Quick plays: ATOM WORKS, YES

YES Live At Glastonbury 2003

YES Live At Glastonbury 2003 The Store For Music [Release date 04.10.19]

There is not even an inlay for this double album lifted from the soundtrack to the “Director’s Cut” DVD released in 2008.  Roger Dean’s iconic logo is the only visual external reference.

The saving grace is that this does feature the classic Yes line-up and with a set-list drawn from across the years and including three songs from 1971′s ‘Fragile’.

No, it isn’t essential – there’s also a definitive account of the band at Montreux the same year (released on CD/DVD in 2008) with more tracks.  This release is bolstered with four “bonus” tracks from the Yes acoustic DVD previously unavailable in audio form only.

For completists only.  ***

Review by David Randall

ATOM WORKS The Life Of Spice

ATOM WORKS The Life Of Spice
Absolute [Release date 06.09.19]

Scandinavia is a hot bed for melodic/AOR/metal and the latest exports – from Finland – Atom Works are grouped around founder members Kasper Rosqvist (guitar) and Niklas Finnas (drums).

It may not come as a surprise, from the title, that this is a concept album set on a train in 1934 India.  ‘The Commuter’ it ain’t but it may be just as dramatic in its own way.

The problem with this, and indeed many other Scandi offerings, it doesn’t really offer anything fresh and exciting (even in the instrumentation), drawing upon a well of prog metal that has been drawn upon since John Petrucci was in 12th grade.

The album uses English singer Steve Baker who adds a Bruce Dickinson-esque patented vibrato to his delivery at times, early Genesis/Marillion and Michael Sadler-esque at others.

Concept albums should really work – like the best musicals – on two levels.  You can buy in to the concept or enjoy each song in its own right and on its own merits. The best songs might also be re-visited for some specific aspect, an inspiring chorus or two, a heavy riff or solo even.

Unfortunately this doesn’t happen with Atom Works and you’ll definitely need the lyric sheet. To be honest – vocally – it’s all a bit overpowering. By the middle of ‘Puppet Of The Three’ (track 4 of 9) you’ll be gasping for the return of your life. **1/2

Review by David Randall

The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 March 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

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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 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.

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 23 March 2021.

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