CARRIE TREE The Canoe [Release date 26.04.19]

Brighton based singer songwriter Carrie Tree is onto her third album with ‘The Canoe’, which sees her work with producer and arranger Markus Sieber.

‘Human Kindness’ is the album’s stand out, highlighting that refugees are only after a home. As the lyric says ‘Home is where peace can come from.’ Mark Woodward’s harmony vocals are the icing on this particular musical cake. Given decent exposure this song could easily become an anthem for a campaign on human rights.

The audio effects can be heard on ‘Only Love’, with the sounds washing over the listener (and not just the sound of the waves used on this song), not unlike the work of India Electric Co. Another song to drift away with is ‘Deep As We Are’, the double bass and percussion add an extra dimension to Tree’s soothing vocals.

Carrie Tree has a wonderfully breathy vocal, which added to the lush production of Markus Sieber, makes for a captivating listen. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

HEADSTICKS Kept In The Dark STP [Release date 01.03.19]

Headsticks formed from the ashes of Celtic punk folk band Tower Struck Down and acoustic folk punk band Jugopunch. That gives you some idea of the Headsticks musical direction and add in a little ska/reggae and their musical mix is complete.

Lyrical targets include ‘Mushrooms’ (basically we’re kept in the dark and fed shit) and the excellent ‘Mr I’m Alright Jack’, a hard hitting lyric set to a wonderful rock ‘n’ roll beat. ‘It’s A Matter Of Time’ features work from the Trent Vale poet who died last year, making for a fitting tribute to him.

‘Cynical’ is spoilt by the repetition of the word cynical, whilst the eleven minutes of closing song ‘Baboon Shepherd’ is basically a rambling rant and not one you would hurry back to listen to again.

Headsticks would be a great band to see live and this album certainly has some highlights. **1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

THE END machine Frontiers [Release date 22.03.19]

THE END machine is the new band featuring three members of the classic Dokken line-up – George Lynch (guitar), Jeff Pilson (bass) and Mick Brown (drums) – along with former Lynch Mob and current Warrant vocalist Robert Mason. Don’t go expecting a hark back to the 80′s hard rock of Dokken, instead this is modern hard rock being big on riffs and a big sound, courtesy of Jeff Pilson’s production talents.

‘Ride It’ is a George Lynch tour de force with his guitar soloing to fore and easily song of the album. ‘Line Of Divison’ is the other real stand out featuring a big, in your face rumbling bass line from Pilson.

Nothing special, but then again nothing bad. A typical ‘meh’ album that seems to becoming more common recently, whereby you can easily sit through one listen and not skip any song, but afterwards you are not rushing back to hear it all again. Still, sure to please fans of George Lynch’s playing and Robert Mason is a fine vocalist. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

TNT Encore Live In Milan Frontiers [Release date 22.03.19]

Recorded back in 2017, when vocalist Tony Harnell had rejoined the band (again!) the year before and would leave again before 2017 was finished. It means that this CD and accompanying live DVD (which adds ‘Downhill Racer’ as a bonus and this also appears on the Japanese CD release) becomes a farewell to Harnell.

Good setlist covering all the Harnell fronted years, with ‘Invisible Noise’ (Harnell hitting those high notes right at the end), ‘Northern Lights’ and ‘Everyone’s A Star’ stand outs. Both Harnell and Ronni Le Treko are on good form, Le Treko whizzing up and down his fretboard on ‘Invisible Noise’ and his instrumental solo ‘Ironnic’.

TNT and Tony Harnell carry on with their separate musical journeys, whilst we have ‘Encore’ to show how good the two went together. Who knows, maybe one day they will reunite again?! ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

SONS OF MORPHEUS – Wooden House Sessions Czar of Revelations

“Wooden House Sessions” is the latest offering from Swiss band Sons of Morpheus, and with 6 tracks weighing in at 34 minutes it feels more like an album then an EP but I’ll let you make the choice, and for their 4th release, this doom laden trio appear to have stepped it up a notch.

Opening track “Doomed Cowboy” is an atmospheric instrumental that is almost soundtrack like and this gives way to my favourite track on the CD, the bass driven doom of “Loner”. “Nowhere To Go” follows in the same vein but then the record turns with “Sphere” as this track moves away into an almost commercial grunge meets pop type track.

Then we get to final track “Slaves (Never Ending Version)”, which at 13 and a half minutes clearly does end, which reminds me of Alice In Chains.

Sons of Morpheus are great at what they do, the songs are well written and they have a growing fan base. The question I have is will they now head in a more commercial direction and grow even further? ***

Review by Nikk Gunns

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 September 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 22 September 2020.

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Featured Albums w/c 12 October (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 BROTHER FIRETRIBE Feel The Burn (Nuclear Blast)
12:00-13:00 BLUE OYSTER CULT The Symbol Remains (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 SHEMEKIA COPELAND Uncivil War (Alligator)

Power Plays w/c 12 October (Mon-Fri)

HELLZ We Want Rock (indie)
WHEN RIVERS MEET Battleground (indie)
UNCUT Family Blues (indie)
MIKE ROSS Don’t Say A Word (Taller Records)
CORY MARKS Blame It On The Double (indie)
MASON HILL Against The Wall (indie)
CATS IN SPACE Revolution (Harmony Factory)

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