JULIETTE STRANGE Romeo Kills Romeo [Release date 12.05.16]
Sometimes you hear an album that just chimes with the way you are feeling at the time. ‘Romeo Kills Romeo’ may be one of those. A collaboration (presumably via the ether) of John Price (from Nashville) and Jean-Paul Dehavilland (from Colchester, UK) the album is rooted in competent songwriting and musical values. I can guarantee (almost) that from the moment you hear opener ‘What Lies Between Us’ you will be drawn in.
‘My Baby Slips Away’ and ‘Long Live Love’ epitomise this band’s approach. There is a definite eighties feel to tracks like ‘Anything Happens’ with Price almost crooning the vocals and some sympathetic synth embellishment. A sort of Richard Hawley meets Talk Talk mixed with Divine Comedy. This is continued on another standout ‘Swallow’.
If there’s one criticism, by the time of penultimate track ‘God Knows I’m Guilty’ – which in fairness does ramble a bit – listeners may have tired of Price’s somewhat monotone delivery. ***1/2
Review by David Randall
NERISSA SCHWARZ Playgrounds Lost
What can you say about 37 minutes of electric harp and mellotron ambience?
Written, played, arranged and produced by Nerissa Schwarz of German cinematic/prog band Frequency Drift, we’re told in the PR blurb that the nine pieces explore the beauty, fragility and traumas of childhood.
That’s as may be, but ambient music can mean what you want it to. For the most part, as it burbled away gently, it brought to my mind images of nature – buds erupting on branches, leaves and petals unfurling, a beauty disturbed only by the seasons’ changes.
A thing of ethereal splendour, but only likely to be of interest to a very niche market. ***
Review by Pete Whalley
THE FERTILITY CULT A Forest Of Kings [Release date 09.09.16]
Progressive, Finish doom psychedelia, anyone?
Around since 2008, The Fertility Cult have ‘progressed’ from aiming to be similar, but bigger, than Sabbath, into a heavy prog outfit, retaining elements of their stoner doom roots.
It’s an interesting melee – some beautiful melodies which wouldn’t be out of place on a Moody Blues record, underpinned by the sort of ‘dirty’ sax playing that graced King Crimson’s Earthbound. Somehow TFC have managed to almost replicate that low-fidelity sound quality (in Crimson’s case as a result of recording the gig on cassette tape).
The result is an authentic, dense, almost distorted sound that sounds organic and ‘out of time’. Very early 1970′s, and at times it’s as if you’ve been sucked into a time vortex and been dropped into the midst of a Hawkwind, substance fuelled, cosmic wig out.
Rather pleasantly, by today’s standards, the album has an unstructured feel that could easily be mistaken for a live recording. It may be rather cacophonous at times, but is undeniably atmospheric. Aah, for those heady days of the Liverpool Stadium. ***
Review by Pete Whalley
MAGNUSON Dischordia [Release date 21.10.16]
Dischordia is a pretty apt album title from US rock duo Mr (Greg) and Mrs (Kyrsten) Magnuson from LA, who take it in turn to play guitar and drums, while sharing vocal duties.
High energy heavy rock, falling just a smidgeon short of metal is the name of the game overlaid with melodic vocals. The absence of other instrumentation makes for a full on, and expansive guitar sound, but the overall effect is … dischordant.
Underneath the cacophonous guitar work, there’s some great drum beats and there’s some decent song ideas trying to escape – ‘See Him Again’, for example, has a great hook, but they’re buried beneath a barrage of guitars/drums.
A seemingly increasingly popular format, and one that lends itself to DIY, you can’t accuse Magnuson of not ‘going for it’ but for me, at least, Dischordia is just a little too in-yer-face. **
Review by Pete Whalley
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 22 November.
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 22 November 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 24 November 2020
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Featured Albums w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 JEFF SCOTT SOTO Wide Awake (In My Dreamland) (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 LAZARUS DREAM Alive (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 RONAN FURLONG The King Of Leaves (Thoroughbred Music)
Power Plays w/c 23 November (Mon-Fri)
L.A. GUNS All That You Are (Golden Robot Records)
THE DUST CODA Limbo Man (Earache)
EBBA BERGKVIST & THE FLAT TIRE BAND 68 Twin (indie)
IRON SAVIOR Souleater (AFM Records)
IVY GOLD This Is My Time (indie)
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