Fraze Gang – Fraze Gang 2
(Bongo beat )
Unsurprisingly, this is Fraze Gang’s second album, the first was released back in 2008. This Canadian rock collective were formed around the nucleus of vocalist/ guitarist Greg Fraser and bassist Stevie Skreebs who were in Brighton Rock back in the 80’s and found some success.
The musical content is firmly stuck in the 80’s with Saxon-esque riffs and the odd Maiden moment here and there, not too bad at all. The vocals though aren’t quite up to the same standard with a flat delivery, not bad but very average, and this does drag the album down a peg or two. There are some good numbers though like the first track ‘Saint Or Sinner’ which throws a bit of Judas Priest riffage into the mix for good measure.
A decent effort then, but not an essential purchase.
The Duel – Soundtrack To The End Of The World (The Zak Splash Story)
The Duel are a London electro punk duo who are into long album titles and even longer tracks, the first clocking in at over 41 minutes ! To be fair though over the course of the 41 minutes you get the story of fallen rockstar Zak Splash, as told by punk luminary Max Splodge, interspersed with 9 songs. If you want to forgo the full sordid tale though, which is a bit depressing to be honest, the disc also contains the individual songs which are jagged punk numbers with keyboard signatures.
This is more of an art project than a straight forward album release and as such is an interesting concept. Musically it’s not the most stunning thing I have heard but interesting none the less and Zak’s story should be a warning to us all !
October Sky – The Aphotic Season
Canadian indie rock anyone? Montreal rockers October Sky have had a fair bit of success in their homeland with exposure on TV and radio and support tours with Bad Religion and Alexisonfire. Ambient, atmospheric rock is what is on offer here with plenty of melody and hooky choruses.
The album though tends to be more ambient than rock and it never really hits a groove. The short, punchy ‘Sacrifice’ is as close as the disc gets to out and out rock but even it ends up being restrained in delivery. One to chill out to then rather than get the blood pumping.
Chasing Dragons – Take Flight For A Fire Fight
This Leeds 5 piece are fronted by a young women who goes by the name of Tank, not sure how she came by that handle so I will choose my words carefully here. The description on their blurb of Brody Dalle fronting Avenged Sevenfold is not too far from the mark soundwise with heavy melodic rock and strong vocals. The band have only been together for a year but have produced some excellent , well written, hard rock, I could have done without the cover of ‘Black Velvet’ though, although they do make a decent fist of it. The twin guitar work of Zeb and Mitch Sandler is also worthy of mention with some tasty soloing, especially on ‘Seeds Of Tomorrow’. There are also a couple of live acoustic numbers on the album which only serve to show that they can cut it on the live front as well.
A strong debut release then from a band that have the talent to make it into the bigger leagues with the right breaks.
Shadows Chasing Ghosts – Lessons
Small Town Records
Shadows Chasing Ghosts have a bit of a buzz about them at the moment. They have recently completed a headline UK tour and released this, their second album. Their brand of melodic nu-metal may be nothing new but they are rather good at what they do. They know how to write a catchy tune and have a nice line in killer choruses as demonstrated on the lead single ‘The Hunter’. The guys also show a softer side on the albums ballad ‘The Lighthouse’ which is a classic slowburner of a track that showcases the vocal talents of Trey Tremain.
If you like a bit of Yashin and The Blackout, then SCG should be right up your street.
SEBASTOPOL – Hello All Stations, This Is Zero
Warmfuzz (released 3rd Sep)
Three piece band releasing their debut album, a loose concept one based on vocalist/bassist Nick Powell’s work filming about shark attacks in Nova Scotia and how he was stranded for a week. Musically this is a strong album, the PR blurb mentions the Police but the Smiths (less Morrissey’s distinctive vocals) is nearer to the mark. Also a touch of the Wonder Stuff on ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ (the Wonder Stuff’s producer Mick Glossop may be partly to blame!). ‘Suffer Fools’ and ‘The Bats’ have a catchy, breezy air about them. A good album and a decent start for a band worth keeping an eye on.
PEREIRA – A Matter Of Perspective
Conrad Pereira is a chef, vocalist multi-instrumentalist born in Qatar and living in Switzerland, quite a pedigree I am sure you will agree. In fact on his blog you can get both a taste of his music and pick up some of his recipes at the same time !
His recipe when it comes to constructing an album has just the one ingredient and that is Conrad himself, cooked at gas mark 7 and for far too long in my opinion. He has a love of both Judas Priest and Dream Theater but the talent of neither, that’s not to say he is talentless though as the album contains long, complex tracks which he does play well. The problem though is it is all joyless and self-indulgent , I could imagine him going all ‘Nigella’ when discussing his chord fingering technique.
Soundwise he gets closer to Jane’s Addiction that anything else with Perry Farrell style vocals, and as I say there is some decent playing but I found it a hard listen especially as the album clocks in at 1hr 20 minutes which is over-egging the pudding. A hard one to swallow I’m afraid.
On 16 December, David Randall presented a two hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio reflecting the reviewer and popular choices for “Best of 2018″
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Power Plays w/c 21 January 2019
GUN RUNNERS Bleed (indie)
PUPPET KINGS Age Of Austerity (indie)
MATT MITCHELL & THE COLD HEARTS Black Diamonds (indie)
GIN ANNIE Damage Is Done (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
ELECTRIC MARY The Way You Make Me Feel (Listenable Records)
CATS IN SPACE Thunder In the Night (Harmony Factory)
Featured Albums w/c 21 January (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 WAKE THE NATIONS Heartrock (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLOOD RED SAINTS Pulse (AOR Heaven)
14:00-16:00 FERNANDO PERDOMO Zebra Crossing (2018)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
LUCID FLY Building Castles In Air (2016)
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