[Release date 28.09.13]
We all have our guilty [musical] pleasures. Mine – apart from a general weakness for female vocalists (from Pat Benatar and Ann Wilson to Anne-Marie Helder and Eleanor McEvoy) is Pink. Or at least the Pink who so successfully dipped her toe across the pop/ rock divide on her albums between Missundastood (2002) and Funhouse (2008) and included Zeppelin’s ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave You’ in her Funhouse tour set.
Another is for that wonderful ‘big hair’ AOR period in the late eighties/early nineties when the US of A gave us such a wonderful array of female fronted rock act,s such as Saraya, Chrissie Steel, Vixen, and Lita Ford. Cheesy maybe, but fantastic songs, fantastic vocals, and fun. Fun with a capital F.
So I’ll forgive Belfast rising stars Ajenda their horrible misspelling (although, to be fair Ajenda is a play on vocalist Jen’s name) for marrying those two pleasures to create a debut album of real promise.
A trawl of the web reveals remarkably little about the band – they’re a four piece – Jen (vocals), Gavin (guitars), Jan (bass) and Pete (drums) and have had 3 self-released EPs. But judging from online material, Unrecognizable is just that – a quantum leap in both performance and presentation. They’re not flashy, OTT, or overproduced which is refreshing in this day and age, and in vocalist Jen they have a singer of real power and presence.
Unlike other relative newcomers in the female fronted rock stakes like American counterparts Halestorm and Hydrogen, Ajenda are less brash and more rooted in the classic rock style of say early Heart, with the more ‘rock out’ tracks counterbalanced by acoustic based numbers. Perhaps not quite the finished article, but surely one of the brightest hopes to emerge in 2013. ****
Review by Pete Whalley
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 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) 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 7 September 2021.
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09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)
Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)
BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)
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