Saturday, June 26, 2010

DRIVE SHE SAID - Dreams Will Come (2010)

DRIVE SHE SAID was formed in 1988, and released their first album in 1989.
Put together by AMERICAN TEARS, VALHALLA and TOUCH keyboard man Mark Mangold and vocalist/guitarist Al Fritsch, you'll be hard pushed to find a better selection of AOR songs than on their debut album.
The band’s sound is characterized by Fritsch stellar vocals and Mangold scathing songwriting and musicianship, with anthemic songs and deep tapestries of keys and guitars.

This 'new' album is some kind of Greatest Hits, featuring a couple on new songs and some re-recordings.
"Fool's Game" was a hit for Michael Bolton and "I Found Someone" was one of Cher's big comeback hits. Both were written by Mark Mangold, and now he gets do to his versions with Jon Bivona doing the guitar honors.
Also two new songs were written, the one called "Dreams Will Come" and the heavier kick ass "Try To Let Go (FukUUp)".
Al, who plays every instrument on "Dreams Will Come", got an opportunity to show off his multi-talents.
"Try To Let Go" features the magic trade off between Mark and Al.

Then we're into the classics, kicking off with the band reworking of the TOUCH classic "Don't You Know What Love Is" one of no less than six tracks from their debut album, something that shows you just how good that record was.
Then it's on to the title track of Drivin' Wheel, and the greatest slice of pomp mayhem that House Of Lords never recorded.

The 1997 best-of 'Road To Paradise' came with five new tracks and one of those, the excellent "Look At What You Got" makes the cut here as well.
The 2003 comeback album 'Real Life' gets three numbers: "Stronger", "Real Life" and "Always and Forever (Godz)"

"Dreams Will Come" it's an outstanding compilation, especially given the limited availability of the first two records.
And if you've ever wondered why those first two Drive She Said albums are talked about in hushed tones whenever AOR fans get together, this is your chance to find out.

Highly Recommended

01 - Fools Game
02 - I Found Some One
03 - Dreams Will Come [NEW track 2010]
04 - Try 2 Let Go (FukUUp) [NEW track 2010]
05 - Don't You Know
06 - Drivin' Wheel
07 - Maybe It's Love
08 - Hard Way Home
09 - If This Is Love
10 - Think Of Love
11 - Hard to Hold
12 - Look At What You Got
13 - Hold On (Hands Around Your Heart)
14 - Stronger
15 - Real Life
16 - Love Has No Pride
17 - Always And Forever (Godz)

Mark Mangold (vocals, keyboards)
Al Fritsch (vocals, guitar, bass)
Jon Bivona (guitar)
Paul Ranieri (bass)
Mike Sorrentino (drums)



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

JOEY SUMMER - Written On The Horizon (2010)

With "Written On The Horizon" the brazilian Melodic Rocker JOEY SUMMER presents his first album with all english lyrics to a worldwide audience.
Initial aid came from internationally renowed musicians & songwriters, who contibuted to the recordings in addition to the experienced brazillian line-up of Daniel Lamas (keyboards). Markcell (bass) and Renan Martins (drums).

The guest list includes JADED HEART bass player Michael Muller performing on "Anymore", a track penned by Michael Bormann.
Together with brazilian bassist Julio Cezar (Cathedral), the swedes Goran Edman (Street Talk, Malmsteen, Glory) and Fredrik Bergh (Street Talk, Bloodbound), can be heard on their Street Talk song "Don't Believe".
The duo has also provided another track; "Tables Turning", which is recorded here in Joey's own more rocking version.
"Rough Ride To Paradise" was written by ex-Europe guitarist Kee Marcello and it nicely rounds the album.

Joey's own songwriting skills are on a very high international level as well, as you can witness on his always catchy and arena rock ready tracks like the bombastic hard rockin' opener "Rise Up", the anthemic "Written On The Horizon", and the extremely catchy "Lorea".
"Beating" and "Brand New Day" are two more midtempo rockers celebrating the classic AOR style of the '80s.
The quieter moments are covered by the power ballads "It's Only Your Love" and "I'll Never Be Alone Again"

Solid album with excellent songwriting and correct production.

01 - Rise Up (Joey Summer/Daniel Lamas)
02 - Anymore (Michael Bormann) *
03 - Written On The Horizon (Joey Summer)
04 - Don't Believe (Fredrik Bergh/Goran Edman) #
05 - It's Only Your Love (Joey Summer)
06 - Lorea (Joey Summer)
07 - I'll Never Be Alone Again (Joey Summer)
08 - Tables Turning (Fredrik Bergh/Goran Edman) #
09 - Beating (Joey Summer/Daniel Lamas)
10 - Brand New Day (Joey Summer/Daniel Lamas)
11 - Rough Ride To Paradise (Kee Marcello)

Joey Summer : vocals, guitar
Daniel Lamas : keyboards, backing vocals
Markcell : bass
Renan Martins : drums

Guest Musicians
Goran Edman : backing vocals on 'Don't Believe'
Fredrik Bergh (Street Talk) : keyboards on 'Don't Believe'
Julio Cezar (Cathedral) : bass on 'Don't Believe'
Michael Muller (Jaded Heart) : bass on 'Anymore'

# originally recorded by Street Talk
* originally recorded by Jaded Heart


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WHEELS OF FIRE - Hollywood Rocks (2010)

Until the present day the very lively Rock music scene of Los Angeles during the 80s hasn’t lost any of its cult like fascination. The Roxy, Whisky A Go-Go, Rainbow Bar And Grill on Sunset Strip and the Troubadour a little further south are the locations in West Hollywood in which the eventual mega sellers entered the stage and where they still hang around today every once in a while.
This neighbourhood also seems to be made for a band like “Wheels Of Fire” and their band leader Davide “Dave Rox” Barbieri, who started his musical career as a keyboard player back in the early 90s in some local bands.

About ten years ago Dave discovered his passion for singing and to improve his skills he turned to Michele Luppi, who besides being a member of various bands, formerly of the Power Metal band Vision Divine and currently of the Melodic Metal act Killing Touch and the AOR project Los Angeles, is also active as a vocal coach.

The foundation for “ Wheels Of Fire ” was layed back in 2006 when Michele Luppi heard some of Dave’s demos and subsequently offered his help to record an album.
Eventually Michele produced “Hollywood Rocks” together with Dave and Michele can also be heard playing grand piano and singing background vocals.

The studio line-up is completed by guitar player Stefano Zeni, who was in a cover band together with Dave, Roberto Galli on bass, as well as Andrea Zingrillo on drums.
Roberto Priori (Killing Touch, Michele Luppi’s Heaven) took over the mix and the Mastering, and did an amazing job in delivering a great sounding record.

The songs of “Wheels Of Fire” are a captivating combination of all the elements that Melodic Rock and AOR fans love about this kind of music and that made these songs staples on mainstream radio twenty years ago.
Pushed forward by powerful drums the mid- and uptempo rockers, like “Hollywood Rocks”, “You’re So Cool”, “What I Want”, “Everywhere I Go”, “Live Again”, “Relax” and “Rock The World” also shine with their melodic guitar riffs and a heathy dose of crystal clear keyboards.
As expected the verses of the songs always lead to a super catchy chorus and are crowned with a guitar solo.

Rock ballads have always been a big plus of the Melodic Rockers and so the band has paid very careful attention to the softer moments “I Can’t Live Without You” and “Little Prayer”.
They serve a decent portion of guitar power and the arrangements also include a grand piano, while the concluding master piece in this category, the bombastic eight minute epic “Love Nest” even adds a string section, making it a full blown wide screen listening experience.

After some changes in the band’s line-up with the incoming of Marcello Suzzani on bass and Fabrizio Uccellini on drums, the guys are ready to spread their music all over the world under the name "WHEELS OF FIRE".

01 - Hollywood Rocks
02 - You're So Cool
03 - What I Want
04 - I Can't Live Without You
05 - Everywhere I Go
06 - Live Again
07 - The Reason
08 - Little Prayer
09 - Relax
10 - Rock The World
11 - Love Nest

Davide "Dave Rox" Barbieri - Vocals
Stefano Zeni - Guitars
Marcello Suzzani - Bass
Fabrizio Uccellini - Drums
Andrea Vergori - Keyboards



Wednesday, June 9, 2010

PANGEA - Retrospectacular (2010)

Pangea, have existed as a band in its trio formation of Torben Lysholm (Vocal and Guitar), Jan Engstrøm (Bass) and Tony Olsen (Drums and Percussion) since 1991.
In 1992 the band entered a production deal with a producer and studio owner and their debut album “The First” was released in Japan and Southeast Asia in '95.

Once the and was ready to release their second album “Manchild” in the spring of '97 a couple of European labels found interest and both albums were released in Europe late in '97.
Having high hopes for their third album the band took a big risk and made an expensive album only to discover that the economic market in Japan collapsed resulting in no label willing to pay anywhere near the asking license price.

Torben Lysholm comments: “ We decided to redo the whole thing and oddly it was not too difficult. We had worked so much on the previous production of it that it was all still in our backbones even all these years later ”.

“Retrospectacular” is classic Pangea, led by the punchy and expressive guitar work and vocals of Lysholm, the band peddle a similar vein of rock to early Extreme and Mr. Big, plenty of fine guitar work and catchy choruses.

'Little By little', 'House Of Love' and 'Hold Your Fire' are clear examples of solid songwriting, strong hard rock tracks.
When the band went into the melodic rock arena really shines, 'Shot' and '2AM' are perfect tunes, to listen over and over.
First rate production (I mean excellent) and mix.
Hope the band gets the recognition it deserves with this album.
If you like it, support them purchasing the CD here:

01 - Time's Up
02 - Hold Your Fire
03 - Right Between The Eyes
04 - Blindfold
05 - Little By Little
06 - Shot
07 - Don't Let Go
08 - House Of Love
09 - TNT
10 - 2 AM
11 - It's Too Late

Torben Lysholm - Vocal and Guitar.
Jan Engstrøm - Bass.
Tony Olsen - Drums and Percussion.

Bass on "It's Too Late" - Christian Rajkai
Backing vocals - Jan Eliasson, Knud Lindhart, Lene Riebau, Jan Engstrøm, Tony Olsen and Torben Lysholm.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

TRIUMPH - Greatest Hits Remixed (2010)

With a number of gold and platinum releases to their credit (a total of 8 certifications in Canada alone), Triumph sold over 10 million albums during their career.
Singles like "Hold On", "Magic Power","Fight The Good Fight", "Spellbound" and especially "Lay It On The Line" drove Triumph to arena rock success.

The fresh release of "Greatest Hits Remixed" bring to us the best collection of their classics.
This isn't another cash-in GH.
These remixes / remasters has given a REAL new dimension to the songs, everything has more presence, with a sound that is more full than the previous versions.
It certainly helps that the originals were well-recorded, giving producer Rich Chycki (Aerosmith, Rush) a good palette of colors to work with in constructing the new mixes.
I was blown away at how good they sound, all of which boast unbelievable sonic clarity that is hard to believe, considering the time period that all of this stuff was recorded in.

Fans both new and old will have the opportunity to discover / re-discover TRIUMPH, with the all killer/no filler "Greatest Hits Remixed".

01 - Allied Forces
02 - Lay It On The Line
03 - Follow Your Heart
04 - Magic Power
05 - I Live For The Weekend
06 - Hold On
07 - Just One Night
08 - Fight The Good Fight
09 - Spellbound
10 - Never Surrender
11 - When The Lights Go Down
12 - Somebody's Out There
13 - Rock & Roll Machine
14 - Love Hurts (new track 2010)

Rik Emmett: guitar and vocals
Gil Moore: drums and vocals
Mike Levine: bass and keyboards


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

GOODBYE THRILL - Keepsakes (2010)

GOODBYE THRILL’s debut, self-titled release was a solid representation of everything you’ve come to love about late 80’s/ early 90’s rock bands… powerful hooks and harmonies, tight, toe-tapping melodies and BIG vocals.

Waiting for the forthcoming new album 'Outrageous', the band has released a collection of unreleased material and acoustic tunes, including a killer new remix of their hit 'Rainy Days' by the master Beau Hill.
Something sure to please fans of FIREHOUSE, DEF LEPPARD, BLACK N’ BLUE and alikes.

Excellent production (not demos).
If you like it, pre-order the new album plus this one and get the third half price automatically.


Note: this isn't the shitty copy floating the net, with incorrect tracklist and no artwork.

1. Thats What We Stand For
2. Born Again
3. Give You Away
4. Rainy Days (Beau Hill Remixed Version)
5. Ticket To Paradise
6. Lazy
7. Fallen Heros
8. Dead To Me
9. Rainy Days
10. It's Got To Be

Marc Ferreira (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar)
Dean Cramer (guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocals)
Dario Seixas (bass, backing vocals)
Pete Eiselman (drums & percussion)

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