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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

In the UK singles charts this week CHRIS CONNELL (AUDIOSLAVE) debuts at no.12 with his James Bond theme tune, whilst the Christmas classics by SLADE and the PGUES re-enter the charts at no.22 and no.23 respectively. Whilst THUNDER just sneak in at no.40.

Alex Lifeson and King Crimson's Robert Fripp will each be guesting on the next album by Porcupine Tree currently set for release on Atlantic Records next April.

Escape Music are delighted to announce the release date for Last Autumns Dream brand new album Saturn Skyline on February 19.
Last Autumns Dream are Mikael Erlandsson on Lead Vocals, Andy Malecek (Fair Warning) on Guitars, Marcel Jacob (Talisman) on bass, and Jamie Borger (Talisman) on drums.
Track listening: 1. For The Young & The Wild, 2. After Tomorrows Gone, 3. Pages, 4. Rock´n Roll Is Saving My Soul, 5. I Know A Lot About Love, 6. Critical, 7. Supersonic, 8. Frozen Heart, 9. American Girl, 10. Domino 11. Still On The Run, 12. Rocket Of Love (European bonus). MASS have also signed with the label for an album due next year.

Mike Tramp’s WHITE LION cancelled their UK shows due to Tramp losing his voice.

Legacy records are to re-issue the Leonard Cohen back catalogue next year according to Music Tap. First up will be Songs of Leonard Cohen (1968), Songs From a Room (1969) and Songs of Love and Hate (1970) which will hit the shelves on March 27, all available in deluxe digipaks and all including extra bonus tracks which are to be confirmed.

WHITESNAKE will release their new studio album in the summer.

PRESS RELEASES

After two long years the wait is over. The third and final episode of the Genius Rock Opera, written and performed by the Italian multitalented musician Daniele Liverani, is now ready to be unleashed to its devoted fans on February 16th 2007!
This last chapter of the trilogy entitled "The Final Surprise" will reveal what happened to Genius and his guide Twinspirits 32 at the end of their long journey into dreams' world.
We left the two main characters on the threshold of the Asian fantasies warehouse, in front of a dark underworld. They were aware that the little prince was there, hidden in one of those warehouses, but they soon realised they were in front of a huge maze, full of an infinite number of fantasy warehouses.
Now...which one was the toy warehouse where the prince was hidden? Running through almost 80 minutes of various music styles, the listener will be led by the storyteller (Philip Bynoe) through the final events of the saga and discover what happened to Genius once he woke up to go back to reality world.
You will finally learn if the little prince will be saved, and if the dreams world will be safe forever. Lots of titanic vocal duels are featured in this episode including the amazing duet performed by characters Twinspirits 32 (Daniel Gildenlow of PAIN OF SALVATION) and Apikor (Jorn Lande, ex MASTERPLAN) and between Twinspirits 32 (Daniel Gildenlow) and Genius (this time performed by a majestic DC Cooper of SILENT FORCE).
Other great singers give their interpretation of the characters in this final episode: Eric Martin as Mr. Niko, Toby Hitchcock (of PRIDE OF LIONS) as Senator Jeramus and Andrea Dätwyler (of LUNATICA) as Kokeshi Doll. This breathtaking episode of Genius' is the final act and an amazing mind trip into the unknown parallel dimension where dreams are created. The dream is over but don't miss the surprises this Opera still has in store!
Drum tracks for the album were laid as usual by Dario Ciccioni, while Oliver Hartmann took care of the monster chorus vocal work.

Tracklisting of the album includes the following songs: Toy Warehouse; No More Chances; Save Me From My Destiny; Alive and Safe; Jump Off This Train; Let Me Live; Inside These Memories; I Die; Back To Life Again; Dream In Liberty; The Final Surprise.

Release date of the album has been set on February 16th 2007 on Frontiers Records, with a release in Japan scheduled on King Records.

GIG NEWS

TROUBLE
May 29th - Bradford Rio's
May 30th - Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall

JOHNNY WINTER
24TH APRIL - CARLING ACADEMY 2 - NEWCASTLE
27TH APRIL - ASTORIA - LONDON

WOLFMOTHER
4TH FEBRUARY - SOUTHAMPTON GUILDHALL - SOUTHAMPTON
5TH FEBRUARY - APOLLO HAMMERSMITH - LONDON
8TH FEBRUARY - ROCK CITY - NOTTINGHAM
9TH FEBRUARY - APOLLO – MANCHESTER

SANDI THOM
11TH FEBRUARY - THE LOWRY - SALFORD QUAYS
13TH FEBRUARY - CITY VARIETIES - LEEDS
15TH FEBRUARY - CARLING ACADEMY ISLINGTON – LONDON

BOB SEGER
Sat 01/06/07 Orlando, FL TD Waterhouse Centre
Thu 01/11/07 Hollywood, FL Seminole Hard Rock Live
Sat 01/13/07 Tampa, FL St. Pete Times Forum
Tue 01/16/07 Charlotte, NC Charlotte Bobcats Arena
Sat 01/20/07 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
Tue 01/23/07 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Thu 01/25/07 New York, NY Madison Square Garden Arena
Sat 01/27/07 Boston, MA TD Banknorth Garden (Fleet Center)
Thu 02/01/07 Washington, DC Verizon Center
Sat 02/03/07 Memphis, TN The Pyramid
Tue 02/06/07 Oklahoma City, OK The Ford Center
Thu 02/08/07 Dallas, TX AmericanAirlines Center
Sat 02/10/07 North Little Rock, AR Alltel Arena
Mon 02/12/07 Houston, TX Toyota Center

BOB DYLAN
11 SECC Glasgow
12 Metro Radio Arena Newcastle
14 Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield
15 Wembley Arena London
17 NEC Birmingham

The new Wembley Stadium in London is to stage a Princess Diana Memorial Concert on July 1 2007 to mark the tenth anniversary of her death. Sir Elton John is set to headline with Duran Duran, Bryan Ferry and Joss Stone also expected to perform.

REVIEWS

HONEYMOON SUITE ‘Feel It Again: An Anthology’ Gott Discs (2006) www.gottdiscs.com

This two disc set is a real treat for fans of the band and those yet to sample the delights of these Canadian melodic rock masters. Their two big albums were ‘The Big Prize’ and ‘Racing After Midnight’, both amply represented on here. Revel in the melodic rock gem of ‘Feel It Again’ (one of the rock tunes of the 80’s), the driving rocker ‘Bad Attitude’ and the pop rock of ‘All Along He Knew’. Disc one has some added treats in the shape of the previously unreleased on CD ‘I Believe In Father Christmas’ (originally by Greg Lake), which is simply superb! Disc two covers the output from the 90’s onwards and includes tracks form their ‘Lemon Tongue’ album, which has a revised tracklisting for the European release on Frontiers under the name of ‘Dreamland’. The band add eight unreleased tracks of which ‘Under My Skin’ and ‘My Right Hand’ (whose lyrics can be read in many ways!) are the pick of the bunch.
Excuse all the superlatives in this review but Honeymoon Suite really are an underrated band who many may not realize they were still going throughout the 90’s and have a new studio album all set for release in 2007. This is how compilations should be done – the classic songs and unreleased tracks to entice in the fans.

****1/2
Jason Ritchie

NORWAY Rising Up From The Ashes’ MTM (2007) www.mtm-music.com

US melodic rockers who return with a new album, that includes some of their older tunes and newly recorded tunes. This is unashamed classic melodic rock – big choruses, huge harmonies, neat guitar solos and swirling keys. ‘Save Me’ is a prime example with its catchy chorus and I defy anyone not to love this song! ‘Anything At All’ is a mid-tempo number that again sees the keys and guitars used to good effect. ‘American Girl’ is prime time radio rock, yes it is nothing original but by golly it knocks the spots of many similar bands. Dig those bells as well! ‘Tell Me’ sounds like Survivor, whilst the acoustic ballad ‘Won’t Let You Down’ you could imagine fans getting the lighters out in the arenas.
Along with Final Frontier, Norway keeps classic melodic rock alive and well. An essential addition for the New Year.

****
Jason Ritchie

MOLLY HATCHET ‘The Deed Is Done’ Gott Discs (2006) www.gottdiscs.com

Originally released back in 1984 and marking the return of vocalist Danny Joe Brown, this album saw the band veer into the more AOR/melodic rock style of .38 Special (Survivor’s Jimi Jamison pops up on backing vocals further adding that melodic rock feel), although the duelling guitars of Duane Roland and Dave Hlubek were still present and correct. Using ZZ Top producer Terry Manning also saw greater use of synths coupled with the drum sound of ZZ Top’s ‘Eliminator’ and ‘Afterburner’ albums. Doubtless on its original release many long term fans would have been shocked at the smoother, radio friendly sound. As for the music well ‘She Does She Does’ is a cracking rocker with some tasty sax breaks, whilst ‘Satisfied Man’ sounds like .38 Special meets ZZ Top. ‘Stone In Your Heart’ is a classy radio rocker, whilst the acoustic picking instrumental ‘Song For The Children’ is a neat way to finish the album. A few tracks fall below par including ‘Backstabber’ which overstays its welcome due to the repetitive chorus.
Not your typical Molly Hatchet album then but one that is worthy of getting especially if you like the more radio friendly southern rock of .38 Special and Wet Willie.

****
Jason Ritchie

T.A.O – The Abnormal Observations Unicorn Records (2006)

You never know what you are getting when you open the envelope and your faced with a promo from a band you know nothing about, and have never heard of.
This wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but they never are?
The opening song is progressive, almost jazz fusion like, with a few bars of heavy guitars thrown in.
Mostly instrumental, it dosen’t get boring, it’s not too self indulgent and quite pleasant.
Instrumentally everything is just pretty good here, it’s when guitar, Adam Jurewicz, opens his mouth and attempts to sing, that thing start to go pear shaped. Some of his melodies, are a little on the abstract, his actual singing voice, isn’t nearly as good as the instrumental prowess, that he and the rest of T.A.O show throughout, what is quite a strong release, their second album overall.
For old prog heads like myself, this is music to my ears, the widdly diddly bits are kept to a minimum, but are more than enough for more mainstream listeners. The songs themselves, do appear to be songs and not merely vehicles for the bands instrumental abilities.
By the end of the album, I am almost enjoying the vocal too, almost.

3/5
Graham Boyle

House Of Lords – Live In The UK Frontiers (2006) www.frontiers.it

I must admit, I am a very old fan of House Of Lords, their glory days of their killer self titled debut album.
It must have been at least 15 years since I’ve heard them, so I was more than intrigued when this, new release came my way.
As the title says, recorded live in the UK, we get 12 live songs, and a ‘bonus’ new studio track in, ‘Havana’.
Which was originally found on the Japanese version of “The Power & The Myth” album.
Recorded at Firefest Festival in Nottingham on November 26th 2005, the whole show is included here. Though sometimes the crowd mix is a little too high for the venue capacity, it all adds up to a very decent sounding concert memento.
The band sound just fine, more importantly, vocalist James Christian, strong, passionate larynx sounds just as I remember it from all those years ago.
A pretty decent song selection, I can’t complain about the inclusion or omission of anything on offer here really.
Self produced, the mix is sometimes a little on the muddy side, clear, sharp, but lacking that sparkle, that would give it top marks.
There you have it, a solid live album, from yet another band on the comeback trial.

4/5
Graham Boyle

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