Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CD REVIEW: SECOND CHANCE by XTASY




SECOND CHANCE by XTASY
(The Fish Factory)

Spain based rockers, XTASY are back with their sophomore release, 'Second Chance', and it isanother superb example of high quality melodic rock. The songs are solid combining elements such as smooth and memorable vocal melodies, strong guitar solos, lively performances, and solid production. The majority of the eleven songs here are definite up tempo for sure.  Highlights include the cracking opening track "Into The Fire" the hook laden chorus of "One In A Million" the awesome drive of "Said And Done" and the tasty guitar riff of "Speed Of Light". ' Second Chance' gives the Melodic Rock fans exactly what they're looking for, with songs that stick in the ears from the first second and amazing musical licks.
Despite the fact that 'Second Chance' doesn't surpass the amazing heights of their debut album, it is still going to please most fans of this style of music without becoming a classic album of the genre. Overall, The album shows that the band has matured and have gelled perfectly together in a very natural way, presenting a sound which encompasses different influences and is now defined and recognizable as their own.

 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, July 17, 2017

CD REVIEW: MOTHER NATURE BLUES by Universal Hippies




MOTHER NATURE BLUES by Universal Hippies
(Grooveyard Records)

Imagine a combination of Gov't Mule, Hendrix and Trower coming together to do a  instrumental album. Mind blowing right? This is what your senses will experience with, 'Mother Nature Blues', the latest release from the blues power trio known as, Universal Hippies. Comprised of, prolific guitarist Stavros Papadopoulos (Super Vintage, Freerock Saints & Hard Driver). Along with Jim Petridis on bass and Chris Lagios on drums. These Universal Hippies manage to straddle the line between blues rock and fusion gracefully thanks to their incredible talent. All 10 songs are dynamic and mixed extremely well. Highlights include, "Redemption Day", "Homo Sapiens", "Mariner's Dream" and "Reincarnation".  You can literally feel the energy in each song. Although these are complex arrangements it sounds effortless. A unique and powerful effort from this trio with solid production that gives equal sonic space to all of them. Mainly because they understand the most important thing. If you cannot incorporate feel into playing  it is almost immediately boring. At least it is to me. It's amazing how good this music is. If you like music to be harmonically and rhythmically unique, or if you like bluesy fusion of the instrumental kind taken to a whole new level, this album is a no-brainer.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, July 10, 2017

CD REVIEW: DREAMING IN THE HOUSE OF BLUES by Ulrich Ellison




DREAMING IN THE HOUSE OF BLUES by Ulrich Ellison 
(Grooveyard Records)

Austin, Texas by way of Austria guitar phenom, Ulrich Ellison walks tall in the blues tradition with his latest release, 'Dreaming In The House Of Blues', jettisoning fiery blues riffs with a hard-rock sensibility, and a soulful vocal delivery. Ellison has a talent for making his guitar communicate on a vibrational level that reverberates the blues. One of the album's best characteristics is the way the blistering riffs are executed, in that you can get the  pleasure listening to Ulrich's skillful improvisations. For me, the key to this awesome 18 song set is the quality of music, it's blues but it's more than that, it is simply great music by one amazing musician. The production throughout is clear, the band backing Ellison are a solid unit blending perfectly together. As wonderfully revealed in tracks like: "Ten Feet Tall" "Running On Empty", "I Had A Dream", "Feeling Like A Rich Man" and "Sleepless". There are no weak tracks or fillers. The balance between up tempo numbers and slower material is excellently balanced, making for a listening experience that just leaves you wanting to hit the repeat button again and again. The bottom line here is,  'Dreaming In The House Of Blues' is an album absolutely packed full of gutsy electric blues classics and will impress even the most sceptical hard blues fan.  Absolutely outstanding.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

CD REVIEW: RIDE THE STORM by Don Barnes




RIDE THE STORM by Don Barnes
(Melodic Rock Records)

So we had to wait three decades to hear 'Ride The Storm', the debut release from former 38. Special frontman, Don Barnes. As I listen, I'm shaking my head wondering why record executives decided to shelve it?!  This album is easily on par with 38. Special's classics, 'Wild Eyed Southern Boys' and 'Special Forces', It's that good. This two CD set features the album in its intended form, plus a second ‘alternate mix’ disc, on which three additional bonus tracks "Through The Eyes Of Love", "Looking For Juliet" and Let's Talk About Love". No exaggeration on how this album is, check out the musical firepower Don Barnes assembled to make this gem of a album. Dann Huff (guitar), Tim Pierce (guitar), Martin Briley (keyboards, guitar)Jesse Harms (keyboards)Alan Pasqua (keyboards), Mike Porcaro (bass), Jeff Porcaro (drums and )Denny Carmassi (drums). As soon as your press play the album launches into the title track and sets the table for one memorable listening experience. No fillers here, all ten tracks are winners. Personal favorites include, "Looking For You", "I Fall Back", "Don't Look Down","Maybe You'll Believe Me Now" and a awesome take the Chicago classic, "Feelin' Stronger Every Day". You can play this album straight through without skipping forward. You can feel the energy and passion in each song played by out of this world amazing musicians. For me, listening to this album reminded why I became a fan of Don Barnes. Though the wait was long, it was definitely worth it!
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Sunday, July 9, 2017

CD REVIEW: FREEDOM MACHINE by Hard Driver




FREEDOM MACHINE 
by Hard Driver
(Grooveyard Records)

If you're into power blues rock trios, you are going to want check out Hard Driver from Greece. The trio's debut release, 'Freedom Machine' is a powerhouse of a recording that is loaded with riffs and solos that jump out at from start to finish. Hard Driver is comprised of Stavros Papadopoulos on guitar & vocals and the powerful rhythm section of Jim Petridis on bass and Chris Lagios on drums. I can't even explain all the levels this album appeal on. Virtuoso playing that is modern but with an appealing retro vibe. Solid vocals and a lot of emotion all around. On first listen, it blew me away and have been surprised time and again with repeated listenings.  Hendrix, Zeppelin, Cream, Trower, the very best of 60's and 70's rock have been channeled via these talented gentlemen. Highlights include; "Freedom Machine", "Ride To Live" "Mojo Man", "Electric Ride" and "Price To Pay". There's maybe some songs that are more appealing than others, but I didn't feel that any were just filler. Seriously, if you've been praying for unadulterated good ol' fashion hard rock, with plenty of guitar welding, chest pounding drums, and wicked bass, check out, Hard Driver's 'Freedom Machine', this bad boy delivers the goods in spades!
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Saturday, July 1, 2017

CD REVIEW: THE NEW BREED by The New Breed




THE NEW BREED 
by The New Breed
(Broken Road Records)

UK rockers The New Breed breakout onto the scene with their self titled debut Ep loaded with five rocking songs guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping in no time flat!Hooks: a musical idea or short riff, passage, or phrase that catches the ear of the listener. Some bands have 'em, most don't. The New Breed have 'em in spades! Powered by J Michael Ward on vocals, David MacBryde on lead guitar, Tom McKay on rhythm guitar, Dan French on bass and Michael Whitmore on drums. The New Breed lay hooks so tasty everyone bites.  ​From the slamming, full-tilt rush of "Soul Train (No Easy Way Out)" to supercharged movers like, "Lie To Me" , "Get Some" and "Heartbreaker" then closing this out in rocking fashion with, "Black Seas, High Tides". the band's self titled Ep never lets up. In fact, it is fair to say that rock has rarely been rolled with such vehement stamina, and The New Breed deliver the goods. The bottom line is that the band have served up a album, even though just a Ep, filled with solid songs that are well-performed and catchy to boot. If your taste is for rock music laced with swagger and panache, then you'll love The New Breed.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, June 30, 2017

CD REVIEW: VOLANDO by Tracy G Grijalva




VOLANDO by Tracy G Grijalva
(Spooky G Music)

The latest creation from guitarist, Tracy G Grijalva comes to us in the form of the stunning acoustic, 'Volando', which translates into flying and this is what your senses will experience once you listen. The recording also features Ray Luzier on percussions. An absolutely stunning recording from a true musical savant. Grijalva really gets into his own groove here, incorporating not just his Latin heritage but a modern sound that is both artistically tasteful and well mannered as well still being inherently complex and beautiful. 'Volando' is a masterpiece in regards to composition and song selection. From the opening, "Zapatos Bailadores", you can't help but be drawn in and be captured by other tracks like, "Facil Y Suave", "El Conejo" and "Primera Luz". Tracy G Grijalva  is a very innovative guitarist. Some of his music requires listening in depth  for the average listener.  This is a great example of the genius of  Tracy G Grijalva; revel in it, be absorbed by it and take it to heart. Prepare to be amazed, delighted, and bewildered by the unique talent known as Tracy G Grijalva on 'Volando'.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

CD REVIEW: HORIZON by Owl Company




HORIZON by Owl Company
(Independent Release)

'From the first cut to the last cut the Brazilian based rock outfit known as  Owl Company weave an musical intensity that bombard your senses. That is what you can expect your senses to be exposed to once you listen to their debut  release, 'Horizon'. This album practically leaps out and throws you against the wall with the intro that explodes into "Celebrate And Kneel" with Enrico Minelli's go for the throat vocals, Felipe Ruiz's monster riffs and the rock solid foundation of the air tight rhythm section of bassist Fabio Yamamoto and drummer Thiago Biasoli. Other track highlights are, "Play With Fire", "Riddles", "Black N' Blue" and the album closer, "Underdog".  This album has a driving feel that really doesn't let up until the last song. The Owl Company are the type of band that I'd play for friends who never heard them, and they immediately become converts afterwards, wondering to themselves why they hadn't heard of them before.  'Horizon' is a monsters of head banging hard rock album that is packed witb memorable hooks and enough power to cause blackouts in medium size cities. It's balls to the walls, with thunderous riffs, and an overall FU attitude like Rock should be played. ​The Owl Company deliver the goods on this debut outing. They light the package on fire and kick down your front door to give you a good hard rock ass kicking!
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Thursday, June 29, 2017

CD REVIEW: SMOKE ON THIS!.. by Rex Brown




SMOKE ON THIS... by Rex Brown
(eOne Music)

'The debut release from Rex Brown (Pantera/Down/Kill Devil Hill), 'Smoke On This...', should have a warning sticker on it that reads, "Caution: Intense Riffiage Inside!" I knew just by looking at the cover that Rex Brown was going kick my ass! What a powerhouse of a album that goes for the throat from start and doesn't loosen it's chokehold on your senses until the last song. Rex Brown, shows his musical versatility by tracking the lead vocals, rhythm guitars, and bass, working with his primary collaborator and old friend, Lance Harvill, a Nashville-based guitarist and songwriter, on the album’s songs. The drums were tracked by Christopher Williams, himself no stranger to diverse tastes. His talent has been utilized by the likes of the reformed Blackfoot and most recently, Heavy Metal legends Accept. All 11 tracks are supercharged packed with tons of swagger and attitude. Highlights include, "Lone Rider", "Crossing Lines", Train Song, "What Comes Around..." and "Best Of Me". Great production , bad ass guitar riffs with an a monster rhythm section. 'Smoke On This...' by Rex Brown is the reason why volume nobs that go past "11" on tower of Marshall stacks were made. Trust me when I say, you can't play this album loud enough! A monster of a debut outing and one the best hard rock album you will experience this year. 
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CD REVIEW: RECTIFIER by The Lad Classic




RECTIFIER by The Lad Classic
(Our Audio Kin Records)

'The Toronto based rockers, The Lad Classic is a band with rock grooves to will make you move in way unimaginable. With classic rock influences the band have their own vibe without sounding dated or old-fashioned. The band is comprised of,  Paul Stevens on vocals, Ben Healey on guitars and vocals, Tyson Hissler on bass and Josiah Whitney on drums. Every track on the band's latest release, 'Rectifier' is good enough to be a single, there is no filler at all.  It really makes you feel good, the energy and passion in each track is a great break from the usual fodder thrown out for the masses. Highlights include, "Hip Shaker", "Are You With Me" "Halfway To Memphis", "Who" and "I've Got Your Sympathy". This is music that makes you stop, listen and appreciate it. Retro and yet avant garde, the past and the future in perfect harmony. The band are so tight its frightening and Paul Stevens' voice really stands out. He's exactly what you want in a rock n roll singer.  'Rectifier' is a premium rock and roll album, served dirty with extra helpings of swagger and soul.  It buzzes with energy, bristles with power and blows you away in the sheer quality and diversity of music flowing into your ears.  If you are an eclectic lover of rock, blues music and love awesome musicianship, inspiring vocals, evocative lyrics by a band that exudes excitement and passion check out The Lad Classic, they are just what the doctor ordered.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society