Quick plays: WEDGE, WILD EYES, DOWN N DIRTY, WHITE WIDDOW, PRYTI

WEDGE – S/t
www.wedgeband.com [Released 10.11.14]

German three piece band consisting of Kiryk Drewinski (vocals/guitars), Holger Grosser (drums) and David Gotz (bass/organ/piano). Judging by their Facebook page they are an active live band in their native Germany and I’d guess their songs lend themselves to the more extended live jams.

Some good tunes on here like ‘Easy Chair’ which kicks out jams then midway through goes all mellow with a piano and guitar workout. ‘Makeyourselffree’ sounds like Oasis at times and check out the throbbing bass line. It maybe seven minutes long but it seems to pass by in half the time.

If you like the late 60’s psychedelic sound and early 70’s classic rock then give this band a try. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

Crossfire

WHITE WIDDOW – Crossfire

AOR Heaven [Released 27.11.14]

It is a credit to the band that they have reached the point where they can release a new album as in 2013 they suffered the death of drummer George Kristy and original bass player Trent Wilson left the band. Mind you the core of the brothers Millis, Jules (vocals) and Xavier (keys) is still present and this album is business as usual, as the album has plenty of keyboard led AOR meets pomp rock (mainly in the OTT keyboards which are all over this album and then some).

Things kick off with ‘Caught In The Crossfire’ heralded by a wave of keyboards and the melodic vocals of Jules. ‘Just Another Night’ would grace any rock disco as a floor filler, whilst those all important ballads are here with ‘Carry The Heartache’ a classy little number.

It is an enjoyable listen although being album number three a couple of songs you do feel yourself thinking you’ve heard it before. The natural successors to such cult 80′s acts as White Sister and it is great to see them back in action. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

WILD EYES – Above Becomes Below

WILD EYES – Above Becomes Below
Heavy Psych Sounds Records [Released 27.10.14]

US four piece who describe their sound as ‘Blue Cheer kidnaps Tina Turner and ties her to the tracks of the Grand Funk Railroad’, quite! They certainly have a powerful singer in Janiece Gonzalez who sings up a storm on the subtly titled ‘Stiff Nites’ and ‘Snakey Lady’. The epic ‘The Freak’ allows the band to solo away to their hearts content with a few added keyboard flourishes.

You can almost smell the patchouli oil on this record, reeking as it does of 70’s rock from the likes of Grand Funk Railroad and Stone The Crows. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

DOWN N’ DIRTY Down To The Wire

CD Baby [Out now]

Third album “Down To The Wire” finds Chicago natives Down N’ Dirty in fine form and with their sharp edged sleazy sound the band are reminiscent of Junkyard in their prime.

It would be unfair to label the album as party rock as, although there are elements of that here, the band have evolved over the last few years and this popular live act can now hold their own with the likes of Dirty Penny, Vains of Jenna and Bad City.

From the swagger of “Devil Inside” to the acoustic “Rain” and hidden track “Bottom Line” Down & Dirty are here to entertain.  With standout tracks like “Everything’s Shakin’”, “Get Luck”, “Diamonds” and a stunning run through “Trouble” – the song made famous by Elvis Presley on his “’68 Comeback Special”, you’ll notice that vocalist Stevie Ray  switches his voice with ease to sit in with the music the band create rather than just screaming over the top of it.

If you liked the first two albums from Down & Dirty, or you just enjoy good rock n roll music, then “Down To The Wire” is an album for you.  ****

Review by Nikk Gunns

ALEX HIGHTON – Nobody Knows Anything

www.alexhighton.co.uk [Release date 08.12.14]

This is the second album by Alex Highton whose debut album, ‘Woodditton Wives Club’ gained rave reviews from the likes of the Guardian and BBC 6 Music.

It is a mixed musical bag, his vocals at times reminding me of Elbow’s Guy Garvey and there are a few little jazzier numbers like ‘You Don’t Own This Life’, which veer too close to easy listening for this listener. ‘The Evil That Men Do’ (no not an Iron Maiden cover) features a nice duet with Bonnie Dobson, a album highlight.

This is an accomplished album, featuring lush musical arrangements however it did fail to really grab me. Those who enjoyed the debut album will enjoy this I am sure.  ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

PRYTI Tales Of A Melancholic

Described by Kerrang as being like a ‘really fucking angry Sheryl Cole’, you sort of know that if you’re not into metal/grunge then Pryti Gatge – a Birmingham based singer /songwriter (if that’s not a contradiction in these terms) who wrote, sang, and played guitar and bass on Tales Of A Melancholic – her debut release – is going to be anything but pretty.

Aimed at fans of Deftones, Killswitch Engage and Paramore, Pryti lays down a pretty much constant barrage of grunge guitar riff-laden melancholic melodies, her vocals floating above the carnage like a recently departed spirit clinging to the real world before passing to the next.

Unless you have a penchant for grunge, or are an angsty teen, or both, then this powerhouse performance is going to be a turn off.  As neither, I can see that for parents this is going to be real ‘turn it down!!’ material.  And as history shows, if parents hate something it’s going to have teen appeal.

Ironically, Pryti’s vocal performance is one that suggests she could ultimately gain much wider acceptance, but for now the unabated darkness and ‘in your face’ bombardment of Tales Of A Melancholic is going to be a magnet only for teenage metalheads.

Pryti, but not so pretty if you prefer your rock of a more ‘classic’ nature.  **1/2

Review by Pete Whalley


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Power Plays w/c 14 October (Mon-Fri)

SANGUINE Ignite (Odyssey Music)
GOODBYE JUNE Switchblade Heart (Earache)
SAINTS OF SIN Nasty Love (indie)
SCARLET REBELS Heal (indie)
FLYING COLORS The Loss Inside (Mascot)
KEYWEST C’est La Vie (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 14 October (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 DANGER ZONE Don’t Count On Heroes (Pride & Joy Music)
12:00-13:00 ECLIPSE Paradigm (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 GALLAGHER & LYLE Live at De Montfort Hall, 1977 (The Store For Music)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

ROBIN TROWER In The Line Of Fire (1990)



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