MONTANA Change In The Weather Angel Air [Release date 18.01.19]
Montana formed out of the Mission Mountain Wood Band (M2WB), when that band broke-up in 1981. ‘Change In The Weather’ was the debut album under the Montana name and featured Kurt Bergeron (guitar, fiddle, pedal steel guitar, vocals, banjo), Rob Quist (banjo, guitar, pedal steel guitar, vocals), Terry Robinson (acoustic guitar, harmonica, vocals), Greg Reichenberg (drums) and Jerry Zalnoski (bass). Ten members of the band (Robinson and Bergeron and then-current band members Cliff Tipton, Alan Larson, and Grady Whitfield) and crew died in plane crash in 1987. That tragedy signalled the end of Montana, however M2WB continue to tour and record, whilst Rob Quist has become active in the political field.
The music is well played, easy on the ear melodic country rock – not dissimilar to Alabama, Poco and the Little River Band – from the aptly named ‘Dreamer’ and ‘Snowfall On A Mountain’, which puts the band’s harmony vocals to good effect. They had a hit back in the day with ‘The Shoes On The Other Foot Tonight’, a song made for a road trip playlist and featuring sublime pedal steel guitar playing.
First time on CD, ‘Change In The Weather’ deserves a place in the collection of lovers of 70′s and early 80′s country rock. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
DEER TICK Mayonnaise [Release date 01.02.19]
‘Mayonnaise’ sees Deer Tick release a compilation of their ‘Vol. 1′ and ‘Vol. 2′ albums, along with some newly recorded cover versions.
It is a rare old mix with the Pixies like ’Spirals’ through to folksy ‘Old Lady’, Deer Tick don’t like to keep to one musical path. Of the cover versions they rip through the Pogues’ ‘White City’, whilst George Harrison’s ‘Run Of The Mill’ certainly has the potential to crossover into mainstream playlists.
One for fans as not sure it will win them over many new ones with this. ***
Review by Jason Ritchie
JOHNNY GIOELI One Voice Frontiers [07.12.18]
Vocalist Johnny Gioeli is most known for his work in Hardline, Crush 40 and with Axel Rudi Pell, plus he released an album with former Journey drummer Deen Castronova last year on the same label. This is his first solo album with a big portion of the money raised for this album via a crowd funding campaign going directly to help a young man, Joe Barber, in his recovery from an accident that has left him paralyzed. In a world of many self-serving rock stars, a genuine gesture from Johnny.
Speaking of the name Johnny, the singing on here is similar to Jon Bon Jovi. Listening to ‘It’ or ‘Deeper’, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were listening to latter day Bon Jovi. It is a gentler melodic rock than Hardline and those after Gioeli’s more metalized vocals on the Axel Rudi Pell albums are likely to feel short changed. The heaviest song on the album is ‘Hit Me Once, Hit Ya Twice’, which has a suitably heavy guitar solo and riffs.
‘Mind Melt’ and ‘Drive’ are the stand outs, in an album that will on the whole satisfy fans of his singing. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
MIGHTY QUINN & THE OAKLAND RONIN
Mighty Quinn & The Oakland Ronin is the self titled debt album from songwriter Mighty Quinn and his band The Oakland Ronin. The album was written and produced by Quinn and guitarist Geoff Saba, the latter also mixing the album, interestingly, eight of the albums twelve tracks are also “Ronin remix” versions.
The band clearly has a wide variation of influences, but the sound here is firmly in the punk/garage genre – raw, honest and authentic. There are a couple of out and out fast paced tracks in “Headfirst”, “Squash It”, “Anxiety” and the more melodic “Mickey Got Married” but it is on songs like ”Kilt Kimono”, ”Town” and “Rebel” that the band excel.
Special mention has to be made of “Love Vs Bankers”, which bounces along nicely, and “Meet The Ronin” which no doubt works very well live as it introduces the band and its members.
All in all “Mighty Quinn & The Oakland Ronin” is not a bad debut at all. ***
Review by Nikk Gunns
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