MISTRESS  Loveteaser

New Zealand band Mistress wants to bring back that 80’s hair metal sound…on a £2.53 budget judging by the sound. Mind you legendary producer Beau Hill does remix one song on here, ‘She’s A Sinner’.

Siggy Signal is not too bad on vocals but oh dear those corny lyrics and the gang vocals are dire, just listen to title track. The guitar riffs are good like on ‘To The Top’, it’s just the songs lack a decent chorus and an outside songwriter may have helped the cause too.

Like a poor man’s Ratt and the original were bad enough!  **

Review by Jason Ritchie

DAVID GATES First, Never Let Go, Goodbye Girl, Falling In Love Again
Edsel/Rhino [Release date 30.09.13]

The first four David Gates solo albums re-issued on two CD’s, although the ‘Goodbye Girl’ only features the original songs of that album as the rest were off the previous two solo albums and already on this re-issue in full. David Gates was one of the main driving forces behind the late 80’s/early 70’s soft rockers Bread and two of the band Mike Botts and Larry Knechtel,  appear across these solo albums.

Of the albums 1973′s  ‘First’ is perhaps the closet to the Bread sound, although ‘Sunday Rider’ rocks things up a little and the eight minute ‘Suite: Clouds, Rain’ has a Moog solo and a slightly proggy feel. Noted session musicians Jim Horn, Larry Carlton and Russ Kunkel guest on the album too.

‘Never Let Go’ released in 1975 again features a ballad heavy set and could be seen as Bread minus Jimmy Griffin as there are no guests on this album bar Botts and Knectel. ‘Never Let Her Go’ and ‘Part Time Love’ are the highlights.

‘Goodbye Girl’ is the soundtrack to the film of the same name and ‘Overnight Sensation’ is a nice AOR tune.

The final solo album on here is his 1980 release ‘Falling In Love Again’ which has a more laid back AOR feel, although by this time Gates’ mellower ballads were under threat from that 80’s beast, the power ballad. ‘Starship Ride’ is a bit of fun, with the title track again showing what a lovely melodious vocal David Gates possesses.

Certainly of interest to fans of his work and Bread and proof that he hit on a timeless style of soft rock/pop rock that still sees his songs, mainly as a member of Bread, played today on radio.  ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

REDS’COOL Bad Story (Music Buy Mail)

Reds’Cool is a melodic rock outfit hailing from Russia.  As one can imagine, the band is touted as the next Gorky Park – the Russian band that made it big with “Bang” in the late 80’s.  “Bad Story” is Red’sCool’s second effort, following their debut, “Attraction”, released in 2011.

Produced by Michael Wagener (Alice Cooper, White Lion, Great White etc.), the opening track immediately grabs you as you settle into aural pleasure., the album oozing class throughout the nine tracks on offer.  While I can understand the hype and comparison to Gorky Park, the album is not as bombastic as the 80’s but, nonetheless is sheer melodic rock bliss.  An extra track or two would not have gone amiss…

Reds’Cool is damn cool.  This album is one of the surprises of the year.  They are currently touring with Black Star Riders and if they sound half as good as this album they’ll be worth seeing.  ****1/2

Review by Nick van der Meulen

VARIOUS Metal For Jesus (Doolittle group)

I’m not generally one for various albums, but this one needs a bit of exposure.

Christian Liljegren may not need much introduction I the world of power metal, but Doolittle Group is working hard to get exposure for their artists and “Metal for Jesus” showcases the talents of the artists on the label.  This is a fine collection of power metal songs of Christian outfits such as Golden Resurrection, Divinefire, Audiovision, Narnia, with a single track by a band called Modest Attraction which is arguably the best on the album and warrants further investigation.

If you like “White” metal and don’t know where to start, take a listen to this.  ****

Review by Nick van der Meulen

BENESSER The Start of Something New (Doolittle Group)

Benesser is a new group hailing from Sweden, the trio playing melodic rock in the vein of Coldplay and Muse.  “The start of something new” is the outfit’s debut release.

The band and album is touted as having much energy and, while this is true, there are other elements to consider.  The album is melodic, but one can still hear a touch of pain or anguish to the music.  The opening and closing tracks are extremely energetic with a heavy dose of modern rock, while the rest of the album consists of much prog rock and a hint of blues here and there (“Is it you” is a superb piece of music with soulful guitar solos).

The album is not always an easy listen, but the musicianship on this work is impeccable.  This, along with some fine production, makes it worthy of your attention.  ****

Review by Nick van der Meulen

REINXEED Swedish Hitz Goes Metal – Vol II (Doolittle Group)

It was not long ago that Tommy ReinXeed brought out Swedish Hitz Goes Metal, a metal tribute to legendary Swedish pop bands, and I can’t say I was overly impressed with the effort, as I believed that the renditions were rushed…

“Vol II” is a different kettle of fish.  ReinXeed has slowed things down and produced an album which is far more mid-tempoed and in line with what was originally released.  Again, it’s predominantly ABBA songs covered (not a bad thing) and the effort is far more restrained and a respectful tribute to some of the biggest influencers of pop/rock music.

This will be an interesting way to introduce youngsters to some of the biggest pop songs.  ***1/2

Review by Nick van der Meulen

REINXEED A New World (Liljegren Records/Doolittle Group)

Another year, another album featuring guitar virtuoso Tommy ReinXeed.  One cannot believe that this is the sixth album under the ReinXeed moniker since 2008!  He has gained a reputation of being one of the hard workers in rock music today, underlined by his prolific releases.

As ever, ReinXeed has produced a neoclassical power metal album showcasing influences from early Yngwie and Helloween (Keeper… era), but the band is also showing more classic rock influences in their work too, providing more finesse and variety – no bad thing.

“Distant Horizon” opens proceedings in the traditional power metal manner, with a bit of speed, but the rest of the album is more mid-tempoed with soaring melodic choir choruses providing excellent support to Tommy ReinXeed’s fine voice, which has also developed well over the years.  He gets to showcase his guitar prowess in “Guitar Hero”, but does it in a refined manner that has one nodding one’s head in approval.

ReinXeed started as boisterous, rash, enthusiastic and over-the-top.  Tommy ReinXeed’s writing, production and performing has since matured well and ReinXeed can be well pleased with this effort.  Highly recommended.  ****1/2

Review by Nick van der Meulen

CRASHDIET  The Savage Playground (Frontiers)

Crashdiet is a Swedish glam rock outfit that has been around for over ten years.  “The Savage Playground” is the band’s fourth album release and their first with Frontiers.

While this can be classified as glam rock, don’t be fooled: this is the genre with an edge and menace in their sound, particularly the guitars.  All the songs are strong, melodic and some just plain catchy as hell (“Cocaine cowboys”, “Snakes in paradise”, “Excited”), although “Damaged kid” has a heavy modern rock sound which is not as enjoyable…

Another Scandinavian rock outfit that has stood up to be counted…and worth investigating.  A fine album.  ****1/2

Review by Nick van der Meulen

SAVATAGE – Streets: A Rock Opera: Narrated Version (Edel/Ear Music)

The final album in the impressive Savatage re-issue series undertaken by Ear Music. This sees the ‘Streets: A Rock Opera’ released in its full version that includes in between song narration. This version has only been previously available on bootlegs.

The narrative parts had added genuine New York street sounds which make the album now flow like a Broadway musical, something the Oliva brothers and producer Paul O’Neill originally envisaged for this album. You can certainly see where the seeds of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra came from after listening to this.

The album is one of the band’s best with such showstoppers as ‘If I Go A Away’, a massively emotive ballad and ‘Streets’. The CD adds a bonus song ‘Larry Elbows’.

Also in this package is a DVD of band’s videos from the rather cheesy video that accompanied ‘Hall Of The Mountain King’ through to ‘Handful Of Rain’ where the budget and video ideas had improved greatly. There are also some audio tracks including an Al Pitrelli instrumental ‘Voyage’  and a couple of live songs recorded in Japan.

A must have for fans as this is how the band wanted this album to sound originally and the DVD’s are a decent bonus.


Review by Jason Ritchie

The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 12 December. The session above was a Halloween Special streamed on 31 October 2021. Josh’s next session is Sunday 30 January 2022.

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David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 19 December 2021 and celebrates The Best of 2021 based on the GRTR! reviewer selections and popular poll results.

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Power Plays w/c 24 January (Mon-Fri)
UNTIL 9 Headstone (indie)
MARSHALL POTTS The Storm (indie)
WAKING THE ANGELS Stand Back From The Redline (CD Baby)
BLACKTOP MOJO Strike Me (indie)
THE KARMA EFFECT Steal Your Heart (indie)
REVIVAL BLACK Believe (indie)
KUBRICK Devastate (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 24 January (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GIANT Shifting Time (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 THE FERRYMEN One More River To Cross (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 PEGGY JAMES The Parade (indie)

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