Quick plays: MKRV, THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE, KORIA KITTEN RIOT, TOYDRUM

MKRV – W.H.Y.

www.mkrvmusic.com  [Released 26.08.14]

MKRV are a Russian rock pop duo consisting of Dima and Narek. They have previously released an EP and live album of cover songs. The songs are mellow and laid back with a keen ear for melody like on ‘All This Time’ a single if ever there was one. Then they strip it back on ‘A Couple Of Sparrows’ with its single guitar chords and gentle piano/sound effects, a lovely piece of music for winding down.

The PR sheet mentions Coldplay and Brain Eno as influences and you can hear that in certain songs, yet they have their own musical style and one that will appeal to those after a pop hit with some style and substance. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE – Love, Drink & Death

www.theurbanvoodoomachine.com  [Released 15.09.14]

The Urban Voodoo Machine (UVM)return with their third album and they carry on where they left off mixing rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, music hall, Latin, jazz, country – nearly every musical style going bar dub step and death metal!

Never a band to shy away from doing something different the raucous opener ‘Your Hour Of Darkness’ was co-written with the band’s friend Sam Powell, nothing unusual there you’d think until you find out he’s been dead for ten years. ‘Pipe & Slippers Man’ (check out YouTube for the video featuring Rat Scabies) is a great piece of music hall knock about whilst ‘Crazy Maria’ taps into their Latino influences.

‘Help Me Jesus’ (released as the lead single of the album) mixes gospel with Dr Feelgood, the latter helped by having Wilko Johnson guests on it. If you’re after a late at night, reflective tune look no further than ‘Good Night My Dear’, a song helped greatly by the gruff vocals of Paul-Ronney Angel.

The fact the band cover so many musical areas could put some off listening to them and that would be a shame as the UVM are great fun on album and live, as I can vouch for having seen them at this year’s Guilfest. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

KORIA KITTEN RIOT – Rich Men Poor Men Good Men

www.koriakittenriot.com [Released 06.10.14]

Nice album of quirky indie pop from this Finnish four piece, the delightfully named Koria Kitten Riot. This is the band’s third album and they create epic musical soundscapes on many of the songs, no doubt in part to main man Antti Reikko working in the film industry.

You can enjoy the 70′s soft rock of ‘Sinners In The Sun’, marvel at the playing on ‘Cold Cold Arms’ (a mesmerizing mix of synths and pedal steel) and ‘The Lovers That You Never Had’, that reminded me a lot of Ben Folds. ‘Today’s Been A Beautiful Day’ is a stand out song, featuring an instant chorus and summery vocals, easy on the ear and lingers on well after you have finished playing it.

Lots to take in on the album as the band utilize a lot of instruments and it means the album has longevity to keep you coming back for more. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

TOYDRUM – Distant Focus Vol. 1

www.underscore-collective.com [Released 29.09.14]

GRTR! has a broad musical spectrum and Toydrum just about squeeze into that. They feature UNKLE members Pablo Clements and James Griffith, who formed Toydrum and logically enough record at a studio called the Toy Rooms.

This is the first in a series of mini-albums being six songs in total and a running time of just under thirty minutes. They have a lot of short films and visuals on their website, which this mainly instrumental music first perfectly onto. Fellow UNKLE collaborator Gavin Clark guests on ‘I’ve Got A Future’, the most ‘instant’ tune on here. Electronica and sweeping, cinematic soundscapes are the order of the day on the title track and ‘Another Wave’.

Very listenable although even better I’d guess performed live or with film/visuals to go with it. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


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Each week David Randall presents ‘New to GRTR!’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, with the emphasis on independent artists and labels. During December he replays favourite tracks including power plays featured during the year. This show covers the period January-March and was first broadcast on 1 December 2019.

Power Plays w/c 25 November (Mon-Fri)

Throughout December we are featuring Best of 2019 selections from the GRTR! Reviewers.

Featured Albums w/c 25 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 Melodic Rock Featured Albums of 2019
12:00-13:00 Melodic Hard Rock Featured Albums of 2019
14:00-16:00 Singer Songwriter Featured Albums of 2019

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

A selection of albums featured in 2019



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