Effloresce – Coma Ghosts
Generation Prog Records
Coma Ghosts is the second album by Nuremberg based prog metallers Effloresce. The five piece are fronted by the flame haired Nicki Weber who has a vocal delivery that ranges from an operatic warble to a full on death metal growl, both of which are present on various tracks, thankfully the operatic style is given the biggest exposure.
Musically the band are top notch handling all of the twists and turns found in their heavy prog with aplomb. Whether riffing hard or finger picking on the quieter sections the guitar work of Tim Ivanic and Dave Mola is first class, add in Nicki on flute and you have a recipe for some very interesting prog metal.
The two longest tracks on the album ‘Spectre Pt 1: Zoyra’s Dawn’ and ‘Shuteye Wanderer’ are both in the epic prog category ebbing and flowing, heavy and hard one moment , soft and subtle the next with time changes and transitions taken in the band’s stride.
Prog metal is a growing genre and often the musical ambition outweighs the talent, Effloresce though have the balance right and deserve to do well.
The Splatters – Fear Of The Park
Horror punk rock all the way from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, not something you come across every day. The Splatters have been rocking hard for the last 20 years although they appear to have stayed in the underground fringes from the information I could find on the band.
The band are clearly obsessed by ‘B’ horror movies and Fear Of The Park ( see what they did there ) is a rollercoaster ride through a demonic fairground. Songs ‘ Killer Clown’, Welcome To Zombieland’ and ‘Why Do They Always Die In This Way ?’ are tongue in cheek punk romps, The Ramones meet The Murder Dolls is the best way to describe the sound, but musically they rank as a ‘B’ as well.
There is very little substance to the record and to be honest you can hear why they have remained on the fringes for so long. Malaysian punk’s not dead, but it could do with a bit of CPR.
Ratzmataz – Global Revolution
Verona, home of Shakespearian star-crossed lovers and this trio of down and dirty rockers, Ratzmataz. The lyrical content may not match Will’s golden prose, but I doubt that he managed to pull off the ‘Guns ‘n’ Roses’ style sleaze rock that Ratmataz have honed over the last 6 years.
Global Revolution is the band’s first full album release and borrows heavily from the afore mentioned G ‘n’R and any other LA band of the genre from the early 80’s. The guys however are more than a tribute act and manage to create their own sound.
The album title track kicks things off with a real down and dirty rock sound which is followed by more of the same in the shape of ‘It’s Alright’. There are plenty of rockin’ tracks but the highlights for me were the slow burner ‘ Too Late’ and the melodic ‘Her Love Is Stronger Than My Pain’, a title that may have well been lifted from one of Mr S’s many plays.
Ratzmataz are well worth tracking down. They may not be the most original in the world, but had Romeo serenaded Juliet with ‘Go To Gay Pride’ the outcome may have been so different.
Golden Sextion – The Silicon Age
Can one song make an album ? I throw this question in right at the beginning because the second track on here ‘White Wall’ is one of the best tracks I have heard in a long time and after the first listen actually drew an involuntary expletive from me. What a song !
The rest of the album is rather good as well, sounding like a collision between Shinedown and Alterbridge, heavy guitars, pounding basslines and good vocal harmonies all add up to a class act. The band hail from Modena in Italy, which as any good petrolhead knows is Italian supercar central with most of the main manufacturers based within a few miles of the city. With the band’s turbo-charged rock sound they would fit well alongside the wail of a Ferrari V12 at full chat reverberating off the Modenese hillsides.
There are many excellent tracks on the album, ‘Sex n’ Roll’, ‘ So Far From This Day’, ‘Jesus On My Back’ are all well worth a listen, but as stated right at the start ‘ White Wall’ is the ‘ tour de force’ of the album. You can get a snippet of the track on the band’s Facebook page, but it doesn’t really do it justice in isolation, I urge you track down a full version and give it a go, you will not be disappointed.
***** for White Wall and **** for the album overall
JONNY SCARAMANGA ‘Listen’ www.jonnyscaramanga.com
Jonny Scaramanga hails from Bath in the UK, although after listening to this six track CD you’d swear he was from the US due to his love of the Beach Boys and Cheap Trick.
The first two songs – ‘It’s Good To Be Alive’ and the title track – are designed for summer days, as both feature wonderful harmonies recalling the Beach Boys with the guitar clout of Cheap Trick. ‘What If I’m Not Enough’ tugs at the old heart strings and shows another side to his music. ‘The Perfect Summer’ is another worth highlighting, with a catchy chorus and a breezy musical feel.
Power pop, or power-drill pop as he calls it, of the highest quality. More please!
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