Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault – Eric Clapton

My Eric Clapton collection is down to just three releases. I didn’t feel the need to expand or get more or to be a completest with it.

On most occasions when I heard a track from Eric Clapton on TV or Radio, I was a fan. But when I sampled one of his albums in a record shop, I wasn’t prepared to part with my dollars as a lot of the other tracks just didn’t resonate. And then “The Cream Of Eric Clapton” came out. And finally I had a collection of the songs I liked.

The Cream of Eric Clapton

Released in 1987 but I picked it up a few years later.

“Layla” opens this collection and you can’t ask for a better track. Then his Cream output is wilted down to just 6 songs. “Badge” and “I Feel Free” are out of place on this list. “Sunshine Of Your Love” has that guitar store riff.

“Crossroads” is a song originally written by Robert Johnson in 1936 and the most popular version of it is by Cream. It was the first single of their “Wheels of Fire” record in 1968. “Strange Brew” is basically a slower re-write of “Crossroads”.

And then there is “White Room”. My favourite Cream track. That intro, the verses and the psychedelic bridge which acts like a Chorus.

From his solo output, his covers of previous songs stand out, like “Cocaine”, “I Shot The Sheriff” and “Knockin On Heaven’s Door”. And of course, there is “Wonderful Tonight”.

From a sales point of view, this little greatest hits collection, went Gold in Canada, France and Switzerland, Platinum in Australia and New Zealand, Platinum x2 in the U.S and Platinum x3 in the UK.

Unplugged

Released in 1992. 

It’s basically an acoustic blues album. This is Clapton showing his Robert Johnson roots by re-imagining his songs in the style of Johnson’s blues.

And it became a monster of an album on the back of “Tears In Heaven” and his re-imagined acoustic interpretation of “Layla”. But you need to also check out “Old Love”, “Running On Faith”, “Walkin Blues” and “Before You Accuse Me”. The acoustic versions of these songs are pretty definitive. 

Me and Mr Johnson

Released in 2004 as a tribute to Delta Blues legend Robert Johnson.

Put simply, the music that Clapton became famous for has a lot of Johnson in it.

Press play, have a drink or two or three and listen to the blues.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – AC/DC

Summer is a few days away in the Southern Hemisphere, but since we are experiencing a heatwave write now with temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s Celsius (between 100 and 107 Fahrenheit), so it’s time to start the Summertime Series.

So how did this come about?

My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August. Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.

Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere. So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.

And all the acts will be Australian acts.

So based on the high temperatures we are experiencing, lets kick off with a dynamite of an album.

AC/DC – TNT

Released 1 December 1975.

In the 80’s this became my go to record and because of its December release in the 70’s, it was played a fair bit on the various radio stations in the 80s.

It was originally released by Albert Productions in Australia and in some other parts of the world. It was also released in the same year as “High Voltage” the Australian version.

However when Atlantic Records signed the band, they more or less killed the “TNT” and “High Voltage” Australian albums. From “TNT”, they took all the songs they wanted except for “Rocker” and “School Days” and released them on “High Voltage”, which is AC/DC’s first international release on Atlantic Records in May 1976.

From the Australian, “High Voltage” album, the label, took “She’s Got Balls” and “Little Lover”. The other tracks like “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Soul Stripper”, “You Ain’t Got a Hold On Me” and “Show Business” were later released on ’74 Jailbreak in 1984 much to the disgust of Malcolm Young. “Stick Around” and “Love Song” got an international release on “Backtracks”

Producing the”TNT” album is George Young and Harry Vanda from The Easybeats. George of course is the older brother of guitarists Malcolm Young and Angus Young and he also played a large part in constructing the songs. An uncredited co-writer with his bro’s.

The bass player on the album is Mark Evans. He did his own concert tribute series to his time with AC/DC in Australia in the early 2000’s with guest vocalists from Australian rock bands. It was probably the next best thing to watching AC/DC live.

The three big ones are “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)”, “High Voltage” and “TNT”. “High Voltage” has that A – C – D – C chord progression for the Chorus. A cool little Angus Young nugget. And “TNT” has a similar progression but in E – G – A – G.

But it’s those other derivative album tracks that hooked me.

Like “Rock ‘N’ Roll Singer”. Musically it’s a derivative version of “Long Way To The Top”. Even the story line in the lyrics is derivative of “Long Way To The Top”.

My daddy was working nine to five when my momma was having me.

By the time I was half alive I knew what I was gonna be.

I left school and grew my hair, they didn’t understand, they wanted me to be respected as a doctor or a lawyer man, but I had other plans.

Gonna be a rock and roll singer.

And then it changes with “The Jack”. A foot stomping dirgey 12 bar blues romp, about a sexually transmitted disease told like a card game. Because how was Bon Scott to know that his lady friend had been dealt with before, as she said to him she never had a full house. I guess that was all lies, because she had the card that would bring him down.

It’s brilliant.

“Live Wire” has all the bits and pieces of songs that would come later. “Who Made Who” is there. “Touch Too Much” is there. “You Shook Me All Night Long” is there. “Whole Lotta Rosie” is there. And of course, “Dirty Deeds” is there.

The lead break from Angus, is one of my favourites here. It has so many different techniques and styles all in one cohesive solo.

And Bon Scott was rivalling Gene Simmons in the lyrical department, with “like a hot rod baby, stick this in your fuse box”.

“Rocker” is a 3 minute “Baby Please Don’t Go” on steroids.

“Can I Sit Next to You Girl” has this groove that I call the “Status Quo” groove.

And those little riff fills in the verses.

How good are they?

“School Days” is a Chuck Berry cover. And when you hear the riff, you can appreciate how the Young brothers took all of their different influences and created their Aussie Pub Rock song. Because the main riff in “School Days” can be interchanged with “Long Way To The Top” and it wouldn’t be out of place.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault – Kelly Clarkson

Breakaway

It was the Evanescence connection.

Ben Moody and David Hodges co-wrote quite a few songs with Amy Lee for the “Fallen” album and they also co-wrote “Addicted” and “Because Of You” with Clarkson.

So I was interested to hear. And of course, Ben Moody was also the original guitarist and co-founder of Evanescence.

I still would have picked it up, because the album was huge in Australia, certified 7x Platinum,.

Apart from Moody and Hodges, it’s a who’s who of songwriters. All of them different and diverse, yet it sounds like one cohesive pop rock album. Max Martin, Dr Luke, Avril Lavigne and John Shanks are just some that come to mind.

The Max Martin and Dr Luke penned “Since U Been Gone” proved to be a massive hit. And they backed it up again with “Behind These Hazel Eyes”, a co-write this time with Clarkson.

And the Clarkson, Hodges and Moody cuts “Because of You” and “Addicted” do not disappoint at all.

My December

Then came “My December”, 3 years later and the powerful “Never Again” blasts out of the speakers with her Alanis inspired lyrics.

But it didn’t get the same numbers as “Breakaway” in Australia. This was Clarkson being a singer and a songwriter. Even a proposed offer of $10 million from label boss Clive Davis, to remove 5 songs from the album and replace those songs with more radio friendly pop songs from Max Martin, couldn’t get Clarkson to bite.

This album was personal.

Because when you write about your experiences, its therapeutic, it keeps you sane and it satisfies a need.

Check out the other tracks like “Sober”, “Judas”, “Haunted”, “Maybe” and album closer “Irvine”.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

October 2020 – Part 5

Here is the final post from the October releases.

Atreyu

“Save Us” has a monster riff. It’s simple but heavy.

Whose side will you align with?
Will you just stay silent?
Riot, riot
We won’t stand in a line compliant
Time for your fire
It’s time for the riot

And the lyrics are angry.

While the internet has connected us, we stand divided in our political views. A lot of people will let discrimination slide as long as their bank account balance keeps ticking up and leaders play on that. This is what the band said recently;

“This song feels like the anthem that we all need right now. To us, it’s a call to action to light the fire in ourselves. We can begin to make great change – but only if we look inside first.”

Saul

From Iowa, U.S.

Formed in 2007, they released a few EP’s and “Rise As Equals” is their label debut on Spinefarm (a Finnish label which specialises in heavy metal and hard rock). They are made up of vocalist Blake Bedsaul, guitarist/backing vocalist Zach Bedsaul, bassist/backing vocalist William McIlravy, and drummer Myles Clayborne.

Saul is one of those bands that merge all these different kind of metals into one metal. Old school metal + Nu metal + progressive metal + grunge + hard rock = Saul. They are doing Disturbed better than Disturbed is right now. Hell, they even got David Draiman to write with them over Zoom on “King Of Misery”.

My favourites today are “Looking To Fight”, “King Of Misery”, “Get It Right” and “The Toll”. Plus there is an excellent cover of Pink Floyd’s “Welcome To The Machine”.

And the album is good. Other songs like “Levee”, “Rise As Equals”, “Brother” and “Trial By Fire” take over depending on my mood.

Joe Bonamassa

He’s been releasing a lot of new music these last few years. “Royal Tea” is the latest.

“When One Door Opens” starts, the intro riff grabs me and in the solo section it moves to bolero hard rock. Aggressive bolero hard rock, that is.

“Why Does It Take So Long To Say Goodbye” is a favourite, a song I’ve already written about. “Lookout Man!” has a swampy heavy blues riff. “A Conversation With Alice” sound like a Bad Company cut and I like it. “Beyond The Silence” has this Cowboy Western colonial vibe.

Pearl Jam

The “Live MTV Unplugged” album.

“Black” and “Jeremy” are my favourite tracks ever from Pearl Jam and my go to tracks on the “Unplugged” album.

Thin Lizzy

Phil Lynott has been dead for 34 years, but the music he created with Thin Lizzy has been kept alive.

Apart from the songs appearing on radio and TV shows or movies, John Sykes kept the name alive for a good decade, touring as Thin Lizzy, then Thin Lizzy reformed with Ricky Warwick on vocals and they changed their name to Black Star Riders.

And artists have kept on covering Lizzy tracks. Metallica did “Whiskey In The Jar”, Megadeth did “Cold Sweat”, Europe and John Norum have covered a lot of Lizzy songs.

And they have released a massive collection called “Rock Legends”. The “Decca Era and Mauger Tape Rarities” is also included in the “Rock Legends” set.

Sink your ears into em and spend some time with Lizzy. She will love ya for it.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

October 2020 – Part 4

Architects

“Animals” is the song.

We’re nothing but a bunch of animals

I was listening to an album from a German act called Long Distance Calling. They are predominantly an instrumental act with vocals and voiceovers appearing in some songs.

Their latest album has a voiceover on the song “Ashes” about how other beings from another world see humans;

I would like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I have realised that you are not actually mammals.

Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area.

There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern; a virus.

Maybe we should paraphrase the lyric to be, “we’re nothing but a bunch of viruses”.

Soilwork

Readers of this blog know that I am a fan of The Night Flight Orchestra and as a by-product Soilwork, which is vocalist Bjorn Strid main band. While TNFO is melodic AOR, Soilwork is melodic death metal.

“The Nothingness And The Devil” is the single and the main riff gets me interested to learn it.

Lyrically, guitarist David Andersson said, “that our views of gods are old and that we need to create our own new gods if we need them, because no God will correct the mess that we have put ourselves in”.

Sevendust

The album is called “Blood And Stone” and for a band which has survived bankruptcy, addictions and relationship breakdowns, “Blood And Stone” is a fitting title for album number 13.

The heavy stuff is the heavy stuff, sometimes interchangeable with each other and then there are tracks like “Feel Like Going On” which always hook me in. It’s one of those mid-tempo tracks that Sevendust does so well.

And its followed by “What You’ve Become” which is intense.

Other favourite tracks are “Criminal” and “Against The World”.

Armored Saint

I’ve always kept coming back to Armored Saint.

Their new album is called “Punching The Sky” and for a band that has had survived record label accounting, the death of lead guitarist Dave Prichard and losing one of the most formidable front men to Anthrax in the 90’s, the title of this album is perfect.

Because when John Bush returned to the band, they have gone from strength to strength in my world.

Opening track “Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants” had me interested. “End Of The Attention Span” blows glass out of the speakers before a speed metal riff takes over for the verses.

And how good is John Bush on vocals.

The sounds of metal hitting metal kick off the groove laden “Bubble” and the metal on metal sounds return in the headbanging interlude section. “Do Wrong To None” is a groove thrash song and that syncopated open string riff in the verses is headbanging material.

“Missile To Gun” is one of those tracks that reminds me of Judas Priest. Its fast, like “Defenders” and “Screaming” era. Guitarists Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan are having fun with all of this, riffing their way and decorating each song nicely.

“Fly In The Ointment” has a catchy chorus, reminding me of Savatage and a nice harmony solo. “Unfair” is a ballad like song, but a proper metal ballad, not a sappy love song. And the album closes with “Never You Fret”, a high energy thrasher. Joey Vera’s bass thunders and locks in with drummer Gonzo Sandoval.

Bruce Springsteen

“Letter To You” is the album and the title track was an instant save when it was released in the lead up to the album. “Last Man Standing” is an overused title, but with Springsteen, its fresh and new. “The Power Of Prayer” has a piano arpeggio riff to kick it off, before the major key acoustic strumming riff kicks in.

“The criminal clown has stolen the throne” is a lyric in the song, “House Of A Thousand Guitars”.

It’s my favourite song on the album.

The reference to the criminal clown is based on a certain leader of a democratic nation that just lost an election. If you need any proof of what Springsteen thinks of Trump, then google, “Springsteen views Trump” and watch for yourself.

House of a thousand guitars, house of a thousand guitars
Brother and sister, wherever you are
We’ll rise together till we fire the spark
That’ll light up the house of a thousand guitars

And the song is about the people, and how they need to be as loud as a house with a thousand guitars.

But democracy is not like that.

In the name of freedom and the right to vote, we are free to express our views. In other words, we are united in democracy while divided when it comes to politics.

Part 5 for October is coming up.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

October 2020 – Part 3

Silvera

The song “Edge Of The World” (which is also the title track) reminds me of the “Bounce” album from Jovi, which was Jovi’s modern take on the Creed sound and the lead break is pretty cool.

So I was interested to hear more.

“Generation Z” has that head banging riff that reminds me of the 80’s and there’s another guitar hero lead break. “Light In Life” and “The Reckoning” were one of those pre-release singles that got me to follow the band on Spotify.

“Filling The Void” has this Killswitch Engage melodic metal feel in the music and a vocal line which could come from a Shinedown album.

Album closer, “Promise” makes me press repeat, just to hear it again.

The Smashing Pumpkins

I still check out The Pumpkins because of “Siamese Dream” and “Mellon Collie”. And this time around, I actually liked the electronica in the music. It’s almost like “The Cure”. And I can hear “The Cure” influences on songs like “Cyr” and “The Colour Of Love”.

Sanctuary

While Sanctuary never got the sales on the board like other metal/thrash acts, they did become a cult favourite and when half of the band went on to form Nevermore (vocalist Warrel Dane and bassist Jim Sheppard), the spirt of Sanctuary lived on. But then Nevermore finished up and Sanctuary was reformed, releasing the excellent “The Year The Sun Died” in 2014.

Then Jim Sheppard left in 2016 and Warrel Dane passed away in 2017 and we never got to hear what could have come next.

But 30 years after the release of “Into The Mirror Black”, it gets the anniversary treatment and man, it’s so good to hear these songs again.

There are songs that sound like they came from a Queensryche album or a Megadeth album or a Testament album. In other words, it’s just a good metal album.

The Norseman Company

I don’t mind it when bands show their influences and pay homage to em. Sometimes it gets too much “likey likey” and sometimes its subtle.

For too much “likey likey”, check out “Here Comes Rock And Roll”.

As soon as you press play, “I Love Rock And Roll” from Joan Jett comes to mind, then in the verses, its “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Let’s Get Rocked” from Def Leppard. Now, I know that those songs also had their influences and Joan Jett’s is a cover, so the cycle goes round and round.

Then when you press play on “Master Of The Dark”, an unknown song called “Rainbow In The Dark” comes to mind.

Very likey likey.

But.

I’m interested, let’s see what comes next.

And all I know about the band, is that it’s a guitarist with guest vocalists.

Teramaze

From Australia.

“I Wonder” is their seventh album and it’s the first time I’m sinking my ears into em. Progressive Rock has a bad concoction these days, associated with a million notes over complex chord changes or in Tool’s case, long laboured grooves that move in and out of complex time signatures or polyrhythms. But there are a lot of bands that can take it all and make it sound easy, not complex and not too long.

Teramaze is one such band.

The first two tracks, “Ocean Floor” and “Only Daylight” are heavy rock songs, with emotive and melodic vocals, with distorted guitars chugging along, they keep jarring me out of the melancholy.

The “Sleeping Man” has a chorus hook of “I’ve awoken the sleeping man inside”. It’s catchy, its hard rock and its perfect.

And the riffs.

“I Wonder” is also a favourite.

Tomorrow or next week, it will be others.

DGM

From Italy and on the Frontiers Label.

Metal music with a bit of prog always gets me interested. Stand out songs for me are “Surrender”, “Stranded” and “Tragic Separation”

“Surrender” is the standard AOR heavy song on a progressive album. Dream Theater always have tracks like these.

Tracks like “Stranded” and “Tragic Separation” remind me of “Images And Words” and “Falling Into Infinity” Dream Theater.

And underpinning these three tracks are riffs that remind me of EVH.

Signal Red

“Alien Nation” is the album. There are two types of songs on this album. Melodic Rock songs and songs with a bit of prog Metal and a lot of melodic rock chucked in.

So it’s no surprise my bias gravitates to the songs that sound like metal with a lot of melodic rock chucked in.

“Invisible Scars” is a progressive track and it got me interested, so I went googling. This is their second album.

The first one “Under the Radar” coming out in 2018. They are from the UK.

“Rocket Fuel” starts off with a progressive syncopated style riff and it has a solo section with a rhythm section that reminds me of “Kashmir” while the guitar wails away. “Awakenings” reminds me of Deep Purple and Rainbow.

“Tide Of Life” has a kicking intro which I like. “Pure Shores” has a piano riff to kick it off which is catchy. “Alien Nation” has a guitar hero lead break. “Standing On Top Of The World” has duelling lead guitars to start it off and it’s major key sounds brings a sense of hope.

Stardust

Another melodic metal/rock act.

Just think of Steve Perry singing in an act that is more aggressive in their riffs.

As soon as I heard “Runaway”, I knew I had to google to find out more.

The album is called “Highway To Heartbreak” and it’s on Frontiers. The band is from Hungary and somehow the guys in the band have turned their Hungarian names into Adam Stewart, Ben Martin, Dave Legrand, Facey and Tim Keeley. Nice English names for Hungarian boys.

They’ve mentioned how they like three specific bands in Def Leppard, Winger and Journey, along with all the 80’s stuff. It’s a broad canvas.

There is a high energised cover of “Heartbreaker” from Pat Benater.

“Bullet To My Heart” reminds me of Babylon AD.

“Perfect Obsession” is “I Remember You” or “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” or “I Saw Red”.

“2nd Hand Love” feels like a Bad English song in the intro, with John Waite singing. But when the pre chorus kicks in, it feels like a Mutt Lange/Def Leppard Pre Chorus and when the Chorus kicks in, it has a bluesy vibe, like the work that Bryan Adams did with Mutt Lange in the 90’s.

“Shout It Out” kicks off like “Have A Nice Day” before it morphs into a EVH style riff for a few seconds and then the bass and keys take over the verse. The vocals are catchy and that chorus is also so catchy, it remains for a long time after the song is over. Plus did I mention that the song has a killer guitar hero solo.

“Can’t Stop Loving You” is basically Def Leppard “Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion). And I like it.

“Eye To Eye” is back to the hard rock with a bluesy chorus, like Black Stone Cherry, but the song is a lot more. It has keys which enhance it and riffs on some sections that remind me of Whitesnake. Did I mention that the guitar solo is a highlight moment as well?

“Hey Mother” could have been written by Tommy Shaw. Once you hear the Chorus melody, you would know what I mean.

And did I mention that the song has an excellent guitar solo?

“Blue Jeans Eyes” has another guitar hero solo spotlight and “The River Is Rollin’” closes the album with a massive Don Henley vibe.

Part 4 is coming up.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

October 2020 – Part 2

Reach

They dropped another song called “Young Again” and it has this feel good vibe with a chord progression influenced by “Stand By Me”. I know, the C to Am to F to G riff has been around for ages and used in other songs, but I always associate it with “Stand By Me”.

One Less Reason

I’m a fan of the band because of piracy and they got me off side when they took over 1 year to deliver the CD’s I purchased from their website. It took countless follow ups and I still didn’t get what I ordered. But their music is that good that I keep checking em out.

“Treason” is a new one. I’m interested.

Corey Taylor

It’s a diverse album, as “Hwy 666” is basically a country hillbilly rock song which wouldn’t be out of place on the “Ghostrider” movie and then it goes into “Black Eyes Blue” which has this 70’s hard rock vibe. “Silverfish” sounds like a Stone Temple Pilots song. “Kansas” sounds like a Hootie And The Blowfish song.

“Culture Head” is typical of his Stone Sour output and so is “Everybody Dies On My Birthday”.

Linkin Park

They released a 20 year anniversary edition of “Hybrid Theory” with a lot of tracks.

Back in 2000, this album was given to me by a singer from a band I was in and Chester’s voice is a very big reason why I became a fan. His sense of melody and aggression is/was perfect. And on repeated listens, the riffs started to become memorable and I was hooked. Suddenly my song writing started to have a nu-metal like feel.

Listen to the riffs on tracks like “Papercut” and “One Step Closer”. Guitarist Brad Delson is a virtual unknown in guitar circles but he shouldn’t be. His riffs dominate the streaming services and the old school radio airwaves more than all of the guitar heroes I grew up with.

12 x platinum in the U.S and 4x Platinum in Australia, along with certifications in nearly every other country. No one expected the album to be that big.

From the unreleased stuff, it’s the mellow stuff like “My December”, “She Couldn’t” and “Pictureboard” that got me interested.

Ozzy Osbourne

“Blizzard Of Ozz” got its 40 Year Anniversary release this year.

This album is huge in my life so this ain’t going to be a review as I’ve more or less reviewed it on different occasions in the past.

For something new and for people who maybe haven’t heard em, it’s always cool to hear “You Said It All” (which I placed after “Goodbye To Romance” in the album list) and “You Looking At Me, Looking At You” (which I placed after “Crazy Train”).

And it’s a reminder of how unbelievably talented Randy Rhoads is and how sad it is that the music we have from RR is just down to a few albums with Ozzy and Quiet Riot.

Lee Kerslake on the drums is like a battering ram and unsung hero Bob Daisley holds down the foundations.

The Swedish Funk Connection

This band was formed in the 80’s but didn’t really release anything on a label until recently. In 2018, they released an album called “1987” that had this AOR sound. And in 2020, they are gearing up for another release.

“Centre Of My Universe” is the song, more like Toto and Survivor in there soft rock period.

Angeline

From Sweden.

“Helpless” is the single and its melodic hard rock. They have been on my radar since they released their “Life E.P, Vol 1” but I lost em for quite a few years.

Wolves At The Gate

I didn’t know it when I heard the songs, but the “Dawn” EP, is a stripped down counterpart to their 2019 metalcore album “Eclipse”.

The term “reimagined” was used in the promotion. I remember when Lynch Mob reimagined “Wicked Sensation” and I hated it. Maybe there are fans of Wolves At The Gate that hate this EP, but I like it and this EP is getting me interested in the band.

Check out tracks like “The Cure”, “Face To Face” and “Drifter”.

And the standout track is “Alone”, recorded live during quarantine.

Ihsahn

Ihsahn has come a long way from his black metal days with “Emperor”. “Pharos” is the name of this five song EP. It has electronica, moody landscapes and atmospheric and distorted guitars.

For example, when the distorted guitars kick in on “Losing Altitude” it enhances the mood and its jarring, almost like you’re hitting the dirt at high speed. Or in “Pharos”, the distorted guitars hit you in the face with its tribal ancient stampede. Think of those epic 60’s movies and the music during battles.

And my favourite track is “Roads”. Just listen to it and let the moods take you on whatever road you want to go on.

Machine Head

“Circle The Drain” is released as an acoustic track.

This all comes down to Robb Flynn doing his acoustic drinking podcast series each Friday. Each week he covered songs and always did a few Machine Head songs as well. The fans liked em, so the fans encouraged him to release some officially and here we are.

Part 3 coming up.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

October – Part 1

It’s gonna be a busy month catching up on posts and reading other posts. Normally at the end of each month (for this year only), I’ve been posting my “best off” for the month.

These October posts are a bit late, but it’s been fun getting into em and allowing music to lift my mood.

The Night Flight Orchestra

A two song release from one of my favourite bands at the moment. There new take on old sounds has been dominating my headspace since the debut album came out, 8 years ago.

“Impossible” and “Reach Out” are the songs at the moment.

As soon as the rock funk disco feel of “Impossible” kicks in, I’m hooked.

Put it on, lay back and let the sounds wash over you.

For “Reach Out”, it just sounds like a song from the early 80’s and the mind goes away to that time, in my bedroom, taping the songs from radio stations.

Smith And Myers

Brent Smith is one of the best rock singers going around. Shinedown is the main muse for Smith And Myers and in between, they get together and rock out acoustically.

It started off as a covers project based on fan requests for YouTube video releases only and it has morphed into a full fledge original song project. In 2020, we get “Volume 1” and “Volume 2”.

“Not Mad Enough” kicks off “Volume 1” and it could have been on a Shinedown album. That Chorus is arena rock quality. “Rockin’ in the Free World” from Neil Young becomes a soulful piano ballad.

“The Weight of It All” is brilliant and “Panic!” has this modern pop vibe which Smith does a stellar job keeping up with and just rocking out with it. “Never Tear Us Apart” is a great INXS song and Smith/Myers do a great job covering it in acoustic format.

“Coast to Coast” rocks as hard as it can in an acoustic setting. “Valerie” is a Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse cover song but it’s the George Michael “Faith” guitar riff that gets me interested.

“Since You Were Mine” is a soulful piano ballad. It’s in the same category as “Call Me” from Shinedown. And “Volume 1” closes with “Unchained Melody”, a cover from The Righteous Brothers. It was sort of like a forgotten song, until the movie “Ghost” with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore brought it back into the public conversation. And its remained there ever since.

“Bad at Love” was one of the first songs written for this project and it kicks off “Volume 2”. It’s got this Tracy Chapman “Fast Cars” musical vibe, and a Smith vocal melody which is catchy. “Bad Guy” is a Billie Eilish cover and I like it when artists cover songs from artists that are not in their genre. This one has this flamenco feel and it works.

“New School Shiver” is basic hard rock, with a bluesy like acoustic riff and an addictive vocal melody. Then its “Sledgehammer” time, a Peter Gabriel cover. I was a bit over this song as it was so overplayed in Australia and the film clip which had state of the art tech at the time in it. But a good song is a good song and a good song will always translate well to the acoustic format, which in this case, it does. Suddenly, I feel like it’s a Bad Company song.

“Rebel Yell” feels weird to hear it as a piano ballad but it works. “Like You Never Left” feels like a Tonic song. “Losing My Religion” would make R.E.M proud. “One More Time” is this bluesy soul rock tune which needs to be heard and the “Volume 2” closes with “Don’t Look Back in Anger” from Oasis.

Deftones

I’m a fan of their earlier albums and because of that early fandom, I keep checking out the other releases. And each album has a few tracks that get me to pick up the guitar and lock into the groove they create.

And it’s “Ohms” on this album that has the riff with the groove that gets me interested.

Trishula

I knew nothing about this band except that their album cover appeared on a website called rockreport.be and I thought I would do something I haven’t done in ages.

Check out an album based on the album cover.

And I liked it.

Its melodic hard rock the way I like it.

The album is called “Time Waits For No Man”.

So I went digging.

From the UK, formed by guitarist Neil Fraser who got Jason Morgan as the vocalist. They both appeared in other hard rock bands before this, but none of em come to mind.

This is their second album.

“Fallen Hero” is like Lou Gramm on vocals with a bit of Survivor thrown in and some tasty melodic rock.

“I Want It All” sounds like it came from a Malmsteen album either “Odyssey” or “Eclipse”. The song “Judas” comes to mind. Actually “Iron Eagle” also comes to mind.

“Hear No Evil” has that Kashmir ascending progression, which David Coverdale used on “Judgement Day” and it’s that song which comes to mind. It’s a save and add to a playlist.

“The Border” reminds me of Magnum and 80’s era Bad Company. If you want your DLR Van Halen fix, then check out “Knocked Down”.

“Every Time We Touch” is a ballad, but it rolls along in a rocking way.

And finally, Neil Fraser was an unknown guitar player to me, but his guitar work on this album is excellent. He decorates the songs with precision, never overplaying and supplementing instead.

Atlas

This band also appeared on the rockreport.be website that Trishula appeared. So I thought, why not.

“Parallel Love” is album number 2.

Atlas is also another band from the UK, formed in 2017.

“Without You”, musically, sounds like it could have come from Dream Theater’s “Falling Into Infinity” album from 1997. It was an instant save and add to a playlist.

“Human Touch” starts off with a “I Love It Loud” drum groove, but then once the music kicks in, it was time to pick up my guitar. Bands like W.E.T, Eclipse and Work Of Art are doing songs like this, a new take on old sounds from bands like Journey and 80’s Genesis.

And there are songs which don’t connect on the album but when they do, they are instant saves like “Falling Out Of Love” and the very Dream Theater sounding “We Are The Fire”

Silverthorne

Brian Tichy on drums and Pete Shoulder on guitars/vocals put this project together. Bassist Daniel Spree came after.

Soul Blues Rock is how I would call it, taking you back to the sounds of the 70’s. The EP is called “Tear The Sky Wide Open”.

“Black River Rising” sounds like a 70’s Whitesnake cut and “Haunted By The Dawn” is a Led Zeppelin cut. Once you hear em, you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

They are on my radar, what comes next.

Bon Jovi

It’s not the Bon Jovi I know nor the band that I grew up with in the 80’s and early 90’s. They lost me a bit in the mid 90’s but they got my attention again between 2000 and 2007, until they slowly lost me.

The best way to sum up the “2020” album is to not compare it with any Bon Jovi albums that came before.

Just think of a brand new solo artist, starting off and this is their debut album.

“Blood In The Water” still gets streams from me. It has that “Dry County” influence which I like and the lyrics are some of Jovi’s best. It’s solely written by Jon Bon Jovi, then again so is 90% of the album, with just a few co-writes with Billy Falcon and John Shanks.

“American Reckoning” has this musical vibe/groove that gets me interested. Lyrically, its JBJ at his best. We all know what happened, when George Floyd said, “help me please, I can’t breathe”.

Chris Stapleton

The album is out as I type this but this blurb is for the song “Cold”.

The song reminds me of a song from Paolo Nutini called “Iron Sky”. “Iron Sky” came up in a Spotify playlist years ago and it was an instant save. I checked it out recently and it has over 60 million streams. The groove and vocal melody just captured a different musical side in me. Well “Cold” sounds like a carbon copy of that same song, and I like it just the same.

Reside

The track is “Fallen” and it connected with me because it sounds like Anberlin with a little bit of My Chemical Romance merged with the pop side of Coheed And Cambria.

And I like it.

I’m interested, let’s see what comes next.

Royal Blood

“Trouble’s Coming” is the release here. Another song which pushes their modern rock Sixx AM vibe a little bit further.

Kari Kimmel

It was in the ending scene when Jonny Lawrence threw his phone in the sand and set fire to his Cobra Kai painted car.

Yep, if you grew up in the 80’s, “The Karate Kid” was everywhere and now in the 2020’s “Cobra Kai”, the YouTube series which was purchased by Netflix is everywhere.

And the song “Cruel Summer” appeared, I pressed Shazam and I was hooked.

Icarus Witch

It’s a Def Leppard cover of “Mirror Mirror” with Joe Lynn Turner assisting. It’s from their 2007 album, “Songs For The Lost”. It came back in my life when I went and revisited their catalogue on Spotify and added it to the playlist.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Club

From Hot Metal magazine.

Would “Balance” have worked as “The Club”?

I suppose album titles never really sold VH albums. It was all about what was inside the album. The notes, the riffs, the licks, the beats, the rhythms and the melodies.

And Bob Rock producing.

It never happened because of management, but it makes me wonder what he would have brought to the table.

And Bruce Fairbairn is also experienced and methodical.

I guess it’s time to put “Balance” on.

Standard
Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Sacred Groove

“Sacred Groove” from George Lynch came out in 1993. It is a solid album, combining instrumentals, with hard rock songs and different singers.

The best instrumental track by far on the album is “Tierra Del Fuego”. A six minute tour de force in Flamenco Hard Rock music.

Then you the D-tuned instrumental, “Love Power from the Mama Head”, which has all the trademarks riffs and licks that George Lynch is known for.

And, a nice little Western sounding number in “I Will Remember”.

The best vocal track is “We Don’t Own The World”, that has vocals by Matthew and Gunnar Nelson. Prior to hearing this track, I really had no idea who the Nelson brothers where, however after hearing the track, I sought them out and I came across their excellent “After The Rain” album.

“Flesh And Blood” has Ray Gillen on vocals. This is a rare gem as Ray was to pass away that same year.

Glenn Hughes involvement with George Lynch goes back to the Lynch Mob days, when he recorded scratch vocals on the second album, so that new singer Robert Mason could follow. On Lynch’s first proper solo outing, he sings on two songs, “Not Necessary Evil” and “Cry Of The Brave”.

“The Beast” Part 1 and Part 2 has Mandy Lion on vocals. Can’t say I am a fan. Would have been better to not include these two songs and the opening track.

This was his final album commitment to Elektra Records and a return to Dokken was in the works.

Standard