Click here for home page

Click here

Contact Us | Customer Information | Privacy Policy | Audio Help

Main Menu
Submit a review
Album Reviews
Quick Plays
Single Reviews
DVD Reviews
Sign up for newsletter
Gig reviews
Get Your EMail Address
Submit your website

Quick Play: A round-up of October 2010 album releases

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

Reviews by Pete Feenstra, Joe Geesin, Nikk Gunns, Jason Ritchie and Pete Whalley


'Cadence' is the long awaited new album from Bangalore Choir- classic sounding but with a modern approach, the album is a good follow up to the bands recently re-mastered debut 'On Target'. Don’t be put off by the albums rather sombre looking cover as the band have retained all the traits that made their debut album work so well- the killer choruses, the big hooks and the well crafted songs.

Vocalist David Reece is joined by original band members Danny Greenburg (bass) and Curt Mitchell (guitar) plus new drummer Hans i’nt Zandt and former U.D.O guitarist Andy Susemihl taking up guitar, song writing and production duties.

One thing that is evident from this new line-up is that there is a strong resemblance to latter day Whitesnake within the band’s sound, in particular the vocals, but that doesn’t stop the album forming its own identity.

Amongst the album’s highlights are tracks 'Living Your Dreams Everyday', 'Tomorrow', 'Never Say Goodbye' and the albums power ballads 'Still Have A Song To Sing' and 'Dig Deep'.

Around the time of Bangalore Choir’s debut album grunge effectively killed off many a decent band, this time around the band is concentrating their efforts on the European market where, Reece believes, the band may have survived originally.

'Cadance' is a great melodic rock album and will hopefully see the band acheiving some of the success that they should have gained the first time around.  ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

MOTH CIRCUS Sideshow Sweetheart (Rocksector Records)

Norwegian band Moth Circus describe their sound as being 'like Pamela Anderson masturbating at a freak show' - I don’t know about that but they have managed to blend some of the best bits of The Offspring, The Cult and The Backyard Babies to create a debut album that is full of attitude and swagger, anthemic at times, and all with good humour thrown into the mix. Although the bands influences are not listed, in addition to the aforementioned, you get the feeling that their musical tastes have also been touched by grunge - particularly on tracks like 'Chloe Carlson' and 'Death Living'.

'Little Lo' is the heaviest track on 'Sideshow Sweetheart', the album containing 14 tracks that weighs in at just over 50 minutes. From opening song 'Dreamland' this is one of those albums that you don’t want to turn off, and this is a good thing as Moth Circus have recorded a good, solid debut album here. Other highlights include 'A Dog and His Junkie', 'Murder' and 'Carousel'.

'Sideshow Sweetheart' is definitely worth a listen and Moth Circus sound like they are probably a good live act.  ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

ENVY OF THE STATE Soundtrack For Your Life' (Red Label Records)

Envy of The State are one of the new, and ever growing, crop of decent young British bands that are currently making a name for themselves. Have recently been over to the US to play at New York’s CMJ Festival, toured the UK and signed a record deal, the band are now about to release debut album 'Soundtrack For Your Life'.

The album is a consistently strong effort from the start, with well written songs and signals a bright future for the band. Opening track 'Rags To Riches (Riches To Rehab)', 'Silver Screen' and the album’s first single 'Take Over The Radio' could all easily grace the charts- as could other highlights on the album, such as 'Attract Me With Fire' and 'Blind'. With anthemic songs, solid guitars and plenty of attitude, the band is reminiscent of the likes of Lostprophets and Bullet For My Valentine.

The band is touring with INME this year and, if things go their way, I can see the band playing some big gigs in 2011.  ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

HIGHWAY 414 Hellbound For The Highway

Highway 414 is a road tested band from Milwaukee that comprises members separated by over 30 years in age. But as 'Hellbound For the Highway' suggests they are essentially conjoined by their love of blues based, good time rocking.

Fronted by the impressive Chicago style harp playing and gruff vocals of Paul Fecke and the fiery guitar playing of S.Aaron Oliver, 'Highway 414' basically do what it says on the tin, delivering some bone crunching roadhouse blues, boogie and rock & roll. Over the course of a dozen tracks the band work their way through their hybrid bluesy style, taking in the southern inflected opener 'Show Me The Door', the bar room boogie and call and response of 'All Fired Up', the self explanatory 'Sorry Sunday (Hangover Blues)' and the harp led rockaboogie feel of 'I'm Calling', which is topped by some intense playing from Aaron.

So far so good, but if anything its all a shade too predictable. But then three quarters of the way through the album seems to gain momentum, as the band slip into overdrive on the instrumental 'Bungalow Boogie' – which makes the most of an unlikely but highly effective tempo change. And this mid-number kick start serves only to warm up the combo for the barn busting 'Dusk Till Dawn'.

If you want to know what the attraction of rock/blues is, it's all right here in a track full of hard driven intensity, wailing harp, gruff vocals, and a guitar solo that explodes out of the track. This is rock/blues at its best. Perhaps the rhythm section could have swung a bit more, but there's enough drive, and raw energy to power a rocket. Paul Fecke blows up a storm as the band lean into the kind of song that you can imagine would bring a weekend club audience to its feet.

The acoustic end piece of 'Devil Ridin' Shotgun' is a reminder of the band's core bluesy roots, on an album that carries with it a real sense of enjoyment and passion that is too often lacking in blues related material. Highway 414 is a band that doesn't break any new boundaries, but enthusiastically celebrates old school rhythm & blues in the very best way possible.  ****

Review by Pete Feenstra

THE NEW LOUD Measures Melt

Milwaukee 3-peice The New Loud takes heavy influence from ‘80’s electronic music and have mixed the best elements of this to create debut album 'Measures Melt'. Produced and written by the band’s guitarist/vocalist Shane Olivo, the album is energetic and addictive on the ears, with vocals shared by the bands keyboardist Jesse Nakles there is a good male/female dynamic throughout.

The combination of guitar riffs, electronic style keyboards and almost club style drums means that the band’s sound will appeal to a cross genre audience- tracks like 'Heartattack' and 'Every Girl I See' could be massive with the right 'big label' promotion.

With 'Measures Melt' the band has not only picked up on a nostalgic feel but has almost re-invented the sound for their own use. Other highlights include opening track 'Secrets', the duet 'Wrapped In Plastic', 'Get Lost', 'Don’t Dance' and the female fronted 'Out of Control'.

There is no doubt that The New Loud will be a band you will hear more from over the next few years.  ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

RAMPART Voice Of The Wilderness (Inferno Records)

Mainstream power metal with catchy Iron Maiden nods, or glorious melodic speed metal with a lot of high speed trad metal in the mix, either way this hits you fast and furious and is pretty good too.

The riffs are fast, and from the outset the pace is breathtaking. The guitars are fast but not rough or too thrashy, the drums high speed but rarely monotonous machine-gun rhythms.

The three piece are bolstered by session musicians, giving a twin guitar attack that works very. Nods to Gamma Ray, an occasional hint of Freedom Call, a moment or two of Accept with melodic and mid to high pitched vocals to match.

There is both life and a future in melodic speed metal, the proof is here and considering it's a debut, that's pretty damn good.  ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

PERFECT VIEW Hold Your Dreams (Avenue Of Allies)

There is something of a resurgence of high quality AOR/melodic rock bands coming out of Italy of late. We've had Shining Line (one of the AOR albums of 2010), Edge Of Forever (their latest release is their best to date), Moonstone Project, Wheels Of Fire and now we have Perfect View.

They take their musical cues from Toto (80's era), Winger and Journey and this can be heard in their sound which will delight fans of catchy AOR.

In fact the keys coupled with vocalist Massimiliano Ordine sound like 80's Toto on a fair few songs including ‘A Better Place' and ‘One More Time'.

Yes it is nothing new but when done so well you just sit back and enjoy the musical ride. If anything the ballads maybe need that extra bit of musical sparkle, ‘A Reason To Fight' is a strong tune but ‘Where's The Love' drifts off into Chicago territory, fine for some but not for me I am afraid.

Another good find by Avenue Of Allies who seem to be allowing the newer AOR/melodic rock bands a chance to shine given that the main label for this type of music, Frontiers, seems to be focussing on reviving older bands and newer artists with a more metal edge to their music.  ***½

Review by Jason Ritchie

DROIDS ATTACK Must Destroy (Crustacean Records)

Modern stoner metal, that opens with some slow riffs reminiscent of Black Sabbath and a slow/grungy Judas Priest. It is the same pace throughout that opening track, heavy but it never really seems to start.

'The Great Wall Of ‘Gina' is more uptempo, and is at more the catchy end of Sabbath, but with far too much fuzz which makes it sound a mess.

From then on it's full of riffs, uptempo stoner and all too fuzzy. Nods to Sabbath, Pantera, and while the vocals are sung fairly well, there is a roughness that matches the music.

That said, at times (an example being 'The Crisis In The City') both music and vocals are a little strained, where the emphasis seems to shift from song to making a noise. Elsewhere, the riffs do get you nodding pleasantly.

Take away the intentional racket making and you have something decent here.  ***

Review by Joe Geesin

THE KILLER B's Love Is A Cadillac – Death Is A Ford (Track Records)

'Love Is A Cadillac - Death Is A Ford' is the debut album from The Killer B’s and whilst it won’t win any prizes for originality, it doesn’t need to - this is a slice of proper old-school British R n’B- the likes of which made The Who, The Rolling Stones etc the household names they are today. Take that up tempo R n’ B, add some Captain Beefheart style blues and you will get an idea of the sound that the 4 piece have captured on the album.

With some solid guitar playing from Chris Thompson and some stellar harp work by vocalist Tony Moon (check out 'Colour Me Go') this is an album that will appeal to those music fans who like a bit of Dr Feelgood (the band of course and not the Motley Crue album!!). Highlights amongst the albums 12 tracks include 'Head Hive and The Honey', the fast paced ''Grown So Ugly', 'Killers Kiss' and 'Bad Ju Ju'- the latter complete with some Keith Richards style guitars.

There is still a live market for bands in this vein and The Killer B’s live show promises to be a lively affair, if 'Love Is A Cadillac - Death Is A Ford' is anything to go by.  ***

Review by Nikk Gunns

EL KAPITAN Retroscapes

Variously described as ‘Background Music for Rock Lovers’ and ‘Rock Instrumentals for a New Age’, El Kapitan combine elements of truth with pomposity.. But in doing so the duo of Kirk Bartholomew (all guitars) and Marc Soucy (all keys and percussion) will probably have to deal with a potentially split audience, half of whom will be drawn to their new age noodlings and the other half who will probably walk away from a project that too often reaches for an area where the terms muzac and lift music hold sway.

Opening with a creditable stab at Floyd’s ‘Breathe’ you can add the word ‘Karaoke’ to the worst excesses of this project. But in attempting to redress an objective counter balance, there are several synth explorations, slow guitar progressions and even an occasional suggestion of miniature grandeur - as on ‘Mysteria’ - to evoke the early 70’s synth works of Klaus Schulze, and the like.

But a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, to render this a project that is both musically and stylistically 70’s retro.

The vocoder sound effect on 'Bowie in Traffic' for example, though effective, anchors it ever more firmly in a bye-gone era. This of course may well curiously attract lovers of techno rock, but there’s too little attention paid to structure, thematic development and dynamics. Curiously this becomes even more apparent by the belated triumph of the unplugged coda of ‘Bowie in Traffic’, a song that benefits hugely from the absence of keyboards.

And while the title track at least opens with a brief bluster it leads into another pedestrian keyboard led piece - albeit one coloured by guitar and piano – that is easy on the ear with a mellifluous melody. But it’s horribly reminiscent of those old test records for early 70’s stereos, which were full of effects but carried little substance.

And so on it goes via spiralling guitars and layered keyboards, with nothing too dramatic or weighty to detain us.

The sleeve notes make mention of the duo’s affinity with generational bands like Traffic, Crimson, Tull and Santana, but even the pen ultimately mentioned ELO had a stack of tunes, hooks, dynamics and some sharp production to put their work above a project like this that occasionally glides alone, blisses out too readily and should really be quietly filed in the audio section of those new age shops full of crystals.

As it says on the cover ‘Relax, Tune in, Zone out! ***

Review by Pete Feenstra


Described as Scotland's foremost 'subterranean, ecclesiastical rock band' I really wasn't sure what to expect from The Scottish Enlightenment. 'Ecclesiastical' isn't a word you would normally associate with 'rock'. I had images of a band of holy fathers backed by the Scottish Arts Council.

But, taking their name from a period in the 18th century when Scotland was home to some of the foremost intellectuals in Europe, The Scottish Enlightement are, in fact, a four piece pop / minimalist / shoegaze band who like 'slow things, quiet things, things that bounce off cold stone walls, and things that are true'. And yes, they come from Scotland. Dunfermline, to be precise.

Not a zillion miles away from the likes of iliketrains in their soft intensity the band are built around the song writing of David Moyes (and no he doesn't manage Everton in his spare time).

With a sound that spans some of the more reflective elements of Coldplay, Enigma and Roger Waters, St Thomas is an intense and rewarding journey if you're prepared to set aside the time to take an ambient, unnerving and in equal measures menacing and pleasurable journey. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

LYNN MILES Fall For Beauty

Lynn Miles is one of Canada's foremost roots and traditional singer songwriters with seven albums under her belt as well as having won the numerous accolades at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

An artist who's moved from Ottawa to LA and back again via Nashville and Austin she's absorbed a whole lot of influences along the way, so that her eighth album Fall For Beauty is hard to pigeon hole.

With an observational writing style, Miles serves up a warm set that veers from country to mainstream and many places in between. Perhaps the most accessible track being the True Blood swamp style country blues of Save Me. Elsewhere she moves seamlessly from Shawn Colvin to Nell Bryden territory without ever grabbing you by the privates.

Beautifully played, produced and delivered but I'm far from convinced that Fall For Beauty has enough commercial appeal to attract sales beyond those who are already fans. ***

Review by Pete Whalley

UNWRITTEN PAGES Noah (2CD) (ProgRock Records )

Concept album written by Frederic Epe, who on this project shares vocals, guitars, keyboards and percussion with a host of names from the world of prog rock/metal, and it encompasses a broad range of styles.

Opening in a melodic commercial rock fashion, the album soon takes in mainstream metal (there are a few Iron Maiden moments) Latin and classical/score metal.

Some of the quieter electronic moments mix prog and ambient, the solo piano parts mix classical and 80s rock, so yes it is a real mix. Wherever it goes, there are the prog metal bones to return to, some blistering guitars, solid rhythms, some strong vocals too.

It's hard to pick out a highlight, the whole thing flows so smoothly. Very enjoyable, but across 2CDs it's quite lengthy and self indulgent. But wasn't prog always that way inclined? ***½

Review by Joe Geesin

THE INTERSPHERES Interspheres >< Atmospheres
(ProgRock Records )

Modern rock with prog leanings. It opens in straight rock style with punctuated bursts of machine gun rhythms (a recurring theme).

The first few tracks are good if rather similar, before the background theme of mature guitar pop comes to the fore; mixed with indie and a nod of punk it is digestible, melodic and enjoyable but not the most enthralling.

Later on there is a heavier prog influence, if a little programmed in style.

An interesting mix that has its moments but doesn't quite come off. ***

Review by Joe Geesin

HEAVEN GREY Falling Mist

This 90s death/doom/gothic band have reformed and issue this self financed new album.

It kicks off in more melodic fashion, with their heavy power metal nodding strongly to the earlier influences, especially the gothic. With two guitars and a synth, it's not only a full sound but gives scope to play doom or gothic and have a melodic power metal tune over the top. The synth strings are a nice touch, and 'Zudusi Dziviba' features some excellent guitar work.

'Following' features a good rhythmic intro that builds well, and the metal here is symphonic gothic.

For much of the album the vocals are dark and doomy, at times being too rough to be intelligible (not sung in English doesn't help there either); at times that matches the music, at others it doesn't.

The battle drums and layers on 'Driz' stand out, a genuinely and thoroughly enjoyable track, and acoustic and trad metal moments elsewhere sound good. It's just that at times it's not the most comfortable balance.  ***

Review by Joe Geesin

BAD THINGS Age Of Wisdom
(Bad Things Music)

Debut album from this blues tinged metal band, and it's very down and dirty. It kicks off almost southern rock style; they have been described as a cross between Molly Hatchet and Motorhead, which is quite understandable.

By the fourth track 'Revolution Man' it's pretty grungy rock'n'roll and like much of the album, slow enough to sound a little doomy.

There's a nod to AC/DC in there too, but it's hidden under the dirt.

Many of the rough slow tracks get a little samey, it's not until 'Flame Burns Out' that the pace changes with a more acoustic southern feel, while 'Better Than You' has a sleazy feel some stand out guitar work.

Worth checking out, but not as consistent as it could be.  ***

Review by Joe Geesin


Dark metal, with a mix of deep male and melodic female vocals that gives a very gothic feel. Opener 'His Death' mixes The Mission or NFD with melodic metal.

'The Letter Of The End' features some searing guitar, while 'The Blood' some decent moody trad metal and very deep vocals. The gothic sound gives a very retro feel, but there's plenty of solid guitar to keep the metal head interested. 'The Summon' kicks off with just piano and vocals, and the keyboards on 'We Will GO' add an extra dimension.

An interesting and intriguing addition is a cover of Uriah Heep's 'Rainbow Demon', where operatic prog is given the doomy gothic workover.

Some good moments, but a bit too consistently gloomy for my liking.  ***

Review by Joe Geesin

HOT RAILS Single Entendre

Booze addled rock'n'roll and a nonsensical press release, the album kicks off with 'Trigger Finger', uptempo rock'n'roll that features an Iron Maiden riff in the dirtiest possible fashion, quiet moments and layered vocals in the chorus that sound like a mob shouting.

The music comes across as rather rock'n'ready, and the rhythm drives so fast it's ready to fall over itself.

For all their efforts, there is some boogie, the odd melody, some riffs and guitar solos of note, but they do sound fresh out of the pub. They may not want to take themselves too seriously but if they did just a little this CD might sound a little more cohesive.

In places there are grunge, Sabbath and Hendrix influences, mid song pace changes, but nothing seems to really come together.

The metal intro to Black Horse is worth a nod, there are some fine moments, but if the band tightened up a bit (or perhaps sobered up enough to realise they were in a studio) this could be something good.  **½

Review by Joe Geesin


Apparently formed to revive the dying rock scene, and while there are some good metal touches, it is clear from the opening tracks it won't set the world alight.
'Better Off' opens the album, and while it's a fair melody with some decent riffs and thunderous drums, the production isn't great and it comes across as a little messy.
This messiness follows in 'What Could Have Been', a Rush influenced track with 50% more drumming than required. Cluttered.

'Goodbye' is a mid paced pop/rock song with piano, too much drumming and a good guitar solo that sounds out of place. 'Lust' is more rock'n'roll, but again it just doesn't work.

There's enough to show some talent here, but it is as cluttered and disjointed as it is poorly produced. Overdrive - perhaps over keen more apt. Has an air of teenage demos.  **½

Review by Joe Geesin

FORLKORN The Rotting' (Rising Records)

West Midlands four-piece Forlorn’s sound straddles the line between Industrial and Thrash Metal and debut album 'The Rotting' will no doubt appeal to fans of bands such as Slayer and Sepulchre.

Opening track 'The Rotting' has a heavy Black Sabbath style doom feel to it but this soon gives way to the much heavier side of the band. If you love a bit of double drum overdrive then tracks such as 'Victims of Revenge' will please, the same can be said of the sharp guitar playing on tracks like 'Ferality'- 'Vulcans Flame' and 'Crimson Star' are also worth checking out. However if you like your rock a bit more melodic then this album is not for you- whilst 'The Rotting' is a great example of its genre, it won’t be everybody’s cup of tea.  

Revciew by Nikk Gunns

DIMITRI The Long War

Melodic pop / rock from Italy and influences of Europe, Yngwie Malmsteen, Scorpions and Whitesnake.

Well to say Europe as an influence is an understatement, if the opening title track was any more like 'The Final Countdown' it could go to court. From the parp of the keyboards to the chorus and widdley guitar solo, it fits the template dangerously closely.

The second track up mixes Europe and 80s Scorpions, plenty of keyboards and riffs and polished bright production.

Some very good moments, but far too derivative. I didn't get far through the DVD; what I heard, I'd heard before several times before.  **

Review by Joe Geesin

GYNGER LYNN 'Baby's Gone Bad' Eonian Records

Eonian Records are busily releasing albums by bands that never got a full release or exposure first time around. Gynger Lynn, named after a porn star apparently, were a hair metal band (the guitarist's name gives it away, Will Hair) who came out just as grunge was taking hold and as a result these songs recorded mainly back in 1993 failed to register with the music world.

This album is a real mix, the songs are either good like the bonus song 'Way Of The World' that sounds like R.E.M. in their jangly 80's period or downright awful like 'Along The Way', that starts with chirping birds before descending into a tepid ballad.

The production is poor in parts as the vocals have too much echo and sound as though they were recorded in the room next door to the studio.

As for the keyboards on a couple of songs, let me paraphrase the late, great Eric Morecombe in that it is all the right notes but not necessarily played in the right order. The guitar solos are often just thrown in although in fairness Will Hair is a fast and flashy soloist.

If you are a glam metal collector then do get this one otherwise avoid as there is a good reason why some music never got a release back in the day... **

Review by Jason Ritchie


Print this page in printer friendly format

Print this page in printer-friendly format

Tell a friend about this page

Tell a friend about this page

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

Featured Artists
Artist Archive
Featured Labels
Label Archive
Do you want to appear here?

get ready to rock is a division of hotdigitsnewmedia group