Quick plays: CHINAWHITE, CALM FOR THE RESTLESS, DAMIEN O’KANE & RON BLOCK

CHINAWHITE Different

CHINAWHITE Different Rockcompany [Release date 14.06.18]

Chinawhite have been around for a while and feature in their ranks Peter Cox of Forest Field, Phil Vincent on vocals and Praying Mantis drummer Hans in’t Zandt. Overall it is a mix of prog moments like ‘Hello To The World’, which could do with a little more pomp to make it stand out. Then there are the hard rockers, with ‘Kiss Of Fire’ and ‘Mystery’ pick of the bunch, with their riff heavy backing and Phil Vincent in hard rocking mode.

Some good songs, however not a ‘must have’ by any stretch.  ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

CALM FOR THE RESTLESS Finish What You Started [Release date 24.08.18]

Originally formed back in 2007 by Leon Macauley (vocals) and Martin Brdford (rhythm guitar, vocals), they started Calm For The Restless over a love of InMe. This is the band’s full debut release having previously issued a couple of EPs.

They site the Foo Fighters as an influence and you can certainly hear that in the excellent ‘I Am A Lion’ or the moving lyric on ‘Brothers’. They know a good song arrangement as ‘We Need To Wake Up’ shows. Something different from the harder edged songs on the rest of the album.

This band have the songs to get themselves known, they just need a little piece of luck to get them more widely known. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

DAMIEN O’KANE & RON BLOCK Banjophony Pure Records [Release date 20.07.18]

Damien O’Kane has released a couple of well received albums including last year’s ‘Avenging and Bright’, a firm favourite with this reviewer, whilst Ron Block is an acclaimed banjo player in Alison Kraus & Union Station.

The album’s title stems from the joining of the two musicians’ banjo playing and the wondrous sounds they created. Fifteen songs, the majority of which they wrote themselves, with highlights a plenty be it ‘No Harm Done’ (reminded me of Sky) or the tender playing on ‘Ode To Aunty Francis’, which highlights that banjo playing isn’t all about furious fretwork! Another treat is ‘Brian Boru’s Reel’, one of two tunes on here by composer Michael Rooney. The tune features a lovely but of whistle playing by Michael McGoldrick.

Banjo playing is the new rock ‘n’ roll and you better believe it after listening to this wonderful album. O’Kane and Block succeed in making the banjo the focus of each tune, adding in fiddles, piano, guitar and mandolin as required. Perfect music for whatever mood you are in and sure to lift the spirits after each listen. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

THE SURVIVAL CODE Hopelessness Of People [Release date 31.08.18]

The Survival Code are Gary McGuinness (guitars, vocals, bass) and Tom Cook (drums), with Gary McGuinness writing all the music and lyrics. Since forming in 2011 they have been through a fair number of bass players and on this album Gary McGuinness handles bass duties, with Matt Hyde (Trivium/Ash) producing.

They have a sound that mixes riff heavy guitars and a little punk/indie rock in the band’s love of a hook filled chorus. On the slower numbers like ‘Self Medicate’ they have a hint of Feeder about them, no bad thing in my book!

They are sure to pick up more favourable reviews from the likes of ‘Kerrang!’ and ‘Rock Sound’ based on this rather good set of tunes. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


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Power Plays w/c 23 July 2018

BAD WOLVES (with Diamante) Hear Me Now (Eleven Seven Music)
STATIC FIRES Black Velvet (indie)
FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Sham Pain (Eleven Seven Music)
ICARUS DIVE Hydra (indie)
CONCRETE KINGDOMS Time To Play (indie)
LEONTAS Rhythm & Blues (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 23 July (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 CLIF MAGNESS Lucky Dog (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 MAD MAX 35 (SPV)
14:00-16:00 CHRIS THOMAS Bound To The Ocean (indie)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

18:00-19:00 JETHRO TULL Catfish Rising (1991)



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