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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Neil Finn has reunited with Crowded House bandmate Nick Seymour for his next solo album, which he plans to release next year.

JEFF SCOTT SOTO will be the vocalist on the UK JOURNEY tour next year.

Alice Cooper is to write his autobiography. It's to be called 'Alice Cooper, Golf Monster: My 12 Steps To Becoming A Golf Addict'. No publishing date has yet been confirmed.

GUNS ‘N’ ROSES have put back the release of ‘Chinese Democracy’ until Dec 19th now.

SIR PAUL McCARTNEY and RINGO STARR look set to reunite to celebrate their home city Liverpool's status of European Capital Of Culture in 2007. McCartney has already been approached to perform at the opening ceremony and now organisers want Starr to take part too.

QUEEN'S Greatest Hits LP has been named the UK's best selling album of all time. The disc has sold a staggering 5,407,587 copies since its release in 1981. In second place is THE BEATLES' SGT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, which managed 4.8 million sales. Also in the top ten are OASIS, ABBA and PINK FLOYD
Conspicuous by their absence are THE ROLLING STONES and BOB DYLAN - who don't feature in the top 100.
1. QUEEN, GREATEST HITS
2. THE BEATLES, SGT PEPPER
3. OASIS, WHAT'S THE STORY MORNING GLORY
4. DIRE STRAITS, BROTHERS IN ARMS
5. ABBA, GOLD GREATEST HITS
6. PINK FLOYD, THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
7. QUEEN, GREATEST HITS II
8. MICHAEL JACKSON, THRILLER
9. MICHAEL JACKSON, BAD
10. MADONNA, THE IMMACULATE COLLECTION

Former THE DARKNESS frontman JUSTIN HAWKINS will launch a solo career, after he has recovered from his split from the group.

GIG NEWS

DAVE MATTHEWS
Fri 02/23/07 Newcastle, UK City Hall
Sat 02/24/07 Glasgow, UK Clyde Auditorium
Mon 02/26/07 Dublin, IRE National Stadium
Tue 02/27/07 Belfast, UK Waterfront Hall
Thu 03/01/07 Manchester, UK Carling Apollo Manchester
Fri 03/02/07 Oxford, UK New Theatre
Sun 03/04/07 Milan, ITA Teatro Del Verme
Tue 03/06/07 Paris, FRA La Cigale
Thu 03/08/07 Offenbach, GER Capitol
Fri 03/09/07 Brussels, BEL Ancienne Belgique
Sat 03/10/07 Amsterdam, NET Paradiso
Mon 03/12/07 Berlin, GER Columbiahalle
Tue 03/13/07 Cologne, GER E-Werk

IAN GILLAN
Jan. 19 Melbourne, The Palace
Jan. 20 Sydney, Salinas
Jan. 21 Sydney, Revesby Workers
Jan. 23 Newcastle, Panthers
Jan. 25 Wollongong, Shelly's
Jan. 26 Brisbane, The Arena
Jan. 27 Tweed Heads, Twin Towns Services
Jan. 28 Penrith, Evan Theater

REVIEWS

HELLO GOODBYE
Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs!
Drive Thru Records

Interesting modern indie / guitar pop album with some rock leanings, opening number “All Of Your Love” is a quirky pleasant tune, with keyboards and occasional crunchy guitar.
The guitar on “Here In Your Arms” is in places nodding towards unnecessary distortion, and on other tracks too, a minor background thing that hints at poor production, which is well constructed in others.
There are some decent tunes throughout, inoffensive, nothing too outstanding. Honest and enjoyable guitar pop. Should do well.

3/5
Joe Geesin

SYBILLA
The Invisible Sandglass

Guitar pop goes metal, giving you the quirky tunes with melody, power and metal all rolled into one. Opener “Burning” mixes hair metal choruses (reminiscent of Heavy Pettin’) with Maiden-esque guitar solos and European power metal rhythms.
The album continues in a similar vein.
“Black Rose” features keyboards with a gothic touch and dark vocals, before the guitars come crashing in.
From dark to progressive to AOR, it’s all here and fun too.
“I.N.F.I.L.A.” is a power metal ballad which nods at Queen.
Enjoyable, worth checking out.
www.myspace.com/sybillaband

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

LOS ABANDONED
Mix Tape
Vapor Records / Sanctuary

Indie metal with a new wave / punk feeling. There’s some hard hitting catchy tunes (opener “Stalk U” an example) mixed with more experimental / whimsical tracks like “Nado Mio Es Fake”.
The female vocals work well, and in places there’s a Blondie feel, abeit with a metal feel.
“Office Xmas Party” is at the new pave / punk pop end, while “Panic-Oh!” is more akin to Terrorvision.
An interesting mix and thoroughly enjoyable.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

THE WHO
Endless Wire
Universal Republic

The British icons are back, and although just a duo now, the key elements are in place.
You have Pete Townshend, who is more than just a guitarist; song writer, arranger, all round composer, producer, artist, and multi-instrumental.
Then there’s Roger Daltrey, who is more than just a frontman and singer; he’s an actor (in the metaphorical sense) and interpreter. The only person you’d entrust to interpret and front Pete Townshend work.
So how does the first new studio album in nearly 25 years stand up? Rather well, actually.
It’s a far cry from the ‘classic Who’, and rightly so. Both have moved on, and aged rather well. Daltrey’s voice is not strained or ropey at all, it’s still classic and still there. Younger vocalists have not aged so well.
Opener “Fragments” is a good rock tune that hangs in the mind well, and “A Man In Purple Dress” is acoustic, good in that it doesn’t wonder at all.
“Mike Post Theme” mixes modern big production with that classic Who sound.
Every angle is explored by the song writing, The Who play their complete range on this album, which mixes hard rock with acoustic.
The basic Endless Wire encompasses nine tracks, the remaining 10 tracks are the Wire & Glass mini opera, something Townshend clearly put a lot of love and effort into. The concept I won’t spoil for you, go buy and enjoy! Suffice to say it’s well constructed and some of the band’s best work in a long time.
Guest musicians include drummer Zak Starkey, bassist Pino Palladino and pianist Rabbit Bundrick amongst a host of others, with Townshend providing some drums, programming, banjo etc.
The limited digipak comes with a bonus DVD of the band on stage in France, July 2006. Five tracks that close with a 10 minute take on “Won’t Get Fooled Again” must be worth checking out.
Better than any solo work, the pair work well together and it’s strong enough and good enough to work under The Who banner.

4/5

Joe Geesin

GRAVY TRAIN
Strength Of A Dream – The Gravy Train Anthology (2CD)
Castle CMDD1402

Gravy Train were a British prog band who released 4 albums in the early 70s. Their first two appeared on Vertigo, while the second two (1973 / 1974 respectively) appeared on Dawn, and it’s those 2 final albums that appear here in their entirety, with singles and alternate versions making up the extra tracks.
Singer Norman Barrett had a great range, and power too, giving a melodic Uriah Heep sound to the music. There’s harder tracks too that nod and Hendrix and Deep Purple, while there’s a touch of Jethro Tull (the flutes help there).
Both albums are strong, often overlooked and underrated. Not completely consistent but good and worth checking out. Will definitely please fans, and it’s well annotated and well packaged.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

GRAVE DIGGER
Liberty Or Death
Locomotive / Cargo LM400CD

If there’s such a thing as melodic thrash in the trad sense, this must come close. The keyboards and operatic thrash vocals give a classic Euro sound (think Freedom Call, melodic operatic speed metal etc) with a much heavier thrash leaning.
Few bands could mix thrash (at times its most extreme) with keyboards and get away with it, but they do and do it well.
The opening title track is a great start, while “Ocean Of Blood” takes on some trad metal riffs and puts them through a high speed cement mixer.
Is this the band’s best album yet? Certainly the best extreme metal album I’ve heard in a long long time.

4/5
Joe Geesin

Frank MARINO / MAHOGANY RUSH
Double Live
SPV / Yellow SPV97672

From The Hip
SPV / Yellow SPV304272

Double Live (3.5/5) was Marino’s second live concert album, 10 years after Mahogany Rush Live. This reissue gets the whole album on 1 disc with room for a bonus number.
Encompassing some of the later material, the virtuoso guitar work comes through, it’s a classic hard rock set with occasional prog or jazz nods, but largely just classic hard rock. Think Ruch meets Triumph. “You Got Livin’” is a punchy number, while “Poppy” is an extravagant and self indulgent 10 minute work out with a fusion angle.
Many will recognise and enjoy the 11 minute “Roadhouse Blues”.
A classic hard rock set.
From The Hip (3/5) was Marino’s 11th studio album and with more melodic vocals and a bluesy feel, if in a hard and modern way.
Some great tunes but it’s not Marino’s strongest set. While “I’m Ready” features some great riffs and solos, there’s something I can’t quite put my finger on that make it not as catchy as it should be.
Either way, it’s a good album, and the 16 minute bonus number “Hingston Nights” is a jazzy number.
Both album are remastered and sound good, but the packaging is minimal.
Will please fans though.

Joe Geesin

COSMO
Alien
Frontiers FRCD312

The Cosmo brothers Fran (lead vocals) and Antonio (guitar, bass, keys, sampling et al) are both ex Boston, with bassist Bill Carman also contributing to Corporate America.
This polished hard rock set, although not in the league of Boston circa Walk On, it’s a damn good set that’s heavy, well constructed and enjoyable. Definitely a lot heavier than the AOR of Boston too. And while the riffs are very metallic, there’s some nice vocal harmonies too, which add a melodic touch to the heaviness.
Some acoustic intros add a good range to the sounds.
At the other extreme “Alien” touches on nu-metal.
A good set, worth checking out.

3/5
Joe Geesin

ZION
Zion
Frontiers FRCD313

Featuring the talents of vocalist / multi-instrumentalist Freddy Curci of Alias fame, this solid set will please Alias fans and more no end. Curci has a good range and strong voice, and the guitar work here is superb too. “All It Takes Is A Minute” features a solid yet melodic chorus, while “How Much Longer Is Forever” is more anthemic.
The musicians here have pedigree too, featuring members of Bullet Boys and Coney Hatch.
Either my hearing’s suffering or the production was a little muffled in places, but that aside the music, tunes, heavy guitar all work well.

3/5
Joe Geesin

Ritchie KOTZEN
Into The Black
Frontiers FRCD315

The former Mr Big guitarist is back with a new album, singing and playing everything on this set.
A hard set heavy on the riffs and vocals, mixing melodic and heavy riff, with a slight nod at blues.
The drum intro to “Fear” sounds muffled and programmed, but otherwise it’s a good strong if light rock track. Melodic with a nod at AOR.
“The Shadow” is one of the stand out tracks, well written and almost a sing-a-long feel.
A solid and enjoyable set.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin

STYX & The Contemporary Youth Orchestra
One With Everything
Frontiers FRCD311

Vocalist Tommy Shaw and crew are back with this partly orchestrated live album.
Solid, heavy and catchy AOR at its best, opener “Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)” grabs your attention instantly. The twin guitar keeps things heavy, the nicely layered keyboards keeps things melodic.
“It Don’t Make Sense” nods at the blues, and there’s a decent cover of “I Am The Walrus”.
A good new album, a good intro to the band and will certainly please fans. Great throughout.

3.5/5
Joe Geesin


Various: Look At All The Love We Found LIVE
A Tribute To Sublime (DVD / CD)
Inakustik

One for Sublime fans really, who I must admit I’m not familiar with, but this various artists live concert is a tribute to the band, with a DVD of the concert and a CD of live and studio covers.
The music ranges from acoustic to ska/reggae to indie metal to urban. There’s interviews and music, videos too.
Bands involved include Fishbone, Los Lobos, Unwritten Law, The Ziggens, Bargain Music and AWOL One.
The music is too varied to be of interest of fans of a particular style, so unless you’re a collector of one of the bands involved, it’s of interest to Sublime fans only.
Plenty of extras to make good value though.

2.5/5
Joe Geesin

BAD BRAINS
Live At CBGB 1982 (DVD)
Wienerworld

3 dates at CBGB starting Christmas Eve 1982, and this concert is culled from all 3 shows. Certainly it will please any punk and hardcore fan, it’s out and out noisy rock’n’roll at its most extreme.
You look at the four sets of dreadlocks and you’d expect some hardcore reggae, which does slip in, but it’s a real punk thrash set you get here, with many of their best known within the 19 tracks on offer here.
A mixed crowd, black and white, some enjoying the moshpit and stagediving, others sitting and watching coolly, in a very snobbish new wave fashion.
If you like it hardcore it’s a lot of fun and a real piece of history. Bonuses include a 1982 interview too.
Noisy, trashy, thrashy, but that’s what this kind of rock’n’roll was all about.

3/5
Joe Geesin

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