Monday, June 18, 2018

CD REVIEW: ROMPUS POMPOUS by Smash Fashion




ROMPUS POMPOUS by Smash Fashion
(Electric Pudding Records)

L.A. based rockers Smash Fashion are back with their latest release, 'Rompus Pompous'. A another example of this band's prowess in true rock and roll. Comprised of, Roger Deering on vocals & guitar,  Lloyd Stuart Casson on lead guitar, Scarlet Rowe on electric bass and Reijo "Repo" Kauppila on drums. Smash Fashion are so entrenched in solid rock and roll they are never persuaded away from outstanding musicianship, great lyrics, endless energy and arresting vocals. This is a band showing the younger generation how to rock!! Paying homage to the great bands of the late 70s and early 80s. A mix of glam, power pop, punk and classic rock. 'Rompus Pompous' is a extremely well crafted, crunchy and hooky rock and roll album performed with a basic rock sensibility. The approach throughout is basic rock and roll, yet so few bands can execute this simple genre with honesty. In fact no track on the entire album tries to venture into new sonic ground or get experimental. Highlighted by the rocking "Can't Take You Anywhere", "Wolves Of Wonderland", "Teenage Demon", the glam induced power trip of, "Proper Way To Eat A Muffin", the lead off single, "Runs In The Family", "Gentle Hand" and "'Smiles And Daggers". This new album sounds tougher than the band's previous outing 'Big Cat Love", it's swings a big punch and when it hits you, you'll know about it. The louder you play this back the better - trust me, the neighbours won't complain either. Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

CD REVIEW: BIG CITY LIFE by Big City




BIG CITY LIFE by Big City
(Rock Of Angels)

The highly anticipated sophomore release, 'Big City Life' from the Norwegian based melodic prog rockers Big City is proof positive that the dreaded "Sophomore Slump", does not effect every band. Picking up where the left off with their powerful debut, 'Wintersleep' (which is added as a bonus disc with this release), the maturity of the band is simply tremendous. Comprised of, Jan Le Brandt on vocals, guitarist, Daniel Olaisen, Frank Ørland, on guitar, Miguel Pereira on bass and Frank Nordeng Røe on drums. The band have created a high precision progressive rock album that is both exhilarating and intense. The musical chemistry is tight as a glove and the vocals are on point. There are no songs worth mentioning that are to be avoided. This is a recording where every song is exceptional. Highlighted by the likes of the adrenaline pumping opening , "Big City Life" that opens the album. "Daemon In The Dark", "From This Day", "Running For Your Life", the haunting, "Forgive Me Now" and "Tower Of Babylon". The lyrics are brilliantly imaginative and each song's melodic construction masterful. Jan Le Brandt's powerful vocals will amaze you with his tremendous vocal range, as well as the amazing riffs and solos of the six string duo of Daniel Olaisen, Frank Ørland. The rhythm section of Miguel Pereira and Frank Nordeng Røe cannot be denied either. The bottom line here is, if you like well written rock music performed with precision and with a dynamic range, Big City is for you. This is a band hitting their stride and is definitely on the way up! Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, June 4, 2018

CD REVIEW: THE AWAKENING by The Slyde




THE AWAKENING by The Slyde
(Independent Release)

Canada's Progressive rockers, The Slyde break onto the music scene with their powerful debut release, ' The Awakening', a album steeped with thought provoking and mind blowing, high-octane progressive rock ecstasy.  Bringing to mind such acts like, Rush, Dream Theater, Coheed and Cambria, and Protest The Hero. Driven by Nathan Da Silva’s mesmerizing and Geddy Lee vibe vocals, Sarah Westbrook's powering keyboard skills, and the powerful rhythm section of Alberto Campuzano and Brendan Soares. The Slyde have their sights on turning on any technically minded melodic prog rock fan. All ten songs offered are great, but among them my favorites are, "Walk With Me", In Silence', the powerful title track, "Fading", "Divide" and the album closing. "Back Again". Their sound is incredibly complex and the musicianship is on such a high level; it's not for everyone but I'm a sucker for it. Listening to this recording through quality hi-fi speakers just makes you appreciate the layers of musical depth the group has. The instrumentation is divine. Nathan Da Silva’s vocals are so different you can't help but be intrigued. The Slyde keep their musical progressions interesting at every turn. Rarely will a chord progression repeat itself without some new melody coming in to add something to it. The bottom line here is, its all about the rock, and this debut outing is truly one interesting and engaging rock experiences. Everything about this album is so good, I can't find anyway to break it down any farther than that. Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Q AND A with BIG CITY from Norway


Q AND A with BIG CITY from Norway
by The Dedicated Rocker Society


Norwegian BIG CITY is a new melodic heavy metal band, but the members behind have tons of years and experience in the music industry. Guitarist, Daniel Olaisen, had considered a 80’s heavy metal band for ages and finally put some of his ideas together early in 2009. He contacted former band colleague in the band Scariot, Frank Ørland, also on guitar, to do some shredding leads but also contributing with riffs. A tip from a friend led us to Le’Brandt and his amazing vocals.y

He totally liked the demo songs Daniel and Frank recorded in Daniel’s home studio and soon put on some vocals inspiring us even more to get this band going. Daniel searched some forums and got in contact with this young and talented drummer, Frank Nordeng Røe. He was professional and dedicated from the very beginning. Geir Inge Olsen completed the band when he joined in on bass guitar. The band's debut album, Wintersleep, was recorded and released by the band in August 2013. 

The band's highly anticipated sophomore release, 'Big City Life', is set for release later this year. So, what can we expect from the band this time around? We asked the band a few questions about the new album and couple other things. Here's what they shared with us.


Q: What can your fans expect from the new album?

A: Pretty much a big step further in every positive direction. There's not a bad song on this album and it has powerful ballads, mellow ballads, heavy and groovy stuff and some up-tempo songs!

Q: What was your musical approach to, ‘Big City Life’? How does it differ from, ‘Winter Sleep’?

A: First of all, the production is much better this time. The songs on Wintersleep are great, no question about it, but I think it's even more catchy on Big City Life with some songs having a great potential to reach out there. The singer has also stepped everything up and it just sound like a really big 80's heavy rock album!

Q: Do you plan to do shows this Summer to promote the new album? What are the chances on coming to America?

A: Yeah, we are doing our first live shows with Big City and we have several shows and festivals, but the biggest one is this summer with major acts like Accept, Staus Quo etc, so it's a great start for us. I think we need to play quite much here in Europe and make a name before we can even consider the US. I don't know 80's rock/metal is doing in the US, but we are definitely ready to put that undying genre on the map again in US too!

Q: Speaking of America. What do you think it will take for you to get noticed here?

A: Oh, that one is hard. I mean, with this jungle of bands out there and Big City being nothing super original or crazy stuff, I just think we have to continue making great songs, get aired a lot and maybe one day someone wants to bring us over. Anything is possible!

Q: For those new to Big City, how would your describe your band and sound?

A: It's extremely melodic. Great lead guitars and most importantly, an excellent singer making catchy hooklines and BIG choruses. Very 80's heavy metal/rock, but with a modern and original twist to it!

Guys, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. 

For more information on Big City, please visit:

https://www.facebook.com/bigcitynorway

Friday, May 18, 2018

CD REVIEW: OUT OF THE SILENCE II by Dare




OUT OF THE SILENCE II by Dare
(Legal Records)

Considered as essential album by fans of the melodic rock genre, Dare's 1988 debut, ‘Out Of The Silence’ that was recorded at Joni Mitchell’s Bel Air Studio in Los Angeles, and produced by producer Mike Shipley is still widely regarded today as one of the all time great AOR recordings. Fast forward to present day. A new chapter in the history for Dare comes in the form of a 30 year Anniversary with a Special Edition re-release of their debut classic album ‘Out Of The Silence’. 'Out Of The Silence II' has been completely re-recorded. Featuring, Darren Wharton on vocals, original DARE guitarist Vinny Burns, along with 'Blood from Stone’s' Nigel Clutterbuck on bass, and Marc Roberts on live Keys and Kev Whitehead on drums,  Dare’s lineup is stronger than ever. What can I say? This is a master stroke on Darren Wharton's part in giving Dare and AOR fans a stronger and heavier version of the original. Listening to the reworked versions of, my personal favorites like, "Abandon", "Into The Fire", "Runaway", "King Of Spades" and "Heartbreaker", brought back that euphoric feeling I had when I first heard them back in 1988. For me the production is greatly improved. There is a distinctly harder edge to both the guitars and the drums and Vinny Burns' guitar solos and runs are decidedly more eloquent and prominent than on the original. Overall, If you have the original version, listening to 'Out Of The Silence II', will be like welcoming a good friend you haven't heard from in awhile. Re-live the magic by one of the best melodic rock bands to ever evolve. A must for all DARE fans old and new. Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, May 7, 2018

CD REVIEW: REAL MACHINE by Supercharger




REAL MACHINE by Supercharger
(Gain Music)

Another supercharged release by Copenhagen's Supercharger. This band just keeps pushing and pushing, they're music is consistent quality and most importantly they're unique sound is unlike any other band....its all they're own and on their latest release, 'Real Machine', the boys deliver the goods! Serving ten rocking tracks that are loaded with tons of attitude and swagger. The band is comprised of, Linc Van Johnson (Vocal), Thomas Buchwald (Lead guitar), Karsten Dines Johansen (Bass), Ronni Clasen (Keys,Harp,Guitar,Perc.) and Benjamin Funk (Drums). From the opening adrenaline pumping, "Off We Go" to rocking tracks like, "Shake It Up", "The Ride", "Another One To Die" and the album closing, "Forsaken Sin" this new album doesn't let up one bit. This album doesn't have one bad track. 'Real Machine' signifies a level of maturity for Supercharger whereby they aren't worried about producing rock music that appeals to more than just fans of rock music - I sincerely hope so as this is a band and album of quality that deserves wider exposure and audience. If you've never listened to Supercharger before, this is the album to start with. Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, April 23, 2018

CD REVIEW: EVOLUTION OF KARMA by Universal Hippies




EVOLUTION OF KARMA by Universal Hippies
(Grooveyard Records)

The highly anticipated sophomore effort, 'Evolution Of Karma' from Universal Hippies proves that the first time around was no fluke. The atmosphere and vibe on this is really special. Comprised of, guitarist Stavros Papadopoulos, bassist Jim Petridis and drummer, Chris Lagios, the trio deliver a ambient/new age fine, although many of these compositions could easily be featured on a soundtrack. There is also a distinct eastern/oriental feel in most of these songs. The music starts with a quiet intensity, and slowly escalates into dramatic, lifting crescendos. Papadopoulos' intense driven guitar splashes all over the muted synthetic backdrop, painting the sweetest of sounds to be coaxed from the instrument. Every song offers something different. The guitar playing and tone are astonishing, the sound quality is great, and there's not a weak song on the whole album.  Highlights include, "Evolution", "Wings Of Pegasus", "Metamorphosis", and "Outskirts Of Infinity".  Beautifully structured solos, and clean tone guitar playing. ' Evolution Of Karma' is heavy on melody, and so satisfying in the depths it reaches within it. This is free of ego boosting trickery and concentrates on composition and content. Just sit back, relax, and listen to these Universal Hippies' magic. Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, April 20, 2018

CD REVIEW: THUNDERBOLT by Saxon




THUNDERBOLT by Saxon
(Militia Guard Music)

The hard rocking juggernaut known as Saxon are back with their latest release  'Thunderbolt' (the band's 22nd studio release), three years after their powerhouse release, 'Battering Ram', Biff Byford and the boys show that they haven't lost any momentum when it comes to serving up hard rocking music that is pack with power and attitude. 'Thunderbolt', is certainly all that and more. The band's playing and writing is so much better now than so many younger bands. All twelve tracks offered up are in your face rock solid.  Highlights include, the energizing title track, "The Secret Of Flight", the moody  "Nosferatu (The Vampire's Waltz)" with its powerful guitar work, dynamic mix of tempos and powerful lyrics, "They Played Rock And Roll", a fast and furious tribute to Motorhead and the riff heavy, "Predator" featuring Johan Hegg from Amon Amarth. The production sounds great and the guitar tone is killer. Biff Byford still holds his vocal range as well as ever, and Doug and Paul are masters of both heavy riffs and melodic solos while the rhythm section with Nibbs and Nigel provide them with really precise 'tight and loose' foundations. Enough said! Get it, crank up the volume and enjoy! Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society