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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

RIP - Bassist Ian Rilen, a founder-member of Rose Tattoo.

FROST have split-up despite only being going just over a year and releasing a critically acclaimed debut album earlier this year via Inside Out.

KISS are hatching plans to become the caffeine conquerors. Having just opened their first coffee house in Myrtle Beach, they now intend to flood the market, with 100 more planned in the next couple of years.

Sonic Youth are to release a compilation album called 'The Destroyed Room: B-sides and Rarities' on December 11th

MARILLION’s new album will be called ‘Somewhere Else’ and UK dates for June have been announced (see Gig News).

VAGUHN’s new album ‘Traveller’ is released in Feb via Frontiers.

AFTER FOREVER have signed with Nuclear Blast for their new album.

PRESS RELEASES

Frontiers Records have announced the signing of Dokken for the release of a brand new studio album in 2007.
Dokken are the legendary US metal band formed originally in 1977. With such albums as “Tooth And Nail”, “Under Lock And Key”, “Back For the Attack” and later “Dysfunctional” and “Erase The Slate” they have characterized a musical style made of technical guitars and soaring melodic vocals backed by a heavy thumping bass.
Currently the band consists of Don Dokken on vocals, Jon Levin on guitar, Barry Sparks on bass, and Mick Brown on drums.
“The new record will be a classic Dokken style release, something that all the fans have been asking for”, says Don Dokken. “We hope to be done with the production of the record within January 07, so that we can plan a full European tour for the summer time!”

Toto
TOTO have announced a new stream of tour dates during the spring 2007.
12 March 2007 Colston Hall , Bristol (United Kingdom)
13 March 2007 City Hall , Newcastle (United Kingdom)
14 March 2007 Apollo , Manchester (United Kingdom)
17 March 2007 Porsche Arena , Stuttgart (Germany)
18 March 2007 Philipshalle , Düsseldorf (Germany)
19 March 2007 Heineken Music Hall , Amsterdam (Holland)
21 March 2007 Olympiahalle , Munich (Germany)
22 March 2007 Olympia Halla , Innsbruck (Austria)
24 March 2007 Galaxie , Metz (France)
26 March 2007 Zenith , Paris (France)
27 March 2007 Zenith , Dijon (France)
28 March 2007 Zenith , Nantes (France)
30 March 2007 Palaruffini , Turin (Italy)
01 April 2007 Palabam , Mantova (Italy)

Ramos
Josh Ramos (HARDLINE, THE STORM) has started to write songs for the follow-up release to the acclaimed “Living In The Light” album. The music style will be once again “straight-ahead melodic rock with great uptempos, ballads and melodies” says Josh. He also confirmed that the extraordinary new talent Don Chaffin will handle all lead vocals. Frontiers hopes to release the album before the summer 07.

Stan Bush

Stan Bush is putting finishing touches to the recording of his brand new studio album. According to Stan the mix will start next week and the album will be delivered sometime in November 06. “This is definitely my best album ever!” says Stan and judging from the demos he’s been working on we can believe him !

Michael Kiske
Popular singer MICHAEL KISKE has confirmed his desire to work on a new recording of old HELLOWEEN hits in acoustic / unplugged mode. All in all around 11 songs will be re-arranged but also one brand new song will find its way on this album. In the meanwhile Michael will also appear as a guest singing a duet with Gisa Vatcky, the female singer of the band INDIGO DYING for the song “Breathe In Water”. The coming winter will be very busy for Michael !

Pride Of Lions
Jim Peterik and Toby Hitchock are busy putting finishing touches to the recording of the third PRIDE OF LIONS album entitled “The Roaring of Dreams”. According to Peterik, “It is a return to the more commercial and hooky sounds of the first album and actually takes much of its inspiration from the Vital Signs album by SURVIVOR. Keep in mind though that it is pure PRIDE OF LIONS and adds the drama of Toby’s voice and the counterpoint vocals of yours truly”.
“The songs are mostly shorter form and more to the point”, continues Peterik, “there are still some grand messages though: the title track is about the massive sound that we hear in our head when a dream is taking shape - even when you are working a 9 to 5 shift or even if you are an unhappy house wife- you still can hear the dream in your head. There is a song about the "The Book of Life" we are all writing- "are you just a footnote- or will you rise to fill it's pages- you were born to rock the ages- just take your pen and write the book of life"- you can shape your own destiny if you really try. Toby has a field day with the Hagaresque rocker " Heaven on Earth", inspired on the night my wife's brother Andy passed away- "I'm not gonna wait till I’m six feet under - we can find heaven on earth". There's a classic pop song called "Language of the Heart" that really rocks, there something for everyone and I am sure this w ill please all”.
Once again the band’s line-up in the recording features Ed Breckenfeld on drums, Klem Hayes on bass, Mike Aquino on guitar and Christian Cullen on keyboards apart from Jim Peterik (keyboards, guitar and vocals) and Toby Hitchcock on lead vocals. Frontiers Records plans to release the album in early 2007.

Slamer

Following the successful release of the SLAMER debut album “Nowhere Land”, the official SLAMER website was launched ! Go to mikeslamer.ke0.eu and enjoy everything about british guitarist Mike Slamer !!!

FREDRIKSEN/DENANDER
Former TOTO singer Fergie Fredriksen is putting his finishing touches to the recording of the long awaited FREDRIKSEN / DENANDER project. There will be 12 songs included on the album and according to guitar player Tommy Denander “This stuff is killer!”. Frontiers hopes to receive the finished master within the end of 06 in order to schedule the release for the first half of 2007.

KHYMERA
The third album of the KHYMERA project (featuring Daniele Liverani on keyboards, Dario Ciccioni on drums, Tommy Ermolli on guitar and Dennis Ward of PINK CREAM 69 on vocals) has started to take shape. This time the songwriting has been completely handled by the british brothers Tom and James Martin (who did also heavily contribute to the second record and penned the beautiful “Ghost of Time” on the latest HOUSE OF LORDS album “World Upside Down”). The recording will start in early 2007 and the label plans a release after the summer.

JOHN WAITE
Unfortunately the planned JOHN WAITE UK / European tour got cancelled. No other details are available at the moment, but it is hoped that JOHN will be able to play in Europe during the spring 07.

RICHIE KOTZEN
Guitarist/Singer Richie Kotzen was kind enough to send his personal comments on the tracks that will appear on his forthcoming album “Into The Black” to be released in Europe on Frontiers Records on December 8th 2006! Enjoy the read !

1. You Can't Save Me
This is the first song I recorded for the CD... the first 3 songs were this one, "Fear" and "The Shadow"... "You Can’t Save Me" sets the tone for the entire record... I’m not sure where the inspiration came from, but obviously I was a bit pissed at something... It was one of those songs that really wrote itself... I started with the riff and then just began to sing...

2. Misunderstood
This was the 4th song I wrote for the CD... it is really about the effects substances have on your mind... When you're high, you tend to talk about things and say things you would n ever say... You begin to believe in things that to a sober mind would have no bearing whatsoever ... 3. Fear This song is about running out of options... Losing site of goals and surrendering to defeat... It's sort of a sad song lyrically but it's a place that I'm sure many people come to in life if even only for a moment.

4. The Shadow
This song is about inner voices... Also about feeling alone... Living in a bit of a fantasy world and feeling misunderstood on all levels...

5. Doin' What The Devil Says To Do
This song is about mistakes... Also about knowing what the right choice is but for whatever reason you keep on making the same mistake over and over again even though you know your doing it...

6. Till You Put Me Down
This is a break up song... basically says that I’m going to stay with you even though I know it's bad... Saying I won't leave until you leave me sort of thing.

7. Sacre d Ground
This song is about being lost whenever you are without the one you love... I suppose it's a bit of a love song even though it sounds sort of creepy.

8. Your Lies
This song is another sort of desperate love song... More or less saying that you surrender to whatever the other person gives you.

9. Living In Bliss
I wrote this song a long time ago... There were several different versions of this song until I settled on the version on the CD... It is another break up song... Basically talking about how bad the relationship was and how much better off you are without.

10. My Angel
This is one of those disfunctional love songs where you are admitting fault in how you are, but also admitting you can't change.


Just a quick update to keep everybody posted on how things are coming along with our next few releases. Below are the upcoming CD's to be released before the end of the year. To preview a track off each album, click on the link below.
Dirty Rhythm, Daniel MacMaster and Sweet Teaze will be released on the 31/10/06. Kidd Havok, Blackboard Jungle and Pretty Vacant won't be too much longer, we are just tweaking a few things in order to get the production spot on. Enjoy."
A preview of each album mentioned there (via a full length MP3 download) and all album artwork is available at: www.suncityrecords.com


Symphonic rock vocalist Lana Lane and her keyboardist/producer/husband Erik Norlander have just completed a pair of covers’ albums for release this winter. It has been a tradition in Japan for the two to release a Lana Lane “specialty album” every two years. They started with the Lana Lane “Ballad Collection” in 1998, then continued with “Ballad Collection 2” (2000), “Covers Collection” (2002) and “Winter Sessions” (2004). Now for 2006, Lana and Erik have recorded not one, but two albums for the winter season.

The first album is Lana Lane’s “Gemini”, an album of classic rock covers from the 60s and 70s, featuring the backing musicians Vinny Appice (d), Tony Franklin (b), George Lynch (g), Mark McCrite (g, v) and Erik Norlander (k) along with Kelly Keeling providing additional duet and harmony vocals. “Gemini” is the astrological symbol for twins, and since this is Lana's second album of all covers, the album carries the theme of “two” throughout. Lana recorded two songs by each classic rock artist for this release: a pair of songs each originally recorded by Cream, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Heart, Jefferson Airplane and Foreigner. Of particular note is Lana's “Pink Moon Suite” that combines the song “Johnny Moon” - originally recorded by Heart - with songs from most of “Side One” of Pink Floyd's landmark “The Dark Side Of The Moon” album.

The second album is Erik Norlander’s “Hommage Symphonique”, an album of progressive rock covers recorded by Erik along with Gregg Bissonette (d), Don Schiff (b), Mark McCrite (g) with Kelly Keeling handling all of the vocal duties. Erik employed a small ensemble of acoustic instruments featuring Jon Pappenbrook (trumpets flugelhorn), Eric Jorgensen (trombones), Mike Alvarez (cello) and David Schiff (woodwinds). David is the brother of Don Schiff, and in addition to Don's NS/Stick work on the album, he also fills out the acoustic string ensemble with the new Bowed Guitar instrument. Erik's choice of covers reflects his own broad musical taste, performing songs originally recorded by ELP, ELO, Yes, Rick Wakeman, King Crimson, Procol Harum and Jethro Tull and Chuck Mangione. The last artist may sound the most surprising, but Erik's stirring rendition of Mangione's “Children Of Sanchez” brings this jazz/fusion classic more into Erik’s world of symphonic progressive rock supported by his seasoned and highly versatile band.

Lana Lane’s “Gemini” and Erik Norlander’s “Hommage Symphonique” albums follow the already acclaimed 2-CD release, “Revolution Road”, from Erik’s band Rocket Scientists. The Rocket Scientists musicians appear throughout these two new titles continuing the collaboration and bringing it to new heights. Like Rocket Scientists’ “Revolution Road”, these two new CDs will be distributed in North America and Europe by ProgRock Records which continues another successful collaboration with Erik and Lana's Think Tank Media label. Lana Lane’s “Gemini” and Erik Norlander’s “Hommage Symphonique” will be released on November 23, 2006 on the Avalon label in Japan and then on January 30, 2007 on Think Tank Media/ProgRock Records with advance sales starting in December 2006.

Track listings:

LANA LANE - GEMINI
White Room
White Rabbit
Long Long Way From Home
You Can Never Go Home
Pink Moon Suite
Breathe Introduction
Johnny Moon
Breathe in the Air
On the Run
Time
Breathe Reprise
Dream of the Archer
Starrider
Sunshine Of Your Love
Wooden Ships
Nights in White Satin

ERIK NORLANDER - HOMMAGE SYMPHONIQUE
Conquistador
Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight
Turn of the Century
Pirates
Clasp
King Of The Universe
Children of Sanchez Overture
Starless


Get a taste of the brand-new Gary Schutt CD due out in 2007! See the video for the song “Love Me For Me” by clicking here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxUQAaqr3MA
Also the other 2 CDs Gary's has been working on this year - Palisade’s “Lost In Paradise” and Gary Schutt’s “Loss 4 Words” - are due for release in December. The Palisade CD is a collection of songs Gary wrote back in his high school and college days. If you are a fan of Journey, Styx, Van Halen and anything 80s pop rock, you will love this album. The “Loss 4 Words” album is Gary's first guitar instrumental release and the first to have guest appearances from other people since his debut with Jeff Scott Soto (Journey, Yngwie Malmsteen).

GIG NEWS

THE FEELING
February
16th Norwich U.E.A. Norwich sold out
18th The Civic Hall Wolverhampton
19th Bournemouth Int'nl Centre Bournemouth
20th Plymouth Pavilions Plymouth
22nd Liverpool University Liverpool
23rd Corn Exchange Edinburgh Edinburgh
24th Doncaster Dome Doncaster
26th Assembly Rooms Derby
27th Apollo Manchester
March
2nd Apollo Hammersmith London

MEAT LOAF
May
10th Manchester Evening News Arena Manchester
14th National Exhibition Centre Birmingham
18th S.E.C.C. Glasgow
20th Newcastle Metroradio Arena Newcastle
23rd Wembley Arena London
27th Hallam FM Arena Sheffield

MARILLION
June 3rd - Leeds LMUSU
June 4th - Newcastle University
June 5th - Glasgow ABC
Jun 11th - Wolverhampton Civic
Jun 12th - Nottingham Rock City

ROGER WATERS
Thursday, January 25th Acer Arena, Sydney
Monday, January 29th North Harbour, Auckland, NZ
Thursday, February 1st Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Friday, February 2nd Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Monday, February 5th Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
Wednesday, February 7th Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
Friday, February 9th Members Equity Stadium, Perth

REVIEWS

THUNDER ‘Robert Johnson’s Tombstone’ STC Recordings (2006) www.thunderonline.com

Thunder follow-up last year’s ‘The Magnificent Seventh’ with another strong studio release. The band seemed to have found their stride again as their last couple of studio albums prior to ‘The Magnificent Seventh’ had a few good songs but overall were pretty average. It is classic Thunder in style from the innuendo lyrics and hard rock guitar on ‘Dirty Dream’ through to album closer ‘Stubborn Kinda Love’. However the band do take a few chances namely on the acoustic guitar/cello backed ‘My Darkest Hour’ (not a Megadeth cover!), which just shows how good a singer Danny Bowes is and the title track which as guitarist Luke Morley states in the PR blurb represents all that Thunder is about. The guitar riffs on the latter are some of the best he’s laid down since the band’s classic debut. Bassist Chris Childs gets a co-write on ‘Last Man Standing’ where again Morley’s guitar riffs and soloing delight the ears and of course the percussive delights of Harry James never tire on the listener – he is a very underrated drummer.
Thunder are on a roll, both live and in the studio and long may this continue.

****
Jason Ritchie

JULIETTE AND THE LICKS
Sticky Honey (single)
Hassle Records

Chunky hard guitar pop, with more guitar chops than licks, and female vocals that give a slight punk edge.
Catchy pop with a new wave feel and a definite rock feel. Two and a half minutes, an enjoyable burst.

3/5
Joe Geesin

Brian SETZER
13
Surfdog Records

Husky hard rock that kicks off in a country rock way then picks up into a real groove.
Opener “Drugs & Alcohol” nods at guitar pop and country metal. A much more enjoyable mix than it sounds and there’s a decent solo over the riffs too.
“Take A Chance” really gets down to business in a southern rock way.
Later on we get some sleazy rock’n’roll, a nod at the Black Crows cum Hanoi Rocks.
“Don’t Say You Love Me” returns to the heavy country rock feel, and there’s touch of rockabilly in there too.
Good fun.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

The CHARLATANS
You’re so Pretty, We’re So Pretty (single)
Island

Original Madchester pop returns with a remix of “You’re So Pretty”, the mix giving both new romantic and dance overtones to what is actually a decent tune.
Dark and moody, a haunting keyboard sound and plenty of interesting layers.
If you had any interest in the band, you’ll love this.

3/5
Joe Geesin

Various – VIVA CARLOS
A Supernatural Marathon Celebration
Mascot M7210-2

A tribute album to Carlos Santana, so jazz funk and latino rock aplenty with a backing band and each of the 10 tracks a guest guitarist.
Opener “Se A Cabo” features some shred from Vinnie Moore, it’s a well worked track, played smoothly, if the production a little bright.
“Europa” (Jeff Richman) is a slower jazzier affair, a definite MOR feel.
“Jingo” some will recognise, the keyboards working well.
If you like Santana’s music or a fan of this kind of fusion shred you’ll love this well constructed celebration. But it is just an excuse for self indulgence, for virtuoso jazz fusion shredders to party, something that’s probably more fun to play than listen to.
Good, but unless you’re a fan approach with caution.

3/5
Joe Geesin

The Michael LANDAU GROUP
Live
Provogue PRD209

A double live CD of hard rock blues, in fact it’s very much influenced by the blues guitar masters of the 60s.
Opener “Worried Life Blues” nods at Savoy Brown with that George Thorogood heavy metal roughness. “The Sun” is a little more experimental, almost jazzy, but with some excellent guitar work.
“6/8 Blues” is cleaver, smooth, if a little MOR, while “Born In The Rain” is honest and dirty, thoroughly enjoyable.
If you like electric blues, you’ll like this set.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

Ken HENSLEY
Elements – Anthology 1968 – 2005 (2CD)
Castle CMQDD1162

Although mainly associated with Uriah Heep, this multi-instrumentalist has had a long and varied career. This well annotated double set covers a touch of everything (almost) and features an interview with Hensley in the sleevenotes.
The album kicks off with “Looking Glass” by The Gods, a psychedelic blues track, and a band that at one time featured Greg Lake and Mick Taylor.
Head Machine’s “Climax” follows and is more whimsical pop in comparison. Toe Fat’s “Working Nights” is rockier and shows the influence Hensley brought to Uriah Heep. Very proto and amateurish in comparison though.
Disc 1 is then completed by 15 Uriah Heep classics. If you’re not familiar with “Lady In Black”, the uptempo rocker “Look At Yourself” and “The Wizard” then you should be and this is your chance. In fact I’d rate “Look At Yourself” as essential listening. Hard organ grinding driving hard rock at its best. Hensley’s keyboards augmenting Mick Box’s guitar well.
Disc 2 spotlights Hensley’s solo material with 14 tracks from his 70s / 80s solo albums. Some good songs, some good tunes, but the emphasis is on the songs rather than an energetic performance and few of the track grab you like the better Uriah Heep songs do. Some great work, but not necessarily his best. “Fortune” is kinda Pink Floyd-ish.
Amongst some other odds and sods is a track by southern rockers Blackfoot, whom Hensley joined for an album. Sadly nothing by Wasp. Yes he played with Wasp! Including the excellent if by numbers cover of Heep’s “Easy Livin’” and the superb Headless Children album.
That said, it’s a good album, some great tracks and a damn good collection and introduction.

4/5
Joe Geesin

WHITESNAKE
Live In The Shadow Of The Blues (2CD)
SPV 80001074

Hey, I know we’ve just had a tour and DVD and compilation and remastered albums, so another live set? Well, yes, and fully deserved.
While the DVD released earlier this year was recorded nearly two years previously (October 2004), this set was recorded on the sell out (and well received) tour earlier this year, showing a more up to date setlist (expanded from the DVD) and also the stability of the current line-up (guitarists Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich, bassist Uriah Duffy, drummer Tommy Aldridge and pianist Timothy Drury). And as a bonus, there’s 4 new studio tracks showing how busy the band have been; there’s a new full studio album planned for next year!
The live set kicks off with the uptempo “Bad Boys” and we then get “Slide It In” and “Slow An’ Easy” (two of Coverdale’s less subtle lyrics), and while the early material is given the full American shred treatment that lacks a certain down to earth honest feel of the early line ups, the sound is polished, and they’re still damn fine rock songs. In fact “Slow An’ Easy” does rock you to the bone!
“Love Ain’t No Stranger” shows just how good, strong, popular and underrated the Slide It In album is, US remix or not.
“Judgement Day” is one of the later tracks included, and “Is This Love” goes down well too.
Guitarists Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich play their hearts out, if occasionally adding a few too many notes.
“Crying In The Rain” has the crowd singing their hearts out, and “Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City” an ever popular anthem.
“Fool For The City”, “Here I Go Again” and “Still Of The Night” close the first disc, the former a real classic and highlight.
Disc 2 opens with a medley of “Burn” and “Stormbringer”, two old Deep Purple classics. Strange that it crashes and burns like the opening number of a concert, which it was at the gig I was at. That said, Coverdale’s voice is on form and well worth checking out.
“Give Me All Your Love Tonight” is great, enjoyable, rocking.
“Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues” remains one of the finest around, by anyone.
“The Deeper The Love” is smooth, “Ready An’ Willing” classic (I can see Ian Paice’s flat cap now), and I’ve always loved “Don’t Break My Heart Again”. There’s still hunger, more than a casual market, for this early material. Good though Aldridge is, he’s not in Paice’s class for certain touches.
The set finishes the brilliant “Take Me With You”, a perfect number.
The four new studio cuts finish disc 2, kicking off with “Ready To Rock”, which while is high class, high tempo and well polished, while lacking the commercial angle of 1987, making for a strong rocker and a very decent tune. “If You Want Me Baby” is a heavy number and again sees Coverdale exploring the upper range of his vocals.
“All I Want Is You” is a ballad, and while a good number which Coverdale showing his huskier edge, it is a rather reminiscent of his late 80s work.
Final number “Dog” sees both guitarists working together well. Less of the Whitesnake sound but it’s an excellent number.
David is back and well worth checking out.

4.5/5
Joe Geesin

GEORGE THOROGOOD & THE DESTROYERS ‘30th Anniversary Tour Live’ Eagle Rock (2006 DVD + CD) www.eagle-rock.com

Recorded on his UK tour back in 2004 (and the CD on here has been released on its own) what you get is a classic run through the Thorogood classics from the instantly recognizable ‘Bad To The Bone’, a classic rendition of ‘The Sky Is Crying’ and the boogie of ‘Who Do You Love’. The DVD adds extra tracks not on the CD including ‘Move It On Over’ plus a video for ‘American Made’ and a couple of acoustic numbers.
George Thorogood is good at what he does and has lost none of his live power down the years. Perfect for fans – a DVD for your home and a CD for your car/PC!

****
Jason Ritchie

JOHN FOGERTY ‘The Long Road Home – In Concert’ Fantasy (2006) www.johnfogerty.com

A two CD live set recorded in 2005 that neatly showcases John Fogerty’s career, both solo and of course those Creedance Clearwater Revival classics. Twenty seven songs in all and all delivered with clear sound and those distinctive Fogerty vocals. Lots of great tunes including ‘Up Around The Bend’ (those opening guitar notes send shivers down your spine!), ‘Travelin’ Band’ (as covered by Tesla), the gentle refrain of ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain?’ and ‘Hey Tonight’. Good backing band as well who keep the music tight and keep to the original sound. Hardly a duffer amongst this set list and as a career spanning retrospective this is well worth getting.

****1/2
Jason Ritchie

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