Blues rock is certainly not a strict USA only affair. As it turns out, even some young white dudes from Germany know a thing or two about it. So please welcome the trio that are the Marius Tilly Band. With Marius being the singer and guitar player and he is supported by Benjamin Opperman on bass and Maximilian Wastl on drums. But they cheated a little and invited some guests for extra guitars and keyboards. All to please us, the listeners!
First song Mr. Mule struck me as a pop song disguised as a medium tempo blues track. And that pop feeling kept creeping up throughout the album. So strictly speaking, this might turn out to be a much to simplistic and commercial album for purists. But that would be a shame, as I think the guys have come up with some excellent ideas anyway. A track like Out Of These Days is beautiful with a smooth bass line and some exquisite strat tones supporting the emotion charged vocals. Speaking of stratocaster, great sound mister Tilly! A track like Sometimes is a lot more bluesy in approach, and in some strange way reminded me of Steely Dan a bit, but that ain´t a bad reference no matter how you look at it.
So there you go, for someone who is not that keen on blues, I found this a pleasure to listen to, probably because of the influences from outside the genre. Give them a try!
On offer for your reading pleasure is another album presented by Fabrizio from Coral Riff. The band is called Ladiscordia and the album Orrizonte di Cartone. As I said before my Italian is far from brilliant, yet I am quite sure the title translates into Cardboard Horizon.
In my humble opinion the music on this album is quite different from other outings from Coral Riff. I would describe this as rock with strong alternative touches. And still, the first name that popped up in my mind when I started listening was the Golden Earring. Go figure . With 10 songs and a total running time of just under 30 minutes this isn´t a very long album. In fact, I know of single songs that top that. But music is not a competition, and if the band believe this to be the best they have to offer at this moment, then this is what we deserve to get.
Again I had no problems with the vocals being in their native tongue. The guitar driven rock works well and I quite like the way they infused the alternative touches into the songs. Mostly by adding some strange sounds here and there and by utilizing guitar themes that create an alienating feeling. And sometimes a piano can be heard. It is always hard for me to throw names at you. A song like L´Organo Di Vetro has some The Cure references, but rocks a lot harder.
So if the names mentioned strike a chord, or if you´d like to try something new, check this out. I like it.
With a title like this, it takes little imagination to figure out that this concerns album number two from the rock super group that is Black Country Communion. After all Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham all are respected musicians with an extensive career. And let us not forget producer Kevin Shirley, whose contribution we should not underestimate.
When reviewing the first album, I already said I wanted more. And more we got, as that third album is also already available. But this one delivers the goods for anyone who is into Led Zeppelin vibes, coupled with heavy blues infused rock. The Bonham grooves are at it again and they are powerful. The lead vocals are traded between Joe and Glenn and despite their obviously very different styles, they match. There are vintage moments, intimate parts, extended soloing, just about everything we need.
A track like Save Me would have made Page and Plant proud, and it still does not sound like a rip off. The moods presented are just great, and that orchestral riff is awesome.
It is tempting to repeat myself so I will make this short. This is another great collection of songs by a great band. Mandatory listen!
To some, Rick Springfield will be most known for his acting career. Yet I bet most reading this blog are more familiar with his other, and to me more important, side, that of singer. And that is a long career, yet the guy seems to never age. Damn… And it is not that I am an avid follower of all the musical output of Rick. I just buy a record here or there. But as I had been reading a lot of good stuff about this 2012 album Songs For The End Of The World, I decided it was time to pick this one up. There are 4 versions available, which can be identified by the different front covers. Don´t know if they differ in songs as well.
What strikes me most about this album is its sheer energy! Springfield seems to be completely in touch with contemporary rock music and has delivered a vibrant CD that is just filled with great hooks and catchy melodies. I think every of the 12 songs could be a (hit) single. Which is something I frankly care little about as I don´t listen to radio anymore. But if I did, music like this would surely light my days!
So if you lost touch, this is a great album to get back into the groove with. Even if you are only vaguely curious about the guy, give this a try. It rocks and is just very tasty!
A while back I described the second album Vanderlism by VanderLinde as a promising classic rock album. I thought at the time that if the band raised their game on a couple of things, future would really be bright. So now this fourth album Perfect Sadness has landed (I sadly missed the 2011 release Wind And Rain) and it is quite hard to fathom this is the same band. Or actually the same singer and principal songwriter, as I understand it.
At the time I thought that Arjan Van der Linde should work on his lead vocals a bit more. Man, I am pretty stunned at his development. He sure raised the bar, and more than a couple of notches! While it may be a bit of a pity that the rock days are gone for the most part, in return we get a very sophisticated, open and, by lack of a better word, mature album. Again recorded with help of famed producer Erwin Musper and recorded in his Cincinnati studio. A lot of songs have HIT written al over them, so it is no wonder that a beautiful track like Little Things will air alongside the pilot of a new American reality soap.
The press info describes this as a mix of Crowded House and Jason Mraz. That is not quite the way I hear it, but I can´t really pinpoint a more striking resemblance. Still I think that anyone into quality pop / rock should grab a bite of this pronto. It is that good and no wonder that they are really taking off in The Netherlands and Germany.
Singer Gary Cherone is probably best known for his work with the band Extreme. But besides a sadly very misunderstood album with Van Halen (III) he has been involved in many more things, a lot of which have found a home in my collection. Hurtsmile is one where his brother Mark is handling the guitars in. Yet in all honesty, many times during playback I was reminded of his times with Extreme. Especially the criminally underrated Waiting For The Punchline album and the Three Sides To Every Story record.
In my ears, this shares the groove with that big brother. And Mark turns out to be about as versatile as Nuno Bettencourt. Somewhat less of a shredder, but still a talented player. And Gary is, well just Gary. His voice is very familiar, as are his melodies. Also song wise I hear similarities.
And is that a bad thing? Well not for me actually, as I am quite allright with this type of rock. Maybe the references to the work of Extreme makes it more easy for me to get into this. It will not win them an originality contest, but for fans of Extreme or their brand of funked up rock with many clever arrangements, this is a pleasant find. Oh, and the Dylan impersonation in The Murder Of Daniel Faulkner is hilarious…
What better man to follow up on a post on Jimi Hendrix with, other than Steve Lukather? One of the founders of legendary rock band Toto, but also on countless albums by anybody who is anybody. Let alone with a vibrant career of his own. And on these pages a review rarely comes as fresh as this one, since the album was released past Tuesday. One of the benefits of a pre-order…
It is no secret that Lukather´s life has been all but peachy. And as it should be, he manages to boil all that down to songs. And to some solos that will leave no one untouched. In a way an album by Luke is a sort of homecoming, familiar and comfortable. Yet, while the ingredients might be the same, the result leaves a different taste on every album he has made under his own name. If anything, the man has so much hours under his belt, he can play just about anything and make it look easy. And it has long become obvious he does not care to be pigeon-holed. Whether it is jazz, fusion, rock, pop or funky, he goes where his songs and moods take him. It suits him just fine, so maybe he has been creating a style of his own, identifiable in a split second.
So if you liked him before, waste no time and buy this. If you like Toto, give this an ear, especially if the more mature albums like Tambu rank among your favourites. If you consider yourself a serious lover of music, or just want to find out why I love this stuff: give it a try. There is no Lukather album that disappoints, they all get better with repeated play!
PS: it says 2012 on the digibook, but is available since 2013-01-22!
It will be hard to find an album more classic than this one. After all, the world of electric guitar would change forever after this release. It´s impact on the world of rock is impossible to fathom. Too many guitarists to mention that claim they were influenced by this man. And probably not only six-stringers. After all, Mitch Mitchell on drums and Noel Redding holding the fortress on bass were important to the sound as well.
And then the songs. How many people on this planet would be familiar with Hey Joe? Or with Purple Haze, Manic Depression, The Wind Cries Mary, Fire, Stone Free or Foxy Lady? If not in this version, then probably from a version one of their personal favourites did. Or in one of your beloved movies. And not counting aliens here, even though Hendrix once claimed he came from Mars… Well, don´t know if that is were all the crossing of boundaries came from, but one thing Jimi made clear is that a guitar is able to produce sounds that go far beyond the strings and fretboard. His urge to experiment stunned generations, let alone his playing and song writing skills.
So it is a very good thing that the Hendrix family is keeping the legacy alive and taking care of all music and recordings. Even when remastered, it still sounds true to the original vision of the band, producer Chas Chandler and engineer Eddie Kramer. Who both also built a name for themselves. Legendary on all accounts and essential for every lover of music!
Sometimes people come up with really funny shit: “this CD is so potent, if you are an ovulating female, you might wanna listen with caution”…Alas I can´t be the judge of that, but should there be anyone out there with the proof of this claim, I´d like to know!
A bit more serious then: I suspect a lot of people tend to take independent bands not all too seriously. After all, ´if they were really good, they would have a record contract now won´t they?`. Right. Like if most of what is in the top 40 is real quality… Oh sorry, better not go there. Well should anybody need proof that a lot of these independents really deliver the goods I recommend you check out Common Ground.
Self described as being a mix of Foo Fighters and Jellyfish (the band that is) the Texan boys crank up the distortion and churn out a healthy dose of radio friendly rock. Talking of Texas, while listening to this I was often reminded of fellow country mates King´s X. Maybe less rifftastic and metal, but they share the desire to groove, a somewhat similar guitar sound and the use of a lot of harmony vocals. So I also understand the link to Jellyfish. So yes, 14 songs that are real easy to get into, executed with class and finesse. Really liked it, and it was available for an unbeatable price like most of their back catalogue. So grab a copy pronto! Hey and you support an independent which will make you feel real good about yourself.
One of the fun things about internet that it is really easy to meet new people from all around the planet. And especially when they want me to listen to a new artist, are Italian, female and pretty, you won´t hear me complaining! So thanks to Sabrina from Cherry Lips Records I got the chance to listen to the first (for me) Max Navarro album, released the end of may 2012 I am told. Alas I got little info about the man, but thanks again to the internet I now know he is of Italian-Canadian descent, already released a couple of albums and even enjoyed success in the far East.
With 9 songs and about 33 minutes it is short. But hell, better that than 60 boring minutes right? Well for anyone who favours acts like Max Carl, Bryan Adams, Richard Marx (with lesser keyboards) and the like, this CD might be something for ya! Gifted with that little edge on the vocal chords, this is a light melodic rock album (light referring to the guitar sound) with very melodic, often groovy songs and a lot of energy. And on The Wrong Side, we get to chill down a bit as well. Easy to get into, so should appeal to a lot of people, start listening!