Quick plays: HAPPYNESS, THE DAVID LIBERTY BAND, DIRTY THRILLS, UNCLE SID, JOE COCKER

HAPPYNESS – Happyness EP

Weird Smiling [Release date 06.01.14]

Three-piece band from south London consisting of Johnny Allan, Benji Compston and Ashley Cooper. This is their self-produced debut EP and they certainly pack a lot if instrumentation in for a three piece, including some xylophone on the lead song, the jaunty ‘It’s On You’. ‘It’s On You’ reminded me of the mighty Jellyfish, whereas the guitar playing on ‘Lascascadas’ brings to mind the Stone Roses.

Promising EP and a band to keep an eye on, especially those who like indie pop/rock.

***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

The David Liberty Band

THE DAVID LIBERTY BAND – Chains And Bones

www.thedavidlibertyband.ca [Release date 13.01.14]

Canadian David Liberty has released four albums under his own name and this is the second under the David Liberty Band handle. Although a new album looking at the CD sleeve credits a lot of these songs were written a few years ago back in 2007 and 2008.

He has a distinctive voice, a little of Jackie Leven in the vocal phrasings at times. He has a witty side to his songwriting at times, the pick being on ‘X And Y’ with ‘In the battle of the sexes, I am strictly Switzerland’. The music has a decent rock beat like on the aforementioned ‘X And Y’ and then switches to a more sedate pace on ‘Settling’, one the best songs on the album.

Can take a couple of listens as David Liberty’s vocals are slightly unusual but persevere as there are some good songs on here and it is an enjoyable listen.

***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

BABYLON BASTARDS – We’re The Rats In The City Streets

NoCaez Records [out now]

Now, that is what we like – punchy, adrenaline soaked sleazy rock n roll. This Norwegian five piece band has the sneering vocals, dirty guitars and solid, energetic rhythm section that should keep them working in what has become quite a scene again of late.

The EP’s title track may not be as catchy as it could be but the track itself, along with “”Disillusion” are the punkier end of sleaze and give the band an edge. “Nothing To lose” could be the one that sells Babylon Bombs though as it is reminiscent of New York band (the much missed) DGeneration.

The band is heading into the studio in the New Year to record their debut album and on the basis of “We’re The Rats In The City Streets”, it should be worth a listen.

****

Review by Nikk Gunns

DIRTY THRILLS – Growing Young

[Out now]

Mixing classic rock influences with big blues riffs, Dirty Thrills have just released debut EP “Growing Young”.

The title track “Growing Young” has a feel of Myles Kennedy and Slash to it whilst the opening track (“Shivers”) has distant hints of Led Zeppelin. On “Drunk Words” vocalist Louis James wails over the opening blues guitar of Jack Fawdry. A powerful number it grinds along nicely.

This is a fine effort from Dirty Thrills and should be a sign of more to come from the band.

****

Review by Nikk Gunns

JOE COCKER – Cry Me A River/Across The Midnight Tour/Live At Montreux 1987 (Special Edition 3 DVD box set) Eagle Vision [Out now]

Simply put, Joe Cocker is one of the finest voices of his generation. His lengthy career has included many high points and a few of which are released together in this new 3 DVD set from Eagle Vision.

“Cry Me A River” was recorded live in Berlin in 1980 for the German Rockpalast TV show, and finds Cocker in fine form. His set mixing his own classic tracks with a handful of covers like “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”, “Whiter Shade of Pale” and “You Are So Beautiful”. The bonus material is a recording of Cocker’s 1983 appearance at the legendary Loreley Festival and again finds the band on top form.

“Across The Midnight Tour” hails from 1997 and is again filmed in Berlin. Once again Mr Cocker provides a master class in his art and puts most of his peers to shame.  The set list comprises 17 songs and contains all of those you would expect from  his vast back catalogue (“Delta Lady”, “You Can Leave Your Hat On”, “With A Little Help From My Friends”, “Up Where We Belong”- the list is endless, and impressive).

The box set is completed by “Live At Montreux 1987”. Again, a flawless performance throughout and another set list packed with classic numbers.

This live box set is a great document of Joe Cockers career and you can clearly see why he is regarded as a legendary voice. Long may it continue.

Review by Nikk Gunns

FLOATING WORLDS – Below The Sea Of Light

CFN Records www.floatingworlds.gr

This is the band’s second album after they released their debut album back in 2007. This is very keyboards led progressive metal and the album is bookended by two cracking instrumentals, with ‘Garden Of Souls’ a superb mix of guitars and keys interplay. Vocalist Jon Soti has a good, powerful voice and songs like ‘Angel’ and ‘Amyrah’, which the band have made a video for, reminded me of Voyager and Savatage in the guitar parts.

Give this band a listen as there are some interesting musical ideas on here and for lovers of keyboards led prog metal you will enjoy this.

***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

UNCLE SID – Rock Guru

www.unclesid.com (Released on January 13th 2014)

We’ve been following the progress of Canadian rockers Uncle Sid since the early days of Get Ready To Rock! And they are back with a new five song EP, doing what they do best mixing 70’s rock with a modern flourish.

This is probably their best produced EP to date and good to see Terena Armstrong still on vocals as she has a rocking vocal, not unlike Lee Aaron at times. The title track and ‘War Machine’ are the pick of the bunch, especially the latter with its multi-tracked vocals on the chorus. Listen out too for the smoking solos from guitarist Henry Seto, fast and furious yet never detracting from the songs.

Off you pop to their website and get a copy then J

****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie





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Power Plays w/c 10 January (Mon-Fri)
SMOKING MARTHA Wild & Free (Xelon Entertainment)
TRUE NORTH Fix (Out Of Line Music)
COLLECTED Say When (indie)
ABOUT KINGS Heaven On Down The Highway (indie)
WHALEDOG Leave Me Alone (indie)
LED BY LANTERNS Six Feet Down (indie)
KROOKED TONGUE Freaky Love (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 10 January (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 BITE THE BULLET End Of The Line (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 CRYSTAL BALL Crysteria (Massacre Records)
14:00-16:00 SEAN TAYLOR The Beat Goes On (indie)



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