreed
(Spectra Records)

The sophomore release, 'We Don't Belong' from Swedish rock band Degreed is another very good example of quality modern melodic rock that will easily please fans without breaking any new ground. The band serve up play a brand of ultra-slick melodic rock made popular in the 80's. These guys do, however, add a modern flavor to the mix to keep it from becoming stale and uninspired. Degreed are, Robin Ericsson on vocals/bass, Jesper Adefelt on guitar/vocals, Daniel Johansson on guitar/vocals, Micke Jansson on keyboards and Mats Ericsson on drums. 'We Don't Belong' is one of those albums where the band gets everything right.  A great melodic rock sound that is the perfect combination of classic `80s AOR and hard-hitting European rock. The guitar hooks are amazing, and the melodies lodge themselves in your head instantly. Robin Ericsson turns in a rock solid vocal performance. While the chemistry between the guitar tandem of Adefelt and Johansson is like white on rice. Mats Ericsson's drumming is stellar and Micke Jansson's on keyboards are tight.  Well, with a group of stellar musicians like this the band has to sound great right? The proof is in the songs, and you can pretty much pick any of the songs on 'We Don't Belong' at random and find an absolutely killer single-worthy melodic rocker. Ten tracks total. Highlights include the aggressive, "Black Cat", the massive chorus of "What If", the modern rock sound of "Inside Of Me" and the passionate title track that closes the album. If you enjoyed Degreed's debut album at all, you'll enjoy this for sure. They just don't make bands like this anymore and that makes Degreed all the more special.  If your cup of tea is melodic hard rock that runs on intensity and heritage, 'We Don't Belong' by Degreed is the ideal propostion. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(Payolas Records)

UK rockers The Union return with their highly anticipated third release, 'The World Is Yours' and if you love what they did on their debut and sophomore release, 'Siren Song' then you are going to love what they've done here. Not to be mistaken for the American rock band that bears the same name. The Union features Thunder’s Luke Morley and Peter Shoulder of Winterville. Rounding out the band are, Chris Childs on bass guitar, Dave McCluskey on drums, Phil Martin, on drums. 'The World Is Yours' is a masterpiece full of empathy and classic references. Great riffs, powerful vocals, and catching yourself playing air guitar are good indicators of a great rock band. While the band is used to comparisons to rock icons such Free and Bad Company, The Union are focused to bring their  own signature sound to 21st century and make it as formidable as their 20th century influences. The album opens with the short acoustic , "Sawtooth Mountain Ride", that segues into blues rocker, "You're My Jesus". Kudos go to Peter Shoulders his vocals on this recording are superb. Just in time for Summer the band serve up, "Tonight I'm Alive", talk about visions of driving the Pacific Coast Highway with the top down and the smell on sunscreen fills the air. The track that blew me away is the ballad, "Fading Out Love", something about Shoulders' vocal delivery on this song had my undivided attention. The band turn it up with the albums title track. Highlighted by the groove laden Zeppelin-nish guitar delivery of Luke Morley. 15 tracks total each guaranteed to satisfy your rock and roll taste buds. I am not sure if many people in the U.S have even heard of these guys. From start to finish, The Union with this release have proven not once, not twice, but three times that they are a force to be reckoned with, a huge plus for the rock music genre. If you like 70's classic rock music with a modern touch, well written songs filled with heartfelt passion lyrics you will want to check out The Union. - Highly Recommended
The Atomic Chaser@The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

SCORPION CHILD by Scorpion Child
(Nuclear Blast Records)

It is an indisputable fact that real rock music has gone by the wayside. Often we hear of a band that has brought it back, only to find out they missed the mark by a long shot. Scorpion Child has hit that mark and obliterated it with it's powerful self titled debt release. Scorpion Child's music explodes with big drums, thunderous guitar riffs and killer groove laden bass lines. If you're into that 70's classic hard rock sound that was coined by bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep, you will love this album. Scorpion Child serve up a hybrid of nine, hook-filled ball busting rock songs that deliver a much needed ass kicking to a stale hard rock music scene. Right off the bat, "King's Highway" sets things off in rocking fashion with it's foot stomping infectious groove. From there on the band don't take their foot off the pedal as they rip into sure fire rockers like, "The Secret Spot" and “Polygon of Eyes” as their lead single which is a ode to Dio-era Rainbow, the song is four minutes of power-heavy rock plowing through an ancient storyline of swords and mystics. The band is made up of, Aryn Jonathan Black on vocals, Shaun Avants on bass, Chris Cowart on lead guitar, Tom Frank on rhythm guitar and on drums, Shawn Alvear. These rock and roll messiahs have all the ingredients that made their predecessors huge. This album is loaded, I talking full metal jacket! Not a weak track to be found. Definitely nothing decaffeinated here. Scorpion Child are the closest thing I have to that feeling I got when I first put Led Zeppelin's IV or The Rolling Stones, 'Stick Fingers' on the record player. I was blown away, just as you will be when you get your hands on their self titled debut release. Powerful, rocking songs served up by one hell of a band! Just one thing, this album MUST be played maximum volume! - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser@The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

TIGER BLOOD by The Quill
(Metalville Records)

The Quill are back, with their seventh studio release, 'Tiger Blood'. Delivering that sound their fans all know but with a modern sonic force that expands once you press play on your stereo. This is the band's seventh release. I've been a fan of The Quill since 'Voodoo Caravan'. While the band have gone through a few changes the core of the band now consists of guitarist Christian Carlsson and drummer Jolle Atlagic (ex- Hanoi Rocks, The Real McCoy Band). While Magnus Arnar on vocals and Roger Nilsson (ex- Spiritual Beggars, Firebird) on bass guitar complete the band. 'Tiger Blood' is a tight configuration of grooves and riffs. As is evident on tracks like "Freak Parade", "Go Crazy" and "Greed Machine", only a band with the longevity and talent they posess could have made this music and it really shows. Magnus Arnar' s vocals are solid and in my opinion sounds much better than his effort on the band's previous outing, 'Full Circle'. Don't get me wrong, I think Magnus has a great set of pipes. On this album, their is more diversity in his vocal delivery. As for the band, Christian Carlsson' s guitar work is stellar. The rhythm section of Atlagic and Nilsson give The Quill a rock solid foundation. The Quill clearly does not rely on gimmicks such as sleeves of skull tattoos, visually repulsive t-shirts or any other such cliche'd rock-house dreck to prove they deserve to be heard and appreciated in 2013. I believe with 'Tiger Blood, The Quill will get the recognition they truly deserve. For those of you that are new to The Quill or simply want a great rock album, give The Quill a shot. For those of who are familiar with The Quill, 'Tiger Blood' is an essential listen. - Highly Recommended
Tony The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

ALBATROSS by Big Wreck
(Zoe Records)

When was the last time you could listen to a album and have it start and finish strong with no fillers in the middle? I know it's a rarity, but 'Albatross' the latest release from Canadian rockers Big Wreck is one such album. A welcome return eleven years since the band's hit debut, 'In Loving Memory...'. 'Albatross' is proof that a rock band can evolve without losing their identity. Big Wreck's sound is current and accessible. The talent of all four members of this outfit is evident all over the album. I for one like a bit of variety, and this album brings that. Ian Thornley's vocals really carry-out the feel of the lyrics in every song. His vocals, for me, are reminiscent of Chris Cornell. Thornley's powerful vocals are perfectly matched by four awesome musicians who complete Big Wreck: Brian Doherty on guitars, Paulo Beta on guitars, Dave McMillan on bass and Brad Park on drums. I love this effort from Big Wreck. It has something for everyone with a natural flow to it. As is evident on the opening mover, "Head Together" reminding me why I am big fan of this band. The next track, "A Million Days", a mid-tempo mover that may echo Soundgarden in parts, but make no mistake this is pure Big Wreck. The title track, in my book, a instant rock classic. With it's hypnotic groove combined with Thornley's surreal vocals. It's one those songs that once you hear it, you get lost in it's beauty. All thirteen track on this album are guaranteed to satisfy. I for one, hope we embrace Big Wreck the way our neighbors from the Great White North have. Tough in today's music industry I would think but tell your friends and get the word out. 'Albatross' rocks and all levels and comes highly recommended. - Highly Recommended
The Atomic Chaser@The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by The Ragged Saints
(Power Prog Records)

'The Sound Of Breaking Free' the stunning debut release from Finnish rockers, The Ragged Saints is an extremely well-written melodic rock album. The Ragged Saints are Markku Kuikka on vocals,  Tomi Julkunen on guitars, Toni Bite on guitars, Jukka Hoffrén on bass and Miikki Kunttu on drums. The Ragged Saints serve up an impressive debut outing. Every song is a winner, and before too long you'll find yourself singing along to just about every track. Album opener, "The Sound Of Breaking Free" starts things off with a bang, and is easily worth the price of the album all by itself. Other highlights of the album are, "A Place Where I Belong", "New Beginnings", "Love Won't Fade Away" and "While The World Is Burning" which fall in the melodic hard rock (bordering on melodic metal) category. "Never Walk Away" contains catchy guitar riffs, one of the album's most addictive choruses and an energetic vocal performance filled with emotion and confidence. "The End" is the perfect album closer. It carries an epic atmosphere vibe of mid-career Europe and early Pretty Maids. Tomi Julkunen and Toni Bite demonstrate amazing guitar work and  Markku Kuikka delivers a true vocal exhibition. 'The Sound Of Breaking Free' is an knockout of a release that will be loved by  melodic rock fans, while it will surely be respected by open minded metal fans as well. Fans of Journey, Foreigner and Toto will probably love this too. The Ragged Saints should be in every melodic rock fan's collection. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Spock's Beard
 (Inside Out Records)

Prog rockers Spock's Beard return with their 11th album, 'Brief Nocturnes & Dreamless Sleep'. This is the band's first studio release since their 2012's 'X'. This recording is also is the first without drummer/vocalist Nick D'Virgilio, who was replaced by Enchant vocalist Ted Leonard and former touring drummer Jimmy Keegan. I've been a long time fan of Spock's Beard despite the departures of Nick D'Virgilio and Neal Morse, the band still sound sharp as ever. New singer, Ted Leonard reminds me a lot of a young Steve Walsh from Kansas, which is a good thing. Plus the guy is a great guitar player. So what does the new album bring? Many of the lyrics on the album like on "Afterthought" and a lot of the musical arrangements sound like they are straight out of the Neal Morse song book. "Waiting For You", is a song that Neal Morse would have recorded. 'Brief Nocturnes & Dreamless Sleep' may be keyboardist, Ryo Okumoto's finest moment, he shines on every track. On a whole the whole album is an amazing listen. A great mix of progressive songs that are rock solid and have catchy moments. If you are able to get your hands on the limited edition version, it's very worthwhile. The extra songs hold their own, "Wish I Were Here" has a welcome return of the sound of their early recordings. Overall, 'Brief Nocturnes & Dreamless Sleep' is very distinctly Spock's Beard and should be enjoyed by fans of Spock' s Beard as well as anyone who enjoys Progressive Rock music. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(Frontier Records)

'Heresy And Creed' is TEN s 10th studio album following their successful 2010 return with 'Stormwarning' .Singer and songwriter, Gary Hughes worked hard to live up to the expectations surrounding this new album. Such has been his prolific output of quality material over the years. I consider Gary Hughes, arguably one of the greatest British songwriters of all time; 17 years later, armed with this seemingly 'Heresy and Creed' is a true classic Ten album. Classic hook laden songs. The instrumental piece, "The Gates Of Jerusalem" sets off this masterpiece then seguing right into, the majestic "Arabian Knights". The lead off single "Gunrunning" is next highlighted with some amazing guitar work courtesy of new member, Dan Mitchell. "The Lights Go Down" is classic TEN at their finest. 13 tracks total, power and passion with not a weak song to be found. Due in part to a superb mix courtesy of Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69), 'Heresy And Creed' will prove once again that when it comes making great melodic rock music, Ten are at the top of the genre and the top of their game. If Ten has somehow dropped off your radar as of late, 'Heresy and Creed' will make you a Ten fan all over again! Cheers gents! For a job well done. - The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

SNAKECHARMER by Snakecharmer
(Frontier Records)

What started as just a group of rock veterans getting together as tribute band playing songs from their glory days. Has evolved into their own powerful rock and roll band. Snakecharmer is powered by, Whitesnake members Micky Moody on guitar and Neil Murray on bass, Laurie Wisefield on guitar, Harry James (Thunder/Magnum), Adam Wakeman on keyboards and Chris Ousey (Virginia Wolf/Heartland) on vocals. Musically, Snakecharmer is everything one would expect from musicians with such resumes: a finely crafted Classic Rock album with Blues and Melodic overtones, that will remind many of Whitesnake' s Blues era, Bad Company and with hints of early Foreigner thrown into the mix. The band's tight chemistry is evident from the get go with, "My Angel", a mid-tempo mover that is catchy and will have you singing along in no time flat. The lead off single, "Accident Prone", is s melodic gem powered by Ousey' s smooth vocal delivery. Then there is, "Falling Leaves", a bluesy ballad that will tug at the heart string. Every track, 12 in total are all rock solid. No fillers here. Let's clear the air Snakecharmer is not Whitesnake. I am tired of reading the comparisons. This band has it's own sound and can stand toe to toe with any rock band out right now. Having been a fan of the band members previous works, I had a hunch that I would like Snakecharmer. Not only am I completely satisfied, I wouldn't hesitate recommending this album to anyone who loves rock and roll music. I for one can't wait to hear what Snakecharmer comes up with next! Cheers Gents for a job well done. Highly Recommended- The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Five Horse Johnson
(Small Stone Records)

Toledo, Ohio's Five Horse Johnson return with their seventh release, 'The Taking Of Blackheart'. The formula these boys serve up is what they do oh so well, crank it up hard and heavy groove laden rock played by musicians who know are not afraid to unleash the almighty riff! Five Horse Johnson is, Eric Oblander/Vocals & Harp, Brad Coffin /Vocals & Guitar, Steve Smith/Bass, Phil Dürr./Guitar and Jean Paul Gaster/Drums. Cearly enjoying layin' it all out with passion. Five Horse Johnson is the kind of band you hear while waking by a pub that would make you turn around and go inside. Just imagine a Stoner Rock band would sound like if they had never heard any Black Sabbath, but had owned a lot of classic Blues Records. Slide guitars, harmonica, a voice that sounds like it's soothed by gargling broken glass, and lyrics that range from low down and dirty to deep and insightful. 'Taking Of Blackheart' is a solid listen all the way through. Highlights include, "The Job", "Black Heart Baby", "Smash & Grab" and  a cover of the underground classic "You're My Girl" with vocals from Robin Zander of Cheap Trick! Reminiscent of Savoy Brown meets Firebird with hints of the Black Crowes,l and Halfway To Gone. If you like slide guitar, harmonica/harp and Bonham influenced drum grooves then you are in for a good time when you pick up a copy of, 'Taking Of Blackheart'. Overall, I would highly recommend Five Horse Johnson to anyone with an interest in Classic Rock or Stoner Rock or indeed to most people with an interest in The Blues. Five Horse Johnson are a very enjoyable and hugely underrated band, who make a consistent stream of high quality music. Any of their albums would make a fine addition to your collection, and 'Taking Of Blackheart' is no exception. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(Robo Records)

Thank God for Dave Stewart for a great job producing and recognizing the true calling for Orianthi. This lady is a triple threat in my books. I believe Mr. Stewart recognized that. Orianthi has looks that kill, a great bluesy sultry voice and can play one mean guitar. Having cited influences such as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Orianthi puts her talents on display for all to enjoy with her latest release, 'Heaven In This Hell'. The 11 track album includes the riff heavy title track "Heaven In This Hell" and closes with "If U Were Here With Me" a rock ballad, which showcases a softer side to the guitarist. In between these songs, I was pleased to find a couple of bluesy, country cross-over tracks like "Rock" and "Another You" that feature solos that showcase her skills without going overboard. Then there is the southern swagger of "Filthy Blues" you can definitely hear the spirit Hendrix in her guitar work and her vocals reminded me a bit of Pat Benatar. Trying to pick a hit song out of the bunch is difficult because the album is damn good! Orianthi continues to mature as an artist and vocalist and it is evident throughout the entire album. In my opinion, this is the album Orianthi has wanted to make all along. Let me make it clear, 'Heaven In This Hell', is definitely a rock album. Taking nothing away from her previous outings, but she's a rocker, no if or ands about it. She's jammed with the likes of Steve Via, Alice Cooper and Michael Jackson. That's got to give you an idea how talented this lady truly is. Orianthi is a welcome departure in a time when all female artist sound the same and seem to be interchangeable. Orianthi is not.
It remains to be seen how far Orianthi will develop, in my book she's among the most promising young artist/guitarists out there today.
- Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

ORTHODOX by Beware The Darkness
(Bright Antenna)

Los Angeles-based rockers Beware of Darkness have managed to create a unique sound with their first full-length album, 'Orthodox'. This is one of those albums that sounds great the first time you hear it! The Charismatic and mesmerizing Kyle Nicolaides fronts this rock trio accompanied by Tony Cupito on drums and Daniel Curcio on bass. The music is dynamic and intense. The lead off single kicks off, "Howl" kicks off the album. A rocker of a song that is packed with a undeniably catchy hook. The guitar riff is pure classic rock as Kyle Nicolaides shouts and Tony Cupito hammers away on the skins. Up next is, "Ghost Town", a slow and darker number highlighted by Nicolaides's raw vocals. Quite the opposite is, "Amen Amen", the lyrics are uplifting. The piano gives the song a suttleness but there are some great guitar maneuvers throughout. From there your senses will be treated to an extensive and diverse range of emotions from tracks like, "All Who Remain", "Morning Tea", and "Life On Earth". 12 tracks total all rock solid. Give, Beware The Darkness a shot and you won't be disappointed. Hats off to Kyle, Tony and Daniel for putting together one hell of an album! I have no doubt we will be hearing a lot more from this amazing band. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

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