The Wicked Mercy, Sundown, 2015

the wicked mercy - sundownIt took me a while to figure out whom singer Case Bakker reminded me of, but then it hit me, The Cult’s Ian Astbury has a similar voice type. And in some aspects, the music of both bands is comparable too. But on a whole I think The Wicked Mercy are more rooted in dirty rocking blues. A bit of the Southern kind. So that blesses this disk with groove and power. Nice combination!

The young guns are also not afraid to go a bit crazy either. After a blistering start with Tell Me Goodbye, they continue with instrumental track Wonderland. That takes balls, but something tells me that this bunch is willing and able to take risks.  The sound of the album is further proof I think. Fairly authentic and not overly compressed, the album breathes seventies. It is dynamic and some might take a few spins to get used to it, but I like it. It is done well, and highlights the playing from the 5 band members.
A lot of instant songs too, like Fading Fast and Everyone’s But Yours. Great riffs galore and it is impossible to withstand the beat. You will be tapping along before you know it.

So Bad Reputation has delivered again, and everyone who loves the trademarks discussed, should listen in.

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Marcel Brood, Groen, 2013

marcel brood - groenWhen the son of a famous Dutch singer (and painter) releases an album, that is sure something to look into. In this case we are talking about Marcel Brood, and the father is of course the late Herman Brood. And while father Brood enjoyed a long career in music, appeared in some movies and in later life became a painter with a unique identity, son Marcel practically comes out of the blue. Or is he?

Turns out Marcel accompanied his father since early on but always avoided playing himself. That is, a few years ago he recorded a single, but the thing did not quite raise a storm. Some time later it still was picked up by a radio station and that led to this eventually, his debut album Groen. The title translates to Green, and is a reference to Marcel being rather new at this.
While father Herman sang in English, Marcel choose his native Dutch. Listening to the music, I cannot escape comparing them both. Style wise the similarities are absolutely there. Classic rock seems to run through the family, as are lyrics with a firm tongue in cheek. Which might translate a bit difficult, but it will not stop non Dutch speaking people to enjoy this. As the album progresses I got used to the singing of Marcel. It may be because he is not a scene veteran that I first thought his delivery was a bit shy. Or maybe it is just imagination but I did think he could use a little more fire sometimes. Nevertheless, it is really easy to connect to this. Songs are convincing, and fit the rock tag with ease. Never overly simple and predictable, I like listening to it. Maybe you do too, go check him out at:

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Classic: Heart, Dreamboat Annie, 1976

Heart - Dreamboat AnnieEvery decade since the seventies has seen Heart score hits. And no matter what period or song got you into the band of sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, you are probably a fan for life.
Especially if you ever witnessed them live (the vocal power of Ann is larger than life, and Nancy surprises with lead and backing vocals, as well as with her guitar playing), one can only remain feeling impressed.

Alas I don´t own their complete back catalogue , but I felt I had to honour them with a 70`s record. So Dreamboat Annie it is! If you own a Best Of, you are probably familiar with tracks like Magic Man or Crazy On You. The latter is somewhat reminiscent of one of my favourite tracks from them: Barracuda. But that´s another story. Both are classic rockers that showcase the selling points of the band I mentioned earlier.
People into Heart may know they like the folk side of bands like Led Zeppelin. Here songs like Dreamboat Annie or Soul Of The Sea are further proof of that.

Of course the sound is a testament of the time. It is clear, but has little to do with the nowadays popular heavily compressed output. Actually I find the dynamics of this much easier on the ears and thus more enjoyable.
No doubt in my mind that Heart are still a valid force to reckon with. Dig deeper into their output if you only know their eighties hits!

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The Answer, Everyday Demons, 2009

the answer - everyday demonsIf I am not mistaken this is the second album by this young Irish band. The Answer operate in the classic rock vein. Think Led Zeppelin, Free, Bad Company and some Thin Lizzy for good measure.

The four piece operate in classic mould: drums, bass, guitars and they all sing (but with one singing lead). In the chosen style it is hard to be original. But I think that does not really matter. For lovers of classic rock the songs and performance are what counts most. And I think The Answer can fulfil that need. And without sounding dated, in fact this is plainly relevant. Okay, this has it´s roots firmly in the seventies, but it just feels right!

I really enjoy this album. Though I did not take the time to read all the lyrics, listening the the CD I found it all very sincere and honest. There is a bonus live disk thrown in just to prove my point. (Which rocks slightly harder by the way)
And my biggest compliment must be that I don´t feel they are copying anybody. They write songs and play them and together they sound like the band they are. References okay, but no deliberate attempt to resemble one of their predecessors. Check this out!

Personal play tips: On And On, Cry Out, Tonight.

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