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Friday, March 28, 2008

New blog alert!

Yet another blog to clog up the net but I will try and make it informative. It will cover family life, music, Stoke City FC, politics…anything really that tickles my fancy! Also I will use it as another way to plug GRTR! and the fine bands/music out there :)
Please feel free to comment as otherwise it is like talking to yourself which is never a healthy thing…
Best wishes,

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Forty nights fundraising

As it is my 40th birthday in 2008 I thought a novel way to raise funds would be to have forty bands/authors I have enjoyed so far in my life and have them kindly plug this fundraising page for donations to their fans (be it through a gig, email newsletter, etc) to this worthy charity, the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre who help people through music.

Please support the bands/authors who have supported my fundraising efforts by going to one of their events or buying their music or books (feel free to use the Amazon links on the sidebar of this page).

The artists...

ROBERT RANKIN author of many fabulous books (everyone should read all of his Brentford trilogy books and 'The Toyminator') will be kindly plugging this site throughout 2009! His books are hard to categorise although dark comic fanatsy is the maybe the nearest description.

NEWMAN is the band of Steve Newman, a very talented hard rock/AOR singer/songwriter and he will kindly plug this site in November as part of his website relaunch. Check out his new CD 'Primitive Soul' or any of his CD's (the song 'Last Known Survivor' is a classic)for that matter as you will get hook filled melodic hard rock/AOR.

CHRIS SINGLETON will plug the funraising page on Saturday 24th Nov via his blog.
I chose Chris as he is a very talented singer/songwriter who composes pop rock gems -check out his song 'Get Up' for proof. Easily one of the best new singer/songwriters I have heard in the past few years.
A 2006 interview with Chris.

GLYDER will plug this fundraising idea and page on Friday 18th January when they launch their new album, 'Playground For Life' at the Sugar Club, Dublin. Glyder are the natural successors to the mighty THIN LIZZY and are one of the best new bands out there who mix the classic 70's rock sounds into their own modern hard rock style.
Click here old interview with the band.

RHODE ISLAND RED featuring my good friend NIKK GUNNS will plug this fundraising page on Feb 3rd at Bearstock 3 gig.

More to be added soon including some of the bands I grew up listening to like UFO and MAGNUM plus newer finds like POWER QUEST and CREDO.

What is music therapy?

“The overall aim of music therapy is to actively engage individuals in their own growth, development and behavioural change and for them to transfer musical and non-musical skills to other aspects of their life, bringing them from isolation into active participation in the world. We create music through improvisation or composition specifically to meet the needs and capabilities of our clients”.

Monday, September 03, 2007

CRN is now GRTR!

The Classic Rock Newswire can now be found over at the place for classic rock, metal, prog rock and more - Get Ready To Rock!

Click here for all the latest rock and metal news

Click here for GRTR!

10 Q's with EDEN'S CURSE

2007 has been a cracking year for melodic hard rock albums with Burn, Sacred Heart, Pink Cream 69 and David Readman all releasing top draw albums. Now get ready for Eden's Curse who define classy hard rock and as for the ballad 'Voice Inside', in one word 'immense'! Read on...

1. What are you currently up to? (E.g. recording, gigs etc.)

ME: Getting ready to release our debut album, and it's surely time. We are doing heavy promotion at the moment with interviews and stuff like that. Good fun!

2. How did the band come together? Didn't it start on the MelodicRock.Com message board?

ME: Actually Paul saw me on quite a few message boards as I get around kinda like the hookers in Chicago less the disease. I was tired of the wanna be game players and decided to branch out overseas. Paul found me and it was the greatest day in history. The rest is the icing on the cake!!

PL: Pete (Newdeck, Drummer) and I were label mates on the Now & Then Records and we had discussed a few production matters but never worked together, but we got on very well. I promised to let him know if anything came up in the future and I thought he was the perfect guy for this band. We put an ad out on for a guitarist and we received fifty plus applications. We said something like "music in the vien of Queensryche, Evidence One and Pink Cream 69" and the next thing we knew we were receiving a reply from Evidence One lead singer Carsten Schulz. He told us that he was managing a guitarist called Thorsten Koehne. We checked him out and were blown away and he joined the line up. The final piece of the puzzle was again provided by Carsten when we ran into issues with a session keyboard player we were using. Ferdy joined in June before we left for Germany to work with Dennis Ward.

3. Could you take us through the songs on the excellent new album (e.g. ideas behind the songs etc)

Book Of Life (Intro)

ME : Some of the coolest Dennis Ward stuff I could have imagined. When I heard what David Readman had done with the huge choir I nearly fell off the chair. It gives a perfect text book definition of what we wanted to say about the song that follows.

PL : We wanted a typically haunting Dennis Ward introduction to precede the opening track ‘Judgement Day’ and boy did we get it! A Gregorian styled piece wonderfully written and performed by the super talented Ferdy Doernberg featuring Friar Readman and the Muggensturm Monks in the background … oh, and a big scary voice!

Judgement Day

ME : This is the song that we knew from the start would be the album opener. I wanted lots of guitars on this one. I had some serious things to say about my past. Writing these lyrics helped vent away some bad vibes from a situation with family members that had gone more than bad. I remember hearing the demo thinking, god what have I fallen into with this guy named Paul Logue? To me this one’s about those who throw the stone from a glass house without looking at themselves, or the bigger picture. The cut runs deep as JLT once said. It’s about always being there for family, or a friend and watching them throw away a relationship they seemed to never want. In reality it could be about anyone who never got the big picture. I really wonder how many of those types exist in our modern society. When Thorsten Koehne our guitar player walked into our lives I knew our prayers had been answered. The guy is a monster guitarist and one of the greatest players and nicest guys I could ever imagine working with. An awesome performance from the entire band. I’m really proud of this one. It rips from start to finish!!

PL : This was the first track that I presented to Mike for the record and it pretty much set the tone of the album and the band’s sound. It features some wonderful vocals by Mike and some outrageous lead work from Thorsten. I really dig the clean intro and then the power riff kicks in and you are floored!

Eyes Of The World

ME : This one came to us early in the writing stages. I felt the demo Carsten Lizard Schulz (Evidence One) sent was very strong but I had some other ideas as to where I wanted to take this one. Great guitars from Thorsten and some of the most hammering bass I have ever heard. One word - killer!!

PL : When Carsten and I started working on tracks for the record he mentioned that he had a left over song from Evidence One’s “Tattooed Heart” album lying around. As I am such a huge fan of the band and that album I said “OK, let’s hear it”. I wasn’t prepared for what followed! Killer song and very very Eden’s Curse! Here’s the man himself with an insight into the track …

CS : Originally written for Tattooed Heart, very early on. Features a brilliant guitar melody by Robby Boebel. Lyrically it's about not giving up, when you kind of feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, basically everybody blaming your for almost everything.

PL: So it’s not about my wife after all ??? LOL

Stronger Than The Flame

ME : This was one of the last songs we recorded for the album. The video footage is scary. I think this one has maximum attitude behind it. I took all the things Carsten had built, which I thought were great, and revamped the entire vibe to fit my style a little better. This is truly one of the most balls out performances I’ve ever given in a studio setting. I kept thinking back to the old STEELER and KEEL days. I loved Ron’s passion for vocal delivery and wanted to try similar things. I really like all the guitars on this one as well as the huge drums and bassline.

PL : This was the first track that I presented to Carsten to work on. His reply, which I kept was “BRILLANT STUFF!!! Honestly, dude!!! This really rocks!!!”. My inspiration for this song was Lynch Mob meets Pink Cream 69, in fact the working title was “Lynch Cream”. Again some awesome guitar work from Thorsten and Mike’s vocals have attitude with a capital f*cking “A” !!! I love the groove on this one too. Damn my bass sounds good J

CS : Lyrically this is about fighting temptation - you know, hot chicks!

The Voice Inside

ME : A very personal journey for me to take with another song writer. I had gone to Paul and requested something special for this album and gave him the subject matter. He added a heart felt vibe that I never quite captured the last time around in my previous adventures. It really blows me away to know that this beautiful piece comes from the same guy who wrote “Don’t Bring Me Down”. Brilliant keyboard work on this one.

PL : I really enjoy writing ballads and this one was no different. I think the best songs I have written just flow out of me very easily and this one was the same. I would say the music came together in no more than ten minutes, as did the original lyric content. A tough challenge to accept from Mike but I think we nailed it. Some lovely piano and Hammond on the chorus by Ferdy. I’d swear that was Dann Huff on lead guitar!

After The Love Is Gone

ME : I remember driving around Illinois on the back streets thinking where the hell am I, and when will I get there? I was nearly three hours late to start the demo recordings for this album. Have you ever tried to drive in Illinois? The streets can often times lead you on a wild goose chase. I did three of the original demos in Illinois at my buddy Sean’s studio. I think I kept a few of his ideas on this. The most melodic of The Curse songs and I love the Journey feel. Perry and Soto have always been vocal influences so hopefully I captured some of their power and vibe.

PL : The second track that I sent to Mike for the album and another ball buster! A little more melodic than the other rockers, especially in the vocal department, but some great riffing by Thorsten and delicious backing vocals on the chorus from messers Eden, Readman and Doogie White!

Fly Away

ME : I was really happy to hear the Pete Newdeck attack on this one. The thundering drums will make the Country & Western folk drool onto their bibs if they ever hear this one. A great message and one of the coolest songs on the album. Euro Metal Keyboards all the way and Guitars from hell. Fly Away from the rain and thunder … to start again!!

PL : I was listening to a LOT of Edguy when I wrote this song and I loved how they balanced power and melody so easily. I wanted a heavy tuned down “D” riff with an AOR sing-a-long chorus. It does exactly what it says on the tin! Killer double kick playing by Pete on this one. I also love the Keyboard V’s Guitar battle between Ferdy and Thorsten in the verses. I’d pay money to watch that! All I had lyrically was the complete chorus and Carsten and Mike wrote the verses. I notice so many people in the UK getting tired of the same old same old, it’s probably the crap weather! They would up sticks and immigrate to Australia or wherever. I think that’s cool. Moving onto sunnier climates and pastures new … and starting all over again. Fly safely little birdy!

What Are You Waiting For

ME : A little ditty that has all the influences of us in one tight package. Guitars, drums and melody. Huge chorus vocals that Dennis had a great time mixing! Carsten insists the girls keep him waiting. I insist that he hire Sir Peter Newdeck and his elite team of killer girls who will never keep him waiting!!!! Just kidding Pete J

PL : This had a working title of ‘Koffler’ after the PC69 guitarist, as when I came up with that opening riff I thought it sounded like something he would write. The riffs just kept coming and this grew some arms and legs, and by the time Mr Newdeck finished it was a bona fide monster called Frank! Another track we co-wrote with Mr Schulz which has some great sing along melodies! Mike’s vocals on the verses are a particular highlight for me!

CS : Lyrically this is about being unable to understand why she doesn't say "yes" and keeps me waiting on and on.

Eden’s Curse

ME : This is a song that tells the story just as it was if you choose to believe. What happens in the garden stays in the garden unless it effect’s all of mankind forever. Why did she have to bite that f*cking apple? It really f*ucked up my entire mojo I swear. A heart pounding groove that puts the hook above all else. Did I mention our guitar player and his skills to tame the ultimate beast are just brutal on this one!!?

PL : Oh the pressure’s of writing an anthem! J I have visions of were Eddie comes onstage when Maiden play ‘Iron Maiden’ similarly we’d have a huge apple chasing Mike across the stage! J I wanted this track to have a great groove with a pumping rhythm section, all wrapped up in a melodic acoustic guitar hook. I love the heavy riff that comes in during the verses, which reminds me of early Jaded Heart and the riffs from there on bow down to the altar of George Lynch. The harmonies by David and Doogie on the outro are breathtaking!

Don’t Bring Me Down

ME : Thorsten brought this ass kicker in and we decided it was a bit different vibe wise but a killer jam none the less. I could see our live show open with this. Did I just say live show? Booking agents take note - we are available for world domination when you are! A shameless plug never hurt anyone did it? This one is clearly about people who stand in your way of being happy. The guy who says you’ll never go on to do bigger things without him. Well, the vote is in. We are driving up the fast lane and never looking back, or is it we are riding up the fast lane while you were playing your little games? As Thorsten would say - when all else fails just shred! He did and damn does it kick my ass!!!!!!!!

PL : This was Thorsten’s song which I helped arrange, with Pete, and wrote lyrics for with Mike. The fastest song on the album which sounds like Malmsteen doing Motley Crue! Some awesome guitar licks and runs on this, including one which the bass doubles, that took me four months to learn! J Ferdy plays some oustanding Hammond on this track too.

Heaven Touch Me

ME : This one was a great vibe in the studio. Dennis was really wound up smoking like a chimney at his smoking window. You would have to see this to believe it. His young daughter was talking to him while outside. I remember trying to do the tracks and in the cans I could hear him talking to her. His family was a riot. Anyway, this is basically about Paul and I and how lucky we felt to have met and become great friends and partners when thousands of miles separated us in distance. This is really more our anthem than Eden’s Curse in my opinion. After all it was not us in the garden with young Eve.

PL : More PC69 / Queensryche riffage and possibly some of the best vocal work from Mr Eden on the record in my opinion! Queensryche would be proud of that middle section and the solo is just absolutely out of f*cking hand! Lyrically it was about this band and all of the great things that were happening. It was like there was the involvement of a higher power. Great chorus penned by Carsten!

The Bruce (Intro)

ME : The first time I heard this I thought Titanic!! Ferdy needs to do movie scores in the future. An interesting character is all I can say about the guy. One would never expect to hear such things out of a master such as F.D.!! A crazed bald man with attitude galore. Crank up the track that follows.

PL : I’ll explain the subject on the following track next, but I asked Ferdy to give me an intro piece that could slot beautifully onto the soundtrack of the movie ‘Braveheart’ and boy oh boy did he deliver. This knocked me off my chair when I first heard it and it still gets the hairs on the back of my neck standing up!

Fallen King

ME : This one will get the girls next door in a frenzy!! The subject matter on this is all about Paul’s homeland in Scotland. I can talk all day about Presidents who get head in the oval office and he can talk about the actual battlegrounds he has visited. Too f*cking cool to believe. This has a superb performance by everyone. I can’t think of anything cooler than Paul’s neighbour blasting this one 8 months before our album release. What do my neighbours think? Trust me, you are better off not knowing!!

PL : Probably the most challenging song I have ever written. When exploring subject ideas for lyrics I happened to be reading a supplement in a Sunday newspaper celebrating the 700th anniversary of the coronation of King Robert The Bruce of Scotland. Most of you should be familiar with the name, but maybe not with the story. I concentrated on when King Robert had lost his throne and his family had been kidnapped by the English Army and he fled into the Scottish caves. He was ready to give up. Or was he ??? Musically it starts with a haunting acoustic guitar and builds up to a monster Queensryche like riff. I love Mike’s vocals on this track and the chorus is awesome. This is my favourite guitar solo on the record by a country mile!

We All Die Young

ME : It was about three years ago on my brother Rick’s day off and we were out on a spending spree. I’d usually pick him up and we would go shopping to buy music related collectors stuff or what have ya. Anyway, I usually sing in the car if I’m in the mood and drive him insane. This song from the movie Rock Star was in the CD player. I remember telling Rick that one day I’d record that for fun, I don’t think he believed me. Little did I know that a year later I would record it with guys who took it as serious as the guy who wrote the song. Everyone loves Eileen and The Curse loves Eve. Go figure. I hope we did Steelheart and The Dragon proud!!!! Live the Curse!!

PL : I can’t even remember how we got around to covering this but I love the way it turned out. When we were in the studio Dennis kept doing these hilarious muttering impressions of Bruce Springsteen singing the “Streets of Philadelphia” during the intro. Mike does a great Matijevic and there are some lovely touches from Ferdy on piano and Thorsten rips like a demon here! We sent the track to Mike Matijevic to hear and he gave us a big thumbs up. Now that’s cool !!!

European Bonus Track ...

What Are You Waiting For (Alt. Mix)

PL : A bit of dream come true for Mike with him sharing lead vocals with David Readman, Doogie White and Carsten Schulz on the one track! This has to be heard to be believed !!!

4. How did you hook-up with AFM Records? What do you hope they will do promotion wise for the band?

ME: Well we waived a flag in the air and they saluted us, it was truly that simple. They saw a great album and band and took advantage of such witty deals!! Working with AFM thus far has been a pleasure!! Now....Where is the tour? Thats what I hope they do besides promotion for the band!!! They rock!
The other labels are behind us as well. Thank God for people who are not blinded by the frontier of greed and hopeless thinking!!! Some people get it and some don't. To the labels who didn't.....Assume the position!!!

5. Paul - You appear on David Readman's (Pink Cream 69) debut album. How did you get involved in this and any plans to do some live dates at all?

PL: I have known David for a few years after designing his website for him. He didn't even know I was a musician and eventually over time we started writing songs together (for another project) and I played bass on a couple of demos for his solo album. Come album time I was intially only going to play on some songs but I ended up doing the whole record and I wrote two songs - Don't Let It Slip Away and Gentle Touch with David, with the former being recorded for a video. I was delighted at that especially as I wrote the song about my wife!

6. Michael - You're a new voice to many. Have you recorded with any bands previously and who have been your influences in your vocal style and why?

ME: I was the voice and leader of a band called SEVEN TEN from the Midwest. We did one album back in 2003 for Metal Mayhem Music called Love and War. We stole that title from Lillian Axe. I now see Gary Barden from MSG fame is now using the same title as well. I'm influenced by many of the greats. Plant, Perry, Dio, Stanley, St. Holmes and dozens more~!~!

7. How do you both view the current rock scene? There have been some very strong hard rock releases so far this year including Pink Cream 69, the return of Burn, David Readman, Scared Heart and more. Have you seen a upswing in interest in hard rock and is there a future in gigs or will it become mainly studio based bands only?

ME:There is no upswing. I think the business is actually at an all time low. I do have faith in the bands that are lucky enough to record and tour. The fans that are left that truly support the scene are killer. The posers.....Well, give em a old school Wham album and tell em to call it a day!!

PL: I agree that there has been many strong releases this year, but being as we shopped the record around we got first hand experience on the financial position of the many of the genre's labels. Some of the offers we were made by labels at the forefront of this genre were a complete and utter disgrace. I also think seeing the recent Thunderground festival being cancelled due to poor sales says it all. We think this genre is underground and healthy but at the end of the day people are not supporting it enough. We know our album has been downloaded on the torrent sites over 500 times - that could be the difference to this band playing live or not. If you download it and like it then please support the band by buying it, otherwise we may not be around for as long as we'd like to be!

8. Paul - Cry Havoc had their debut re-issued via Majestic Rock. Is there any unreleased Cry Havoc songs not yet released and what were the highlights/lowlights of the whole Cry Havoc experience?

PL: I spent the last two years recording the demos for the 2nd album with Stevie and a new guitar player. Majestic Rock loved the demos but for some reason decided not to support the recordings, which was a major disappointment. We actually started the recordings - all the drums were complete, keys too and acoustic guitars, but the other guys lost interest and eventually after MONTHS of trying to get somewhere I decided to call it a day. Things were beginning to take off with Eden's Curse and I decided to concentrate on that were my talents were being appreciated and my time wasnt being wasted. Cry Havoc is done for good and those songs won't ever see the light of day as they are not fit to be released. I may use some of them in other projects for the future as onme or two are great songs. We'll see.

As for highlights - getting the album out after it sitting on a shelf for five years was satisfying and some supports like opening for Skin, however our whole history was dogged with problems and dodgy deals - the low's definetly outweighed the highs. Sad but true!

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

ME: More music!! The more I can get the better off I am. Art and computer stuff are just a few hobbies. I stay real busy believe me!!

PL: I still work in a day job but most of my spare time is spent with my family - I became a father for the first time in February of this year - a gorgeous baby daughter Emma. So as you can imagine I have my hands pretty full. I also build websites for people in between family/job/music. God I'm tired

10. Message for your fans...

ME: Anyone that supports this band or hard rock in general is ok by us! Please buy our album and support something real. If you can't afford it then steal it!! Get it anyway you can!!!!! I guarantee if your looking for ass kicking Rock N' Roll it won't let you down!! Thanks for reading this interview as well and for all the letters you guys send us! We only hang with the hardcore and the metal fans are the best!!!!!!! Cheers, Mike.

PL: Thank you for all your support and we hope you truly enjoy the album. Hope to see you on tour, someday, somewhere! Stay Cursed, Regards, Paul.

Paul Logue
Eden's Curse

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A rather good Sweden Rocks review

MAGNUM play two UK dates in Nov to celebrate 20 years since the release of their classic ‘Wings Of heaven’ album (although that would be next year!). A live album will follow in 2008.

Lizzy Borden will release "Appointment With Death", their first album in seven years on Metal Blade Records on October 2nd. "AWD is epic, Heavy, dark and melodic, everything a traditional Lizzy Borden recording should be and more", says the press release... Guests on the album include George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob), Dave Meniketti (Y & T), Corey Beaulieu (Trivium), Jonas Hansson (Silver Mountain), Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal/ex-Morbid Angel) and Michael T. Ross (Angel/Hardline). More details of the album and samples can be found on the following sites:

Dubliner Chris Singleton's 'Twisted City' is an album with a London theme - the album is conceived as a tube journey through the city, with every song a stop on the line and about a particular person, place or experience in the capital. To reflect this, Chris has already done some unique London gigs, including launching the album on the Underground and carrying out a series of guerrilla performances in taxis, tubes, buses and boats. All of which attracted major media attention, including televised performances on BBC and ITV.

Singleton's Monopoly Tour is his most ambitious live project yet, and involves playing 29 short impromptu sets on the streets of the famous board game (2-3 tracks per location). Featuring gigs outside a power station, a free car park and even a jail, it promises to be an exciting experience and a fitting way to showcase some of the excellent songs on 'Twisted City'. The tour coincides with the release of his new double A-side single 'Pieces/Gimme Something'.

The tour is going to take in several London landmarks associated with musical icons, including

Battersea Power Station - where the cover of Pink Floyd's 'Animals' album was shot

Upper Street, Angel - home of the famous Hope and Anchor pub, which in the late 1970s and 1980s saw classic early gigs from Madness, Joy Division, U2 and The Stranglers.

Savile Row (as part of Regent's Street stop) - the office where the Beatles ran their 'Apple Corps' record label and site of the famous rooftop concert by the band.

Marylebone Station - where the opening sequence of 'A Hard Day's Night' was shot.

Ridgmount Gardens (near Euston Road) - Bob Marley's first London address

Mayfair - the gallery where John Lennon met Yoko Ono.

Savoy Hotel, The Strand - where Bob Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' was shot

Chris will be performing a preview street gig at Angel, Islington (£100 on the Monopoly board, but attendance at the gig is free) at 5.45pm on Thursday, 30th August, outside the York Pub, 82 Islington High Street, London, N1 8EQ. The complete tour, also free, starts at 1pm on Saturday, 1 September in the Old Kent Road area. Those who would like to attend the whole tour should visit website for full details and to register their attendance at the event.

Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the European release of Richie Kotzen’s brand new album “Return of the Mother Head’s Family Reunion” on October 19th 2007.

For the un-initiated “The Mother Head's Family Reunion” is the title of Richie Kotzen’s album for Geffen Records in 1994, his major debut and first post-Poison solo album. Regarded by many fans and critics as his real masterpiece, that record featured drummer Atma Anur, bassist John Pierce and producer Richie Zito. This new “Return” album features instead powerhouse drummer Franklin Vanderbilt, bassist Virgil McKoy and Arlan Schierbaum, who has already played keyboards on Richie's previous albums.

“I decided to call this new album Return of the Mother Head’s Family Reunion” explains Richie, “because it is the first cd I have done in years with a full band. After hearing the vibe of some of the songs it reminded me of the energy I had back when I did the original MHFR cd. So once the cd was complete, it really had a lot in common with the original MHFR and this is why I decided to call it Return of the MHFR”.

“Return of The Mother Head's Family Reunion” can boast a crystal clear mix, some incredible band performances and a more guitar oriented approach, with the addition of a stellar songwriting melted with Kotzen incredible talents. “The thing that made the original MHFR cd stand out was the extended solos in songs like “Cover Me” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There”, on this record I think there are a lot of parallels in that regard, in particular Fooled Again, Faith and Go Faster all have that original vibe to them”, states Kotzen.

“Return of the Mother Head’s Family Reunion” is a definite highlight of the season which marks a milestone in the former Mr. Big guitar player solo career and will include the following songs:

Go Faster; You Know That; Fooled Again; Faith; Bad Things; Dust; Chase It; Do It Yourself; You’re Crazy; Feed My Head; Can You Feel It; Drift (demo version – European exclusive bonus track)

Dear Hacketteers,

The new - and official - Genesis biography 'Genesis: Chapter And Verse' is published
on 6th September.

It's the first time in over 20 years that Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel,
Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford have collaborated creatively on a project, working
together to create the complete history of Genesis.

A story that spans 30 years and 30 albums selling a staggering 212 million copies
worldwide, it embraces world tours that have played to 25 million people and it
covers the high-profile departure over the years of one vocalist (Peter Gabriel),
one highly influential guitarist (Steve Hackett) and their best-known drummer and
vocalist (Phil Collins).

Key fellow members of the band, management, road crew and entourage have also been
interviewed, including Jonathan King (their first manager, who got Genesis signed to
Decca in 1967), long-time cohort and road manager Richard MacPhail, Anthony Phillips
(guitarist, founder member to 1970), Tony Smith (manager since 1973), drummers Bill
Bruford, Chris Stewart and John Silver, and Ray Wilson, the Genesis vocalist after
Phil Collins.

Now available for PRE-order, we have 'Genesis: Chapter And Verse' as a 360-page
hardback book (very high quality, printed in colour with loads of photos - it's a
weighty tome!) or an illustrated CD 'audio book' read by David Baddiel (4CDs -

ALL PRE-ordered books/audio books will be SIGNED BY STEVE!!!
(please note, dedications from Steve are not possible)

For more info and pre-orders go here...

Hardback Book (360 pages):
Illustrated CD 'Audio Book' (4CD - abridged):

Please also read our pre-order & despatch information here:

That's it for now.

All the best,
Andy Lodge
Camino Records /

TYKETTO (farewell tour)
OCT. 26 MADRID, SPAIN (Venue to be announced)

November 17th London Astoria (more TBA)

Thursday 8/11 Nottingham Arena
Sunday 11/11 Cardiff International Arena

KORTINI (if you like AC/DC check these guys out - superb band)
12 Oct 2007 20:00 The Ringside UK - Hull
13 Oct 2007 20:00 Gasworks UK - Bradford
16 Oct 2007 20:00 Rockers UK - Glasgow
17 Oct 2007 20:00 Riffs UK - Blackpool
18 Oct 2007 20:00 Mercury Flux UK - Preston
19 Oct 2007 20:00 Yardbirds Club UK - Grisby
20 Oct 2007 20:00 Bar Monsta UK - London

16th Nov JBs, Dudley
17th Nov Corporation, Sheffield
18th Nov Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

18th September CC Club, London

Tony MacAlpine, Billy Sheehan and Virgil Donati
25th Oct CC Club, London

17th Birmingham Carling Academy November
18th London Mean Fiddler

Tuesday 25th March 2008 - Astoria, London
Saturday 29th March 2008 - Academy, Birmingham
Sunday 30th March 2008 - Academy, Newcastle
Monday 4th April 2008 - Academy, Manchester

MANCHESTER Evening News Arena - Sat 3 November
NEWCASTLE Metro Radio Arena - Mon 5 November
BIRMINGHAM NEC - Tue 6 November
SHEFFIELD Hallam FM Arena - Mon 12 November
CARDIFF International Arena - Tue 13 November
LONDON O2 Arena - Sat 17 November
LONDON O2 Arena - Sun 18 November

SOUL DOCTOR "Bloods Runs Cold" Frontiers (2007)

A fourth album of distinctly US styled hard rock from the Germany based band featuring the vocal talents of Tommy Hart alongside guitarist Chris Lyne and a rhythm section consisting of Jogy r**tenb**g on bass and Michael Wolpers on drums.

Launching with a superb opening couple of numbers, notably the title track initially strutting forth reminding you of the last Lynyrd Skynyrd album "Vicious Cycle", then "Temptation" hitting on a sound not too dissimilar to that achieved by the latter day incarnation of Bad Company circa "Holy Water". Stylish, classy and radio friendly there are also a couple of songs that should carry a warning of what can happen if exposed to too much of David Coverdale's output from his 'big hair' days. There's plenty of similarities to "Still Of The Night" with the stop/start staccato guitar in the verse of " F.A.F.O.D." whilst the excellent bluesy breakdown during "Touch Of Love" is adorned by Hart adding a few vocal Coverdale-isms for good measure.

After this though things take a distinctly more commercial turn with the remainder of the album bearing similarities more in line with early nineties Bon Jovi than anything else. "The Ocean" appears to be their own "Wanted Dead Or Alive" type number although I doubt rhyme seeking phrases such as "The ocean... it's like a magic potion" will ever rock anything like a million faces. Elsewhere "The Lie" treads similar ground to "Bad Medicine" and "Something For The Pain", "Justine" shows as the obligatory power ballad and "Revolution", whilst certainly a fine song in it's own right, manages to remind me of the old "These Days" era outtake "The End" also adding a bit of "Kashmir" style chugging guitar to boot. In fact, it's the sort of song that has such a big, anthemic singalong chorus it wouldn't surprise me to hear it resurface as a reprise as the album closes. Sadly though this is not the case.

All in all a more than decent commercial hard rock album that you suspect would have been very well received if released in the late 80s or early 90s. There's not actually too much of this sort of stuff about nowadays. Let's face it even Bon Jovi don't do 'proper' Bon Jovi anymore, and this works in Soul Doctor's favour. Highly enjoyable even if it does lack originality which all bodes well for a scheduled UK live appearance at Firefest '08 in October.


MARC RIZZO "The Ultimate Devotion"

The unquestionable talent and versatility of ex-Ill Nino, current Soulfly guitarist Marc Rizzo is displayed on this release, his second solo album following last years "Colossal Myopia". This new album, entitled "The Ultimate Devotion" is an unpredictable mix with heavy metal, classical, flamenco and occasionally jazzy guitar providing the means for the first eight tracks with "The Riddle Of Steel", a classic slice of metal with almost "Maiden-esq" leanings at times proving to be the best of the bunch.

Mixing up some sublime Latin flavoured acoustic playing alongside a typically virtuoso performance of fretboard gymnastics adds something different to the shredder market and the likes of the title track and opener "The Ultimate Devotion", the excellent "Skankin To The Shred" and "Trentinarra" all benefit from this approach. Final two tracks "Lived And Learned" and "All For Nothing" tread a significantly different path though with both being fast paced, thrash styled workouts punctuated by superb melodic soloing, whilst the addition of angry, roared vocals come as a surprise at the end of an album that is otherwise completely instrumental.

Ultimately it is perhaps only going to appeal to a niche market of fans particularly attuned to virtuoso instrumental albums although of course Soulfly followers will be interested to hear what's in Rizzo's backpack on this release and then sample the two thrashers especially. The mix of styles employed here is refreshingly unique though.



Caro appears to be a project under the guidance of Suffolk based song-writer/producer Phil Harding who it seems has discovered the talents of Charlie Batchelor and she takes the spotlight on this album despite Harding having a hand in writing six of the songs. Now I have to admit to hearing of neither before receiving this for review and a bit of online fact finding leads me to find a fair bit of flak being thrown Ms. Batchelor's way in particular for her part on this album.

To my ears though she isn't the problem. On occasion, for instance the distinctly K.T. Tunstall like "You Don't Know Me" there is a hint that maybe with the right material, at the right time she, and therefore I guess Caro as a whole, could appeal to a wider audience. No, the issue for me is that the celtic flavoured pop on offer here just isn't memorable enough and despite numerous plays now little of the ten tracks on offer have stuck in my head. Even a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" fails to lift the bar.

I'll be the first to offer a disclaimer that there are not actually too many albums by female lead vocalists in my music collection, however the likes of PJ Harvey, Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow have secured repeated attention in the past therefore I don't rate myself totally averse to a female voice. It's possible that in the right mood maybe more of this album would strike a chord but, with a definite feeling that maybe this disc has gone to the wrong reviewer, I have to say this failed to excite or interest me much.

On a positive note though there are four tracks to sample at their myspace page and the album retails for just a fiver so you might be best advised to check it out for yourself, particularly if female fronted, celtic flavoured pop holds some appeal.


BACKDRAFT ‘The Second Coming’ GMR Music (2007)

Swedish band return with their second album (their debut came out back in 2001) and they play kick ass southern rock – not something you’d naturally assume from a European based band. They reminded me greatly of American Dog (although with one extra guitarist!) playing lean, classy rock ‘n’ roll songs – no frills, just good melodies. Pick of the bunch has to be ‘Just Ain’t Right’, the banjo intro on ‘Rise ‘N’ Shine’ which then explodes into some tasty boogie riffs and ‘Hogtied’ – hints of early ZZ Top in this one.
All in all a very enjoyable album and it is southern rock with a real hard rock backbone. More American Dog and even Monster Magnet than Lynyrd Skynyrd in sound though.

Jason Ritchie

APRIL WINE ‘First Glance/Harder…Faster’ BGO (2007)

April Wine have been going since the late 60’s yet like Nazareth, bar a brief time in the chart limelight they have gone undiscovered by many rock fans, which is criminal in my book. These two remastered albums originally saw the light of day back in 1978 and 1979. ‘First Glance’ has not aged that well although ‘Hot Wheels Of Love’ and ‘Silver Dollar’ are classic 70’s hard rock songs. However, ‘Harder…Faster’ is a ‘must have’ by the band containing such classics as ‘I Like To Rock’ (guitars to the max!), ‘Tonite’ and a cover of King Crimson’s ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’, which takes a heavier route than the original.
A band worthy of a place in any self-respecting hard rock fans collection and ‘Harder…Faster’ is the band at their best.

Jason Ritchie

ALCATRAZZ ‘Disturbing the Peace’ BGO (2007)

After leaving MSG Graham Bonnet formed hard rock band Alcatrazz who featured a certain Yngwie Malmsteen on their debut album and on this, the band’s second, Malmsteen was replaced by Steve Vai (who co-wrote all the songs on this album). I loved this album when it first came out back in 1985 and it still sounds great today. Vai is widdling all over the place none more so on the excellent ‘God Blessed Video’ but it never detracts from the song’s overall melody. The drink driving song ‘Will You Be Home Tonight’ features waves of keys courtesy of Jimmy Waldo, whilst ‘Wire An d Wood’ is a heads down rocker. Bonnet’s gruff vocals suit the sleazy ‘Stripper’ to a tee and he hits the high notes on ‘Mercy’. The album does tail off slightly but overall this is a ‘must have’ album and great to see it widely available again plus fully remastered.
After the band’s demise in the late 80’s Bonnet fronted Blackthorne and released a series of solo albums plus sang on the Taz Taylor Band album released last year. Via went onto massive solo success plus played with Whitesnake and Dave Lee Roth amongst many others. Bonnet has recently reformed Alcatrazz with a new line-up but is being legally pursued by three former band members who are also currently active under the Alcatrazz name.

Jason Ritchie

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007



According to Ray Waddell of, sources say a Hollywood press conference in one week will announce a 50-date American arena tour by VAN HALEN to begin in early October. The tour will feature founding VAN HALEN members David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen, with Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass.

The Wildhearts release the single 'New Flesh' on October 1.

Texas are to release 'The Complete BBC Sessions' on September 24 with the following 24 tracks:
'Thrill Has Gone', 'Everyday Now', 'Future Is Promises', 'Prayer For You', 'It Hurts Me Too', 'Dream Hotel', 'Alone With You, Fade Away', 'You Owe It All To Me', 'I Want To Go To Heaven', 'I've Got A Feeling', 'I Don't Want A Lover', 'So In Love With You', 'Tired Of Being Alone', 'Insane', 'Say What You Want', 'You're All I Need To Get By', 'Black Eyed Boy', 'Halo', 'Tell Me The Answer', 'In Our Lifetime', 'Carnival Girl', 'Say What You Want' and 'I'll See It Through'.

The Goo Goo Dolls will release a greatest hits album on September 11.

Pearl Jam are to release a new DVD on September 24 called Picture in a Frame Live in Italy 2006.

Jimmy Eat World will release a brand album on October 15 called 'Chase the Light' with the following tracks:
'Big Casino', 'Carry You', 'Chase This Light', 'Be Sensible', 'Firefight', 'Distraction', 'Electable', 'Stop', 'Beautiful Is', 'Dizzy', 'Gotta Be Somebody's Blues', 'Here It Goes', 'Sunlight' and 'California'.

Frank Black's 'Bluefinger' is released on 3rd September.

ELBOW release a b-sides album due out on Sep 3rd. The band have hinted at a low key release to bridge the gap between 2005's Leaders of the Free World and their next studio album.

Current TNT and former Shy vocalist has begun work on a new solo album. The release is expected in spring 2008, fitting in with existing plans for TNT. The line-up for the release includes a current working team of Neil 'Shredder' Hibbs on guitar, Victor Borge on bass, Eric Ragno and Joe Basketts on keyboards and Bob Richards on drums. The album is planned to have a mainstream rock theme with traditional arrangements, leaning towards a heavier guitar base.

Ed Harcourt will release a greatest hits album on October 8 entitled 'Until Tomorrow Then'. The 16 tracks are:
'Born In The 70's', 'She Fell Into My Arms', 'Black Dress', 'All Of Your Days Will Be Blessed', 'This One's For You', 'Apple Of My Eye (Maplewood version)', 'Visit From The Dead Dog', 'Something In My Eye', 'Watching The Sun Come Up', 'Loneliness', 'Fireflies Take Flight', 'Shanghai', 'Shadowboxing', 'Whistle Of A Distant Train', 'Until Tomorrow Then' and 'You Put A Spell On Me'.


Official statement from the band's website:

As many already know, our guitarist Jani Liimatainen has been absent from the line-up this spring and summer. The reason was his messing around with his compulsory military/civil/prison duty, or rather, complete failure to take care of it.

This matter, and everything that goes with it, caused a split between Jani and the other band members. This split was impossible to mend without Jani's help and co-operation.

Therefore we would like to make known the following: During fall of '06 and spring of '07, Jani's personal matters and actions drove us to a situation where we had no option but to ask Jani to leave the band.

Jani was notified of this in May, and the separation was amicable. We wanted to give Jani the chance to get his life together before making this public, which is why we didn't make this announcement earlier. We wish Jani well on his chosen path.

"Show must go on", so, facing the facts, we hereby humbly announce that Elias Viljanen is from this day forward a full and official member of Sonata Arctica.

Throughout this summer, on many occasions, Elias has shown himself to be able to fill the big boots Jani left behind.

We hope our friends and our fans understand that this was the only choice left for us to make so that our band could continue. Sonata Arctica has always been, and always will be, more than the sum of its parts. The band has become for us a way of life, a lifeline that simply can not be cut off.

A long "Unia" -tour lies in front of us. We extend Elias a warm welcome to the Sonata family, and we hope the fans will, too. Sonata Arctica is whole again.

See you on the road!
Best regards,
~Tony, Tommy, Marko, and Henrik

MSG cancelled their remaining UK dates as Michael Schenker is off to seek medical help again.

Sacred Heart - Shake 31/7/07 Indie

There are not many albums recently, which have had me chomping at the bit, eagerly waiting for it to be released but due to having heard the samples from this album some weeks ago on myspace, this is one of them. Though not strictly their debut album with demo CDs A New Dawn (2003) and Lay It On The Line (2004) already having already been available through mail-order, this is their first with proper production and what an absolute belter it is!

Does your memory stretch back to the heady 80’s days when rock music was about boys being boys and having fun? One look at the scantily clad young lady on the cover and you know instantly those happy days are here again!
As Paul Stead explains “the "Shake" artwork really does get the message across of what many of the tracks theme is. And I can assure you, they are based on many real experiences” Indeed there is a nod to the past both lyrically and musically yet with enough current influences to make this a must have for rockers of at least two generations!

Afraid opens the proceedings with the invitation “wanna play with me?”
from a husky young lady. A catchy, slow, heavy number, two things immediately strike you, the excellent guitar solo from Mark Stephenson and Paul Stead’s unique vocal delivery. A crisp, clean delivery, something close to Joey Tempest, more refined, yet perfectly suited and a definite asset. Adding weight to their claim that this album really does have something for everyone, next up is the hook laden, upbeat Paradise followed by the simmering Tonight. On both tracks guitars feature heavily, though not overwhelming the outstanding vocal melodies. We’re now into the meat of the album with title track Shake, painting a fantastic picture of a wonderful sleazy encounter. Lost is the song which screams out for airplay, sure to be a great live favourite. Describing Maybe as a big ballad probably wouldn’t do it justice, this builds from acoustic beginnings into an absolute cracker, and it’s hard to remember one that has impressed me this much. Great bass lines from Darren Jhuboo litter the pop/rock of Natali, a song about love lost. Another, which is sure to be fantastic live, is Carry On a clever blend of old and newer styles, punchy and melodic in equal measure. Perfect has some wonderfully ironic lyrics, a guitar solo reminiscent of Brian May, whilst the piano outro comforts like a familiar old friend. A change of pace next with the slower, yet very catchy Lift You Up very passionate, you can almost hear the regret dripping from the words. Perhaps the heaviest track on here, 1000 Tears is saved for last but long before now the air guitar is firmly in hands head shaking, mind made up that this is indeed an essential purchase for every fan of Great British hard rock!

Through their own self-belief and sheer determination Sacred Heart have managed to get this album out. It’s easy to understand why they persevered when you hear the quality of the tracks and I am sure it won’t be long before the labels come sniffing. Let’s get ready to “Shake”

Dave Hunter

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tony Harnell (ex-TNT) is producing the new album by POUND.

The Eagles are planning to take flight with a long-awaited new album and a tour. Guitarist Joe Walsh tells that the album is "almost out. We're just finishing vocals and mixing it. We're all finally signing off on it."
Walsh says that all of the band members -- himself, Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit -- wrote songs for the album, which he says "go in some really, really new, different directions. It's hard to compare to anything that I hear out there now." For his songs, however, Walsh "went rock'n’roll," including one "extended" track with "a middle full of guitar statement" and another that's "full-on rock'n'roll. I didn't want us to be too ballad-y here. We need some stuff we can play live, so I made sure there was that element in the record."
Walsh says the band, which took this year off the road to hunker down on the album, plans to tour extensively in 2008.
The guitarist is hardly sitting at home, however. Though he's put the James Gang on ice until he has more time to dedicate to it, he's playing 13 solo shows in the next month, beginning tonight (July 31) in Saratoga, Calif. Walsh has recruited a band of well-credentialed young players such as Gia Ciambotti (Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams) and Drew Hester (Lisa Marie Presley, Foo Fighters), who he says "are really kicking me in the pants."
"I love the energy and the attitude of a younger band, especially on stage," Walsh says. "I'm less cautious and less ... professional, I guess. I just like to rock'n'roll, and they're making me want to do it more."
Walsh adds that he's hoping to do some solo recording again but, not surprisingly, says, "I don't think I would cancel being an Eagle and resurface with a solo career. I love being in the Eagles, and we're not really done yet."

The band is formed around Kristian and Palle, two musicians who have been playing together for fifteen years in a Finnish band called NAISKALA. During the past few years the guys have felt more and more the need to write and compose in English language and towards and more Adult-Oriented Rock musical style.
Kristian started writing songs in November 2006, meanwhile Petri Lahtinen and Mika Mäkiranta wrote the lyrics for the tales. The result was a demo that was submitted to the attention of Frontiers Records in the past weeks. The brilliant songwriting, catchy melodies and big choruses immediately hit the attention of Frontiers Records A&R team, who decided to offer the band a recording deal.
In the meanwhile, long time musicians and friends Sami Rajala (on bass) and Sami Ojala (on drums) joined the band and right now the guys are busy in the studio completing the songwriting for their debut album which is foreseen to be released in early 2008.
The Land of Tales sound can be described as an equal union of keyboards and guitar, well crafted and with truly original and strong melodic elements!
Their material did already receive some glowing press responses with Strutter Webzine saying: “LAND OF TALES is definitely a sensational new Finnish AOR band as good as last year's BROTHER FIRETRIBE or URBAN TALE”. AORdreamzones wrote “I will only write a few words about these new Finnish stars on the melodic rock sky. I found them through the fantastic MySpace site and I even liked them so much so I had to add them and one of their songs as the song of the week”
”We are so excited to work with the label, which is absolutely the best for this kind of music!” say Kristian and Palle. So let’s share their enthusiasm and get ready for a brand new talent to be unleashed on the Melodic Rock World !!
Check out some of the band’s demo tracks that gained them the recording deal at

Swedish Melodic Rock quartet ECLIPSE is writing and recording songs that will make up their third studio album. After the great acclaim gathered by their debut album on Frontiers entitled “Second To None”, the guys took some time off to write songs that could really be something “BIG” and that could really launch the band to the levels they deserve.

The resulting was a few demo tracks which were delivered to Frontiers a couple of months back. We are pleased to say the guys totally nailed it! When exposed to samples of the new material Andrew J. McNeice of had to say “I love it when that music impresses beyond expectation and I get to talk about that. Today I refer to Swedish AOR outfit Eclipse, who have already gained a loyal following with 2 passionate, powerful melodic rock records. The guys are hard at work on album number three for Frontiers Records which signals what isn't really a slight change in direction, but rather an updating of their sound. It suits them. The rough mixes I have heard of three songs features a more modern and contemporary sound, but still very classy and very melodic outlook. Of the tracks I have heard - Unbreakable has a punchier guitar riff and a darker contemporary style, but a glorious harmony filled chorus. Two Souls has a faster tempo and a commercial rock feel and reminds me of an updated Talisman style. To Mend A Broken Heart is a great, catchy modern rocker with an uplifting commercial chorus. It may be a new sound, but the best aspects of their sound remains and I'm really keen to hear more from these Swedish lads”.
As a special present, enjoy a small sample of Unbreakable (demo version!) and get ready for the full attack in early 2008. These guys are getting ready to kill!

The STARBREAKER guitar player Magnus Karlsson has been quite busy in the past few months. After completing the songwriting and production for the second ALLEN / LANDE instalment “The Revenge”, Magnus has completed a brand new record with ex YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and RING OF FIRE singer MARK BOALS on all lead vocals. This new album, entitled THE CODEX is going to be a slightly heavier affair compared to the most recent efforts from Magnus and will showcase Boals’ return on the scene after a 3 years hiatus. Release for this incredible record is tentatively scheduled for December 07. Stay tuned for more details.
Not content with this, Karlsson is already in very advanced stages for the songwriting of the sixth BOB CATLEY solo album. For this record Magnus dug deep in his Celtic and Epic Hard Rock influences and gave the material anyway an heavier edge, similar in places to Catley’s “When Empires Burn” with obvious hints to MAGNUM sound. Production for the album will be handled by none other than Dennis Ward.
Finally singer ex TNT singer Tony Harnell has planned a songwriting trip to Sweden in august to write together with Magnus the new STARBREAKER album. More details on this will be unleashed when available!

Bruce Turgon (ex FOREIGNER) and Philip Bardowell (ex UNRULY CHILD) are very close to finish laying the rough tracks for their upcoming debut album. Some of the songs that will be included on the record are Hard To Love You, Places of Power, I Live For You, One Day, The Passage, Light Of My World, Secrets, Desires of Our Hearts, Always and Make Me Believe.
The songwriting is truly impressive and can only be described as “Foreigner with balls”, with epic elements at times resounding of classic House of Lords sound. The recording are planned to be finished after the summer with mix to be handled by Dennis Ward (Allen / Lande, PC 69 etc). Places of Power is going to be one of the major priorities in Melodic Rock for new year so stay tuned for updates!


James Christian and his cohorts in Florida are deep in the songwriting mood for the new album that has a working title of “Come To My Kingdom”. The stuff written so far encompasses everything that HOUSE OF LORDS is known for: soaring melodies, epic numbers and riveting guitars. You can expect the right follow up to “World Upside Down” one of the most successful releases on Frontiers in 2006!

The Khymera line-up this time is identical to the second album with Daniele Liverani on keyboards, Tommy Ermolli on guitars, Dario Ciccioni on drums and Dennis Ward of PC69 handling all lead vocals. The bulk of the songwriting was supplied this time by Jim and Tom Martin, who offered seven tracks on the previous album and wrote the classic “Ghost Of Time” on the HOUSE OF LORDS masterpiece album “World Upside Down”. You can expect this time a tighter production and a stronger amalgam for a winning team that will please every Melodic Rock freak! Release to happen in early 2008.

Former STRANGEWAYS singer Terry Brock is currently busy in the recording and production for his new solo album in Los Angeles under the direction of none other than Mike Slamer (STEELHOUSE LANE, SEVENTH KEY, SLAMER). Terry is back in a true Melodic Rock mood and his songwriting is expected to go back directly to his STRANGEWAYS days with some hints at KANSAS’ “Drastic Measures”. The mix will start after the summer and delivery of the album is expected to happen at the end of 2007.

Brothers Robbie and Brian LaBlanc have pretty much completed the songwriting of the second BLANC FACES album for Frontiers Records. Some of the song titles include Goodbye Summer, I Come Alive, Don’t Take It Away, Like a Believer, Fly, Light In My World, Deep In The Heart, I Swear To You, Everything, It’s All About Love, Falling From The Moon.
Whoever loved the band’s self titled debut is expected to be absolutely delighted with what is to come. You can expect great songs in Survivor meets Journey style.

The Polyphonic Spree’s long awaited return to London will now take place at London’s Astoria on September 3rd, after tickets for the concert’s original venue, Scala, Kings Cross, sold out in less than a day after going on sale.
The band’s UK live dates will take place the week after the release of the band’s highly anticipated third album, ‘The Fragile Army’, which has been described by long-time fan David Bowie as, “'Probably the Poly's best and deepest album yet!”
"We have entered a new phase in our musical contribution," say Spree leaders/songwriters Tim DeLaughter and Julie Doyle. "This recording was extremely challenging for us, trying to create a piece of art while weathering the storm of our collective relationship as humans in a political climate that's choking us all. When we listen back it feels like a diary more than anything else. It's painful and beautiful all at once, kinda like life. Welcome to The Fragile Army."
Along with the evolved sound comes an effected new look for The Polyphonic Spree. The group has folded their robes up nicely and put them away for now, becoming more "streamline for the future" in their unified military-style uniforms garnished with universal symbols for peace. "We're gearing up for the evolution," says DeLaughter.
The Polyphonic Spree will precede their London date with appearances at The Electric Picnic in Dublin (Sept 1st) and The Connect Festival in Glasgow (Sept 2nd), followed by dates at Manchester’s Academy 3 (Sept 4th) and Birmingham’s Glee Club (Sept 5th).

Most of us were made to stand up and pay attention to TD Lind last year when he released his debut single ‘Come in From The Cold’, very quickly fans in the press and radio were singing his praises. A brilliant live session on BBC 6 music with Tom Robinson sparked off a number of plays with key radio tastemakers such as Phil Jupitus, Bob Harris and Mark Radcliffe (Radio 2). Also one of his songs was even used in one of the surprise hit movies of last year ‘Driving Lessons’ starring Julie Walters.

He dazzled at south x south west and his live shows really began to hot up with high profile supports with James Blunt and Mew, and key shows at The Wireless Festival and The Americana Festival, which saw his powerful performance mesmerise the crowd and it also secured his reputation as a hot new talent to watch out for.

Now TD Lind brings us an idea called ‘Balloon Tales’ – devised in order to get people giving TD stories from their life that he can turn into songs. He is planting cards in places like museums and book shops that read;

“Words, music, stories all float on the wind like lost balloons waiting to be found.

I’ve left this card here because I collect stories; old, secret, sad, beautiful or tall – I’m looking for the unspoken and otherwise lost tales from your life.

My name is TD Lind and I’m a singer songwriter. Send me your tales and I’ll turn them into songs”.
If you’re intrigued you can find out more at

Andy Summers
The high-profile return of The Police to the world stage in 2007, brings their guitarist Andy Summers and his new album into sharp focus.

Summers' guitar playing was always at the musical heart of The Police, and when the band split up in the mid 80s, he went off to make music outside of the rock mainstream. This brand new album is further proof of his wide ranging talents.

Recorded in collaboration with Ben Verdery - described as ‘One of the classical guitar world's most foremost personalities’ by Classical Guitar Magazine, ‘An American original, an American master’ by Guitar Review Magazine, and ‘Iconoclastic’ and ‘Inventive’ by the New York Times - the new album perfectly illustrates both their innovative and eclectic musical careers.

Having shared a stage at the 2002 New York Guitar Festival in 2002, the possibility was raised of making a record together. Recalls Andy: "Although our musical disciplines were, at least on the surface, something different - Ben, classical guitar, me, jazz and rock improvisation - we had both played in each other's main style. This led to an easy exchange, where we were able to create an interesting, hybrid, non-generic style.

Rather than taking the standard route of slowly composing together, we got at it with a shock tactic. In other words, just improvise together - composing in the heat of the moment and trusting the instinct and musicianship built over many years; put another way - blow. This we did. As we moved through takes and ideas of playing together, something crystallised. With Ben playing fantastic arpeggios on various guitars in remote tuning, I found it inspiring to take off over those soundscapes, following Ben's rhythm and my own ears, as he laid out the harmonies. The result is this album...."

Alvin Lee
Alvin Lee, one of the world’s greatest rock guitarists, has unleashed his latest solo album ‘Saguitar’, which is among the first releases on the exciting new R.A.R.E. record label. Packed with bluesy vocals and dazzling guitar work, Alvin says the album ‘celebrates the sheer fun of making music’.

After decades on the road with Ten Years After and the Alvin Lee Band, the guitarist now prefers to play a few festivals and concerts, in between spending time in the studio. Explains Alvin: "The album reflects what I’ve been doing for the past two years, enjoying myself and making music."

Among the guest musicians on ‘Saguitar’ is keyboard player Tim Hinkley, a veteran of Alvin’s past projects and one time leader of Jody Grind. He appears on the atmospheric ‘Motel Blues’, one of the highlights of this 14 track album. A surprise item is ‘Rapper’, a track built up from various drum loops. Says Alvin: "I did my own drum fills and laid some hot guitar over the top. It’s a rap song which people have said is fantastic."

‘Saguitar’ is named in honour of Alvin’s star sign Sagittarius, and he feels the title reflects his musical personality. "A Sagittarian is supposed to be outgoing. He’s symbolised by a man’s head and torso on a horse holding a bow and arrow. Just like me!"

THRESHOLD and PENDRAGON have been removed from the billing of Norway's Subtacto Progfest (set to take place August 4) due to "financial difficulties." A statement posted on the Subtacto web site explains that "The reason for this is that we as organizers don't have enough funds to see this through. We therefore have to reorganize the event, and that means that we can't afford those two bands."
THRESHOLD has issued a statement expressing its disappointment at the cancellation and sympathy to all its fans who bought tickets and were hoping to see the group perform. The festival is offering full refunds to fans who no longer want to attend.

IRRITANT Bar Riga Stroud 28.07.07

Sometimes the most unexpected of things put a smile on your face! After a couple of days feeling seriously under the weather and my Saturday night looking like another complete wash out, a late night message on myspace planted a seed of interest with the possibility that all was not lost. A band, which had somehow previously passed under my radar, was playing locally, for a worthwhile cause and for the bargain price of a fiver. Of course the added bonus being, that this was a 14+ gig so young James would be able to accompany me.

Armed with nothing more than a good impression gathered from few hastily sampled tracks on myspace from the previous evening, we made our way to the venue. Quite what was going through my mind on seeing the mid-teens dressed in their AC/DC and Iron Maiden T-shirts queuing up outside the venue I wouldn’t like to say. Though once through the door all worries were dispelled with the familiar Iron Maiden and Judas Priest tunes pumping through the club PA to impressionable ears. A nice little venue, comfortably full, with fears of the underage drinking alcohol seemingly overcome through the age check and issue of wristbands on the door. What a wonderfully simple idea!

Irritant played a short but memorable set drawn heavily from their chart bothering “Good Evening From The Machine” EP. Lead vocalist and bass player Niall looks and sounded every bit the rock star, working the audience like an old pro. Not that there was much encouragement required to get the place headbanging and the mosh pit heaving! Opener, Days Turn To Night from their self titled EP setting the tone, up-tempo, machine-gun drums, bass heavy with the twin guitar attack from Will and Jack fiercely trading licks and riffs, their Maiden colours are proudly nailed to the mast. This is no more evident than in the excellent set closer Voice Of The Siren. In between they rocked ragged this little part of sodden Gloucestershire, a welcome treat for rockers young and old. Unmistakably influenced by traditional metal, live, this band certainly hits the right spot. As for studio recordings? I’m still waiting to find out, the CDs purchased on the night went home with James and from his admiring comments, I guess unlikely to return. My only criticism would be the shortness of the set, which was due mainly to there being a support band and the curfew, imposed by the venue. Although it must be noted that once it was cleared Bar Riga re-opened at 10pm as a nightclub.

Tonight I realised this is what rock music in general should be aiming for - getting the kids back involved in attending gigs. There is nothing like seeing a band and audience feeding from each other’s energy, with there being none more enthusiastic than this crowd. Nick Wright, general manager of the venue explained he would be more than happy to put more of these gigs on, surely this is a great opportunity for rock music as a whole, lets hope more places follow suit! Irritant? I am just so annoyed with myself for not having noticed them earlier.

Dave Hunter

POVERTY’S NO CRIME ‘Save My Soul’ Inside Out (2007)

The band’s follow-up to 2003’s well received ‘The Chemical Chaos’ sees them branch out a bit more soundwise, none more so than the Sabbath like riffing on ‘The Torture’ – quite possibly one of the heaviest songs they have recorded to date. Whereas ‘In The Wait Loop’ and the melodic refrains of ‘From A Distance’ sees the band almost in letter day Marillion territory. Both feature plenty of keyboards and concise guitar soloing. The only slight disappoint on the album is the epic track ‘Break The Spell’ which although it builds nicely doesn’t really seem to go anywhere and is not a track that keeps the listener interested throughout.
Poverty’s No Crime should certainly pop up on the prog metal/rock fans radar with this release as they are easily up there with Slyvian, Vaden Plas et al. For me it is there more melodic moments which set them apart from similar bands as they can keep the melody going coupled with the instrumental wizardry fans of this genre expect and love.

Jason Ritchie


Evergreen Terrace is a Jacksonville-based outfit that's been recently added to the Metal Blade family, following the ever increasing demand for metalcore bands which is the direct result of the popularity that this genre has been enjoying these last few years. Even though "Wolfbiker" is the band's first release under the protective wings of Brian Slagel's label, the quintet has been actively recording their music since 2001, thus making this their fourth full-length album. The main question that needs to be asked here, and with applies to most new releases belonging to that genre, is whether Evergreen Terrace have managed to create an album that has something new to offer in this scene. The answer to that: not a straightforward one, I'm afraid!
My first impression after having listened to the opening track "Bad Energy Troll" was not so positive, seeing as it is a song based on the same rhythmical mid tempo riffs and screamo vocals that most bands of this genre tend to use nowadays. It is quite clear that these lads are focused on creating easy and memorable melodies, and that can be both a positive and negative aspect, depending on what it is that you are looking for from a metalcore release. There are many references to the music of Sepultura, both in terms of vocal and guitar contributions, but that was not enough to make songs like "Wolfbiker" sound more appealing to me.
The term 'metalcore' is soon to be challenged, though, seeing as the majority of the remaining nine compositions, good representatives of which are "High Tide Or No Tide" and "Where There Is Fire We Will Carry Gasoline", contain large quantities of catchy refrains and melodic vocals which are normally associated with the Emocore scene, and which are not particularly to my liking. Having said that, I did find a couple of compositions where the mix of melodic guitars and clear vocals worked really well. "Chaney Can't Quite Riff Like Helmet's Page Hamilton" is a Punky composition whose main Maidenesque melodic theme will make it quite appealing to young audiences and same applies for "Starter" which, even though it contains equally catchy melodies, it comes across as a far more atmospheric composition. Those of you who were hoping for a less melodic, more straight forward approach to metalcore will only find songs like "Rip This" and "Rolling Thunder Mental Illness" to your liking - the former being a pretty average composition and the latter being only a minute and a half long.
Looking back on my criticism towards this release I realise that it comes across as quite negative, but one needs to realise that it is simply based on my personal taste. As most fans of bands like Agnostic Front and Madball, I find it quite difficult to relate to a band whose target audience is at least half my age, and I hope that my argument clearly justifies this rating.

John Stefanis
Rating: **1/2 (2.5/5.0)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Rising Stars - ADRENALINE 101

ADRENALINE 101 are a new band hailing from Switzerland who are making quite a name for themselves already - and in September they will be filling the guest slot for GLENN HUGHES on Glenn's three shows in Spain. (Thanks to the legendary Batttttty for this one)
1. What are you currently up to? (e.g. touring/studio,etc.)
We're currently rehearsing our live set for the upcoming shows with Glenn Hughes in Spain and the shows in Switzerland. On top of that we're writing songs for a full length album which we hope to release early next year.

2. Please give us a brief history of Adrenaline 101 and the style of music
you play, how you got together, who your biggest influences are, and
introduce us to the other bandmembers .
Pascal Luder (Bass), Hens Grubenmann (Guitars) and Reto Wild (Drums) already played together in 1997 when they played for the Swiss band Paganini. Pascal and Reto then moved to Germany for a few years and when they returned they called up Hens to form their own band. After auditioning more than 20 singers they've finally found what they were looking for in the form of Delon Cyclon from the band Bonafide, and shortly after, Mack Schildknecht who we always wanted as a 2nd guitarist joined forces and we started to record our 5 Track EP in our own studio. Adrenaline 101 is a mix of all kinds of rock styles but is best described as New Rock.

3. How easy or difficult has it been to get gigs and promotion for gigs, and what are your views on 'talent show' television programmes such as Pop Idol, The X Factor etc?
Since all of us played in various bands before we all had people we could call to help us out so thankfully it hasn't been too hard yet. As for talent shows... if culture was a tree then shows like Pop Idol would be the dog's piss laying on the ground underneath it.

4. How important do you feel the internet is for promoting your music etc., and what do you think of the proliferation of sites such as MySpace, Bebo Facebook etc?
We found our singer on MySpace , thank God for that!

5. What music do you have available, and where can we find out more about it?
Currently we only have our 5 track EP which you can hear on our MySpace profile which caused kind of a buzz and we're now negotiating with various record labels to put out our debut album.

6. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date,
and what would you like to achieve ideally by the end of 2007?
A highlight for us was to see how people react to our demo, since we all did it by ourselves not knowing if anyone would like it - and getting back so many postive reactions is a great thing. Another highlight will be our first small tour with Glenn Hughes in Spain and we're all looking forward to that. No lowpoints yet. We hope to get our record released next year and play as many shows as possible.

7. Pascal, you've worked in the music business for quite a few years and have seen bands at all levels of their career, and have worked in front of audiences all over the world. How is the music scene changing? And how do you think it will develop?
That's hard to say. The Internet changed things a lot but since you're not able to download the full all-round experience of actually being at a concert I hope that more people will go out and catch a great band on stage LIVE.

8. What has been your most rocknroll moment so far?
Getting the mastered version of our EP back and then getting wasted listening to it.

9. What do you all like doing in your spare time?
Since we all still have to work in day jobs, our spare time is used entirely for the band . No rest for the wicked!

10. Please give a message to your fans.
We hope to see all of you at our upcoming shows and have a blast together. Join us for the ride!


Keyboard player to the stars, Eric will soon be heard on new albums from David Readman (Pink Cream 69), Steve Grimmett (ex-Grim Reaper/Onsluaght) and Ted Poley (Danger Danger) to name but a few!

1. What are you currently up to?

I’ve been working late nights this month to beat the deadlines for the new Ted Poley CD! It’s an awesome disc and JK Northrup is doing a killer production. After that I start writing for Tony Mills (TNT) new disc. I’ve been writing a lot for other artists lately, it’s been one crazy summer!

2. How is the album with Josh Ramos shaping up? Will this be similar in sound/style to the Ramos album released a couple of years ago on Frontiers?

That record is now being called the Ramos/Hugo album. The music is completely finished. We’re just waiting on Hugo Valenti (Valentine, Open Skyz) to finish his vocals. He’s writing everything some scratch and taking great care in the process – so it takes some time. He sang some ideas to me over the phone and it sounds AWESOME. Josh & I co-wrote the album with a classic AOR vibe in mind, so it’s in that same vein. We’ve also folded in some of the classic elements that you would associate with Josh’s legacy and his work with The Storm, The Vu, etc. I’m very proud of it.

3. The David Readman album is superb. How did you get involved with this one and what tracks do you appear on?

I met David at the Prog Power Festival in 2005. I was performing D.C. Cooper, and David was singing with Pink Cream 69 the following night. David’s a great guy and it was a thrill to work with him – he’s got a unique voice that I’ve always admired. I recorded keyboards for Long Way to Heaven, Take These Tears and Evil Combination. I also arranged an additional acoustic version of Take These Tears with a lush string/piano arrangement for a bonus track. The album ships on August 31.

4. What is happening with Vox Tempus? Will Z records still be releasing the album?

Sadly, no. We fell victim to the typical Z Records trap that so many bands have fallen into before us. I knew they had financial problems in the past – Jeff Scott Soto had warned me about this at length, as did others. I was told that Mark Alger would do anything to avoid paying a band, and the net is full of stories like this.

Once the contract was signed and faxed over, Z began a great press campaign announcing our new partnership. Mark asked for my bank info and set a date that we would be paid in exchange for our masters. We provided this twice actually, but the money never arrived. He then requested an original contract with wet signature, so I sent that also. Still no word, and no money. Finally he tells us he hasn’t’ received it, and we have 3 days before the deadline. So of course I send another package overnight to the U.K. Still no response, and he finally tells me he never received it and the deadline is past, so he can’t release the album.

I suppose I could have sued, I mean we did have a signed, exclusive contract. But I didn’t expect much and I kept us protected so we wouldn’t lose anything financially. So sadly the album never got an overseas release, which is unfortunate as people seem to really love it! It has gotten a great afterlife on iTunes! Our website is still working (at, but we are pretty much on hiatus. Everyone lost a lot of heart in this process, and outside of Gregg (Bissonette) I’m the only one still making music now.

5. How do you think your style of playing has developed down the years? When you start working with other artists are you given free reign on the musical direction or do you tailor your ideas/playing to meet a particular artist's style?

My style has always revolved around the piano, with synth highlights. As time went on I started bringing in more string orchestrations – cellos and stuff I learned about in the school band as a kid. It adds a timeless quality in the right context.

Most folks who usually know my previous work or have checked out my site, and know what aspects they like. When I work with someone new I get as much input as possible – I talk to them, I listen to their previous work and I read everything I possibly can find on them! It gives me an idea of what they are looking for and what their fans expect. I’ve been at this awhile so I know how to capture the vibe someone is looking for. I also have a great respect for an artist’s legacy and their fan base. Once we’ve established that rapport, they usually give me free reign – but it’s still their project, and I’m always open to new ideas.

6. Your working on the upcoming Steve Grimmett Band CD. How did you hook-up with him and what direction is the music taking?

I got a call from Pete Newdeck, who plays drums with Steve and is producing the disc. Pete found me through Paul Logue (Eden’s Curse) who was also instrumental in the new David Readman release. The Steve Grimmett disc was one of the quickest and easiest CD’s I’ve ever done. The guys knew exactly what they wanted, and I gave it a little sparkle. Again, here is a guy with a legacy (with Grim Reaper) that is respected by metalheads everywhere. The new album is definitely metal, but it’s got these great melodic lines and harmonies also. The band is bringing me to the U.K. for Firefest in October and I am VERY excited to be playing the songs live with these guys!

7. Are Takara still going? What was it like working with Jeff Scott Soto? What is your take on the recent news that Journey have dispensed with him and are now looking for a Steve Perry sound-alike?

Takara has been on hiatus, and we’ve all been busy doing other things. Bjorn Englen (bassist) was playing with Robin McAuley until Robin recently joined Survivor. Now he does gigs with Yngwie Malmsteen. But I’ve actually heard from (guitarist and Takara mainman) Neal Grusky this week, and he’s got a new set of songs he would like to start demo’ing for the next Takara record. And of course we need to find a new vocalist. We’re all great friends –I’ve been in the Takara family for over 10 years.

Jeff Scott Soto is an amazing guy…a great singer and a kind soul. He dropped everything to breathe new life into Journey, a band we both revered since childhood…and when they changed their mind, he was the last to know. And now they’re looking to Journey tribute bands to find their new singer. It’s almost exactly like the plot of the Rock Star movie, which is ironic as Jeff sang in that film.

8. What has been the best career decision you have made and why?

Probably moving to Los Angeles. I mean with the Internet today you can make music anywhere – but everyone is here, the musicians, the films, everything is right here. My dad is a rock guitarist, and he told me that if I wanted to get better I’d have to surround myself with the best. Out here you’re still a small fish in a big pond…but fish grow according to their tank size, right? And you can’t give up!

9. What do you do in your spare time outside of music?

I try to spend more time with my family, watching sci-fi with the kids and playing basketball. And I meditate every day. Other than that, it’s all about the music.

10. Message for your fans...

Thanks for reading through this page! I’m always looking to work with new people, so come visit me at!