AUTUMN’S CHILD Angel’s Gate AOR Heaven [Release date 26.02.21]
Mikael Erlandsson used to release albums like clockwork (every January) with Last Autumn’s Dream and now his new band Autumn’s Child are back with album number two, a year after the debut release. Joining Erlandsson again are Jona Tee (H.E.A.T.), Robban Bäck (Mustach, ex-Eclipse), Pontus Akesson (Moon Safari) and Claes Andreasson (Heartbreak Radio), who also produced this album.
It is all suitably melodic, with a few stand out choruses like on ‘Aquarius Sky’, but it does begin to all blend into one after a couple of listens. That said, ‘Don’t Say It’s Love’ with its heavy sue of keys and up tempo beat is one for fans of the current wave of Scandi bands who like a bit of synth and dance in their music. There is a big, soaring ballad ‘A Tear From The Sky’, a song which could garner further airplay for the album.
Not quite as good as the debut and it lacks any real stand out tunes to bring the listener back again for repeated listens. Still, it is always good to hear Mikael Erlandsson singing so worth a listen just or that fact alone! ***
Review by Jason Ritchie
ALABAMA SLIM The Parlor Cornelius Chapel [Release date 29.01.21]
Alabama Slim was born Milton Frazier in Vance, Alabama in 1939. Slim fell in love with the blues of Bill Broonzy and Lightnin’ Hopkins, and that’s where the journey began for the always dapper bluesman, who was poised for a late-in-life breakout in 2020 with a scheduled appearance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which sadly bit the dust in the pandemic.
The album itself was recorded back in 2019 as a three piece of Slim, Little Freddie King, and drummer Ardie Dean. The session took merely four hours with Reginald Nicholas at the board and Dean in the producer’s chair. Drive-By Trucker’s Matt Patton added his bass parts afterwards with Jimbo Mathus adding piano and organ to embellish the sound when required.
No frills blues on here, from the slow shuffle on ‘Rob Me Without A Gun’ (the guitar solo is sublime, backed by snatches of organ and the rock steady backbeat) through to ‘Rock Me Baby’ which sees the tempo rising. For those after a blues meets rock n roll shuffle ‘Rock With Me Momma’ hits the spot.
One of the few blues elder statesmen still playing and performing, and one who came into recording the blues late on in his life. Those after a traditional blues fix similar to that of John Lee Hooker need look no further. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
LONELY THE BRAVE The Hope List Easy Life Records [Release date 22.01.21]
The band’s follow up to 2016′s ‘Things Will Matter’, which went to no.1 on the Rock Charts here in the UK and saw the band tour with and support the likes of Deftones, Biffy Clyro and Bruce Springsteen. In 2018 vocalist David Jakes left the band and in came Jack Bennett.
The album was finished during the first lockdown last year, with members of the band based in West Yorkshire, Bristol and Cambridgeshire, two of whom were working – and continue to work – for the NHS on the frontline during the ongoing pandemic.
They go for the big anthems on ‘Bound’ and ‘Chasing Knives’ – you can see why they have supported the likes of Biffy Clyro, another arena anthem friendly band. ‘Something I Said’ is more reflective, which shows the band have various strings to their musical bow.
Not a band I was aware of before listening to this album so I can’t comment on how a change of vocalist has impacted the band, however, for a bit of anthemic modern rock look no further. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
THE BEAUTY OF GEMINA Skeleton TBOG Music
Ninth studio album by this dark and brooding electronic alternative rock band. Led by Michael Sele, this Swiss band have been recording since 2006 and while the albums have been light or dark, they’ve always been atmospheric, mixing acoustic guitar with electronics and alternative rock touches. Here, from the opening track, there’s some strong goth rock influences, sounding like an electronic Mission or early cult; Imagine a pop synth duo covering Black Sabbath’s Volume 4 or Sabotage.
The second track Naked has some nice acoustic touches, but the vocals keep that dark edge, and in places have a hint of a downbeat or depressed Chris Rea. The album moves seamlessly, and tracks like Maybe God Knows mix new wave with acoustic blues and look at one’s mortality. And with a brush with death (heart surgery) and the current Covid crisis, this album has the moods to match but also the questions to ask (check out Friends Of Mine).
The mid paced Where Has It All Gone has a nice rhythm laid back alternative feel. On Dark Suzanne the vocals take on a Johnny Cash / Ian Astbury feel, quite a heavy bass line, again quite dark.
Quite atmospheric, dark, some well constructed songs, lots of questions to ask, but in places it does seem to just drift and not something to listen to if you need uplifting. ***
Review by Joe Geesin
The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk (Sunday 23 May )
Next session: Sunday 27 June, 21:00 GMT and 16:00 EST
More about Josh
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 23 May 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) 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 25 May 2021.
Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
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Featured Albums w/c 14 June 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TOTO With A Little Help From My Friends (Mascot)
12:00-13:00 DOOGIE WHITE As Yet Untitled (The Store For Music)
14:00-16:00 LAURA MEADE The Most Dangerous Woman In America (Doone Records)
Power Plays w/c 14 June 2021 (Mon-Fri)
BLACK NOTE GRAFFITI Knights (indie)
AMINBA ZARI Addiction (indie)
THEM GUNS Shot In The Dark (Golden Robot Records)
QUEEN OF UNCOOL Fine (indie)
GHOSTS OF SUNSET No Saints In The City (Golden Robot Records)
DAVID CROSBY River Rise (BMG)
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