ALBUM REVIEW: Gatecreeper – Dark Superstition


After a five-year gap between albums, Arizonan quintet Gatecreeper are back with Dark Superstition (Nuclear Blast). Their third album sees their heavy, Death Metal roar wed to more melodic and concise metal. A heavy band embracing melody like this might raise some metalheads’ hackles, afraid their band going soft, but fear not. Their heft and aggression is still alive and kicking, but just married to more accessible metal. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Marcus King – Mood Swings


Having teamed up with Black Keys frontman Dan Auberbach for the last two albums, on his new one Mood Swings (American Recordings/Republic Records/Snakefarm Records) Marcus King is helped out by producer extraordinaire Rick Rubin. Gone is the seventies, bluesy Rock N’ Roll of the previous record Young Blood, in its place is R&B, Soul, Jazz, Pop and Classic Rock influences with King’s smokey, bluesman vocals taking centre stage. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: The Black Crowes – Happiness Bastards


Rock ‘N’ Roll might be a young man’s game, but it is not stopping the Robinson Brothers from again coming together on Happiness Bastards (Silver Arrow Records) to prove they still have it. If Amorica was the last album you picked up by these guys, then things have changed dramatically. If you are one of their more avid followers then you have heard their transition away from merely being a Led Zeppelin/Rolling Stones hybrid, so this album makes perfect sense.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Gems – Phoenix


After experiencing “creative differences” as part of Thundermother, Guernica Mancini, Emlee Johansson and Mona Lindgren left and formed The Gems – a three piece Rock band, and it is fair to say that this Swedish trio’s debut Phoenix (Napalm Records) is in similar territory to their previous vehicle: sixteen tracks of no frills Classic Rock built on chunky riffs and shoutalong choruses. Continue reading


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: Bad Touch – Bittersweet Satisfaction


Rock ‘n Roll quintet Bad Touch, hailing from Norfolk, England, are back with their fifth album, Bittersweet Satisfaction (Marshall Records). This time round they spent half a year making the record, tempering their balls-to-the-wall rock with polished hooks and a healthy portion of soul, the end result being a more rounded, earthy Classic Rock that still has plenty of bite. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Dokken – Heaven Comes Down


There aren’t many metalheads who haven’t heard of Dokken. Whether it’s due to their huge popularity during the eighties, the constant if occasionally amusing public sniping between frontman Don Dokken and former lead guitarist George Lynch or, most likely because of “Dream Warriors,” the theme song from 1987 horror sequel A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3, Dokken’s name still stands above many.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Struts – Pretty Vicious


 

The Struts’ new album Pretty Vicious (Big Machine Records/John Varvatos Records) starts with the strutting, tongue-in-cheek tale of hedonism “Too Good at Raising Hell” – done in their signature mix of The Darkness, Queen and the Rolling Stones.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Rival Sons – Lightbringer


 

You wait four years for a Rival Sons album and, just like buses, two come along at once. Lightbringer (Atlantic Records) is the new record from the Californian quartet, following on from companion piece Darkfighter which came out in June this year. With the everpresent Dave Cobb behind the desk, their eighth album is a compact six track offering that mixes their classic, fuzzed up Rock N Roll with atmospheric Folk and acoustic elements to great effect.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Electric Boys – Grand Explosivos


 

Swedish rockers Electric Boys had a bit of success in the late eighties and early nineties when their boisterous Funk Metal track “All Hips n’ Lips” caught the eye of MTV and their first two albums, Funk O Metal Carpet Ride and Groovus Maximus, caught the eye of the public. Things fizzled out in 1994 but they reunited fifteen years later and have been steadily releasing new material since.

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