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Quick Play: A round-up of August 2007 album releases

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

VARIOUS Your Time Is Gonna Come The Root s Of Led Zeppelin (Sanctuary)

In short, pre Led Zeppelin appearances, solo or session, by Led Zeppelin members.

Largely 60s pop, psych, blues and r'n'b. An interesting insight or an excuse for a 60s compilation? You decide.

The set opens with a 1964 John Paul Jones single, a rarity but not great, then there's the skiffle / freakbeat of Carter Lewis featuring Jimmy Page, who also turned up with the Kinks.

Also of note are tracks by Jimmy Page, Donovan, Marc Bolan, Yardbirds and Screaming Lord Such.

Most of the work here features JPJ and Page, but Plant does turn up on a Chris Farlowe track, and all four appear with PJ Proby.

For 60s intriguists or Zep collectors really. Interesting though. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

MARTIN SEXTON Seeds Kitchen Table Records (2007)

Singer/songwriter but that never does an artists justice like Martin Sexton. He covers many musical bases through this varied album, which actually gets stronger song wise as it progresses.

Picking highlights they would include 'Still Think about You' where its is just a vocal and guitar, plus 'How Far I've Come' which has Nils Lofgren guesting on lap steel and accordion. 'Marry Me' and 'Happy' could both garner a lot of airplay if given the chance.

All in all a very enjoyable listen and certainly worth checking out. ***½

Review by Jason Ritchie

BOLTDOWN Omnicide (Hangmans Joke Recordings)

Newcastle extreme metal with guitar and vocals equally rough. A real sonic assault on opener 'Dead Lock', a decent rhythm too.

'Blind Faith' opens with an excellent riff; shame about the shouted growling. But half way through the guitar becomes jangly and grating. I skipped on from that quickly. You can't play such an annoying mistake accidently.

From then on it's fairly ordinary thrash. Not typical, not bad, just nothing outstand. Reasonably good if uninspiring. Will no doubt attract young metal heads, but really not for me. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

VENDETTA Tyranny Of Minority Lion Music (2007)

A classic metal band formed by guitarist/vocalist Edward Box (he's released a couple of solo albums also on Lion Music).

The line-up is completed by Gary Foalie (bass), Pete Thompson (guitar) and Chris Higgins (drums). It is an enjoyable classic metal album with the environmentally themed 'Red Skies' and 'I Executioner' standing out from the rest of the album. Where it fails slightly is that although the songs are well played and produced (nice clear and crisp sound throughout) they lack a memorable hook which bands like Judas Priest and Saxon do with ease.

Hardly essential but certainly worthy of a listen and streets ahead of fellow British metal bands like Marshall Law. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

THE MAPLE ROOM A Glimpse Of The Inside

Kinda grungy, with the fluctuation between extreme metal unnecessary tuneless noise and more whimsical lighter parts.

Some melodies are there, when the guitar picks up in the non extreme moments there's a hint of Iron Maiden. But why destroy the coherence with bursts of industrial noise?

The singing and screams require two vocalists, it's like advertising you are bringing in someone to fuck things up.

If you can bear the vocals, 'Pay As You Earn' opens with a decent heavy riff, and 'Bullet Proof Near You' also features some excellent guitar work.

Some really good moments but I can only skip so much before I hit eject. **

Review by Joe Geesin


Based round the talents of Italian musician Claudio Scurati, this is a blend of rock and pop that mixes Floyd and Zeppelin with Muse, Cure and Joy Division.

An odd mixture? Well, yes, and it often leaves you asking what is it or where is it going? Don't ask me, I haven't a clue. Some decent melodies, and some decent rhythms, but they don't always work together. Gothic prog pop/rock? Add in Euro pop too.

From interesting/intriguing experimental to lift music and just plain disjointed/angling to the point of being annoying.

I strongly suggest a listen before you commit. But after a CD of this you may commit many things.

Maybe I'm being unduly harsh, but I really couldn't get on with this. **

Review by Joe Geesin


Caro appears to be a project under the guidance of Suffolk based song-writer/producer Phil Harding who it seems has discovered the talents of Charlie Batchelor and she takes the spotlight on this album despite Harding having a hand in writing six of the songs.

Now I have to admit to hearing of neither before receiving this for review and a bit of online fact finding leads me to find a fair bit of flak being thrown Ms. Batchelor's way in particular for her part on this album.

To my ears though she isn't the problem. On occasion, for instance the distinctly K.T. Tunstall like "You Don't Know Me" there is a hint that maybe with the right material, at the right time she, and therefore I guess Caro as a whole, could appeal to a wider audience.

No, the issue for me is that the Celtic flavoured pop on offer here just isn't memorable enough and despite numerous plays now little of the ten tracks on offer have stuck in my head. Even a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" fails to lift the bar.

I'll be the first to offer a disclaimer that there are not actually too many albums by female lead vocalists in my music collection, however the likes of PJ Harvey, Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow have secured repeated attention in the past therefore I don't rate myself totally averse to a female voice. It's possible that in the right mood maybe more of this album would strike a chord but, with a definite feeling that maybe this disc has gone to the wrong reviewer, I have to say this failed to excite or interest me much.

On a positive note though there are four tracks to sample at their myspace page and the album retails for just a fiver so you might be best advised to check it out for yourself, particularly if female fronted, celtic flavoured pop holds some appeal. **

Review by Bill Leslie

THE CITADEL Brothers Of Grief GMR

There are a lot of progressive metal bands out there now, possibly too many for fans to keep up with. The Citadel are one that play very good music but boy does the music cry out for a more powerful vocalist.

Jonas Radehorn has a distinctive whine to his voice which personally for me grates on the old ears and sadly that's why I can't see me playing this CD again. That said 'The Creeper' is a song well worth downloading with aggressive guitar and atmospheric backing.

If you like prog metal by all means try this band as they are certainly competent musically its just the vocals that turn me off this album. **

Review by Jason Ritchie


I always try and find a positive in any CD I review as there is always something that garbs your attention but sometimes it proves very hard!

Griffen try to create a classic metal sound but they fail mainly down to the vocals which are just not strong enough for metal.

'Mystery' is the best of the four songs on here with a decent riff but otherwise it is sadly very forgettable and not a band I can see making a big break.

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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