Thursday, October 31, 2013

Artist Interview: BILLY SHEEHAN

Billy Sheehan of The Winery Dogs
Talks to The Dedicated Rocker Society
Interview by Tony & Bill @ The DRP

When MiKe Portnoy and John Sykes announced that they were putting together a new "Supergroup" on an episode of 'That Metal Show', music news wires lit up like a lit match on gasoline! The only big question was who would they bring in to play bass? All that was known was that it was going to be a well known player. Several names popped up, Les Claypool from Primus, Mike Portnoy' s bandmate from Dream Theater, John Myung and Tony Franklin who played with John in Blue Murder. Those were great guesses, but that was all they were.

In the months to follow Mike Portnoy and John Sykes found their bass player, none other than bassist extraordinaire, Billy Sheehan. Now all they needed was a name for the band. Before they settled on a name for the band, there was a change in the band's line up. Exit John Sykes enter Richie Kotzen. Now with all the pieces in place, the band decided to call themselves, The Winery Dogs.

Once the word got out about The Winery Dogs, the anticipation for their debut release was out of this world. The trio released a couple of music videos online to keep there fans tied over until the album a release. The wait is finally over! The Winery Dogs released their self-titled debut album on July 23rd.

The Rocker and I spoke with Billy Sheehan about The Winery Dogs and how it feels to finally the album released and to share the music with their fans. Here's what Billy shared with us....

First off, thank you for calling Billy.

Billy Sheehan: No problem, thank you for helping get the word out.

Did you have any expectations for the record?

BS: None really. I just wanted to make a great record. It's hard going into a record saying, "This is going to be the greatest record ever". You just do your best. I know Mike and I know Richie. I know that both of them are supremely concerned about the quality of the stuff they put out, as I am.  So, I knew we would get something really good out. I was pleasantly surprised that everyone else loved it so much.

Why is that?

BS: Well, you know sometimes you make a record and you "Get It". But nobody else does. I don't think anyone puts out a record that is bad. So we loved it. We hoped that our fans stood by us and they have. We did our best. We recorded music that we liked.  As fans of music, which all three of us are, I recorded music I would like to listen to.

How long did the record take to record?
BS: It was pretty quick. A couple sessions, a couple fixes here and there. It was a process that evolved as it went. Pretty quick though. The mixing took a very short amount of time.

So chemistry does count?

BS: Yeah, that was a big part of it as well.

Did you ever consider singing on the album?

BS: Yeah, I almost did. I forgot the song, I believe it was a bass heavy thing. It would have been great, but I'd have to be Geddy Lee, Sting Lemmy and Dug Pinnick. Unfortunately, I am not (laughs). So, I let Richie do the singing. Plus, he's a better singer than I am (laughs).

We love the fact that three extraordinary talented musicians are on one record creating mind blowing music, without stepping all over each other in the process. Talk about the chemistry between the three of you.

BS: I'm glad you pointed that out. We are older and wiser. I want to hear Richie play, I want to hear Mike play. So, I have no problem pulling back. I believe they feel the same way.

What about on stage?

BS: The natural chemistry we have on stage is easy. I can see Richie and Mike and they can see me. So we can keep an eye on each other. Working with guys like Richie and Mike on stage or in the studio is easy.

Can we talk about the situation with John Sykes? What happened there?

BS: Yeah, it was a chemistry thing. John is a wonderful guy, a great player, but sometimes it just doesn't work out. It's like if you meet a girl that is good looking, nice personality, but in time it just doesn't work. I'm sure John will be fine. He's great and will always be successful. As far as this band, it just wasn't a fit.

So, enter Richie Kotzen. How did that come about?

BS: So after John's departure we decided to look for someone else. That's when Eddie Trunck from That Metal Show, suggested Richie Kotzen. When he mentioned Richie, I about kicked myself in the ass!
Thankfully, Richie was available and very much into the project. It all worked out fine. Plus, we're all east coast guys, so it was an easy fit.

Let's talk about touring. How do you prepare?

BS: Nothing really special. I make sure all the gear I need is ready to go. It's pretty much a scramble to get everything squared away. About a million microscopic details that all must be attended to. I also listen to the album alot, so that it becomes part of my DNA.

We know the tour kicks off overeas, when will you guys play here in the States?

BS: I think that we’ll be in America in October.  The US is the most important market to us being American’s.  I’m sure we’ll be real tight as a band by the time we get to play back here in the States.

So, what's next for you?

BS: There is probably something down the road. I might just do a record focusing just on the bass. After playing for over 40 years, I discover a new thing every day. I tell people that and they find it hard to believe, but it's really true. So, I have a ton of things on bass that I've never done before. I also found some old tapes from the '70's that I forgot about.  I'll put all the stuff together then in a year or two put it out.

Billy, we'd like to thank you for your time! We had a blast. The Winery Dogs debut release definitely has our vote for one of the best rock albums to come out in 2013.

BS: This is one record I really love listening to. Thank you guys. I appreciate the time to talk to me. We certainly appreciate it! See you guys soon!

- The Dedicated Rocker Society

For more info on The Winery Dogs:

Interview with GORDIE JOHNSON

He Plays What He Means and He Means What He Plays
Gordie Johnson Talks About His new project
SIT DOWN, SERVANT!! And few other goodies
 by Tony & Bill @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

 "I never feel easy with people on the sound room going, "The vocals should be louder!" Louder than what?! Louder than a Humble Pie record? Steve Marriott is a way better singer than me. If I'm happy and the people are happy that’s all the really matters." - Gordie Johnson

The Rocker and I have interviewed a number of bands and artists. All special I might add. But there is one artist though who we've had our eye on for quite some time. His name is Gordie Johnson. Who is Gordie Johnson? Some of you may be asking? (taking a deep breath.) Let us enlighten you...

Gordie Johnson is the singer and guitarist for the Canadian reggae-rock band Big Sugar and the rock band Grady, where he used his nickname "Grady" Johnson as the name of the band. Big Sugar has released a number of albums that include, 'Hemi-Vision', 'Heated' and 'Brothers And Sisters Are You Ready?'. While Grady, has released four albums, 'Y.U. So Shady?, 'Cup Of Cold Poison', ' Good As Dead' and the live recording, 'Calling All My Demons'.

As a producer , he has worked with other artists, including Gov't Mule, Taj Mahal, The Trews, The Joel Plaskett Emergency, The Respectables, Reel Big Fish, Tim Chaisson & Morning Fold and Wide Mouth Mason who in March 2011, it was announced that Gordie Johnson would be joining WMM full-time as bassist. He reformed Big Sugar in 2010 for some concert dates. That same year, Big Sugar released their new studio album 'Revolution Per Minute'. Last year Big Sugar released a live album, 'Big Sugar: Eliminate Ya! Live' a 2-Disc CD/DVD set. Also in 2012, Gordie Johnson introduced a new project called Sit Down, Servant!! Put together in days so he could have the chance to open for George Thorogood as an invited guest opener. SDS is a new project that gave him the chance to combine blues and gospel with dub in his own unique way. Accompanied by Big Sugar drummer Stephane Beaudin on the kit, while Johnson sings and plays steel guitar along with his Moog bass pedals for a soul lifting electric set of foot-stomping songs performed to audiences for the first time.

In 2013, things are definitely going to be heating up for Gordie Johnson. Having landed the opening gig for Joe Satriani' s "UNSTOPPABLE MOMENTUM" Tour and of course a number of other projects that he has lined up. The Rocker and I had the honor of talking to the one and only, Gordie Johnson about his latest project Sit Down, Servant!!, Big Sugar, Grady and his upcoming tour opening up for Joe Satriani. Here is what Gordie shared with us......

First off, thank you so much for calling
GJ : No problem, it's my pleasure.

Alright then, let's talk about your new project, Sit Down, Servant!! Were you inspired by listening to gospel blues?

GJ : We weren't trying to recreate a sound from a by- gone era. It's actually what I've been listening to for a long the time.

So you already had an idea what musical direction you wanted it to go in?

GJ : It was the first time I could go into the studio with a concept I had in my mind for years. But I never had that moment where I said, "Oh, we really need to do this album now." I had this idea about playing the synth bass pedals in a more rootsy form of music. Applicable to the styles of music I work with as a mixer and producer. So, the idea was always there.

Why the wait in doing Sit Down, Servant!!, too busy?

GJ : Yeah, it was always either me doing a Big Sugar record or a Grady record or producing somebody else. But when the opportunity came up to do this it only took us two days to record the album. We didn't overdub anything.

How's your hand? Did you have to go to rehab?

GJ : You know it's feeling a lot better. In fact SDS was recorded last year. It was as I was recovering from Carpel Tunnel surgery. So playing on the album the way I did was all I could do as far as guitar playing goes. No rehab.

That must have been tough recording the album.

GJ : You know, you are only good as your worst day really. Not trying to show off or anything. I just need to play enough guitar to convey the true meaning of the song. That's the important thing. We just played the songs. I never thought about my hand or would I ever get better. Would I ever play the way I use to play? It never entered my mind.

What about playing Big Sugar or Grady songs on a lap steel?

GJ : It hasn't come up yet (laughs). Since SDS my hand has gotten better and my ability to play guitar is back to where it used to be.

So does that mean..?

GJ : I've been playing more steel guitar lately. With SDS I might play two songs on guitar and the rest I'll play on steel. There are some nights I won't pick up a guitar and just play all steel. I also have a triple neck Magnaphone I can use as well. I play guitar exactly the way I mean to play guitar.

Are you satisfied with the response Sit Down, Servant!! is getting so far?

GJ : Yeah, I am surprised by the response so far. I think the SDS album is so down to earth and honest. I think that is why people go, "Wow! That's cool!" What really surprised me was how people on the Hip Hop world are digging the album.

How so?

GJ : Everytime we've gone on stage, in fact there is this Hip Hop band in Austin called, 'The League Of Extraordinary G's'. There is about 8 Rappers in that group. We were at SxSw doing a show when all 8 of them got on stage with us!

What was that like?

GJ : We never met these guys before and they just jumped on stage and turned our set into a 45 minute jam session. I just sat back and said, "What can be better than this?!" I didn't say, "Hey, you guys are hijacking my showcase!" I said, "You guys just made this show a memorable one, you made amazing!"

When can expect something new from Big Sugar?

GJ : With Big Sugar we've been really busy this past year. We didn't know how my hand would be doing. I actually thought I was going to have another surgery this year which turned out not to be the case. I've got about 30 songs recorded with Big Sugar this year. I'd love to get Big Sugar out on the road next year and play throughout the United States. For a band that has been away for 10 years, all of a sudden we're getting phone calls from Europe to play festivals. We've never played in Europe before. So when we did play, it was like, "Would anyone know who we are?" Then 10,000 people show up and it's like, "How did this happen! (laughs)

Do you like hearing people say how much they love your band?

GJ : I'm always seeking the approval of people who like us. I never feel easy with people on the sound room going, "The vocals should be louder!" Louder than what?! Louder than a Humble Pie record? Steve Marriott is a way better singer than me. If I'm happy and the people are happy that’s all the really matters.

What about Grady? Will you be bring it back a some point?

GJ : I can imagine at some point Grady will be back again. We'll have to just wait and see.

Congratulations on getting the gig opening for Joe Satriani.

GJ : How fast is Joe going to sound after I get off the stage?(laughs) Joe is an amazing player who plays pretty fast, compared to my slow bluesy tone.

Are you up for the challenge?

GJ : The band has played more since our last tour with George Thorogood. We've expanded more and we're definitely ready for this tour. Yeah, we're up for this challenge.

We have ask about the Buswick Bill "Incident"?

GJ : (laughs), The "Incident", that's funny. I was hoping I didn't sound negative in the article. It's all good. He just came out to show and jammed with us on stage. He was inspired. He heard the band one night, got on stage grabbed the Mic and started rapping with us. After the song he went to the studio where I produce and before I knew it I was getting text messages saying, "Where should I set up our equipment?" I was like, 'You gotta be kidding me, it's 2 in the morning." We ended up doing it (laughs). I will say this, Bill brought it no matter what condition he was in. When it was time, all he did was step up to the Mic. All we had to do is keep up with him.

What about playing in L.A.?

GJ : I hope to play there soon. I would love to do a SDS set in Los Angeles. We never really set out a lot of time to do this. But it is starting to become more and more in demand. Playing L.A. would be really cool.

We'd asked you what is next for Gordie Johnson, but we want you to surprise us...

GJ : (laughs) Oh, there'll be more surprises, trust me.

For on Sit Down, Servant!! :
Gordie Johnson/Big Sugar:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Quill Return with Tiger Blood / Interview w/ Magnus Arnar

The Quill Return with Tiger Blood
Interview with Magnus Arnar 
by The Dedicated Rocker Society

The Quill are a four-piece hard rock band based in Mönsterås, Sweden. The band has been around for more then 20 years and released six studio albums, done some extensive touring throughout europe and the US, with band such as Abstrakt Algebra, Glucifer and Monster Magnet. Since mid 2010 Magnus Arnar handles the microphone and in mid 2012 the lost son Roger Nilsson returned to handle the bass guitar.

The band's last album 'Full Circle' showed the fans and the industry that The Quill are still a force to be reckoned with, and due to the new blood in the band they´re establishing themselves as a fierce live act. During the fall of 2012 the sequel to 'Full Circle' was being written. The wait is over! The Quill are back with a vengeance and hungrier than ever with their new release, 'Tiger Blood'

The Rocker and I caught up with The Quill's frontman singer, Magnus Arnar to talk to him about the band's new album and more. Here's what he shared with us...

Talk to us about the record, 'Tiger Blood'. How did it take to record? What's the story behind the title and who came up with it?

MA: Like everything else in this band, it was on a really tight schedual. last year we were touring alot and had to push the release a couple of times due to lack of new material. so when we had done our last show for the year, we got a final deadline from our record label, started to count backwards to set the schedual and began writing new songs in oct/nov. after christmas all the recording started. first week, drums and bass, second week all guitars, third week vocals, the weekend on the forth week we did the final touch on the songs. on the fifth week we cleaned up and prepared all audio  files for mixing and mastering. Petter Diamant, our engineer and producer came by my house with his laptop the same night he went on vacation so I could do the final preparation before I send everything to Ninetone. On week six and seven the album was mixed and mastered and on feb. 15th the master was delivered to Metalville records. by far the tightest schedual we
have experienced and hopefully ever will:) The title Tiger Blood  Roger came up with and it basically means that your immune to everything and immortal. We felt that it summoned up the last two years in this band which has been a bumpy ride with lots of obstacles both physically, mentally and financially. we have invested alot of money in this band and lost a couple of people along the way as well. and of course we love what we're doing, thats why we put ourselves through this circus called rock n roll!

Did you approach the new record any different than with your previous releases?

MA: Yes very much so. The main goal from the start was to do the album as versatile as possible, rather then darker and/or heavier. different keys, different moods and everybody contributed to the writing process.

The Quill are labeled, "Stoner Rock". Do you agree with that? How would you describe your band?

MA:In the early days it was definitely stoner rock, these days its more like a classic rock with a modern sound and stoner is one of the ingredients.

What does 2013 look like for The Quill? As far as touring goes?

MA: In May/June the album will be released and we only have a few shows this summer to be able to prepare the show for toruing this fall. unfortunately we can't say anything more then that right now. a tour is coming up, but it's not official yet.

Musical influences? Any new bands on the scene right now that you listen to?

MA: We got alot of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Soundgarden in our sound, but also some bluesy, soul fragrant going on, such as Joe Cocker and the Beatles to name a few. Personally I fucking love the danish rockers Supercharger, high octane rock n roll at its best!

Any plans doing any shows in America?

MA: Not in the near future unfortunately. But good things are lurking in
the horizon, so you never know;)

Any memorable moments, good or bad, in the making of the record that you'd like to share with us?

MA: Well, the entire recording session were like I said earlier, really
intense and because of that memorable, but on a personal level I was pumped up and ready to go when i went into the studio. but I was under such amount of pressure that after the first day I managed to record a half-assed something in the song "Death Valley" and my throat was goodbye! "Stop singing" and "Leave the band" went through my mind a couple of times that night to be honest, haha. The day after i was like fuck it! What happens happen, and with the pressure gone my throat started to work and the rest
of the recording took off like a train.

Any parting comments for your fans?

MA: Guys! we fucking love you and we would be nothing without you, you rock! Last year when we went to the States we had a blast and we were amazed how nice and social the American people are. Love and respect!

The Quill will release "Tiger Blood", on May 24th via Metalville Records. The album will be released on CD, vinyl and digitally. ”Tiger Blood” consists of 10 tracks with one additional track being added to the iTunes-release.  As with their 2011 album "Full Circle" the band worked with producer Petter Diamant recording the album at the Jakaranda Studio in Gävle and the 491 Studio in Oskarshamn. The album was then mixed by Patrik Frisk (CrashDiët, Corroded, Takida) at Sidelake/Ninetone Studios in Sundsvall.

For more on The Quill:

Kevin Roentgen of GOLDSBORO
We Just Want To Rock and Roll
Interview by The Dedicated Rocker Society

Goldsboro is a power trio based in Los Angeles with influences that read like a roll call of the greatest hard rock and heavy metal bands of all time: Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, KISS, Judas Priest, AC/DC.

The band have already received the backing of Guns N’ Roses and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. GN’R handpicked Goldsboro to be their opening act in 2012. And Jones has given Goldsboro’s track Great White Buffalo heavy rotation on his Jonesey’s Jukebox show for LA radio station KROQ.

And now comes the band’s debut album –simply titled Goldsboro. The Rocker and I spoke with the band's frontman, Kevin Roentgen, as he enlightened us on his band and other things. Here is what he shared with us....

First off, Kevin thanks so much for calling in.
KEVIN ROENTGEN: No problem, it's my pleasure.

Alright can you give us the lowdown behind the name of the band, Goldsboro?

KR: The name of the band came about from a joke we had about our producer, Noah Shain. The joke was about his haircut and how he looked like Bobby Goldsboro (laughs).

Didn't Noah actually want to be in the band?

KR: That is true. It all went down like this. Me and Johnny told him that we were putting a band together and that we wanted the band to sound like Black Sabbath, Soundgarden and Thin Lizzy. Noah wanted to play drums, but we told that Chris (Cano) was playing drums. Noah was cool with it and said he wanted to produce the album. On one condition though, we name the band Goldsboro.

The lead off track, Great White Buffalo, what was the inspiration behind the song? Was it based on the Charles Bronson movie or was it inspired by the Thin Lizzy song, "Massacre"?

KR: It was actually from the name of the studio where we recorded the album, Buffalo studio. The song waves the flag proudly for metal. It’s a song for people on the outside. It’s about the freedom that I find in rock and roll. And that’s the force behind Goldsboro. I can understand where the Lizzy influence can be heard. If so, so be it. For me it's about carrying on the spirit that was inspiring to me. Even Steve Jones (Sex Pistol), who produced a band that I was in, America Pearl, said when he heard the song, "It sounds like Lizzy". Steve actually played with those guys a few times. Now he plays the song on his radio show.

How long did it take to record?

KR: It was spread over a year. We actually have another albums worth of songs to make a second record. Hopefully it won't take us that long to make it. Hopefully we can finish it in about two weeks.

Old school bands you listen to?

KR: It's a standard list. As a kid I would listen to bands like Kiss, Zeppelin and some punk stuff as well like, Dead Kennedys and Sex Pistols.

What about any of the new bands on the scene right now?

KR: There are a lot of new bands that sound great. My I-Pod is loaded. I also have a daughter, so you'll hear some Rhianna as well.

You mentioned America Pear earlier. Would you ever consider re-working any A.P. songs for Goldsboro?

KR: A lot of my friends have told that the Goldsboro album could have been the second American Pearl record. While I appreciate the fans I made in that band, for me Goldsboro and American Pearl are two separate bands.

The trend right now for most rock bands here in America is, conquer Europe and Asia and then come back to the States. What are your thoughts?

KR: There is romanticism between Europe and America. Their bands want to come here and bands from here want to go there. Kings Of Leon, The Killers and even Jimi Hendrix did it. It pretty much has been like that for a while.

Speaking of Europe, are you ready? Are you playing any warm up gigs before you fly over?

KR: We've played a couple of shows already. We have a campaign going on right now in the UK. We're doing this to embrace the fans there, through Classic Rock magazine and Kerrang. We've done a couple of shows there already. There is something about playing in the UK. The fan base there is more accessible there than here.

Without radio play how do you think people are finding out about Goldsboro?

KR: For us right now the biggest thing is through social media for exposure. For the mere fact it is everywhere you want to be at any moment. Word of mouth and people coming out to the shows as well. When it comes to the shows, for us it is all about winning over the true rock fans.

Any words for your fans?

KR: Thank you for all the support. We are looking forward to putting the second album together for you. Also looking forward to meeting all the people here and in Europe. Thanks to you both, it means a lot to us. Thank you so much.

The Rocker and I would like to thank Kevin Roentgen, John Bentjen, Chris Cano and Noah Shain for putting out one of the best rock albums released this year. A big THANK YOU to Kevin Roentgen for sharing his time with us, we had a blast. Goldsboro's debut release is out now. Take it from The Rocker and I, this band rocks! - The Dedicated Rocker Society

for more info on Goldsboro, please visitors:

Tony' s Top 10 Albums / October 2013

October has been great month for album releases. The albums from The Answer, Burning Rain and The Quill to name a few. It also saw a number of great debut releases. A few that blew me away were releases by The Winery Dogs, the band featuring Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy.  The Black Marbles from Sweden and Jim Wilson formerly of Mother Superior/Rollins Band and Pain Savior featuring Tracy G. formerly of WW III/Dio.

These are my Top 10 listens for this month. Some new stuff along with a few classics that sound better today than when they were originally released. So here they are....

1. Thunder & Lighting by Thin Lizzy
- Any album by Thin Lizzy is a great. Thunder & Lighting' was the band's heaviest release. It also introduced John Sykes to the band. The title track, "Cold Sweat", "Bad Habits", " Someday She's Gonna Hit Back" and the powerful, "The Sun Goes Down", this album simply  ROCKS!

2.  Made In Concrete by The Black Marbles
- The Black Marbles serves up a heavy dose of rock and roll swagger that is guaranteed to rock and roll your soul for days. The Black Marbles embody everything that Rock And Roll stands for: loud guitars, thumping bass lines, kicking drums and swagger! A throwback sound that brings the blues/soul/rock style all together and ties it up in a nice bow.  If your into band's like Grand Funk Railroad, Free and The Faces you are going love this band.

3.  New Horizon by The Answer
- 'New Horizon' is a terrific ride of an album that shows how joyful and exuberant music can and should be experienced. Classic Rock is alive and well in the 21st Century! Welcome back boys, so good to hear from you again!

4. Rising by Rainbow
- It's amazing; this album only has six songs on it, and totals only about 34 minutes. But Rainbow's "Rising" is far more than the sum of its parts. It conjures up such mystery, imagination, and wonder that it goes way beyond its songs to create such a beautiful panorama of images for the mind to enjoy!

5. The Winery Dogs by The Winery Dogs
- 2013 release, the debut album from the Rock supergroup featuring guitarist Richie Kotzen, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Mike Portnoy. While all three have Hard Rock and Progressive Rock backgrounds, The Winery Dogs are working towards a Classic Rock sound influenced by Led Zeppelin, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Grand Funk Railroad and others.

6. Sladest by Slade
- Vastly overlooked and underappreciated apart from the UK and Europe, Slade were true rock originals and very influential, most of all on the success of Quiet Riot in the early 80's. The original 1973 "Sladest" album contains the cream of the crop of the band's seminal early 70's work, but this CD differs somewhat as several songs are missing and replaced by more obscure single B-sides.

7. Head Down by Rival Sons
- A raw and aggressive sound that doesn’t hold back any punches. A throwback to the vintage rock sound of the 60′s and 70′s. Truly a Classic Rock band for the 21st Century. Rival Sons are a game changer. An evolution of greatness and if they can keep it together they will without a shadow of a doubt make their mark, big time!

8. Blood From Stone by Dare
- I am a huge Dare fan. This is the band's second album and  easily their heaviest and most commercial sounding album. "Wings Of Fire", "We Don't Need A Reason", "Chains" and "Live To Fight Another Day", this album is loaded with rockers. Founder and front man Darren Wharton (Former keyboard player for Thin Lizzy) has an incredible voice. Vinny Burns' guitar work is out of this world!

9.  Tribe Of Gypsies by Tribe Of Gypsies
- Tribe Of Gypsies is a band that follows in the line of many great Latin based rock bands like Santana, Azteca and Malo, but with a more aggressive sound that is uniquely their own. The only question I have is, why haven't Tribe Of Gypsies made it big here in the States?  Come on you've got Roy Z. on guitar! Enough Said.

10. Peace by Anders Osbourne
- Anders Osbourne is the best Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter, guitarist that you have never heard of. I have feeling after people hear his latest release, 'Peace', Anders Osbourne will break to an even wider audience and becomea household name. It's powerfully raw, bringing to light the ups and downs of modern life with his amazingly guitar work. This album will touch you on so many levels.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


CD REVIEW: SONGS OF IRON by Trucker Diablo
(Ripple Music)

The latest offering from Northern Ireland export, Trucker Diablo. ‘Songs of Iron’ picks up where their breakthrough hit album, ‘The Devil Rhythm’ left off, thoroughly rocking listeners with a slab of modern heavy rock mixed with a road worn whiskey soaked southern swagger. Trucker Diablo is fueled and powered by, Tom Harte on vocals and guitar, Simon Haddock on vocal and guitar, Glenn Harrison on bass and Terry Crawford on the skins. These four lads throttle down and put the pedal right through the floor! As much as I hate cliches, I must ask you, to play, ‘Songs Of Iron’ at maximum volume! Preferably while inebriated, but sober is still nothing short of exhilarating or don’t play it at all! The album kicks off with the fuel injected, “Red Light On” from there on, it’s one balls to the walls rocker after another with, “Rebel” and the lead off single, “Drive”,will get your juices flowing, “The Streets Run Red” and the trucker’ s anthem, “Year Of The Truck” are guaranteed to satisfy. 15 tracks total all sticks of rock and roll TNT. I shit you not, Trucker Diablo, when it comes to delivering the rock and roll goods, these lads hold nothing back. They know their instruments better than their women. You can tell they were having the time of their lives while writing and recording this album. There is a tasteful display of depth in the songwriting that is liberating, unhinged, and completely natural, well-thought and meticulously calculated. Either way, they’re guiding principle seems to be: do whatever works; meaning: do whatever we think sounds great and what we feel proud to put our name on, and anything else is unacceptable. Without a doubt, Trucker Diablo is one of today’s most promising bands to hit the rock scene and with a little notoriety, they just might have what it takes to hit it big. I’m talking HUGE! Cheers boys for hellava job! - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine


One of the most highly anticipated releases of 2013, the self-titled debut of the supergroup known as the Winery Dogs has been unleashed. Richie Kotzen, Billy Sheehan and Mike Portnoy have joined forces to create one powerful album. When musicians of this magnitude get together the outcome will is nothing short of mind blowing! The result being a album that has soulful classic rock vibe that rock and groove you in way unimaginable. Richie Kotzen’ s vocals are superb. I’ve always been a fan of his work and what he’s done here, along with his amazing guitar work, just blew me away. Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan are a rhythm section sent from the gods. Right off the bat with the first two tracks , “Elevate” and “Desire”, the trio show they aren’t messing around. Groove laden rockers that go for the throat. Speaking of groove, “We Are One”, is just what the doctor ordered. The hook on the song along is worth getting your hands on this album. Even when the trio downshift on, “You Saved Me”, they sound amazing. 13 tracks total, all are amazing. So, was the waiting and all the hype worth it? After one listen, I would say, with no hesitation, YES! The Winery Dogs have recorded a very strong debut, I can only imagine what they come up with next, without a doubt one of the best albums to be released in 2013. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

CD REVIEW: HEY! HELLO! by Hey! Hello!
(The End Records)

The debut release for Hey! Hello! is a straight up rock till you drop rocker if there ever was one. Has my vote for “Rock soundtrack of the Summer of 2013″. Big guitars, sing along choruses and superb harmonies throughout. Frontman Ginger of The Wildhearts certainly doesn’t like the quiet life. One thing’s for sure, though, with Hey! Hello, Ginger has definitely raised the bar and shows why he is musical genius! By the way, he played every single instrument you hear on the album. Yeah, he’s that good! His cohort Victoria Liedtke’s vocals and harmonies blend perfectly with the familiar tones of Ginger’s voice, and nowhere is that more evident on the tracks like, “Black Valentine” and power pop rockers, “Swimwear” and “Why Can’t I Be Me Without You?” The music is not that hard to get into, in fact it’s addicting. A great mix of power pop and rock. Nothing that will catch the listener off guard. I believe this is why this album is getting so much attention. Ten tracks total all are guaranteed to satisfy. The chemistry between Ginger and Victoria are a match made in heaven. Their chemistry is tighter than a licked stamp on an envelope. Despite recording their vocals on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Kudos to The End Records for releasing this gem here in the States. Hey! Hello!’s debut was funded by fans as an exclusive one time deal. They were asked if they mind it being released commercially to the world. They replied with an astounding, YES! So, here it is in all its glory for music fans around the world to enjoy! Heads up, this is one of those albums you are going to listening to over and over again! Hitting “Repeat” is high on an album like this, it’s that good. Cheers to Ginger and Victoria for an outstanding job! - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(Coda Recordings)

Formed from the ashes of respected Brit rock outfits SKIN and KOOGA. Soulful blues infused singer Nev MacDonald has reunited with his old friend and song writing partner Neil Garland. Together have formed their new band, Hand Of Dimes. The band's self-titled four song EP is groove laden rock and roll at it's finest From the soul moving opener, "Looking At You" to the mid tempo mover, "Angel And Demons", the good-time singalong of "Pinstriped Arrogance" and powerful closer, "Jacob's Ladder", Hands Of Dimes will have your undivided attention. Track after track of great music that will have you snapping your fingers, stomping your feet and clapping your hands in no time flat. While there are elements in their music that will remind many of the soulful bluesy side of Free and Humble Pie. Make no mistake though, Hand Of Dimes have a distinct sound without replicating or mimicking other bands. One things for certain, your listening experience will be a memorable one. With this being only a EP, a powerful one at that, leads me to believe that when they release their full length album it's going to be mind blowing! Hand Of Dimes is a rock band that squeezes every drop of emotion from each song. What more could any fan of rock music want?! They bring a much needed soul filled energy to the rock music scene that's been missing for quite some time. Rock on and rock forward Gentlemen. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine


(Rosa Records)

L.A.'s premiere power rock trio, Mother Superior return with their best album to date, 'THREE HEADED DOG'. How good is it? Let's just say this is their 'Physical Graffiti', yeah it’s that good. 18 tracks ,that exhibits the bands rock and soul fury to perfection. It's like they've taken all the elements of their previous releases and combined them into one sonic rock and roll Molotov cocktail. I'm telling you, when you hear this album, it will blow you away, BIG TIME! In a world where music has grown to be repeated few bands stand out from the crowd. Mother Superior steps aside, walks against grain, and gives you just what you need. A jolt of pure rock and soul adrenaline! Powered by the mind blowing guitar work and vocals of "General" Jim Wilson combined with bass player Marcus Blake and Matt Tecu on drums who compliment each other like a favorite pair of shoes. That air tight chemistry is served up in rocking fashion on tracks like, "(I'm) Obsessed" and "Today Is That Day", then you have balls to the wall rockers like, "German Creepshow" and "Left For Dead". 'Three Headed Dog' brings the listener back to a musical era before click tracks and digital sterility became the standard. The groove is organic. The feel is infectious. 'Three Headed Dog' is an album of incredible intensity. PURE ROCK AND SOUL FURY! Amazing job guys! - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @  The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(Inverse Records)

Finnish rockers, Mind Of Doll are back for another round with their sophomore release, 'Shame On Your Shadow' is a flat-out, high-energy, no holds barred, no quarter given, balls to the wall rocker! Take the bravado of The Hellacopters add to that some Backyard Babies swagger with a hefty dose of Hanoi Rocks attitude. That's pretty much what you get with Mind Of Doll. Visa Heinonen on vocals, Sakari Virta on lead guitar, Erik Lunden on guitar, Ide Miettinen on bass and Ville Muru on drums. Extremely solid from beginning to end; there is absolutely no filler material on this album. Some tracks are based on hard-rockin', infectuous guitar hook. Like, "Bad Shivers", the title track and "Wolves". Other tracks like "Rats", "Indians" and "Hotel Satan" revolve around a big sing-along chorus. The rest fall somewhere in between with a combination of the two. Simply put, Mind Of Doll play kick-ass, butt-stomping rock music loaded with tons of attitude that will leave you battered but begging for more. It'll make you grab a guitar, a tennis racket, or even a broom handle, and rock out in your bedroom like a madman. The bottom line, this is one great album, and a must for all fans of hard rock These guys are THE REAL DEAL. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(Inside Out Records)

There is something very special about the brilliant self-titled debut release from the band called SLAVIOR. Gregg Analla (Tribe of Gypsies/Seventhsign) on vocals, Mark Zonder (Fates Warning/Warlord) on drums, Wayne Findlay (M.S.G./Vinnie Moore) on guitars, keyboards and bass. The quartet have created a musical masterpiece that is deep and emotional. The production is incredible, the music crystal clear, crisp and tight. It's rare to find a release that has zero flaws, but this band is among one of the best balanced, and most inspiring efforts I've heard in quite a long time. From the energizing lead off track, "Origin", that sets the tone of the musical barrage of sound that awaits you. "Dove" and "Slavior" are intense works of how truly great this band is. I could go on forever about how brilliant this band is, but to truly understand, you must experience it for yourself. Like a fine wine or high end audio system only those who listen carefully or those who know will be able to detect the sheer genius in the songwriting and the musicianship of this band, a band called SLAVIOR. This recording is an absolute essential for anybody with a taste for intelligent metal or progressive music. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(Progressive Records)

Take the best from Pink Floyd, Marillion (Fish era) and Porcupine Tree and you almost have something close but not quite. Traces'
music runs the gamut from mellow and subtle to intense and powerful. 'Nine Stones Close' delivers a journey through loss, growing up and getting older. Letting things go and learning how to move on. Having been a long time fan of the "Prog Rock" genre, the groups that have my undivided attention must be overwhelmingly competent. Bands like Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Flower Kings,Riverside, Marillion, Porcupine Tree, Yes and early Genesis. Nowadays though it's hard to find exceptional music in the 'progressive' genre to invest in. 'Nine Stones Close' is a masterpiece. It is a masterfully executed and top quality example of how intelligent and interesting music can be without having to get so dense and impenetrable that its no-longer enjoyable, or oversimplify so much that it no longer has anything to say. Featuring only five songs, "Reality Check", "Threads" that clocks in over ten minutes, "Falling To Pieces", "Traces" and the mind numbing epic, "Thicker Than Water". Marc Atkinson clear vocals are a perfect fit as is the keyboard of Brendan Eyre and Neil Quarrell, on bass. I learned long ago that good music will get your attention, hold your attention, then proceed to paint pictures in your mind. Traces certainly does that. 'Nine Stones Close' is an immensely enjoyable album which I'd wholeheartedly recommend to any fan of the Prog Rock genre. There is a brilliant sense of flow and a lot of variety, and crucially no song feels unnecessary or out of place. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

Monday, October 28, 2013

INTERVIEW ARCHIVES: Richie Kotzen / Speaking To Stones / Pearl /Jack Blades / Lynam / Geoff Tate / Stone Electric

RICHIE KOTZEN  (12/2007 - All Access Magazine)

SPEAKING TO STONES (12/2007 - All Access Magazine)

PEARL (9/2009 - All Access Magazine)

JACK BLADES (6/2009 - All Access Magazine)

LYNAM (6/2009 - All Access Magazine)

GEOFF TATE (5/2006 - All Access Magazine)

STONE ELECTRIC (3/2006 - All Access Magazine)

Artist Interview: THE BLACK MARBLES

The Black Marbles
Interview by Tony & Bill @The Dedicated Rocker Society

Tired of the same old stiffness, plug-ins and covered up pop-tunes. No worries, with a sense of pride. It is our pleasure to introduce , THE BLACK MARBLES. Kaj Paxéus - Vocals, Krister Selander - BassPhilip Karlsson - Guitar and Tobbe Bövik - Drums.

The band's debut album, 'Made In Concrete' is rocked and loaded with rock and roll that will blow you away! The lads have already proven themselves on the live scene in Sweden. Thier focus soon turned to Germany with ambitions to release their album to the German market.  Starting with their single, "Free Your Mind" which was backed up with a video. Their intuition was right on target! The Black Marbles have arrived!

With a swagger and attitude in their delivery. The Black Marbles are set to rock your world with their brand of rock'n'roll, rooted in the 70's classic rock vibe.  Revolution is in the air, but  we have no promises for world peace. There is instead a far simpler message hidden: Take No Prisoners! That goes for every man, boy, woman and child!!

The Rocker and I asked The Black Marbles' drummer/producer, Tobbe Bövik to give us the lowdown behind the band and their music. Here is what He shared with us....

What are The Black Marbles all about?

"The Black Marbles are a 4-piece classic rock band from Gothenburg, Sweden that formed back in 2009 as an offspring to the band On Parole. Three of the members felt they needed to go back to their roots and write music like the one they grew up on, you know, bands like Bad Company, Humble Pie, The Faces etc. After a few member changes we finally built our own studio and started recording our debut album. Our main driving force is the groove. Every song needs a good groove rather than a killer guitar riff. When the groove is laid down you can start building a song with melodies and I think that is what The Black Marbles are all about, the groove and the melodies."

Your debut release, 'Made In Concrete' was released earlier this year. Are you satisfied with the response you've received so far?

"Yes, very much so! Every review has been great and the response from Germany and the UK has been great. Sweden is tough though. You need to be on shows like ”Fame Factory” or similar to get noticed here. Thats why we put most of our energy to promote ourselves in Germany for a start."

How long did it take to record your album? How many songs did you actually write for the album?
"We recorded it in our own studio which we built in our rehearsal space. We started recordings in july 2011 and finished in december, but we combined recordings with rehearsal so we were not recording the whole period. The album was supposed to be released in 2012 but we decided to wait since our bass player left the band and we wanted to find the right replacement before release. We wrote about 15 songs for the album and 13 got recorded. 12 ended up on the CD so we got one track that is left over. Maybe it will get released some time in the future."

As far as the song writing process goes, who writes the music or is it a group effort?

"We mostly start with an idea that Philip (guitar) or Krister (bass) comes up with. Then we jam on it for a while so Kaj (singer) gets comfortable with the structure and has time to write some lyrics. Then we record a primitive pre-production version of the song which we listen to a lot and make the changes we feel are necessary until it is time to finally record it for the album. So it is prettty much of a group effort, if we don’t feel right away that ”this kicks ass” we throw it in the bin."

What memorable moments, good or bad, can you share with us in the making of your debut release, 'Made In Concrete'?

"The good memory is that we had no pressure at all. It was my first production and I didn’t follow any rules, I just went the directions I thought sounded cool. I guess many professional studio engineers never would have done it that way, but it was a great feeling. There is no ”wrongs” as long as the result sounds right. The bad memory is that we had to pause sessions for six weeks when they needed to repair the ventilation system and made recordings impossible during that time. This was in the middle of vocal takes so it was really frustrating for Kaj who was really charged at the time. When we got back there was this fine dust all over our equipment so we had to clean it up for several days before we could continue."

Who are your musical influences?

"Oh, there are too many to list here. We got all the blues legends like Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters etc in one hand and all the soul legends Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, James Brown in the other. In between there are these bands that we grew up on, Kiss, Stones, Led Zep, Purple, Sabbath etc. But we listen to a lot of different bands and genres so we grab some here and there and make it The Black Marbles!"

For your video, "Free Your Mind", where was it shot? How long was the shoot? Memorable moments making the video?

"We found this huge empty store room that we could borrow for free for a whole day. We got our rig up and just played the songs two million times while they shot us in different angles. The director had this female actor friend that was willing to do the inbetween shots, and she was really great I think. The video shows that you can make a video with very low budget and still have a satisfying result. Above the store room there was this office with a kitchen were we had our breaks. I was going for a drink from this ”juice machine” and when I tasted I realized it was red wine! So the day just got better from there. I’m glad we did playback sessions… ;-)"

Playing in the studio is one thing, playing LIVE is a whole different story. What does your band bring when you play Live?

"We give everything at our shows. We think it is important that you get a connection with the audience even if there is just a few people there. When we rehearse before gigs we play the set exactly as it was the real show so that we feel 100% comfortable when entering the stage. The good thing about this band is that every member is such a good musician so you never need to worry about the guitarists solo or the high vocal part or whatever. You know every guy in the band will nail their part so you just have to focus on your own thing and deliver a great show!"

Are there any plans on coming to America for some shows?

"Not at the moment but you never know. We see that there is a growing interest for our album and with some luck we will be able to do it. Playing in the States would be like a dream for us!"

For the people reading about The Black Marbles for the first time. Why should they check you guys out?

"If you’re tired of the clinical, overproduced, hard rock shit that plays on the radio and you love the old school classic rock from the 70’s you should definetely check us out. I think there is a growing interest for bands like us, just look at the success that Rival Sons are having and new upcoming bands like UK’s The Temperance Movement. We fit in between those two bands like a glove and it would be great to play live with them at some point!"

As avid fan of classic rock, The Rocker and I are always on the hunt for newer bands with that classic rock sound and feel to them. We finally found one such band, The Black Marbles. This band is a fusion of classic rock spanning 50 years and is flawless with a fresh feel to it. They are an evolution of greatness and if they can keep it together will definitely make their mark, big time. Enough said, check out The Black Marbles and get your hands on their debut, 'Made In Concrete' be amazed by the classic sound.

- The Dedicated Rocker Society

For more info on The Black Marbles:

The Dedicated Rocker Society Playlist

The Dedicated Rocker Society Playlist
October 2013
Compiled by Tony & Bill @ The DRP

Tarot Woman by Rainbow
(from, 'Rising'/Polydor Records)
Stranger In Time by Pink Cream 69
(from, 'Electrified'/Pony Canyon Records)
Peacepipe by Cry Of Love
(from, 'Brother'/CBS Sony)
Taste Of Voodoo by Blake
(from, 'Taste Of Voodoo'/Hype Records)
Out Of Time by Stone Temple Pilots w/ Chester Bennington
(from, 'High Rise' (EP)/Play Pen LLC)
Servants Of The Sun by Bad Moon Rising
(from, 'Blood'/Pony Canyon Records)
Day Of The Eagle by Robin Trower
(from, 'Bridge Of Sigh'/Chyrsalis Records)
Girls Like You by Brand New Machine
(from,'Devil Made Me Do It'/FOF Records)
Caught In The Middle by Dio
(from, 'Holy Diver'/Warner Bros Records)
Salvation Slave by Scorpion Child
(from, 'Scorpion Child'/Nuclear Blast Records)
Saviour Never Dies by Harem Scarem
(from,'Mood Swings'/Wea Records)
Power Of The People by Monster Truck
(from, 'Furiosity'/Caroline Records)
Somebody Get Me A Doctor by Van Halen
(from, 'II'/ Warner Bros Records)
Sink The Pink by AD/DC
(from, 'Fly On The Wall'/Atlantic Records)
Slide by Von Groove
(from, 'Driving Off The Edge Of World'/MTM Records)
California by Beasto Blanco
(from, 'Live Fast, Die Loud'/Rat Pak Records)
Ride The Monkey by Burning Rain
(from, 'Epic Obsession'/ Frontier Records)
Free Your Mind by The Black Marbles
(from, 'Made In Concrete'/RKC Records)
Lick And A Promise by Aerosmith
(from, 'Rocks'/CBS Records)
Spectacular by The Answer
(from, 'New Horizon'/Napalm Records)
In My Time Of Dying by Sit Down, Servant!!
(from, 'I Was Just Trying To Help/PID)
The Whole World's Going Crazee by Slade
(from, 'Slayed?'/SALVO)
Reach For The Sky by Gary Moore (feat. Glenn Hughes)
(from, 'Run For Cover'/ EMI Records)
The Outsider by Black Country Communion
(from, '2'/ J&R Adventures)
I'll Be Creepin' by Free
(from, 'Free'/ Island Records)
Death Machine by Motorhead
(from, 'Aftershock'/UDR)
Pushing The New Machine by Pain Savior
(from,'Dead Weight On A Dying Planet'/Spooky G Music)
Shoot Shoot by UFO
(from 'Force It'/Parlaphone Records)
Balls by The Black Spiders
(from, 'This Savage Land'/Double Cross Records)
Over The Hills And Far Away by Led Zeppelin
(from, 'Houses Of The Holy'/ Atlantic Records)
Cry Now (Pay Later) by Jim Wilson
(from,'Jim Wilson'/Independent Release)
Good Man by Devour The Day
(from, 'Time & Pressure'/Cd Baby)

Sunday, October 27, 2013


(Frontier Records)

If you missed Def Leppard's  'Viva! Hysteria' in person, you will absolutely dig this! A CD/DVD set capturing the band for the first time ever, playing their album 'Hysteria' in it's entirety. The set was recorded live during an eleven-show residency at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino in Las Vegas. This Live set is rock solid. It's no UFO's 'Strangers In The Night' or Thin Lizzy's 'Live And Dangerous', but it's not bad at all. Joe Elliott doesn't quite have the same voice he did in the early 80s, but it's pretty close, and he really nails it, over and over again. The band is in full force, too, with tight performances. Vivian Campbell who does an amazing job. Phil Collen is sharp as a razor and the rhythm section of Rick Savage and Rick Allen sounds great. CD 1 is highlighted with the band's more recent hits, "Rocket," "Animal," "Armageddon It", "Love Bites", "Pour Some Sugar On Me and "Gods Of War". CD 2 is loaded with, from my personal favorite era of the band with, "Wasted", "Rock Brigade", "Mirror" "Let It Go", "Another Hit And Run" and two of my personal favorites, "On Through The Night" and "Bringin' On The Heartbreak". Included on the DVD is a Ded Flatbird set, where Def Leppard performed some of their other-than-Hysteria-hits, posing incognito as a Def Leppard cover band. Ultimately, Def Leppard may never achieve the success that was 'Hysteria', as it is not only a great album but also came at just the right moment in time, but they are still deliver the goods. Viva! Hysteria' along with 'Mirror Ball', shows that Def Leppard are still and will always be force to be reckoned with as a live act. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

CD REVIEW: THE ULTRA ELECTRIC MEGA GALACTIC by The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic  (CD Baby)

The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic's self titled debut release is a serious dose of instrumental variations of the third kind. A auditory mind blowing experience that will take your senses on a trip that you will be wanting to experience over and over. The gentleman responsible for this stimulating thrill ride are, Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet, The Atomic Bitchwax) on guitar, Collyn McCoy (Trash Titan, OTEP) on bass and Rick Ferrante (Sasquatch) on drums. This super charged  trio serve up a  intertwining instrumental barrage that is simply out of this world while staying locked into one serious mind bending bad ass groove. The opening, "Unassigned Agent X-27" serves a introductory piece that sets you up for the mega rush that awaits your senses!  "Exploration Team", "Get Off My World!", "The Man With A Thousand Names" and the tour de force, "In The Atmosphere Factory" that clocks in at over 11 minutes. Every track on this album is intricate, complex where atmosphere and overall vibe are at a premium.  Ed Mundell is an amazing guitarist and he proves that ten fold on this album laying down serious out of this world riffs . Along with the rock solid  rhythm section of Collyn McCoy and Rick Ferrante , The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic is  a psychedelic sonic power trip jam session that will have you firing up a bowl and banging your head for days! Truly a mind blowing experience. My advice, grab your headphones, fire it up the bowl, press play and prepare to take a "ULTRA ELECTRIC MEGA GALACTIC" trip through space and time! Hats off to Ed, Collyn and Rick for one hell of a mind numbing auditory experience! - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(Imperial Cassette)

Fifth release from Finnish rockers, Amoral comes to us in the form of, 'Beneath'. In an age when most bands actually want to be labeled as a certain genre, Amoral seem perfectly at ease with doing whatever comes to mind. The band is made up of, Ari Koivunen on vocals, Ben Varon on guitars, Masi Hukari on guitars, Pekka Johansson on bass and Juhana Karlsson on drums. I am not about to go into a song-by-song review, as it would be more like a novella than a review. What I will say, however, is that, I would consider this album to be Amoral' s strongest effort yet. The songs are just flawless. Every song is strong enough to stand on its own two feet.From the opening title track that draws you in then without warning the band goes in for the kill with, "Wrapped In Barbwire", "Silhouette" and "Things Left Unsaid". All of the songs are well constructed. It's amazingly produced. The musicianship is fantastic. The vocals are superb. 'Beneath' also marks the recording debut of the band's new guitarist Masi Hukari , who does one hell of a job. It is rare nowadays to hear an album that comes out with this level of passion and power, but here it is. 'Beneath' marks a new sound. A new focus. A new beginning. If you've never heard of Amoral, this is a perfect place to start. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(Inner Wound Recordings)

'From Ashes To Fire', the powerful and stunning debut release from Swedish rockers, Saffire  encompasses a wide variety of styles of rock music from hard rock, progressive rock with a touch of melodic flare. Inspired by bands like Rainbow, Dio, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath. Saffire takes those influences and have created a sound all their own. The band is made up, Tobbe Jansson on vocals,  Victor Olsson on guitars, Magnus Carlsson on bass, Anton Roos on drums and Dion Zuzic on keyboards.  Overall 'From Ashes To Fire'
is a solid listen from start to finish. The musicianship is stellar, Tobbe Jansson' s vocals  are amazing and the songwriting is near-perfect. "From Ashes To Fire" was mixed by Fredrik Nordström & Henrik Udd at Studio Fredman [At The Gates, In Flames, Hammerfall] and mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios [Symphony X, Opeth, Kreator]. Kudos to those gents for doing one hell of a job in capturing  and bringing out the band's powerful sound. Their hard work is paid off in full and can be heard as soon as the opening track, "Magnolia" comes on you know you are experiencing something special. The video for the song is great as well.  In fact, this song alone is worth checking this band out. Tracks like, "Kingdom Of The Blind", "End Of The World" and "Paralyzed" are simply stunning and more incentive for you to check this amazing band. The whole album is stunning. Saffire is like a super charged, super technical band that performs everything with absolute precision and perfection. Nothing seems forced or robotic. Everything flows perfectly.  Listening to 'From Ashes To Fire' will literally excites all of your senses. You hear it, feel it, embrace it, love it, and it continues to reward you. Saffire is a dangerous five piece band with an exciting future ahead of them. If you like Progressive Metal (or even just rock/metal in general), you should own this CD. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine