GO WEST Live Robin 2 – 2003 [Release date 29.07.16] Angel Air Records
Go West are still going strong and with the original duo of vocalist Peter Cox and guitarist Richard Drummie. This show was recorded back in 2003, so some years back now although the setlist is heavily geared towards their 80′s pop glory days as you’d expect.
They have a top notch live band with guitarist DeeRal laying down a soulful solo on ‘The Sun And The Moon’ and the rhythm section of bassist Greg Harewood and drummer Richard Brook are tighter than a gnat’s chuff. On synth pop classics like ‘Call Me’ or ‘We Close Our Eyes’ keyboards player Lyndon Connah makes himself known.
The DVD has the same set as the CD plus a long and fascinating interview with Peter Cox and Richard Drummie.
Peter Cox’s voice still sounds good and one of the live set’s highlights is the band’s version of ‘Tracks Of My Tears’. What an amazing and heartfelt vocal performance from Peter Cox. Essential for the band’s fans and anyone like me who enjoys top quality 80′s synth based pop/soul. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
RAGDOLL Back To Zero [Release date 12.04.16] Bad Reputation
Going by the band name I was expecting perhaps a sleaze metal band but no Ragdoll are a three piece modern rock band hailing from Australia. The line-up consists of Ryan Rafferty (vocals/bass), Leon Todd (guitar) and Carn Barrett (drums).
Two real stand out songs on here are ‘Shine’ – like a metal AOR song if such a thing can exist! ‘Playing God’ is an immense tune, backed by a relentless guitar riff and impassioned vocals from Ryan Rafferty, this song deserves to be on any self-respecting rock fans iPod. Do stick with the album as it is not all instant and the band have a sharp outlook on life in their lyrics as can be heard of the aforementioned ‘Playing God’ and ‘The World You Gave Us’.
The band wanted to successfully mix traditional rock sounds with more modern ones and for the most part they succeed. They would suit a support slot with Alter Bridge, the nearest sound comparison. Certainly worth a listen and they have a lot to offer based on this promising debut album. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
ALICE SWEET ALICE Viola Organista and Other Impossible Dreams
Viola Organista is Kansas City-based ASA’s, fifth album, and first in three years following a hiatus while band leader Scott Martinez (vocals, bass, guitars) cared for his terminally ill father.
An ‘alt rock hybrid’ fronted by Ali Cat, the nine tracks over 38 minutes explore new territory for the band – post punk rock, tinged with electronica elements.
Divided into two Acts, the Act 1 opener ‘Daredevil’ opens in Halestorm-in-full-flight style – pedal to the metal riffs and shouty female vocals. Mosh pit nirvana. ‘Strange Things’, is indeed, strange – an angular (and rather irksome) rhythm paired with celestial 1950′s sci fi electronica doodlings. A ‘skip’ track if ever there was one and the title track is another bludgeoner. ‘Little Miss Know It All’ is a garage number with a half decent melody line, while ‘Osseus’ drifts and crunches along moodily.
Act 2 is a far more accessible set – ‘Masochist’ and ‘The Hostage’ have a nice funky groove and are probably the pick of the bunch marrying power and panache, while ‘Floodwaters’ and ‘Wednesday’s Child’ shimmer along nicely.
There’s some promising material here, particularly in Act 2, but there’s rough edges that will need to be refined if Alice Sweet Alice are to become true contenders. ***
Review by Pete Whalley
REDWEST Crimson Renegade
Post-apocalyptic, spaghetti western metal? Really? Yes, and all the way from Italy.
Formed in Milan in 2009, they might not go so far as Kiss or Rammstein, but visually Redwest look like Wild West/Mad Max renegades. Boy, it must be hot playing the drums in a gas mask!
Complete with a string/brass section, and an Ennio Morricone-inspired ‘A Fistful Of Dollars’, the question to be asked is ‘novelty act, or serious contenders?’.
Probably a bit of both. Strip away the spaghetti western style guitar work that peppers the album, and the odd ‘yippee ki-yay’ inspired chorus line and you’re left with a fairly standard metal hammered Big Country style with Thin Lizzy undertones and some nicely melodic chorus lines. That is until you get to the final two tracks which, in complete contrast, are more country orientated, and it’s a pity they didn’t make rather more of the excellent operatic vocals that open ‘Morning Ghost’.
I can see Crimson Renegade going down well at festivals, and on the club circuit, but I don’t think Ennio Morricone is going to be losing any sleep over copyright infringement. **
Review by Pete Whalley
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Power Plays w/c 30 September (Mon-Fri)
HANFORD FLYOVER Just Another Day (Fruits de Mer)
MAVEN Stronger Than You (indie)
BETH HART Sugar Shack (Provogue)
YOGI LANG A Way Out Of Here (Gentle Art Of Music)
Featured Albums w/c 30 September (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 AGE OF REFLECTION A New Dawn (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 KXM Circle Of Dolls (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 PAUL DUNTON ORCHESTRA Clearly Invisible (indie)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
ROBIN TROWER In The Line Of Fire (1990)
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