HIGH SPIRITS – Escape! (EP Review)

HIGH SPIRITS – Escape! (EP Review)

Chris Black just can’t help himself, can he? The brains, talent and, well, everything behind High Spirits can’t stop producing high-quality sonic blasts to our consciousness. Following on from last year’s Motivator, Escape! continues in the vein of highly polished, melodic, riff-laden assaults on the senses. The 4 songs and 15 minutes serve up exactly what you would expect from creative whirlwind Black, but anybody wanting huge variety will be disappointed. Having said that, if…

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LIFESIGNS – Cardington (Album Review)

LIFESIGNS – Cardington (Album Review)

There are times when we all need to lie back, headphones on, and let music flow through us to take us to places in melodies and words. Whether it be bands from the past, like Pink Floyd, or the more recent Porcupine Tree, there is always a place for beauty and storytelling in rock music. The good news is, on Cardington, the second album by UK progsters Lifesigns, they deliver something quite special. Each time…

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VAN ARX – Stand Together for Rock and Roll (Album Review)

VAN ARX – Stand Together for Rock and Roll (Album Review)

Van Arx. There’s a name for ya. Not knowing what to expect at all, I cued up this Perris Records issue. The Stand Together for Rock and Roll album became available back in June. Holy crap! Ripping this off the hop with no pretense, the first sounds emanating from the speakers had me checking to see if it was a KISS “Detroit Rock City” cover. It’s not, but that’s seriously all I can hear right…

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DIRTY DENIMS – Back With A Bang (Full Album) (Album Review)

DIRTY DENIMS – Back With A Bang (Full Album) (Album Review)

Behold, The Dirty Denims from Eindhoven in The Netherlands. Back in April, Mirjam Sieben reached out to me via email. Given my praises for The Amorettes latest album, she suggested that I may also enjoy The Dirty Denims. She had seen my review on Decibel Geek and included a press kit with their forthcoming album. Reported as part one of the album, it was a six-song EP I suppose with the second installment due out in October. I was a little thrown…

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FORCE MAJEURE – The Rise Of Starlit Fires (Album Review)

FORCE MAJEURE – The Rise Of Starlit Fires (Album Review)

In the neverending discovery of new bands and music, I present Force Majeure. The band exudes traditional metal, but inflected with some power elements. My first thoughts instantly gravitated to Doro. Why Doro Pesch? The German champion for female fronted metal issued her album Force Majeure in 1989 on the demise of Warlock. The Force Majeure moniker instantly takes me there in my head.  Hard to shake that image, but this is totally different. This Force Majeure is a melodic heavy…

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TRAVELIN JACK – Commencing Countdown (Album Review)

TRAVELIN JACK – Commencing Countdown (Album Review)

Some bands may struggle to produce a sophomore album, as all their energies have been concentrated on getting off to a good start with a successful debut. Travelin Jack, with Commencing Countdown, have bucked that trend. Not just bucked it, mind you, but smashed it out of the park. Commencing Countdown, out now on Steamhammer/SPV, is a diamond of a record with influences ranging from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. You get a feel for…

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FOO FIGHTERS – Concrete and Gold (Album Review)

FOO FIGHTERS – Concrete and Gold (Album Review)

Foo Fighters were supposed to be on a long break. That’s what they said as they released the Saint Cecilia EP to thank their fans. Well, it didn’t take too long before Dave Grohl got the itch to start working again. Seemingly out of nowhere, they released the single for “Run.” That was our first taste of Concrete and Gold. On the morning it came out, I made a pit stop on my way to…

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The Glorious Sons – Young Beauties And Fools

The Glorious Sons – Young Beauties And Fools

The Glorious Sons first hit my radar with the redoubtable song “Sometimes on a Sunday”.  And their debut full length record, The Union,  was as good as any album released in 2014.  Their sophomore effort Young Beauties & Fools is a follow up that doesn’t disappoint.  Two records in I think its safe to include lead singer Brett Emmons among the best singer/lyricist’s in rock today. Young Beauties & Fools is a collection of auto-biographical…

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ROCK ALLIANCE – Rock Alliance (Album Review)

ROCK ALLIANCE – Rock Alliance (Album Review)

Rock Alliance is the brainchild of Black Stone founder member Stewart Sutherland. The songwriter/bassist wanted to create a high energy project featuring prominent rock musicians from around the globe and, as a result, we have this self-titled rocker. Out on Perris Records, Rock Alliance features contributions from Eric Langlois (LIFT) on vocals, John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick (The Who, Johnny Nash) on the old Hammond organ, Marco Bressette (Protest the Hero, Dead Tired) on guitars and a…

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The British Invasion – SAXON/UFO in Toronto (Concert Review)

The British Invasion – SAXON/UFO in Toronto (Concert Review)

The British Invasion was in full force this week in Toronto as the Saxon/UFO co-headlining tour rolled through. This was a dream bill for me personally. That’s the only way to sum it up. The names of both Saxon and UFO appear in my full sleeve tattoo depicting a guitar case “stickered” with the logos of some fave bands. Both bands have been with me in listening rotations for years upon years. Both bands are…

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