Single & EP reviews: WAKING UGLY, CHRIS ADAMS, VANITY RIOTS

Waking Ugly - Say Something Sweet

WAKING UGLY Say Something Sweet EP www.wakingugly.com

If Kylie was going to make a ‘heavy metal’ album it would probably sound like this.  Girlie vocals, some decent rock guitar, but ultimately fairly shiny ‘pop’.  And that’s just what Waking Ugly, a pop/rock band from Melbourne, Australia deliver with their debut EP release Say Something Sweet.

Essentially a duo of Lydia Gardner (vocals) and Darren Pace (guitar), Gardner’s sweet vocals have been compared to P!nk, Katie Perry and Gwen Stefani, while Pace’s influences are home grown rockers AC/DC and INXS.

It’s a shame then, that Say Something Sweet doesn’t rock out a bit more.  It’s a decent enough radio friendly first effort, with ‘Guess It’s Over’ – which marries aspects of John Waite’s ‘Missing You’ and the Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’ to good effect – being the highlight.

But for Aus rock I thought the production – particularly on the vocals -  a little lacklustre.  ***
Review by Pete Whalley

VANITY RIOTS – Ambulance EP [Release date 25.05.13]

There seems to be a continuing spate of Aussie-based hard rock releases and they can be  female-fronted as with Shadowqueen and, now, Vanity Riots.

The band formed in 2000 and have been  playing in and around Sydney,  releasing a debut EP in November 2011.  This band have the distinction of having one of their videos “enhanced” by performances from some of Sydney’s top pole dancers.

Like similar bands they seem to be taking  a cue from Halestorm  but they are heavier and more metal in execution.  (Their cited influences include As I Lay Dying and Avenged Sevenfold) There seems to have been a line-up change since this recording but the band remains fronted by the formidable Monica Strut.  This is a very competent offering and bodes well for an album which must surely follow.  ***1/2

Review by David Randall

CHRIS ADAMS  Transformed CD single [Released 24.02.14]

Chris Adams is a guitarist whose Godfather Roger Newell was the bassist in Rick Wakeman’s band for a time, so he has already had a grounding in rock music. The single is a rock ballad and features some lovely guitar playing from Adams, along with a suitable vocal – reminded me of Mike & The Mechanics.

Adams’ big influences are Jimi Hendrix and Dave Gilmour, you can certainly hear the Gilmour influences as he draws the notes out in the solos. An impressive single and an artist to keep an eye out for.  ****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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In this two hour special David Randall plays a selection of the GRTR! reviewer choices for ‘Best of 2019′ and announces the results of the popular poll. First broadcast Sunday 22 December 2019.

Featured Albums w/c 20 January (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 AUTUMN’S CHILD Autumn’s Child (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 THE RAGGED SAINTS Sonic Playground Revisited (AOR Heaven)
14:00-16:00 AMBERLY CHALBERG Hi-Line (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 January (Mon-Fri)

THUNDERSTICK Go Sleep With The Enemy (Roulette Records)
BUFFALO SUMMER Everybody’s Out For No.1 (Silver Lining Music)
ANCHOR LANE Dead Run (R7 Records)
MOLLY KARLOFF She Said (indie)
H.E.A.T. Come Clean (Frontiers)
THE KENDALL COLLECTION Staring Back At Me (indie)
VOODOO RAMBLE Midnight Train (indie)



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