Quick plays: RAZORBATS, RAGE, SAGA, STAR CRYSTAL

RAZORBATS - Camp Rock

RAZORBATS – Camp Rock www.razorbats.com [Release date 15.09.15]

Razorbats hail from Norway and they like their 70′s rock that’s for sure, as you can hear bits of Alice Cooper, Kiss and on ‘Getaway’ you could be listening to a long-lost Blue Oyster Cult track. They also like the punk side of things, as the Ramones-like ‘Betty Boop’ shows, over and done with in just over a minute!

The band can play and on the majority of the album the songs are good, with ‘Kids Of The 70′s’ the real stand out song. This is a real get and rock anthem, bit like Hanoi Rocks. It is a fun album, nothing challenging lyrically or musically, just good old fashioned musical fun. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

RAGE – My Way Nuclear Blast [Release date 26.01.16]

This four song EP is to tide fans over until the band’s new album due later on this year. The band has also undergone a major line-up change, with founding member Peavy Wagner joined by guitarist Marcos Rodriguez and drummer Vassilios Maniatopoulos.

Two of the songs are re-recorded from the band’s 1995 ‘Black In Mind’ album. They do the title track and ‘Sent By The Devil’, both benefiting from a more updated production. ‘My Way’ is a classic power metal stomper, some ferocious drumming and guitar riffs on this one. In fact given the guttural vocals it would be a song Lordi would love to call their own. They also include a version of this song sung in Spanish. It still sounds as heavy!

Amazing to think Rage have been going now since the mid-80′s and with this new line-up look set for another successful chapter of the band. Certainly enough on here to keep the fans happy until the new album. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

SAGA – Pleasure & The Pain earMusic [Release date 20.01.16]

earMusic’s Saga re-issue campaign continues with the band’s 12th album, originally released in 1997 and one that would never have been given a decent push/promotion upon its release – it is one of the band’s lowest charting albums in their traditional stronghold Germany. There classic line-up changed on this one as Steve Negus bowed out for personal reasons with drummer Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper/Jeff Scott Soto/Impellitteri) deputising for him.

This is a strange album, as the band still kept some of the synth heavy songs like ‘Heaven Can Wait’, yet there were more indie sounding tunes like ‘How Do You Feel?’. There is also the pretty abysmal ‘Where’s My Money?’, a bizarre dance beat backing the gang chorus. They also re-recorded their 1979 song ‘You’re Not Alone Anymore’ (one of the two live bonus songs on here), oh dear not good… But all is not lost as they Saga-rise ‘Taxman’ by the Beatles and it works well. Again they add in some dance/scratching and the song features some of the heaviest guitar playing on the album.

For me Saga’s weakest album as there are some songs that may have sounded like a good idea at the time, but years on sound pretty average (and that’s being kind). Hardcore fans only for this one then.**1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

STAR CRYSTAL Follow Me

A laminated PR sheet is a first.  Even if it says little about Star Crystal other than that they’re a young female fronted band from Ukraine whose aim is to recreate the rock and glam of the 80s, when behemoths like Journey dominated the airwaves.

And they don’t do a bad job – vocalist Susanna Radimovskaya has a suitably fulsome set of pipes (and the looks), and there’s suitably chunky riffs, big hooks and vibrant guitar breaks.

Sadly, the set suffers badly from mix and production issues.  The rhythm section is muddy, the vocals, guitar, and keyboards are at times over bright, and the mix isn’t well balanced.  The result is that Follow Me sounds like a -very promising – demo, rather than the finished article.

But the material and individual performances promise a great deal, and it’s nice to hear this sort of music delivered with such verve by a young band.  Throw a little money at the production and it’s easy to imagine Star Crystal opening for some of the old stagers and giving them more than a run for their money.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley


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Power Plays w/c 21 July (Mon-Fri)

DANNY BEARDSLEY This Fool (indie)
KRIS BARRAS Ignite (Light It Up) (Provogue)
MIND KEY Vertigo (Where The Cold Wind Blows) (Frontiers)
HOLLOW HAZE A Different Sky (Frontiers)
KIN SOUND SYSTEM Live Again (indie)
SAPIEN TRACE Precipice (indie)
STONEWIRE FTM (indie)
FIFTEEN LIONS So Serene (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 21 July (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 JANET GARDNER Your Place In The Sun (Pavement Music)
12:00-13:00 THE NEW ROSES Nothing But Wild (Napalm Records)
14:00-16:00 JESSE KINCH I’m Not Like Everybody Else (Curb Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

LOVE & MONEY Dogs In The Traffic (1991)



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