VIANA Forever Free Escape Music [Release date 25.01.19]

Stefano Viana is an Italian guitarist, songwriter and producer who released his self-titled debut album in 2017. For album number two he has signed with Escape Music and enlisted vocalist Bryan Cole (Giant, Steel City, solo artist). Joining them are various guests including Terry Brock (Strangeways, the Sign, Giant et al) on backing vocals and guitarist John Roth (Giant, Winger, Starship).

It will come as no surprise that the album sounds like a mix of Starship, Giant and other late 80′s/early 90′s melodic rockers. ‘We Can’t Choose’ sounds like Starship circa that band’s underrated ‘Love Amongst The Cannibals’ album, complete with plenty of glorious backing vocals. You can almost feel the summer breeze on the melodic rock of ‘Live Free Or Die’ and ‘Forever Free’. All this and only one real ballad, ‘Do You Remember’, which features a heartfelt vocal and soaring guitar solo as you’d want and expect on this sort of album.

Bryan Cole has a voice perfect for this style of music (check out his solo album released a couple of years ago on MelodicRock Records, well worth a listen).

Stefano Viana has hit the soft spot for anyone after an 80′s influenced melodic rock fix. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

FERNANDO PERDOMO Zebra Crossing [Release date 09.11.18]

Fernando Perdomo has released four solo albums prior to this one and he is also guitarist and bassist with the Dave Kerzner Band (who also makes a guest appearance on here). His lifelong dream was to record at Abbey Road Studio 2, inspired mainly by his love of the Beatles.

It is a melancholy record in parts, with the wistful look back at days pasts on ‘Sundays’ and ‘Home’. The production throughout is spot on (not all the songs were recorded at Abbey Road), featuring strings, piano and the sublime guitar playing of Fernando Perdomo, which is highlighted in the instrumental ‘Not Meant To Be’.

‘We Were Raised With Headphones’ will resonate with anyone raised on guitar driven music and would make for a good single. The Beatles influence can be heard loud and clear on the title track, from the style of guitar playing through to the psychedelic undertones recalling the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ era of the Fab Four. It packs a lot in musically in its seven minutes.

As a special treat the album closes with a cover of ‘While My Guitar Weeps’, chosen as it was 50 years ago that the song was recorded in the same studios. It stays faithful to the original and features an array of vocalists including Diane Birch, Shawn Lee and Jason & Daphna Rowe.

High quality progressive pop rock if you are looking for a label, or just damn fine music with a distinct nod to the Beatles in places. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

THE JET REDS What We’re Looking For Northern Quarter Records

There is a slight retro feel to The Jet Reds, at times slightly jangly pop their sound is Britpop influenced with indie leanings, and debut album “What We’re Looking For” features some Johnny Marr like guitars here and there.

Opening track “Unpredictable” is exactly that as it is a little on the tame side and may have been better dropped a few tracks into the album. “The Real Thing” is pop with a reggae lilt and features The Specials’ Neville Staple, different to the rest of the album this actually fits in quite well.

“Fields” is a slightly more driven song and the album is rounded out by “Time To Fly”, which starts off sparse but the heavily features a female vocal to great effect.

For me though, “What We’re Looking For” is an album that plays it safe, a little too safe in fact. **

Review by Nikk Gunns

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Power Plays w/c 27 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
REVIVAL BLACK Broken Home (TMR Records)
FLOYA Epiphany (indie)
TWISTER Own Worst Enemy (indie)
MODERN MIMES Down And Dead (Curtain Call Records)
TUNGSTEN Northern Lights (Arising Empire)
THE GREAT LESLIE Feel Alive (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 27 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GRACE Hope (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CLASSLESS ACT Welcome To the Show (Better Noise Music)
14:00-16:00 TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT Day By Day (indie)

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