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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tony Harnell (ex-TNT) is producing the new album by POUND.

The Eagles are planning to take flight with a long-awaited new album and a tour. Guitarist Joe Walsh tells Billboard.com that the album is "almost out. We're just finishing vocals and mixing it. We're all finally signing off on it."
Walsh says that all of the band members -- himself, Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit -- wrote songs for the album, which he says "go in some really, really new, different directions. It's hard to compare to anything that I hear out there now." For his songs, however, Walsh "went rock'n’roll," including one "extended" track with "a middle full of guitar statement" and another that's "full-on rock'n'roll. I didn't want us to be too ballad-y here. We need some stuff we can play live, so I made sure there was that element in the record."
Walsh says the band, which took this year off the road to hunker down on the album, plans to tour extensively in 2008.
The guitarist is hardly sitting at home, however. Though he's put the James Gang on ice until he has more time to dedicate to it, he's playing 13 solo shows in the next month, beginning tonight (July 31) in Saratoga, Calif. Walsh has recruited a band of well-credentialed young players such as Gia Ciambotti (Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams) and Drew Hester (Lisa Marie Presley, Foo Fighters), who he says "are really kicking me in the pants."
"I love the energy and the attitude of a younger band, especially on stage," Walsh says. "I'm less cautious and less ... professional, I guess. I just like to rock'n'roll, and they're making me want to do it more."
Walsh adds that he's hoping to do some solo recording again but, not surprisingly, says, "I don't think I would cancel being an Eagle and resurface with a solo career. I love being in the Eagles, and we're not really done yet."

FRONTIERS news –
The band is formed around Kristian and Palle, two musicians who have been playing together for fifteen years in a Finnish band called NAISKALA. During the past few years the guys have felt more and more the need to write and compose in English language and towards and more Adult-Oriented Rock musical style.
Kristian started writing songs in November 2006, meanwhile Petri Lahtinen and Mika Mäkiranta wrote the lyrics for the tales. The result was a demo that was submitted to the attention of Frontiers Records in the past weeks. The brilliant songwriting, catchy melodies and big choruses immediately hit the attention of Frontiers Records A&R team, who decided to offer the band a recording deal.
In the meanwhile, long time musicians and friends Sami Rajala (on bass) and Sami Ojala (on drums) joined the band and right now the guys are busy in the studio completing the songwriting for their debut album which is foreseen to be released in early 2008.
The Land of Tales sound can be described as an equal union of keyboards and guitar, well crafted and with truly original and strong melodic elements!
Their material did already receive some glowing press responses with Strutter Webzine saying: “LAND OF TALES is definitely a sensational new Finnish AOR band as good as last year's BROTHER FIRETRIBE or URBAN TALE”. AORdreamzones wrote “I will only write a few words about these new Finnish stars on the melodic rock sky. I found them through the fantastic MySpace site and I even liked them so much so I had to add them and one of their songs as the song of the week”
”We are so excited to work with the label, which is absolutely the best for this kind of music!” say Kristian and Palle. So let’s share their enthusiasm and get ready for a brand new talent to be unleashed on the Melodic Rock World !!
Check out some of the band’s demo tracks that gained them the recording deal at
www.myspace.com/landoftales

ECLIPSE IN STUDIO, NEW ALBUM TO BE RELEASED ON FRONTIERS
Swedish Melodic Rock quartet ECLIPSE is writing and recording songs that will make up their third studio album. After the great acclaim gathered by their debut album on Frontiers entitled “Second To None”, the guys took some time off to write songs that could really be something “BIG” and that could really launch the band to the levels they deserve.

The resulting was a few demo tracks which were delivered to Frontiers a couple of months back. We are pleased to say the guys totally nailed it! When exposed to samples of the new material Andrew J. McNeice of Melodicrock.com had to say “I love it when that music impresses beyond expectation and I get to talk about that. Today I refer to Swedish AOR outfit Eclipse, who have already gained a loyal following with 2 passionate, powerful melodic rock records. The guys are hard at work on album number three for Frontiers Records which signals what isn't really a slight change in direction, but rather an updating of their sound. It suits them. The rough mixes I have heard of three songs features a more modern and contemporary sound, but still very classy and very melodic outlook. Of the tracks I have heard - Unbreakable has a punchier guitar riff and a darker contemporary style, but a glorious harmony filled chorus. Two Souls has a faster tempo and a commercial rock feel and reminds me of an updated Talisman style. To Mend A Broken Heart is a great, catchy modern rocker with an uplifting commercial chorus. It may be a new sound, but the best aspects of their sound remains and I'm really keen to hear more from these Swedish lads”.
As a special present, enjoy a small sample of Unbreakable (demo version!) and get ready for the full attack in early 2008. These guys are getting ready to kill!

MAGNUS KARLSSON - THE BUSIEST MAN IN HARD ROCK?
The STARBREAKER guitar player Magnus Karlsson has been quite busy in the past few months. After completing the songwriting and production for the second ALLEN / LANDE instalment “The Revenge”, Magnus has completed a brand new record with ex YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and RING OF FIRE singer MARK BOALS on all lead vocals. This new album, entitled THE CODEX is going to be a slightly heavier affair compared to the most recent efforts from Magnus and will showcase Boals’ return on the scene after a 3 years hiatus. Release for this incredible record is tentatively scheduled for December 07. Stay tuned for more details.
Not content with this, Karlsson is already in very advanced stages for the songwriting of the sixth BOB CATLEY solo album. For this record Magnus dug deep in his Celtic and Epic Hard Rock influences and gave the material anyway an heavier edge, similar in places to Catley’s “When Empires Burn” with obvious hints to MAGNUM sound. Production for the album will be handled by none other than Dennis Ward.
Finally singer ex TNT singer Tony Harnell has planned a songwriting trip to Sweden in august to write together with Magnus the new STARBREAKER album. More details on this will be unleashed when available!

TURGON AND BARDOWELL GOING PLACES... OF POWER
Bruce Turgon (ex FOREIGNER) and Philip Bardowell (ex UNRULY CHILD) are very close to finish laying the rough tracks for their upcoming debut album. Some of the songs that will be included on the record are Hard To Love You, Places of Power, I Live For You, One Day, The Passage, Light Of My World, Secrets, Desires of Our Hearts, Always and Make Me Believe.
The songwriting is truly impressive and can only be described as “Foreigner with balls”, with epic elements at times resounding of classic House of Lords sound. The recording are planned to be finished after the summer with mix to be handled by Dennis Ward (Allen / Lande, PC 69 etc). Places of Power is going to be one of the major priorities in Melodic Rock for new year so stay tuned for updates!

HOUSE OF LORDS WORKING ON A NEW ALBUM

James Christian and his cohorts in Florida are deep in the songwriting mood for the new album that has a working title of “Come To My Kingdom”. The stuff written so far encompasses everything that HOUSE OF LORDS is known for: soaring melodies, epic numbers and riveting guitars. You can expect the right follow up to “World Upside Down” one of the most successful releases on Frontiers in 2006!

THE THIRD CHAPTER OF THE KHYMERA PROJECT ABOUT TO BE COMPLETED
The Khymera line-up this time is identical to the second album with Daniele Liverani on keyboards, Tommy Ermolli on guitars, Dario Ciccioni on drums and Dennis Ward of PC69 handling all lead vocals. The bulk of the songwriting was supplied this time by Jim and Tom Martin, who offered seven tracks on the previous album and wrote the classic “Ghost Of Time” on the HOUSE OF LORDS masterpiece album “World Upside Down”. You can expect this time a tighter production and a stronger amalgam for a winning team that will please every Melodic Rock freak! Release to happen in early 2008.

TERRY BROCK AND MIKE SLAMER WORK ON A NEW ALBUM
Former STRANGEWAYS singer Terry Brock is currently busy in the recording and production for his new solo album in Los Angeles under the direction of none other than Mike Slamer (STEELHOUSE LANE, SEVENTH KEY, SLAMER). Terry is back in a true Melodic Rock mood and his songwriting is expected to go back directly to his STRANGEWAYS days with some hints at KANSAS’ “Drastic Measures”. The mix will start after the summer and delivery of the album is expected to happen at the end of 2007.

BLANC FACES READY FOR ANOTHER SHOT
Brothers Robbie and Brian LaBlanc have pretty much completed the songwriting of the second BLANC FACES album for Frontiers Records. Some of the song titles include Goodbye Summer, I Come Alive, Don’t Take It Away, Like a Believer, Fly, Light In My World, Deep In The Heart, I Swear To You, Everything, It’s All About Love, Falling From The Moon.
Whoever loved the band’s self titled debut is expected to be absolutely delighted with what is to come. You can expect great songs in Survivor meets Journey style.

PRESS RELEASES
==============
The Polyphonic Spree’s long awaited return to London will now take place at London’s Astoria on September 3rd, after tickets for the concert’s original venue, Scala, Kings Cross, sold out in less than a day after going on sale.
The band’s UK live dates will take place the week after the release of the band’s highly anticipated third album, ‘The Fragile Army’, which has been described by long-time fan David Bowie as, “'Probably the Poly's best and deepest album yet!”
"We have entered a new phase in our musical contribution," say Spree leaders/songwriters Tim DeLaughter and Julie Doyle. "This recording was extremely challenging for us, trying to create a piece of art while weathering the storm of our collective relationship as humans in a political climate that's choking us all. When we listen back it feels like a diary more than anything else. It's painful and beautiful all at once, kinda like life. Welcome to The Fragile Army."
Along with the evolved sound comes an effected new look for The Polyphonic Spree. The group has folded their robes up nicely and put them away for now, becoming more "streamline for the future" in their unified military-style uniforms garnished with universal symbols for peace. "We're gearing up for the evolution," says DeLaughter.
The Polyphonic Spree will precede their London date with appearances at The Electric Picnic in Dublin (Sept 1st) and The Connect Festival in Glasgow (Sept 2nd), followed by dates at Manchester’s Academy 3 (Sept 4th) and Birmingham’s Glee Club (Sept 5th).


Most of us were made to stand up and pay attention to TD Lind last year when he released his debut single ‘Come in From The Cold’, very quickly fans in the press and radio were singing his praises. A brilliant live session on BBC 6 music with Tom Robinson sparked off a number of plays with key radio tastemakers such as Phil Jupitus, Bob Harris and Mark Radcliffe (Radio 2). Also one of his songs was even used in one of the surprise hit movies of last year ‘Driving Lessons’ starring Julie Walters.

He dazzled at south x south west and his live shows really began to hot up with high profile supports with James Blunt and Mew, and key shows at The Wireless Festival and The Americana Festival, which saw his powerful performance mesmerise the crowd and it also secured his reputation as a hot new talent to watch out for.

Now TD Lind brings us an idea called ‘Balloon Tales’ – devised in order to get people giving TD stories from their life that he can turn into songs. He is planting cards in places like museums and book shops that read;

“Words, music, stories all float on the wind like lost balloons waiting to be found.

I’ve left this card here because I collect stories; old, secret, sad, beautiful or tall – I’m looking for the unspoken and otherwise lost tales from your life.

My name is TD Lind and I’m a singer songwriter. Send me your tales and I’ll turn them into songs”.
If you’re intrigued you can find out more at www.myspace.com/tdlind


Andy Summers
The high-profile return of The Police to the world stage in 2007, brings their guitarist Andy Summers and his new album into sharp focus.

Summers' guitar playing was always at the musical heart of The Police, and when the band split up in the mid 80s, he went off to make music outside of the rock mainstream. This brand new album is further proof of his wide ranging talents.

Recorded in collaboration with Ben Verdery - described as ‘One of the classical guitar world's most foremost personalities’ by Classical Guitar Magazine, ‘An American original, an American master’ by Guitar Review Magazine, and ‘Iconoclastic’ and ‘Inventive’ by the New York Times - the new album perfectly illustrates both their innovative and eclectic musical careers.

Having shared a stage at the 2002 New York Guitar Festival in 2002, the possibility was raised of making a record together. Recalls Andy: "Although our musical disciplines were, at least on the surface, something different - Ben, classical guitar, me, jazz and rock improvisation - we had both played in each other's main style. This led to an easy exchange, where we were able to create an interesting, hybrid, non-generic style.

Rather than taking the standard route of slowly composing together, we got at it with a shock tactic. In other words, just improvise together - composing in the heat of the moment and trusting the instinct and musicianship built over many years; put another way - blow. This we did. As we moved through takes and ideas of playing together, something crystallised. With Ben playing fantastic arpeggios on various guitars in remote tuning, I found it inspiring to take off over those soundscapes, following Ben's rhythm and my own ears, as he laid out the harmonies. The result is this album...."

Alvin Lee
Alvin Lee, one of the world’s greatest rock guitarists, has unleashed his latest solo album ‘Saguitar’, which is among the first releases on the exciting new R.A.R.E. record label. Packed with bluesy vocals and dazzling guitar work, Alvin says the album ‘celebrates the sheer fun of making music’.

After decades on the road with Ten Years After and the Alvin Lee Band, the guitarist now prefers to play a few festivals and concerts, in between spending time in the studio. Explains Alvin: "The album reflects what I’ve been doing for the past two years, enjoying myself and making music."

Among the guest musicians on ‘Saguitar’ is keyboard player Tim Hinkley, a veteran of Alvin’s past projects and one time leader of Jody Grind. He appears on the atmospheric ‘Motel Blues’, one of the highlights of this 14 track album. A surprise item is ‘Rapper’, a track built up from various drum loops. Says Alvin: "I did my own drum fills and laid some hot guitar over the top. It’s a rap song which people have said is fantastic."

‘Saguitar’ is named in honour of Alvin’s star sign Sagittarius, and he feels the title reflects his musical personality. "A Sagittarian is supposed to be outgoing. He’s symbolised by a man’s head and torso on a horse holding a bow and arrow. Just like me!"

GIG NEWS
=========
THRESHOLD and PENDRAGON have been removed from the billing of Norway's Subtacto Progfest (set to take place August 4) due to "financial difficulties." A statement posted on the Subtacto web site explains that "The reason for this is that we as organizers don't have enough funds to see this through. We therefore have to reorganize the event, and that means that we can't afford those two bands."
THRESHOLD has issued a statement expressing its disappointment at the cancellation and sympathy to all its fans who bought tickets and were hoping to see the group perform. The festival is offering full refunds to fans who no longer want to attend.
www.subtacto.com

REVIEWS
========
IRRITANT Bar Riga Stroud 28.07.07

Sometimes the most unexpected of things put a smile on your face! After a couple of days feeling seriously under the weather and my Saturday night looking like another complete wash out, a late night message on myspace planted a seed of interest with the possibility that all was not lost. A band, which had somehow previously passed under my radar, was playing locally, for a worthwhile cause and for the bargain price of a fiver. Of course the added bonus being, that this was a 14+ gig so young James would be able to accompany me.

Armed with nothing more than a good impression gathered from few hastily sampled tracks on myspace from the previous evening, we made our way to the venue. Quite what was going through my mind on seeing the mid-teens dressed in their AC/DC and Iron Maiden T-shirts queuing up outside the venue I wouldn’t like to say. Though once through the door all worries were dispelled with the familiar Iron Maiden and Judas Priest tunes pumping through the club PA to impressionable ears. A nice little venue, comfortably full, with fears of the underage drinking alcohol seemingly overcome through the age check and issue of wristbands on the door. What a wonderfully simple idea!

Irritant played a short but memorable set drawn heavily from their chart bothering “Good Evening From The Machine” EP. Lead vocalist and bass player Niall looks and sounded every bit the rock star, working the audience like an old pro. Not that there was much encouragement required to get the place headbanging and the mosh pit heaving! Opener, Days Turn To Night from their self titled EP setting the tone, up-tempo, machine-gun drums, bass heavy with the twin guitar attack from Will and Jack fiercely trading licks and riffs, their Maiden colours are proudly nailed to the mast. This is no more evident than in the excellent set closer Voice Of The Siren. In between they rocked ragged this little part of sodden Gloucestershire, a welcome treat for rockers young and old. Unmistakably influenced by traditional metal, live, this band certainly hits the right spot. As for studio recordings? I’m still waiting to find out, the CDs purchased on the night went home with James and from his admiring comments, I guess unlikely to return. My only criticism would be the shortness of the set, which was due mainly to there being a support band and the curfew, imposed by the venue. Although it must be noted that once it was cleared Bar Riga re-opened at 10pm as a nightclub.

Tonight I realised this is what rock music in general should be aiming for - getting the kids back involved in attending gigs. There is nothing like seeing a band and audience feeding from each other’s energy, with there being none more enthusiastic than this crowd. Nick Wright, general manager of the venue explained he would be more than happy to put more of these gigs on, surely this is a great opportunity for rock music as a whole, lets hope more places follow suit! Irritant? I am just so annoyed with myself for not having noticed them earlier.

Dave Hunter
http://rockofages.wordpress.com/

POVERTY’S NO CRIME ‘Save My Soul’ Inside Out (2007) www.insideout.de

The band’s follow-up to 2003’s well received ‘The Chemical Chaos’ sees them branch out a bit more soundwise, none more so than the Sabbath like riffing on ‘The Torture’ – quite possibly one of the heaviest songs they have recorded to date. Whereas ‘In The Wait Loop’ and the melodic refrains of ‘From A Distance’ sees the band almost in letter day Marillion territory. Both feature plenty of keyboards and concise guitar soloing. The only slight disappoint on the album is the epic track ‘Break The Spell’ which although it builds nicely doesn’t really seem to go anywhere and is not a track that keeps the listener interested throughout.
Poverty’s No Crime should certainly pop up on the prog metal/rock fans radar with this release as they are easily up there with Slyvian, Vaden Plas et al. For me it is there more melodic moments which set them apart from similar bands as they can keep the melody going coupled with the instrumental wizardry fans of this genre expect and love.

***1/2
Jason Ritchie

EVERGREEN TERRACE - "WOLFBIKER" METAL BLADE (2007)

Evergreen Terrace is a Jacksonville-based outfit that's been recently added to the Metal Blade family, following the ever increasing demand for metalcore bands which is the direct result of the popularity that this genre has been enjoying these last few years. Even though "Wolfbiker" is the band's first release under the protective wings of Brian Slagel's label, the quintet has been actively recording their music since 2001, thus making this their fourth full-length album. The main question that needs to be asked here, and with applies to most new releases belonging to that genre, is whether Evergreen Terrace have managed to create an album that has something new to offer in this scene. The answer to that: not a straightforward one, I'm afraid!
My first impression after having listened to the opening track "Bad Energy Troll" was not so positive, seeing as it is a song based on the same rhythmical mid tempo riffs and screamo vocals that most bands of this genre tend to use nowadays. It is quite clear that these lads are focused on creating easy and memorable melodies, and that can be both a positive and negative aspect, depending on what it is that you are looking for from a metalcore release. There are many references to the music of Sepultura, both in terms of vocal and guitar contributions, but that was not enough to make songs like "Wolfbiker" sound more appealing to me.
The term 'metalcore' is soon to be challenged, though, seeing as the majority of the remaining nine compositions, good representatives of which are "High Tide Or No Tide" and "Where There Is Fire We Will Carry Gasoline", contain large quantities of catchy refrains and melodic vocals which are normally associated with the Emocore scene, and which are not particularly to my liking. Having said that, I did find a couple of compositions where the mix of melodic guitars and clear vocals worked really well. "Chaney Can't Quite Riff Like Helmet's Page Hamilton" is a Punky composition whose main Maidenesque melodic theme will make it quite appealing to young audiences and same applies for "Starter" which, even though it contains equally catchy melodies, it comes across as a far more atmospheric composition. Those of you who were hoping for a less melodic, more straight forward approach to metalcore will only find songs like "Rip This" and "Rolling Thunder Mental Illness" to your liking - the former being a pretty average composition and the latter being only a minute and a half long.
Looking back on my criticism towards this release I realise that it comes across as quite negative, but one needs to realise that it is simply based on my personal taste. As most fans of bands like Agnostic Front and Madball, I find it quite difficult to relate to a band whose target audience is at least half my age, and I hope that my argument clearly justifies this rating.

John Stefanis
Rating: **1/2 (2.5/5.0)

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