Monday, June 26, 2017

FRANK HANNON BAND (Tesla) - World Peace [retail CD]

FRANK HANNON BAND - World Peace [retail CD]  full

After Tesla's released their 9th album Simplicity, shortly after it was revealed that guitarist Frank Hannon started working on a new album with his FRANK HANNON BAND entitled "World Peace".
The record first appeared digital, but later this physical CD was released, not easy to find though.

While on the road touring with Tesla during the summer or 2014, Frank spent all the lonely hours in his hotel rooms recording musical ideas. The songs started flowing so he would literally be recording music in the dressing room five minutes prior to Tesla stepping on stage.
After returning home Frank knew he had a batch of strong material, so current Frank Hannon Band members bassist Aaron Leigh and drummer Kelly Smith joined him in the studio to help put the album into fruition.

FRANK HANNON BAND - World Peace [retail CD] disc photo

When the majority of songs were recorded, an old original concept came back to Frank Hannon's mind from the year 2000 when the guitarist wrote an instrumental native American chant song he titled "World Peace?" which asks the question: "When will it come?".
With that concept in mind, the flames grew hotter and it shows in the lyrics on the CD.

We have here powerful heavy protests tracks such as "The Picture", "Electric Chair" and "Born Free" mixed with the happier positive melodies of "Lucky 13", "Down The Road" and "Break The Silence", all wrapped by killer hard rock sound.
The songs not only showcase Hannon as a powerful lead singer and shredding lead guitarist, but also a prolific songwriter. The recognizable sound of Tesla is evident here, but the sound of an unleashed artist is also heard.

FRANK HANNON BAND - World Peace [retail CD] back

Built on the bedrock of contagious riffs, tight grooves and raunchy guitar leads, Frank Hannon's "World Peace" upholds the all familiar hard rock truisms with commendable conviction. As happened on his previous album, a dash of bluesy melodies impregnates some of the material, but I can hear as well a new modern approach, basically in the sound department.
Anyway, this is a hard rocking based record, an effective time-tested affair showing of what Hannon is capable of as a player and as a songwriter.
These songs rock from the heart, his band feels glued and effervescent, and "World Peace", as a whole, it's a killer slice of true, honest classic hard rock.
Highly Recommended

01 - Born Free
02 - The Picture
03 - World Peace
04 - Love Is Like a Fire
05 - Electric Chair
06 - Lucky 13
07 - New York City (Psycho Cab Ride)
08 - Down the Road
09 - Get off Yo Ass!
10 - Heavy Metal Hippie
11 - Break the Silence
12 - Requiem
13 - Eye of the Mind [digital bonus track with purchase]

Frank Hannon (vocals, guitars)
Aaron Leigh (bass)
Kelly Smith (drums)



BIG BIG TRAIN - The Second Brightest Star (2017)

BIG BIG TRAIN - The Second Brightest Star (2017) full

Classic Prog collective BIG BIG TRAIN have made the surprise announcement that they’ll release a brand new album soon. They launched their 10th record Grimspound (featured here) at the end of April this year to great critical acclaim – and they’ve wasted no time in setting up its follow-up, "The Second Brightest Star", available at the band's merch site and next month at all major retailers.

The Second Brightest Star is a companion album to Grimspound and the previous Big Big Train CD, and features 40 minutes of new material.
Alongside these new tracks, the CD contains an additional 30 minutes of music presenting songs from Folklore (2016) and Grimspound (2017) in extended arrangements.

The new songs are very interesting as most of them sound quite unlike any recent releases, such as the title track and 'Skylon'. Big Big Train feel very introspective here, showcasing aanother side of this fascinating combo.
'The Passing Widow' is acomposition with much of early Genesis on it, very good stuff. 'Terra Australis Incognita' and 'The Gentlemen's Reprise' were both originally planned as potential conclusions of 'Experimental Gentlemen' (from Grimspound), but none of the two pieces were used. It's great to hear them here.

On the other side, the "extended versions" from the previous albums are typical Big Big Train, and I think these re-works are much better than the originals.
'Brooklands' and 'London Plane' are more expansive here, intriguing, the latter being a true rendition to that British Prog classic era.

BIG BIG TRAIN - The Second Brightest Star (2017) back

This sublimely beautiful offering is the third installment of an brilliant trilogy from Big Big Train, all released in roughly 13 months time. Beginning with Folklore, followed by Grimspound, and now: The Second Brightest Star.
Sweetly reflective, dreamy, and gorgeous classic Prog.

01 - The Second Brightest Star
02 - Haymaking
03 - Skylon
04 - London Stone
05 - The Passing Widow
06 - The Leaden Stour
07 - Terra Australis Incognita
08 - Brooklands sequence:
- On The Racing Line
- Brooklands
09 - London Plane sequence:
- Turner On The Thames
- London Plane
10 - The Gentlemen's Reprise

Dave Gregory - electric & 12-string guitars
Andy Poole - acoustic guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Rikard Sjöblom - guitar, keyboards (8), backing vocals
Danny Manners - keyboards, double bass
Rachel Hall - violin, viola, cello, backing vocals, string arrangements
Greg Spawton - bass, bass pedals, backing vocals
Nick D'Virgilio - drums, percussion, backing vocals
David Longdon - lead & backing vocals, flute, melodica, electric & acoustic guitars, banjo, piano, celesta, synth, mandolin, lute, percussion



MOTHER ROAD - Drive [retail CD]

MOTHER ROAD - Drive [retail CD] full

After listening the great vocal pipes of singer Keith Slack in the recent post here of Taz Taylor Band Straight Up [2012 Remix], one of you asked for this criminally underrated album, MOTHER ROAD's "Drive" featuring Slack at the mic plus other excellent musicians such as Alessandro Del Vecchio.

Mother Road was put together by Austin singer Keith Slack (MSG / Steelhouse Lane) and famed German guitarist & producer Chris Lyne (Soul Doctor), and after hearing the first songs recorded by the band AOR Heaven Records immediately signed them.
Rounding out the outfit are huge keyboard player and producer Alessandro Del Vecchio, drummer Jacky Tsoukas, and bassist Frank Binke.

These guys obviously have studied their Bad Company, Deep Purple, WhiteSnake, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin albums really well, as their debut CD "Drive" tips its hat to many of the legendary Classic (Hard) Rock bands from the last 40+ years.

Slack's voice easily merges traditional classic rock with earthy blues, maybe with a little more of gritty edge. Lyne's guitar mirrors his sound, with a sharp and brisk to soulful and stirring delivery. At times, on Mother Road he reminds me of John Sykes with a touch of Gary Moore.

MOTHER ROAD - Drive [retail CD] booklet

Keith Slack's voice is perfectly suited to the genre, displaying a wide range in a variety of styles from all out rockers like the album opener "The Sun Will Shine Again", the foot stomping "Feather In Your Hat" and the bump & grind swagger of "Drive Me Crazy", to slow bluesy movers like "Out Of My Mind" or "These Shoes", a powerful song that has that Bad Company meets Whitesnake vibe.

There's a fantastic guitar / keyboard dueling between Lyne & DelVecchio on the killer "Still Rainin", a pure catchy muscular bluesy hard rock number with hooks and scorching lead guitar, and the Hammond organ provides the swirling waves behind Lyne's guitar in the latter half of "These Shoes".
"Dangerous Highway" is the 'road song' the band’s name suggests, and the Jon Lord-like opening conjures up images of Deep Purple before the riff kicks in. It’s another mid-tempo song that Mother Road does so well.

"Poor Boy (Long Way Out)" channels late Seventies stadium hard rock; whilst "Dirty Little Secret" sees some of the best vocal and guitar work on the album (and that is saying something).
"Blue Eyes" has a distinct vintage Cry Of Love heavy blues warmth to it albeit with a vocal by Slack akin a rough Paul Rodgers.
Final track "On My Way" strips it back to subtle acoustic bones before bursting into life and finally taking it down again. It’s a powerful song, emotive and a great way to close a great album.

MOTHER ROAD - Drive [retail CD] back

With melodies aplenty, incredible vocals and stellar musicianship, it's pretty easy to recommend "Drive", and I can safely say that there's a built in audience ready and waiting for stuff like this. It's honest, true, real bluesy Classic (Hard) Rock fron the heart.
Slack' s ability to infuse genuine feeling into the music is one of the keys to its appeal. Chris Lyne gets a chance to put his talents on display and does an amazing job in the rhythm and lead guitar here. The guy rocks hard with his great tone and aggressive phrasing.

Mother Road is the type of band you'd go see and there would be no fancy clothes, no half-dressed chicks dancing on stage, just a bunch of guys in jeans and t-shirts with some Marshalls and their instruments. They'd plug in and they'd blow you away.
As said, "Drive" was criminally ignored when appeared some time ago, and you're are missing a superb, killer record if you never has given at least one spin of it.
Highly Recommended

01 - The Sun Will Shine Again
02 - Feather In Your Hat
03 - Drive Me Crazy
04 - Out Of My Mind
05 - These Shoes
06 - Dangerous Highway
07 - Poor Boy (Long Way Out)
08 - Dirty Little Secret
09 - Blue Eyes
10 - Still Rainin'
11 - On My Way

Keith Slack (vocals)
Chris Lyne (guitars)
Alessandro Del Vecchio (keyboards)
Frank Binke (bass)
Athanasios Zacky Tsoukas (drums)



Sunday, June 25, 2017

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases July 2017 - Vol.4

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases July 2017 - Vol.4 Mr Big, Kryptonite Hinder Riverdogs

More & more very interesting releases coming up this Summer. Let's check the more relevant Melodic Rock / AOR advances just appeared.
Frontiers Music has put out more advances from their upcoming releases such as MR. BIG's third single 'Mean To Me' (so far my favorite as it owns that eraly '90s melodic rock feel) and a new track from KRYPTONITE, the new amazing project including Jake Samuels from The Poodles, Alessandro Del Vecchio (Lionville), Pontus Egberg (formerly of The Poodles and now the bass player for Treat), Robban Back (ex-Eclipse) and young and immensely gifted guitarist Mike Palace. You will love what they have cooked up for you.

Also there's a new cut from the much anticipated debut of THE NIGHTS. The band includes Finnish singer Sami Hyde (Tony Mills Band) who has written songs for many artists like The Magnificent, and Ilkka Wirtanen, known for his work as a producer and co-writer for Reckless Love.
'American Dream' is the 3rd single from RIVERDOGS upcoming album, and if the first two were good, this one is even better with a true classic melodic rock sound.

And Frontiers has presented the first song from one of their newest acts: WAYWARD SONS. This new bandis made up of Toby Jepson (vocals, guitar), Sam Wood (guitar), Nic Wastell (bass), Dave Kemp (keys) and Phil Martini (drums). They have an impressive resume of groups they have previously worked with: Little Angels, Gun, Spear Of Destiny, Treason Kings and Chrome Molly to name a few - which is reassuring in terms of the band as players. The music is hard rock but mixed with a vitality and energy - both musically and lyrically.

Melodic hard rockers STATION returns with the hook-laden 'All You Need Is a Heartbeat', a song that recalls an era of refined harmonies, guitar solos you could sing along with as easily as any chorus and cannon fire drums.
Yes, you guessed it: pure '80s! I love this band and this track is one of the best I heard recently truly in the best tradition of the genre. Terrific tune.

Also returning there's Italian hard rockers VOODOO HIGHWAY with the single 'To Ride The Tide' (new album soon), MASSIVE has a strong new single 'Calm Before The Storm' to premiere at their June/July 2017 UK Tour Dates, and young rocker JARED JAMES NICHOLS surprises with the new song 'Last Chance', much more heavy and modern than anything he has released so far.

HINDER seems to have abandoned their modern rock origins in favor to a more melodic rock feel as heard in their new single 'Remember Me' (new full album soon). Well done guys.
DAMN FREAKS is one of the most promising emerging indie bands which will be releasing their debut CD in August. 'Break The Chains', the first single featuring Tygers Of Pan Tang singer Jack Meile rocks with a lovely '80 US hard rock sound with some Van Halen / early Dokken on it.

With the suggestive title 'Alien Makers Of Discord', this is the first single from the new project PROSPEKT, a killer melodic progressive metal / hard rock combo bringing to mind the awesome pristine sound of James LaBrie solo works. '90s guitar hero delivers a scorching guest guitar solo. Can't wait for the full album.
Steve Lukather's son Trev is playing and arranging the new album from young female rocker DIAMANTE, and the fresh single 'Coming In Hot' is a cool rocker with a strong '80s Joan Jett vibe on it.
For the last, UNISONIC will release a live album sound, with the band's name track 'Unisonic' presented as advance. Killer version full of fire.

01 - Station - All You Need Is A Heartbeat
02 - Wayward Sons - Until The End
03 - Mr. Big - Mean To Me
04 - Kryptonite - This Is The Moment
05 - The Nights - Nothing But Love
06 - Riverdogs - American Dream
07 - Damn Freaks - Break The Chains
08 - Hinder - Remember Me
09 - Jared James Nichols - Last Chance
10 - Diamante - Coming In Hot (feat Trev Lukather)
11 - Massive - Calm Before The Storm
12 - Voodoo Highway - To Ride The Tide
13 - Prospekt - Alien Makers Of Discord (solo by Greg Howe)
14 - Unisonic - Unisonic (the song) [Live]

Only at 0dayrox


JYRKI 69 (The 69 Eyes) - Helsinki Vampire (2017)

JYRKI 69 (The 69 Eyes) - Helsinki Vampire (2017) full

"Helsinki Vampire" is the solo debut album from JYRKI 69, lead vocalist for Finland's darkest and deadliest goth metal band The 69 Eyes The disc builds on the distinctive "goth 'n' roll" sound that The 69 Eyes honed over the course of a dozen albums (millions of units sold collectively worldwide) while adding a more richly textured, darkly romantic atmosphere.

Yeah, sure, Goth is not a musical sub-genre belonging to this blog, but this album is worth to check. I like some The 69 Eyes material, and since the entire album has been produced, mixed, and mastered by the band's longtime producer Johnny Lee Michaels, fans will find this album to be closer to the band's classic sound.
In short, goth rock mixed with hard rock guitars and an overall dark sound.

However, Jyrki's 69 debut adds it own spin. His vocals are an acquired taste, some kind of a baritone croon with sinister tone. Alongside the heavy guitars you have synth arrangements akin the last Depeche Mode, and together the dark atmospheres, pianos, bells, etc the album results quite interesting, different, captivating.

Several of the tracks from "Helsinki Vampire" have already been picked up for use in upcoming movies, including the horror film Sunset Society (starring Lemmy from Motorhead as a Sunset Strip vampire), suspense film Close Your Eyes, and Halloween Hell House (starring 21 Jump Street's Richard Grieco).
Yeah, Jyrki's 69 are special for horror films, from the lyrics to the musical cadence.

"Helsinki Vampire" launches with “Ad Infinitum,” an eight-minute introduction that presents beautifully haunting electronics and minimal vocals forevermore. The impressive piano and keyboard work continue in “Versailles,” a downtempo, melancholic tromp through the garden, as well as on the gentle embrace of “Spanish Steps.”
A sensual tale of one little girl with “Bloodlust” deep in her eyes, prowling the streets at night is already slated to appear in the upcoming horror flick Sunset Society mentioned above.

Watch Motorhead's Lemmy play a Sunset Strip vampire;

Spooky Horror romp “Last Halloween” has also been selected for use in the soundtrack of Halloween Hell House and it's one of my favorites from the album, bringing to mind '80s slasher movie soundtracks. That keyboards pattern...
A languorous tale of one morbid and darkly ironic birthday celebration – while burying your mother with tears of love and loss – “Happy Birthday” is anything but; the irony here being palpable.
With the pace amping upward, “Call Of The Night” begs for all children of the night to hear Jyrki’s musical call. Superb bass breakdowns, sweeping guitars, and those seductive vocals mark this as a highlight of these vampiric offerings.
In fact, Jyrki channels his own inner Dracula on the spoken word offering, “Perfection.”

The intoxicating dark guitars of “Close Your Eyes” (reminds me of Sixx:AM) rolls into the ringing church bells of “In Your Dreams,” a mid-tempo rocker that raises the bar and marks the beginning of the end.
“Sayonara” is styled as a live concert send-off and included as a bonus track on the CD only.
“Hello, goodbye / Every day we die,” Jyrki sings in this official send-off. Do you think he knows that everyday is Halloween? Probably, as the entirety of "Helsinki Vampire" is languorous, sensual, macabre, and horrific in the most theatrical of senses.

Like a live-action Horror film that seduces, enthralls, captivates, and then repeats the vicious cycle, "Helsinki Vampire" is an album for all who dare to try something different. In fact, if you're an '80s culture freak (movies & soundtracks) you'll love Jyrki 69's solo debut.
Musically, expect a bizarre mix of Alice Cooper, Depeche Mode and Sixx:AM, some heavy synths, some heavy riffs, brooding vocals, etc.
I liked it.

01. Ad Infinitum
02. Versailles
03. Spanish Steps
04. Bloodlust (from "Sunset Society")
05. Last Halloween (from "Halloween Hell House")
06. Happy Birthday
07. Call Of The Night
08. Perfection
09. Close Your Eyes (from "Close Your Eyes")
10. In Your Dreams
11. Sayonara (CD only)



FRANK HANNON (Tesla) - Six String Soldiers [full retail]

FRANK HANNON (Tesla) - Six String Soldiers [full retail]

Tesla's axe slinger FRANK HANNON released his solo debut in 2004, and after several years preparing new material and assembling a new band, has created what is quickly being regarded as one of the most impressive unabashed tributes to the importance of the Guitar in Rock-n-Roll music.
"Six String Soldiers" is a full length disc of 12 solidly written songs backed by the musicianship of legendary guitarists Dickey Betts, 3-time Grammy Award winner Rick Derringer, Pat Travers and Y&T founder Dave Meniketti.

Joined by New Mexico's guitarist Mike Araiza and fronted by the soulful voice of Jeff Sandoval, Frank has assembled an army of talent that is rarely seen on a single disc these days.
This album reminds us of a time in America when soon to be classic songs blasted from the radios of the newest muscle cars, guitar-driven songs topped the charts and freedom was in the air.

"I'm Alive" opens with a bang highlighted by the bluesy guitar of Pat Travers. Outstanding vocals and songwriting bring an uplifting message filled with superb riffage and melody.
If you're a Tesla fan you will love "Set Me Free", perhaps the best track in a disc plenty of highlights. It has that irresistible bluesy touch, a fantastic refrain and a crazy solo.
Title track "Six String Soldiers" is an instrumental, but not that kind of flashy modern shred, it rocks like hell over a blasting and retro sounding rhythm section.

FRANK HANNON (Tesla) - Six String Soldiers [full retail] disc

"Lipstick, Smoke and Gasoline" is an instant favorite. The first note starts with an infectious groove that carries to the end. Frank and Mike deliver some great head-banging riffs as Dave Meniketti brings a truly 'face-melting' guitar solo.
You may have not heard Jeff Sandoval before, but that is quickly going to change with "Cross Your Mind" and "Love, Life and Beauty". Jeff's vocals bring these songs a heartfelt honesty to them that is sadly missing in most of today's rock music.

The life of a professional musician is beautifully conveyed in "Touch the Ground". Guitar legend Dickey Betts' decades of traveling from town-to-town, gig-to-gig comes thru brilliantly in his unmatched signature style making it an absolute must have.
The great Rick Derringer himself makes "To the Light" absolutely shine on this album. His guitar work reminds us why he is a true master and Classic Rock guitar icon.
After the awesome slow ballad Tesla-like "Redemption", the CD ends with a short instrumental which shows Frank enjoying his guitars & amps.

FRANK HANNON (Tesla) - Six String Soldiers [full retail] back

Built on the bedrock of contagious riffs, tight grooves, and raunchy guitar leads, Frank Hannon's new solo record upholds the all familiar Hard Rock truisms with commendable conviction.
Few virtuoso of Hannon's caliber are interested these days in sustaining the canonical values of straightforward hard rock with such earnestness.
But you can tell he is genuinely enjoying himself, putting demonstrations of his chops on the backburner and getting a kick out of the grooves, the riffs, and the sprawling melodies of traditional Hard Rock spiced by bluesy overtones with class.
These songs Rocks, his band Rocks, and "Six String Soldiers" Rocks, in a really, really good way.
Highly Recommended

01 - I'm Alive (feat. Pat Travers)
02 - Set Me Free
03 - Six String Soldiers
04 - Lipstick, Smoke and Gasoline (feat. Dave Meniketti)
05 - Invincible
06 - Cross Your Mind
07 - Touch the Ground (feat. Dickey Betts)
08 - I'm Just Sayin'
09 - Love, Life and Beauty
10 - To the Light (feat. Rick Derringer)
11 - Redemption
12 - 12.21

Frank Hannon - Guitars, Bass
Jeff Sandoval - Vocals
Mike Araiza - Guitar
Cortney DeAugustine - Drums
Dave Meniketti - Guitar
Dickey Betts - Guitar
Rick Derringer - Guitar



Saturday, June 24, 2017

TEN - Gothica [Japanese Edition +1] (2017)

TEN - Gothica [Japanese Edition +1] (2017) full

After a couple of busy years with one album, one EP and extensive tours, British Melodic Hard Rock institution TEN have returned to their former label Frontiers Music for the release of their 13th studio album "Gothica" next month. The Japanese Edition just arrived with a bonus track.

TEN has slightly changed their style in the last 10 years or so, and perhaps their current musical path is perfectly encapsulated by the track 'Travellers'. Its depth and scope are amazing, the band’s usual palette of colours stretched to somewhat darker hues, though without sacrificing musical identity, nor their storytelling element.

Explaining that its contents dwell upon history, romance and erotic horror, leader Gary Hughes has called the album “a little more sinister then the previous”.
From the Henry VIII-themed 'A Man For All Seasons' to 'Welcome To The Freakshow' fetishism and the vampiric 'La Luna Dra-cu-la', this album stimulates the ol’ grey matter as well as entertaining, while refusing to be bogged down by bookish stuffiness.

The classic TEN catchiness it's well represented by 'Jekyll and Hyde', the very melodic 'In My Dreams' (which felt like a piece of commercial melodic rock perfectly designed for early '90s radio).
I really like the first single 'Paragon' however is not the strongest song here, but this Japanese Edition includes as bonus track a remix of it, different, shorter and much more effective.

Then if you are looking for TEN's melodious light proggy side check 'The Wild King Of Winter', an almost sorrowful piece of beautiful music, leading into rhythmic guitar with a fantastic beat and some great guitar solos, as well as a catchy chorus and some very prog leaning keys from Darrel Treece-Birch, a man whose surname is even cooler than his nickname.

TEN - Gothica [Japanese Edition +1] (2017) back

A true contender for 'Album Of the Year', TEN's "Gothica" is a rich tapestry of an album, full of beautifully written songs with fantastic guitars, great rhythm and keys, all overlaid with the colorful voice of Gary Hughes.
Produced by Hughes, and mixed & mastered once again by the man of the moment, Dennis Ward, the album's sound is very good avoiding the 'muddy' output of some of the band's last recordings.
Definitely one of the best albums this year so far.
HIGHLY Recommended

01. The Grail
02. Jekyll And Hyde
03. Travellers
04. Man For All Seasons
05. In My Dreams
06. The Wild King Of Winter
07. Paragon
08. Welcome To The Freak Show
09. La Luna Dra-cu-la
10. Into Darkness
11. Paragon (Bonus Mix) [Japan Bonus Track]

Gary Hughes – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Programming
Dann Rosingana – Guitar
Steve Grocott – Guitar
John Halliwell – Guitar
Steve McKenna – Bass
Darrel Treece-Birch – Keyboards
Max Yates – Drums, Percussion
Karen Fell – Backing Vocals



TAZ TAYLOR BAND - Straight Up [2012 Remix]

TAZ TAYLOR BAND - Straight Up [2012 Remix] full

With the recent TAZ TAYLOR BAND album, one of you asked for his second record but in Taylor's own version, remixed and with a new artwork. So here it is this very good CD , Taz Taylor Band's "Straight Up [2012 Remix]".

Taz Taylor is a British born guitar virtuoso who has now been based in San Diego for some while. His recording career started with a solo instrumental album, before forming The Taz Taylor Band and recording ‘Welcome To America’ with legend Graham Bonnet at the mic. This album generated great feedback and success and worldwide tours ensued.

A change of singer in the form of Keith Slack (Michael Schenker Group, Steelhouse Lane) was made in the follow up album, "Straight Up", which was an European release only, in 2009.
Taylor says: "Straight Up was never properly promoted. It came out just when the economy went in the toilet. We abandoned our plans to tour Europe... it was terrible timing, really. It always kind of bothered us that it was an album that had been forgotten.”

Now, the recording is being re-released for the first time in USA as "Straight Up 2012 Remix", rebuilt from the ground up.
“We were never 100 percent happy with the mix,” Taylor says. “Looking back, we felt that we really rushed it. So I spent a bit of time in the studio and remixed the album. It sounds 100 percent better.
We changed the running order as well and used new artwork.”

Ironically, the idea for the re-release first arose while demoing new material. “We’re working on some songs for possible future release, but we realized that we also had this album of music that never had a chance to be exposed to people the U.S.
In fact, we only played those songs onstage twice. So, we decided to do some shows playing the entire album all the way through. And if we're doing that, it makes sense to make the album available with the sound we wanted originally.”

"Straight Up 2012 Remix" is a rockin' album, with long time member Val Trainor on drums and Taz covering guitar and bass duties. The guest star is Don Airey who got to know the band in the Graham Bonnet period.
As for the tracks, Taz's distinctive style is much brighter in the new mix and his lightness of touch and feel is very present.

But half of the success in this great collection of rockers is superb singer Keith Slack. He shined on both memorable Steelhouse Lane albums, and do so here.
Listening his close to perfection fully fledged raspy, blues drenched, (smooth when needed) performance in a similar timbre to David Coverdale, I wonder why this guy isn't hired by other rock acts as frontman. What a waste of talent.

Anyway, Slack gives to these classic hard rock / melodic hard songs a special emotion, very much of a belter and growler which is a fantastic counterpoint to Taz's meticulous and dexterous guitar work.

RICHIE KOTZEN - I'm Coming Out (2011)tracks

"In Harms Way" starts off the album straight into a class riff and upfront drums leading to a trademark Taz Taylor solo. "Never Letting Go" is a retro '80s song in the style of Journey’s "Stone In Love' and it works flawlessly. Slack's vocals excel in this mid tempo type of song.

The next track, "One More Night" is probably the most memorable on the album with a slow build up to a long hook into a very catchy and commercial chorus. It's quite unlike anything I've heard in a long time and is utterly captivating. The guitar playing is simply perfect and the singing is, if possible, even better.

The following numbers "The Fugitive" and "Bring It" increase the tempo, with the latter employing some classy hi-hat work from Trainor.
Don Airey appears on the title track which is an instrumental commencing with a classical piano prelude before Taz lets loose with a masterclass of melodies before nicely being tied up by Airey's closing piano passage.
The hard hitting "Information Overload" has a note-laden catchy riff and strong chorus, whilst in 'Lock And Load' Slack's vocals really do go all Led Zepp.

"Straight Up Remix 2012" is a truly enjoyable Classic Hard Rock record plenty of great songs, a blazing guitar work and vocals to match.
Loose, pure rock 'n roll full of inspired melodies, soaring melodic guitar leads anchored by an arsenal of catchy and memorable hard rock riffs. Performances are all A* rated.
The production and remix is very uncluttered and arranged so that you envisage the band playing the tracks live as a four piece.
Very, Highly Recommended.

01 - In Harms Way
02 - Never Letting Go
03 - One More Night
04 - The Fugitive
05 - Bring It
06 - Straight Up
07 - What You Need
08 - Information Overload
09 - Razor Tongue
10 - Wait No More
11 - Lock And Load

Bass, Guitar, Keyboards – Taz Taylor
Vocals – Keith Slack
Drums – Val Trainor
Keyboards, Piano – Don Airey



Friday, June 23, 2017

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases July 2017 - Vol.3

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases July 2017 - Vol.3 Alice Cooper Da Vinci Quiet Riot

More & more very interesting releases coming up this Summer. Let's check the more relevant Melodic Rock / AOR advances just appeared.
Holy cow, one of the most wanted ever comeback in the genre always has been from Norwegians DA VINCI. Well, today June 23rd, 2017, Da Vinci are releasing their first single in over 25 years! And what a terrific, keyboard-driven AOR tune it is. Full album available via AOR Heaven Records in a couple of months.

We have here more advances from much anticipated Frontiers Music releases such as ALL 4 1 with an amazing new cut 'Who Knows'. The band features no-other than the amazing Terry Brock on lead vocals (Giant, Strangeways), Robert Berry (Three, Alliance) on bass and lead vocals, Gary Pihl (Boston, Sammy Hagar, Alliance) on guitar, and Matt Starr (Ace Frehley, Mr Big) on drums.
Finally, after the re-recordings with new vocalist the first track from the new QUIET RIOT album has surfaced: the rocking 'Freak Flag'.

Also from the Italian label we have the first advance from cult proggy AOR act WORLD TRADE new album after many years. The band include some of L.A.'s most recognized studio and songwriting talents: Billy Sherwood (Asia) and Guy Allison & Bruce Gowdy (the core of Unruly Child). Their third album, “Unify” will be out August, 2017.
And the 3rd advance from GRAHAM BONNET BAND 'Stand In Line' is really awesome. A killer song and a killer raw performance.

GUN's seventh studio album Favourite Pleasures (out on September 15) promise to stand proudly alongside the very best of their work. The band just released the first single, title track 'Favorite Pleasures'.
Norway's prime Melodic Rock act STAGE DOLLS continue recording new material, with 'Hey Rock 'n Roll' just appeared delivering a feel good tune and a really polished production.

Legend ALICE COOPER has presented the first single off his forthcoming new album "Paranormal". The guitar-driven 'Paranoiac Personality' is a perfect entry point to Alice's searing hard rock record.
There's a new, young Melodic Rock / AOR band coming from Sweden: RIAN, which will be launching thier debut CD soon. Check out a couple advances titled 'Out Of The Darkness' and 'Remember'... pure classic '80s MR / AOR!

After almost three decades shelved, finally DON BARNES lost solo album 'Ride The Storm' will be released soon. How else could you describe an album featuring Dann Huff, Alan Pasqua, Jeff & Mike Porcaro, Jesse Harms and Denny Carmassi? Wow, check the title track and prepare a big smile on your face.
Speaking of great singers, ex Bad Company BRIAN HOWE has presented a new song 'Hot Tin Roof', a catchy rocker from a future album.

And for the end we have to mention female fronted melodic rockers XTASY with a new track titled 'Said And Done', elegant prog rockers SOUL SECRET with the elaborated 'What We're All About' (new album soon), and if you like - and miss - the very first, early Faith No More sound then you must check THE BIG DIRTY, a new American band still unsigned - and their cool single 'The Rhythm Of My Drum'.
More to come...

01 - Da Vinci - I've Come All This Way
02 - All 4 1 - Who Knows
03 - Rian - Out Of The Darkness
04 - Rian - Remember
05 - Stage Dolls - Hey Rock 'n Roll
06 - Alice Cooper - Paranoiac Personality
07 - Quiet Riot - Freak Flag
08 - Don Barnes - Ride The Storm
09 - World Trade - The New Norm
10 - Gun - Favorite Pleasures
11 - Brian Howe - Hot Tin Roof
12 - XTASY - Said And Done
13 - The Big Dirty - Rhythm Of My Drum
14 - Soul Secret - What We're All About
15 - Graham Bonnet Band - Stand In Line

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TAZ TAYLOR BAND - Pressure And Time (2017)

TAZ TAYLOR BAND - Pressure And Time (2017) full

After many years out ot the circuit the TAZ TAYLOR BAND returns with their brand new record "Pressure And Time" released today via Escape Music. When I saw that awesome vocalist Chandler Mogel (Outloud, Punky Meadows) was chosen as new frontman for the band, I was more than enthusiastic and all in.

It has been a decade since Escape Music released the classic Welcome To America album in 2006 by Taz Taylor, a really strong CD with none other than ex Rainbow singer Graham Bonnet on lead vocals. Three years later and Straight Up was released with Keith Slack (MSG) taking the mike stand. The album also featured Don Airey (Rainbow / Deep Purple) on keyboards.
After these two really strong releases Taz Taylor decided to go instrumental and tour dates ensued with the likes of Ace Frehley, L.A. Guns, Molly Hatchet, Dokken, Skid Row, MSG and Great White to name but a few.

Bringing us up to the present day it's time to return to a full band line-up that includes a vocalist and so Taz has used the incredible vocal talents of Chandler Mogel. Chandler and Taz have always kept in touch and it seemed the right time to collaborate on an album… and here is "Pressure And Time".
This new 2017 release include 12 tracks chock full of exciting ideas and quality musicianship, original members Val Trainor and Barney Firks lay down a great rhythm backbone for Taz to show off his guitar playing prowess...

... and what prowess!!! Wow, Taz Taylor always has been a skillful guitarist, but man, seems the guy has evolved into a true six-string monster during the last years.
Take for sure Taz Taylor can play some mean guitar, easily swaying from classic rock and hard rock chops to heavy blues licks. If you're into guitar-centered albums like I am, you will love this CD.
Also, Taylor can craft some catchy tunes as well. Besides the sweet harmony and melody coming from his riffs & leads, Taylor easily spins in some slick hooks with the a tight rhythm and groove, swollen vocal arrangements, and tasty refrains.

In other words, what you have with "Pressure And Time" is classic melodic hard rock, with significant and strong guitar work and wrapped in AOR accessibility.
There's a fine variety of songs ranging from catchy rockers like 'Something Is Ending', 'Kissed By Elvis', and 'Redline Angel' (where Mogel vocals shine). Then Taylor drops in some blues groove within 'Ash And Bone', but even more so with 'Secrets You Got Over Me' with some '80s Gary Moore on it.

TAZ TAYLOR BAND - Pressure And Time (2017)

Being the guitar wizard he is, Taylor also drops two instrumentals, the short title track 'Pressure And Time' and the varied - never boring - 'A Moment Of Clarity'. Additionally, he adds two cover songs: one is the iconic Prince song, 'Purple Rain', where Taz creates a great atmosphere.
The other cover is Blackfoot's 'Highway Song', where Mogel sounds amazing over the acoustic guitar. Similar is the closing song 'Astral Child', with Mogel's voice lighting over Taylor's gentle nylon strings.

Mixing killer classic rock vocals, hard rock groovin' riffs and melodic rock harmonies, the Taz Taylor Band new CD "Pressure And Time" is one of the most complete, varied and entertaining Rock albums recently released.
You can't go wrong with this one.
HIGHLY Recommended

01. Something Is Ending
02. Whispers in the Night
03. Secrets You Got over Me
04. Kissed by Elvis
05. Pressure and Time
06. Highway Song
07. Red Line Angel
08. One Thing
09. Ash and Bone
10. A Moment of Clarity
11. Purple Rain
12. Astral Child

Chandler Mogel - Lead & Backing Vocals
Taz Taylor - Guitars, Keyboards
Val Trainor - Drums
Barney L. Firks II - Bass



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