Tuesday, March 11, 2014

CD Reviews for March 2014 / Page 2

S/T by Fake Idols
(Lifeforce Records)

The Italian based rockers, Fake Idols breakout onto the music scene with their high octane self titled debut release consisting of twelve shots of adrenaline induced tracks based on great songwriting with focus on killer riffs and intoxicating hooklines. The Fake Idols are, Claudio Coassin - vocals (ex Raintime), Ivan Odorico - guitars (ex Slowmotion Apocalypse/Raintime),  Cristian Tavano - guitars (ex Jar of Bones), Ivo Boscariol - bass (ex Slowmotion Apocalypse) and Enrico Fabris - drums (ex Raintime). The Fake Idols,  take all of the best elements of that 80's rock sound, strip away the cheese, and add a hefty dose of glam rock sleaze stylings and an almost punk rock attitude, energy and swagger. Claudio Coassin's vocals rock like a hurricane, with sneering odes to living fast, partying hard and little else, and choruses you absolutely have to shout along with. The band is Rock solid and have such great chemistry. The songs on record are all well-written and catchy, and they keep the filler at check throughout the entire record as well. The highlights of this record are hard to point out due to the fact that every song is quite amazing. If I had to pick though, these songs would be my favorites, "One Way Trip", "My Hero" (feat. Mia Coldheart of Crucified Barbara), "When The Curtain Closes", "Far From My Widow" and a cover of The Cardigans' ,"My Favourite Game " are all outstanding tracks that make this album an adrenaline rush of a listening experience! This is a total party rock record, and one that's impossible to listen to sitting down! The Fake Idols make rock n' roll fun again, and how many bands can you really say that about these days? If you still blast albums by Motley Crue, Guns n' Roses and Skid Row on a regular basis, this album will reaffirm your faith in modern rock. If you're already down with current high octane bands like Dirty Penny, Crash Diet, and Hardcore Superstar you'll definitely want to check out the Fake Idols! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

BIG CAT LOVE by Smash Fashion
(Electricpudding Recordings)

'Big Cat Love' is the latest release from Southern California glam rock revivalists and purveyors of decadent psychedelia and atomic power pop, Smash Fashion. This is the band's third release following up their 2006′s 'A Gentleman’s Guide To Sophisticated Savagery' and 2009′s 'Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things.' Smash Fashion is made up of Roger Deering on vocals/guitar,  Lloyd Stuart Casson lead guitar, Tony Kinman on bass and Reijo "Repo" Kauppila on drums. This quartet channel 70's rock icons like Mott The Hoople, T-Rex, Sweet and Cheap Trick into a totally infectious brand of good time rock n' roll. You could use an album like 'Big Cat Love' as the soundtrack to That 70's Show. The band's sheer adoration for glam rock styling  work on every possible level. Is it the most original album in the world? Obviously not. But I guarantee if you start blasting songs like "Wicked Ways", "Marionette", "Strike My Fancy (Knickers Down)", "Stay Off My La La" and "Super Glam", you and any one in your vicinity are going to be grinning ear to ear and singing along by the second verse. These songs are ridiculously catchy and they make you want to get up and get moving. There are so few bands that remember how fun rock n' roll can be, so it's good to have a band like Smash Fashion to remind us. 'Big Cat Love' is exactly  a totally satisfying electric solid wall of sound. Whether you're a fan of the classic artists that inspired the band's sound or just looking for some honest fun in your rock n' roll  'Big Cat Love' by Smash Fashion is an absolute gem. Turn it on, turn it up, and PLAY IT LOUD! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by General Store
(Brennus Records)

Hailing from Bordeaux, France seasoned blues rock band the General Store serve up a modern incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band meets Gov't Mule vibe, and you can certainly hear that on the band's latest release, 'Somewhere In The Middle'. General Store is Will Lester (Guitars & Vocals), Phil Sun (Bass), Bob Franks (Hammond, Piano & Vocals) and Pascal "Lee" Boy (Drums). This is the work of serious musicians. Long jams, that gritty southern rock feel. But General Store take that sound and add some more dimensions to it. From tragic to upbeat, and everything in between, this album deserves a hard look for anyone looking to become immersed in blues. To the "seasoned veterans" of the genre, it is a fantastic milestone of the evolution and joy of blues and adds a new dimension to the General Store's repertoire They stretch out the bluesy improvisation and take it to a whole new level making for a memorable listening experience.  Will Lester's guitar playing, and rightly so - he's hot soloing, fills out a big sound on rhythm parts, and uses dynamics. Plus the guy has a solid set of vocal chords. As for rhythm section of  bassist Phil Sun and drummer Pascal "Lee" Boy their chemistry is like hand in glove. While Bob Franks on the Hammond gives the band that extra spice. 'Somewhere In The Middle" is an album that mixes pretty good blues, southern rock with such great taste from start to finish I cannot think of a song that I would have the nerve to skip. Songs like "Celebrate", "Second Chance", the title track, "My Father Said" and Trail Of Tears" will hook you immediately and the other songs grow on you after the second and third listen. The writing is fresh and original, yet stays true to the Blues rock tradition.  All in all, 'Somewhere In The Middle' by General Store is a very solid album well worth owning if you like high quality blues rock. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Black Label
(Bad Reputation Records)

Heralded as the best live band in Australia. Aussie rockers Black Label have paid their dues with a twenty five year career having played thousands of shows, including countless shows with both fellow Australian rock legends Rose Tattoo and The Angels. If you like heavy, blues based hard rock is in the tradition of those aforementioned bands, then you will dig Black Label. The band return with their fourth release in the form of, 'Blood Money' and as bonus, a live recording, 'Live In Berlin'. The new album shows a significant maturity in both the song writing and musical delivery. Black Label have a pedigree that included former members of both Heaven and Boss in their ranks. Steve Mulry on vocals, Steve Downs on guitar/ backing vocals, Mick Fryar on guitar, backing vocals, Loz Marlow on bass, backing vocals and Geordie Muscat on drums. These lad serve up  a high quality set of songs steeped in classic rock influences. 'Blood Money' sounds like a heavier version of The Angels. The vocals definitely reminded me of a cross between Rose Tattoo’s Angry Anderson and Nicky Moore and the guitar tandem of, Steve Downs and Mick Fryar work well together and at times reminded me of Brewster brothers from The Angels. Highlights include the cracking opening track "Slap In The Face", " Big Talker", "Forever More", "Blood On Your Hands" and "Fallen Angel".  'Blood Money" is definitely a solid ball of rock that delivers a balls to the wall rock sound that is guaranteed to satisfy. Now the bonus CD, 'Live In Berlin' captures the band doing what they do the best and that put on one hell of a show! If AC/DC took Black Label out on tour with them, these lads would be big. Such a shame, but it happens, there are some bands that get overlooked. Hopefully by reading this review it puts Black Label on your radar and  they don't go unnoticed. A rock band that rocks and play great songs are deserving of an opportunity to be heard.  If you’re into hard-hitting rock music that is loaded with attitude and swagger, 'Blood Money' by Black Label is a must-have album. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by The Royal Zapphire
(Independent Release)

Formerly known as Stains, the Swedish based rock band now known as The Royal Zapphire  come onto the scene with their self titled four song Ep.  Patrik "Pata" Sjöstrand on lead vocals, lead guitar, Oliver "Stanzy" on rhythm guitar, Freddie Burestad on bass, backing vocals and Tim Jälminger on drums, backing vocals. Sometimes a rock band will have the right stuff going on and create something really special. Such is the case with these lads from Sweden. Their four song Ep is just the tip of the iceberg and a sign of greater things to come. All four tracks will get your rock and roll blood pumping for sure.  The shot of adrenaline that is ,"I Want More"" kicks things off. "My Way" and "Tough Luck" keep the rocking pace going then finishing things off like they started with a bang on "Save Rock n' Roll". The tone of the guitars are fantastic! The melody lines that sing over them are so freaking catchy. While listening to The Royal Zapphire you can't help but think, "Is this grunge, rock, punk, or alternative rock music?" Then half way through you realize. "Who cares? This band ROCKS !" Well crafted and perfectly infectious songs bursting with energy and catchy as hell! The Royal Zapphire is band whose music is meant to be Played at Maximum Volume!". Keep an eye and ear out for this band, these lads deliver the goods! Quality Rock. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

KING OF THE WORLD by Humbucker
(Humbucker Records/Perris Records)

Norwegian rock band Humbucker return with their sophomore release, 'King Of The World', delivering a great an old school rock sound that draws from AC/DC and Aerosmith as well as Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet. The band is powered by, Jan Anders Bøen on vocals, Vidar Svanheld on guitar/backing vocals, John Petter Pershaug on guitar/backing vocals, Lars Stian Havraas on bass/backing vocals and Geir Arne Dale on drums/backing vocals. Humbucker are the band that tears down the local club with riotous songs about drinking and debauchery and then steals the girlfriends of the sensitive "rock" guys trying to be the next Coldplay. Song titles like "Self-Made Son Of A B***h", "One Size Fits All", the title track and "Lone Rider" tell you exactly what to expect from this album and if those sound good to you, you're in good company.There are two bonus tracks in the form of, "Wine, Women An` Song" and "Strongman". 'King Of The World' is non-stop, in your face rock and roll. The bass and drums are straight forward, rock steady, and keep a driving rhythm section pounding with force. The dual guitars are balls to the wall and the vocals are solid with a great sense of melody that fits the band's songs perfectly. Most importantly, the songs rock, and are catchy. If you like your rock hard but melodic with lots of energy and fast flying guitars, give these guys a listen. You won't be disappointed. Energizing and driving, 'King Of The World' by Humbucker is essential for any fan of rock music. - Highly Recommended
Tony @  The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

GUNSLINGERS by Baby Snakes
(Trøndercore Records)

Norwegian rockers Baby Snakes come out locked and loaded with their smoking debut release, 'Gunslingers'. The band formed by former Wig Wam guitarist Trond Holter known from his work with Jorn and Dream Police as well and bassist Bernt Jansen . Rounding out the band are Christian Klykken on vocals and Magnus Galgutten on drums. 'Gunslingers' is extremely solid from beginning to end, there is absolutely no filler material on this album.  It's very high energy rock music that will makes you want to drive fast and party hard. Highlights are hard to point out due to the fact that all the songs are rocking. If I had to pick though, these songs would be my favorites, "Diagnosis Nymphomania", " Give You My Love", the title track, "Gunslinger", "Judgement Day" and "Deadman City" are all outstanding tracks that make this debut outing an impressive and memorable listen. Trond Holter is a tremendous guitarist. Christian Klykken's vocals are rock solid and solid rhythm section of Bernt Jansen and Magnus Galgutten are tight as a glove. These guys can not only play, but also know how to craft great songs. It's clear that the Baby Snakes are about constructing quality songs, with a big arena sound. This is rock music where you can get into the lyrics, and genuinely groove to the music. Baby Snakes is a band that just plain rocks and has tons of swagger!  If you enjoy hard rock I doubt you will be let down with this great release. They may be called Baby Snakes, but these lads sure pack a serious dose of rock and roll venom! 'Gunslingers' is a remarkable debut album. Hopefully Baby Snakes can keep it together for some time to come. This band is the REAL DEAL! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Gods Of Macho
(Independent Release)

Just when you thought rock didn't matter at all ... Here come the Gods Of Macho, Gary Macho, Roscoe Macho, Camero Macho, Egg McMacho and Reverend Ronnie Macho. This outrageous LA based punk-pop-rock band will make you want to throw bricks through the police station windows and pound a hole in the dashboard. This five song Ep is loaded with the best elements of power pop, punk, and arena rock all rolled up into one amazing and rocking package. The opening track, "Reno" is a sing along rock anthem that will have you stomping your feet and clapping your hands in no time flat! The next two tracks. "Bad Mother F_#Ker" and "Rain On Me", are sure to get your blood pumping with punk meets hard rock bravado. On ,"Candy Store" we see a shift to a more power pop punk vibe. The band closes thing out in rocking fashion with the the shot of adrenaline that is, "Mystery Girl". The Gods Of Macho R-O-C-K plain and simple! So hard they could be a hazard to your central nervous system. Warning: Listenng to this record you may need to see a chiropractor. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

S/T by Gods Of Macho
(Independent Release)

L.A. based rockers, the Gods Of Macho are a band like no other. Taking a page from the book of The Ramones, the bands member have all adopted the surname Macho they are, Gary Macho, Roscoe Macho, Camero Macho, Egg McMacho and Reverend Ronnie Macho. Their debut self-titled release is loaded with upbeat, infectious rock anthems that the band's energy and obvious enthusiasm make very hard to resist. Their songs are catchy rock-n-roll numbers that will remind listeners of anything from Kiss to David Bowie to The Ramones. But derivative or stuck in the past they are not. Gods Of Macho forge a distinct sound that, alternately, has both a hard edge and a sprightly, melodic quality, complete with irresistible hooks and choruses.  Guitar-driven with crisp, hard-hitting percussion, the sound these five talents create will make you want to sing along at top volume. Just repeat to yourself "it's OK to rock, it's OK to rock", then let songs like "Macho", "Sneaky" "Black Iron Lung" and " Loosers" packed with enough hooks, woah-ohs and shout-a-long guaranteeing enthusiastic audience participation. In short, Gods Of Macho shows us what rock-n-roll is all about: good songs, good beats, good hooks, and good times. When they rock out, you'll want to rock along with them. It's certainly a ride I'm more than happy to take. This is a phenomenal debut for a band that has what it takes to be a big time band this day in age, because they are creative and enjoyable.  If you've been missing the kind of pure fun rock & roll that's been so hard to find these past 20 years, you've got to check out Gods Of Macho. You'll be cranking it up and singing along before you know it. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Black Label Society 
(Entertainment One)

Brother Zakk and his Black Label Society, Dario Lorina on guitar, John DeServio on bass and Chad Szeliga on the skins are back with their latest slab of sonic brewtality in the form of, 'Catacombs of the Black Vatican' and they sound darker more BADASS than ever! Brother Zakk pushes his vocals further than he has to date on this offering and his guitar work is monster! The album itself is a asskicker of a recording from start to finish. It's dirty, muddy and doomy mixture of Classic Heavy Metal touches, a sort of Stoner Rock approach, and also occasional hints of Alice In Chains. Brother Zakk unleashes his musical arsenal that attacks your senses from all angles!  There are the riff laden rockers like, "Fields of Unforgiveness", "My Dying Time", that is simply badass! While "Believe", "Heart Of Darkness", "Beyond The Down" and Damn The Flood" are balls to the wall monsters!  Then there are laid back numbers like, "Angel Of Mercy", "Scars" and the album closing, "Shades Of Grey". With Black Label Society you pretty much know what you're going to get on each album, riff rousing anthems with plenty of guitar virtuosity from Brother Zakk. And on 'Catacombs of the Black Vatican' Brother Zakk and the band deliver the goods ten fold! Overall; 'Catacombs of the Black Vatican is a very strong Black Label Society album.  If you like Black Label Society anyway or anything else that you've heard Brother Zakk appear in, 'Catacombs of the Black Vatican' is worth your attention. If you want Black Label Society at their rawest, darkest and heaviest, then look no further. - Highly Recommended
Tony @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

S/T by Vandenberg's Moonkings
(Mascot Records)

Adrian Vandenberg aka "The Flying Dutchman" is back with a vengeance and it so good to hear him playing again with his new band Mookings.  Along with Adrian' s powerful and amazing guitar work are, Jan Hoving on vocals, Sem Christoffel on bass and Mart Nijen Es on drums. The band's highly anticipated debut self titled release is loaded with dripping bluesy hard rock hooks that go for the throat from the moment you press play. Straight away you know you know your listening experience will be a memorable one when, "Lust And Lies" bursts out of your speakers. From there the band lays down a serious dose blues base rockers with the band getting their "Led" out with, "Close To You" and with the groove laden swagger of "Good Thing". The band downshifts a bit with the lead off single and melodic gem, "Breathing". Things pick up once again with, "Steal Away" and "Line Of Fire". Other note worthy mentions include, "Out Of Reach", "Leave This Town" and "Nothing Touches". The album closes with "Sailing Ships" featuring David Coverdale on vocals. This is a strong debut album from, top to bottom, not a bad song among the bunch. Hats off the Adrian Vandenberg for putting together a great group of talented musicians. I've always considered Adrian Vandenberg an amazing guitarist and when you listen to this, you will hear why. As far as band chemistry this band is well oiled rock and machine. The rhythm section of bassist, Sem Christoffel and drummerMart Nijen Es is tight. Jan Hoving's vocals are solid with lots power and passion that gives off a David Coverdale meets Chris Cornell vibe. Overall, what you have is an powerful debut outing. If you are a fan of Adrian Vandenberg, this album is a must have to add to your collection. Adrian Vandenberg's Moonkings, this is the beginning of something big!! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Pavic
(Anteo Records)

Italy's, Pavic make a triumphant return with their latest release, 'Is War The Answer?'. Armed with a new singer and American producer Rick Beato (Shinedown, Fozzy, Ingram Hill), Pavic are set to gain a wider fan base.  Pavic is, Joe Calabro on vocals, Marko Pavic on guitar, Aleks Ferrara on bass, Lorenzo Antonelli on keyboards and Antonio Aronne on drums. The new album finds the band reaching out and exploring some new ground. The new album is like a kick in the butt that will not let you sit in silence. For starters the title track "Is War The Answer" is a balls out rocker opens the album in rocking fashion. Setting the tone for the rocking experience that awaits you. "In You Eyes", the melodic "Song For The Rain", "Your Own Misery" and a rocking cover of the Duran Duran hit, "Notorious". All songs rock heavy with intensity with no let down whatsoever. Marko Pavic's guitar work in this album is stellar, with a heaviness and rapid pace he brings to each song. The more I listen to this album the more I discover that this is a multi-layered work of art. What's most amazing to me is the band's chemistry. Each showing a mastery of their trade, combining into a well oiled rock and roll machine. 'Is War The Answer?' by Pavic is powerful, energetic and moving at the same time.  If you like rock music with an edge that is heavy and melodic and, in general, have an appreciation for good no nonsense music, you need to check this album out. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Free Spirit
(Carpel Music)

Finnish band Free Spirit are back with their sophomore release, 'All The Shades Of Darkened Light' and it's a winner! Sami Alho, vocals,  Marko Haapamaki, guitar, Vesa Yli-Maenpaa, guitar,backing vocals, Sami Hamalainen, bass, Timo Alho, keyboards and Pasi Koivumaki on drums. These guys, much like every other band from Europe have an innate ability to produce amazing melodic rock records. On the new album the band deliver power chords, great guitar riffs and power drumming all mixed into great melody and progressions. Rarely do I like every song on an album but these guys nailed it. Every cut is great, hard to chose a favorite. The production is outstanding as usual, and the song writing is considerable more concentrated than their debut offering, ' Pale Sister Of Light'. Vocalist Sami Alho defies any rock singer stereotype that I can think of and in that sense, is a welcome breath of proverbial fresh air. 'All The Shades Of Darkened Light' kicks off with "Nights Of Paradise" is a high energy track. Up next is "Living Tattoo" with its very catchy and commercial sounding chorus. Other highlights include; "Hysteria", "Ever Come True", "Turn On The Night", "Burning Love" and "Fever" have some serious attitude. Everything on this album just works, the singing, the musicianship, the song writing and the production are all very well balanced and mixed to make a great album. So if you are looking for an album in this genre that will not only breathe new life into it, but also renew your faith in sensible melodic hard rock, look no further. Whether you start with 'All The Shades Of Darkened Light' or go back to  their debut, you will soon be a believer in Free Spirit. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

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