Friday, December 20, 2013


RED DRAGON CARTEL by Red Dragon Cartel
(Frontier Records)

Tracklisting: Deceived; Shout It Out; Feeder (featuring Robin Zander); Fall From The Sky (Seagull); Wasted (featuring Paul Di’Anno); Slave; Big Mouth (featuring Maria Brink); War Machine; Redeem Me (featuring Sass Jordan); Exquisite Tenderness.

He's back! After a self-imposed exile from the music industry and the public eye, heralded guitarist Jake E. Lee  (Ozzy Osbourne, Badlands) makes a triumphant  return to the fold with his new band, RED DRAGON CARTEL. So, did the hiatus effect Jake's playing in any way? Not one bit! From the opening riff of "Deceived", Jake's guitar hooks you in and doesn't let go! Not taking his foot off the pedal the band goes for the early knockout with "Shout It Out" with it's sinister groove, the lead off single, "Feeder" featuring Cheap Trick frontman, Robin Zander, that is sure to reaffirm that Jake hasn't lost his edge. D.J. Smith's vocals shine on, "Fall From The Sky (Seagull)", one of my personal favorite tracks. The album also features stellar guest appearances from legendary original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno on "Wasted", new metal icon vocalist Maria Brink from In This Moment on "Big Mouth", Canadian rocker Sass Jordan lends her chops on, "Redeem Me". Also featured are former Pantera and Down bassist Rex Brown, Slash’s Conspirators, Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz, Scott Reeder of Kyuss and The Obsessed and Five Finger Death Punch’s Jeremy Spencer. There is not a weak cut among the ten tracks that are offered here. The songs are  catchy and are played with deep feeling and attitude. D.J Smith 's vocals are rock solid. The rhythm section of bassist Ronnie Mancuso and drummer Jonas Fairley are slammin' and Jake E. Lee , without the a doubt in my mind has retained his guitar-god status. While the anticipation was high with this release, the real prize is getting to hear Jake E. Lee playing again; full of fire and passion.  A powerhouse debut release that has "Classic" written all over it. Red Dragon Cartel' s self titled debut is a high powered hard rock album that cuts to the bone. Once you hit play, there is no turning back! Welcome back Jake! - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Featured Interview

Chris McCarvil of Maxx Explosion
Interview by The Dedicated Rocker Society

The east coast breakthrough Rock band Maxx Explosion, Chris McCarvil, Jimi Bell and Bj Zampa, are a powerhouse trio who have worked on their skills  and paid their dues for a very long time. Now, stepping away from playing back up, Maxx Explosion are primed and ready to step in the forefront and write their own chapter in the "Book Of Rock".  

Maxx Explosion is a band that channels pure rock grooves that are tight, explosive and wired. The band explodes (no pun intended) on the rock music scene with their fiery full-length debut, 'Forever', a stunning recording that captures Maxx Explosion at their rocking best!

The Rocker and I asked Maxx Explosion's  frontman, Chris McCarvil about his band and why rock music fans should check out them out. Here is what he shared with us.

Q: What is Maxx Explosion all about?

Bj and I were just talking about this the other day. We are about taking the time to craft everything we do (Music, Videos, Art, etc) to a really high level of coolness. We're about taking all our experiences as sidemen for other acts and welding it into one really solid band that we have creative control of. We all write, we all play everything, we like fashion. Maxx Explosion shoots for making music that lasts.

Q: Your debut release, 'Forever' was released earlier this year on Kivel Records. Are you satisfied with response you've received so far?

We love Kivel Records. John (Kivel) combines old school artist development with new school economics. He's definitely opened the door for us. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. So YES!

Q: How long did it take to record?

The album "Forever" took about a year. When we started, it wasn't serious. We jammed and had a few originals. These came out so good, we decided to do more, push farther. Again, we got more and more excited as more got recorded. I was pretty unproven as a lead singer before this record, so I was nervous what people would think of my voice. We recorded everything but the drums at my studio (Skypod). Bj recorded the drums at his place. I mixed and mastered with a lot of help from Bj.

Q: Talk about the other players in the band; Guitarist, Jimi Bell and drummer Bj Zampa. 

Well, I'm lucky to be working with two other very headstrong, very creative people. Jimi is excitable and impulsive. He wants to post EVERYTHING on Facebook RIGHT NOW. Haha. He comes up with hundreds of guitar riffs. Literally. Most of the heavy, crunch driven material comes from Jimi. He's got a very magnetic personality.

 Bj is quieter, more thoughtful, but a total stickler for attention to detail. He often has brilliant ideas for every facet of what we do. Bj's feet are on the ground. He keeps us realistic and protects us with his killer street smarts. Both of them are very different, but the combination more than works.

Q: Any memorable moments, good or bad, in the making of "Forever" you'd care to share?

Probably the funniest moment for me was recording vocals of the title track "Forever", which is a big emotional epic type song. The last vocal line needed this one long crazy note, like, really long. At the time, I found it was coming out best if I was singing on my knees with my arms outstretched. Don't ask. It just worked. Whatever it takes. I have a big window in my studio and it looks out over my backyard, and it's at ground level, so there I am, going for it, screaming my head off, shaking, etc. I finish, hit stop, turn around, and there's my 11 year old son and a bunch of his friends looking through the window at me going like "What's wrong with your dad?"

Q: How many songs did you actually write for the album?

We were pretty efficient with this one. We probably had 14, but we narrowed a few down. Coming up with songs doesn't seem to be very hard for us. Making them into something we like is what takes time.

Q: Speaking of writing. As far as the writing process goes, do you write the songs or is it a group effort?

On 'Forever', it was a bit pieced together. Jimi and Bj came to me with quite a few finished musical demos. "Devil's Locomotive," "Love is a Nightmare", "Rise and Famous" were all Jimi/Bj music demos that we took and turned into finished songs. Bj wrote the music for "Can't Stop Falling" and "Don't Wanna Break"(Our two ballads), and I wrote the music for "Falling Away" and "Forever". End of the line and beat Around the Bush were real band efforts with all of us writing together. I'm our lyrics and melody guy, but I work really closely w/ Bj on melodies and harmonies. We try just about everything until it sounds "right" to us.

Q: The music videos for, "Devil's Locomotive" and "Famous" (both powerhouse songs by the way). Where were they shot and how long did each video take to shoot?

Much thanks on the videos. I do the artwork for MX, like our album cover,website and promotional materials. I also decided that after doing a lot of researching I would try shooting our videos. I'm a full time graphic artist at a T shirt company and my boss was cool enough to let us shoot both videos at our shop. (Experience in Design in West Haven, CT). I have an inexpensive handheld videocamera, and got a few friends to help. "Devil's Locomotive" took about 10 hours to setup and shoot. "Famous" was filmed in our back warehouse and there happened to be a scaffold in there, so we threw that together, got a few more friends (including John Kivel) to help film and about the same. 8-10 hours to set up and shoot. 

The hard part is editing, which I do on my son's gaming computer when he lets me. I don't have incredible software. It's a basic off the shelf video editor. I think it was like $70. I don't think technology is what makes a good video or album for that matter. We're a very in-house band.

Q: What can we expect from Maxx Explosion in 2014?

A lot more. We're making more videos, playing more shows, making more merch, advancing our live act, of course another album eventually. MX is a very active band. We're all hungry for more.Also, we're opening up for House Of Lords on the 2nd leg of their European tour in the spring.  Then in the fall we're playing Melodic Rock Fest 4 in Chicago and the Wolf Fest in Colorado.

Q: Complete this sentence...You check out Maxx Explosion because....

.....We don't take the easy way out of creating music. A lot of times in music stupid is cool. We're like the opposite. We've worked on our skills for a long time. We're stirring up a huge rock and roll party over here and you're invited!

For more information on Maxx Explosion:
@ FB:

Friday, December 13, 2013

CD REVIEWS for Decenber 2013

(Tee Pee Records)

'Jeweler's Daughter' the debut release from Pittsburgh base rockers, Carousel is required listening material. After countless spins, my favorite song.., is the whole album! The powerful twin guitar attack along with the rumbling bass line and ground breaking beat of the drums are unbelievably good. Incorporating elements of Thin Lizzy, Mountain and the rhythmic groove of Diamond Head. Carousel is one of those bands that I immediately latched on to upon hearing for the first time. There is something comfortably familiar yet modern about their sound. As a whole, Carousel encapsulates everything I love about hard rock music and their debut release just solidifies that fact for me. Great, soulful vocals, amazing production and songs full of fat, twin harmony guitarist and a groove that will have you bobbing your head, pumping your fist or a bit of both at the same time. The title track opens the album with a bombastic blow to the dome as lead singer/guitarist Dave Wheeler unleashes his vocals with an attitude that has you thinking that running into this guy in an alley might not be a good thing. The arena rock groove of "Long Time" has an intro that just builds to a level of tension before erupting right into the opening chorus full of those sweet, twin harmony guitars courtesy of guitarists Dave Wheeler and Chris Tritschler. These guys play off of each other with almost a telepathic precision. The rhythm section of bass player Jim Wilson and drummer Jake Leger hold the groove down that is tight as a glove. That band chemistry can be heard on rockers like, "On My Way", "Waste Of Time" and, "Light Of Day. All nine tracks are winners! It's impossible to deny the 70' Classic Hard Rock influence here, but it feels like an homage more so than a rip-off. All in all 'Jeweler's Daughter' is without a doubt one of my favorite albums of 2013. It is sonically a face melting platter of hard edged rock music.  It's an album that evokes all kinds of emotions. It will put a smile on your face and compel you to throw you hair around, no matter how much or how little you might have. Carousel are the REAL DEAL! - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

DEAR SANITY by Lavalle
(Kivel Records)

Lavalle serves up a dose of great melodic rock with an edge on their debut release, 'Dear Insanity'. Lavalle nail the perfect combination of classic `80s AOR and hard-hitting European rock. Think Dokken meets King Kobra meets Eclipse meets Pink Cream 69.  Lavalle is lead vocalist, Carsten Schultz (Evidence One), bassist-Paul Logue (Edens Curse), drummer- Ramy Ali (Evidence One), along with new comer to the scene, guitarist- Eddie LaValle. The production is huge and the musical performances are intense. This really is a very high energy rock album that makes you want to drive fast, party hard, and headbang like there's no tomorrow! Eddie Lavalle's guitar hooks are amazing, and the melodies lodge themselves in your head instantly. Carsten Schultz turns in a rock solid vocal performance. Making sure the band is locked and loaded are the tight rhythm section of Paul Louge and Ramy Ali. So, just how good is this band? Well, the answer to that question can be heard in their songs, and you can pretty much pick any of the songs on 'Dear Sanity' at random and find an absolutely killer single-worthy melodic rockers like, "Fading Like the Sun", "Scared To Love", "The Lonely Ones", and "Smoke And Mirrors" are particularly convincing. When it comes to melodic hard rock, it really does not get any better than this. With, 'Dear Sanity', Lavalle prove that they are a force to be reckoned with. This powerhouse of a debut release provides hard hitting, riff driven, hook laden songs. I would highly recommend to any fan of melodic hard rock, heck, I'd recommend, 'Dear Sanity' to anyone who appreciates superior production, songwriting and musicianship regardless of their musical taste. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

FOREVER by Maxx Explosion
(Kivel Records)

East coast rockers, Maxx Explosion are a rock trio that boasts a stellar line up. The band is powered by Chris McCarvill on lead vocals, bass and keyboards along with House of Lords Alums guitarist, Jimi Bell and drummer Bj Sampa.  The band's powerhouse debut release, 'Forever', is an all out rocker of an recording!  No gimmicks, just straight up bang your head, let's rip it up and have a good time rock music. Chris McCarvill's vocals and bass playing are rock solid and powerful. Bj Sampa's drumming is great and Jimi Bell's guitar work is awesome! 'Forever' is full of diverse tracks that will keep your interest throughout. Highlights include the steam rolling opening track "Devil's Locomotive", that has your undivided attention from the moment in comes on. There are groove laden rockers like "Falling Away", "Don't Wanna Break", "Rise", "Beat Around the Bush" and the groove laden rocker "Famous" which has a hook that will blow you away and the epic sound of the title track that closes the album. Maxx Explosion serve up superbly crafted songs, unbelievable guitar work, soaring vocals, incredible drumming and a perfect production that make for one memorable and satisfying listen experience. Overall, 'Forever' is a must have album for all melodic rock fans who like their music on the heavy side. This is just a tremendous album all around. 'Forever' is one of those rare albums where the band gets everything right. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

BLACKFINGER by Blackfinger
(Church Within Records)

After much anticipation the long awaited self titled debut release from Blackfinger has finally been unleashed! Blackfinger features Eric Wagner, the longtime vocalist for Chicago doom legends TROUBLE. His first recorded output since TROUBLE’s 2007 release 'Simple Mind Condition'. Completing the band are, Rico Bianchi and Doug Hakes on guitars, Ben Smith on bass, and Larry Piatz on drums. Being a big fan of Eric Wagner's work in Trouble, I was eager to hear him with his new band. The minute I pressed play and the opening track on, "I Am Jon" came on I was instantly immersed in it. This album is built like they used to make them. It has a great vintage vibe that fits the tunes and the playing is spot on. There is no lack of head-bangin, thick guitar riffs, catchy vocal lines, rolling bass lines and solid drum grooves. Blackfinger takes your senses on a buffet of drenched doomy funereal riffs, and guitar tones with, "Yellowood", "Why God", "Here Comes The Rain" and "My Many Colored Days". All twelve tracks are solid and worth experiencing more than once. Hats off to Rico Bianchi and Doug Hakes who form a lethal and powerful dual-edged guitar tandem. The rhythm section of, Ben Smith and Larry Piatz is solid and tight. Eric Wagner's signature vocal's are moody, emotional, forceful and anguished. Production of this album should be duly noted as it captures all the sounds, tones and nuances of a 70's-style album. I'm on my second listen as I write this, and I know that it's going to be listened to at least once a day for the next couple of weeks. To me, that's the sign of a great album. If you love the new retro scene, I'm here to give you heads a heads up! Blackfinger with this album has just shoved their way to the front of the line! - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

SYMPHONY OF SIN by Eden's Curse
(AFM Records)

Eden's Curse plays a fairly straightforward and completely awesome brand of melodic heavy metal that takes the best elements of melodic hard rock and traditional/power metal. The band's latest release, 'Symphony Of Sin' is a very strong album overall.  This is very hard-hitting , but it's also completely melodic and catchy recording. The band has gone through some changes, personnel wise. Michael Eden who, sadly, is no longer in the band. Keyboardist Alessandro del Vecchio is out as well, then they hired and quickly let go of Pathosray singer Marco Sandron, finally settling with newcomer Nikola Mijic. Fans will hear what kind of impact all that turnover has had on the band's sound. As far as the music goes, Eden's Curse is all about power and melody in equal measure, and they write some unforgettable songs, whether they're pounding rockers like The album opener, title track "Break The Silence" or "Ride the Storm". The remaining ten tracks are solid and finds the band taking their powerful sound to the next level. Pushing their songwriting and performance to the point where a lot of progressive influences have permeated the music adding alot of complexity to their style. Nikola Mijic's vocals are melodic and clear, the guitar playing is very strong especially the solos which are simply mind blowing, and the rhythm section is powerful and solid. You'll find yourself singing these songs or humming the melodies hours after the disc stops spinning. It is a crime that music this good is so well hidden by the way the music industry operates these days. 'Symphonies of Sin', should do well for the band. If you're a fan of melodic heavy metal, particularly bands like Pretty Maids, Masterplan, Pink Cream 69 and, lately, Pagan's Mind, you will absolutely want to hear what Eden's Curse has to offer. - Highly Recommended

Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(Frontier Records)

Primal Fear is a band that has taken the influences of Judas Priest,Accept and Helloween and added a few more layers of molten steel to create they're modern day yet ever so classic Heavy Metal. The band is back and sounding heavier and more lethal than ever with, their latest 
release, 'Delivering The Black'. The album combines the strongest songs delivered by the band ever, with a well-balanced monstrous teutonic dual guitar riffs courtesy of Alex Beyrodt and Magnus Karlsson. The thunderous rhythm section of Matt Sinner on bass/vocals and Randy Black on drums. Ralf Scheepers' vocals are simply mind blowing! Together this group Metal mercenaries serve up crushing songs guaranteed to make you bang your head and flex the devil horns with pride. From the moment the juggernaut, "King For A Day" opens the the album, Primal Fear attack your senses with unbridal passion and fury!  From there it's full steam ahead as the band serve it up hard and heavy with, “Alive And On Fire” and “Road To Asylum” and the pedal the metal grinder, "Rebel Faction". The two tracks that stopped me dead in my tracks, “When Death Comes Knocking” and “One Night In December” a ten minute monster of a song spiced with big orchestral arrangements and complex sound designs. Liv Kristine from Leaves' Eyes makes a cameo singing backing vocals on the acoustic tinged “Born With A Broken Heart”. "Indemnified" closes the album in a blaze of glory. 'Delivering The Black', hands down is the best Primal Fear release to date. Taking nothing away from their previous outing. This album just takes the band's powerful and majestic sound to a whole new level!  Primal Fear does not pretend to reinvent the wheel. They celebrate all things heavy metal and do a damn awe-inspiring job! - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(New Ocean Media)

'Halfway To Hell', the latest release from Birmingham, Alabama rockers, Lynam is a six song EP that combines a driving rock beat with lyrically driven melodies that together produce some truly entertaining and compelling music. Lynam consists of Jacob Bunton (lead vocals, guitar), David Lynam (drums), Mark Dzier (bass), and Lonny Paul (guitar). The energy and talent of frontman Jacob Lynam, the chemistry between the band members is tight as a glove and helps drive the band's rock solid sound. All six songs are top notched, great guitar and the songs have nice hooks. From the opening, "Rise Up" to "Wrong Side Of The Grave", the songs have enough crunch to rock you and the hooks stick in your head. Lynam is one of the best of rock bands to come onto the music scene. 'Halfway To Hell' begs to be cranked up to the max! It will put your speakers to the test.  It will get the ladies dancing, the gents rocking, and everyone reaching for another drink and having a good time. The bottom line is that it's impossible to play this and not have a good time. Once it starts, you will rock out! What more can you ask for? - Highly Recommended
Tony @ aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

(Corpo Records)

Planet of Zeus are a heavy rock, southern metal band from Athens, Greece. Formed in 2000 and since then have extensively toured around Greece, playing in every venue possible, ranging from shitholes to stadiums. Planet Of Zeus is, Babis on vocals and guitars, Yog on guitars, JayVee on bass and Syke on drums. Together these lads play a take-no-prisoners brand of ultra-heavy southern flavored rock that draws on seventies classic rock influences. Throughout the band's debut, 'Eleven The Hard Way' you can expect to be steamrolled with a heavy rock vibe that rumbles in your chest and explodes in your brain. From the moment, "Eat Me Alive" jumps out of your speakers the bone crushing assault on your senses is relentless with "Something's Wrong", "Woke Up Dead (William H. Bonney)", "Stab Me" to album closing juggernaut, "Space Loop 430*" clocking in at just over eleven minutes. Planet Of Zeus are really tight, and is a band who doesn't need a gimmick to lure music fans in. This band is NOT gimmicky, nor do they need to be. They are a straight forward, in your face, hard rockin' band. Fans of Kyuss, Earthride, Goatsnake should enjoy this. Great band, Love 'em. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

MACHO LIBRE by Planet Of Zeus
( B-Otherside Records)

Following up their debut, 'Eleven The Hard Way', those Greek rockers known as Planet Of Zeus return with their sophomore release, 'Macho Libre', to wreak havoc with its own explosive brand of rock `n' roll. Picking up where their debut left off. Planet Of Zeus is, Babis on vocals and guitars, Yog on guitars, JayVee on bass and Syke on drums. 'Macho Libre' features the same riff rockin', bass-driven, heavy-on-the-heavy rock that you'd expect from the band--but make no mistake, this ain't no sophomore slump. While, 'Macho Libre' is the natural and logical continuation of the band's debut, the album showcases the dynamic band that Planet Of Zeus has become. The sound is bigger and the songwriting is more refined, yet the group still manages to capture the raw essence that won their fans the first go around. Seamless transitions and tempo changes, from one jam to the next. Non stop riffing and licks, great bass and drums. From the opening, "Doteru", the music builds to a peak, then kicks into overdrive with "Dawn Of The Dead", "Leftovers", "Vanity Suit" then changes up a bit with, "Unicorn Without A Horn" then putting the pedal to the metal once again with the title track to the album closer, "Scream". Planet Of Zeus have a knack for knowing exactly when and how to let these riffs and rhythmic patterns breathe and comfortably regroup, bypassing what could turn into quick listener fatigue in lesser hands. The musicianship is top notch, production and sound quality is rock solid.  An absolute must have for stoners, enjoy alongside Kyuss and Earthride, Rock On! - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

IT BEGINS by Black Rain
(Sony Music)

French rockers Black Rain return with their latest release, 'It Begins'. A hard rock album with melodic glam tendencies that should easily have any hard rock or metal fan in full appreciation of this bands range and capabilities. The band consist of lead singer/guitarist Swan, lead guitarist Max, bass player Mat H and stickman Frank F. Their album was produced by Jack Douglas (Aerosmith/Alice Cooper). Black Rain's musical approach is straight out of the early 80's Hollywood rock scene, with big hair, insanely catchy guitar hooks and choruses designed to be shouted along with. The band appears to be very much influenced by early Motley Crue albums, and that's not a bad thing at all. 'It Begins' is chalk-full of monster hooks, powerful sing-along choruses, and pretty decent guitar work. The songs have a strong 'Too Fast for Love' vibe with a 'Look What the Cat Dragged'. Highlights include; "Blast Me Up", "Bad Love Is Good", "Death By Stereo", "Dancing On Fire" and "Young Blood". The band's vibe harkens back to the days of the sunset-strip. The good-old-days when clubs like The Rainbow, The Whiskey, and The Cathouse featured awesome bands like Poison, Faster Pussycat, and Warrant. If 'It Begins' had been released 20 years earlier it would have easily gone triple platinum. Instead, the album serves as a much-needed antidote to mainstream radio and its stunted version of what rock & roll is supposed to sound like. There is a party packed in every track on this album. Rock & Roll doesn't get much more fun than this. If you still carry a torch for bands like Poison, Motley Crue, and Bang Tango, then 'It Begins' by Black Rain is a must-have album. - Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

Thursday, December 12, 2013

by Michael Schenker' s Temple Of Rock 

Track Listing: 1. Neptune Rising 2. Where The Wild Winds Blow  3. Horizons 4. Lord Of The Lost And Lonely 5. Rock`n Roll Symphony  6. To Live For The King 7. Land Of Thunder 8. Temple Of The Holy 9. Shine On 10. Bridges We Have Burned 11. Because You Lied  12. Black Moon Rising  13 . Dance For The Piper 14. Faith

Michael Schenker and his trusted Flying V guitar are back for another attack with his latest release, 'Bridge The Gap'. Produced by Michael Schenker and Michael Voss, and engineered by Voss. This is vintage Michael Schenker soaring and mind blowing guitar across every song. Stamping his enthusiastic personality with every note and phrase. Michael's Temple Of Rock features ex-Scorpions bandmates drummer Herman Rarebell and bassist Francis Buchholz, vocalist Doogie White (ex-Rainbow) and Wayne Findlay (Slavior) on seven string guitar and keyboards. The album itself is an explosive collection of brand new songs steeped in shades of dark and light. What would a Michael Schenker recording be without a instrumental opening? Michael offers up, "Neptune Rising" that segues into, "Where The Wild Wind Blows". From the the pace is fast and furious with, "Horizon", "Lord Of The Lost And Lonely" and "Rock 'N' Roll Symphony". Before going in for the kill on tracks like, "To Live For The King", "Land Of Thunder" and powerful, "Bridges We Have Burned". Don Dokken makes a cameo singing on the bonus track,"Faith". There is not a weak track on this album. Every song, 14 total, will give you goose bumps. I've always been a fan of Doogie White' s vocals and on this album his vocals are spot on perfect! The addition of Wayne Findlay adds another dimension to the classic Michael Schenker sound with his Dean 7 string guitar and keyboard orchestrations.  While the rhythm section of Herman Rarebell and bassist Francis Buchholz sounds tight as all heck. Musically and lyrically, 'Bridge The Gap" shows a re-energized Michael Schenker at the top of his game, dynamic and full of energy surrounded by top notched musicians. Many of the rock bands of today are short on melody or on melodic architecture. Many seem to offer tuneless rhythms with plenty of guitar pyro ornamentation, but with none of the melodic developments, structural layers, or ebb and flows that Michael Schenker achieves. Simply put, 'Bridge The Gap is the best album Michael has done in many years and on this new recording He holds nothing back! Highly Recommended
Tony aka The Atomic Chaser @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Joe Holmes' FARMIKOS announce debut EP 

(Photo Credit: Santiago Cendejas)

December 20, 2013 - FARMIKOS, the new L.A. band featuring former OZZY OSBOURNE and DAVID LEE ROTH guitarist Joe Holmes and vocalist Robbie Locke (ex-LAIDLAW), have announced a tentative February 2014 release for their eponymous digital debut EP.  New in-studio video teasers for the songs "Scapegoat" and  "Spoon and Sun" have been posted on the band's YouTube channel at 

Recorded at the Mouse House in Pasadena, CA with engineer/mixer Rich Mouser (SPOCK'S BEARD, TRANSATLANTIC, VAST), the EP also features guest contributions from Holmes' former Ozzy Osbourne bandmate, bassist Robert Trujillo, and drummer Brooks Wackerman. States Holmes: "We've got these 5 songs to kick things off and will be finishing another five when Robbie comes back to L.A. in January to lay down vocals for another EP we're planning for summer 2014."

The EP's track listing reads as follows:

1. Scapegoat
2. Kings of Dust
3. Sound of My Gun
4. Exit Stencils
5. Spoon and Sun

In addition to "Scapegoat" and "Spoon and Sun", footage of Holmes tracking guitar for the song "Exit Stencils" can be viewed at this location 

FARMIKOS online:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

LIVE! @ The Global Rock Summit April 4 - 5, 2014 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Some of the planet’s most influential music and business decision-makers from the world of rock have confirmed their attendance and participation at the inaugural Global Rock Summit ( that will take place in Hollywood, CA from April 4 - 5, 2014 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Jordan Berliant Jordan Berliant, Partner, The Collective Music Group and worldwide manager of Linkin Park will M.C. the inaugural Global Rock Summit with support from the event Co-Founders Seven Webster, MD, 7PM Management and Sat Bisla, President & Founder, A&R Worldwide. Berliant will unveil a special presentation exclusively at the Global Rock Summit that will give an analytical overview of the worldwide rock business as it pertains to live, merchandise, digital, sales, social media and more. Berliant will also moderate the opening “Global Rock Keynote” which will feature an esteemed group of rock industry influencers who are helping shape all forms of rock music across all continents on the planet.

Uniting artists and companies from all sectors of the Global Rock music community including labels, publishers, digital aggregators, booking agents, festival promoters, media, merch companies, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, brands, PR companies, pluggers, radio stations, the educational sector and more.

The Global Rock Summit also will be inclusive of all areas of rock music from Classic Rock and Metal to Screamo, AOR, Alternative Rock, Black Metal, Progressive Rock, Doom, Stoner, Blues, Punk, and Emo to Hardcore. Showcasing to Top industry executives from the global rock community on April 5th, 2014 in Hollywood CA. 

Legendary artists such as Jane’s Addiction, Snoop Dogg, Katy Perry, KISS, Motley Crue, Green Day, No Doubt and Maroon 5 have played at SIR Studios. SIR is where hundreds of legends have been discovered and signed.

One band looking for that opportunity and will be playing there this year is the power rock trio hailing from Essex/Herts, known as, The Broken Chords. The band is made up of Joe (Vocals/Guitar), Aid (Vocals/Bass) and Jamie (Drums). This trio serve up a classic rock sound that reference Led Zep and Cream while sitting firmly in the 21st Century. 

This power rock trio are about to put the rock music world on notice! Here are two reasons why The Broken Chords will be one band that will make one BIG impression! Check out their live videos for, "Live and Let Loose" and "Stray Cats"

"Live and Let Loose (Live)

"Stray Cats"

When asked, for the person reading about The Broken Chords for the first time. What would you say to get them interested in your band? Here is what they answered. "Do everything you can to see us live. At the end of the day rock ‘n’ roll is all about the magic of a shared live experience – and we want to give that to as many fans as possible."

The Broken Chords are currently recording their debut album with Gez Walton (Skindred, King Blues etc) and are aiming to launch it at the Global Rock Summit 2014 http://www.globalrocksum in Los Angeles on 4/5 April.

For more on The Broken Chords, please visit:

For more info on The Global Rock Summit
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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Best Of 2013

Tony's Picks
Best Of 2013 Honor Roll Part 3
(In no particular order)
Note: These releases were reviewed in 2013.

Swedish rockers known as Hong Faux have finally released their highly anticipated full length album, 'Crown That Wears The Head'.  The buzzing and swirling guitars that herald this monster of a recording will stop you dead in your tracks and have your undivided attention once you hit play. 

by Michael Schenker' s Temple Of Rock
'Bridge The Gap" shows a re-energized Michael Schenker at the top of his game, dynamic and full of energy surrounded by top notched musicians. Many of the rock bands of today are short on melody or on melodic architecture. Many seem to offer tuneless rhythms with plenty of guitar pyro ornamentation, but with none of the melodic developments, structural layers, or ebb and flows that Michael Schenker achieves.

BY THE REINS by Leogun
Leogun have got all their bases covered and bring a freshness to the genre. 'By The Reins' rocks in a most vintage kind of way. If it's been too long since you've heard a good old-fashioned rock n' roll album, you owe it to yourself to check out this band.

by The Ragged Saints
 'The Sound Of Breaking Free' is an knockout of a release that will be loved by  melodic rock fans, while it will surely be respected by open minded metal fans as well. Fans of Journey, Foreigner and Toto will probably love this too. The Ragged Saints should be in every melodic rock fan's collection.

FOUR by Coney Hatch
2013 release, the Canadian Hard Rock band's first album of new material in over two decades. 'Four' is chalk full of the unique brand of melodic riff-rock that first brought the band to the attention of critics and rock fans all over the world back when they first launched. 

MARY JANE by Dead, White & Blue
'Mary Jane' is the kind of album where you press "Play" and let it ride. Kick-ass, no nonsense, hard rock. In your face. loud and heavy. The way rock should be.

HAIL THE MONSTERS by For The Imperium
'Hail The Monsters' is a brilliant spark of creativity. Initially the sheer scale of the diversity and virtuosity may feel pretentious, but upon numerous repeat listens I've definitely come to believe that there isn't anything cynical at work here. It really rewards repeat listening and every spin will uncover a new little gem you never noticed before.

VIVA! HYSTERIA by Def Leppard
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. 

by Barbe-Q-Barbies
Finland's very own, Barbe-Q-Barbies return with their sophomore release, 'Breaking All The Rules'. I have say, after being thoroughly impressed with their debut, 'All Over You', I was curious on how these rock and roll femme fatales would respond. These ladies responded big time.

MOTHERSHIP by Mothership
Mothership prove that great song writing and attention to detail helps produce the right sound and when combined with precise instrumentation the end result is a sledgehammer of a debut release. Attention all rockers and rollers, Mothership has landed! Mark my words these boys are going to be around for a very long time to come.

LIVE FAST DIE LOUD by Beasto Blanco
'Live Fast Die Loud' is one of the best hard rock albums to come out this year. It's like a "grindhouse horror movie" unique, unpredictable and so good it's scary. Long live Beasto Blanco!

Attention all rockers and rollers! UK based rockers, White Pigeon have arrived and and they are going to ROCK your world! The band's debut release, 'Property Of White Pigeon' is the shot of adrenaline the rock 'n roll world has been waiting for!

I'm often surprised to hear what other Heavy Metal fans seem to value in music. It seems many people are really only seeking something fast, aggressive, lots of yelling etc. If you are someone like that, on a surface level this album will not disappoint. However, if you crave music for its atmospheric intensity, then this album is essential listening. This is Pain Savior.

THE BLACK MOODS by The Black Moods
The Black Moods bring a much needed soul filled energy to the rock music scene that's been missing for some time. 

RED by Mom's Rocket
Mom's Rocket have a great feel to them. This is a band that once you hear their music you just want to get up and move. 'Red' is a fantastic album that we, as a music society need as relief from so much terrible music that is poisoning the air waves today. It is an extremely well-executed album that should please fans of both classic and modern rock.

THE FIRST RECORD by Tracii Guns' League Of Gentlemen
Tracii Guns League Of Gentlemen's 'The First Record' is a very strong, totally captivating slab of old school rock n' roll that is unlikely to disappoint too many fans of the classic rock sound. If you still play your Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Animals and The Who albums on a regular basis, Tracii Guns' League Of Gentlemen is about to become your new favorite band.

The Jokers have the energy that a rock and roll band is supposed to have. They are a rolling good time. Nothing but straight out in your face rock and roll. No angst either phoney or real here. No dark lyrics. No outrageous or evil costumes. No dark music. No grunge here. Not a single rap lyric anywhere. But why should there be? The Jokers are REAL F'KN ROCK & ROLL!

THE KEY by Dave Rude Band
From start to finish this album has real teeth. A great collection of well written and performed songs here but it’s the overall sound that impressed me. Energizing and driving, the Dave Rude Band’s, ‘The Key’ is essential to any fan of rock music. 

'Impermanent Resonance' the latest release from James Labrie is yet another excellent melodic metal album that cements his position as a quality solo artist with style. This is Labrie' s third album. The album itself is a mixture of hard hitting metal and melodic ballads featuring lots of keyboard textures and excellent production topped off with the powerful expressive vocals of James LaBrie.

THE DEAD DAISES by The Dead Daisies
This album gets better and better the more you listen to it. Don't get me wrong, it was great on the first spin. But the more you listen, the more depth you realize is there. The Dead Daisies's self-titled debut has more layers and intricacies to explore than most bands these days. Perhaps it is a testament to their pure professionalism that excels this album past the clutter of everyday music.

NINE LIVES by Von Hertzen Brothers
Although their music embraces so many unique rhythms and abstract scales, there is something special about the Von Hertzen Brothers that makes them approachable and intriguing. If your up for something adventurous that challenges your expectations, give the Von Hertzen Brothers a listen. And if you know any music fans who are sick of commercial music, point them in the Von Hertzen Brother's direction

ON MY WAY TO THE SUN by John Elefante
'On My Way To The Sun' is refreshing and reassuring; powerful and consistent. It is music as it's meant to be; moving, telling stories that stir up your emotions and take you on a journey you'll be wanting to experience over and over again. A true feast for the ears and soul.

FROM THE FLAMES by Screaming Eagles
'From The Flames' is a blistering album of songs, 10 in total,  that never lets up from start to finish. These lads are on a mission to put a smile back on your face and few thousand volts up your holiest of holies. The Screaming Eagles have landed and they are here to stay!

OUT OF THE DARKNESS by Sacred Mother Tongue
'Out Of The Darkness' from start to finish, is just fantastic! Hats off to band for one hell of a job! An absolutely amazing release! Chances are that if you are reading this you already know and enjoy Sacred Mother Tongue.

C'MON TAKE ON ME by Hardcore Superstar
Hardcore Superstar continues on its blaze into rock and roll history. I for one hope, 'C'mon Take On Me' becomes available here in the States, as every fan of Hardcore Superstar must have this one, and everyone else should get to hear it.

Jon Olivia has created a true masterpiece! 'Raise The Curtain' will take your senses to places you didn't see coming and leave you wanting to come back for more.

FORGIVE & REGRET by Beautiful Strangers
Delivering a rock sound full of power and groove with lots of hooks and a great doses of melody that sounds refreshingly original yet classic. So, if you like no-frills hard rock, check out Beautiful Strangers and get your hands on their debut, 'Forgive & Regret' and crank it up for all it's worth.

RISING by Will Wallner & Vivien Vain
What Wallner/Vain have unleashed here with, 'Rising' is a powerhouse of a recording that should be heard and experienced by every rock music enthusiast on the planet.  A new band that doesn't merely claim to rock, Will Wallner & Vivien Vain actually deliver the goods!