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Quick Play: A round-up of June 2009 album releases

We've listed albums in order of star rating. Best first.

FAB BOX  Music From The Fab Box (2009)

Fab Box is an Italian duo Massimo Bozzi and Fabrizio Ugolini, who have created an album of classy West Coast AOR/pop tunes.

There is a well known guest, Fabrizio Grossi, although he’s better known for his work with Frontiers Records. Although not normally a big fan of West Coast music which can become to laid back even for my tastes Fab Box add some uptempo pop rock moments like ‘Tell Her I’m Alright’ and ‘Let Me Try’ to give the album some musical variety.

The arrangements on here are first class with synths used nicely throughout and the band produce some classy acoustic based songs such as ‘You Are The One’, which is re-recorded in the band’s native Italian as ‘Eres Mi Vida’ with guest Francis Benitez.

A very accomplished and enjoyable album of West Coast AOR and pop tunes and produced to a very high standard. Definitely of interest to fans of Richard Marx, Mr Mister and Joseph Williams (the former Toto singer). ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

ODIN The Best Of (Perris)

We have a feature on the weekly 'Assume The Position' radio show 'The Roots of Hair Metal' and just when you thought you had the genre covered, a  band appears that have their beginnings in the 1980s but are not exactly familiar in the pantheon of inflated hair rock.

Odin originated on Hollywood's 'Sunset Strip' and seemed to spend most of their time supporting acts such as Warrant and Dokken. This best of is culled from the band's debut EP in 1985, a Japan-only album released in 1992, a 1983 rarity, and the more recent 'Let The Show Begin'.

Musically, this melds the urgency of eighties Judas Priest with the balls of Accept or Ratt. With 'Steel Panther' spinning a back-story as a long-forgotten eighties metal band, much like Spinal Tap, there may yet be a place for Odin, at least in terms of genuine authenticity. ***½

Review by David Randall

SPIRITS BURNING Out Best Trips 1998-2008 (Voiceprint )

The idea was, in 1998, to bring together space rock and prog musicians to create new music. With 55 involved en route, and a few CDs later, we get this compilation.

Daevid Allen (Gong), Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and ex Hawk’s Simon House, Alan Davey, Richard Chadwick, along with Michael Moorcock and even samples of Robert Calvert. Loads more too.

The music is what you’d expect from such a project; hard edged space rock, effects, readings, guitars, the complete works. From Hawkwind to PT, there’s the odd nod at 80s Eloy too. Allen is as irrelevant as ever too.

One for space rockers only, but still pretty fun. Some good moments, but for most this is as good as it’ll get, the individual albums may be too much hard work.

12 classics and 3 previously unreleased tracks, any spirit of the age will enjoy. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

White Flames Records / Voiceprint

Best known (perhaps a little unfairly) for his stint in Think Lizzy and “Birds Of Paradise” solo hit, guitarist Snowy White has returned to his first love, the blues.

This debut album (the project name says it all, really) features some smooth and fine music, with he and fellow guitarist Matt Taylor sharing vocals. Opener “Rolling With My Baby” is an uptempo number, followed by Leadbetter’s “Good Morning Blues”. The latter features a solid if typical blues rhythm, and the twin guitar interplay is good.

The overall feel is soft, gentle, almost bar room blues. There is some good solid guitar work (ferocious on occasion), some good searing solos, and songs slow and fast, but this is slightly more Nicky Moore than Gary Moore.

Definitely one for the blues fan rather than the Thin Lizzy fan. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin


Formed by members of the Hellacopters and the Diamond Dogs, this debut album also features a selection of guests including Brian Robertson (ex-Motorhead/Thin Lizzy) and Nicke Andersson (ex-the Hellacopters). But don't go expecting an album sounding like a cross between the Hellacopters and Diamond Dogs as the Bitter Twins have a much more eclectic sound. This ranges from the Clash like 'Riot Club' through to some reaggae/ska tinged numbers such as 'Right This Time'. They also reminded me of Hard-Fi due to their knack of adding a pop edge to ska and punk elements.

Excellent production values and much of the music on here could easily be lifted as a single release; the title track is most probably the most instant hit.

Strong debut showing which bodes well for this band's future and with such a myriad of musical styles covered on this album they haven't confined themselves to one genre for the rest of their career. ***½

Review by Jason Ritchie

JOLLY Forty Six Minutes, Twelve Seconds of Music ProgRock Records

A four piece band from New York who at first listen are maybe not what you’d expect on the ProgRock Records label but listen closely and you can tell Jolly are fans of Porcupine Tree and Blackfield.

Jolly have created an album of mixed musical styles from the double bass drum metal attack on ‘Escape From DS-3’ through to the more spacey, laid back feel of ‘Inside The Womb’. Unlike Blackfield though Jolly don’t have any songs that jump out at the listener on first hearing although ‘Downstream’ has a memorable chorus. ‘Solstice’ hints at latter day Radiohead with guitar playing that keeps you listening attentively yet never detracts from the song’s overall sound.

Top notch production throughout making for an enjoyable album that will appeal to those who enjoy the more modern end of progressive rock music. ***½

Review by Jason Ritchie

TONK Sister Switchblade

A very retro sound here - updated for the 21st century. There's a distinct sleaze sound with an indie edge; think 80s sleaze a la Hanoi Rocks but much more mainstream trad metal. Yes it's blistering, with a hint of blues metal in there.

There are some big guitar sounds, especially in the song endings, a strong touch of AC/DC there, but much more extreme. The first break from this is 'Libertine' with a moodier indie metal opening. Even so, it's rifftastic. The intro to the album's title track will see Motley Crue and AC/DC fans uniting in their headbanging.

It's a little samey, but a lot of fun. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

THE VIBES Whiskey, Sex & Rock'n'Roll

Blues rock 3 piece from Switzerland, and pretty good it is too. Boogie, Southern and Hard rock with a touch of sleaze, all in equal measure.

The first few numbers, including the excellent title track, are bluesy, and even when they shift into straight rock'n'roll or hard rock, it's fuzzy and dirty. 'Smokin' Ace' could be a cross between Hanoi Rocks and On Parole era Motorhead.

There's an indie rock'n'roll energy to this band, even on over fuzzed tracks like 'Devil's Nipples', and the organ use here is good.

The cleaner moments show you how good the guitar is, but the roughness of a gravelly whiskey is what dominates. 'Whiskey Flavoured Love' and 'Whiskey'n'Bones' give you the idea there.

Well worth a listen. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

TONK Sister Switchblade

A very retro sound here – updated for the 21st century. There’s a distinct sleaze sound with an indie edge; think 80s sleaze a la Hanoi Rocks but much more mainstream trad metal. Yes it’s blistering, with a hint of blues metal in there.

There are some big guitar sounds, especially in the song endings, a strong touch of AC/DC there, but much more extreme. The first break from this is “Libertine” with a moodier indie metal opening. Even so, it’s rifftastic. The intro to the album’s title track will see Motley Crue and AC/DC fans uniting in their headbanging.

It’s a little samey, but a lot of fun. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

CORKY LAING Stick It (2CD) (Voiceprint)

Interesting release this, and one for fans for sure.

Corky Laing is a Canadian drummer who found fame with Leslie West in Mountain, and briefly West Bruce & Laing. Since starting recording in the late 60s, he's been around every block there is. So on this, what is effectively an audio book, he's got a few stories to tell.

Here, Corky narrates you through his career, from recording with the Inkspots, to receiving 2 gold discs from performances at Woodstock, a gig he wasn't even at.

One was with Ten Years After, whose drum mic had broken and needed to be hastily overdubbed live in the studio for the record release. Then there's the blag to get in to see John and Yoko and bricking himself because the French journo in front of him really pissed off Lennon.

There's a plethora of stories from the studio and on the road, and the odd joke too, which Laing himself tells you, with a backdrop of relevant live music.

If you're fan of either Mountain, drummers, or the rock'n'roll lifestyle, you'll get something out of this. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

THE JOKERS The Big Rock & Roll Show (Cargo)

Mixed by the revered Vancouver based Mike Fraser (of AC/DC fame), 'The Big Rock & Roll Show' is everything it promises to be. The Jokers join a myriad of recent classic rock inspired bands from all over the UK. 'The Big Rock & Roll Show' is a lot of fun and there are numerous influences and comparisons to make from Led Zeppelin to KISS to AC/DC to Cream.

The band is singer Wane Parry, guitarist Paul Hurst, bassist Simon Hurst and drummer Chris Bate. The Rolling Stones inspired 'Star Raver' is one of the albums catchiest songs and 'Shake' has a razor sharp riff that is impressive. But as predicted, the songs are not entirely original but that doesn't stop the album from being a blast. If you want some good time rock and roll this is the place to go. It's a lotta fun. *** ½

Review by Neil Daniels

SONDURA Live Before You Die

Debut album from this young London based four piece. The name translates as Hard Sound (which it is) – two of the band grew up in Portugal not far from Steve Harris’ bar. The sound itself is a very rough and tough metal, the guitar fuzzy and slightly distorted a la punk, but with very trad metal and early (80s) thrash feel. This metal is akin to smacking you in the face with a sledgehammer while listening to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

There is an indie rock innocence mixed with a Metallica professionalism, and at times the guitar takes a sleaze sound which stands out well. The vocals are good, strong, this band have clearly been around long enough to know what they are doing.

One or two songs are a little slower, more melodic, think a less commercial version of “Nothing Else Matters”

The band’s place on the Guitar Hero tour is well deserved. My only gripe is the consistently over harsh guitar sound.  ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

AFTER THE FIRE Radio Sessions 1979-81 (Angel Air)

Angel Air have brought the usual care and attention to the release of a live compilation set by After The Fire as they have with other artists' releases. Commonly known as ATF, their style of music is a peculiar yet catchy style of pop and rock with nods to seventies prog which was the era they formed in.

The usually reliable sleeve notes by Joe Geesin explains that like any other band, radio sessions gave ATF a chance to play their music to a small audience of dedicated fans and to show off their talents as live musicians. This set documents three radio sessions - 1979, 1980 and 1980 - over the course of 19 tracks on one single disc. The sound quality is surprisingly consistent and the songs are hugely likeable with lots of pomp and nifty keyboard riffs. It is a welcome release to any fans collection. ***

Review by Neil Daniels

E.Z.RIDERS Experienced Zydeco Riders

Three piece blues rock with a southern tinge, the album kicks off with the catchy 'Real Good Love', a strong boogie number. 'Witchy Woman' opens with some harsh slide guitar that takes you back to early 70s Nazareth, the main number has influences of Rick Derringer and Pat Travers. That's no bad thing, really.

Other tracks, while good, are smooth and lack that fire. The vocals are good, and when the guitar breaks loose there are some very good moments and intricate solos.

'I Wish I Could Be Free' has an uptempo country blues feel, the rhythms are good and guitar stands out.

'I Do As I Please' is back to the boogie, something the band do pretty well. The bass holds the boogie well while the guitar solos. Decent stuff, if a little muddy in sound.

Enjoyable, should do well. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

EL DOG The Lamps Of Terrahead

El Dog are a Glasgow 4 piece who deliver post rock cinematic short films for your ears (apparently).

Actually, it's not quite as barking as that, and what this Scottish act have cleverly done is assimilate the best bits of fellow countrymen such as Biffy Clyro's angular staccato rhythms, the melodies of the likes of Travis , Snow Patrol and Deacon Blue, and a nice line in Scottish tainted vocals.

Which, it has to be said, is not a bad formula and a pretty good place to be. And while El Dog may not have the polish and pedigree of some of their illustrious predecessors (yet), The Lamps Of Terrahead is a rather impressive debut. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

CHRIS THOMPSON Live (Voiceprint)

Perhaps best known for fronting Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Thompson has been recording solo for a while now and song writing too. Remember John Farnham's 'You're The Voice'? Well that was Thompson. And it's on here too.

The set opens with the recent 'Wasting Time', and although a decent number the first thing to strike you is the poor sound quality, the vocals are way down. 'Hot Summer Nights' is a catchy melodic number with a decent guitar solo. 'Redemption' is a quieter song that highlights Thomson's vocals.

Songs from across his career, old and new, including 'Mighty Quinn', 'Davy's On The Road Again' and 'For You', all get the crowd going.

Many of the songs are middle of the road 80s AOR / power pop/rock. Some good moments, but the poor sound quality is a let down. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

MY PASSION Corporate Flesh Party

This indie-extreme metal done with a very DIY ethos, mixes driving rhythms and distorted guitar with electronic moments and screams and melodies. Any band starting My seems to have a dark edge, somewhere between death and gothic. When they go all out goth metal, it's like nailing screws into your head. Even with electronic layers, it's ok, but the bursts of almost pure electronica are just annoying. It is grungy in that respect.

Powerful, punchy, headache inducing. The bass/drums driving sections stand out, but it is pretty intense.

One electronic intro does sound like a new romantic band whose drum machine is epileptically fitting, but the screamed female vocals and crunching female vocals soon put you straight. Or is that put you straight off?

Catchy, noise, melodic, annoying, all in one. ***

Review by Joe Geesin


Formed in 2007, Little Sister are a German (English singing) 'eclectic noise' outfit.

Recorded in a rehearsal room in Leipzig's industrial area, the album has a wonderfully under rehearsed and moody feel moving effortlessly from acoustic rock, to Hendrix influenced blues and heavy rock in easy gear shifts.

It reminded me of those days in the late sixties and early 70's when groups like The Groundhogs were serving up 'authentic' blues / rock. But Little Sister have absorbed much of what has come (and gone). Certainly, the cartoon album cover gives no hint of the dark content within.

In particular Daniel Splitts vocals are evocative (in a Coverdale slow blues sort of way) and when the band get into a slow groove - such as on That Simple - they're mighty impressive. But there are two sides to Little Sister - the more relaxed and flowing melodies, and the 'turn it to 11' bludgeoning heavy blues rock.

It's a bit like living with the Glenn Close 'bunny boiler' character in Fatal Attraction - seduced one moment, balls in a vice the next.

But then, at times the band just go 'pop' (I Won't Go), or blues (Don't Leave). It's all a bit confusing, and I was left wondering what the ban's target audience is. But for those who like a mix of acoustic melody, angst and heavy blues rock (for example, Foo Fighters) you could do a lot worse than check out Yuri's Little Sister. ***

Review by Pete Whalley


Due to open for Suzanne Vega in August, Christina Courtin is New York singer songwriter in the mould of Vega or Joni Mitchell, but her eponymous debut album from bears an astonishing similarly in song structure, delivery and 'feel' to Lisa Hannigan's recently released debut, Sea Sew.

Sharing co production duties with jazz bassist Greg Cohen and singer / guitarist Ryan Scott, Courtin is joined by a number of acclaimed musicians including Benmont Tench on keyboards and Jim Keltner on drums, as well as Greg Leisz on pedal steel, Gabe Witcher on violin and Jon Brion on lots of things.

Like Sea Sew, Christina's debut is a relaxed and gentle affair - beautifully played and recorded, with some lovely violin and cello work. Even the vocals are not dissimilar in style, although Christina does veer, on more than one occasion veer more towards Norah Jones territory.

To my mind Sea Sew is the more commercial of the two albums, but if you like one, there's a strong chance you're going to like the other. An album for quiet reflection, that requires repeated listens for real appreciation. And the girl even likes to include the odd Zeppelin cover in her set list! ***

Review by Pete Whalley

PEGATAUR Eternal Flight (For Once Records)

Classic rock with a doom metal and occasional punk edge. A duo, guitar and drums, which is normally a turn off. But here they make the effort to play, not just to annoy.

This debut set opens with 'The Dual Becoming', which is solid, the overdubbing producing some nice guitar layering, some decent riffs. The guitar work is also great on 'Lesser Bow Of The Herdsmen', the constantly crashing drums making for a very full sound.

'Terror Arrow' has a more doom feel to it.

There is some great guitar work throughout, some good solos and riffs, but the album does suffer from only having 2 instruments (now matter how much noise they make) and from no vocals. Because of that, it's very limiting, but it could have been a whole lot worse. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

MAD LEE RIOT Terra In Cognito

Debut album by a young Swedish indie rock band who have a few decent songs on here. They reminded me a lot of the Pixies minus Frank Black in full screaming mode and ‘The Gorilla’ is a perfect example. Nice guitar sound, strong melody and a tune that will appeal outside of the alternative rock audience.

The album does have some typical indie rock fare though – you know you hear it once, think that tune is quite catchy and then completely forget the name of the song and the band. Fans of Britney Spears will be shocked at the band’s overhaul of ‘Toxic’ but needless to say this version is streets ahead.

Not bad but very much a case of déjà vu in you have heard it all before… ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

PERCY HOWARD'S MERIDIEM A Pleasant Fiction (Voiceprint)

Percy Howard has worked with some big names, and the Meridiem project is pretty eclectic to say the least. This 2004 album gets a repackage, and features Living Colour's Vernon Reid and Guns'n'Roses' Buckethead among the plethora of guests.

Opener 'The Girl On The Back Of The Motorcycle' is experimental hard rock with some female spoken vocals. 'Melting' is, by contrast, more whimsical and hints at acoustic.

'The East' is a funky number and has a moody feel and some guitar effects that are pretty heavy.

There is a wide range of influences on the album, all with an eclectic touch, experimental in places, and some interesting rhythms too. This doesn't always make for the easiest of listening. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

Mascot Records

Andreas is the guitarist with Sepultura, having started off as their roadie. He was responsible for bringing a more progressive sound to the band, so as you can imagine a solo album on Mascot is going to be a little more experimental.

There are plenty of extreme moments and touches of shred, but the album also moves in progressive, experimental and alternative circles. Occasional vocals, keyboards and a looped intro break things up, and the Brazilian sounding rhythms on a few tracks.

While disc 1 was powerful electric, disc 2 is acoustic. Acoustic from the Sepultura guitarist? I know.

The guitar interplay is good, at times adding a touch of flamenco, or in the case of the horns on '0220', a touch of festive hit.

There are some good moments on both discs, but I found it very hard to get into. Some good ideas, but the excellent work moves in pedestrian circles at times, and gratingly (like 90s King Crimson) at others. Despite the lavish packaging, a strong case for a 2 discs being edited down to 1. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

MATT MALLEY The Goddess Within (Voiceprint)

Originally the bassist with Counting Crows, Malley left the band in December 2004 and has spent time building a recording studio and recording, amongst other projects. This new solo album has been a few years in the making and sees Malley perform pretty much everything.

The main direction is indie pop meets hard rock, with plenty of acoustic strumming, vocal harmonies, folk rock and heavier moments. Opener 'Our Queen' is a vocal number which doesn't get things off to a good start. But 'Into The Silence' is a decent number that nods at Oasis and mixes acoustic and electric guitars. 'Hanging On A Star' is a piano/vocal number, a Nick Drake cover.

It seems that Malley has decided to juggle guitar, bass, piano and drums (sometimes all at the same time) and take his pop/rock in a melodic singer/songwriter direction. The rockier stuff is actually pretty good, the lighter material has its moments but is a little samey. **½

Review by Joe Geesin


The PR for this Finnish band was particularly oblique - the band's first release since their debut single in 2007.

Composed between 1995 and 2008 (not exactly prolific then?) the current line up has, at least, been static since 2007. And a revelation - according the band's PR - their music varies from straight forward to complex! And based on melodies!

They do the band an injustice - The Open Space Of Imagination is a pretty decent up tempo prog rock, OK, Shadowland has hints of Abba (but so do some pretty decent UK prog bands), and throughout the band acquit themselves more than admirably in terms of musicianship, vocals and basic song structure.

But what's most lacking is some decent production and mixing. The sound is (sorry guys) thin and weedy, and at times the band are just a little over eager. Put someone with a few stripes in the production chair, and Scythe Of Orion could have a big future. In the meantime, file under 'work in progress'. **½

Review by Pete Whalley

SPANK Get Bent

This North Carolina quartet produce some decent hard rock. This new album is good, the opening track 'Turkey Leg' mixing blues metal with Smashing Pumpkins.

There's some decent riffs and vocal harmonies here, the rhythms somewhere between driving and plodding. The trad metal is good, but the odd ventures into alternative metal don't work. The moments of country metal are a nice and different touch though.

Nothing actually bad here, but it's something I personally found non gripping. **½

Review by Joe Geesin


Passive Aggressives - a conflict in terms. But with their PR promising echoes of Heart and Evanescence, I was expecting some decent female fronted rock. Alas, nowhere near.

No melodic rock, and no sultry, sexy or scorching vocals. Instead, imagine a kook like Ani Difranco locked in a room with no windows for a week with Jack White. You can almost guarantee there would be no conflict resolution, but what may well emerge would be a collection of quirky and off the wall songs like these.

Vocalist Keren Gaiser has a sexy set of singer songwriter pipes (as opposed to rock chic) and the band deliver some sweet sounding al pop / rock, but just when you're beginning to enjoy the vibe they go and put their foot in it with some off kilter Zappa-esque rhythms and time changes, animal noises, grunts or just breaking some bottles.

A bizarre cover of The Turtles' Happy Together only adds to the confusion - but hints towards the band's influences - with the whole adding up to no resolution. You suspect that if The Passive Aggressives took just a tiny step towards the mainstream, they could well hit paydirt, big time. But Conflict Resolution is neither fish nor fowl. Barking. **½

Review by Pete Whalley

JOY FOCUS Cyber Suburban Electro Rock Circus

Multi instrumentalist Rikk Currence (drums, guitars, bass, keys, and just about everything) teams up with vocalist Holly Joy to serve up eight tracks of pop / rock that nod (on more than one occasion) to the Jim Steinman school of song writing.

Formed in 2001, the band (?) have recorded three independent albums melding big drums, catchy synths, classic riffs and some big vocal performances. It reminded me of those heady days in the nineties when record fairs would have a plentiful supply of 'cut-outs' - interesting non mainstream material allegedly shipped as ballast on cross Atlantic shipping.

There was always something of interest, and some hidden gems. Which category Joy Focus fall into, I'm still undecided. Holly's 'little girl' vocals are distinctive and endearing, but perhaps not the strongest in the world, and while the songs are derivative if any single track came on the radio, you'd not be inclined to switch channel. The problem is, neither would you be inclined to stop off at HMV for a compulsory purchase, either.

A cover of The Eurythmics Here Comes The Rain Again, sums up the band's target audience, and Joy Focus do the song justice. But it doesn't add to the original, and covering an Annie Lennox vocal, probably isn't the wisest career move. **½

Review by Pete Whalley

BAYONETS Wishes & Wishes

Hereford's Bayonets launch their eight track post punk debut with We Wish These Snakes Were Your Arms - a mass of guitars, pounding beats, big shouty vocals and big melodies. It reminded me of a million and one post punk Glastonbury side show acts.

But two tracks in - The Battle Of Head and Heart - and I began to wonder if there might just be more to Bayonets. On that track there's some lovely angular riff work (think Biffy Clyro) and the band demonstrate a diversity many Glastonbury pretenders will fail to match.

The rest of the set is pretty raw, but there's enough interspersed shades of melody and colour here to suggest Bayonets could have the credentials to stand out from the angry crowd. Promising, in a beer, wellies and mud fight sort of way. **½

Review by Pete Whalley

EDGEHILL AVENUE Rambler (Departure Records)

Smooth rock'n'roll that mixes acoustic and blues and hard rock, and heavy on the organ chords.

From the outset, it's the big sound and alt-country, with a nod at Allman Brothers, Black Crows and their ilk. Searing guitar, cheesy big organ sounds, hints of AOR. The title track opens and could be a solid bluesy country ballad.

The twin guitar works well in the main, and occasionally drifts into west coast country rock of the Eagles, but is always on the southern side of that.

The vocals are often deep and smooth, think Crash Test Dummies.

All rather too acoustic and alt-country for my liking, even the uptempo numbers. Some good moments, but this is at the coffee table end of blues rock. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

ANDREA BARONI 'Traces Of Humanity'

Andrea Baroni is the keyboards player in prog metal band Icycore and this is his fourth solo release. The album is a concept album of 'an imaginary journey through the wasteland, a devastated Earth, where only a few traces of the extinguished humanity are left.'

All the keys, synths, piano and samples are played by Andrea with vocals provided by Valentina Iacopinelli. This album will have a limited appeal though as it delves into many musical areas including New Age, trance and electronica and the vocal led songs like 'Across' and 'The Spire' are the pick of the album. Musically fine but for my own personal taste not an album I will be playing again. **½

Review by Jason Ritchie


Alternative rock band who sound like the Alarm in parts and indeed lyrically, as many of there songs are protest ones such as ‘Riot In The City’ and ‘Burn It Down’, two of the more enjoyable songs on here.

They can pen a decent tune or two although ‘Wait For The Weekend’ sounds very similar to the Hard-Fi song with the similar title and ‘Shotgun’ reminded me of the Specials.

Not a bad album overall but it lacks any real standout songs and there are plenty of pop punk bands out there already so it's hard to see how this band will get themselves more widely known and heard. **½

Review by Jason Ritchie

CUTAWAYS Earth And Earthly Things

Guitar led indie pop that is at the heavy end of Radio 1, mixing in singer / song writer with jangly guitar, shouty boy / girl vocals. All very trebly, punchy and annoying.

The opening 'Milo Of Kroton', also a single, is typical. Grooves, melodies, mid range irritation jangliness, programming.

A few tracks have (just enough) melody and energy and guitar to keep the interest, but it's all very samey, and soon becomes unbearable. After 1 track I thought 'OK'. After two and a half tracks I could barely listen to any more. **

Review by Joe Geesin

FRANKY DEE If I Had A Fortune

Self-released CD from a New York based musician. The production sounds very shallow in places which is to be expected I guess on a minimal budget and also the vocals sound processed but that maybe just his vocal style.

There is a name guest on here, namely Limp Bizkit mainman Fred Durst who adds a cringeworthy rap on ‘Sexy Dancer’.

The ballad ‘When You Find Someone’ has Dee in his Steve Perry mode and is the best original song on the album. Three covers on this album as well, including a fairly average stab at the Journey classic ‘Anyway You Want It’, a guitarist who needs lessons on restraint on Queen’s ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ and the pick of the covers ‘Spirit In The Sky’.

Full marks for having a go but there is little on here to grab the listener and I doubt even Limp Bizkit fans would enjoy the contrived ‘Sexy Dancer’ much. **

Review by Jason Ritchie


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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