Quick plays: CHANGE OF HEART, THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE

CHANGE OF HEART - Last Tiger

CHANGE OF HEART – Last Tiger Escape Music [Release date 22.07.16]

Change Of Heart first appeared back in 1998 and released their last album way back in 2005 ‘Truth Or Dare’. They are back with their polished Brit AOR/melodic rock sound that will definitely appeal to fans of Chris Ousey/Heartland, Newman and 80′s era FM. Alan Clark is the main songwriter and driver behind the band, as well as singing and his vocals do recall Chris Ousey and Lee Small (Shy/Phenomena) at times.

The music is all highly polished and has some memorable hooks most notably on ‘Stone Cold’ and ‘Wayward Son’. Alan Clark can put in a good heartfelt vocal, a real must in the melodic rock/AOR arena, and ‘Hold On To Love’ is a corker of a ballad tugging at the old heartstrings.

Enjoyable melodic rock release and certainly worth a place in any melodic rock fans collection. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE - Imagica

THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE – Imagica [Release date 22-07.16]

As I am new to this band maybe an album of demos (released between 1998-2001) is not the best place to start, however after listening to this album it has piqued my interest in the band, so job done. For existing fans of the band three songs on here have never been released before, two of which are covers and more of those later.

The band themselves (the album’s title is in reference to the band’s original name) have an addictive blend of synth pop and more rock moments, think of Depeche Mode post-1990 or Paradise Lost in their ‘One Second’/'Host’ era. Also Gary Numan in his Tubeway Army days comes to mind on ‘Under The Stairs’ – the synth start reminded me of Numan’s ‘Down In The Park’. They do have a varied style from the dance beats on ‘Night Time’ to the more gothic pop/Depeche Mode like ‘Play Dead’.

The two covers are interesting choices as first up we have Madonna’s ‘Open Your Heart’ with some massive 80′s synths/electronica topped by Chibi’s melodious vocals. The other cover is the Faith No More classic ‘From Out Of Nowhere’ and what a top version of this song!

If you are new to the band like me have a listen as you will be impressed and this is the band in their formative years before they really honed their own sound. Fans of the band will want this just for the unreleased songs. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

THADEUS GONZALEZ www.thadeusgonzalez.com

Thadeus Gonzalez has released his second, self-titled album and he likes his hard rock.  The album is a good mix of hard rockers, with a nod to the 80′s hard rock sound of bands like Dokken and even shades of Motley Crue in the guitar riffs on ‘Bite It’.

The album’s one ballad ‘Stand On Ceremony’ is something different and personally I’d like to hear more in this vein as the hard rock side is okay, just nothing special in a very crowded marketplace.

Not essential by any means but worth a look and listen for ‘Stand On Ceremony’ alone. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

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Power Plays w/c 24 June (Mon-Fri)

GUMSHOE When Things Started To Ignite (indie)
THE NEW ROSES Heartache (Napalm Records)
EMPYRE New Republic (indie)
PISTON Leave If You Dare (indie)
SPREAD EAGLE Sound Of Speed (Frontiers)

Featured Albums w/c 24 June (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 FORTUNE II (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 BARBE-Q-BARBIES Borrowed Time (Dissonance)
14:00-16:00 HEATHER FINDLAY Wild Horses (Black Sand Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

ELEANOR McEVOY I’d Rather Go Blonde (2010)



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