DREAM CHILD Until Death Do We Meet Again Frontiers [Release date 14.09.18]
Dream Child is formed around former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy, who is joined by fellow Dio member drummer Simon Wright, former Ozzy/Whitesnake bassist Rudy Sarzo, Wayne Findlay (ex-MSG) on guitars, keyboards and vocalist Diego Valdez. Frontiers go-to man Alessandro Del Vecchio co-produces with Goldy.
It will come as no surprise that the album has a Dio sound, made all the more so by the vocals of Diego Valdez who sounds like Dio a lot of the time. It starts well with the melodic metal of ‘Under The Wire’ (complete with a snippet of ‘Tubular Bells’ at the start on piano), followed by ‘You Can’t Take Me Down’ and ‘Game Of Shadows’, both good, solid songs.
Closer ‘One Step Beyond The Grave’ builds nicely, featuring a suitably eerie synths/keys run midway through and a trademark Goldy solo – plenty of passion and style, however never outstaying its welcome. However, the rest of the album although well played and sounding good, the songs lack that spark to make you want to hear them again or indeed hear played live.
A solid debut that will hopefully see Dream Child record a follow-up as the talent is undoubtedly there, they just need to focus on songs that stand out amongst the crowd. ***
Review by Jason Ritchie
THE UNITY Rise SPV/Steamhammer [Release date 14.09.18]
The Unity came about as a side project by Gamma Ray’s Henjo Richter (guitars) and Michael Ehré (drums), where they are joined by vocalist Gianbattista Manenti, Sascha Onnen (keyboards), Jogi Sweers (bass), and Stef Ellerhorst (guitars). They released their debut album last year and here we are with a relatively swift follow-up with ‘Rise’.
Despite the Gamma Ray connection the Unity have more of hard rock sound at times on ‘Road To Nowhere’ and the ultra catchy ‘Better Day’, although ‘Welcome Home’ is a power metal belter. Heck, a song like ‘L.I.F.E.’ would appeal to fans of Europe, a glorious piece of melodic hard rock. Gianbattista Manenti has an impressive set of pipes on him, easily matching the frenzied guitar playing of Richter and Ellehorst.
The Unity are perfect for those after melodic hard rock with a subtle edge of metal in the mix. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
PLASTIC TEARS Angels With Attitude City of Lights Records
Finnish band Plastic Tears have been around since 1992 and deliver Scandi sleaze rock done properly. Musically the band are straight out of the Andy McCoy school of rock n roll song writing and so comparisons to fellow Finns Hanoi Rocks are inevitable, and impossible to avoid, as there are nods to the band throughout latest album “Angels With Attitude”.
The 11-track album is strong throughout and although the vocals of Miqu December are heavily reminiscent of Hanoi frontman Michael Monroe, they are not a blatant rip off, well, ok maybe a little bit on the track “Nuclear Nights”. OK, “Midnight Date”, “Blue Angel”, the darker “Rhythm Rider” and the good old rock n roll of “Miss Stumbling Legs” are also, what I’m gonna call, “heavily influenced” by their obvious idols but there is more to Plastic Tears then this as other album highlights such as “Dark Passenger”, “Secret Society” or “Iris Kick” will demonstrate.
Plastic Tears may have suffered from more than their fair share of break ups, line-up changes and record company disasters but “Angels With Attitude” is a great album and one that shows exactly what is missing in rock n roll these days. ****1/2
Review by Nikk Gunns
Jollymon describe themselves as space rock, I guess that I’d go with that, and fifth album “Voidwalker” has mood and melody in abundance throughout. Released some 18 years after it’s self-titled processor, the album finds the band sounding on top form.
The trio work well together and the vocals have an almost pop like feel to them at times, this is lighter in comparison to the music and the contrast works to great effect. The band have blended many influences together, as is evident by the material on offer here, there is a touch of reggae in “Slice of Life”, a Southern rock meets Rob Zombie feel to “A Good Day”, the spacey “Forecast” and a big slab of doom rock in “Sky Burial”.
The tracks that I would recommend heading to are opening track “Tsunami”, “Monkeyhawk” and “Be Nice”. All in all, “Voidwalker” is an album that that I found to be easy to listen to and one that is enjoyable for reasons that are no simpler than it just all gelling together so well. Do yourself a favour and have a listen. ****
Review by Nikk Gunns
SLIMBOY Sail On Sailor
Swiss pop punk trio Slimboy have recently released fifth album “Sail on Sailor” after a four-year break and each of the ten tracks on the album is based on the personal experiences of vocalist/bassist Joel Bader.
Whether it be the Irish tinged punk of opening track “Falling Apart” or the more melodic “Hearts All Done” and “Let It Go”, you cannot argue that the band have put everything into this record. The stand out track here, for me, is “Downfall”, and this is closely followed by “So-Called Unity” and “Life/Death (Ghost of You)”.
“Sail On Sailor” also brings us “Sorrows”, which is the nearest thing you’ll get to a ballad here. “Whatever” is another good song that is punk played with a hook and a sense of melody. “Believe In You” is an interesting song that is slower and feels like a tribute to someone, is this a new direction for Slimboy to explore?
The album closes out with a trio of faster paced US style punk (think latter day here, not the heyday of CBGB’s) in “Freak”, and the afore mentioned “So-Called Unity” and “Life/Death (Ghost of You)”.
Slimboy have delivered a good comeback album in “Sail On Sailor” and this will undoubtedly keep their fanbase happy. ***
Review by Nikk Gunns
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Power Plays w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)
BLOCK BUSTER Losing Gravity (Frontiers)
WATCH ME BREATHE Don’t Think I Haven’t Thought About It (The Label Group/INGrooves)
FIRES OF FREYA Take A Bow (indie)
BLACK STAR RIDERS Underneath The Afterglow (Nuclear Blast)
STOMPIN’ HEAT Shiny Curly Red Hair (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 16 September (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 THE DEFIANTS Zokusho (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CORELEONI II (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 TONY McLOUGHLIN True Native (Fuego)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
BAD COMPANY Company Of Strangers (1995)
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