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

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

TESLA Real To Reel Tesla Electric Recordings TECR001 (2007)

Tesla's first release on their own record label is a nod to all the influences the band have had over the years.

13 covers including Deep Purples 'Space Truckin'', UFO's 'Rock Bottom', Thin Lizzys' 'Bad Reputation' and Led Zeppelin's 'Thank You'.

What the band have managed to do is bring their own sound to their interpretations of these classic songs and a great job they have made of it too.

Whilst most fans of the band will no doubt be waiting for the next studio album, this will wet the appetite until then. The band are back in the UK in November. ***

Review by Nikk Gunns

CHRYSTINA TOMLIN Bitter Twisted Wrong

Rudimentary 70's funk guitar work - heavy on the fuzz and wah-wah pedals on Your Demise open this album from Aylesbury songstress Chrystina Tomlin. It's pop rock with a distinct slant. So you think, OK - I see where this girl is coming from. But then Stand Corrected has a distinctly early Sabbath riff mixed with vocals of the Evanescence variety delivered with an almost punk slant - it's a curious mix.

And the album goes on to cover all the usual bases - Alanis, Avril and Amy Lee/Evanescence. Not a bad first effort, but heavily derivative. There's even several numbers that would sit happily on a Maria Carey or perhaps Christina Aguliera song list (Lonely Tonight, Losing You, Never Ever). Pick of the tracks are Sometimes and Accusations - which have real potential - a subtle funky mix of new and old. Elsewhere, there's too much diversity - where else would you find Sabbath and Celine on the same disc. The girl needs to find her own furrow and plough it. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

SODOM The Final Sign Of Evil (SPV)

23 years after the release of this German band's debut EP "In The Sign Of Evil", they return to rerecord the EP and several other numbers written at the time, to bolster it to full album status.

Not sure on the validity of the rerecording, but I'm sure fans would appreciate the recording of previously unreleased songs. Especially as this is the original line-up of bassist / vocalist Tom Angleripper, guitarist Grave Violator and drummer Chris Witchhunter.

This is pretty intense thrash, with much influence from the likes of Venom , only this is more uptempo. Bonus cuts "The Sin Of Sodom", "Bloody Corpse" and "Hatred Of The Gods" sit well next to the original EP of "Blasphemer", "Witching Metal", "Burst Command 'til War", "Sepulchral Voice" and "Outbreak Of Evil". 12 tracks of proto doom unintelligible thrash.

Great for any extreme headbanger, but if you want brain cells intact, avoid. **½

Review by Joe Geesin

MOONSHOT Uncertain Weather

A moonshot in uncertain weather is probably not recommended manoeuvre in the NASA 'How to fly a spaceshuttle' manual. But then Moonshot - Daniel Kent, Richard Wolfe and Richard Sagman (or Jeremy Grant according to the CD sleeve) - who have been likened to New Order, William Orbit, The Flaming Lips, Massive attack and Pet Shop Boys, are unlikely to be looking for anything more than a safe taken off and re-entry with their new album.

To my mind, the closest association to the three piece keyboards /guitar outfit is Enigma-eerie soundscapes, upbeat electronica and Bowie/Neil Tennant-esque semi spoken vocals. And, of course, some nice female backing vocals thrown in for good measure.

But it's a derivative (if diverse) offering and while there are moments of beauty and commercial brilliance, unfortunately those moments fleeting. And as a whole it's probably fair to say that Uncertain Weather is unlikely to provide a launch pad for a successful lunar landing. **½

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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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