Quick plays: SCOTT MATTHEWS, SHIRAZ LANE, MIKE LEPOND’S SILENT ASSASSINS

SCOTT MATTHEWS The Great Untold Sheido [27.04.18]

Album number six from the Wolverhampton singer songwriter Scott Matthews, who has gone for a sparse sound and production on this album. His guitar playing is simply superb, which coupled with his haunting vocals (shades of Jeff & Tim Buckley and John Martyn) really take songs like ‘Silence’ and ‘Something Real’ (the soaring vocals and arrangements are simply stunning) to another level.

The ethereal ‘Goodnight Day’ is another highlight, one for the headphones and letting yourself float into the music.

Settle yourself down with your favourite tipple and then enjoy this album as the music draws you in. Scott Matthews will surely become a better known name in the music world based on ‘The Great Untold’. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

SHIRAZ LANE Carnival Days Frontiers [23.02.18]

Second album from Finnish melodic hard rockers where they carry on where their debut left off with an album chock full of catchy tunes. Not afraid to mix it up music wise they add tasty sax and piano to the opener and title track, whilst ‘Harder To Breathe’ has the crossover appeal that H.E.A.T. have. The sax is back on the laid back ‘Gotta Be Real’, another song with crossover appeal. They even sneak in a little reggae on the album closer ‘Reincarnation’, a good showcase for vocalist Hannes Kett.

Producer Per Aldeheim certainly seems to have given the band a few musical ideas, as well as co-writing all but one of the songs with the band.

With the likes of Motley Crue now retired and Hanoi Rocks unlikely to return, Shiraz Lane are perfect a fit for fan’s of these bands.

A big step up from their debut and much more consistent throughout, Shiraz Lane are on the up and up. Classy melodic rock and then some. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

MIKE LEPOND’S SILENT ASSASSINS Pawn And Prophecy Frontiers [26.01.18]

Second album from the band formed by Symphony X’s bassist Mike LePond and like the first album he is joined by fellow Symphony X band mate guitarist Michael Romeo  (the band’s keyboards player Michael Pinnella guests on the title track) and vocalist Alan Tecchio (Seven Witches, Watchtower).

It is well played, foot-on-the-monitor metal with the odd prog leaning as can be heard on the sprawling 21 minutes of the title track and the Manowar like ‘I Am The Bull’. Only the acoustic ‘The Mulberry Tree’ offers a respite from the metallic onslaught.

If you enjoyed the first album from Silent Assassins chances are you will enjoy this, otherwise nothing overly memorable bar the impressive bass playing of LePond. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie


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Power Plays w/c 2 April 2018


TAX THE HEAT Taking The Hit (Nuclear Blast)
BLACKBERRY SMOKE Nobody Gives A Damn (Earache)
THE DEAD DAISIES Resurrected (SPV)
CATTAIL BREW Fool’s Gold (Capital City Music Factory/Cargo Records)


Featured Albums w/c 2 April (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 FRONTLINE State Of Rock + 2 (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 GUS G Fearless (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TRACK DOGS Kansas City Out Groove (Mondegreen Records)



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