Quick plays: ROYAL REPUBLIC, ROB MORATTI, FINE SOFT DAY, TRAGIK

ROYAL REPUBLIC - Club Majesty

ROYAL REPUBLIC Club Majesty Nuclear Blast [Release date 31.05.19]

Royal Republic are on the up and up with their mix of rock, dance, disco, funk, rock n roll – heck they will put in any style of music into their songs if they think it will work. And work it does as the foot stomper ‘Can’t Fight The Disco’ attests. If this song doesn’t get you moving you may be clinically dead!

‘Flower Power Madness’ sounds a little like Electric Six during that band’s heyday of ‘High Voltage’. Danko Jones are another musical reference point at times, particularly on ‘Fortune Favors’, with the classic lyric ‘Drop the bass you f***ing twat’, nice. ‘Stop Movin’ is another floor filler, heavy rock guitar mixing it with dance beats and a touch of surf guitar, make for another winning combination.

Given the current love of 70s & 80s music and retro in general, Royal Republic’s fame is set to soar. Note to the label, get them on a double bill with fellow label mates Night Flight Orchestra pronto. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

ROB MORATTI - Renaissance

ROB MORATTI Renaissance AOR Heaven [Release date 21.06.19]

Former Saga and Final Frontier vocalist Rob Moratti returns with a new solo album, his first on AOR Heaven and includes bassist Tony Franklin amongst the musicians involved on the album.

Although there isn’t much trace of Saga in the songs on here, there is plenty of the Journey like Final Frontier, be it on the upbeat opener ‘You Are The One’ and ‘Lift You Up – a song which does just that – or the mobiles aloft ballad ‘Best Of Me’. Fredrik Bergh on keyboards and piano is worthy of note as he adds greatly to this song and others throughout the album. A couple of songs are a tad melodic rock by numbers, however Moratti’s vocals lift the songs up.

Plenty of melodic rock/AOR on offer here and Rob Moratti’s distinctive high octave vocals are the cream on top. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

FINE SOFT DAY - You Are Here

FINE SOFT DAY You Are Here [Release date 01.07.19]

Hailing from Manchester, progressive rock-influenced band Fine Soft Day formed as far back as 1996. Fine Soft Day are Mark Sweeney (keyboards, vocals), Jeff Gascoyne (bass, guitar, violin, vocals) and Martin Hanbury (guitars, vocals).

They may have started out with a more folk and punk style, however now they are prog rock, none more so as this is a concept album. The concept on here is built around a themes of hope and humanity stretching across two points in history but connected by a single point on the earth – the weaving together of time and space.

Being a concept album I am not going to explain it all or run through each song, that is the beauty of a concept album each listener can find their own meanings and favourites on the album. However, ‘River’ is worthy of singling out for its sheer melodic bliss and Gilmour approved guitar. Also the epic ‘Roll Up The World Part 1’, a real prog wig out and they show a little bit of their folk origins in the use of harmony vocals and pastoral musical passages.

‘You Are Here’ harks back to 70s concept albums and chances are if you enjoy the music of Pink Floyd and Genesis this is worth a listen. It is not a classic like the albums by either of those two artists, however Fine Soft Day have plenty on ‘You Are Here’ to enjoy and indulge in. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

TRAGIK The Power Of Suggestion Rock Company [Release date 05.07.19]

It’s that man again Phil Vincent, back with Tragik, who in addition to Vincent features Dirk Phillips, and Damian D’Ercole. Tragik have been around since 2004 and this is album number eight from them.

Plenty of hard rock on offer here, be it ‘Through It All’ led by a heavy synth riff or the all-out guitar frenzy on ‘Crazy’, another song that features plenty of keys in the mix to good effect.

‘Her’ marks something different, and indeed a bit of a musical gamble, as it clocks in at over nine minutes. After a quiet piano and vocal intro, a heavy guitar comes into the mix and with Queen approved backing vocals, Tragik have a tune and a half on their hands. Oh and it also features one the album’s best guitar solos.

This is another good melodic hard rock album from the band and ‘She’ sees them trying something a little different, which hopefully they will continue on their next album. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

THE SURVIVAL CODE Crosses To Carry, Coffins To Fill Good Deeds Music

Following the release of 2017’s “Hopelessness of People” this is the new EP from The Survival Code, and the first new material to feature new drummer Simon Hartop. The two-piece band is completed by Gary McGuiness on vocals and guitar and were formed in Dublin back in 2012.

The Survival Code have a style that could, at times, be described as somewhere between The White Stripes and the Foo Fighters, with “So Serious” being a prime example of this. “The Innocent” has rock riffs with an almost lighter pop rooted vocal sitting on top of it, whilst “Cycles” is clearly influenced by 2000’s US punk/pop bands. Then we have the sonic push and pull of the darker sounding “Magnetic”.

“Crosses To Carry, Coffins To Fill” is not bad, not everyone will get into it, but not bad. **

Review by Nikk Gunns


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Power Plays w/c 10 June (Mon-Fri)

BAD DREEMS Double Dreeming (indie)
TAKE TODAY Lifeline (indie)
CRAZY LIXX Silent Thunder (Frontiers)
HAZY DAYS New Beginnings (indie)
MYRATH Wicked Dice (earMUSIC)
HOLLIS BROWN Do Me Right (Cool Green Recordings/Mascot)

Featured Albums w/c 10 June (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 NITRATE Open Wide (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 CRAZY LIXX Forever Wild (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DANNY VAUGHN Myths, Legends & Lies (Townsend Music)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

THE RAPTOR TRAIL New World (2016)



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