Frontiers [release date 24.10.18]
“Patina’ is the newly released sophomore album from Red Dragon Cartel, the band formed around one time Qzzy Osbourne and Badlands guitarist Jake E Lee. As soon as the needle dropped (metaphorically, of course) I wanted to say that it picked up where it’s 2014 predecessor left off, but once you get in there this is not really the case. The album has a more “together” feeling to it, no doubt this is down to singer Darren James Smith as the self-titled debut featured a host of guest vocalists on each song and so had more of a disjointed feel to it. The song writing too has a more consistent feel and style this time around as this more stable line-up appears to have gelled musically.
The danger when a well know guitarist puts a project like this together is that it tends to become a showcase for their playing skills, however, that is not the case here and this is no doubt helped by the fact that the album was co-produced by bass player Anthony Esposito who worked with Lee on this. That said, the album has a couple of tracks that are a little bass heavy, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
Weighing in at only 9 tracks. “Patina” has something for everyone, the underlying bluesy swagger of “Havana”, the funk feel of “Bitter” or “The Luxury Of Breathing“with is touches of Led Zep. “Crooked Man” is, dare I say it, Ozzy like, whilst “Speedbag” and “Ink & Water” are my favourite tracks on the album.
Red Dragon Cartel have a run of US dates booked for early 2019 and here’s hoping that some European dates will follow, the previous live line-up of the band was becoming rocks revolving door at one point but hopefully this new incarnation will have more of a lasting impact. ****
Review by Nikk Gunns
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In this show, first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 2 February 2020, David Randall plays a selection of tracks from some of the artists who impressed at this year’s Giants Of Rock event in Minehead (24-27 January).
Featured Albums w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 NEWMAN Ignition (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 BLACK SWAN Shake The World (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 CORMAC O CAOIMH Swim Crawl Walk Run (indie)
Power Plays w/c 17 February (Mon-Fri)
SHAKRA Turn The Light On (AFM Records)
THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Transmissions (Nuclear Blast)
RYDERS CREED Lost Soul (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)
FRAMING HANLEY Puzzle Pieces (Thermal Entertainment LLC)
ROBERT HART Mysterious (Escape Music)
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