Archive for Blues rock

Blue Cheer – Live At Rockpalast – Bonn 2008

Posted in Gig, Live, Rock with tags , , , on 9th September 2017 by Paul Macmillan

Blue Cheer

Live At Rockpalast – Bonn 2008 (double live CD & DVD)

Hard rock/Blues

Released 31st March 2017 via M.I.G.

 

Blue Cheer might ring a bell, but I’d be lying if I said I thought they were a household name. This is certainly the first time I’ve actively sat down and listened to them, or rather, watched, as is the case here. Not for the first time, I wish I’d paid more attention. This is some badass old-school riffing, with an incredible level of energy for doomy blues/metal, especially doomy blues/metal churned out by three fairly haggard looking old dudes.

The video itself is a little odd. The footage is great; nice angles, every member gets some screen time, and the quality is nice. It’s more a case of the setting. It’s a little like a cross between a music college theatre and The Old Grey Whistle Test stage. From the start, you can spot bar maids carrying crates (not trays) of empty glasses, and punters making their way to and from the toilet. It is nice, up close, and personal, but there’s something about it which seems at odds with the massive sound coming from the stage.

And it is massive! This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, though. If my German is correct, the announcer tells us at the start that they once claimed the title of ‘loudest band in the world’. Sharing that part of rock and roll which saw the likes of Cream, Sabbath, and Motorhead at their most basically visceral, this is absolutely a band who were part of the melange which gave birth to what we now know as heavy metal. There are all the best characteristics of what made that movement in the beginning. Suzzed out, aggressive blues. Post-Vietnam punk energy. UK power trio riffs. It’s all there.

Sadly, founder and frontman, Dickie Peterson, is no longer with us, otherwise this band may still be giving the young ones a run for their money. If you, like me, hadn’t given Blue Cheer a proper day in court, and you want to dig deeper into the (pre-) history of stoner doom, give this a spin. It’s a great performance, featuring some surprisingly recognisable musical moments which may or may not have been pinched by a number of our heroes down the line. I’m looking at you, Clutch and Alice In Chains.

4/5

Paul Macmillan

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Marius Tilly – Nebula Rising

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , on 8th May 2016 by izaforestspirit

Marius Tilly
Nebula Rising
Released 22nd April 2016
Alternative Rock
Released via M.I.G.-Music GmbH

‘Nebula Rising’ is the third album from the German blues rock artist Marius Tilly. His music has been compared to bands such as Robert Plant and Rival Sons. This is a concept album about the universe and outer space. Marius Tilly cites Douglas Adams’s classic science fiction novel ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ and more specifically states that: “The lyrics are a glance on our world from the outer space.”

Kicking off the album is Dinosaur – an uplifting piece of guitar-driven rock that makes you want to get up and dance along to the catchy chorus. Marius has a very distinctive voice which seems to be perfectly suited for both the blues and rock styles. Take Colder Below for example, his vocals adopt a ballad-like, sombre, bluesy tone to match the slower pace and melancholic sound of the guitars. At the opposite end of the spectrum you get the ‘rocking’ and somewhat more cheerful-sounding songs such as Solar Woman – another tune that I could see myself dancing to if I heard it playing at some rock club or bar.

The space theme continues with song titles such as Orion and Revel outer Space. Orion caught my attention due the slightly progressive-sounding instrumental in the second half of the song. Luckily it’s not long until the guitars pick up the pace and the vocals re-emerge marking the return to the album’s predominant style – alternative rock. Slender Man is a bit of an oddity, being the only song on here to feature some distortion in the guitars and the vocals at the start.

In summary, this album offers a variety of different styles all squeezed inside the “alternative rock” pigeonhole. There’s elements of the blues, classic rock and even progressive rock. I enjoyed certain songs more than others but overall the only consistent feature they all have in common is the vocals. There’s too many changes and inconsistencies in the style and structure for me to appreciate the album as a whole.

3/5
Iza Raittila

Wucan – Sow The Wind

Posted in CD, Folk, Rock with tags , on 5th October 2015 by izaforestspirit

Wucan
Sow The Wind
Released 25th September 2015
Blues Rock/ Retro Rock
Released via Hänsel & Gretel, division of M.I.G-Music GmbH

‘Sow The Wind’ is the debut album from the German blues rock band Wucan. The band describes their sound as “Kraut-fueled Heavy Flute Rock” and cites Jethro Tull, other blues rock and psychedelic musicians amongst their influences.

The sound of a flute isn’t exactly the first instrument that comes to mind when you hear the term “blues rock”… And “what on earth is retro rock?” I hear you ask… Well, if the opening track Father Storm is anything to go by, then I can state that in this case the term retro rock means playing songs which sound like they were recorded by a group of hippies in the early 1970s rather than a modern rock band in 2015.

There is a fair amount of folk influences in here. Flute sounds and acoustic guitars blend in with melodic, blues rock style female vocals on most of the songs to create that “retro” feel. In addition to this, some of the tracks feature elements of funk music – for example the groove sounds of rhythmic guitar and the Hammond organ on Looking In The Past. Then just in case that’s not enough to make you feel like you have traveled back to the 1970s, the guitar work on their final piece Wandersmann has a certain experimental flair to it which gives the song a weird, psychedelic quality.

In summary, listening to ‘Sow The Wind’ felt like traveling back in time to an era when these types of music were in vogue. So if you’re a fan of either folk music, blues rock or ’70s style psychedelic rock then you could enjoy this. Personally it’s not my kind of thing but I appreciate the effort that they put into creating that “retro”, nostalgic sound.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Papaslide – The Deepest Pain

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , on 1st February 2015 by izaforestspirit

Papaslide
The Deepest Pain
Released 27th March 2015
Blues Rock
Released via M.I.G.-MUSIC GmbH in cooperation with Dust on The Tracks Records

‘The Deepest Pain’ is the third album from the Norwegian blues rock band Papaslide. It is the follow up to ‘What We Are Living For’ which was released back in 2011. Papaslide started out as a project of the blues musician Rune Nordvik. This album acts as homage to the legendary blues rock artist Johnny Winter who passed away last year. It includes covers of three of his songs: Master Mechanic, If You Got a Good Woman and Serious As a Heart Attack.

My knowledge of blues rock is limited but I decided to keep an open mind and give this a try. The first thing that I discovered; which came as a bit of surprise coming from an album entitled ‘The Deepest Pain’, is that the music is strangely uplifting and pleasant to listen to. I’m not entirely sure why that is, maybe it’s something to do with Nordvik’s slide-guitar or deep soul music vocals in the title track or Don’t Keep Fightin’ With Your Soul. What ever it is, it clearly works well…

Even the occasional improvised part, which has always bothered me in this type of music, doesn’t seem out of place on here. I can see how some of these songs might encourage people to dance along. Two tracks which definitely fit that category are the catchy Got To Have You and Vooing You. The latter is a great example of how the three guitar styles – acoustic, electric and the slide-guitar can work together in harmony to produce an enjoyable song. Last but not least are their skillfully executed covers of Serious As a Heart Attack by Johnny Winters and Give Me My Blues by Albert Collins which underline their admiration for these musicians as well as their love of blues rock.

Overall, this has been a pleasant surprise. I was expecting this album to be slow, dull and melancholic. It turned out to be the complete opposite. I actually enjoyed listening to some of the songs. Well done Papaslide!

4/5

Iza Raittila

The Temperance Movement on headlining tour in November

Posted in News with tags , , on 2nd September 2014 by Pieni

 photo TTM_29_7_13__169-640x426_zps1488515f.jpg

After some festival appearances and a string of stadium shows supporting The Rolling Stones, blues rockers The Temperance Movement will engage on an European headlining tour in November, including 4 dates in the UK:

Nov. 16 – Bristol, UK – Academy
Nov. 17 – Manchester, UK – The Ritz
Nov. 20 – Birmingham, UK – Institute
Nov. 21 – London, UK – The Forum

Nov. 23 – Leffinge, Belgium – De Zwerver
Nov. 24 – Cologne, Germany – Luxor
Nov. 25 – Berlin, Germany – Lido
Nov. 26 – Zurich, Switzerland – Komplex Klub
Nov. 28 – Vienna, Austria – Chelsea
Nov. 29 – Munich, Germany – Backstage

The Temperance Movement‘s self-titled debut album is available now and stormed into the UK album charts at number 12 on its release in September last year.

Official site – http://www.thetemperancemovement.com
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/TheTemperanceMovement
Twitter – http://twitter.com/ttm_tweets

Rival Sons- Pressure & Time [2011]

Posted in Rock with tags , , on 16th August 2011 by izaforestspirit

Band: Rival Sons
Album: Pressure & Time
Release year: 2011
Genre: Blues Rock

‘Pressure & Time’ is the second album from Californian blues rockers Rival Sons. Now before I start I would like to say that I’m not really familiar with this kind of music and this is the first time that I’ve heard of the band. So for the next few minutes close your eyes and pretend that you’re in a small American diner. You’re still waiting for your quarter pounder/veggie burger and fries when a local band starts their set…

First up is a catchy little number ‘All Over the Road’. This is destined to be a crowd pleaser with a chorus anyone can sing along to and some good guitar riffs.  Same goes for the next track ‘Young Love’ which for some reason reminds me of Elvis mostly due to the vocal style.

Other notable tracks include the ‘Pressure and Time’ where the ‘rock n’ roll’ influence becomes is plain for all to see.  This has all the ingredients you need for a good ‘rock n’ roll’ song:  catchy guitar tunes complemented by an equally catchy chorus and good backing vocals. The same can be said for ‘Get Mine’ and ‘Save Me’.

Overall whilst it may not exactly be my style I do acknowledge the quality of this album. If Rival Sons turned up to play at my local pub I would probably stick around to watch.

3/5

Iza Lesniak