ALBUM REVIEW: Tim Montana – Savage


After spending a long time away from his childhood state of Montana, Tim Montana decided to return to create his awaited fifth album, Savage (Music Knox Records / BBR / BMG Nashville), inspired by his previous life there, and the state itself. In interviews, Montana has said that Savage was an attempt at being lyrically brutally honest”. For an artist whose words were already quite poignant, this next level up could be the thing that pushes him to whole new horizons when it comes to his music, but will this new writing process and inspiration become fruitful for Montana?Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Nestor – Teenage Rebel


Do you yearn for the eighties? Do you wish the world and its music had never changed since the decade of miners’ strikes, shoulder pads, and synths? Well, the Nestor are the band for you, and they have just released their second album Teenage Rebel on Napalm Records. Formed in 1989 but going on hiatus and not releasing their debut Kids in a Ghost Town until 2021, Teenage Rebel mashes together Glam Metal, AOR, and everything eighties Rock had to offer into one cheesy-as-hell time capsule. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Magnum – Here Comes The Rain


This review was submitted before the sad news of the passing of guitarist and band leader Tony Clarkin. Our condolences and best wishes to Tony’s family, friends, and the members of the band. 

It only takes a few moments of opener “Run Into The Shadows” to be welcomed with open arms back into Magnum’s world, as the opening guitar motif intertwines with the dancing keyboards and Bob Catley’s distinctive storyteller-cum-favourite-uncle’s-croon transports us into the kingdom of madness once more, forty-six years after Catley and Tony Clarkin recorded the band’s debut album, a fantastic record that laid the groundwork for a marvellous career. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: H.E.A.T. – Force Majeure


 

As subtle as a brick and as silly as a juggling monkey riding a unicycle, Swedish Hard Rockers H.E.A.T are back with new album Force Majeure (earMUSIC). It is the Swedes seventh record and despite its over the top, everything and the kitchen sink nature it is a damn good time. It is a rich mixture of AOR, glam metal and hard rock with big riffs, flashy solos and huge choruses coming at you thick and fast. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Yelawolf and Shooter Jennings – Sometimes Y


The worlds of Country and Hip Hop don’t often meet, but Country Rocker and producer Shooter Jennings and acclaimed rapper Yelawolf have teamed up to create their eponymous debut as a duo Sometimes Y (Slumerican). As you would expect from such divergent backgrounds, Sometimes Y  is an eclectic record that is largely rock but takes many a wide and varied detour. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Stan Bush – Dare To Dream


 

If the ’80s were your decade, then you’ve probably heard at least one song by Emmy winning US singer-songwriter Stan Bush, possibly without even realising it. From giving Jean-Claude Van Damme kung fu flicks Bloodsport, and Kickboxer a surge of synth-enhanced adrenaline with ‘Fight to Survive’ and ‘Never Surrender’, to giving criminally overlooked Charlie Sheen sci-fi ghost car movie The Wraith an extra helping of AOR cheese with ‘Hearts vs Heads’, Bush is arguably most famous for his musical contribution to 1986 animated classic Transformers: The Movie – ‘The Touch’. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Blue Oyster Cult – The Symbol Remains


After nearly two decades spent exclusively on the live circuit, Blue Oyster Cult returns with their fifteenth full-length album, The Symbol Remains (Frontiers Records Srl). In a way similar to the recent releases by fellow Seventies Rock legend Alice Cooper, the band opts for a kitchen sink songwriting method. The fourteen tracks play out like a career retrospective of sorts, exploring a variety of moods between classic-minded rockers, synth-heavy AOR numbers, and atmospheric occult excursions.

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ALBUM REVIEW: High Spirits – Hard To Stop 


 

High Spirits’ endearing sincerity has always been a shining contrast to the often-sour realms of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and that feelgood brightness is needed now more than ever. While it’s been four years since the release of their last album, 2016’s Motivator, the Chicago project’s fourth full-length doesn’t skip a beat and their established blend of AOR and Classic Metal is well intact. You always know what you’re getting but it’s presented with far too much enthusiasm to ever feel stale.

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Royal Republic – Club Majesty


They say fashion and pop culture are cyclical and this old adage is at work again with the current ’80s revival, with the recent Goonies-esque vibe of Stranger Things and IT, the Motley Crue film The Dirt and the Spielberg explosion of colour that is Ready Player One. As well as Muse‘s retro love fest Simulation Theory and the wonderfully abundant AOR cliches of The Night Flight Orchestra. From this colourful decade, Swedish rockers Royal Republic have drawn inspiration for their fourth album Club Majesty (Nuclear Blast Records).Continue reading


The Night Flight Orchestra – Sometimes The World Ain’t Enough


Formed in 2006, and including members past and present of Soilwork, Arch Enemy and Spiritual Beggars, are The Night Flight Orchestra. Despite their heavy origins they are anything but, this Swedish sextet are enamoured with the sounds of the late 70’s and early 80s – so expect big riffs, huge choruses, corny lyrics and artery-clogging amounts of cheese. Continue reading