Archive for the hard rock Category

Albums of the Year 2017

Posted in Albums of the Year, AOR, Folk, Folk rock, hard rock, indie, Melodic rock, metal, pop, Pop rock, Power metal, Power pop, Prog metal, Progressive rock, rock n roll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

1  CATS IN SPACE Scarecrow
Their debut was pretty damn fine, so high expectations and they delivered! A marvellous mix of 70s’ rock, pomp, pop and more melodies than you can shake a stick at.

2  THRESHOLD Legends of the Shires
Returning vocalist Glynn Morgan helps the band to make one of the finest albums to date. A real return to form.

3  LONELY ROBOT The Big Dream
Part two of the trilogy and another fine set of musical adventures. No name guests this time as John Mitchell does it all bar the drums and some backing vocals.

4  BOULEVARD IV
Finally we get a new album from Boulevard. Fantastic tunes and production, deserves a place in every melodic rock/AOR fans collection.

5  THE YOUNG ‘UNS Strangers
Folk acapella from this talented three piece. Each song is based on a true story and the songs are all positive and uplifting.

STEVE WALSH Black Butterfly former Kansas vocalist returns with an album chock full of melodic rock treats.

7 SONS OF APOLLO supergroup featuring Jeff Scott Soto, Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinan and Billy Sheenhan. Fantastic joining of music talents and the music lives up to expectations.

8 LIONHEART only 20 odd years since their last album…with Lee Small (Shy/Phenomena) on vocals, Lionheart deserve a place in any melodic rock fans collection.

9 IT Home thought provoking and timely progressive rock backed by oodles of melody.

10= H.E.A.T. Into The Great Unknown they have changed their sound a bit which may upset some fans, but for me they are heading onwards and upwards.

10= PUGWASH Silverlake the power pop album of the year. If you like ELO, Duckworth Lewis grab a copy of this.

Honorable mentions…

HAREM SCAREM United they keep on churning out classy melodic hard rock and long may that continue.

THE BITERS plenty of retro on this one, with the T Rex sounding songs

JEFF SCOTT SOTO Retribution not as instant but stick with it

BIGFOOT one of the debuts of the year. Modern hard rock and the singer doesn’t half sound like Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn at times!

THE NIGHTS more classy Scandi melodic rock with hook filled choruses big enough to land a whale.

THE NEW ROSES One More For The Road good time hard rock, no frills and plenty of riffs.

NIGHT RANGER Don’t Let Up they show no sign of letting up quality wise, another ‘must have’ for fans.

DANKO JONES Wild Cat if you like 70’s rock, Thin Lizzy and foot tapping tunes look no further.

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Amber Galactic like Brother Firetribe their ‘day bands’ are heavy yet here they show their love of 80’s melodic rock and AOR.

Fellow GRTR! reviewers choices can be found here

If you only by a few albums this month…

Posted in Albums of the Year, AOR, Blues rock, hard rock, Music for 2016, pop, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Hard to pick one single ‘must have’ album from the April releases as there are a lot…

Tax The Heat released their debut on Nuclear Blast and it is chock full of catchy blues/hard rocking tunes with a modern edge.

The Dowling Poole return with their second album ‘One Hyde Park’, a delight from start to finish. If you like quirky pop with a message – think XTC, Squeeze, the instant appeal of ELO songs – this is for you.

Left With Pictures new album ‘Afterlife’ took me by surprise, with its sparse, yet melodic arrangements and haunting vocals. Not for everyone but if like me you love  music regardless of its ‘genre’, have a listen.

And finally the new Cheap Trick ‘Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello’…the band have continued their fine run of form since 1997’s self-titled album (I still can’t get into their 1992 release ‘Woke Up With A Monster’), with their first new album since 2009. It really does hark back at times to their classic 70’s/early 80’s sound. If you are a fan doubtless you will already have this, if not try this album and then work your way back through their fine back catalogue.

Recent CD bargains…

Posted in Classic albums, Classic rock, Get Ready To Rock!, hard rock, Melodic rock, Modern rock, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Some recent charity shop finds including last year’s album ‘Brain Waves’ from Eureka Machines. Great album full of catchy pop rock/punk tunes and features Chris Catalyst (Ginger/Sisters Of Mercy etc). Only a pound and a signed copy as well! Also for a pound was the two CD version of Silver Ginger 5’s ‘Black Leather Mojo’. I love this album and one of the first I downloaded on iTunes. It features Ginger of the Wildhearts, plus various Wildhearts in the band and Conny Bloom of the Electric Boys. Not one filler, all are glorious slabs of glam infused pop rock. Darn shame they never made another album.

Whilst up in Stoke recently and browsing in the rather good record store Music Mania, I picked up Dogs Die In Hot Cars ‘Please Describe Yourself’ album – perhaps best known for their hit ‘Godhopping’. Bizarrely the band hail from my dad’s birthplace, St. Andrews and most of the band went to the same college as him, Madras College. Album full of quirky pop, recalling bands like Talking Heads, Arcade Fire and XTC. At the same time picked up the best of Hootie & the Blowfish. One of those bands I can cover with a just a best of by in my collection. Vocalist Darius Rucker has recently embarked on a more country/Americana path in his music.

Five bands I would love to see reform…

Posted in AOR, hard rock, Melodic rock, Modern rock, pop, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , , , , on April 23, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I was thinking with all these recent big name musicians passing away it must make sense for some of these bands to make-up and do at least one more show.

Top of that list for me has to be Journey reuniting with Steve Perry. Perry has changed his stance to ‘never say never’ and Carlos Santana could prove a unlikely catalyst to this happening.

Slade, one of the few 70’s rock bands with all the original members still with us. Not likely I know and we do have Dave Hill and Don Powell touring as Slade II, but wouldn’t Noddy Holder and Jim Lea fancy just one more gig maybe? I doubt it sadly.

XTC were down just to Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding by the time they called it a day. A falling out between the two seemingly put paid to any more XTC, however with Steven Wilson adding his sonic magic to the XTC back catalogue could the two make-up?

Semisonic – great band on album and live. Made a brief splash in the late 90’s/early 00’s then stopped. Dan Wilson does his solo thing, maybe time for a new Semisonic album/tour? Please 🙂

Skagarack, okay not top of may people’s lists being a relative obscure Danish melodic rock band. But given the interest in 80’s rock and recent reunions the time is right! Frontiers Records make it so 😉

Axl/DC

Posted in Classic rock, Get Ready To Rock!, hard rock, News with tags , , , , , , on April 19, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

There is one way to get rock fans in a tizzy and that is to change a vocalist in a long established band. Rumours became fact as Guns N Roses vocalist Axl Rose was confirmed as the replacement for Brian Johnson in AC/DC. Johnson was forced to step down from the band on medical advice or risk losing his hearing entirely. This then started the rumour mill that he had been dismissed by the band, fueled further when the band said they would fulfill this year’s love shows with a guest vocalist.

Pictures emerged recently showing AC/DC members and Axl Rose emerging from a rehearsal studio. There was no comment from the band, until it was announced officially on Saturday 16 April that Axl would be fronting the band. A massive social media storm ensued as many fans of AC/DC did not take overly well to the announcement, plus the elephant in the room was the lack of comment from the band or Brian Johnson himself over if he was out of the band on a permanent basis.

Johnson has now explained his version of events with a statement released today. He stated that that he has no choice but to leave the band for now, hoping continued medical treatment allows his hearing to improve enough to perform live. In the meantime he plans to carry on singing, “I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that.”

For now it all looks stable in the AC/DC camp. The next big test will be of course the upcoming live shows, including two here in the UK. Will Axl be up to his usual tricks like late appearances on the stage? One things for sure Axl and AC/DC will certainly keep each other in the headlines.

Virgin Radio is back on air

Posted in Classic albums, hard rock, indie, News, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , on April 5, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I was a regular listener to Virgin Radio when it first launched back in 1993 as it played a wider range of music and a lot of indie rock. Back then the choice of radio stations was still very limited, not like the overwhelming choice of digital and online radio stations we have now.

It was taken over by new owners and re-branded as Absolute Radio. Since then I have not been a big fan of that station, you can set your watch on the time of day a song would be played each day.

So I was surprised to see Virgin Radio back and part of the revamped group of radio stations owned by the Wireless Group (Talk Sport/Talk Radio). The demographic they are aiming for is 25-44 year olds and it has already been dubbed Radio 1 1/2 as it aims to sit between Radio 1 and Radio 2’s audience. It is online and digital only, no MW or FM presence this time around.

You can see the playlist below, a mix of indie and mainstream rock, plus some more dance/beat orientated tunes. The Stereophonics still make the playlist – a staple of the original Virgin Radio:

http://virginradio.co.uk/highlights/playing-now-check-out-virgin-radio-playlist-1603251950

I will give it a listen and be nice to alternate between this and online rock radio stations for a bit of musical variety.

Music for 2016: GINGERFEET

Posted in hard rock, indie, Melodic rock, Music for 2016 with tags , , , on March 28, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Rockers Gingerfeet are back with their new song ‘Make Your Stand’ and it also marks their debut music video. This video is out now on the Pepsi Unbox feature.

gingerfeet

The band have been around since 2012 and their debut album ‘High and Above’ is well worth a listen.

This new song is more guitar led and heavier than previous songs, yet is still underpinned by the band’s love of a good funky riff. A seriously good tune from Gingerfeet and has the potential to win them over a whole new set of fans.

The band explain the ideas behind the song:

“Make Your Stand is about not accepting defeat. It is written to inspire people to stand up and go for the kill, to never be crestfallen because life is short, we must live on the edge and make the most of it.”

You can read the full article here