Monday, September 20, 2010

KERRY ELLIS - Anthems (2010)


"A voice in a million… Kerry is the most exciting singer to emerge from England in a very long time" – Brian May
That’s the verdict of QUEEN founding member Brian May, on the sensational singing of Kerry Ellis.

Already hailed as one of the most thrilling vocal talents on today’s West End stage, Kerry’s voice is soon to reach far beyond the theatre with her eagerly awaited debut album "Anthems", masterminded by Brian May.
It was May who 'talent-spotted' Kerry when she understudied for Martine McCutcheon in My Fair Lady.
He quickly snapped her up to star in the Queen musical We Will Rock You, almost nine years ago, and it was in between rehearsals and performances that the two of them found the time to begin work on some new ideas.

May says:
'From the moment I first heard Kerry sing, I was entranced, and felt the conviction that I would one day make her album. The conviction never left me.
The hard thing was to find the right medium to harness that amazing voice – the material and arrangements had to be worthy, and a musical style evolved to capture her unique magic'

The collaboration continued all through the following years in which Brian did two world tours with Queen, and Kerry starred in Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, and finally Wicked.
The combination of these two great musical talents now results in one of the most original and exciting collaborations in recent years.

Infused with the distinctive sound of May’s legendary guitar-playing, plus some of Rock’s heaviest drummers, and full orchestra, arranged by May and Steve Sidwell, ‘Anthems’ is a large-scale epic so individual that it "might define a new area in music - a kind of Anthemic-Orchestral-Rock-Musical-Theatre-Fusion" (May).

"Dangerland" is haunting and melodic. The guitar (showing eastern tones, I felt, reminiscent of Queen's "It's A Beautiful Day") forming a counterpoint to Kerry's lead, Brian's guitar like an extra voice, in duet, throughout. You could almost imagine how Freddie would sound, singing this .... very 'Queen'. Gloriously spine-tingling.
"Defying Gravity" has big drums and the beautiful guitar of May dominating the scene. Epic Song.
Brilliant midtempo in "I'm Not that Girl", with the typical tasty Brian guitar tone.
"Love It When You Call" is an infectious rocker with a great riff.
And then the QUEEN covers: "Save Me" and "No-One But You" featuring magnificient orchestrations.

With a track listing that boasts new arrangements of songs from Wicked (Defying Gravity, I'm Not That Girl) and classic music by Queen (Save Me, No One But You), "Anthems" is sure to transcend genres and establish Kerry Ellis as not only an unforgettable stage actress, but also as a recording artist who is redefining musical boundaries.

01 - Dangerland *
02 - Anthem
03 - I Can't Be Your Friend (This Can't Be Over) *
04 - Defying Gravity
05 - I'm Not That Girl
06 - You Have To Be There
07 - Love It When You Call
08 - Save Me *
09 - Diamonds Are Forever
10 - No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young) *
11 - I Loved A Butterfly *

Kerry Ellis: Lead & Backing Vocals
Brian May: Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Songwriting *
Roger Taylor: Drums (10)
Rufus Taylor (Roger's son): Drums (6,7,8,9)
John Miceli: Drums (1,2,3)
Taylor Hawkins: Drums (4,5)
Chris Chaney: Bass (5)

Produced by Brian May



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WHITE WIDDOW - White Widdow (2010)

WHITE WIDDOW White Widdow 2010

Hailing from Melbourne Australia, WHITE WIDDOW was formed in 2008 by charismatic frontman Jules Millis along with bassist Trent Wilson and guitar virtuoso Enzo Almanzi.
From its inception the vision was always to write and perform 80's Arena style Melodic Rock and Hard Edged AOR inspired by artists such as White Sister, Survivor, Treat, Dokken, Aviator, Bon Jovi and Australia's own Roxus.

After initial sessions it was clear to them that to fulfill the sound they wanted, they would require a full time keyboard player.
Jules immediately enlisted the help of his brother Xavier Millis on the keyboards, a two time ARIA (Australian Record Industry Award) nominee and a well versed keyboard player in many musical styles.
With Xavier onboard, the writing team was in place and the line-up was then completed with Jim Naish on drums.

Starting out playing live amongst the diverse Melbourne Rock scene, White Widdow quickly established themselves as a solid live unit throughout their native Australia. In mid 2009 White Widdow recorded and released their free digital only EP which was very well received in selected press.

With their debut self titled album, the full vision of White Widdow has become a reality.
With absolutely no concerns about modern rock trends the band has followed their hearts and proudly wear their 80's influences on their sleeves.

Intro "Shoukai" with the amazing keys and ripping guitar is chained with "Tokio Rain", a terrific rocker plenty of fluffy keyboards a la GIUFFRIA. WOW!
"Broken Hearts Won't Last Forever" is a thrilling, Sunset Blvd-style tune, much in the vein of the glorious DANGER DANGER.
The storming "Cross To Bare" with blistering guitars and symphonic keys displays a harder side to the band's melodic glory, in the way of bands such TREAT and JADED HEART.
With healthy lashings of AOR goodness, the wrenching, yet uplifting "Don't Fail Me Now" relives the glory days of STAGE DOLLS and HAREM SCAREM, masters of the melodic rock ballad.
With driving rhythm and stabbing keys, "Change Of Passion" is destined to become a live favorite.
But ALL tracks are devastating, breathtaking pieces of killer Melodic Rock / AOR.

Mixed and Mastered by Martin Kronlund (Overland, Joe Lynn Turner, Hammerfall, Bangalore Choir) at JM Studios in Sweden, White Widdow have put together an album full of Melodic Rock and AOR anthems filled with swirling keyboards, blistering guitar playing and big choruses full of hooks, the way they believe rock music should be.

One of THE albums of the year...

01 - Shoukai (Intro) / Tokyo Rain
02 - Broken Hearts Won't Last Forever
03 - We've Got The Wings
04 - Cross To Bare
05 - Don't Fail Me Now
06 - Spirit Of Fire
07 - Shadows Of Love
08 - One More Day
09 - Change Of Passion
10 - Fire & Ice

Julez 'Mephisto' Millis - Lead Vocals
Enzo Almanzi - Guitars & Vocals
Trent Wilson - Bass & Vocals
Xavier 'Mephisto' Millis - Keyboards & Vocals
Jim Naish - Drums



LINE OF FIRE - Momentum (2010)

This seems like an odd title for the second LINE OF FIRE album. Momentum is exactly what the US-based melodic rock band lost in the five years since their well-received self-titled debut was released. Of course, the delay is understandable, given that guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter Nikki Dimage was sidelined for two years with cancer.
Now healthy and once again focused on LINE OF FIRE, Dimage and vocalist Shawn Pelata (recently active with LIBERTY N JUSTICE) are back with another well written, brilliantly executed slice of melodic rock.

For those of you who missed the band’s debut, Line Of Fire plays a brand of melodic rock that’s influenced by classic bands like JOURNEY, BOSTON and FOREIGNER, but has a modern energy and precision that rivals European bands like KHYMERA and BROTHER FIRETRIBE.

The band seems to acknowledge their long absence up front, with the appropriately titled "It Takes Time" which was written by Nikki Dimage in the mid eighties and sounds a lot like JOURNEY.
After that comes the very catchy "Obsession", which is the album’s first single.
In the fleeting "Give Me All" SCORPIONS come to mind, particularly in the guitar work.
"I Belong" features a magnificent keyboard orchestration, while "The Fire Never Dies" has a killer chorus.
There are two mid-tempo hybrid ballad/rockers: "I'll Be The One Tonight" and "I'm Crying For You", which showcase the band's softer side, just as effective as their harder rockin' side.
'Undone' is another tune with Pelata standing out, shades of TED POLEY filter through on this one.
The STREET TALK - sounding ballad "Ghost In Your Heart" is another song that seems made for AOR radio.

The whole album is just packed with catchy melodies, great guitar hooks, and some very impressive vocals.
Pelata sounds absolutely incredible here. His vocal range and control seem to have grown measurably since the debut, and he gives these songs an additional measure of both power and heart.
The vocal harmonies in particular are just gorgeous. And if that weren’t enough, the album is impeccably produced, mixed and mastered.

'Momentum' is one of the absolute best melodic rock albums released this year, and proof positive that the Europeans don’t have a monopoly on high quality melodic rock / AOR.
With any luck, the band will stay healthy and this album will prove successful enough to regain that lost momentum.

01. It Takes Time
02. Obsession
03. Give Me All
04. I'll Be The One Tonight
05. I Belong
06. The Fire Never Dies
07. I'm Crying For You
08. In The Stone
09. Undone
10. Ghost In Your Heart

Nikki Dimage: Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars, Keys, Bass
Shawn Pelata: Lead & Backing Vocals
Thomas Clark: Lead & Rhythm Guitars

Additional Players:
Ed Darst: add. Guitars
Eric Welch, Cliff Paul: Bass
Justin Collins, Jeremy Thomas: Drums

Produced: Jamie King & Line Of Fire



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

SEDONA - Golden Valley (2010)

SEDONA is a French band (there is also one from Northern California) that has been on the road since the earlier nineties and released a bunch of albums locally.
Not so long ago, the mastermind of the band, singer / guitar player Patrick Liotard, inspired after a concert sharing stage with his idol Steve Lukather (TOTO), decided to breathe new life into SEDONA activity.

Then, it is not surprising that "Golden Valley" sounds heavily influenced by TOTO, LITTLE RIVER BAND, DAKOTA, but above all: STEVE LUKATHER.
The guitar solos as well as the vocals remind strongly to Lukather’s solo recordings.
Patrick Liotard is an accomplished instrumentalist, and also knows how to sing those typical Westcoast harmonies. The singing is in English and one can hardly hear that they are French.

I loved the dreamy mid-western guitar lines of 'Magic Dream', even the subtle brilliance of 'Sweet Wave Of Sunset' will warm the cockles of your heart.
For Toto fans, check out 'You Choose Fanatic', the Lukather-like guitar licks are guaranteed to stun.
It's hard not to miss the delicious harmonies of 'Golden Valley' and equally 'California Ballad', the combination of AOR and melodic steel guitar is a winner.
When Sedona decide to rock out, a track like 'Rock Board' goes to show this lot aren't just about slick westcoast, this one is a fun time rocker with big melodies.
Even when they change to instrumentals, Sedona know how to mix it up with stunning musicianship. 'Laguna' features magic landscapes, and 'Sedona' is a classic L.A. session material, a la Larry Carlton / Jay Graydon. One should listen to it with headphones and dream away.

Very good album that will be warmly embraced by friends of classic bands like Toto, Dakota, Tim Feehan, Joseph Williams, Jay Graydon’s Planet 3, Peter Beckett, Nielsen/Pearson, etc.

01 - TFC Magic Dream
02 - Surfing State Of Mind
03 - Golden Valley
04 - California Ballad
05 - Sweet Wave Of Sunset
06 - Laguna (Instrumental)
07 - Rock Board
08 - Southern California Dream Space
09 - You Choose Fanatic
10 - The Story
11 - Tessalia
12 - Sedona (Instrumental)

Patrick Liotard - vocals, guitars
Stephane Larribat - drums
Jack AnDouar - bass
Laurent Darmon - keyboards



BRICKYARD - Brickyard (2010)

Vocalist / Guitarist Mikel Japp born in south Wales, UK, and toured with several bands through Europe.
Japp moved to the US and established as songwriter, where has penned songs for THE BABYS ('Head First'), KISS ('Creatures of the Night'), JOHN WAITE and many other rock&pop artists.

BRICKYARD was actually a Los Angeles-based band formed by Japp that has recorded a slew of songs that have never seen the light of day in cd form... until now.
The other four members of Brickyard are extremely talented seasoned musicians who knew exactly how to lay down a tight Melodic Rock album with extremely tasty guitar work and a sprinkling of keys: David Logeman, Tad Dery, Luke Thule and Michael Lamper.

Mikel sounds like the perfect blend of John Waite, Lou Gramm, Steve Overland and Thunder's vocalist Daniel Bowes.
Rockers full of energy (check "The Last Time"), awesome mid-tempos ("Look Love In The Eyes") and heartful ballads ("I Believe In Love") makes this recording worth to investigate.
Tasty Melodic Rock with an english touch, in the style of Foreigner , The Babys, Thunder, Signal, Strangeways ....

01 - Piece Of The Action
02 - Break The Ice
03 - Look Love In The Eyes
04 - White Light
05 - Baby I'm In Love Again
06 - Come Back And Hold Me
07 - Someone To Love
08 - I Believe In Love
09 - The Last Time
10 - Leave Well Enough Alone
11 - Do You Wanna Know

Mikel Japp: vocals, guitar
Michael Lamper: guitar, vocals
Tad Dery: bass, vocals
Luke Thule: keyboards, vocals
Dave Logeman: drums


Monday, September 13, 2010

GOO GOO DOLLS - Something For The Rest Of Us [Deluxe edition] (2010)

GOO GOO DOLLS Something For The Rest Of Us

When the Goo Goo Dolls released "Let Love In" in 2006, it was received with much criticism, especially on the production of the album. Because of that expectations for the next album were high.
Recording sessions began in 2008 and about one and a half years later, at the end of 2009, the album was finished.
It was ready to be mixed, when the band decided that it probably wasn't good enough and they went back into the studio for a few months.
When looking back, this was probably a very clever move, because the production of this album is solid as rock.

Inspiration and main theme of the album is the uncertain time of the United States right now, when looking at the emotions of average Americans.
The album gets off to a flying start with 'Sweetest Lie', a good choice for an opener, with a chanting chorus and e-bow guitars. Powerful track.
From here on we have mainly power ballads and soft rock songs that each have their own distinctive sound.
Personal favourites are 'As I Am' (an atmospheric and catchy power ballad), the heartbreaking 'Notbroken' (an emotionally charged acoustic number which is well written and builds to a rocking finish), 'One Night' (very good mid-tempo soft rock, instantly likeable), 'Nothing Is Real' (hard edged ballad, epic sing-along chorus) and 'Still Your Song' (probably the best track of all).

This deluxe edition comes with 3 bonus tracks, a cover of Flesh For Lulu's 'Postcards From Paradise', 'Home' on acoustics, and a very good version of Pete Townshend's 'Rough Boys'.
The last one has bassist Robby Takac singing and it shows once again that John Rzeznik isn't the only singer in this group.

Not many bands who have been around for a quarter century are still putting out a quality product like this, and it is a testament to this band's constant desire to improve its songcraft, and they have become old pros at crafting this type of pop-rock that endures years after it is released.
In other words, Goo Goo Dolls are back and as good as they ever were.

01 - Sweetest Lie
02 - As I Am
03 - Home
04 - Notbroken
05 - One Night
06 - Nothing Is Real
07 - Now I Hear
08 - Still Your Song
09 - Something For The Rest Of Us
10 - Say You're Free
11 - Hey Ya
12 - Soldier
13 - Postcards From Paradise [Bonus Track]
14 - Rough Boys [Bonus Track]
15 - Home (Acoustic) [Bonus Track]

John Rzeznik – guitar, lead vocals, background vocals
Robby Takac – bass, background vocals, lead vocals
Mike Malinin – drums, percussion
Additional personnel:
Zac Rae – keyboards
Tim Pierce – rhythm guitars



RAGE N' ROX - ST (1989 - 2010)

Unknown band from the Pacific Northwest area, Portland, Oregon, RAGE N' ROX features the soaring vocals of Tamara Deems and the impressive array of guitar pyrotechnics from husband Gordy Deems (ex Hot Stuff, Kracker).
The band recorded the album at Falcon studios and only was released in limited quantities.

RAGE N' ROX existed from about 1987-1992.
The group traveled around the Northwest and also did gigs in Alaska and Hawaii, where they play extensively in the club circuit and appeared on a local television show and in the newspapers.
From driving rockers to gorgeous AOR ballads, RAGE N' ROX highlights strong memorable hooks and a perfect blend of guitars and keys.

This is an amazing collection of original '80s melodic rock; the vocals bring chills, and the guitar work is phenomenal.
It's too bad this album didn't get broader distribution on its first release, but here's hoping this first time ever on CD release will garner it some of the recognition it deserves.

In the same vain of VIXEN, FIONA, TORONTO, HEART...

01 - Drive It In
02 - Standin' In The Rain
03 - No More Lies
04 - Never Wanted
05 - Surrender
06 - How Can You Do It
07 - Break A Heart
08 - Meet Me In The Morning
09 - Walking With An Angel
10 - Long Walk

Tamara Deems: Lead Vocals, Backup Vocals
Gordy Deems: All Guitars, Backup Vocals, Bass, Keys
Eric Kruegar: Bass
John Field: Keyboards
Greg Oberst: Drums


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

BAD CITY - Welcome To The Wasteland (2010)

Bad City have created a stir around the Chicago underground with their riff-crazy brand of old-school hard rock.
Signed by a major label, their debut album "Welcome To The Wasteland" is an electrifying introduction to the band’s idiosyncratic sound, riddled with glamtastic melodies, tasty hooks, and stadium-sized choruses.
This quintet will tickle your nostalgia bone with "Welcome to the Wasteland".

Led by frontman Josh Caddy, Bad City received an impressive shout-out from Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan, who invited the group to be the opening act on his current tour.
On the strength of Welcome to the Wasteland, one might wonder what exactly drew Corgan to Bad City since they don’t play music that’s similar to the Pumpkins.
But with its allusions to Cheap Trick and Kiss, this record clearly hits Corgan’s sweet spot for anthem-heavy rock ‘n’ roll.
Also Paul Stanley from Kiss has talked about:
"Welcome To The Wasteland is an absolute knockout and the best album I've heard in ages.
A killer, cohesive album of great rock and bombastic production that has been sorely missing.

Every track is a winner and Bad City raises the bar out of most band's reach. It's really that good."

Channeling everything from Queen to the pop-metal of ‘80s hair bands, Bad City write rock songs about rock songs, clearly targeting an audience that loves classic-rock radio and craves new tunes that sound exactly like the old ones.

"Showdown in Central Park" opens the album and immediately shows what Bad City is all about: soaring choruses, electrifying melodies, and songs made to blow out the speakers of arenas.
Even with the ballad "Fire in the Pouring Rain", no intensity is lost.
Welcome to the Wasteland finally reaches its boiling point on "Look Out!", a ferocious number with a hard-hitting hook that's bound to become a fan favorite live.

A lot of credit needs to go to producer Johnny K (Disturbed, Sevendust).
His spot on production makes the record sound absolutely massive with every riff and hook.

01 - Showdown In Central Park
02 - Take Me For A Ride
03 - Do You Believe In Rock N Roll
04 - Wildlife
05 - Fire In The Pouring Rain
06 - Call Pall Stanley
07 - Heatwave
08 - Look Out!
09 - Touch
10 - Straight To The Grave

Josh Caddy - vocals
Tom Schleiter - guitar
Max Perenchio - guitar
Jake Serek - bass
Kevin Kane - drums


BANGALORE CHOIR - Cadence (2010)

It has been 18 years since BANGALORE CHOIR's only release "On Target" in 1992, unfortunately, at the dawn of the grunge movement during a time where melodic / hard rock acts would soon be swept on the back burner in favor of musical faire such as Nirvana, Mudhoney, etc.
On Target was the perfect collection of catchy rock that would have made them legends in the Los Angeles music scene and beyond.
The band featured an amazing front man named David Reece, who was once the lead vocalist for Accept (on Eat The Heat).
Bangalore Choir’s songs had hit potential written all over them and should have been played all over rock radio.

Reece would return in 2007 with various new bands (GYPSY ROSE) and an idea to release the next big R'N'R edition to the Bangalore Choir saga.
And in 2010, they are back on target and ready to roll with a brand spankin’ new album entitled "Cadence".
The new record continues with the blistering guitars, pounding rhythms and big hooky choruses of the debut.

"Power Trippin" presents a punchy riff, where Reece combines with the guitars a massive slab of smooth, yet abrasive melodic hard rock tune.
"Living Your Dreams Everyday" shows that Bangalore Choir are just as capable at bringing a looser, rough and ready vibe without losing any of their infectious melody.
"Heart Attack" grooves into tons of singalong fun and huge chorus vocals.
"Survival of the Fittest" is a kickass powerful song, a dark and heavy reflection of our times.
"Living Your Dreams" is a super cool ballad that could easily make modern radio and remains faithful to the classic Bangalore sound.

The likes of "Martyr" takes us on a more restrained journey that relies on a joyous chorus, however it is the double punch of "Sweet Temptation" and "Spirits Too They Bleed" that really hit home.
The former has the most insistent sing along chorus on the album, but still retains a depth that songs this memorable seldom have the right to, while the latter's slow building spiral riff locks into an infectious groove that just refuses to let go.

"Cadence" features stellar guitar guests and co-writers: Christian Tolle (solo on "High On The Clouds"), Martin Kronlund (Overland, Gypsy Rose, Salute) and mastermid Tommy Denander.
As all the best albums tend to, Cadence reveals its true strength over numerous listens and what, at first appeared to be a solid set of songs, slowly grows into one of the best melodic hard rock releases of the year.


01. Wahzoo City
02. Power Trippin
03. Martyr
04. Livin Your Dreams
05. Survival Of The Fittest
06. Tomorrow
07. Heart Attack And Vine
08. Still Have A Song To Sing
09. Dig Deep
10. Never Say Goodbye
11. Sweet Temptation
12. High On The Clouds
13. Spirits Too The Bleed
14. Surrender All Your Love

David Reece - Vocals
Curt Mitchell - Guitar
Andy Susemihl - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Danny Greenberg - Bass
Hans Zandt - Drums
Christian Tolle - Guitar, Songwriting
Martin Kronlund - Guitar, Songwriting
Tommy Denander - Guitar, Songwriting
Tommy Bloch - Backing Vocals



Monday, September 6, 2010

KENS DOJO - Reincarnation (2010)

KENS DOJO is a solo project of Norway’s gifted guitar player, producer and songwriter Ken Ingwersen.
Who? …well it’s a big name in Norway.
Ingwersen has been in the business for quite some time now.
A black belt karate expert – hence the Kens Dojo name for this solo project – if you dig a little deeper you’ll find he’s played with the likes of Evenrude, Glenn Hughes, TNT (producer of ‘Transistor’), Return, ex Uriah Heep Ken Hensley, Rick Springfield, Wig Wam, and many more, as well as finding time to establish a solid reputation as a producer in all spheres (although more recently that has been concentrated in acts of a more chart oriented vein).

The result of a longstanding ambition to record a solo album that goes right back to his hard rockin’ roots, when I first heard ‘Reincarnation’ my initial thoughts were that it could just be ‘the’ surprise of this summer!
Calling in a few favours from such well known faces as Glenn Hughes, Nils K Rue (Pagan’s Mind), Tommy La Verdi (21 Guns) and the ‘one and only’ (sic) Chesney Hawkes, Ingwersen has crafted an album full of great songs underpinned by some fine guitar work.

Opener "Forever" reminds TNT's best years, all moody vocals and minor chords melded together with devastating effect. Definitely one of the best opener’s I’ve heard anywhere this year.
The second track "Keeping The Flame Alive" is even better. It starts with a dramatic 911-call and evolves into a song what Queensryche could have recorded during their "Operation Mindcrime", "Empire" period, with audio snips and even scratching in it. The vocals by Nils K. Rue from the band Pagan’s Mind sounds just like Geoff Tate!
The Hughes track "I Surrender" is a smouldering, soulful ballad with a delightful neo-classical undercurrent, very similar to Brazen Abbot. Glenn did his vocals like only he can on the, with a nicely added string section.

Title track "Reincarnation" has a very special guest on the vocals… Chesney Hawkes!!! Yes, 'the one and only'. The boy (okay, now a man) isn’t dead. He is alive and kicking and his voice is made for this funky rock&pop, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
21 Guns frontman Tommy La Verdi (partner with Ingwersen in Oslo Recordings Studio) rocks on "Demon In Diamonds" a classic rhythm song (like Winger on "Pull"). Good to hear him again.
"Rain" is a cover of Uriah Heep, acoustically done with Hensley.

Ingwersen lets his guitar speak on the brilliant instrumental song "Momentos A Solas". If you ever thought about making your own compilation with melodic instrumental songs… this one must be added for sure.
On the other side, his guitar really burns on the last track called "Soundcheck Bonanza". Unfurling clean, crisp 3D sonics and finely tooled textures, both tracks demonstrate Ingwersen's mastery, with the mixing desk, the six string and with the songwriter's pen

Built around a solid 80’s scandie core, Ken and company explore a multitude of moods and emotions, deftly placed little tangents taking the songs off on delightful detours before bringing them back full circle.
Even the tracks without the big name vocals (including aforementioned opener ‘Forever’) have just as much impact, like "Come Alive" and the haunting "Set The Angel Free".
Quite possibly the best album of its type you’ll hear anywhere this year.
A tip... Play it loud!


01 - Forever
02 - Keeping The Flame Alive
03 - I Surrender (vocals: Glenn Hughes)
04 - Reincarnation (vocals: Chesney Hawkes)
05 - Momentos A Solas
06 - Demon In Diamonds (vocals: Tommy La Verdi)
07 - Come Alive
08 - El Recreo
09 - Set This Angel Free
10 - Rain
11 - Soundcheck Bonanza

Guitars, Bass, Keys, Production: Ken Ingwersen
Bass: Morty Black (ex TNT)
Drums: Ole Devold (Tritonus), Truls Haugen (Circus Maximus)
Vocals: Glenn Hughes, Ken Hensley, Michael Eriksen (Circus Maximus), Nils K. Rue (Pagans Mind), Chesney Hawkes, Tommy La Verdi (ex-21 Guns), Eirikur Hauksson aka Eric Hawk (ex-Artch), Aslak Johnsen (Mindtech), Jon Rydningen (Dream Police) and more....

Mastered by Bjorn Engelmann (Europe, Cher)


Thursday, September 2, 2010

HOUSTON - Houston (2010)

The Swedish duo of Hampus "Hank" Erix (vocals) and Freddie Allen (Drums) make up the sensation called HOUSTON some months ago when they released their debut single "Hold On" to the world.
Finally we have here the full album.

Houston's passion for the music come together and along side an inventive producer in Ricky B. Delin who brings a great crew together with the likes of Tommy Denander, Tomas Vikström (Talk Of The Town, Candlemass) and Mats Olausson (Yngwie Malmsteen) to add more power to their already catchy sound.

The single “Hold On” was a nice advance, with soaring guitars, soft keyboards and the sweet vocals, but are tracks like “I’m Alive” that make the record flow with energy and provides the listener with the classic chords of vintage AOR.
The keys in “Give Me Back My Heart” are soulfully played with the heartfelt drums marching on in this arena style rocker.
The chorus in “She’s A Mistery” is definitely not hard to figure out as everything comes together on this track to unite more high rising harmonies.
The name sake for Houston fits perfectly on these songs here as Denander provies a futuristic keyboard presence on some of the songs, which fit perfectly with the classic AOR vibe throughout the record.

Well much hard work it took for the guys to complete the record and it shows in the production and the performance.
I think as time passes on we will go back and refer to this release as a top notch... perhaps classic?
You never know, all I know is that the music here is delivered to perfection with all the catchy hooks and enticing melodies we come to expect from veterans in the genre.

One of the strongest releases of the year without a doubt.
Knock this one back into you CD player because you’ll end up listening to it endless times.


01 - Pride
02 - Truth Slips
03 - Hold On
04 - I'm Alive
05 - One Chance
06 - Give Me Back My Heart
07 - Misery
08 - She's A Mystery
09 - Now
10 - 1000 Songs

Hampus "Hank" Erix - Lead Vocals
Freddie Allen - Drums

Tommy Denander - Keyboards, Guitar
Mats Olausson - Keyboards
Thomas Vikström - Vocals
... and many more session musicians

hit counter
Unique Visitors
View My Stats

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP