Quick plays: RAINBOWS ARE FREE, ROBIN GEORGE, LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III, SALIVA, AMANDA RHEAUME

Rainbows Are Free - Waves Across The Ocean

RAINBOWS ARE FREE – Waves Ahead Of The Ocean

www.rainbowsarefree.com [Released 04.08.14]

This is the second album by Oklahoma based rockers Rainbows Are Free and if you like Stoner rock and big Sabbath riffs you will love this album. Even the vocalist Brandon Kistler (a 7ft tall man mountain!) sounds like Ozzy at times.

I do like stoner rock although I do find the endless riffs a tad wearisome on some lesser bands, luckily Rainbows Are Free mix up the riffs and add a dose of psychedelic weirdness to the proceedings too. Opener ‘ Speed God and the….’ is the standout song by far, with a Sabbath riff, big chorus and those vocals which demand the listener’s attention. ‘Comet’ is a heavy beast and the vocals sound like Rob Halford on dope.

This album will appeal to many and do seek out the ‘Speed God and the…’ song as that’s worth having in any music collection. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

ROBIN GEORGE – History

Angel Air www.angelair.co.uk [Release date 07.07.14]

This album covers the early work of Robin George with these songs being recorded between 1979 and 1981 for an album that never got a release, until now that is with Robin George re-mastering these songs and sleeve notes from respected rock journalist Malcolm Dome.

Thin Lizzy collectors will be interested in the track ‘Showdown’ as it features Phil Lynott on bass. In fact there are a few name musicians appearing including Magnum’s Mark Stanway, Trapeze/Judas Priest drummer Dave Holland, sax player Mel Collins and top bass session player Pino Palladino.

The title track came out as a 12″ single back in 1983 and the original version of ‘Heartline’ sounds totally different, having a much pop edge to the sound. Other highlights include ‘Showdown’, the catchy refrain on ‘She Really Blew My Mind’ and ‘Run In The Dark’.

Although some have a dated 80′s feel the production has been spruced up for the modern day and the whole album provides a fascinating insight into the start of Robin George’s career. Even at this early age and stage of his career he knew how to pen a strong, melodic pop rock song. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III – Haven’t Got The Blues Yet

Proper Records [Released 28.07.14]

This is amazingly the 26th album from Loudon Wainwright III and a follow-up to his enjoyable 2012 album ‘Older Than My Old Man Now’  (which he refers to as ‘my death ‘n’ decay opus’).

What I like about Loudon Wainwright III is that he has such musical variety on each album and the topicality of his lyrics. You have the classic rock ‘n’ roll of ‘Brand New Dance’ and then a little Balkan sound on ‘Spaced’, an alternate parking song. ‘Depression Blues’ tips its musical hat to the original blues players, whilst ‘The Morgue’ is a lovely tune done in a Vaudeville style, entertaining stuff.

‘Harmless’ is a tale of everyday folk and life, it is very laid back very much like the character in the song. For a little blue grass/folk there is ‘Man And Dog’, marvel at the banjo playing and enjoy the harmony vocals that join in now and then like an in tune drunken chorus.

He is hard to pigeonhole which only adds to the appeal as you get a potpourri of music and themes. The album is a perfect way to while away some time and lose yourself in the music. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

AMANDA RHEAUME Keep A Fire

It’s perhaps no surprise that Ottawa songstress Amanda Rheaume has attached a clutch of Irish dates to her brief UK tour this autumn to promote her ‘roots-pop-Americana’ album Keep A Fire.

Her songwriting style is more popular than ‘pop’ and for the most part her easy on the ear style is more akin to folk than Americana, and with the mildest of Celtic undertones her delivery has many parallels with that of Mary Black.

It all adds up to a pleasant enough Radio 2 listen that is not going to offend, but neither does it break any new ground in an already over saturated field.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

RED MOLLY  The Red Album

Celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2014, Red Molly’s (Laurie MacAllister(bass), Abbie Gardner(dobro), and Molly Venter (guitar) 5th studio album is their first created in Nashville, with producer Ken Coomer (original drummer for Wilco and Uncle Tupelo) pushing for more original songs and a grittier sound.

Taking their ‘RedHeads’ tag from Richard Thompson’s iconic 1952 Vincent Black Lightning (which is covered on the album) the band’s selling point is their 3 part harmony work that adds a different dimension to their brand of blues, gospel, country and bluegrass Americana.

Probably not cross over enough for those without a passing interest in the genre, but The Red Album should nevertheless move fairly well on ‘merch’ stand when the girls play a selection of Ireland and UK dates in October.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley

MICHAEL DES BARRES – Hot n Sticky Live

MDBimmeadia [Out now]

Following the release of 2012’s critically acclaimed “Carnaby Street” album, former Detective, Chequered Past and Power Station front man Michael Des Barres releases “Hot n Sticky Live”. In case you hadn’t guessed from the title, this 8 track album was recorded live at Hollywood’s Viper Room and features a solid band mixing the sounds of glam rock, punk and blues rock.

There is a fine line between the sexually charged swagger of say Mick Jagger or Steven Tyler, and the risk of sounding like old man Steptoe and 66 year old Des Barres in between song banter, at times, unfortunately leaves him with a foot in both camps.

Opening track “Carnaby Street” features some fine Hammond B3 organ and some excellent guitar weaving, “You’re My Pain Killer” is blues soaked whilst “Please Stay” is reminiscent of Rod Stewart in his prime. “Detective Man”, “Little Latin Lover” and a great interpretation of the classic “Stop, In The Name of Love” are the winning tracks here, although the 10 minute medley of “I Don’t Need No Doctor/Get It On/My Baby Saved My Ass” contains some stunning guitar moments.

Michael Des Barres has enjoyed a lengthy musical career and subsequent acting career, “Hot n Sticky Live” sums up the former perfectly. ***1/2

Review by Nikk Gunns

SALIVA – Rise Up

Rum Bum Records [Released 29.04.14]

Saliva have been building a decent career for themselves in the nu metal field and appealing to fans of bands like Papa Roach. This album sees a little change in direction for the band as they have a new vocalist, Bobby Amaru, who has much more melodic sound to his vocals than the previous vocalist Josey Scott.

This album has a lot of radio friendly rock/metal tunes, full of angst and in your face guitar riffs. The title track and ‘No One But Me’ could even be a more metal Nickelback. They even throw in a decent ballad in the shape of ‘Closer’.

Fans of the band will like this album I am sure, although when a band changes vocalist they always lose some fans who won’t accept the new boy. The good thing about this album is that given its overtly melodic sound it will easily win them over new fans. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


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Power Plays w/c 7 July (Mon-Fri)

CROBOT Low Life (Mascot)
JAILBIRDS Thrill Of The Chase (Golden Robot Records)
SCARLET REBELS No One Else To Blame(indie)
WICKED STONE Unchained (indie)
JARED JAMES NICHOLS Nails In the Coffin (Listenable Records)

Featured Albums w/c 7 July (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 RESTLESS SPIRITS (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LICENCE N.2.O.2.R (Metalapolis)
14:00-16:00 ANGELA PERLEY 4:30 (indie)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

STEVE HILLAGE Open (1979)



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