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
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits
More about Josh: http://getreadytorock.me.uk/blog/?s=%22Josh+Taerk%22
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 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 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 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections
Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)
Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)
BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)
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