Self-released [Out now] https://www.facebook.com/Goobergun
Goober Gun are a three-piece band consisting of Tim Hardwick (vocals/drums), Ian Hardwick (vocals/bass) and Paul Dymott (guitars). They have released an EP and toured all over the world.
This debut album has some really good songs on, none more so than the two opening songs ‘Burn It Down’ (used in the movie ‘Formosa Blvd’) and ‘Giving Hope’, an insanely catchy tune with a little bit of rap thrown in for good measure. They have a good upbeat, pop rock sound overall reminiscent of Cheap Trick, The Cars and more modern bands like Jimmy Eat World. Take ‘Rock N Bangkok’ which has a simple refrain yet won’t leave your head after even just one play and ‘Stereo’ is another harmony filled winner.
The three live bonus songs are not that great and ‘Monster’ does tend to outstay its welcome. An assured and enjoyable debut, definitely worth a listen. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
LIV KRISTINE – Vervain
Napalm Records [Release date 04.11.14]
Liv Kristine is the vocalist with Leave’s Eyes and this solo album is not that far removed from her day band, which will obviously please her many fans. The one thing that let the album down for me is the repetitive nature of the backing music on the majority of the songs. I like a good, solid guitar riff but some more variety in the musical arrangements would have been welcome given the fact Liv’s vocals are easy on the ear.
The two songs with guest vocalists are excellent though, as Michelle Darkness guests on the Sisters Of Mercy-like ‘Love Decay’ and Doro Pesch on ‘Theatre Of Tragedy’. If you like Liv’s early albums or Leave’s Eyes it’s bound to please, otherwise have a listen on Spotify first. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
ANNE KEATING Make Believing
New York-based Americana singer songwriter Anne Keating’s last release For Keeps (2013) got a reasonable GRTR! reception. While rooted in Shelby Lynne/Shawn Colvin territory it was the unexpected southern swamp boogie ‘Storm Warning’ featuring Tony Joe White style guitar/harmonica that caught the ear, along with a heart melting cover of Neil Young’s ‘Cowgirl In the Sand’.
Make Believing is another beautifully crafted collection co-produced with long-time collaborator and bass player Jason Mercer (Ron Sexsmith, Ani DeFranco) and caught pretty much live in one weekend with the rest of her band – Trina Hamlin (harmonica, vocals and percussion) and Chris Benelli (drums) with guest spots for the Abrams Brothers( mandolin, fiddle and acoustic guitar) and Matt Keating (organ and piano).
But for me the material lacks serious hooks, is fairly ‘run of the mill’ in terms of the quality emerging on the current Americana scene, and Keating’s vocal delivery has lapsed into the style of Jewel.
While the latter isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there’s nothing here that’s going to make the unconverted believe, and on that basis it’s hard to see Make Believing progressing Anne Keating’s career beyond its current standing. Disappointing. **1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
THE BOSS HOSS – Cowboys From Hell
Universal [Out now]
Having previously released seven studio albums in their 10 year career, Berlin’s The Boss Hoss are releasing the 16 track compilation “Cowboys From Hell” to introduce them to a wider market and as an introduction to the band opening track “Bullpower” will no doubt turn a few heads.
Mixing the sounds of cowboy punk, goth, blues, metal and country- The Boss Hoss started as a band covering chart hits in these styles, however, havesince gone on to carve out their own success. “Cowboys From Hell” contains both live and studio tracks and includes covers of Motorhead’s “Killers” and Cameo’s “Word Up”.
There is not a lot to dislike here as “Bullpower” has echoes of The Cult, “Whatever” Danzig and “Liberty of Action” D.A.D. “Keep On Dancing” is tongue in cheek whilst the likes of “Stallion Battalion” are better than their titles may suggest. Other flavours on the album include the funk laden “Do It” and “Backdoor Man” which has that 50’s rock n roll feel but done heavier. Of the remaining tracks, “My Personal Song” and “Last Day (Do or Die)” are worth a listen and the band’s cover of Cameo’s “Word Up” is strangely good.
As an introduction to the band “Cowboys From Hell” does a good job. If you want to hear more from The Boss Hoss they are currently touring the UK with Motorhead. ***1/2
Review by Nikk Gunns
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Power Plays w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)
BLOCK BUSTER Losing Gravity (Frontiers)
WATCH ME BREATHE Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It (The Label Group/INGrooves)
FIRES OF FREYA Take A Bow (indie)
BLACK STAR RIDERS Underneath The Afterglow (Nuclear Blast)
STOMPIN’ HEAT Shiny Curly Red Hair (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 THE DEFIANTS Zokusho (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CORELEONI II (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TONY McLOUGHLIN True Native (Fuego)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
BAD COMPANY Company Of Strangers (1995)
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