VINDICATA Beneath The Surface

VINDICATA Beneath The Surface Grooveyard Records [Release date 23.11.18]

The “secret weapon” on this debut album might be construed as early Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland (who handles most of the solos) but in actual fact it’s vocalist Mary Magill who provides the major attraction.

Against a full metal onslaught, Magill’s vocals shine through.  It’s the strength of the songs that determine repeat playability and the album is filled with the catchy choruses including on ‘Death Defying Years’ and ‘Carry My Dreams Away’ whilst ‘Would You’ and ‘Fragile’ are groove-laden standouts where guitarists Jim McCrostie and Brett Pedersen provide relentless metal riffage throughout.

Play this loud.  ****1/2

Review by David Randall


REVOLUTION HIGHWAY Grooveyard Records [Release date 23.11.18]

Let’s be honest, this isn’t going to win any prizes for originality.  It mines a deep vein of hard rock previously well trodden by Messrs. Coverdale, Rodgers and Plant.

This is plainly evident on the opener ‘Renegade’ which reminds of ‘Black Dog’ and sums up this band’s meld of Zeppelin via early Whitesnake and latter-day Bad Company. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as the songs are well constructed and the playing exemplary.  And thankfully this self-titled debut does meet these exacting requirements.

With main-men, vocalist David Fefolt and Savros Papadopoulos (guitar), eleven riff-driven, ballsy tracks have been fashioned with a high quotient of memorable choruses (including ‘Young And Wild’ and ‘Rollin’ Train’) whilst the longer ‘Sister Of The Devil’ provides suitable respite but is no less impressive.

If melodic hard rock is your thing, you’ll certainly like this.  ****

Review by David Randall

ROCKICKS Keep On Rockin’ (A Retrospective Anthology)
Grooveyard Records [Release date 23.11.18]

This retrospective set from Rockicks might have been distilled to a more impressive single disc, celebrating a band who flourished briefly in late 1970s Los Angeles.

The first disc is impressive, the band’s brand of southern rock purposeful and well executed.  The second disc seems to be culled mainly from demos with several alternate versions and the sonic quality doesn’t really do the band justice.  However, there’s plenty of evidence of the band’s quality, fast forwarding to 1991-1992 when’Jesse James’ and ‘Get The Lead Out’were recorded.

The band were originally signed to RSO and probably didn’t sit easily in that label’s roster (with the likes of Yvonne Ellman and Bee Gees).  They released one album – Inside – in 1977 which is featured on Disc One in its entirety together with other tracks which may have been destined for a follow-up.

This package is let down by the complete lack of historic information, given also the lack of band visibility over the years.

Yes, we’ve never heard of Rockicks and maybe one clue to their ultimate lack of success lies in the rather naff name.  This leads you to have perhaps lower expectations but stick with it, this a slice of forty year old classic melodic hard rock that demanded – and still demands – a wider audience.  ***1/2

Review by David Randall

On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)

Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)

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