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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Alter Bridge have set October 9th as the date for their new album "Blackbird". The first single from the album, "Rise Today", will hit radio on July 30th.

Hanoi Rocks' new studio album ‘Street Poetry’ will be released in Europe on September 5th.

DOMAIN are looking for a new vocalist.

Juan Croucier of Ratt has joined forces with Carlos Cavazo (formerly of Quiet Riot) to complete the line up of his band. The band also includes John Medina on drums (ex-Bret Michaels solo band).

MOTLEY CRUE will start work on a new album towards the end of the year.

WAYSTED release a new album in Oct via Livewire Records. Guitarist Chris George is also back in the band.

MOTÖRHEAD has issued the following update:
"It is with extreme sadness to inform you that Kelly Johnson, original lead guitarist of GIRLSCHOOL, passed away on Sunday night, 15th July. She has been suffering from spinal cancer for the last six years.
"Joining GIRLSCHOOL in 1978, Kelly was a face in the classic line-up alongside Kim McAuliffe (rhythm guitar, vocals), Enid Williams (bass, vocals) and Denise Dufort (drums). The band was an integral and major force in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) movement, beginning with the release of its debut album, 'Demolition' (1980), and continuing with the follow-ups 'Hit 'n' Run' (1981) and 'Screaming Blue Murder' (1982). Kelly's participation also saw GIRLSCHOOL collaborating with MOTÖRHEAD under the name HEADGIRL for the 'St. Valentine's Day Massacre' EP. Both bands appeared on the lead track 'Please Don't Touch' and covered each other's songs, GIRLSCHOOL choosing 'Bomber' and MOTÖRHEAD picking 'Emergency'.
"Watch the 'Please Don't Touch' (MOTÖRHEAD and GIRLSCHOOL) video at YouTube.
"Kelly originally left GIRLSCHOOL in 1984 after recording the band's fourth album, 'Play Dirty', to live in Los Angeles for the next ten years. She rejoined in 1993 and moved back to the U.K. In 2000, she decided to quit the music business for good after recording her final album with GIRLSCHOOL, 'Not That Innocent: 21st Anniversary' (2001), though always remained a close friend to the band.
"Kelly Johnson (RIP) will be missed heavy-heartedly by all. Our deepest condolences go out to her family and friends."

SINNER have signed to AFM Records for their upcoming album.

PRESS RELEASES
==============
The Japanese release of the eagerly anticipated new Mind's Eye album A Gentleman's Hurricane will be released on August 1 on Mellow Music. It will be released with the bonus track Those who fear.
The Japanese release will also contain the DVD "The making of a gentleman's hurricane" in NTSC version. The whole package will be slightly different from the European release as the Japanese release will be a resized magazine, double CD package as opposed to the European/US release which will be a DVD package.
The first 150 Japanese fans who order the disc through Disc Union Japan will receive the extra song called The art of an angel. The Lion Music version of the album will be released in full size DVD case with the aforementioned mentioned "Making of A Gentleman's Hurricane DVD" in PAL format, the CD and a Comic Book - The worlds first three pack release - out on September 14.
www.myspace.com/eyeofthemind

House of Shakira check in with progress on their forthcoming album Retoxed. The band states: "Retoxed is getting nearer to completion. We have finally managed to lay down all the trax without any casualties! Andreas have done a beautiful job on the lead vocals, with assistance from the even more handsome "choir boys" Mats, Per and Mikael. Our dear friend Andreas Bauman have now started the difficult task of making us sounding good (and hopefully looking good also). He has 13 classic HoS masterpieces to work with."
We can now confirm that Retoxed will be released on October 19.
www.houseofshakira.com

Leading drum stick manufacturer Vic Firth have just launched a load of great John Macaluso (a Vic Firth endorsee) features on their website for fans and drummers worldwide to get their teeth into. Be sure to check out the video interview with John where he discusses the recording and development of his new critically acclaimed album John Macaluso & Union Radio - The Radio Waves Goodbye in addition to how got started on the drums and and insight into how he got to where he is today as one of the leading drummers in the rock/metal field.
www.vicfirth.com/artists/john_macaluso.html

US metallers Resistance have almost completed work on their second album entitled Patents Of Control. The new work sees the band honing their blend of traditional metal with thrash influences to brutal perfection. The album is currently being mixed by legendary producer Neil Kernon (Queensrÿche/Nevermore/Deicide) and will be released fall 2007 (date TBC) - more information to follow soon.
www.resistancemetal.com



D Drive featuring Don Mancuso (Lou Gramm, Black Sheep, Cheater) and Phil Naro (Talas, Peter Criss, 24K), have signed with Chavis Records for their latest release: Straight Up The Middle.
On the heels of their successful self-titled debut, D Drive are back with 12 finely crafted tracks of solid Melodic / AOR rock featuring the dynamic vocals of Phil Naro and eclectic guitar work of Don Mancuso with a special appearance by Lou Gramm.
Track listing: A Little Bitta Sunshine, Straight Up The Middle, Lick Your Lips, Dead On The Highway, Pray For Tomorrow, Whose Side You're On, Can You Dig It, I Don't Wanna Wait, I Can Feel No Pain, Love Me, Diamond StarHalo, Another Funky Day.
For more information visit: www.chavisrecords.net, www.myspace.com/chavisrecords, www.donmancuso.com, www.philnaro.com, www.myspace.com/donmancuso

GIG NEWS
=========
Threshold are to perform at both the Metalcamp and Earthshaker Festivals this weekend without vocalist Mac. His predecessor Damian Wilson, now of Headspace, will step in for the shows in Slovenia and Germany, respectively.

REVIEWS
========
(Hed)pe: Insomnia

Rap metal when at its best can bring something interesting to the table whether in the form of Faith no More or daftness from Anthrax. Alas, there are a whole bunch of bands that jumped on the bandwagon. This is one of those. This lot combine all that is bad about metal and gangsta rap. You have a nice selection of brain dead paranoia, misogyny, violence towards women and a liberal dose of expletives. It's unmitigated shite that is so bad it beggars belief. No redeeming features whatever.

At one point the rapper wonders if he is surrounded by idiots, while ranting about conspiracies, I think he only needs to look around the studio.

Rating: 1/5
Marty Dodge

Greg Lake: Live

Greg Lake, of Emerson Lake & Palmer fame, playing the tracks he is best known for including "Fanfare for a Common Man", "In the Court of the Crimson King" and "21st Century Schizoid Man". Excellent pomp rock played amazingly well in the live setting. The record is rather good and there is no excess of on-stage chatter, nor crowd noise. If you like Greg Lake then this might be just the thing for you. For everyone else it's a rather good ten track introduction to a very talented man. Most enjoyable one has to say.

Rating: 3.5/5
Marty Dodge

Prince: Planet Earth

With this release Prince did his best to annoy the entire record business in one go. He released the CD in the UK free with the purchase of the Daily Mail on Sunday. This is the complete album not just highlights or some other con. People wonder why he did it; I suspect that it might be the fourteen night stand he is doing at the O2 centre here in London. And like many musicians and bands who have been around for a while this album smacks of "excuse to tour".

It's not horrid but there are a few tracks on here which aren't his best. The title track ranking up there in that stakes. Its a mostly mellow affair, not much on here that rivals his older ballsier stuff. All in all I have to say I rather enjoyed this CD. My favourite track has to be his ode to his instrument and by that I mean his guitar, called "Guitar."

Nevertheless I suspect this will be remembered far more for the barrier it has broken in distribution than its contents.

Rating: 3.5/5
Marty Dodge

Silverchair: Young Modern

Got a confession to make. I used to think this lot were a bunch of Nirvana clones signed to jump on the bandwagon with a pretty boy on lead. Never rated their early albums. Lets just say this lot have grown up a wee bit and release quite a nice little CD. Its got oodles of charm, humour and rocks rather nicely. To say I was rather shocked at its quality is an understatement. There isn't a hint of grunge anywhere to be found.

There are songs about playing twister nude sung in a jaunty way that comes across as a cross between the Monkeys and Tiny Tim. It shouldn't work though it does, "If you keep losing sleep" is most fun. Other tracks on here remind me of Canadian AOR band Harem Scarem. Pop rock melodies that are catchy and immediate. This album is tight, professional and oozing class. Check out "Insomnia" and tell me it doesn't bring a smile.

Rating: 4/5
Marty Dodge

Stormtroopers: Rise of the Infidels

This is a 24 track EP from the veteran daft metal punkers all but four of which were recorded at the Fenix in Seattle. Known for their short and not so sweet songs about things...like the various "ballads" about dead celebs this EP shows them in all their bone-head glory. Also known for offending a few people with their track "Speak English or Die" then continue in that vein with tracks like "Fuck the Middle East" and "Pussywhipped".

S.o.D., the supergroup that they are, specialise in the most un-PC stuff going. However they don't take themselves too seriously and have a great deal of fun. The new tracks are fun as well, if you don't like em' a new one will be along in less than 2 minutes. The perfect album for when you are drunk as a skunk and want something to crank. Needless to say if you are a fan...this is essential.

Rating: 3.5/5
Marty Dodge

DEVON ALLMAN’S HONEYTRIBE ‘Torch’ Provogue (2007) www.provoguerecords.com

Son of Gregg Allman, Devon’s own band has a hint of the Allman Brothers sound about them as you would expect but they go off in lots of other musical directions as well. The title track opens the album in fine style and Devon has a very rich, melodic voice which really suits the music. A good example of this is the cover of the Bob Marley classic ‘No Woman, No Cry’ which gets a more soulful feel added to it – very enjoyable. Blues guitar maestro Joe Bonamassa pops up on the hard rocking blues of ‘Mercy Mercy’, whilst the album closer ‘Nothing To Be Sad About’ is a damn fine feel good tune steeped in southern rock yet modern and fresh sounding. Possibly the best song on a very strong album. There are two instrumentals, both of which don’t outstay their welcome and the acoustic ‘511 Texas Avenue’ is a very personal piece of music dedicated to Devon’s late grandparents. Some excellent guitar on this as there is throughout the album.
A really strong, enjoyable album that crosses blues, southern rock, a little bit of soul and even AOR. They are touring Europe at the end of the year and I for one want to hear these songs performed live.

****
Jason Ritchie

VOICES OF ROCK ‘MMVII’ AOR Heaven (2007) www.aorheaven.com

Ten cracking rock vocalists bought together by Michael Voss (Casanova/Silver/Mad Max) and Chris Lausman (Bonfire/Jaded Heart) and they are ably backed by top draw musicians including Tommy Denander and Angel Schleifer (Bonfire). This really is a treat for melodic rock fans and the songs on the whole are very strong and stand up to repeated plays.
Highlights? Depends on your vocal choice but for me it is James Christian belting it out on the hard rocking ‘Voodoo Woman’ (very House of Lords in sound) and where James Christian is his lovely wife Robin beck is not far behind with a mid tempo rocker ‘Underloved’. Great to hear Dan Reed on ‘Over And Done’, although the song and his vocals at times sound like John Waite! Jean Beauvoir (Crown of Thorns) is on fine form on ‘Wild Thing’, great riff and chorus although cheesy lyrics alert. Steve Overland (FM/Shadowland) as ever lays down an emotive vocal on ‘Slip Away’. The other vocalists on here are Terry Brock, Johnny Gioeli, Goran Edman (one of my personal fave vocalists although the song he has on here is sadly one of the weakest), Harry Hess and Gary Barden.
Despite ten different vocalists the songs all sit well together and if you love melodic rock get this pronto!

****
Jason Ritchie

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