D'ERCOLE - The Ballad Of CL

D’ERCOLE The Ballad Of C.L. Rock Company [Release date 11.10.19]

It’s that man again, Phil Vincent, on another release following hot on the heels of the Forest Field album. D’Ercole is a band affair with Damian D’Ercole (guitar) and B.F. D’Ercole (drums) joining Phil Vincent whilst long-time collaborator Vince O’Regan guests adding extra guitar.

Nice bit of blues rock on ‘Dark Haired Lady’ that includes some added organ fills, to produce the album’s stand out. D’Ercole certainly rip a hole in the speakers on ‘Fighting’, a beast of a tune with plenty of guitar action. If there is one drawback to this album it is that it has perhaps too many guitar solos!

‘Time and Time Again’/’The Way You Treated Me’ offer something a little different, as Phil Vincent channels his love of the Beatles to produce a fine piece of melodic rock. Mind you the second part, ‘The Way You Treated Me’ goes back to using lots of guitars.

Not the best D’Ercole album, but certainly one of the heaviest and enough to satisfy existing fans of the band. ***

THE WAY - Frequency Of Spirit

THE WAY Frequency Of Spirit Deko Music [Release date 29.11.19]

Bit of a curio this one as the Way’s ‘Frequency of Spirit’ was originally released in 2005, the month the bands former record company Atenzia Records filed for bankruptcy. Deko Music now give a fuller release plus it has been remastered by Alan Douches (Fleetwood Mac, Yes, Mastodon). The Way featured vocalist Russell Arcara (Prophet, Surgin), keyboardist Charlie Calv (Angel, Shotgun Symphony) and guitarist Stephen DeAcutis. They used a number of guest drummers and Joe Lynn Turner guested on backing vocals.

Don’t go expecting a melodic rock/pomp fest of say Prophet or Shotgun Symphony’s harder rock leanings, as the Way add in a little funk – ‘Alright People’ and alt rock leanings – ‘Lost Among The Leaves’. That said with Russell Arcara’s vocals they are suited to a ballad or two, none more so than on ‘Just The Thought Of You’ and the Beatles influence on ‘Isn’t It Great’.

This re-issue adds the previously unreleased ‘Light In Your Eyes’. Another solid rocker featuring plenty of guitar and keys.

This one certainly passed me by on its original release and full marks to Deko Music for giving this album another chance to be heard more widely. Certainly a more funky/modern slant than the previous bands the musicians have been involved in but certainly worth investigating further. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

SPEARMINT - Are You From The Future?

SPEARMINT Are You From The Future? hitBACK Records [Release date 01.11.19]

Spearmint have been around for twenty years, although they have sailed under the music radar of many folks bar the lucky few who have discovered them along the way. Like the rather good My Life Story album released earlier this year, Spearmint are adept at penning catchy indie pop like ‘I Met A Boy’ (shades of the Lightning Seeds) and ‘It Won’t Happen To Me’.

They pack a punch lyrical on ‘Pick The Papers’ as they take aim at Brexit, all done to a melodic beat. Spearmint don’t confine themselves to one genre either, as they throw in a little dance/soul on ’24 Hours In A&E’ (the Pet Shop Boys came to mind listening to this one) and ‘Senseless’. The latter is a great take on love and comparing to other things we do in life.

I am glad I have discovered Spearmint, as you will to once you give them a listen. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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Power Plays w/c 13 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
IVORY SKIES – Bring Me Up (indie)
HONG FAUX Feign Death To Stay Alive (Golden Robot Records)
OVERLAPS Mind Over Matter (indie)
SOLE SYNDICATE – Brave Enough (Scarlet Records)
DAVID PAICH Spirit Of The Moonrise (Mascot)
JAILBIRDS The River (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 13 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 DEF LEPPARD Diamond Star Halos (BMG)
12:00-13:00 LONERIDER Sundown (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 VANDERWOLF 12 Little Killers (Vandermax Music)

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