Wednesday, March 30, 2016

CD REVIEW: DIVAK by Soto




DIVAK by Soto
(Ear Music)

Jeff Scott Soto returns with the sophomore effort under the Soto moniker, 'Divak'. Just like it's predecessor, 'Inside The Vertigo', the musical direction is dark and heavy. While not as strong or hard hitting as their debut,  it still contains strong musical rhythms, hard guitar rips, and great vocals.  Jeff Scott Soto (vocals), Jorge Salan (guitar), BJ (keyboards, guitar), David Z (bass) and Edu Cominato (drums). Jeff Scott Soto, is a musical visionary always finding ways to take his musical vision to new heights and with this new album he has certainly done that. From the opening instrumental, "Divak" that draws you in, then segues into, "Weight Of The World" hits you senses like a sledgehammer! The lead off single, "Freakshow", is up next, a pulsating rocker that has a killer hook. Other highlights include, "Unblame", "Cyber Masquerade", the mid tempo, "In My Darkest Hour", "SuckerPunch". "Time"and "Misfired, are two great tracks as well. Jeff's vocals drips testosterone, hot and raw. Paired with Jorge Salan's powerhouse riffage, this is a recipe for pure rock bliss. 'Divak' is so refreshingly varied. It's chocked full of big riffs, memorable choruses that makes it a joy to listen to. This is an album by an amazing singer/songwriter who is not just a great rock singer, but a great singer, period. There is absolutely no question that Soto have definitely hit a home run right out of the ball park with 'Divak'.  - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, March 25, 2016

CD REVIEW: BACK TO ZERO by Ragdoll




BACK TO ZERO by Ragdoll
(Independent Release)

Australian power rock trio Ragdoll are back with their latest release, 'Back To Zero'. Ryan on bass/vocals, Leon on guitars and Cam on drums. If you are a big fan of melodic/heavy rock this album delivers the goods. It is a pure melodic hard rock album in the best tradition. It moves on the strengths of great vocals and vocal arrangements, compelling guitar solos, good melodies, and catchy lyrical hooks, all with sharper hard rock edge. Everything blends nicely and I've enjoyed listening to the entire album several times over. From the opening title track that sets the table for the other rocking highlights in the form of, the radio ready mover, "Shine", "Playing God", "The World You Gave Us", the lead off single, "Rewind Your Mind" and "Love On The Run". Despite the fact that, "Back To Zero" doesn't bring anything new to melodic rock, it is still a high quality album that is essential for fans of the melodic rock genre. Overall, its' all good and sounds great with no filler. With 'Back To Zero', Ragdoll raised the bar for themselves and leaped over it. Strongly recommended.  - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Thursday, March 24, 2016

CD REVIEW: SUNRISE TO SUNDOWN by Spiritual Beggars




SUNRISE TO SUNDOWN 
by Spiritual Beggars
(Century Media)

The Swedish rock juggernaut known as Spiritual Beggars have returned with their ninth studio and highly anticipated release, 'Sunrise To Sundown'. Apollo Papathanasio on vocals (Firewind, Majestic), Michael Amott on guitars (Arch Enemy, Carcass), Sharlee D'Angelo on bass ( Mercyful Fate, Arch Enemy), Ludwig Witt on drums (Shining, Grand Magus)
and Per Wiberg on keyboards (Hobo, Death, Opeth). What can I say? After one listen, the word I would describe this album is, infectious. The overall vibe has the band's Deep Purple meets Black Sabbath shinning brightly. The riffs the lads have come up with are impossible to get out of your head. No fillers here thats for sure. Highlights include, the title track, the Deep Purple-lish, "Diamond Under Pressure", "What Doesn't Kill You", "Lonely Freedom" and the album closing, "Southern Star".  These are songs that will have you jamming on your air guitars and cranking your speakers to "11". The sounds is well mixed with all the instruments leveled perfectly with the vocals. Spiritual Beggars rocks out with a genuine, talented immersion that will rock your soul. Overall, 'Surise To Sundown"is a balls out rocker firmly rooted in the classic rock era, and you really can't ask for much more from a band playing in this genre. A big thumbs up for this release.  - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, March 11, 2016

CD REVIEW: SHAKE IT by Karma Cowboys




SHAKE IT by Karma Cowboys
(Target)

Shake It', the debut release from Denmark's, Karma Cowboys, Thomas Klovn Carlsen (aka Ayatollah Rock'n'Roller) on vocals,  Morten Lundsgaard on guitar, Nikolaj Storr on bass and Jakob Roenlov on drums. The quartet have a retro rock sound that is an adrenaline rush of rock influenced by greats like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin but with an original spin. One thing for sure this album was made to blow out stereo speakers.  From start to finish the album is  loaded with riff induced rockers such as the "Bad TV", "Shine On Tomorrow", "Slammed Shut", "Shooting Star" and "Wishing Well". The guitars are loud and on point. The vocals are charismatic, and the  choruses keep it all together. 'Shake It' works on every level, and it's just well done in every way. It rocks hard, sounds fantastic, and as all great music does, forces you to listen.  It hits on all cylinders, well written songs, tremendous musicianship and a ton of energy and real passion. Musical variety is not lacking on this album as it does with so much recorded music today. Who said there's no awesome rock music being made these days? Fans of infectious, high energy, whiskey-soaked, whiplash-inducing working man's rock will eat this album up big time! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

CD REVIEW: EVERYBODY WANTS by The Struts





EVERYBODY WANTS by The Struts
(Interscope Records)

Luke Spiller (Vocals), Addo Slack (Guitar), Jed Elliott (Bass) and Gethin Davies (Drums) make up Derbyshire, England based rock band The Struts. The band's debut release, ' Everybody Wants', finally makes its way onto American soil. So, what are The Struts all about? They pay homage to so many of our great British bands, yet they don't ever feel dated, or specific to one particular decade. If you love classic British rock you really need to check these lads out. Influences, I hear, ranges from Queen, Slade and The Rolling Stones. From the stadium rocker "Could Have Been Me" to The Rolling Stones vibe of "Kiss This" there are some proper gems. "Put Your Money On Me",  "She Makes Me Feel", "Black Swan" and "Where Did She Go" are great tracks as well. What I really found surprising is that it is not an album that takes lots of plays to get into it. Completely addicting. The hooks are insane, the guitar work great and the lyrics cool, clever and funny at the same time. The energy and fun these lads deliver on this recording just bleeds right out of the speakers. You might think you have heard it before. You haven't.  'Everybody Wants' is a great listen and I would definitely recommend it. It's refreshing to hear a band put out good pop songs that stick and make you grin. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Thursday, March 10, 2016

CD REVIEW: TIME HAS COME by Ben Poole




TIME HAS COME by Ben Poole
(Manhaton Records)

Ever since UK bluesman, Ben Poole burst onto the scene with his 2013 debut, 'Let's Go Upstairs' then 2014's explosive live recording, 'Live At The Royal Albert Hall, He put the Blues rock world on notice.  Well folks, he's back! 'Time Has Come', Ben Poole's highly anticipated sophomore studio release combines his musical personality, capturing the high energy of his shows in a studio setting. The first time I listened to it, I gave it a nod as a decent piece of work. It was the third time around that I began to notice the little things that make the difference between a garden variety blues album. A carefully crafted effort that reveals a love for the music they play, demanding the listener's attention and appreciation. The songs themselves fall into a fairly narrow range of blues, blues rock and soul but the variety he offers within that scope sets this album pretty close to the top of the genre. Highlights include, the smooth "Lying To Me", the soulful,  “I Think I Love You Too Much” (which features Aynsley Lister), the funkified bluesy, "Stay At Mine", “If You Want" and the album closing, "The Question Why". 'Time Has Come' has that intangable spark that takes the listener through the album, song by song, taking you by surprise many times, delighting your ears with familiar yet somehow very fresh sounds built around the loose constructs of blues rock. I think anyone who appreciates this genre will be mightily moved by this astounding display of deep commitment and pure talent. Ben Poole's time has definitely come. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

CD REVIEW: STRING FEVER by Electric Guitars




STRING FEVER by Electric Guitars
 (Target)

Danish rock imports, Electric Guitars return with their sophomore release, 'String Fever' and just like their debut release this one is loaded with guitar powered laced tunes galore. The new album finds guitarist (also dividing up the vocal duties), Soren Andersen (Glenn Hughes, Mike Tramp, D-A-D) and Mika Vandborg teaming up again with Peter KjĂžbsted on bass and Morten Hellborn on drums. Everything on this record just works, the singing, the musicianship, the song writing and the production are all well balanced and mixed to make a great album. The album mainly consists of  rockers in the form of, "String Fever", "White Flag", "Running Out Of Time", "Let It Rock" and "Day Off". It also has some groove laden numbers like, "Follow Your Heart" and "The Thinner The Eyebrows The Crazier The Woman".  Every track on the album is impressive, and demonstrates their obvious talent as musicians. Soren Andersen and Mika Vandborg  have produced an solid sounding rock album that is guaranteed to satisfy your six string sweet tooth. I can definitely start at the beginning and listen all the way through without skipping any tracks, which is a rarity these days. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

CD REVIEW: THE CHRIS ROLLING SQUAD by The Chris Rollings Squad




THE CHRIS ROLLING SQUAD 
by The Chris Rolling Squad 
 (Independent Release)

The self titled five song Ep from The Chris Rolling Squad is full of barrell house blues and a great introduction to a very promising blues rock trio. Chris Rolling : Guitar/ Vocals, Brice Duval : Bass and Romain Cauneau : Drums. The trio have a swagger about them and Chris Rolling's delivery has a Hendrix meets Stevie Ray Vaughan vibe to it with the harder edge. Lots of smoking guitar is what you can expect that's for sure! For the traditional blues lover, this wouldn't suffice, but for those of us that appreciate the blues and love the creativity that talented artist bring to the blues and rock genre, this recording is great! The trio dish out incredible energy and it shines in the music. Four original songs,  "Whore", "Help Me", "My Redemption" and "Vampire Blues"and a cover tune, "Janet Says Go Go Go", originally done by the 90's Swedish band, Indian Red.  All in all a great find! Would definitely recommend to the mainstream music listener and go all the way up the blues rock aficionado. A musical high for sure.  - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

CD REVIEW: SKY WON'T FALL by Steve Nimmo




SKY WON'T FALL by Steve Nimmo
(Manhaton Records)

Bluesman Steve Nimmo is back with his sophomore release, 'Sky Won't Fall'. an absolute must-have for blues fans. The reason why I say this is simple: it's phenomenal. A recording of two tales, one laced with hard hitting blues powered by smoking hot riffs. The other half graced with soulful power blues ballads. Providing a solid foundation to Nimmo's fiery guitar delivery are Mat Beable on bass and Craig Bacon on drums. Every song on this album is a treat to listen to and is deserving of multiple slaps of the repeat button. Highlights for me are, "Chains Of Hope", a fiery blues rocker featuring the meaty rhythm section of Craig Bacon and Mat Beable and the smoking hot licks and powerful vocals of of Steve Nimmo. "Roll The Dice Again" another riff induced mover, the up tempo. "Lovin’ Might Do Us Good' and the groove laden 'Change' ."I’ll Pray For You", "Love You More Tonight", and "Still Hungry" are awesome songs as well.  If you are in the mood for some electric blues guitar, just fire this bad boy up.  Great songs, great vocals and great guitar playing – what more could you ask for?  It totally scratches the blues itch. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, March 4, 2016

CD REVIEW: LET LOVE SHOW THE WAY by Simo




LET LOVE SHOW THE WAY by Simo
(Provogue Records)

A chaotic collision between the heavy  southern rock vibe of Gov't Mule meets bluesy vibe of The Allman Brothers taken to a whole new level, but those would be the nearest reference points. That is the best way I could describe 'Let Love Show The Way', the latest release from the Blues trio, Simo. Comprised of, singer-guitarist JD Simo, drummer Adam Abrashoff and bassist Elad Shapiro. The album was recorded at the legendary Big House in Macon (Georgia), the communal home of the Allman Brothers Band. Recording there must have really rubbed off because what these gents created here is simply mind blowing! This recording is filled to the brim with great instrumental work, amazingly soulful and powerful vocals, and incredibly potent songwriting. As soon as you press play your senses are bombarded with some of the hottest blues/rock you'll ever experience. All thirteen tracks are amazing. Highlights include, "Stranger Blues", followed by the Allman Bros inspired vibe of rocking, jam "Two Timmim' Woman", followed by, "Can't Say Her Name" and "I Lied" and my personal favorites, "Long May You Sail" and "I'd Rather Die In Vain".  The production is quite amazing, with guitar and bass sounds like you've never heard before. 'Let Love Show The Way'  is hard edged and takes no prisoners. The synergy of this band is like few others.  If you are a Southern Rock, Blues, or Classic Rock fan, I highly recommend this album to you. You WILL NOT be disappointed. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

CD REVIEW: NOMADS by Love And A .38




NOMADS by Love And A .38
 (Independent Release)

Los Angeles-based rockers Love And A 38 are back with their latest release, 'Nomads', a rock record with clear vocals, melodic rhythms and tons of attitude with a deliciously trashy, roughed-up edge. The band is powered by Ryan Hudson - Lead vocals,  Domo Domaracki - Guitars, Justin Emord - bass and Clark Skelton - Drums. Clearly Love And A 38 are not influenced by the countless label executives that roll up their sleeves and tell new modern rock bands that you need to sound like Nickleback in order to sell a CD. The songs on 'Nomad' are loaded with energy so that they fit seamlessly into this album.  "Oh My God" and "Just Like Regret" are both great start points for new comers to the band, and fans of classic hard rock will likely sink their teeth into, "Big Leg Betty" and "Holy War". All the tracks have enough crunch to rock you and hooks that stick in your head for days. Love And A .38  manages to combine a driving rock beat with a lyrically driven melody that together produce some truly entertaining and compelling music.  The bottom line is that it's impossible to play this album and not have a good time. Once it starts, you will rock out! What more can you ask for?   - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

CD REVIEW: BEYOND THE SUN by Sons Of Icarus




BEYOND THE SUN by Sons Of Icarus
(Sons of Icarus Recordings)

'Beyond The Sun' is the much anticipated debut album by the United Kingdoms very own rock juggernaut Sons Of Icarus. Ten tracks of supercharged rock and thunderous roll, heads down, no nonsense, ear shattering, ball busting organic, melodic goodness. The band is comprised of, Andy Masson - Vocals/Guitar, Steve Balkwill - Guitar, Alex Masson - Bass/Backing Vocals and Mike 'Quilly' Mcquillan - Drums. After having heard and being thoroughly impressed with the band's debut 4 track EP, ‘You Want It All’, I was hoping that a full length recording would deliver the goods and it surely does. Right from the get go with, "Let It Burn", the lads unleash a barrage of riff induced rockers in the form of, "Make Amends", "Please Come Home", the mid tempo, "Falling" and "You Want It All". Ten tracks in all guaranteed to shake your foundation. Essentially it's an all out rocker of an album that does what it says. Think of all of those debut albums in the past that made you think "wow - this is amazing" - you can safely add the monstrous debut, 'Beyond The Sun' by Sons Of Icarus to that list. Heavy , riff-laden, rock with power, attitude, melody, power and angst. This is a band that knows how to dish out no-nonsense, kick-ass, rock-n-roll and they never let up throughout and is an essential addition to your rock music collection. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society