Album review: BALFLARE – Downpour
Balfare are a Japanese power metal band who have been around since 2004 and this is their fourth studio album. The music is keyboard led and keyboards player Tommy is the star of the show, as his synth swirls and grandiose backing lift the basic power metal backbeat. They remind me of Power Quest, although not as good unfortunately. The drawback for me is the drums which are very one paced and lack much variety and the guitar solos are few and far between. Best song on the album is ‘Before The Dawn’ where the guitar solos get a chance in the limelight.
Maybe for the power metal completist, however there are better bands out there and perhaps the band need to focus on a few melodies, rather than too many instrumental solos.
Review by Jason Ritchie
CHRIS NORMAN – There And Back
www.chris-norman.co.uk [Release date 15.09.13]
Chris Norman is best known as the vocalist in 70’s soft rockers Smokie, of ‘Living Next Door To Alice’ fame. This is his first UK solo album in over five years and the lead single, ‘Gypsy Queen’ is released to mark his 45 years in the music business.
Good choice of single as it has a decent beat to it and sure to please the Radio 2 audience. The flamenco/Spanish flavour extends itself into the ballad ‘Wish You Well’, a song that highlights the strength and emotion Chris Norman puts into his music.
The rockier moments work well, from the opener ‘I’m Gone’ through to ‘My Jenny’, where Chris Norman’s vocal takes on a rougher edge and reminded me of Nazareth and Rod Stewart.
‘Whisky & Water’ taps a Status Quo boogie riff and is great fun. Another change of tempo and musical style comes with the gospel flavoured ‘Hard Road To Cross’, a song that also features a female duet.
Sure to find a place in his fans’ CD collections and given the right airplay here in the UK could help him get back onto people’s musical radars again. If you think Chris Norman is all about Smokie, think again, this album will surprise you. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections
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Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)
Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)
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