THIRD EYE BLIND Screamer [Release date 18.10.19]

Album number six from Third Eye Blind and this reviewer enjoyed their last album, 2015’s ‘Dopamine’. Stephan Jenkins is back (in previous interviews he stated Third Eye Blind wouldn’t reach six albums) and this album sees more collaborations than on previous albums including Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) who is described as the album’s “musical consigliere” (advisor) and the title track features Alexis Krauss (Sleigh Bells).

It is a mixed musical bag, from the pop/rap on ‘Ways’ through to the title track and single, which again mines the pop side of the band, but to better effect. Third Eye Blind have never been overtly rock, however a little bit more crunch wouldn’t have gone amiss.

‘2XTigers’ with its auto tune and effects is one song you only need to hear once. Not all is lost though as ‘Take A Side’ (featuring the best vocal performance on the album) and the acoustic version of ‘Who Am I’ see the album out on a high note.

It just doesn’t hit the spot like ‘Dopamine’ did. ‘Screamer’ has its moments but that certain bit of magic is missing on here sadly. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie


MICK DEVINE Hear Now Escape Music [Release date 18.10.19]

Interesting release as it features Seven (7) vocalist Mick Devine who appeared on the two Seven albums released by Escape in 2014 and 2016. Seven suffered from label shenanigans in the early 90’s and it was only some years later that they released music with the help of Escape. Back to the here and now and we have a solo album from Mick Devine, where he is joined Steve Morris (guitars, keyboards) who has worked with Ian Gillan and been a member of Heartland for many years, plus multi-instrumentalist Brian J Anthony (both he and Morris were part of last year’s excellent album from Lonerider).

It is not as keyboard led as the Seven albums, although it comes as no surprise to say that the music is in melodic rock/AOR vein and Mick Devine still has that uncanny knack of sounding like Lou Gramm at times!

Bit of a country twang on the guitar on ‘Hope Rising’, then you have the blissful AOR of ‘Standing In The Middle’. The album covers a variety of styles, which show off Mick Devine’s vocal talents and there are a few tasty guitar solos from Steve Morris (check out ‘Life Is An Open Road’ and ‘Life Goes On’).

An album you will keep coming back to and one to be enjoyed by lovers of finely crafted AOR/melodic rock. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

KEYWEST - Ordinary Superhero

KEYWEST Ordinary Superhero Marshall Records [Release date 11.10.19]

Keywest started out as buskers where they became very popular, formed Keywest and went onto major success in their native Ireland – selling over 150,000 albums and supporting the likes of Bastille, Hozier and Bryan Adams.

Songs like ‘C’Est La Vie’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ are perfect for the Mumford & Sons crowd (before that band went a bit too indie on their last album). Latter day Runrig are another comparison, whilst having Una Healy of the Saturdays guest on ‘I’m Not Me Without You’ won’t harm their exposure either and a fine duet too. You could pick any song off this album for airplay/playlists, all have a strong melody and choruses that you can remember after just one play.

Listening to this album, which is packed with radio friendly tunes, you can see Keywest repeating the success they have in their homeland in the UK and beyond. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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 26 July.. In the first hour David pays tribute to the blues/rock guitarist Peter Green.

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Featured Albums w/c 3 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 LIONVILLE Magic Is Alive (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 MAD MAX Stormchild Rising (SPV)
14:00-16:00 MARY COUGHLAN Life Stories (2020)

Power Plays w/c 3 August (Mon-Fri)

SOUTH OF SALEM Cold Day In Hell (indie)
BLACK LESION Sins (indie)
CAROLINE JONES All Of The Boys (Social Family Records)
BLACK SUN Resist (Rockshot Records)
THE JAILBIRDS Dull My Brain (Golden Robot Records)
FROM ASHES TO NEW Scars That I’m Hiding (Better Noise Records)
THE GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS Spirit Of A Workin’ Man (Mascot)

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