Sunday, July 15, 2018

Y&T - Mean Streak [Rock Candy remastered +1] (2018)

Y&T - Mean Streak [Rock Candy remastered +1] (2018) full

Rock Candy Records has just 'Remastered & Reloaded' the early '80s Y&T albums, for many, the band's finest moment. "Mean Streak" (in this reissue including a bonus track) was a gateway album for Y&T, and the one which made the group finally get noticed by American audiences. There's no mistaking that the opening riff to title "Mean Streak" represent the melodic (hard) rock music scene of the early Eighties, together with Night Ranger and alike.

The band and the recording label secured respected studio wizard Chris Tsangarides (Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Ozzy Osbourne) to produce "Mean Streak", another molten slice of face melting melodious rock in the finest Y&T tradition.
Recorded in their native San Francisco, the record continued to enhance the band’s reputation as one of the most potent outfits of the era, delivering great songs and incredible performances.

Produced & mixed with pin-point accuracy, the album resonates with explosive authority, harnessing razor sharp guitar riffs and impressive songs.
Meniketti delivers his trademark melodic yet husky vocals reminiscent of Sammy Hagar & Ronnie Montrose. It should come as no surprise that Dave has collaborated with Ronnie many times.

Tracks such as ‘Midnight In Tokyo’, ‘Hang ‘Em High’, ‘Down And Dirty’ and the title track itself are all Y&T classics, allowing Meniketti to ride the tiger with all his might.
There's a killer riff on 'Straight Thru the Heart', while more of that great Y&T vocal harmony is present on my favorite 'Lonely Side Of Town', while the group chronicles their first-ever trip to Japan on "Midnight in Tokyo".

"Hang `Em High" has Y&T crossing the line from AOR to hard rock as they pump up the distortion, quicken up the riffs, and lay down some pounding drum beats. "Sentimental Fool" has a great melodic rock radio appeal to it, as the main arrangement is instant and catchy.

Y&T - Mean Streak [Rock Candy remastered +1] (2018) back

There's a previous remaster of Y&T's "Mean Streak", very good in my opinion.
This Rock Candy sonic treatment is equally fine, with a little more emphasis in the mid-frequencies and 'air' between instruments, and on this particular one, brighter lead vocals.
"Mean Streak" was 'the album' that put Y&T on the US rock map, and if you love early album from Night Ranger, Foreigner and even Quiet Riot, this is a must have in your collection.
Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Mean Streak
02 - Straight Thru The Heart
03 - Lonely Side Of Town
04 - Midnight In Tokyo
05 - Breaking Away
06 - Hang 'Em High
07 - Take You To The Limit
08 - Sentimental Fool
09 - Down And Dirty
10 - I'm Not Sorry

Dave Meniketti – vocals, guitar
Joey Alves – guitar, vocals
Phil Kennemore – bass, vocals
Leonard Haze – drums, vocals



Y&T - Black Tiger [Rock Candy remastered +1] (2018)

Y&T - Black Tiger [Rock Candy remastered +1] (2018) full

Rock Candy Records has just 'Remastered & Reloaded' the early '80s Y&T albums, for many, the band's finest moment. "Black Tiger" (in this reissue including a bonus track) the second Y&T record for A&M Records, was recorded at Ridge Farm, in Dorking, County of Surrey, England and produced by wizard Max Norman (Ozzy, Lynch Mob).

The classic Y&T logo makes its first appearance on the cover on a record with rather diverse material including the typical uptempo Y&T hard rockers like "Open Fire" together with melodic rock killers such as "Don't Wanna Lose", a real gem of a tune.

Title track is fast and furious, while the bass driven "Barroom Boogie" gives the album character and the captivating fan favourite "Forever" gives an example of a classic Y&T trademark rock.
"Hell or High Water" shows Y&T's ability to be slow & melodic but still groovy and heavy, and the closing "Winds of Change" is one of the band's best ballads.

Y&T - Black Tiger [Rock Candy remastered +1] (2018) back

There's a previous remaster of Y&T's "Black Tiger", very good in my opinion.
This Rock Candy sonic treatment is equally fine, with a little more emphasis in the mid-frequencies and 'air' between instruments.
Regarded as one of, if not the definitive Y&T album from the band's early era, "Black Tiger" rocks.
Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - From The Moon
02 - Open Fire
03 - Don't Wanna Lose
04 - Hell Or High Water
05 - Forever
06 - Black Tiger
07 - Barroom Boogie
08 - My Way Or The Highway
09 - Winds Of Change
10 - Somebody For Me

Dave Meniketti – vocals, guitar
Joey Alves – guitar, vocals
Phil Kennemore – bass, vocals
Leonard Haze – drums, vocals



Y&T - Earthshaker [Rock Candy remastered] (2018)

Y&T - Earthshaker [Rock Candy remastered] (2018) full

Rock Candy Records has just 'Remastered & Reloaded' the early '80s Y&T albums, for many, the band's finest moment. "Earthshaker" was Y&T's first album for A&M and the first under their current name, after changing it from Yesterday and Today used on the two prior records.

This record changed everything for Meniketti & Co., with a polished production (yet still retaining a quite heavy sound) and full of radio-friendly hooks.
The whole album standouts driven by hot riffs, even present on the ballsy power ballad "I Believe In You", a reference for just about every hair metal to come in the way of crafting their rock ballads.

"Earthshaker" stunned the hard rock world with its aggressive songs and production. It was a double whammy that breathed new life into the band’s profile, helping to re-establish them as real contenders after years spent hiding in the shadows on a label that offered little in the way of promotion or career advancement.
In Europe, where the band had already enjoyed a cult following through imports of their previous two records, the news was embraced with open arms and word soon spread that the band were not only back but sounding bigger and better than ever.

Recorded in their native San Francisco, the album harnessed a new raw energy, allowing songs such as ‘Hungry For Rock’, ‘Dirty Girl’, ‘Squeeze’ and ‘Hurricane’ to explode like molotov cocktails, whilst the epic and lengthy album closer, the aforementioned ‘I Believe In You’ showed that the band could write anthems equal to the best of the genre.
It also showed just how masterful they had developed as musicians, especially Dave Meniketti’s extraordinary vocals.

Y&T - Earthshaker [Rock Candy remastered] (2018) back

There's a previous remaster of "Earthshaker", very good in my opinion.
This Rock Candy sonic treatment is equally fine, with a little more emphasis in the mid-frequencies and 'air' between instruments.
Honestly, we can’t recommend this album highly enough.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Hungry For Rock
02 - Dirty Girl
03 - Shake It Loose
04 - Squeeze
05 - Rescue Me
06 - Young And Tough
07 - Hurricane
08 - Let Me Go
09 - Knock You Out
10 - I Believe In You

Dave Meniketti – vocals, guitar
Joey Alves – guitar, vocals
Phil Kennemore – bass, vocals
Leonard Haze – drums, vocals



Saturday, July 14, 2018

ROBBY VALENTINE - Unreleased & Japan Bonus Tracks

ROBBY VALENTINE - Unreleased & Japan Bonus Tracks full

Waiting for the really good new ROBBY VALENTINE 2018 album, in recent posts we have been featuring here his rare and hard to find singles and EP's. Today we bring to you some Robby's Japanese album edition bonus tracks plus lots of unreleased material taken from a private collection.

Valentine is a prolific musician, and many of his recordings still remain unreleased.
Among the material compiled here we have the 3 bonus tracks from the Japan edition of his album 'The Most Beautiful Pain', but also an outtake from these sessions, titled 'Payback Time'.
The radio edit version of 'Soldiers Of Light' (from his 2018 new album) is a B-side of the 100 copies only CD single, slightly different from the album version.

While Valentine is releasing this 2018 another album (Bizarro World - The Piano Versions) including instrumental piano-solo recordings, the take of 'Black Rain (exclusive Piano & Vocals) includes vocals as well, an unreleased and rare track.

Speaking of rare songs, we have one from his first album, 'Broken Dreams (Different version), the stupendous 'Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac cover)' on offer to the fans via his Facebook for limited time, and the mega rare 'Thinking of You', recorded with his friend Valensia from a project 'V III (Nymphopsychoschoziphonic)' that never materialized.

On the Japan only EP 'Live & Demos' already featured in a previous post, there's 3 demo versions of Robby's early songs. We have 3 more here.
'Only Love (Demo)' will appear for the first time this 2018 into 'Pride & Heart - The Magic Infinity Demos' (a limited edition CD), but 'Broken Dreams (Demo)' and 'Forever And Ever (Demo)' are unreleased.
There's also a rare version of the hit 'Over And Over Again (Acoustic Version)', unreleased. All with very good audio quality.

You can hear Robby's version of John Lennon classic 'Imagine', a single CDr made in a limited quantity of 150 copies as a special thank you to the fans and released at the concert in Cappelle a/d IJssel on 13 december 2014.
There's a lovely song titled 'A World Of You And Me' (The Magic Infinity Japan bonus track), and Valentine jingles for Radio / TV station Veronica (quite AOR jingles by the way).
Also included is 'Holland Nº1' the World Cup '98 Hymn for the football team recorded by Robby as part of the all-star Dutch musicians group called 'OffSide'.

All collector's stuff - Highly Recommended

01 - Soldiers Of Light (radio edit) [single B-side 100 copies only]
02 - The Way To Euphorica (Most Beautiful Pain Japan bonus)
03 - Can't Take No More (Most Beautiful Pain Japan bonus)
04 - How Do you Sleep At Night (Most Beautiful Pain Japan bonus)
05 - Black Rain (exclusive Piano & Vocals) [unreleased]
06 - Payback Time (The Most Beautiful Pain outtake) [unreleased]
07 - Radio Veronica - jingle 2018 [unreleased]
08 - Broken Dreams (Different version - very rare) [unreleased]
09 - Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac cover) [unreleased]
10 - Over And Over Again (Acoustic Version) [unreleased]
11 - Only Love (Demo)
12 - Broken Dreams (Demo)
13 - Forever And Ever (Demo - unreleased)
14 - Thinking of You [unreleased]
15 - HansKlokTheme (unreleased)
16 - A World Of You And Me (The Magic Infinity Japan bonus)
17 - Imagine (John Lennon Cover) [unreleased]
18 - TV Channel Veronica - jingle 1993 [unreleased]
19 - Bizarro World (Piano Version)
20 - Holland Nº1 (World Cup '98 Hymn) [unreleased]
21 - Remi (Valentine 1995 Japan bonus)

0dayrox exclusive compilation


GRAHAM BONNET - Reel To Real - The Archives [3-CD Unreleased Remastered Box Set]

GRAHAM BONNET - Reel To Real - The Archives [3-CD Unreleased Remastered Box Set] full

"Reel To Real - The Archives" is the just released Cherry Ref / Hear No Evil Records 3-CD collection of unreleased GRAHAM BONNET songs, including studio recordings and live, all remastered.

Although this new collection of unreleased recordings only covers a small part of the Graham Bonnet story, few frontmen can claim to have had such a lengthy and diverse journey.
Achieving what was possibly his greatest success in 1979 with Rainbow’s “Down To Earth”, worldwide hits followed with the singles ‘All Night Long’ and ‘Since You Been Gone’.

Further solo success beckoned with the song ‘Night Games’ from the “Line-Up” album in 1981, before Graham briefly joined The Michael Schenker Group for 1982’s “Assault Attack”.
Graham then formed Alcatrazz with a then little known Swedish guitarist called Yngwie J. Malmsteen, who would be replaced by another legendary axe-slinger, Steve Vai, before the singer hooked up with Chris Impellitteri and the band Impellitteri, Graham has subsequently recorded with Forcefield, Japan’s Anthem, the Taz Taylor Band and Blackthorne with Bob Kulick.

Disc 1 “Reel to Real: The Archives 1987-1992” focuses on a short, five year period, when the singer was partly based in Australia.
Kicking off with three tracks recorded in Los Angeles in 1987, ‘Tonite I Fly’, ‘Reel To Real’ and ‘The Dancer’, they feature Alcatrazz guitarist Danny Johnson.
‘Whiplash’, ‘Long Time Gone’, covers of ‘Summer In The City’ and ‘River Deep – Mountain High’ plus ‘Midnight Crossing’ were recorded in Adelaide, Australia in 1989 during the period that Graham had relocated down under.
The first disc is completed by ‘Double Cross My Heart’, ‘Hearts Under Fire’ and ‘Dead Man Walking’.

Before finding worldwide fame with Rainbow in 1979, Graham had enjoyed some of his biggest solo successes in Australia, which would explain the inclusion of covers of Bob Dylan’s ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’, and the aforementioned Bee Gees’ disco staple ‘Warm Ride’ on the two 1989 solo concerts featured on discs 2 and 3, recorded in Melbourne and Adelaide respectively.
Although slightly incongruous amongst the hard rock of Rainbow, MSG and Alcatrazz, the songs actually sit comfortably among Graham’s solo versions of ‘All Night Long’, ‘Since You Been Gone’, ‘Desert Song’ and ‘Island In The Sun’.

GRAHAM BONNET - Reel To Real - The Archives [3-CD Unreleased Remastered Box Set] back

Solo tracks such as Russ Ballard’s ‘S.O.S.’ are included as well as Alcatrazz’s ‘God Blessed Video’, anti-drink-driving anthem ‘Will You Be Home Tonight’, plus the aforementioned covers of Ike & Tina’s ‘River Deep – Mountain High’ and the Lovin’ Spoonful’s ‘Summer In The City’.

While the bonus live discs 2 / 3 are mostly for rabid fans and collectors (sound quality is just OK) the real find are the unreleased studio recordings on Disc 1.
All these are truly good songs, professionally taped, guitar driven tunes with Bonnet raspy vocals in full form.
Very good stuff that finally see the light of day.
Highly Recommended

Disc 1: Reel To Real [Unreleased Studio Recordings]
1. Tonite I Fly (1987)
2. Reel to Real (1987)
3. The Dancer (1987)
4. Whiplash (1989)
5. Long Time Gone (1989)
6. Summer in the City (1989)
7. River Deep - Mountain High (1989)
8. Midnight Crossing (1989)
9. Rider (1989)
10. Double Cross My Heart (1992)
11. Hearts Under Fire (1992)
12. Dead Man Walking (2008)
(1-3 recorded in LA, USA 1987 / 4-9 recorded in Australia 1989)

Disc 2: Live in Melbourne February 24th 1989)
1. God Blessed Video
2. Island in the Sun
3. S.O.S.
4. Will You Be Home Tonight
5. It's All Over Now Baby Blue
6. Only One Woman
7. Desert Song
8. River Deep - Mountain High
9. Summer in the City
10. Since You Been Gone
11. Drum Solo
12. Lost in Hollywood
13. Dancer
14. All Night Long
15. Warm Ride

Disc 3: Live at in Adelaide March 26th 1989
1. Intro: Night of a Shooting Star
2. God Blessed Video
3. Island in the Sun
4. S.O.S.
5. Will You Be Home Tonight
6. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
7. Only One Woman
8. Desert Song
9. River Deep, Mountain High
10. Summer in the City
11. Since You Been Gone
12. Drum Solo
13. Lost in Hollywood
14. All Night Long
15. Warm Ride



ACCEPT - Russian Roulette [Cherry Red remastered & expanded]

ACCEPT - Russian Roulette [Cherry Red remastered & expanded] full

Cherry Red / Hear No Evil Records have been doing a terrific job lately remastering classic albums with the same quality standards of colleagues like Rock Candy or YesterRock. Among the revisited bands they reissued, there is ACCEPT's truly classic '80s albums with expanded artwork and bonus material (two of them featured here on the blog).
Now we are presenting "Russian Roulette" remastered & expanded, an album that proved once more that if fiery melodic Teutonic metallic hard rock was what you hankered for, then nobody did it better than Accept.

With a history that could be traced back to, believe it or not, 1976, this German five-piece had made their presence known between 1979 and '81 with three confident, if not quite fully formed albums (Accept '79, I'm A Rebel '80 and Breaker '81), before Restless And Wild exploded a harsher, more individual sound on the world in '82, and Balls To The Wall confirmed their class a year later.
It was with Metal Heart in 1985 however that this outfit really hit paydirt, a new strident mix of Metal, Melody and Classical motifs suddenly announcing that Accept had arrived.

Which brings us to 1986's "Russian Roulette" and this excellent Cherry Red reissue which finds the original ten RR tracks joined by a further three live efforts which can originally be found on the 1990 live album, Staying A Life.
By this stage the Accept sound was virtually set in stone, strafing riffs, tight beats and barking vocals strutting and posturing with a real sense of intent. There's little doubt that without this band, the German Power Metal scene would look very, very different these days.

"T.V. War" roars from the start taking no prisoners, while the catchy yet melodic follower "MonsterMan" it's a classic hymn with equally effective end results, before the atmospheric title track "Russian Roulette" showcases the mighty martial backing vocals this band did so well.
"It's Hard To Find A Way" is a KILLER (with capitals) mid-tempo melodic hard rocker with a pulsating rhythm, and next the massive "Aiming High" raises the bar even more, if that's possible.
If you need more quality hard rock, check the fantastic "Another Second To Be" and its massive pre-chorus/chorus. Or the superb vibe of "Walking In The Shadows".

Honoured by the time of its release by legendary Kerrang! Magazine with four and a half 'K stars', "Russian Roulette" is pure gold.
This excellent reissue from Cherry Red / HNE provides a full punchy sound that Accept music always needed with mastering courtesy of Andy Pearce, while adding excellent liner notes by Malcolm Dome which feature contributions from Kaufmann and Hoffmann, as well as vintage pictures and Tour booklet photos.

The three live tracks also add value, even if with them being not quite from the time of this album (they were recorded the year before "Russian Roulette" was released).
"Russian Roulette" never quite hit the commercial success that Metal Heart had for Accept, but as this reissue proves, it was every bit as powerful, memorable and hard hitting. It remains a must hear for Euro-Metal heads everywhere.

ACCEPT - Russian Roulette [Cherry Red remastered & expanded] back

As final statement, I must say that I love Accept's break-through album Balls To The Wall considered by most people as their best, but this "Russian Roulette" is their finest moment in my opinion.
This album combines like-no-other metallic edge with super slick melodies, catchy choruses and a clean, bright 1986 trademark production (the classic team Michael Wagener engineering & Bob Ludwig mastering) .
So if your ears are more Melodic Rock oriented and Accept are not part of your musical diet, please believe me and listen this album immediately. Remember; 1986 major production, and then tell me.
In this genre, a Masterpiece.

01 - T.V. War
02 - Monsterman
03 - Russian Roulette
04 - It's Hard To Find A Way
05 - Aiming High
06 - Heaven Is Hell
07 - Another Second To Be
08 - Walking In The Shadow
09 - Man Enough To Cry
10 - Stand Tight
11 - Neon Nights [Live]
12 - Burning [Live]
13 - Head Over Heels [Live]

Udo Dirkschneider – vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – guitars
Jörg Fischer – guitars
Peter Baltes – bass guitar
Stefan Kaufmann – drums



Friday, July 13, 2018

Backman Johanson And The Others (BJATO) - At Last (2018)

Backman Johanson And The Others (BJATO) - At Last (2018) full

"At Last" is the fascinating debut album released today by Backman Johanson And The Others (BJATO), a Swedish project inspired by classic AOR sounds. Created by experienced musicians Mats Johanson (guitars, keys and programming) and Kaj Backman (keys and programming), the record features class musicians and vocalists such as Göran Edman, Johan Boding, Frank Ådahl, Tomi Malm and many more.

Many years in the making - hence the title "At Last" - the album is a delicious collection of melodic songs carefully arranged, performed and produced. The motto here is Westcoast AOR, not so in the 'smooth side' of the genre but in its more dynamic spectrum. I would say 'melodic rock Westcoast'.
Think CWF Champlin - Williams - Friestedt, Street Talk, some TOTO, Tomi Malm recent album featured here (who also play keyboards), Talk Of The Town, Radioactive, etc.

There's not a weak moment here, all musicians involved - including some American like talented 6-string bass player Adam Nitti - are top notch, while the vocalist selection is terrific.
Of course there's the incredible Göran Edman on various tracks and it's great to hear the great Frank Ådahl recording again (his performance in 'I Don't Have the Heart' is simply awesome) however also some unknown to me which are a real find.

Take as example Regin Guttesen in 'I Guess You Already Know'; what a superb vocal tone and varied color, or Italian Maurizio Sorrone in the uptempo opener 'Cut and Paste'.
We have a smooth female singer - Gabby Gordon - in the midtempo 'Let You Know' (cool guitar work here as well), and there's also young blood here with Johan Boding of Sonic Station providing a strong performance in the atmospheric AOR of 'Shadow'.

Coming out of nowhere, Backman Johanson And The Others / BJATO debut "At Last" is one of the surprises of the year. This is top not material, mixing classic AOR with that unique Swedish touch and some Westcoast, but of the uptempo kind.
As said, all songs are great, a pure delight to the ears.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Cut and Paste (lead vocals Maurizio Sorrone)
02 - I Don't Have the Heart (lead vocals Frank Ådahl)
03 - Let You Know (lead vocals Gabby Gordon)
04 - Me and You Day (lead vocals Isak Widmark)
05 - Upside Down (lead vocals Frank Ådahl)
06 - Cruel When You're So Kind (lead vocals Göran Edman)
07 - I Guess You Already Know (lead vocals Regin Guttesen)
08 - This Kind of Love (lead vocals Robin Öhman)
09 - Shadow (lead vocals Johan Boding)
10 - Crossroad (lead vocals Göran Edman)
11 - What Will Be Will Be (lead vocals Göran Edman)
12 - Words Can't Say

Mats Johanson - All guitars, keys and programming
Kaj Backman - keys and programming

Frank Ådahl
Göran Edman
Gabby Gordon
Isak Widmark
Johan Boding
Maurizio Sorrone
Patrik Ahlm
Regin Guttesen
Robin Öhman

Håkan Hansson
Mikael Wikman
Rasmus Kihlberg
Scott Williamson

Adam Nitti
Lars-Erik Dahle
Mikael Engström
Thobias Gabrielsson

Tomi Malm



MYSTERY - Lies And Butterflies (2018)

MYSTERY - Lies And Butterflies (2018) full

A personal favorite Neo Prog band and also for this blog, Canadians MYSTERY will release their new album "Lies And Butterflies" tomorrow.
For a band that originated over thirty years ago and has seen the comings and goings of three lead singers and countless band members, Mystery retains one of the most consistent sounds of any progressive rock group.
So make no mistake, Mystery delivers the goods with each and every new release, and "Lies And Butterflies" is not the exception.

This album is not only focused to fans of modern progressive rock, but also to a more rocking audience. Beautiful melody lines, lush production, soaring lead vocals, impeccable instrumentation, inspired electric guitar solos… it’s all here.
Every album from this band is a polished work of art. Fans can know what to expect – and what NOT to expect – and these expectations are invariable met. Because one thing is definitely not a mystery about this band: the intelligence and consistency of their output.

New album "Lies and Butterflies" refuses to fly in the face of Mystery’s formula. Instead, it continues the band’s trajectory of sumptuous epics and shorter, hook-laden commercial prog singles.
At the album start we hear the cheers of the crowd and the farewell of the band leaving the stage… perhaps to return to the studio where Mystery continues to be “Looking for Something Else”. This opening piece is a clever start to the album, a slow burner that builds over its 17 minute journey, and bears some relation to the other epic which closes the album, “Chrysalis”, the two forming neat bookends between which are sandwiched five shorter pieces.

Those shorter 'song format' tunes, ranging from 5-8 minutes each, all have their strengths in memorable choruses, well thought-out song structures and prog-jam soloing sections.
Several could have radio-friendly potential, such as “Come to Me” which begins with simple acoustic patterns before capturing the listener with its enveloping chorus.
Even “Something to Believe In” nearly veers closely towards an anthemic chord progression which a band like Journey might use to sell thousands of copies.

Traditionally the bulk of Mystery’s songwriting comes from group leader and founder Michel St-Père. This album contains two notable exceptions: “Dare to Dream” penned by singer Jean Pageau and sporting a truly remarkable chorus; followed by one of the highlights of the album “Where Dreams Come Alive”, with Michel contributing the lyrics and the music being written by the group’s other guitarist Sylvain Moineau.
This latter song leads to one of the most thrilling guitar performances on the album, supported by an escalating chord progression.

MYSTERY - Lies And Butterflies (2018) inside

The centerpiece of the album however is the closer “Chrysalis”, which ties more directly into the album title. This fifteen minute epic includes a little more crunch than the rest of the album, which at this point is very welcome.
Unlike many bands who create long epics by stringing together shorter songs with minimal relation, Mystery excels at making these longer pieces flow organically with a natural rise and fall of dynamic expression. Both delicate and hard-edged, “Chrysalis” provides a satisfying conclusion to Mystery’s latest sonic creation.

Throughout "Lies and Butterflies" we are treated to three particularly noteworthy features via these three Mystery men: lead singer Jean Pageau’s gorgeous vocals, Michel St-Père’s flawless lead guitar solo sections, and drummer Jean-Sébastien Goyette’s fully embodied approach to the percussion which engages the listener on every tune.
Michel’s immaculate production highlights each of these elements and they are richly rewarding. The bass lines, backing vocals, acoustic guitars, and multitude of keyboards support the overall sonic experience which makes it very hard not to be swept up in the full majesty that is Mystery.

For all of these superlatives, the truth is that the same could be said about most any of Mystery’s last four studio albums, if not their entire catalog.
It may be very hard for a fan to pick out their favorite album or them, because the sound, musicianship and songwriting quality is so consistent. Therefore this album will be unlikely to convert any new fans who previously had no interest, and we also can’t give extremely high marks for originality compared to their previous output.
But for those who are already onboard the Mystery train – or as an entry point for newcomers – "Lies And Butterflies" reaches the sky and beyond.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Looking for Something Else
02 - Come to Me
03 - How Do You Feel ?
04 - Something to Believe In
05 - Dare to Dream
06 - Where Dreams Come Alive
07 - Chrysalis

Jean Pageau - lead vocals, flute, keyboards
Francois Fournier - bass, keyboards
Jean- Sebastien Goyette - drums
Sylvain Moineau - guitars, keyboards
Antoine Michaud - keyboards
Michel St-Pere - guitars, keyboards

Pre Order:


Thursday, July 12, 2018

GIOELI - CASTRONOVO - Set The World On Fire (2018)

BLACK ACES - Shot In The Dark [European CD version +3] (2016) full

Johnny Gioeli and Deen Castronovo first played together on the debut Hardline album, the classic Double Eclipse, which was released in 1992. Now 25 years after, the two were reunited again to work on the GIOELI - CASTRONOVO debut “Set The World On Fire”, to be released tomorrow.
Both musicians have continued on their musical paths since they last saw one another, with Gioeli commanding Hardline and as Axel Rudi Pell frontman, while Castronovo spent time with Ozzy Osbourne and had an extended tour of duty with the legendary Journey.
Castronovo is currently active with The Dead Daisies and Revolution Saints in addition to Gioeli-Castronovo.

Gioeli-Castronovo renewed their musical friendship in Italy via Frontiers Music, alongside guitarist Mario Percudani, bassist Nik Mazzucconi, and producer & keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio.
An explosion of quintessential melodic hard rock melodies reminiscent of Arena Rock icons Journey and of course Hardline, "Set The World On Fire" embodies a keyboard-driven, bright, passionate sound, reflecting back to the '80s and early '90s.

A prelude to their new endeavor, the first two singles, the dynamic call-to-action “Set The World on Fire ” and an easy smash hit, “Through”, story everything about Johnny and Deen coming full circle.
Track 3 “Who I Am” is an uptempo ballad about discovering how well you know someone. Charismatic “Fall Like An Angel” is an irresistible, larger than life, catchy ’80s style number that could easily be in a Rocky movie, with an unbridled array of flashy keyboard melodies, soaring vocals, and alluring tone to keep concert-goers on their feet.

Moving on, “It’s All About You” will never take you for granted before the unexpected cover of Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.” The pedal to the floor, on “Ride of Your Life,” Gioeli-Castronovo deliver the imperative tones and message which all great Arena Rock anthems host.
Thereafter, the ballads “Mother” and “Walk With Me” make way for the inspirational rocker “Run For Your Life.” Remembering promises made, the vibrant “Remember Me” speaks of memories gone, but not for long before the final track, “Let Me Out,” is an acoustic cry to be released from the chains of love.

GIOELI - CASTRONOVO - Set The World On Fire (2018) inside

A devastatingly wonderful debut, on "Set The World On Fire" Gioeli-Castronovo fearlessly composed one of the most impressive melodic hard rock releases of the year.
Much more than I expected - I mean, the album doesn't sound like a cookie-cutter or 'by numbers' collection of songs - and Del Vecchio's production is not 'more of the same'.

A blueprint for Arena Rock, "Set The World On Fire" exemplifies all the fiery elements needed to conjure up great Rock songs. Everything is done with attention to detail, from the sonically pleasing keyboard sound to the heartfelt lyrics, arresting guitar riffs, and the way Gioeli and Castronovo seamlessly trade off vocal duties.
Fans of the genre with that classic early Harline sound will be hooked instantly.

01 - Set the World on Fire
02 - Through
03 - Who I Am
04 - Fall Like an Angel
05 - It's All About You
06 - Need You Now
07 - Ride of Your Life
08 - Mother
09 - Walk with Me
10 - Run for Your Life
11 - Remember Me
12 - Let Me Out

Johnny Gioeli - vocals
Deen Castronovo - vocals, drums
Alessandro Del Vecchio - keyboards, backing vocals
Mario Percudani - guitar
Nik Mazzucconi - basss



TED POLEY - Modern Art (2018)

TED POLEY - Modern Art (2018) full

Danger Danger and Tokyo Motor Fist frontman TED POLEY will be releasing a new solo album titled "Modern Art" on July 30, 2018.
For this new record Poley wanted a new approach, and the backing band into the studio is no other than Swedes Degreed.

Indeed, "Modern Art" is Degreed with Ted Poley on lead vocals.
But while this is truly a Poley album (he has composed the songs), the Swedes brought a new sound to him, which is more modern, pretty much like Degreed's recent self-titled album.

There's a classy melodic rock line in opener New World', but in follower 'Bury Me' you barely notice this is Ted Poley singing. He's more Rock&pop - modern indeed - yet no less catchy. 'Out Of Control' adds some electronics in the background, however the chorus soars with a melodic rock pulse.

I really enjoyed the uptempo 'Gypsy At Heart' (some kind of Degreed meets H.E.A.T), while if you liked the last Brother Firetribe album, then 'Time' will do it for you.

TED POLEY - Modern Art (2018) back

Ted Poley has decided to record something different with his new solo album "Modern Art": not repeat himself and try a new musical horizon.
For the most part, it works, mostly because having Degreed as backing band is guarantee of good musicianship and these guys know what this kind of 'modern melodic rock' is all about.
Fans of the aforementioned bands will dig this CD immediately, while old-school Danger Danger followers need to open their minds and try it. It's 2018 folks.
Strongly Recommended

01 - New World
02 - Bury Me
03 - Out Of Control
04 - Gypsy At Heart
05 - Running For The Light
06 - What Kind Of Love
07 - Time
08 - Devil To My Angel
09 - Find Another Man
10 - I Know A Liar
11 - Wilderness

Ted Poley vocals
Daniel Johansson - guitar
Mats Eriksson - drums, percussion
Robin Eriksson - bass, co-lead vocals On "Wilderness"
Mikael Jansson - keyboards



MR. BIG - Live From Milan (2018)

MR. BIG - Live From Milan (2018) full

Following the release of their 2017 album, 'Defying Gravity', MR. BIG set out on a tour that took them all over the world to promote the new release in a live setting. "Live From Milan" documents it. Anyone who has ever had the distinct pleasure of seeing the band live knows that the virtuoso musicianship and incredible vocals are on full display in this setting.

By this time, drummer Pat Torpey's battle with Parkinson's Disease had been made public, but Pat toured with the band regardless and sat behind the drum kit for select songs, while also providing background vocals, tambourine, etc. on other tracks when Matt Starr was taking his turn on the kit.
Sadly, this was one of Pat Torpey's last performances with the band as he passed away from complications due to Parkinson's in early 2018.

Kicking off with the frantic trio of “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy”, “American Beauty” and “Undertow” was a smart move to get the crowd worked up. Slower numbers like “Alive and Kickin’”, “Just Take My Heart” and the acoustic “Damn I’m In Love Again” are just as well received, and Eric Martin hardly had to ask for the crow to join the choruses.
Other live staples such as “To Be With You” and “Wild World”, although a bit worn out through time, get fresh renditions here. And on “Around the World”, Billy and Paul’s dexterity is tested to the max with a guitar-bass unison that would give any prog-metal band a run for its money.

Matt Star does a tremendous job replacing Pat, and while he added his flare to some of the tracks here, he wisely chose to respect the original beats of “Take Cover” and “Temperamental”.
The distinctive backing vocals of Billy and Paul shine throughout, and provide support to Eric’s velvety tone. While his voice does show signs of wear and tear on certain tracks, he still delivers.
And it’s worth noting that newer songs like “Everybody Needs a Little Trouble” and “1992” as just as well received as live staples such as “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind” or “Addicted To That Rush”.

Set closers “Colorado Bulldog” and “Defying Gravity” are appropriate sendoffs and a perfect farewell for a band that deserves all praise and more, if not just by the songs and performance, but also by the respect and reverence with which they addressed Pat’s illness.
Gratitude is a rare feat in the music business, and Mr. Big made it clear they wouldn’t leave Pat behind. As a unity, they made the point that the four core members would stay together until the end, and kept their word throughout.
Great band, great recording.
Highly Recommended

Disc 1:
01 - Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (Live)
02 - American Beauty (Live)
03 - Undertow (Live)
04 - Alive and Kickin' (Live)
05 - Temperamental (Live)
06 - Just Take My Heart (Live)
07 - Take Cover (Live)
08 - Green-Tinted Sixties Mind (Live)
09 - Everybody Needs a Little Trouble (Live)
10 - Price You Gotta Pay (Live)
11 - Paul's Solo (Live)
12 - Open Your Eyes (Live)
13 - Wild World (Live)
14 - Damn I'm in Love Again (Live)

Disc 2:
01 - Rock and Roll Over (Live)
02 - Around the World (Live)
03 - Billy's Solo (Live)
04 - Addicted to That Rush (Live)
05 - To Be with You (Live)
06 - 1992 (Live)
07 - Colorado Bulldog (Live)
08 - Defying Gravity (Live)

Eric Martin: Lead Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Paul Gilbert: Guitar & Vocals
Billy Sheehan: Bass & Vocals
Pat Torpey: Drums, Percussion & Vocals
Matt Starr: Drums & Vocals



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