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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Honeymoon Suite - Feel It Again (An Anthology) is a brand new Canadian release that features some 39 tracks from the band - digitally remastered tracks culled from the band's first four studio albums plus three rare tracks (including the sought after soundtrack classic Those Were The Days plus 7 unreleased tracks and full packaging with new track by track comments).

MRX3 compilation featuring amongst others TALL STORIES, NEXX, RADIOACTIVE,
HAREM SCAREM & more is out now at –
http://www.melodicrock.com/cd/index.html

NIGHT RANGER have signed to Frontiers for their new album due in early 2007. The band’s ‘Live 2003’ album gets a Japanese only release in early 2007 as well.

Raspberries (Eric Carmen, Jim Bonfanti, Dave Smalley & Wally Bryson) have launched a new official website, after their successful and critically acclaimed reunion tour, the original four Raspberries are also now readying the released of their first new recording in over 30 years, and explosive Live CD/DVD recorded in October 2005 in Los Angeles. There is also, a great video clip for Go All The Way, recorded in Chicago, 2005 up on the site.
www.raspberriesonline.com

Britny Fox bassist/songwriter, Billy Childs has officially joined forces with ex-Bonham vocalist, Daniel MacMaster. MacMaster currently has a new solo album out titled "Stone," which features song's such as "Season Of The Witch," "Outside Your Door," and "Faith." Aside from "Stone," Daniel has another album that is due to be released worldwide, titled "Rock Bonham...and the long road back," through Suncity Records.
You can go to www.danielmacmaster.com for more info, AND to hear a couple of songs from "Stone," go to www.myspace.com/danielmacmaster

PRESS RELEASES

Press Release / The fan gathering Styxfest will hold its next get-together on May 25–26 at Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario, Canada. Styx will be playing the casino on three consecutive nights, May 24, 25, and 26.
This year's Styxfest will surpass previous events with two days of activities. All attendees will receive a gift bag of souvenir items and a laminated pass for all Styxfest events.
Also planned is another popular auction of band-related items. In 2004, band members donated articles of stage clothing and autographed various items, and the auction raised $6,000 for the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The 2007 charity has not yet been chosen.
More activities will be announced as they are scheduled.
Between 100 and 150 people from across the United States and Canada are expected to attend. Styxfest has previously been held in Oregon, Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York City and Las Vegas.
Those interested in attending can sign up to receive updates at styxfest-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or visit the official website at www.styxfest.com.
Styxfest is run by Geaux Crazy Productions and a team of volunteers.
For more information, contact Tanya Oaks-Brooks at Geaux Crazy Productions: GeauxCrazy@aol.com and www.Styxfest.com

GIG NEWS

NEW YORK DOLLS
6-Nov San Diego, CA -Belly Up
7-Nov Los Angeles, CA- Avalon
8-Nov San Francisco, CA -The Independent
10-Nov Portland, OR -Berbati's Pan
11-Nov Seattle, WA - El Corazon
14-Nov Minneapolis, MN -Fine Line Music Café
15-Nov Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre (TBA)
16-Nov Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
17-Nov Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
18-Nov Buffalo, NY - Town Ballroom
20-Nov Boston, MA - Axis
21-Nov Providence, RI - Lupo's
22-Nov New York, NY -Irving Plaza
24-Nov Atlantic City - Borgata
25-Nov Philadelphia, PA -Theatre of Living Arts
26-Nov Wahington, DC - Black Cat
28-Nov Charleston, SC -Music Farm
29-Nov Atlanta, GA -Variety Playhouse
1-Dec Nashville, TN -City Hall
2-Dec St. Louis, MO – TBA

STONEY CURTIS BAND
27.10 UK Rayners Layne, Tithe Social Club
28.10 UK Dulwich, Hamlet FC
29.10 UK Deal, Astor Theatre
30.10 UK Sutton, Boom Boom Club

REVIEWS

FEAR FACTORY - "THE BEST OF FEAR FACTORY" ROADRUNNER RECORDS (2006)

It's really only a few special things in life that I can remotely compare with the enormous joy that I feel every time I discover a new band, and believe me - even after almost twenty years of listening to Heavy Metal, the feeling is as strong as ever. Now, some of you may find it really strange how it took a twelve track collection CD in the year 2006 to introduce me to the works of a band that has been under the spotlight since the early 90's, but one can only buy so many albums in life...anyway, let's see what this collection is all about.
One very important and decisive factor in my evaluation of this "best of" album was my total ignorance over the band's musical contribution, and with that in mind, I found "The Best Of Fear Factory" to be a very useful release. Containing songs that cover the era from the release of the band's debut "Soul Of a New Machine" (1992) to the well-known "Digimorial" (2001), this collection claims to represent some of the best moments of the band's successful career. Now, as I said before, I was not a fan of this band prior to this release, so I am not in a position appreciate if this is indeed the case, but having listened to songs like "Self-Bias Resistor", "Replica" and the amazing "Resurrection" I see no reason to doubt any such statement.
If you have already read my recent review for "The Best of Sepultura" CD, which belongs in the same series with that of Fear Factory's, you would be surprised to see that I am not equally critical to both these releases...why? Well, it took this collection to make me realise how useful such a release can be to a person that only just discovered a band like Fear Factory. On the other hand, I still believe that a few more songs and a more into depth and analytical booklet would have made this CD more valuable and attractive - especially to those of you are well acquainted with the band's studio releases, so I am not really sure what is the appropriate rating for this release.
What this collection has definitely achieved is to add "Demanufacture" and "Obsolete" to my "albums to buy" list, but come to think of it, "The Best of Fear Factory" will not be of much use to me after having done so...are you feeling confused? Well, so am I...

John Stefanis
2.5 / 5.0

FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM
Genesis & Revelation
Jungle Records

This 3 disc set (2 CDs and DVD) contains everything a goth rocker needs, and probably more too.
Disc 1 is studio rarities, opening with the Powered Up mix of “Power”, which nods heavily at The Damned, mixing early punk rock’n’roll zest with MCA era gothic.
Prime FotN continues with more remixex, some 1985 demos and a track from their 1997 reunion. Dark moody goth rock cum metal at its best.
Disc 2 is a live show from Denmark, 2000. The crowd love it, with their opening sound mixing a dark heavy gothic U2 with Southern Death Cult. With the classic “Moonchild” included, it’s a rare live performance worth shelling out for.
The 3rd disc, a DVD, contains a mixture of promo videos and live tracks, with a 1998 interview as a bonus; it shows the band in their prime, highlighting their deserved appeal.
For a rarities set it’s more accessible than most, enjoyable and for the fan essential, although a little more packaging would have been nice – there’s no sleevenotes to speak of.
If you’re new to the Nephilim it’s still enjoyable but not the best of introductions. For fans and collectors it really hits the spot though.

4/5
Joe Geesin

HELLOWEEN
Singles Box Set Volume 1 1985 – 1992
Sanctuary

After The Scorpions (and some might mention Accept too) Helloween are Germany’s best and best known metal export, influential on virtually the whole of the current European power metal scene.
This 7 disc set (all in card sleeves, held in a box with a well annotated booklet) covers all their singles in this early period, including their eponymous EP.
That aforementioned EP is welcome here, as it should be and on its own (ie not packaged amongst another album), five tracks plus a 6th bonus, a specially recorded Christmas song that was added to the original reissue picture disc.
Moving on, Kai Hanson moved to guitar and in came singer Michael Kiske.
While the earlier material is a little ropey, by the time the Walls Of Jerico LP appeared the band were becoming more polished. Certainly more coherent.
Most of the singles, taken from albums, contained at least 2 extra tracks, most either live or alternate versions so packaged here like this make for essential listening; the singles for the novices and all the extras for the collectors and fans.
Despite some dodgy record sleeves and the roughness of the earlier material, the singles from The Keeper albums are top rate and it all shows why the band built up so much following.
Good music, top package
4.5/5

Joe Geesin

VOICST
Acts Of Fire (CD single)
Duurtlang Records

New single from this Dutch trio with a hard pop / rock’n’roll guitar sound, with nods towards U2 and Rolling Stones.
For the guitar pop that’s popular now this is far better than most, interesting bass line, chords and notes that play a tune.
I hope it does well as it knocks all the samey guitar boybands for six.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

DARTZ!
St Petersburg (Single)
Xtra Mile Recordings

Northern trio playing punk pop, a succinct punchy track with a nice change of pace halfway through. Released on 7” too which is a bonus.
The b-side is “X-Ray Bex” which is a better track, more punk attitude and a riff too.
Party punk pop and fun too.

3/5
Joe Geesin

MOISTBOYZ
That’s What Rock’n’Roll Can Do (CD single)
Schnitzel Records

3 versions of the lead track, it’s a modern dirty rock’n’roll track mixing rough vocals, a decent riff and some good soloing too.
Changes of pace work well, the slower segments nod at some of Spinal Tap’s better (and more seriously musical) moments.
Thoroughly enjoyable, and well worth checking out.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

Alex MASI
Late Night At Desert Rimrock
Lion Music

Multi instrumentalist Masi plays all but drums here (former Yngwie Malmsteen band John Macaluso handles those) for this instrumental album.
Opener “Vagina Denata” features some neat guitar work, Spanish in bursts, thrash in others.
While there are nods at Masi’s neo classical output, it’s more of a muso album, with lots of intricate playing and sometimes a jamming style.
The guitar work (and his bass work too) is all excellent, but few of the tracks have real direction or cohesion. It’s not jazz fusion but metal disjointed in the same way, it’s more likely to please guitarists than fans of Masi’s other output.

2.5/5
Joe Geesin

CHICHINO
Every Little Thing (CD Single)

This young band play a very retro chic take on soul and funk, heavily influenced by Acid Jazz, the female vocals add to the period sound well.
The rhythms work well, the vocals excellent and the odd solo cool too, it’s all a groove thing. But this take on soulful acid jazz you either love or hate. Should do well though.

3/5
Joe Geesin

Ben Lee TYLER
Not My Fault (CD single)
Ivolution / Universal

Guitar pop with rock’n’roll overtones – touches of Rolling Stones and Crowded House / Counting Crows in equal measure.
Just when the sound is getting a tad too MOR a solid guitar comes in. Upbeat and catchy with a few decent hard riffs. The better end of guitar pop.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

NEW RHODES
The History Of Britain (CD single)
Salty Cat Records

Big sound polished pop/rock with a very late 80s / early 90s sound, and a very interesting title too; well written lyrics. Hint of U2 to the guitar work and rhythms, if a little offbeat.
Second track “There’s A Chance That I Missed” has a rock’n’roll influence too, nodding at modern guitar pop singer/songwriter.
Good, enjoyable if not too grabbing.

3/5
Joe Geesin

The MAYBES?
Rock’n’Roll (CD Single)
Extra Mile Recordings

The opening track says it all, a nod at Led Zep over an uptempo dance rhythm, and at 2 minutes it’s as short as it is punchy. But if it was any longer it could easily go from catchy to annoying.
The other tracks here also feature a modern take on a retro sound, if a little sleazy. Almost Bowie-ish in places with a modern guitar/pop attitude.

2.5/5
Joe Geesin

CARMEN
Fandangos In Space / Dancing On A Cold Wind
Angel Air SJPCD 229

This 2CD set compiles this band’s both albums, with all the usual bonus tracks and sleevenotes.
Contrary to popular belief, the band has it’s roots in Hollywood and not Spain, although they did mix flamenco and prog rock equally. An original mix, and the first (1973) album shows a very heavy brand of rock with as much offbeat prog and Spanish leanings.
The second track “Bullfight” also adds a touch of Jethro Tull, a band the supported in their early days. The rest of the album continues in a similar vein, but sadly because of the flamenco edge there’s always going to be Santana comparisons which are rather unfair.
The following year’s second album, also produced by Tony Visconti, continued where the first album left off, with the addition of some female vocals adding an extra dimension.
Well packaged, fans of prog and Hispanic music will love, but maybe too eclectic a mixture for some.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

OCTOPUS
Restless Night: The Complete pop Psych Sessions 1967-81
Rev Ola / Cherry Red CRREV180

Octopus mixed Beatle-esque psych with some experimental hard prog for an eclectic and interesting mix. This CD combines the band’s sole album Restless Night (a definitive version, with the track listing corrected) with various other sessions, singles and unreleased etc.
Opening track “The River” shows where most Britpop bands got their influence from, with a guitar sound that sticks out like a sore thumb (just like the solo in Edwyn Collins’ “Girl Like You”), while “I Was So Young” is more whimsical and a nod at west coast. The range of sounds covers everything popular about late 60s rock music, a little too much so even.
One of the many bonuses includes a live take on Grieg’s “Peer Gynt Suite” (which includes “In The Hall Of The Mountain King”). A corker, cracker and a rocker too. An extra point for this one alone.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

EDDIE AND THE HOTRODS
Live 2005 (DVD)
VoicePrint VPDVD21

This August 2005 recording from London’s Astoria was a 30th Anniversary concert and well attended too. Rock’n’roll that mixes high octane pub rock, punk and, as their superb version of “The Kids Are Alright” shows, there’s other influences too.

Mixing new tracks from the then current album Better Late Than Never with older and perhaps better known numbers (the crowd cheers let you know which they are), it’s a good set, the twin guitar working well and bass is heavy too.
Singer Barry Masters (they never had a singer called Eddie, he was a doll who was recycled some years ago) handles the job well.

The performance and set list make this as good an introduction as you’ll find, and it’ll please fans too.
Sadly the package is very light on any extras, but the music will please anyway.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

-------------------

CONFLICT
Live In London (2DVD)
Mortarhate Records MORTDVD1

Live In England (2DVD)
Mortarhate Records MORTDVD2

These two double DVDs (issued via punk specialists Cherry Red) show punk rockers Conflict over the last 20 years around London and the UK at various shows, recorded at times at almost bootleg quality (sound mainly, the video at times better done).
But it is an insight to this hardcore punk band, a far cry from punk’s rock’n’roll roots; noise, moshing and thrashing aplenty.
The London set kicks with virtually an entire show at The Mean Fiddler, followed by various numbers from around London, including Camden Underworld, Electric Ballroom, Brixton Academy, Astoria and the Kentish Town Forum. Some tracks are repeated, but not so you’d notice!
Tracks are short and to the point, and some feature dual male and female vocals (a rather attractive lady in red hair and combats), the mosh pits and stage diving fit the scene.
The UK discs follow a similar vein, taking in Leeds, Sheffield, Brighton and Milton Keynes from 1984 to 2004. More complete set takes, with Newcastle covering nearly 40 tracks.
With over 4 hours viewing per set, that’s all you ever need by Conflict, and quality aside it’s fun, noisy and a good history.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

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