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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A rather good Sweden Rocks review

MAGNUM play two UK dates in Nov to celebrate 20 years since the release of their classic ‘Wings Of heaven’ album (although that would be next year!). A live album will follow in 2008.

Lizzy Borden will release "Appointment With Death", their first album in seven years on Metal Blade Records on October 2nd. "AWD is epic, Heavy, dark and melodic, everything a traditional Lizzy Borden recording should be and more", says the press release... Guests on the album include George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob), Dave Meniketti (Y & T), Corey Beaulieu (Trivium), Jonas Hansson (Silver Mountain), Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal/ex-Morbid Angel) and Michael T. Ross (Angel/Hardline). More details of the album and samples can be found on the following sites:
www.Lizzyborden.com
www.myspace.com/lizzybordenband
www.metalblade.com
www.myspace.com/metalbladerecords

PRESS RELEASES
==============
Dubliner Chris Singleton's 'Twisted City' is an album with a London theme - the album is conceived as a tube journey through the city, with every song a stop on the line and about a particular person, place or experience in the capital. To reflect this, Chris has already done some unique London gigs, including launching the album on the Underground and carrying out a series of guerrilla performances in taxis, tubes, buses and boats. All of which attracted major media attention, including televised performances on BBC and ITV.

Singleton's Monopoly Tour is his most ambitious live project yet, and involves playing 29 short impromptu sets on the streets of the famous board game (2-3 tracks per location). Featuring gigs outside a power station, a free car park and even a jail, it promises to be an exciting experience and a fitting way to showcase some of the excellent songs on 'Twisted City'. The tour coincides with the release of his new double A-side single 'Pieces/Gimme Something'.

The tour is going to take in several London landmarks associated with musical icons, including

Battersea Power Station - where the cover of Pink Floyd's 'Animals' album was shot

Upper Street, Angel - home of the famous Hope and Anchor pub, which in the late 1970s and 1980s saw classic early gigs from Madness, Joy Division, U2 and The Stranglers.

Savile Row (as part of Regent's Street stop) - the office where the Beatles ran their 'Apple Corps' record label and site of the famous rooftop concert by the band.

Marylebone Station - where the opening sequence of 'A Hard Day's Night' was shot.

Ridgmount Gardens (near Euston Road) - Bob Marley's first London address

Mayfair - the gallery where John Lennon met Yoko Ono.

Savoy Hotel, The Strand - where Bob Dylan's 'Subterranean Homesick Blues' was shot

Chris will be performing a preview street gig at Angel, Islington (£100 on the Monopoly board, but attendance at the gig is free) at 5.45pm on Thursday, 30th August, outside the York Pub, 82 Islington High Street, London, N1 8EQ. The complete tour, also free, starts at 1pm on Saturday, 1 September in the Old Kent Road area. Those who would like to attend the whole tour should visit website for full details and to register their attendance at the event.


Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the European release of Richie Kotzen’s brand new album “Return of the Mother Head’s Family Reunion” on October 19th 2007.

For the un-initiated “The Mother Head's Family Reunion” is the title of Richie Kotzen’s album for Geffen Records in 1994, his major debut and first post-Poison solo album. Regarded by many fans and critics as his real masterpiece, that record featured drummer Atma Anur, bassist John Pierce and producer Richie Zito. This new “Return” album features instead powerhouse drummer Franklin Vanderbilt, bassist Virgil McKoy and Arlan Schierbaum, who has already played keyboards on Richie's previous albums.

“I decided to call this new album Return of the Mother Head’s Family Reunion” explains Richie, “because it is the first cd I have done in years with a full band. After hearing the vibe of some of the songs it reminded me of the energy I had back when I did the original MHFR cd. So once the cd was complete, it really had a lot in common with the original MHFR and this is why I decided to call it Return of the MHFR”.

“Return of The Mother Head's Family Reunion” can boast a crystal clear mix, some incredible band performances and a more guitar oriented approach, with the addition of a stellar songwriting melted with Kotzen incredible talents. “The thing that made the original MHFR cd stand out was the extended solos in songs like “Cover Me” and “Reach Out I’ll Be There”, on this record I think there are a lot of parallels in that regard, in particular Fooled Again, Faith and Go Faster all have that original vibe to them”, states Kotzen.

“Return of the Mother Head’s Family Reunion” is a definite highlight of the season which marks a milestone in the former Mr. Big guitar player solo career and will include the following songs:

Go Faster; You Know That; Fooled Again; Faith; Bad Things; Dust; Chase It; Do It Yourself; You’re Crazy; Feed My Head; Can You Feel It; Drift (demo version – European exclusive bonus track)


Dear Hacketteers,

The new - and official - Genesis biography 'Genesis: Chapter And Verse' is published
on 6th September.

It's the first time in over 20 years that Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel,
Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford have collaborated creatively on a project, working
together to create the complete history of Genesis.

A story that spans 30 years and 30 albums selling a staggering 212 million copies
worldwide, it embraces world tours that have played to 25 million people and it
covers the high-profile departure over the years of one vocalist (Peter Gabriel),
one highly influential guitarist (Steve Hackett) and their best-known drummer and
vocalist (Phil Collins).

Key fellow members of the band, management, road crew and entourage have also been
interviewed, including Jonathan King (their first manager, who got Genesis signed to
Decca in 1967), long-time cohort and road manager Richard MacPhail, Anthony Phillips
(guitarist, founder member to 1970), Tony Smith (manager since 1973), drummers Bill
Bruford, Chris Stewart and John Silver, and Ray Wilson, the Genesis vocalist after
Phil Collins.

Now available for PRE-order, we have 'Genesis: Chapter And Verse' as a 360-page
hardback book (very high quality, printed in colour with loads of photos - it's a
weighty tome!) or an illustrated CD 'audio book' read by David Baddiel (4CDs -
abridged).

ALL PRE-ordered books/audio books will be SIGNED BY STEVE!!!
(please note, dedications from Steve are not possible)

For more info and pre-orders go here...

Hardback Book (360 pages):
http://www.camino.co.uk/product/genesis_chapter_and_verse.html
Illustrated CD 'Audio Book' (4CD - abridged):
http://www.camino.co.uk/product/genesis_chapter_and_verse_illustrated_cd.html

Please also read our pre-order & despatch information here:
http://www.camino.co.uk/preordering.html

That's it for now.

All the best,
Andy Lodge
Camino Records / stevehackett.com
http://www.stevehackett.com
http://www.camino.co.uk

GIG NEWS
=========
TYKETTO (farewell tour)
OCT. 26 MADRID, SPAIN (Venue to be announced)
OCT. 27 FIREFEST, NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND
OCT. 28 BIEBOB, VOSSELAAR, BELGIUM
OCT. 30 THE ROSETTA, BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND

HANOI ROCKS/LA GUNS/VIXEN
November 17th London Astoria (more TBA)

MEATLOAF
Thursday 8/11 Nottingham Arena
Sunday 11/11 Cardiff International Arena

KORTINI (if you like AC/DC check these guys out - superb band)
12 Oct 2007 20:00 The Ringside UK - Hull
13 Oct 2007 20:00 Gasworks UK - Bradford
16 Oct 2007 20:00 Rockers UK - Glasgow
17 Oct 2007 20:00 Riffs UK - Blackpool
18 Oct 2007 20:00 Mercury Flux UK - Preston
19 Oct 2007 20:00 Yardbirds Club UK - Grisby
20 Oct 2007 20:00 Bar Monsta UK - London

GOTTHARD
16th Nov JBs, Dudley
17th Nov Corporation, Sheffield
18th Nov Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

KIP WINGER
18th September CC Club, London

Tony MacAlpine, Billy Sheehan and Virgil Donati
25th Oct CC Club, London

MAGNUM
November
17th Birmingham Carling Academy November
18th London Mean Fiddler

NIGHTWISH
Tuesday 25th March 2008 - Astoria, London
Saturday 29th March 2008 - Academy, Birmingham
Sunday 30th March 2008 - Academy, Newcastle
Monday 4th April 2008 - Academy, Manchester

FOO FIGHTERS
MANCHESTER Evening News Arena - Sat 3 November
NEWCASTLE Metro Radio Arena - Mon 5 November
BIRMINGHAM NEC - Tue 6 November
SHEFFIELD Hallam FM Arena - Mon 12 November
CARDIFF International Arena - Tue 13 November
LONDON O2 Arena - Sat 17 November
LONDON O2 Arena - Sun 18 November

REVIEWS
========
SOUL DOCTOR "Bloods Runs Cold" Frontiers (2007)

A fourth album of distinctly US styled hard rock from the Germany based band featuring the vocal talents of Tommy Hart alongside guitarist Chris Lyne and a rhythm section consisting of Jogy r**tenb**g on bass and Michael Wolpers on drums.

Launching with a superb opening couple of numbers, notably the title track initially strutting forth reminding you of the last Lynyrd Skynyrd album "Vicious Cycle", then "Temptation" hitting on a sound not too dissimilar to that achieved by the latter day incarnation of Bad Company circa "Holy Water". Stylish, classy and radio friendly there are also a couple of songs that should carry a warning of what can happen if exposed to too much of David Coverdale's output from his 'big hair' days. There's plenty of similarities to "Still Of The Night" with the stop/start staccato guitar in the verse of " F.A.F.O.D." whilst the excellent bluesy breakdown during "Touch Of Love" is adorned by Hart adding a few vocal Coverdale-isms for good measure.

After this though things take a distinctly more commercial turn with the remainder of the album bearing similarities more in line with early nineties Bon Jovi than anything else. "The Ocean" appears to be their own "Wanted Dead Or Alive" type number although I doubt rhyme seeking phrases such as "The ocean... it's like a magic potion" will ever rock anything like a million faces. Elsewhere "The Lie" treads similar ground to "Bad Medicine" and "Something For The Pain", "Justine" shows as the obligatory power ballad and "Revolution", whilst certainly a fine song in it's own right, manages to remind me of the old "These Days" era outtake "The End" also adding a bit of "Kashmir" style chugging guitar to boot. In fact, it's the sort of song that has such a big, anthemic singalong chorus it wouldn't surprise me to hear it resurface as a reprise as the album closes. Sadly though this is not the case.

All in all a more than decent commercial hard rock album that you suspect would have been very well received if released in the late 80s or early 90s. There's not actually too much of this sort of stuff about nowadays. Let's face it even Bon Jovi don't do 'proper' Bon Jovi anymore, and this works in Soul Doctor's favour. Highly enjoyable even if it does lack originality which all bodes well for a scheduled UK live appearance at Firefest '08 in October.

***½
BILL LESLIE

MARC RIZZO "The Ultimate Devotion"

The unquestionable talent and versatility of ex-Ill Nino, current Soulfly guitarist Marc Rizzo is displayed on this release, his second solo album following last years "Colossal Myopia". This new album, entitled "The Ultimate Devotion" is an unpredictable mix with heavy metal, classical, flamenco and occasionally jazzy guitar providing the means for the first eight tracks with "The Riddle Of Steel", a classic slice of metal with almost "Maiden-esq" leanings at times proving to be the best of the bunch.

Mixing up some sublime Latin flavoured acoustic playing alongside a typically virtuoso performance of fretboard gymnastics adds something different to the shredder market and the likes of the title track and opener "The Ultimate Devotion", the excellent "Skankin To The Shred" and "Trentinarra" all benefit from this approach. Final two tracks "Lived And Learned" and "All For Nothing" tread a significantly different path though with both being fast paced, thrash styled workouts punctuated by superb melodic soloing, whilst the addition of angry, roared vocals come as a surprise at the end of an album that is otherwise completely instrumental.

Ultimately it is perhaps only going to appeal to a niche market of fans particularly attuned to virtuoso instrumental albums although of course Soulfly followers will be interested to hear what's in Rizzo's backpack on this release and then sample the two thrashers especially. The mix of styles employed here is refreshingly unique though.

***
BILL LESLIE

CARO feat. CHARLIE BATCHELOR, "The 4th Way"

Caro appears to be a project under the guidance of Suffolk based song-writer/producer Phil Harding who it seems has discovered the talents of Charlie Batchelor and she takes the spotlight on this album despite Harding having a hand in writing six of the songs. Now I have to admit to hearing of neither before receiving this for review and a bit of online fact finding leads me to find a fair bit of flak being thrown Ms. Batchelor's way in particular for her part on this album.

To my ears though she isn't the problem. On occasion, for instance the distinctly K.T. Tunstall like "You Don't Know Me" there is a hint that maybe with the right material, at the right time she, and therefore I guess Caro as a whole, could appeal to a wider audience. No, the issue for me is that the celtic flavoured pop on offer here just isn't memorable enough and despite numerous plays now little of the ten tracks on offer have stuck in my head. Even a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" fails to lift the bar.

I'll be the first to offer a disclaimer that there are not actually too many albums by female lead vocalists in my music collection, however the likes of PJ Harvey, Melissa Etheridge and Sheryl Crow have secured repeated attention in the past therefore I don't rate myself totally averse to a female voice. It's possible that in the right mood maybe more of this album would strike a chord but, with a definite feeling that maybe this disc has gone to the wrong reviewer, I have to say this failed to excite or interest me much.

On a positive note though there are four tracks to sample at their myspace page and the album retails for just a fiver so you might be best advised to check it out for yourself, particularly if female fronted, celtic flavoured pop holds some appeal.

**
BILL LESLIE

BACKDRAFT ‘The Second Coming’ GMR Music (2007) www.gmrmusic.se

Swedish band return with their second album (their debut came out back in 2001) and they play kick ass southern rock – not something you’d naturally assume from a European based band. They reminded me greatly of American Dog (although with one extra guitarist!) playing lean, classy rock ‘n’ roll songs – no frills, just good melodies. Pick of the bunch has to be ‘Just Ain’t Right’, the banjo intro on ‘Rise ‘N’ Shine’ which then explodes into some tasty boogie riffs and ‘Hogtied’ – hints of early ZZ Top in this one.
All in all a very enjoyable album and it is southern rock with a real hard rock backbone. More American Dog and even Monster Magnet than Lynyrd Skynyrd in sound though.

****
Jason Ritchie

APRIL WINE ‘First Glance/Harder…Faster’ BGO (2007) www.bgo-records.com

April Wine have been going since the late 60’s yet like Nazareth, bar a brief time in the chart limelight they have gone undiscovered by many rock fans, which is criminal in my book. These two remastered albums originally saw the light of day back in 1978 and 1979. ‘First Glance’ has not aged that well although ‘Hot Wheels Of Love’ and ‘Silver Dollar’ are classic 70’s hard rock songs. However, ‘Harder…Faster’ is a ‘must have’ by the band containing such classics as ‘I Like To Rock’ (guitars to the max!), ‘Tonite’ and a cover of King Crimson’s ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’, which takes a heavier route than the original.
A band worthy of a place in any self-respecting hard rock fans collection and ‘Harder…Faster’ is the band at their best.

***1/2
Jason Ritchie

ALCATRAZZ ‘Disturbing the Peace’ BGO (2007) www.bgo-records.com

After leaving MSG Graham Bonnet formed hard rock band Alcatrazz who featured a certain Yngwie Malmsteen on their debut album and on this, the band’s second, Malmsteen was replaced by Steve Vai (who co-wrote all the songs on this album). I loved this album when it first came out back in 1985 and it still sounds great today. Vai is widdling all over the place none more so on the excellent ‘God Blessed Video’ but it never detracts from the song’s overall melody. The drink driving song ‘Will You Be Home Tonight’ features waves of keys courtesy of Jimmy Waldo, whilst ‘Wire An d Wood’ is a heads down rocker. Bonnet’s gruff vocals suit the sleazy ‘Stripper’ to a tee and he hits the high notes on ‘Mercy’. The album does tail off slightly but overall this is a ‘must have’ album and great to see it widely available again plus fully remastered.
After the band’s demise in the late 80’s Bonnet fronted Blackthorne and released a series of solo albums plus sang on the Taz Taylor Band album released last year. Via went onto massive solo success plus played with Whitesnake and Dave Lee Roth amongst many others. Bonnet has recently reformed Alcatrazz with a new line-up but is being legally pursued by three former band members who are also currently active under the Alcatrazz name.

****
Jason Ritchie

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