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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Power Plays w/c 18 February 2019
SKYFEVER Kings (indie)
THE NILE DELTAS Don’t Play With Me (indie)
MIKE HYDER Don’t Look Behind You (indie)
HIGH TREASON Silver Bullets (3MS Music)
THE EXPERIMENTAL The Energy (indie)
Featured Albums w/c 18 February (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TOBY HITCHCOCK Reckoning (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 REVOLUTION HIGHWAY (Grooveyard Records)
14:00-16:00 DANNI NICHOLLS The Melted Morning (Danni Nicholls Music)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
DRIVING MRS SATAN Popscotch (2013)
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