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

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

SYRYM Syrym (Hatrix Records)

Featuring former Babylon AD members Ron Freschi and Jamey Pacheco, on guitar and drums respectively, Syrym have just released their self-titled debut CD. Comprising of 12 tracks that combine the melodic sounds of bands such as Ratt, ‘90’s era Motley Crue and Lynch Mob with the modern harder edged rock like Velvet Revolver- vocalist Jeffrey Winslow does a sterling job of balancing the two genres.

The album is produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered by Freschi and he has captured every element of the band in a recording that sounds like it could have been made by a big name producer such as Bob Rock. The highlights include opening track 'Foul Mouth Blues', 'Torn in Two', slower but just as powerful number 'The Sky Is Falling', 'While America Sleeps' and 'Breakdown'.

This album is well worth checking out, check for yourself at Not sure we’ll ever see the band over in Europe, which is a shame, but for our friends in The US I’ve no doubt you’ll get a chance to catch the band live at some point this year. *****

Review by Nikk Gunns


Tracy Gang Pussy hail from Paris, France and release their 4th album, the imaginatively titled 'Number 4', shortly. The band could be labelled as glam, sleaze, bubblegum etc, but this doesn’t do them justice, as unlike many of the newer bands in that genre what they have produced is an album worthy of being up there with the likes of Poison, The Backyard Babies, Hanoi Rocks, The Hellacopters and the like.

The songs are catchy, melodic and there isn’t a weak track amongst the 12 on offer- with Backyard Babies style harmonies, songs that DGeneration would have been proud of and guitar work worthy of Poison guitarist CC Deville.

The standout tracks on 'Number 4' include 'No Escape', 'Miss Negativity', 'I Have A Wish', 'Wide Open To The World' and the one slower song on the album 'I Don’t Believe In Happiness Anymore'.

Tracy Gang Pussy have already toured parts of Europe with Skid Row, Crystal Pistol, The Backyard Babies and Funeral For A Friend and will no doubt be playing near you soon. ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

GRAVE DIGGER Ballad Of A Hangman (Napalm/SPV)

Grave Digger’s 13th studio album sees the band beef up with a twin guitar approach. It also sees the band swing nicely between extreme metal and melodic power metal, with the opening intro/title track mixing the operatic ends of Saxon, Iron Maiden and Megadeth.

'Hell Of Disillusion' and 'Sorrow Of The Dead' feature some intricate guitar work, machine gun drums and some cheese grater vocals. 'Grave Of The Addicted' has a chunkier riff, a solid noisy track. The vocals are good if rough, but at times sound a little strained, quivering like a dog having a dump. The acoustic touches on 'Lonely The Innocence Dies' is near as they get to a metal ballad.

A good an album as any in the extreme power spectrum, and the odd melodic touches make it all the more listenable. The keyboards are rather low in the mix though.

A promo with voice-overs; don’t labels realise how annoying that is? ****

Review by Joe Geesin

BILLY SATELLITE Billy Satellite (Rock Candy)

Another long forgotten classic of melodic / hard rock with AOR leanings, this time from San Francisco. Originally released in 1984, when hard rock ruled the FM airwaves, this is a punchy solid affair that is thoroughly enjoyable.

From smooth AOR to some heavier tracks ('Last Call' features some haunting guitar and a beefy riff), the album is all that was good about radio friendly hard rock, despite the silly band name.

Some tracks like 'Do Ya' nod to the 70s, while 'I Wanna Go Back' nod at the smooth end power pop of Sade meets Tina Turner. Melodic and easy. Compare that to the excellent guitar solo in 'Trouble'.

One to feed that hidden AOR beast in you. ****

Review by Joe Geesin

THE WOW SIGNAL Infinity’s Lobby

Formed in late 2007 by singer/guitarist Andrew Mangold, who had played with ex members of both The Libertines and Happy Mondays in his quest to create a band to fulfil his musical needs, The Wow Signal are about to release debut album 'Infinity’s Lobby'.

The album mixes jagged, pop tinged rock with the sounds of recent English bands like The Libertines, The Artic Monkeys and the like, and some very U2 like moments (you would be forgiven for thinking 'All You Will Discover' features U2 guitarist The Edge on guest guitar - it doesn’t but Paolo Kralj does a more than passable impression). The influences upon this four piece are varied but clearly cover the last 30 years.

The album itself was produced by Marc Waterman, who is better know for his work with bands such as Elastica, Ash and Depeche Mode. Highlights amongst the 11 tracks on offer include 'Silbury Street', Lovers Scam', the slower 'Still Hunting', 'Picture of You' and 'They Got It Wrong'.

This is definitely a band to watch this year. ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

EYELASH Recession

Eyelash are about to release, what I think, is one of the most consistent albums I have reviewed so far this year. Vocalist Fe Salomon has a voice that you think reminds you of someone but is distinctive enough that you just can't put your finger on it. This sits nicely across sleaze laden and driven rock which has been going down a storm with both Total Rock Radio and Kerrang! Magazine.

'Recession' was produced by the band's guitarist, Ru Cook, and he has pretty much captured the way you would imagine Eyelash to sound live. Stand out tracks amongst the 14 here include 'Blood On My Blue Jeans', 'Bow To The People', 'Put Your Faith In Me', 'Still Up' and 'Party's Over'- a track that has the swagger of Adam Ant at his peak. 'White Trash (Poppy's Song)' is a slower moving number that fits in amongst its raucous counterparts.

The band have already appeared at Download amongst other festivals and will be touring the UK between now and April in support of the album. ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

MATT ANDERSON Second Time Around

Hot on the heels of 2008's 'Somewhere In Between' Canadian singer/guitarist Matt Andersen releases new album 'Second Time Around'. The album contains 12 tracks mixing country-tinged blues with more traditional feeling blues music and, once again, Andersen is backed by Eric Clapton's post-Cream rhythm section.

If you like blues, you will no doubt enjoy 'Second Time Around'. There is a superb take on Bill Withers' 'Ain't No Sunshine', a cover of Steve Earle's 'My Old Friend The Blues'and other highlights on the album include the slow burning 'I Play The Fool For You', up tempo numbers ''When My Angel Gets The Blues' and 'Tell Me' plus the tongue-in-cheek 'One Size Never Fits'.

There is also a 7 minute jam, reminiscent of the Stones when they are in blues mode, this is a hidden track included at the end of the album and does a good job of rounding things off nicely.

Matt Andersen is a big drawing artist in his native Canada and has been named by Classic Rock Magazine as an artist to watch in 2009, and is currently touring the UK. ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

FREE SPIRIT Pale Sister of Light (Carpel Music/Edel Records)

Free Spirit are a melodic hard rock band from Finland and are about to release debut album 'Pale Sister of Light'. The album features 11 tracks packed full of hooks, melodies and massive choruses- other bands that come to mind whilst listening to the CD include Brother Firetribe and Blind Guardian. Vocalist Sami Alho’s vocals sit nicely over the joint guitar work of Vesa Yli-Maepaa and Marko Haapamaki.

As with most Scandinavian rock bands at the moment, these boys have really hit the ground running and this record is strong from the off, well produced and with some superbly written songs.

Highlights include 'Radiant Light', 'Strangers' the slower 'Heroes Don’t Cry' and 'Far Away From Heaven'. 'Until The Night' is the clear winner for me though and the band have seen the video for this track viewed more than 82,000 times online.

Fans of hard melodic rock will not be disappointed by 'Pale Sister of Light'. ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

i-TEN Taking A Cold Look (Rock Candy)

This 1983 Epic album is a strong AOR lost gem, just the kind of thing Rock Candy like to not only dig up but also give fine treatment to.

The title track opens with layered guitars, loads of keyboards, soaring solos and vocals, it mixes hard rock and pop with aplomb. I-Ten were the song writing pair of Tom Kelly (vocals, guitars, piano) and Billy Steinberg (vocals, guitars), who produced rock music perfect for the FM stations of the era.

The plethora of session musicians include guitar virtuoso Steve Lukather and Toto colleague, keyboardist David Paich. From the classic 'Alone' to the funkier hard rock of 'Workin’ For A Lovin’', it’s a very enjoyable listen throughout, augmented by Keith Olsen’s production.

An excellent package with all the original release details (so often overlooked on CD reissues) and lengthy sleevenotes that feature an exclusive band interview. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin


The music does exactly what it says on the tin. A full rock band with several vocalists, at least one of which is female. There is a strong gothic feel too. Think a mix of The Damned's ‘Phantasmagoria' with Karnataka, with strings and programming.

There are plenty of prog moments, and the music isn't as heavy as some operas, this isn't in Rhapsody's realm. That said, the songs are succinct, well written and the mix of vocals is good. Operatic one minute, gothic the next, then dark and growling, then atmospheric.

The light flowing music is often soothing, and guitar solos are well worth a listen too.

If you are prepared, this is really well worth checking out, a largely successful experiment. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

ALKEMYST Through Painful Lanes (Nightmare Records)

New album from Alkemyst, who appear to have a solid and stable sound. This French band have been going 10 years now, and power metal fans will love this. Although labelled power metal, there is as much symphonic metal in there, and with technical aspects that nod at prog metal too. Think Dragonforce/Darkwater meets Kamelot, Nightwish or Iced Earth.

'The Beast Within' opens symphonically, with broken technical aspects interspersed adding a prog metal feel. The twin guitars mix riffs with more intricate work.

The lengthy (8 minute) 'When The Morning Comes' features some acoustic work, while 'Enter The Carnival' is more the melodic speed metal of Freedom Call. 'Rest Show' has a piano intro that isn’t bad, a tad pedestrian, but the music picks up in a Queensryche direction.

There are some excellent moments here, both musically and in terms of storytelling, but some of the tracks go on a little too long. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

LUNATICA New Shores (Napalm / SPV)

Swiss symphonic metal band release their fourth album, and crosses over into prog metal territory. The female vocals are distinctive, as are the pace changes and intricate keyboards amongst the twin guitars. The title track opens, with the drums mixing machine gun and stuttering styles.

On 'Two Dreamers' the piano intro soon becomes horns as the guitars come in. 'The Incredibles' drifts in a powerful way, reminiscent of Eloy’s ‘Ra’ opus. Elsewhere there are touches of Karnataka.

The use of some rhythmic effects during the quieter moments of some tracks works well, and the odd electronic rumble a nod at Porcupine Tree.

The vocal range is good, and tracks like 'Into The Dissonance' show the power too.

One for prog metal and symphonic fans everywhere. ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

MANIFESTO Mrsvee Artists & Collaborators

Track List:
1. Safety Deposit Box - Folk Night Chord
2. The Resonance Association - Subatonic Zoo
3. Orphidice - Coming Home
4. Svefn Plural - Fruit Photographer
5. Sand Snowman - Twilight Of The Dogs
6. Goodbye Pluto - The Hum
7. Mox - The Forming Of An Emotional Sphere
8. Electronica Ghost Voice Phenomena - Troubled Sleep
9. The 3rd Fire - What Else Could I Say?
10. The Resonance Association - Descent
11. Raelism - Somewhere In The Future, Where Everything Has Worked Okay
12. General Paulus - So How Far Would You Go?
13. Lovers Of London - Lover Of London
14. Vultures - Tower 12

"Manifesto" is freely available to download from under a creative commons license (similar to the last two albums by 'Nine Inch Nails') giving downloader's the freedom to share the music with their friends.

'Mrsvee' chooses artists on artistic merit and not whether they are, have been or will be successful. 'Mrsvee' simply believes good music deserves to be heard and "Manifesto" showcases the best 'Mrsvee' has to offer.

All tracks are from around the world including "Svefn Plural" from Turkey, "Mox" divides time between London and Moscow and "Orphidice" are based in Nashville, USA.

'Mrsvee' champions intelligent rock, drone, ambient and electronica giving us all the music we deserve and I sternly believe that 'Mrsvee' are doing a mighty fine job of helping unsigned and artistic talent to be fore-fronted into the public eye by the way of free downloading.

So is it any cop? Well, it is certainly different and certainly very artistic, yet very calming and somewhat mood filled for come down/lazy days and reminded me of my younger youth whilst sat watching the sun rise at the famous "Cafe Tobac" in Ibiza; and without taking this out of context - this album would indeed sound glorified under the influence of any psychedelic drug or hippy fest in the forest. It definitely isn't a get up and go album or a rock album that's for sure!

Calming bongo drums, light free guitars and occasionally some very bizarre poetic singing yet original, individual and somewhat funky in parts.

If music of all genres is your taste, then go check out these artists, considering it's free - what have you to lose! ***½

Review by The Fluffmeister


Draven is a young up-starting British rock band that is schooled in the great bands of the past, but unlike the recent burst of UK blues rock bands Draven are more akin to eighties Aerosmith than any blues outfit.

They’re fronted by identical twins Frank and Jim Paoli (guitar and vocals) and backed drummer Danny Wood and bassist Alex de la Fuente. Despite being British they have an Americanised sound, which is probably because the album was produced by the revered LA based Kevin Shirley.

The band’s management sent a demo to Shirley when they were looking for a producer and were probably not expecting such a big name (he has produced, engineered and/or mixed for the likes of Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and Bon Jovi) to say “Yes, I’m in.”

The album was recorded in Los Angeles and has already received some acclaim. It’s an album that has to be digested over several hearings; there’s a lot going on in the production and some of the guitar work takes time to understand. I’m not entirely sure all the songs work for me but ‘Eden’s is certainly an accomplished piece of work. *** ½

Review by Neil Daniels

METAMORPHOSIS Dark (Prog Rock Records)

This is the brainchild of multi instrumentalist JP Schenk, plus a guitarist or two.

Still going strong after several album, this is modern prog rock. The tracks are lengthy, well structured, nicely layered, and in places very atmospheric. There is a touch of Eloy in places (think ‘Ra’). Schenk is clearly a clever pianist, writer and arranger, but just OK on drums; this only adds to the programmed sound.

'Hey Man' features some fast crunching guitars that gives a power metal feel. Elsewhere the searing solos nod at Pink Floyd.

The first half of 'Waking Up' is acoustic, more of a singer/songwriter in style, and is one of the weaker moments of the album. The song builds and later nods at Marillion.

There are some fine moments on the album, with some excellent guitar work too, but in fluency terms it does suffer from what is effectively a one-man band. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

S.E.X Department 'S.E.X Department' (Perris Records)

One look at the cover of S.E.X Department’s debut album, plus a quick listen to opening track 'Call Me Baby Call Me' could have you thinking that this record was made in late ‘80’s L.A, that is what this Italian outfit have recreated with this record.

Vocalist Kelly 'Trash' Mendess has written and produced the album and is playing all the instruments on each track. The songs themselves have an air of early Pretty Boy Floyd and it will come as no surprise to learn that Mendess’ voice bears a resemblance to the band’s Steve Summers - particluarly on the track 'Rock n Roll'.

Amongst the 10 sleaze-laden tracks on offer is 'Glitter Bitter', which features some tasty guitar work from Mendess, 'One Way Ticket To Rock' and the slightly amusing 'Italian Cowboy'. Whilst this album harks back to the era of old style ‘80’s sleaze, it has to be said that the singing does become a bit like listening to The Cure’s Robert Smith on speed crossed with a member of The Runaways after a while.

That said, it does take you back to the time of eyeliner and hairspray. ***

Review by Nikk Gunns

GO:AUDIO Made Up Stories

After releasing their first two singles (She Left Me and Made Up Stories) through Epic in 2008, Go: Audio (James Mathews - vocals, Josh Wilkinson - synths, Zack Wilkinson - guitars, and Andy Booth - drums) took the brave decision to go indie.

Since that time they've garnered further critical acclaim and built up a considerable following, culminating with two sold out tours behind them and a forthcoming one virtually in the bag. It makes them one of the biggest non signed acts on the circuit.

Made Up Stories - produced by Andy Green (Keane) and the band themselves - features the band's first two singles, their forthcoming single Drive To The City and is almost the perfect indie pop / rock album. Of the ten tracks on offer any one could easily be selected as single, and it should put the band right up there alongside the likes of The Womats as indie pop rock favourites.

My complaints - if there are any - are that the album only runs to 36 minutes (about par for the course these days) and that it is (This Isn't Hollywood excepted) rather single paced. Each and every song explodes out of the blocks like Usain Bolt with a raw chili pepper between his cheeks.

But anthemic songs mixing disco / Buggles synths with massive pop choruses make this the perfect sound of the summer and perfect for festival participation. Each song in isolation is great. And maybe that's why the album is short - more than 36 minutes of over-exertion could overstretch even the St John's Ambulance resources. I nearly had a coronary. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

BISH Surrounded by Mountains (LfT Records)

Bish is the brainchild of Darryl Hunt, better know as the bass player from The Pogues, and 'Surrounded by Mountains' is their forthcoming second album.

The album contains 10 tracks of inoffensive, jangly, upbeat pop- the kind that will be stuck in your head for weeks, if not months.

Although 'Surrounded by Mountains' can be a tad bit monotonous at times you should not let this put you off. Highlights include 'I Just Want To Hold You', 'Tale Of Two Cities', 'Waiting' and 'All Alone'. The album features some accomplished, and multi-national, musicianship within the carefully crafted list of players.

Although Darryl Hunt will be busy throughout the year with main band The Pogues, Bish fully intend to tour in support of this album in 2009. The record itself will be out in April, which is a good thing as this is definitely one for the Summer. ***

Review by Nikk Gunns

GLEN CAMPBELL Greatest Hits (Capitol)

In 2008 Glen released his acclaimed Meet Glen Campbell album - an album of reinvention that saw him cover a range of modern classics in his own inimitable style. It worked well, was welcomed by fans, and was crowned with a Royal Albert Hall performance.

Naturally that gave Glen's back catalogue a bit of a boost as well. But for those who weren't inclined to indulge, those clever chappies at EMI have come up with an alternative - a remastered and re-released hybrid Greatest hits package that brings the great man's career bang up to date covering everything from his early classics (and let's be honest, no iPod is complete without Rhinestone Cowboy, Witchita Lineman, By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Galveston and Easy On My Mind) right up to the inclusion of Times Like These and These Days from Meet Glen Campbell.

Let's face it, the man's a legend. And if you've got no GC in you collection and feel the need, then this is probably the one to go for. Although be warned, at only 16 tracks it runs out considerably shorter than many previous 'best of' compilations. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

MIND ODYSSEY Time To Change It (Napalm/SPV)

Melodic metal with an alternative/punk edge. Opening track 'Riding And Ruling' mixes power metal guitars, melodic keyboards, and a punk (a la Damned, not sleaze punk) rhythm, enjoyable but let down by the drums sounding like a panel beater.

'Enemy Daggers' continues with a power/melodic metal vein with an alternative edge, with a quirky roughness to the vocals and occasionally the guitars too. 'I Want It All' does add some catchy vocal harmonies. This works well as the vocals on their own are a tad high and thin.

Some tracks nod back to the late 80s, mixing big hair metal, thrash and indie. Odd mix I know but they somehow pull it off.

Good but not outstanding. Well worth a listen though. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

JOEY RIEDEL World Without TV (Two Side Moon)

Singer/songwriter Joey Riedel is a man whose influences can clearly be heard throughout new album 'World Without TV'. The 12 tracks on the CD are in the pop-rock/AOR vein with undertones of Elton John, Billy Joel and Journey- in fact there is an overall touch of late ‘70’s/early ‘80’s AOR throughout the album. Fans of the Ben Folds Five will also be in familiar territory as the songs all feature the keyboard as more of a main instrument than an accompanying one.

Highlights on offer include 'Take It Through The Night' and 'Carpet Lice', in my opinion, the two heaviest tracks on the album, the Billy Joel like 'Just Like Any Other Day', opening track 'World Without TV', 'Into The City' and 'Years Go By Much Faster' and the piano led 'Apologizing Song'.

Not a bad collection of songs by any means, more information about the artist can be found at ***

Review by Nikk Gunns


Anthoney Wright's recent single Reset To Zero got a fair degree of airplay on Radio 2. He's yet another of the current crop of 'up and comings' seeking fame and fortune by revisiting the sixties - this time the sixties classic Motown and Stax era.

There seems to be two lines of thought - go for a modern interpretation (Winehouse/Duffy) or go for authenticity (Imelda May). In Anthoney Wright's case one wonders how much steer has come from the co-writing and production team of Pete and Steve (Simply Red) Lewinson, but it veers strongly towards the former.

For a 'soul' album the opening tracks are rather heavy on the bass, with metronomical beats that would be blow the doors off your boom box equipped Vauxhall Corsa. It seemed somehow out of sync with the genre, but there's no denying that Anthoney has a great soul voice.

The debut single Reset To Zero hits the money, as does the forthcoming single No Me Without You, but thereafter the album meanders into a pastiche of the genre. Give the man a bunch of soul veterans to work with and you suspect you may hear magic, but to my ears Feet On The Ground ironically lacks soul. **½

Review by Pete Whalley

PERSPECTIVE X IV Shadow Of A Doubt Nightmare Records (2008)

Three piece US prog metal band who are signed to Lance King's (Balance Of Power) record label and they certainly add a few instruments not normally associated with prog metal like the banjo and bongo bamboo.

Overall it is not a bad album with the band musically sounding like 70's era Rush and Fates Warning in parts but you do think after a few listens you have heard this all before.

Musically the band can't be faulted although the vocals aren't that strong which is often the downfall with some progressive bands. 'Disconnected' and the instrumental 'Grey Matter' are pick of the bunch and talented as this band undoubtedly are this is nothing special. **½

Review by Jason Ritchie

VIDEONASTIES On All Fours (Dead Again Records) /

Jangly punky guitar pop that is very rough’n’ready. Retro touches of mid 60s British Invasion and garage punk. Opener 'HNB' is annoyingly jangly, and 'Jelly Bean' features some cheesy keyboards. The effects on 'Old Flowers' add a touch of distortion, and the production is hollow, adding a tinnyness to the sound. 'Albatross' does pick things up somewhat.

There are some decent tunes along the way, but it does sound very home made.

There is a single coming off the album, which should do well with the download teenage set.

Hardcore punk for the Top Of The Pops generation. **½

Review by Joe Geesin


Fronted by Trace Cyrus, son of Billy Ray and brother of teen sensation Miley Cyrus, Metro Station deliver a NYC take on the eighties - in particular, The Buggles / Thompson Twins era. Consummately produced in a wholesome American way, naturally.

Admittedly, the single Shake It is rather good - a wonderful take on the current indie brit pop scene. They sound so scarily like an NME tour band (with perhaps just a little more US pizazz) that one wonders how they can possibly fail.

But elsewhere, Metro Station is a disposable eighties rehash. Plastic pop. Or should that be pap? Worryingly, they could so easily become the next Busted. **

Review by Pete Whalley


Oh dear. Having originally found 'fame' on Pop Idol back in 2002 and received a helping hand (and an offer of marriage) from svengali Simon Cowell and signed to Simon Fuller's management, Sarah was brave enough to exit stage left after 2 top 20 singles.

Having shelved plans for a debut album she concentrated on song writing, the result Time To Think. The opening track, and opening single Undefined is a piano riff based piece of radio friendly pop. The sort of stuff that Natalie Imbruglia might come up with - lightweight, easy on the ear, and ultimately disposable.

Smile, is a nice reworking of the classic Hall & Oates, Sarah Smile. Heavily sampled, so that it comes across as if Sarah is duetting with DH, it works reasonably well. But give me the original every time.

As for the rest, I'd like to report otherwise, but its lightweight pop that at best may have some appeal for the Leonna Lewis, teen girl, audience. **

Review by Pete Whalley


Hats off to SSS, they hold the record for the longest charting single - I Love It - in Australian history. 73 weeks, if you were wondering.

But this is techno pop, not rock, and what has Aus given us - apart from AC/DC and Missy Higgins? Food poisoning from barbies, Jason and Kylie, and beer that tastes like knat's piss.

But if you take your Friday night fun down at the disco, then look no further than SSS. Packed with bouncing rhythms that Kylie would have been proud to strut her stuff to in her heyday, its made for the dancefloor. And after a few XXXX's you may find SSS almost as attractive as a possum kebab, or sexual relations with a koala.

But if your idea of fun is dusting down the air guitar and sinking a few real ales, don't even think about it. **

Review by Pete Whalley


New York City based Rock Child - Tat Jane Bego - (vocals), Chris Barry Fischel (guitar,) and Lev Weinstein (drums), churn out what you might imagine a talent night may bring to CBGBs.

It's grungy punk metal rock, not particularly subtle, not particularly well played and not particularly well produced. Tat Jane's vocals are delivered in a sub Patty Smith style, while Chris' fretwork is pondersome and bludgeoning. But if you just want something that's 'in your face' and authentically low down and dirty NYC … *

Review by Pete Whalley

NAVVY Idyll Intangible

Formed from several Sheffield underground bands, it's hard to say what appeal Navvy might have. Certainly none to classic rock fans. Angular rhythms, and a bass sound that does, at least, perhaps remind of the Stranglers, the album was recorded over 8 days using seven vintage synths, all sorts of percussion and a 12 string guitar. It's a disjoined and strangled affair. 'Dreadful' my wife acclaimed. For once, I concur. *

Review by Pete Whalley

XYKOGEN Terminology (Line Out Records)

Holy F**k what is this? From the opening note I spat out my tea, choked on my own tongue and needed to go to the toilet all at the same time.

A rare blend of disgust, horror and epilepsy last brought on when a once respectable Kerrang! put The Prodigy on the front cover.

Over programmed, over mixed, club techno rave beefed up noise trying to rock. Occasional hints of ambience with female vocals over a drum machine. Otherwise think Prodigy, Duran Duran’s Reflex/Wild Boys and Fatboy Slim trying to rock out.

I think you’ll find the terminology you need is terminal spasm. *

Review by Joe Geesin


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