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Quick Play: A round-up of June 2008 album releases

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


Bow down and thank the gods of rock n roll as Airbourne bless us with their new album, RUNNIN WILD. Simply a brilliant mixture of sweat pumping, fist flinging, headbanging rock n roll!

This blast from the past genre of rock n roll provided by Airbourne has been missing from the music scene for years.

Although they undoubtedly sound like ACDC you can't help but love this album. It contains the hit 'Too much, too young too fast' with its classic lyrics about living on the edge, and the new single 'Runnin Wild' featuring classic rocker Lemmy in the new video.

Runnin wild is a brilliant single choice for Airbourne, its fun, loud and pure rock.

With their catchy chord compliations, grinding lyrics and upfront personality you really cant go wrong with this absolute gem of an album. Airbourne really do what they claim....STAND UP FOR ROCK N ROLL! *****

Review by Betsy Green

MIDNITE CLUB Circus Of Life (Artist Service)

This 11-track album from Germany's Midnite Club is a close second to Def Leppard's "Songs From The Sparkle Lounge" for my favourite album of 2008.

There is not a weak track on this album, one that encompasses the best elements of 80's Bon Jovi and Whitesnake and could also qualify as a melodic/classic rock masterpiece.

There are harmonies, hooks and guitar solos a plenty and highlights include "Promises Remain", "Behind My Eyes", "Closer To The Distance", the ballad that is "Crying In A Dream" and a brilliant cover of Kenny Loggins' Top Gun anthem "Danger Zone".

Take my word for it - awesome!!!! *****

Review by Nikk Gunns

SILENT RAGE Four Letter Word (Frontiers Records)

Formed in 1985, Silent Rage have continued to perform and record ever since and are about to release their 4th album “Four Letter Word”.

Produced by Gilby Clarke (GnR) and featuring appearances from the likes of Bobby Blotzer (Ratt) and Bruce Kulick (Kiss), the album is a melting pot of melodic and hard rock with hooks, harmonies and big choruses alongside driving guitars. Highlights include “You Could Be The One”, title track “Four Letter Word”, “Close Your Eyes”, “Bona Fide” and the sax driven “Hard Habit To Break”.

A great melodic rock CD, well worth checking out. ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

SARASIN A.D Daggers- Lust- Disgust (Music Buy Mail)

Between them the members of Sarasin A.D have previously worked with the likes of Peter Criss, Lee Aaron, Billy Sheehan, Brighton Rock and Lou Gramm. For the past 24 years they have delivered some classic American-style hard rock and now are about to release a new album “Daggers – Lust – Disgust”.

Highlights amongst the 13 tracks on offer here include “In America”, “No Sensation”, “Keep Runnin’”, “Kiss of Death” and the slower “The Parting”- a track which reminds me of Badlands. ***

Review by Nikk Gunns

POLUTION Overheated (Escape Music)

"Overheated" is an album chock-full of energetic, melodic rock and full of guitar riffs that will remind you of Metallica, AC/DC and

This Swiss band will not disappoint you if you like a bit of heavy melodic rock, highlights amongst the 13-tracks on this CD include "Reality", "Hard Work", Overheated" and "Five Years". ***

Review by Nikk Gunns

DISARM By Any Means Necessary (imprint Records)

Punk rock for today with touches of The Clash and The Backyard
Babies, there are 12 tracks on "By Any Means Necessary", the
highlights being " Girl When Did You (Become Such A Car Crash)?", "Faster, Faster….Kill", "She's My Disease", "This Is Not A Pop Song" and "Too Much Is Never Enough".

Get a few beers in, pump up the speakers and let go - superb!! ***

Review by Nikk Gunns

CLUSTERHEAD Times Of No Trust Music By Mail

German four piece melodic metal band Clusterhead unleash their debut album and to be brutally honest it is average at best. The problem is it is just too clichéd with precise riffs, quick keyboard led intros on the slower songs like ‘Ghosts’ and a vocalist who tries to imitate the greats like Rob Halford or Klaus Meine but is found to be woefully lacking.

The Megadeth-like ‘Poisoned’ lifts the standard briefly and the slower ‘Ghosts’ does feature some stylish guitar playing but elsewhere the songs just lack any real quality or decent choruses.

Not a great album it has to be said and your money could be better spent elsewhere. Hopefully by album number two they will have penned a few decent tunes. **½

Review by Jason Ritchie

THE OUTLINE You Smash It, We'll Build Around It
3030 Recordings

An album with very little information, but I'll try my best. The set kicks off with "Aesthetics", a very harsh indie rock sound, in places a nod at U2, very electronic (even programmed) sounding drums and bursts of everything smashing at the same time, creating a noise before the regular track continues.

"Life Or Life Like" is better, with a pounding bass line, although at times till a little electronic and contrived. At times a decent rhythm too, before another burst of "Hey let's all play as hard as we can at the same time and ruin the song".

"Death To Our Enemies" features an interesting keyboard sound, like when Keith Emerson dabbled in effects, but it doesn't mix with the alt/rock so well.

Some nice touches but not the easiest album to endure by a long way. That probably means NME and Q will love it. **

Review by Joe Geesin

JOHN SHANNON American Mystic

John Shannon has collaborated with various artists such as “Sonya Kitchell”, “Pyeng Threadgill”, “Hiromi and Heale” and released various instrumental tracks with his own group “Waking Vision” and has now decided to release his debut album “American Mystic”. (Yep you got it, never heard of them; but I am not American!.)

Right then people, listen to me. This isn’t rock, metal, pop or even cheesy dance. This is a beautiful sounding delicate acoustic album that would be preferable for those romantic picnics in the park or countryside tea and crumpet garden parties.

John has a very light and whispery vocal range, which at certain times can be mislaid as a female. However, John’s song craft and spellbinding use of the guitar, relays summertime and feelings of love. I am trying to describe that feeling of “Awwwwwwwwwww”; if you look at the front cover of this album, John is pictured as himself and after listening to his music, I actually want to give this guy a hug and he seems rather sweet.

Yes, I have gone all girly and decided that maybe we need these little acoustic albums to chill us out and calm us down. Fluff finds this very hard as a metalhead! My first listen involved a lot of cringing but I cannot be bias and just simply state “what a load of turdy bum”; just for the simple fact that is an acoustic album which in all honesty would be rather enjoyed more by my Nan.

There are no hidden head bang or dance moments, this album is written from the heart and is simple; one man and his guitar. If you enjoy delicate sounds and acoustic guitars whilst sipping your Pimms in your Garden; this album is a must buy. If you are like me and need a bit of strife in ya life, then I wouldn’t recommend it. I have chilled out a bit after listening…..but I need my ‘Rock’ to keep sane dammit. **

Review by Fluff


The German electronic genius, dreamer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Schulze has teamed up with Australian vocalist Lisa Gerrard for this double CD.

Seven tracks (entitled “Liquid Coincidence 1-7”) over the 2 CDs, and 1 opens with long, slow, electronic sounds in very ambient fashion, and Gerrard’s vocals very slow and almost celtic/operatic.

Other electronic noises punctuate the vocals in Mike Oldfield or Enya at half pace fashion. More of a soundscape (or even a dreamscape) than a song. Things do pick up, with something resembling a rhythm coming in too. A little drawn out at 22 minutes.

The 30 minute “Liquid Coincidence 2” follows, with a mid-paced rhythm throughout and a touch of a chant to the vocals.

More effects and patter litter “3”, another 25 minute dreamscape. Again a slight celtic / world music feel to the electronic feel.

Disc 2 manages to squeeze in 4 tracks. “4” opens with a dramatic minor chord and a Japanese feel to the vocals before the dreamscape returns.

I had to quickly skip through, fearing sleep or something worse.

While the feel is good and will interest some, it does nod at the kind of music new age folk (think Viz’s Modern Parents) would give birth to. OK it’s electronic and not whale music but you get the idea.

It also highlights the big downside of the CD age, made worse over 2CDs. “Look there’s space let’s fill it!”, where a 45 minute LP forced you to be more succinct with your ideas.

And yes I’m well aware I may have missed the intended point, more - so I fear it missed me by a long long way. **

Review by Joe Geesin

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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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