Quick plays: REBELLIOUS SPIRIT, UGLY KID JOE, KING KOBRA

REBELLIOUS SPIRIT - Gamble Shot

REBELLIOUS SPIRIT – Gamble Shot (SPV)

The recent success of Reckless Love has had an impact on a number of young bands. A good example of this is young German band Rebellious Spirit, whose logo is not dissimilar from the aforementioned Reckless Love. Whilst they may not be as visually striking but with every member of the band under 20, debut album “Gamble Shot” is a good sign of things to come.

The band was formed by brothers Jannik (lead guitar and vocals) and Jens Fischer and cites the likes of Motley Crue, Poison and Hardcore Superstar as influences. Although Jannik’s vocals at times sound a bit like Placebo’s Brian Molko the album itself is pure modern day glam rock. The guitars on “Sweet Access Right” could have been played by Poison’s CC Deville, whilst “Don’t Leave Me” is the obligatory power ballad (although these days there is an iPhone app to replace the held in the air lighters).

Other highlights amongst the albums 10 tracks include “Let’s Bring Back”, “Forever Young”, “Light’s Out” and “Gone Wild”.

“Gamble Shot” is not a bad debut album and listening to it you have to say that Rebellious Spirit look certain to have a long career ahead of them.  ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

KING KOBRA – II (Frontiers www.frontiers.it)

Opening track “Hell On Wheels” sets the pace for what is an album of solid, dependable ‘80’s style hard rock. Following on from 2011’s long awaited reunion album “King Kobra”, new album “II” finds the band nearly 30 years (on and off) into their career and still sounding great.

Tracks such as “Running Wild” and “Deep River” are almost essential listening- the latter a near 8 minute number that is musically Led Zep like and features and epic vocal from Paul Shortino. Then we have the whisky stained blues of “The Ballad of Johnny Rod”, the nice acoustic “Take Me Back”, which reminds me of Mr Big, and “Got It Coming”- complete with Sammy Hagar like vocals.

The highlights on “II” are rounded off by the driving “Keep Me Waiting”, “Knock Them Dead” and “Have A Good Time”.  The guitars of Mick Sweda and David Michael-Philips are consistently solid throughout the album and work well with the rhythm section of bassist Johnny Rod and drummer Carmine Appice, which nicely hold the whole thing together.

The albums closing track “We Go Round” could easily be Journey, not in a bad way but it just doesn’t feel right here, whilst “When The Hammer Comes Down”  sounds good but it a bit on the clichéd side. That said, “II” is a good album that should appeal to a wide range of listeners.  ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

UGLY KID JOE – Stairway To Hell (Metalville)

Last October saw Ugly Kid Joe open for Alice Cooper and Duff McKagan’s Loaded- whisper it very quietly but at Wembley Arena they stile the show, and I have no doubt they also did this at a number of other venues. With as reputation as not only a great live band but as a fun band, you would expect the first material since their 2010 reunion to hit the spot- and that it does.

Ugly Kid Joe originally released the 6 track “Stairway To Hell” EP, their first release since 1996’s Motel California, in July 2012 and have now released a new version which includes 3 acoustic tracks. Opening track “Devil’s Paradise” is like Bon Scott singing Aerosmith’s “Nobody’s Fault”, “You Make Me Sick” is classic Ugly Kid Joe, “No One Survives” deserves to be a massive hit and “Love Ain’t True” is another classic which features  Angelo Moore and Dirty Walt of Fishbone.

The EP is rounded off by “I’m Alright” and the tongue in cheek country of “Another Beer”. Then we have the 3 new acoustic additions- a version of the band’s biggest hit “Cats In The Cradle”, a stripped down “No One Survives” and Motel California’s “Would You Like To Be There”.

The band is sounding great these days, both live and on record (can we say that in 2013?), they are in the UK later this year supporting Skid Row- if you get the chance, go and see for yourself.

*****
Review by Nikk Gunns

DOLL – The Ragdoll Diaries

Cargo

Canadian punk/alternative band Doll release their second album “The Ragdoll Diaries” shortly. The album itself is dirty, raw and brutally honest, with front-woman Christina Kasper at times sounding like a very pissed off Gwen Stefani, and the band will no doubt (no pun intended) draw comparisons with their influences such as L7, Sonic Youth and possibly Hole.

Doll’s choice of album opener in “The City That Fun Forgot” is a good one, a great introduction to both the CD and the band. The next 3 tracks on “The Ragdoll Diaries”- “If I Could”, “FMO” and “Plastic Lies” are a sonic onslaught that does not leave you time to become disinterested in the album.

A great cover of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding”, the slow grinding “Ragdoll” and “The Haunting of Sally” also stand out amongst the album’s 11 tracks. Although “The Ragdoll Diaries” is over and done within 37 minutes, the band do not let you go without showing another side to their sound in “Sleeping In The Clouds of NYC”- a more laid back and melodic album closer.

Doll is a band that could build a considerable fan-base on the European festival circuit especially if their live show is as energetic as their studio output.

****
Review by Nikk Gunns

THE QUILL – Tiger Blood

Metalville

Swedish stoner rock band The Quill was originally formed in the early 1990’s and new album “Tiger Blood” is their 8th studio release. The band has already played all across Europe and the US with the likes of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Monster Magnet and, to be honest, I’m not sure how I have managed to miss out on The Quill until now.

Vocalist Magz Arnar has a voice that is not dissimilar to Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, and this is particularly evident on tracks such as “Greed Machine”, “Sweet Rush “and “Darkest Moon”. Although the band have long been labelled as stoner rock “Tiger Blood” is a pure hard rock gem, with the album’s longest and most melodic track “Storm Before The Calm”, the gentle Led Zep like tones of “Land of Gold and Honey” and even “Purgatory Hill”, complete with it string parts, The Quill will appeal to a wider spectrum of rock fans.

With a big 1970’s rock vibe and some stunning guitar work from Christian Carlsson it is tracks such as “Getaway”, “Go Crazy”, “Freak Parade” and “Death Valley” that will keep “Tiger Blood” firmly attached to my CD player for the next few months.

*****
Review by Nikk Gunns


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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)

Power Plays w/c 28 October (Mon-Fri)

COLLATERAL Mr Big Shot (Roulette Media Records)
BABY HUSBAND Stop Thinking About Tomorrow (indie)
OF ALLIES Off The Map (indie)
EXPLORING BIRDSONG The River (indie)
MARISA AND THE MOTHS – Slave (indie)
CATTLE AND CANE I Wish I Knew Jesus (Like I Do)
KING VOODOO Creep (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 28 October (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Big Blue World (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 REDLINE Gods & Monsters (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 WILDWOOD KIN (Silvertone/Sony)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)



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