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

Friday, April 13, 2018

CD REVIEW: WANDERING SOUL by Firebug




WANDERING SOUL by Firebug
(Spectra Records)

'Wandering Soul', the latest release from Joshua Tree, California based duo, Firebug is proof positive that good music is still being created. Comprised of Juliette Tworsey - Lead Vocal/ Rhythm Guitar/Mandolin and Jules Shapiro - Lead guitar/Slide Guitar/Organ, the duo's classic rock influences shine brightly on all 13 tracks offered. Influences that I picked up on from Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones to modern day acts like  PJ Harvey and The Black Keys and yet their musical vibe has it's own special character without sounding dated or old-fashioned. Every track is strong and pulls its own weight. Seldom do I find an album that every track is exciting, and I don't feel like skipping. Highlights include, the driving pulsating swagger of "Follower" and "Sinner". The title track with its bluesy twang. "The River", "Shallow Water" and "Strange Days". Juliette Tworsey voice has a rich smoky rasp to it and is complimented by the talented Jules Shapiro excellent guitar work. I defy anyone to play this and not start moving to the fantastically deep and reverberating rhythms.Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

CD REVIEW: NOW PLAYING by Jim Wilson with Phil Jones




NOW PLAYING by Jim Wilson with Phil Jones
(Independent Release)

Los Angeles based musician, Jim Wilson is back with his sophomore effort, 'Now Playing', along with drummer Phil Jones. I've been a fan of Jim Wilson since his days in Mother Superior. This guy is amazing. His influences are very evident in his music and he adds his own unique swagger to it. 'Now Playing", is a rocking and funk inspired recording. It really makes you feel good, the feeling in each track is a great break from the usual fodder thrown out for the masses. All the songs on the album are superb, utilising Jim Wilson's soulful vocal and a supremely talented group of musicians. The opening track "Favorite Song", is a groove laden track with a southern twang, while "Honeysuckle", is a super prime mover that reminded me a bit of his days in Mother Superior. Other tracks like "No Heroes Anymore", "Out Of Your Mind" and "Disillusion" are also very strong. This really is music that makes you stop, listen & appreciate. If you are new to Jim Wilson or if you have heard his previous works, his sophomore effort 'Now Playing', is a wonderfully varied rock and soul album that is definitely worth experiencing and comes highly recommended.Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Saturday, March 31, 2018

CD REVIEW: CHANGE YOUR POSITION by Tax The Heat




CHANGE YOUR POSITION by Tax The Heat
(Nuclear Blast Records)

U.K. rockers, Tax The Heat won me over big time with their debut outing, 'Fed To The Lions' which was full of energized rock and roll swagger echoing the likes of, The Kinks, The Beatles, the Stones, the Yardbirds, The Who. On their highly anticipated sophomore release, 'Change Your Position', the band show a maturity taking their sound to a whole new level. Embodying everything that rock'n'roll stands for: loud guitars, thumping bass lines, kicking drums, and swagger! The band is comprised of Alex Veale (vocals, guitar), Antonio Angotti (bass, backing vocals),  JP Jacyshyn (guitar, backing vocals) and Jack Taylor (drums, backing vocals, ), while their musical influences are rooted in classic rock, these guys are just modern enough to make their sound something other than full on retro rock. Aggressively raw, yet finely honed, the listening experience, at least for me, just got better with each listen. Flaunting their influences while turning out fresh songs to delight the tired ear. The quality of the songs and the song writing once again on point. You can play it straight from beginning to end without wanting to skip anything. Highlights include, "Money In The Bank", the title track, "All That Medicine", "The Last Time", "Taking The Hit" and the album closing, "The Symphony Has Begun". Overall, 'Change Your Position', is a strong album from a band that is absolutely worth paying attention to and one that is not to be missed. Highly recommended to all rock music fans out there. If you aren’t, it’s time to get educated.Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, March 26, 2018

CD REVIEW: FORTRESS by Steel City




FORTRESS by Steel City
(Kivel Records)

'Fortress', the adrenaline pumping debut release from Steel City, will have your undivided attention once you press play. The band is a band made up of two of the newest upcoming stars in the melodic rock scene. Mike Floros (Guitarist) and Bryan Cole (Vocals) along with Scott Watson (bass, backing vocals) and Ron McCloskey (drums, backing vocals). Their debut outing is the complete package from vocals to musicianship, every song has enough hooks and punch to satisfy every melodic rock sweet tooth on the planet. Everything blends nicely and I've enjoyed listening to the entire album several times over. Highlights include the awesome chorus hook of the energetic opener "Do You Love Me", the massive power of "Heart And Soul", the groove laden "Picture Of Beauty", the intense rock groove of numbers like, "Too Little To Late" and "Rock In The USA". As well as a killer take on The Vinnie Vincent Invasion classic, "Back On The Streets". Their are NO fillers on this record, top notch players and vocalist, rock solid production. Strong lyrics, not all about sex,drugs, rock & roll lifestyle. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind lyrics like that. But Steel City gives the listener a whole other spectrum in their lyric writing. I would highly recommend this album to any fan of melodic hard rock fan. Heck, I'd recommend it to anyone who appreciates superior production, songwriting and musicianship regardless of their musical taste.Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Saturday, March 17, 2018

CD REVIEW: GET RIGHT WITH YOUR MAKER by Palace Of The King




GET RIGHT WITH YOUR MAKER 
by Palace Of The King 
(Golden Robot Records)

They have done it again. Powerhouse rockers from down under, Palace Of The King are back with their third studio release, 'Get Right With Your Maker'. It was recorded in multiple sessions around touring commitments. The band is comprised of, Tim Henwood on vocals and guitar, Sean Johnston on keys and guitar, Travis Dragani on drums and
Anthony Licciardi Garcia and bass. The new album is filled with roots-based rock music that has a strong connection to early, soulful blues played with a naturally primal energy and a raw rock feel. All ten tracks are stunners. Highlighted by smoking numbers like the lead off single, "I Am The Storm", "It's Been A Long Time Coming", "A Dog With A Bone" and the attitude induced swagger of "Fly Like An Evil". The overall vibe feels pure, unadulterated, with a very clean, hard-edged live-in-the-studio aura.  This is ass-kickin’, gutsy, rock music for rockers who miss rocking out to pure rock ecstasy. 'Get Right With Your Maker' is an album that should appeal to any rock listener who understands the difference between copying a style and reverently interpreting the reason you play music. This is what rock music is supposed to sound like.Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

CD REVIEW: WINTERSLEEP by Big City




WINTERSLEEP by Big City
(Mayhem Music)

The debut release, 'Wintersleep', from Norwegian melodic heavy rock band, Big City is one of the most addicting albums I've heard in quite some time. The band is comprised of, Jan Le Brandt - Vocals (Memoria Avenue, Northquake), Daniel Olaisen - Guitars(Scariot, Blood Red Throne, ex-Satyricon), Frank Ørland - Guitars (ex-Scariot), Miguel Pereira - Bass (Withem) and Frank Nordeng Røe - Drums (Withem, Maraton). The production is solid and the musical performances are intense. This really is a very high energy rock album that will stimulate your senses. Every detail of the music is simply amazing! Highlights include the awesome chorus hook of the energetic opener "Midnight Train", the massive power of "Innocence Of A Kill", the quality chorus hit of "Fire And Stone", the rock groove of "The Last Step" and the addictive vocal melodies of "Iseline" and the album closer, "Will You Be Gone". Despite the fact that this album doesn't bring anything new to melodic rock genre, it is still a high quality album that is essential for fans of the genre. Overall, If you're into melodic hard rock with progress overtones this is the perfect album to experience.Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society