Quick plays: FEROCIOUS DOG, FRANKIE LEE, EQUATOR, SAFFIRE

FEROCIOUS DOG From Without
www.ferociousdog.co.uk

Well with a name like Ferocious Dog they are not going to be a lounge jazz act that’s for sure! They are a six piece folk punk rock band from Nottingham and this is their second full length studio album. One of their line-up has even headlined Glastonbury back in the day, guitarist Fruitbat aka Les Carter, whose band was Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine.

They play at a frantic pace, driven by a fast tempo drumbeat and the whirling fiddle playing of Dan Booth. Vocalist Don Bonsall is more than a match for the fast pace as can be heard on ‘Ruby Bridges’, which has already been released as a single.

They have an interesting mix of lyrical themes, from ‘Slow Motion Suicide’ dealing with a man’s decline due to drink and lack of prospects. The fiddle playing on this has to be heard, outstanding. Then there are the historical themes on ‘Crime And Punishment’ and ‘Marikana Massacre’.

Ferocious Dog do show some of their musical influences in the Levellers and the Wonderstuff, however they have their own style and certainly produce lively and thought provoking music. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

FRANKIE LEE American Dreamer
[Release date 02.10.15]

This is the debut album from this young from the US and he has released an EP previously. The songs on here are based on his last three years working on a hog farm in Minnesota, plus his earlier life experiences.

It is pretty standard Americana meets country in the main, with ‘High And Dry’ a stand out recalling Crosby, Stills & Nash for the vocal arrangements, albeit this is just Lee on his own. ‘East Side Blues’ is where Lee sounds a little like Neil Young, and this song along with ‘Black Dog’, feature some soul felt guitar.

This sort of heartlands America songwriting will never be out of vogue. Frankie Lee has produced an assured debut, laying the foundations for a successful and lengthy musical journey. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

EQUATOR – Fire

www.facebook.com/equatorband

Equator hail from Norway and are another in the long line of good quality Scandinavian AOR bands. They released a six track album back in 2009 and now are back with this seven track album, albeit with one remastered song from their 2009 release.

The band’s synth led tunes will appeal to fans of the genre and nothing here is bad, just been done many times before. ‘Back On The Streets’ reminded me of 80′s AOR/pomp gods Skagrack, whilst their remastered version of ‘Does It Feel Like Love’ is a typical power ballad. They do it well, if a little by numbers with the solos and choruses in the places you’d expect.

Worth a listen if you are an AOR fanatic, otherwise unlikely to appeal much outside of the genre. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

SKINTASIA – No Looking Back

www.skintasiaband.com [Released 01.10.15]

Four piece metal band hailing from Northern Ireland, the band arose from a previous band Hindrance. Interestingly the PR sheet says they have a settled line-up now…since August this year!  Hopefully they are settled on their line-up as they are worth a listen based on this nine track album.

They have an ear for a decent guitar riff, although they need a couple of stand out tunes to really get them noticed. That said, grab a listen to ‘Hero’ and ‘I’m Not The One Insane’, both are decent metal/hard rock tunes. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

SAFFIRE – For The Greater Good

AOR Heaven [Released 27.11.15]

So, apart from porn, Volvos and ABBA re-issues, what else ever came out of Sweden by the bucketload? Well, these days, a whole bunch of “melodic, hard rock” from a plethora of pretenders to Europe’s throne. How much of this stuff can we reasonably listen to? Like apple sellers in a market, offerings in this genre have become highly commoditized – homogenous to the point where it’s increasingly difficult to separate them…….the apples look and taste the same, the price is the same, delivery time is the same – so, who do you buy from? The first apple seller you come to in the market? (That was any number of bands of this ilk but……years ago). The guy who tells you a good joke and gives you a cup of tea while packaging up your apples? (Motley Crue are technically a fairly shit band but rose to the top largely because of their antics, high energy live show and MTV-appeal).

Once again, Saffire can certainly wield the axe, they can execute competently and they check the boxes of shredding, epic choruses and big arrangements but listen to two or three of these similar bands in a day and they tend to get a bit blurry. Leaning more towards the prog end of melodic rock, some will love this though I don’t see it shifting too many units. Decent background music for those long, cold dark Swedish nights… **1/2

Review by Mark “Mad Dog” Shaw


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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In this show, first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 2 February 2020, David Randall plays a selection of tracks from some of the artists who impressed at this year’s Giants Of Rock event in Minehead (24-27 January).

Featured Albums w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 NEWMAN Ignition (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLACK SWAN Shake The World (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 CORMAC O CAOIMH Swim Crawl Walk Run (indie)

Power Plays w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)

SHAKRA Turn The Light On (AFM Records)
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Transmissions (Nuclear Blast)
RYDERS CREED Lost Soul (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FRAMING HANLEY Puzzle Pieces (Thermal Entertainment LLC)
ROBERT HART Mysterious (Escape Music)



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