Archive for glam rock

King Zebra – King Zebra EP

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , on 6th May 2019 by mickbirchy

King Zebra

King Zebra EP

Hard Rock, Glam Rock

Released: 22 March 2019

Self Released

Right from the first notes of this EP, I knew I was going to like this one. I mean, this is the sound I grew up on, pure hard rock with lots of energy and pep. Swiss hard rockers, King Zebra have been tearing up the European rock scene as of late. Opening for awesome bands like The Dead Daisies, The New Roses and Crystal Ball just to name a few. Armed with their new lead vocalist Eric St Michaels (formally of the band China) and this new self-titled EP, they are setting out to conquer. The EP can really be divided into two pieces, firstly the three songs they released last year and the two new songs they’ve released for this EP. Putting it all together makes for an enjoyable listening experience.

The one thing I will say about this EP is that it has a lot of energy. I mean, it’s the kind of music that makes you want to get up and move. The guitar work is fast and loose and the rhythm sections are tight. The grooves are excellent and the riffs really land a hit every time they come in. The band just feel like a forceful presence at all times. Eric St Michaels is a great vocalist and he sounds amazing here. He’s mixed in really well to the tunes. His vocal performance is really impressive, with a powerful voice and a tonne of charisma he’s able to keep you invested in the songs and adds that extra punch to the hooks. The production is great and easy for any listener to get into and enjoy.

There really isn’t anything to say beyond this. I mean, if you like your 80’s glam rock then this will definitely fill a hole for new material to listen to. It’s an entertaining listen, to say the least. With songs about the general rock topics and production that’s clean enough to get a general audience but edgy enough that rock fan won’t turn it off either. I like the EP, it’s not my favourite release of the year, as good as it sounds and as fun as it is to listen to, it’s just an okay release. Not bad but not something that I have to listen to again and again. It will be one of those EP’s where if it’s on I’ll keep listening but not one I will go out of my way to listen to.

2.5/5

Mick Birchall

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Madam X – Monstrocity

Posted in Metal, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 15th November 2017 by izaforestspirit

Madam X
Monstrocity
Released 31st October (The USA), 3rd November 2017 (Europe)
Heavy Metal/Glam Metal / Hard Rock
Released via EMP Label Group/ SVP Europe

Madam X - Monstrocity

The American heavy metal band Madam X are back after a long hiatus with a new album called ‘Monstrocity’, their first full length release since their debut album which came out in 1984. The band was originally formed back in 1981 by sisters Roxy and Maxine Petrucci. They remained active throughout the ‘80s before their drummer Roxy Petrucci joined the hard rock band Vixen. This album features the original line-up including the Petrucci sisters and vocalist Bret Kaiser.

Resurrection seems like a fitting title for an opening track for a band returning from a long break. They are back and ready to rock your world with a brand new, energetic heavy metal tunes filled with shredding guitars and powerful vocals. Similar things can be said for the title track which really puts the emphasis on the guitars.

While first few songs sound more modern, Freak Parade’sounds like it was originally written in the ‘80s. The chorus has that distinctive, cheesy 1980s style ‘glam rock’ feel to it. The glam rock influence might have something to do with the addition of Vixen’s Janet Gardner on guest vocals. Then there’s the oddly titled but highly catchy ‘Big Rock Rolls Heavy’, one of the more metal-sounding, fast tracks on the album. This would be the song to play at the start of their show to really get the crowd going. The guitar work is superb, drumming is great and the chorus is one of the most memorable ones on here. “Give me metal or give me death!” The icing on the cake is a re-recording of the band’s biggest hit High in High School which really puts a new spin on the song.

In summary, I’ve had lots of fun reviewing Madam X’s latest opus. It is much heavier and more metal than I expected it to be. I like that the band is able to stay true to their roots while creating something new and exciting. Glam metal isn’t normally my thing but I really enjoyed ‘Monstrocity’.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Cats In Space – Scarecrow

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , , on 28th October 2017 by mickbirchy

Cats In Space

Scarecrow

Power-pop, Glam Rock

Released: 25 August 2017

via Cats In Space / Cargo Records

In my continued search for something different in the rock/metal world. I happened upon a band called Cats In Space. I thought this had to be something new different and interesting. To my disappointment they weren’t some existential prog-rock act with themes of feline creatures in the vastness of space. Instead it’s another rock act trying to evoke that feeling of the late 70’s/early 80’s glam rock. To which they do a really good job. Their music is bright , happy and definitely has that sense of musical presence that gets that style of old school rock down almost perfectly. Once I got past my confusion of what they were, I really found myself getting into their music. Having grown up on this genre, it definitely struck a chord with me. It has the same feel as Whitesnake, well not really but it’s something I can get behind 100%.

The album has a weird tone on the production, like a really heavy digital processing, this works on some songs but can kind of sounds like shit at other times. Especially when it’s just the synths on their own. Every song has a really strong hook, with pretty simplistic lyrics so it’s easy to sing along to. They implore this masterfully, I have to say I was bopping along quite merrily to almost every track. Even though the production is a little weird, I love the songwriting, the way the songs flow should bring a smile to any hard rock fan, with swelling versus that just build to big choruses. Yeah, it’s formulaic but you can’t argue that it works. They just get the best out of their sound by making everything sound huge. The guitar tone is wonderful and the bass and drums lock in together really well. The vocals performance is damn near flawless, soaring on top of the production and hitting every note beautifully.

I have to say I was a little taken back by this album. It reminded me of listening to old school records with my Dad and it has those big overblown choruses to match. The production can be a little clumsy with the way it sounds at times, but that’s a very minor point. The songs are fantastic. It’s cheesy and a little bit silly but I think that’s the point. To be an over-the-top power pop/glam rock band with massive catchy choruses that are easy to sing along to. I actually liked this album in the end. Not enough to give it a perfect rating but you know with the amount of depressing shite that out there. I needed something like this.

4/5

Mick Birchall

Autograph – Get Off Your Ass

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , on 22nd September 2017 by izaforestspirit

Autograph
Get Off Your Ass
Released 6th October 2017
Hard Rock
Released via EMP Group

Image result for autograPH GET OFF cover

‘Get Off Your Ass’ is the new album from the American hard rock band Autograph. The band was originally formed back in the 1980s. They disbanded in 1989 and have remained inactive until some of the founding members got together in 2013, and decided to re-activate the band. Sadly their original vocalist Steve Plunkett was unavailable for the reunion, so they enlisted the former Jailhouse singer Simon Daniels instead. With this new line-up they released an EP last year, and now a full album.

The album title seems appropriate for a band who has recently re-formed after a long hiatus. The title track acts as the perfect opening song – energetic, catchy with a positive vibes oozing from the guitars and bluesy-hard rock vocals. Meet Me Halfway caught my attention due to the rocking and swinging guitar tunes and the super catchy chorus. Like the opening track, this one also has a positive feel to it, putting the listener in a good mood. “Can’t you see, it’s your lucky day!” It’s time to sing, dance, swing or possibly even jump along to the chorus…

As with most good hard rock albums, you get some radio-friendly slow ballads – in this case the somewhat melancholic-sounding All On My Own. Unlike its predecessors, this track reflects a more glam rock style and it is easily the most melodic song on here. Personally I preferred the more energetic tunes such as All Emotions, where the guitars really take to the spotlight. Last but not least, we get a live version of one their classics – Turn Up the Radio.

Overall, ‘Get Off Your Ass’ is a fine piece of classic hard rock. Band re-unions are very much in vogue these days but not all are successful. In Autograph’s case they seem have a rekindled an old flame and shot it up into the sky. Rock on!

4/5

Iza Raittila

Crobot – Welcome To Fat City

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , on 27th September 2016 by mickbirchy

Crobot
Welcome To Fat City
Hard Rock, Glam Rock
Released: 23rd September
via Nuclear Blast Records

The third album from the hard rockers Crobot brings us more well-constructed riffs, thick funky bass lines, and just a feel-good feeling all around. The American foursome made some absolute belters over the years and the new album Welcome To Fat City, is just more of what they’re so good at, if not a more focused and refined version of it. The album shifts gears from blues, funk to hard rock and beyond without so much a batting an eye. I first heard Crobot in the run-up to this year’s Graspop Metal Meeting when I was listening to all of the band playing the festival.  Then I watched them perform and I was truly blown away by the musician and skill. When they announced that they were bringing out a new album I knew I had to have it.

Welcome To Fat City, is a really well-made album the production is fantastic.  It really is a great sounding album, everything sounds crisp and powerful. From the booming basslines to the shrieking guitars, the groove of every song is so well controlled and has an energy to them that sounds wonderful and keeps you in high spirits. The riffs are enjoyable and engaging and with lyrics that keep you entertained.  For me, I found this to be the most accessible album from Crobot, not that they haven’t been in the past but this album just feels easier on the ear and the production is spot on. It’s just all really likable.

The hazy funk sound is a lot of fun matched by the intense powerful vocal performance that sounds excellent but I felt at times gets lost in the music, not in a big way but just enough to be noticeable. The best songs on this album, in my opinion, are “Temple In The Sky” for it big noisy chorus and it’s grooved up riff.  Also, I’ve really enjoyed “Easy Money” for the weird guitar effects and maddening smooth bass. In fact, the guitar weirdness is something that crops up a lot in Crobot’s music, sound like the guitar has broken mid-riff. It actually a nice technique that gives their music a unique little stamp and separates them out from the plethora of riff-rock out there today.

Overall, this is an insanely catchy and fun record that has all the right ingredients to not only please their core fan base but does enough to bring in newcomers. It’s unique, intense and above all… fun.  Something you’ll want in your record collection.

4/5

Mick Birchall

Reckless Love – Spirit

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , , , , on 5th September 2013 by Pieni

Reckless Love
“Spirit”
Glam rock
Released on 2nd September 2013
Via Spinefarm Records

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I’m having serious mixed feelings about this… When they released the first single/video “Night On Fire” I formed my opinion carefully. After all, it was just one song, and despite making it to single, that doesn’t necessary mean that it represents the general sound of the album or that it’s the best song in it. Most times it’s just the catchiest, the most commercial. So after convincing myself that “Spirit” wouldn’t be all “ooooooh ooooooh” eighties-pop-rock style all the time and that it wouldn’t make me feel like I was in a distant paradisiacal island, at a beach party under the moon, “Night On Fire” didn’t sound so bad.

The next single, “So Happy I Could Die”, gave me some hope. Happy rock, colorful (literally, once you see the video…), sleazy all the way. Despite copying the “oh yeah” in the chorus from Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart”, the song is good enough that one can forgive them for such “plagiarism”. We can even see it as a tribute to the legendary band, although the real homage comes in the form of “I Love Heavy Metal”. Wait, heavy metal?! The idea of this song is actually super cool. They gathered song-titles of several bands they love for the verses, and then the pre-chorus was made of the bands’ names themselves. The thing is that listening to Olli Herman saying he “loves heavy metal, can’t get enough, can’t get enough” while referring to Poison, Bon Jovi, Warrant, Winger, Aerosmith, Skid Row, Guns N’ Roses, Kiss, W.A.S.P. and so on… well, that’s a “bit” of a stretch. Okay, he mentions Iron Maiden and Judas Priest (Ozzy too, but he also had his own glam era), but as brilliant heavy metal bands as those are, they still don’t justify the title for this song. Plus, talking about the unconditional love for heavy metal at such a lazy cheesy rhythm… Joan Jett already took “I Love Rock’N’Roll” for herself, but it would still be a more suitable title. Terminologies apart, though, and precisely for featuring so many well-known names, the song ends up being quite fun to sing along and pleasant to listen to.

They seem somewhat obsessed with metal, as there’s another track, called “Metal Ass”. But I must say that this one is justified, the riffs and solo showing you why they mentioned Judas Priest in that other song. I believe it’s the heaviest track they’ve ever written.

After the heaviest, it makes sense that now I speak of the exact opposite: the mandatory ballads. “Edge Of Our Dreams” sounds familiar, although I can’t recall where from. Nevertheless, I like it pretty much. It’s not too slow, soft being a more accurate word, with a dreamlike vibe to match the lyrics. Now “Hot Rain”, that’s the typical heartbreaking love song, whose melody will pull out tears from a rock. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing, it depends on each one’s personal taste. For me, it’s a bit too much.

And then, the in-betweens. “Bad Lovin’” kicks off with some rocky riffs, the drum beats in the middle of the chorus are pretty sharp, as well as the guitar solo. But the main structure is undoubtedly pop, too pop even for a glam rock band – which doesn’t mean that you won’t like it. Because “Favorite Flavor” is glam through and through, and yet it’s the weakest song in “Spirit”, in a “too-much-of-the-same” kind of way. Unlike “Sex, Drugs & Reckless Love”, whose Kiss“Lick It Up”-influenced rhythm section in an otherwise pop rock song makes all the difference, not to mention the catchier chorus. As for “Dying To Live” and “Runaway Love”… yeah, easy-going pop songs. And “Die Hard”, although only who gets the UK release of the album is supposed to hear it. As for a worldwide bonus track, or at least countries where Spotify is available, there’s “Gone With A Smile”, with a main riff twin to the one Byan Adams wrote for “Run To You”.

So why the mixed feelings, you wonder. With so many “buts”, even in the best songs, I shouldn’t hesitate in rating “Spirit” as average. I would, if we were looking at it from a strict rock point of view. But this is Reckless Love. The flamboyant adjective they’re so fond of isn’t just about their looks, but their sound as well. And under that perspective, the abundance of mainstream melodies entwined with glam & sleaze elements becomes an asset. Under that perspective, this album is awesome.

4,5 / 5

By Renata “Pieni” Lino

Reckless Love release “So Happy I Could Die” video

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 23rd August 2013 by Pieni

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Following “Night On Fire”, Finnish flamboyant glam rockers Reckless Love release now a new video for the song “So Happy I Could Die”, featured in their upcoming album “Spirit”. The digital single will be available on August 25th and the album will be released via Spinefarm Records on September 2nd.

As we previously announced here, Reckless Love will tour the UK as headliners in October. Quoting guitarist Pepe:  

We are thrilled to have some UK dates back in our calendar! Even more so because, as we promised last time around, we will have a brand new album out by the time we get there. We are going to fire with all guns and get ground-breakingly explosive on stage as we hit hard with the new songs mixed up with the best of the old. So, dear UK friends, do not miss this chance to witness the best Reckless Love shows to date!!

Here’s a reminder of the dates, for which tickets are now on sale:

1st October – Manchester – Academy 3
2nd October – Newcastle – 02 Academy 2
3rd October – Glasgow – Cathouse
4th October – Leeds – Cockpit
5th October – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
6th October – Wolverhampton – Slade Rooms
8th October – Norwich – Waterfront Studio
9th October – Bristol – The Fleece
10th October – London – O2 Academy Islington

Reckless Love online:

www.recklesslove.com
www.facebook.com/RecklessLove
www.twitter.com/RecklessLoveCom