MARITA Bloodlust Skullcrock[Release date 09.04.18]
With her debut album – Rough Stuff (2015) reflecting a Norwegian ‘metal Madonna’ persona and yielding songs like ‘I Don’t Give A Fuck About You’, ‘Cuff Me’, and ‘Hot Rockin’, Marita Sundit Solheim has gone all ‘Sookie Stackhouse’ for her sophomore release.
And while there’s still hints of 80′s Madonna in some of her vocals, this time around she leans more heavily on influences like Joan Jett, Lee Aaron, Lita Ford, Vixen, Pat Benatar, and Cherry Bomb, in a set that while it may not be particularly sophisticated, or original, is unquestionably … huge fun.
The opener ’66 Crush’, with its faux radio report opening of a shooting, is simply irresistible – think Joan Jett fronts Motorhead on a NWOHM classic, with the ‘shock rock’ commerciality of Alice Cooper thrown in for good measure. ‘Seek The Fortune’ gets some captivating Thin Lizzy style guitar courtesy of Trygve Johan Solheim, and ‘Flesh Is Burning’ has shades of ‘Living On A Prayer’ in the chorus line.
Yes, Marita and Bloodlust are locked in to the eighties – a pop/rock/metal album reliving the big hair, spandex and feelgood factor of the era, inspired by classic horror and thriller movies, vampires and the like with numbers like ‘Horror High’, ‘Sleep Among The Dead’, ‘Zombified’, and ‘Flesh Is Burning’.
Marita’s at times, almost ‘girly’ vocals may, on the face of it, seem at odds with the, albeit tongue in cheek, bloodlust of the material, but somehow the two go together like a pair of lipstick shrouded incisors and a pulsing jugular. Escapist fun. ***1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
LUCIFER Lucifer II Century Media [Release date 06.07.18]
I was anticipating something more ‘doomy’ from this hard rocking Stockholm/Berlin three- piece, but pleasantly surprised to find they are more of a no frills heavy blues rock band majoring on the vocals of front woman Johanna Sadonis, very much in the Blues Pills mould.
Formed in Berlin in 2014, owing much to Black Sabbath, and the brainchild of vocal powerhouse Sadonis, but with a new line up and new writing partnership, Lucifer II is a different beast to Lucifer I.
Less overtly doomy, and infinitely more ‘accessible’ II was recorded by Sadonis, with co-writer Nicke Andersson playing drums, bass and half of the guitar parts, and lead guitarist Robin Tidebrink adding some distinctive six-string flair. The ‘live’ line-up has subsequently been completed by Martin Nordin, from the Swedish band Dead Lord, on second lead guitar and Austrian Alex Mayr on bass.
No question, Lucifer II is classic, heavy, uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll with Sadonis’ vocals providing the melody. It opens in some style with ‘California Sun’, a number that has a great blistering riff, screaming guitars and great vocals. Yes, it’s heavy, but it’s equally accessible.
‘Phoenix’ is another number with a captivating riff, a wonderful melody and soaring vocals and while there’s not much by way of light and shade, if you’re in the market for some paint peeling ‘period’ heavy female-fronted rock, Lucifer are well worth checking out. ***1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
LIGHT AMONG SHADOWS Under The Waves [Release date 10.04.18]
Symphonic rock from Spain? Why not.
Formed in 2010, Under The Waves is the band’s third album and, if you’re interested, all three can be sampled at Bandcamp.com.
Actually, the band – María Barragán (vocals), Adrien Fowl (guitars), Chris Red (bass) and Alejandro Tineo (drums) – are technically ‘up there’ with the premiere exponents of the genre. But, you’ve got to like the more ‘pacey’ and metal aspects of symph.
For my tastes, Under The Waves a little too ‘full on’, but I can see it, and the band’s two previous releases – At The Gates OF Dawn (2011) and Welcome… Back (2012), having a strong appeal to a younger generation.
For me, it’s when they ease off on the gas, as on the more relaxed ‘Leaves In The Wind’, with its excellent melodic guitar breaks, that the scope for a wider appeal is evident. Elsewhere, while well-constructed and executed, and probably good in a live environment, the ‘need for speed’ is just too much for my ageing tastes.
But symph fans… do check them out. ***
Review by Pete Whalley
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