X-ROMANCE Voices From The Past AOR Heaven [Release date 24.05.19]

Another blast from the past re-discovered and rebooted for today. This time it is the turn of X-Romance. X-Romance was initially a project started in 2015 as an offspring to the original band Romance from 1988, founded by bassist Anders Rönnblom (Killer Bee) & keyboards player Thomas Widmark. In the autumn of 2015, Anders was going through a box of old tapes and found the old Romance recordings. He called Thomas, because he thought that these tapes were just too good to be put in a box and stored in a closet. They went through all the tracks and rerecorded them being joined by vocalist Andreas Novak (House Of Shakira), guitarists Fredrik Tjerneld and Mikael Dahlin (Killer Bee) and drummer Kenta Karlbom (Goatess), in the studio.

Not surprisingly given when the songs were originally written the album has a distinct 80’s melodic hard rock sound. Also they have chosen the perfect singer for these songs in Andreas Novak, his melodic singing lifts up songs like ‘Lonely’ and the Rainbow groove on ‘Bad Connection’.

It is pretty much standard melodic rock, listenable but nothing special and helped by having Andreas Novak’s vocals, particularly on the album’s stand out ‘You And I’, a veritable melodic rock gem. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie


THE DAMNED THINGS High Crimes Nuclear Blast [Release date 26.04.19]

The Damned Things are a supergroup who released their debut album ‘Ironiclast’ in 2010 to rave reviews. They consist of Every Time I Die vocalist Keith Buckley, Alkaline Trio bassist Dan Andriano (who joined the band this year), Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, plus guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley, both members of Fall Out Boy. After playing some festivals around the time of the debut album’s release, the Damned Things went on the backburner due to the band member’s commitments to their other bands. Now we have their second album and one that is sure to please their fans and win them a fair new ones.

They cover a many musical bases, be it the catchy pop metal of ‘Something Good’. You’ve got to love a song with the refrain ‘All of my friends are going to hell’, a definite Fall Out Boy feel to this one. Or how about a nice little bit of screamo metal on ‘Carry A Brick’? Again, another song with a big melody in amongst all the metal music.

Many a supergroup fails by the songs, not so the Damned Things who have enough modern clout coupled with good old fashioned heavy metal/rock (songs like ‘Storm Charmer’ and ‘Crawling Back’ both feature a classic Sabbath bass/drum rhythm) to satisfy a wide audience. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

LEGION Rising Rock Company [Release date 19.04.19]

Album number nine from Legion and by my reckoning the third album so far this year to feature the vocal talents of Phil Vincent! The majority of Legion however hail from the UK, namely guitarist Vince O’Regan (Pulse, Bob Catley), bassist Gavin Cooper (Lionsheart, Statetrooper, Weapon UK), drummer Andy Pierce (Pulse) and on keyboards Irvin Parratt (Pulse, Bob Catley).

The metal quota is certainly fulfilled on the riff-tastic ‘Nothin’ To Me’ and the pounding rhythm on ‘Only The Strong Survive’, with a bit of a rap vocal from Phil Vincent. For those after a little less metal, more hard rocking ‘Lost Soul’ and the catchy ‘Maybe Now’ do the trick. Decent production and sound throughout, although not much in the way of keyboards.

After a couple of so-so albums Legion have got their rockin’ mojo back and I suggest you give them a listen pronto. Metal with a melodic edge, made for cranking it up. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


David Randall plays a selection of new and classic rock in his weekly show first broadcast 14 June 2020 including reference to the Feature series “2020 Vision”.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 22 June (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 INTELLIGENT MUSIC PROJECT V – Life Motion (Intelligent Music)
12:00-13:00 HOUSE OF LORDS New World, New Eyes (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 BEN HEMMING Broken Road (indie)

Power Plays w/c 22 June (Mon-Fri)

SKYFEVER Is This The End Of The World (indie)
JD SIMO One Of Those Days (Crows Feets Records)
JAMES WARREN Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime (Singsong Music)
THE BLACK MOODS Sunshine (indie)
EKKO PARK All Eyes On Me (Dinner For Wolves)
LARKIN POE Holy Ghost Fire (Tricki-Woo Records)
GILBY CLARKE (Golden Robot Records)

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