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

Best Of November 2020

November had eight posts on the new release front.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

Part 6 is here.

Part 7 is here.

Part 8 is here.

For single song releases, System Of A Down released “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” as their response to Azerbaijan and Turkey’s bombing of an Armenian settlement inside Azerbaijan called Nagorno-Karabakh, which the Armenians call Artsakh.

The Night Flight Orchestra released their retro classic rock Christmas song in “Paper Moon”.

Machine Head released “My Hands Are Empty”.

And a lot of artists dropped new albums in November.

Stan Bush dropped “Dare To Dream”. If you like the 80s you will like this.

Black Stone Cherry took their modern day heavy blues rock and gave us “The Human Condition”.

Firekind is a three piece band from England and “What I Have Found Is Already Lost” is the album. They move between “genres”. There are classic rockers, modern rockers, pop songs, progressive rock songs, acoustic songs and so much more on this album.

Ellefson released “No Cover”, an excellent covers album, with a Def Leppard “On Through The Night” cover. And to make it even better, there is a blistering cover of “Wasted” by Def Leppard as well.

Iron Maiden released “Legacy Of The Beast”, celebrating 40 years of Maiden and recorded in Mexico City. We get some Blaze material (“Sign of the Cross” and “The Clansman”) and one DiAnno track (“Iron Maiden”) plus “For The Greater Good Of God” gets its first live release.

Sole Syndicate is a hard rock band from Sweden. “Last Days Of Eden” is their second album, and the traditional heavy metal like Rainbow, Scorpions and Judas Priest come to mind.

Fates Warning is one of the first progressive metal bands I got into. For a prog band to succeed there has to be a song. If there isn’t a song, then all of the flash and technical interludes over complex time changes mean nothing. Jim Matheos can craft a song and he doesn’t need to create complex interludes with millions of notes. Sometimes an atmospheric mood or groove is enough.

And for those Armored Saint fans, bassist Joey Vera has been doing work with Fates Warning since 2000 and he’s still rocking and progging away with em.

Chris Stapleton released a good blues/rock album in the style of John Fogerty and Steve Earle. The first three tracks are a triple combo knockout with “Starting Over”, “Devil Always Made Me Think Twice” (which sounds like it came from the same family tree of “Old Man Down The Road” by John Fogerty) and “Cold” which is basically a re-write of a Paolo Nutini song called “Iron Sky”.

And the album which reigned supreme for me in November is from AC/DC.

The mighty Acca Dacca return with one of the best album titles ever in “Power Up”. Their return was met with enough fandom, and it pushed their album into number 1 with decent sales.

“Realize” storms out of the gate with its “For Those About To Rock” intro before it starts cranking with its “Problem Child/Sin City” vibe.

And I’m all in.

“Shot In The Dark” is better than a walk in the park, with its instantly recognisable riff, which people state sounds like “Rock N Roll Train” and “Rock N Roll Train” sounds like other AC/DC songs, because Angus and Malcolm are brilliant at creating derivative versions of the same riff.

Tracks like “Through The Mists Of Time” is AC/DC bringing in something extra and the way the Chorus happens, well it’s just a little bit different. In Australia, a band called Choirboys did songs like this.

“Kick You When You’re Down” makes me pick up the guitar to learn that intro riff.

“Demon Fire” is fast blues. It sounds like Airbourne’s “Blood In The Water”. “Let There Be Rock” comes to mind and so does “Safe in New York City” and “Caught With Your Pants Down”.

Other favourites are “Money Shot” and “Code Red”.

Power up for what’s left of 2020 and rock on.

Check it out. If you haven’t already.

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

Best Of October 2020

October had five posts on the new release front.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

For single song releases, The Night Flight Orchestra did great with “Impossible” and “Reach Out”, released as a single. As soon as the rock, funk, disco feel of “Impossible” kicks in, I’m hooked.

The Night Flight Orchestra and Soilwork, go hand in hand. While TNFO is melodic AOR, Soilwork is melodic death metal. Both bands share the same creative forces in vocalist Bjorn Strid and guitarist David Andersson. So it’s no surprise that Soilwork also released a single.

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

Atreyu released “Save Us” as a stand alone song, which has a simple but heavy riff. And angry lyrics.

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

Armored Saint surprised me with “Punching The Sky”. It’s what a metal album should sound like.

Teramaze released “I Wonder”, their seventh album of heavy rock anthems with progressive overtones.

Stardust is a melodic metal/rock act from Hungary. Their debut album is called “Highway To Heartbreak” on Frontiers. It quickly became a favorite because it reminds me of so many other artists. And each song has a killer guitar solo.

Atlas dropped “Parallel Love” and the song “Human Touch” made me fan.

Bon Jovi released 2020 and I reckon that “Blood In The Water” and “America Reckoning” will be around for a while.

But the album which reigned supreme for me in October is from 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 and it has morphed into a full fledge original song project.

In 2020, we get “Volume 1” and “Volume 2”.

Check it out.

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

Best Of September 2020

As we got into the final months the releases started flowing out like a busted water pipe. All of those held up releases from when lockdown began, started to come out.

So September had seven posts on the new release front.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

Part 6 is here.

Part 7 is here.

For single song releases, Rise Against dropped “Broken Dreams, Inc.”.

They contributed the song to the “Dark Nights: Death Metal” Soundtrack, DC’s new Batman comic-book series. Another creative way to release songs with comic book culture.

The song deals with levelling the playing field for everyone to have a chance at achieving the American dream.

When we owe more than we’re worth
And they’re changing the locks on the doors

The banking industry got wealthy from selling debt.

How’s that for a career?

When the factories are automated
Broken dreams incorporated

Stryper released the Metal with “Even The Devil Believes”. Michael Sweet works hard, writing and recording new music via his many different projects but the project which is his bread and butter is Stryper.

It’s a return to their “Soldiers Under Command” sound from the 80’s and it showcases the influence of Judas Priest to their music.

Seether released “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”. The title translates from Latin to, ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’.

Bad Juju from Melbourne, Australia released the excellent “You’re Not Alone” album.

Landfall from Brazil is a melodic rock band signed to Frontiers and this album was a big surprise. It brings back that feel-good 80’s vibe with the window down, driving 100km on the highway and the wind licking my face on my way to the city with hopes and dreams.

10 Years released “Violent Allies”, produced by Howard Benson.

Benson also produced the “Feeding The Wolves” album back in 2010. That album is a favourite of mine, but there is a portion of the fanbase that hates what Benson’s generic pop production did to 10 Years. But that’s the production I like.

And the album which reigned supreme for me in September is “Dead Elysium” from Vanishing Point.

I wrote about this album here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

In other words, check it out.

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

Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – Roxus

Here is the usual prologue.

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”.

Roxus already had a reputation for getting kicked off stages at venues around Sydney for saying the word “fuck” too many times and for female audience members exposing themselves.

It’s pretty tame compared to today’s standards but back then, bands played at venues that didn’t really accommodate their sound and crowd.

Formed in 1987, they got the attention of Aussie rock commentator, Ian (Molly) Meldrum, who signed them to his Melodian Records label.

The version of the band that I know as Roxus is Dragan Stanic on guitars, Darren Danielson on drums, John Nixon on bass, Juno Roxas on lead vocals and Andy Shanahan on keyboards.

Timing is everything.

In 1989, they released two 7 inch singles. The excellent “Stand Back” with “Spaghetti Wire” as the B-side and “Body Heat” with “Don’t Stop” as the B-side.

The two A side tracks quickly became melodic rock anthems, being played on music television stations around Australia.

They toured hard and supported Poison, Bon Jovi and Warrant.

All that experience accumulated in an EP release called “Live” in 1990, which raised questions as to how much of it was actually live. Then again, my favorite live albums all had studio overdubs.

Apart from “Body Heat” and “Stand Back”, two new songs appeared on “Live”. “That Girl” and another anthem called “Morning Light”

And they toured again and went to LA to write and record new songs for an album release.

Their first full length album “Nightstreet” came out in 1991. Produced by Mark Opitz who at the time was Australia’s version of Tom Werman. Opitz had hit albums with INXS, Cold Chisel, Angels and Noiseworks, just to name a few.

My favorite is “Rock N’ Roll Nights”. It’s a De Arrow cut, which guitarist Dragan Stanic brought to the band, along with “First Break Of My Heart” which is another favorite of mine. These two tracks have keys and riffs and are dripping in melodic rock cliches.

“Midnight Love” is another classic melodic rock song along with “My Way” which has a very Van Halen like vibe and of course “Stand Back” with that brilliant keys intro and the distortion that crashes in after.

While they loved their melodic rock, tracks like “Bad Boys” and “Night Street” would not be out of place on a Warrant or Skid Row album. More aggressive.

And then the ballads in “Jimi G” which is more Bad Company like and better than the overplayed big hit “Where Are You Now” which is typical of the power ballad genre. And it doesn’t leave much room for the very underrated ballad “This Time”.

Basically, if you like melodic rock then Roxus was/is one of the best acts from Australia who did it.

And happy Boxing Day.

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

Best Of August 2020

August had five posts on the new releases.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

For single song releases, “World On Fire” by Daughtry was released.

This time around Daughtry is angry and the melody is perfect over the aggressive guitar riffs.

Stressed out, head trauma, took a beating

Life is already difficult from our own doing and the trauma we inflict on ourselves with our thoughts and feelings When society gets a hold of us, we are even more beaten down, shaped and moulded.

But we find ways to survive, to move on.

“Jessie’s Girl 2” from Coheed And Cambria and feat Rick Springfield was also released as a stand alone single.

I’ve been a fan of the band from when I was given a CD rip of the “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth” album in 2005 and a few months later I was consuming the brand new “Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV”.

Their song structures and the riffs got me interested. And the voice of Claude Sanchez got me to commit. That voice rocks out like Geddy Lee, but still sounds unique and different enough.

And the hair. Man that hair. It’s massive. 

And to top it off, there is the big SciFi saga about a mystical energy source known as “The Keywork”.

But the album which reigned supreme for me in August is “Terminal Velocity” from John Petrucci.

“Suspended Animation” came out in 2005. I purchased it from his website straight away and I’ve lived with this instrumental album for a long time.

Just recently it appeared on Spotify as well, which makes it easier for me, as I didn’t have to rely on my CD rip on Apple Music for listening.

On “Suspended Animation” he had enough hooks and catchy melodic passages that I could sink my fingers into and let’s not forget the brilliance of “Glasgow Kiss”, a tour de force in itself, especially that middle breakdown section, when he plays arpeggio chords over the open E and B strings and then that emotive lead.

And I have lived with “Suspended Animation” for a long time.

A long time.

Fifteen years later, “Terminal Velocity” is thrust upon us, in a world overtaken and overrun by a virus which spreads easily, kills and keeps mutating.

And fifteen years, it’s a long time in a songwriters life.

So many things change. You get older, you have different family dynamics and your music listening habits keep evolving or devolving or they end up in an echo chamber, listening to the same stuff you listened to when you were growing up.

And if you have a practice routine to keep up your chops, you will get technically better at playing your instrument. It’s that old saying, get better every day by a ¼ of a percent and over the course of 365 days your 91% better and over 15 years you are 1368% better.

Well, John Petrucci is so good technically that I feel like breaking my guitar trying to learn stuff from him.

Petrucci assembled the same band that he did G3 with around 2006, which is Mike Portnoy on drums and Dave LaRue on bass. It’s an awesome band and being a long time DT fan, it’s cool to hear MP drumming to JP riffs again.

“Temple Of Circadia” is my favourite, especially that clean tone section which kicks in before the 3 minute mark and the lead break which follows. Like “Glasgow Kiss” part 2.

“Happy Song” with the major key vibe is like the commercial song on the album, especially that Americana Rock vibe in the melodic lead. Petrucci said on Twitter that the main chorus melody is one of his favourites and I agree.

And just listen to the outro. Its finger breaking stuff and still melodic. This song has appeared live on his G3 tours and at his Guitar Universe camp.

“The Oddfather” sounds like a track that could have come from “Black Clouds And Silver Linings”. And one of the melodic tremolo leads sounds like a Muse lead, however Petrucci in his Twitter post said he was trying to mimic the sound of a fast alternate picked mandolin.

“Terminal Velocity” has that major key vibe in sections that remind me of this Arcade game called “Turbo Outrun”. It’s the first song he wrote for the album and it was an archived riff from a while go.

And that major key vibe is energetic and uplifting, while Petrucci uses the E Harmonic Minor mode for the main theme and melody to create a dark and mysterious type of sound, as per his Twitter post at the listening party.

“Out Of The Blue” is a blues fusion track. “Glass Eyed Zombies” brings the metal. It’s heavy, its groovy and MP is having a ball with it. There is this lead break section, like a verse, that sounds like those TV themes from Danny Elfman. And that outro again, melodic progressive metal with Petrucci nailing a brilliant lead to finish it off.

“The Way Things Fall” is like a Rush track in the intro, but then this melodic rock riff comes in and I’m all in. Once the melodic lead comes in, which acts like a verse, it’s perfect. You just need to listen to it.

“Gemini” is a song I have had for ages as a bootleg. I don’t even know when it was recorded or where it was recorded. But this song has been around for a long time and its very Dream Theater like from the Portnoy era. There are sections in this song that have appeared in DT songs and LTE songs, albeit with some variations.

“Snake In My Boot” was going to be called “The Stomp” and if you’ve heard “The Stroke” from Mr Squier you will know why it has a similar title, but the first impression I got from this was a Queen like vibe.

And on Spotify, he is getting some great numbers because people are listening to the album over and over and over again. And that’s a good thing.

Check it out.

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

Best of July 2020

July had four posts on the new releases.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

For single song releases, “Night Demon” released “Vysteria” on Spotify. Since they came up with the word, they also defined it as “exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement incited by the media, especially among a group of people during a pandemic”.

It’s basically about COVID-19 and how our lives have been affected by restrictions and lockdown, with the conspiracy catch cry of “is it the end of the world, or the thinning of the herd”.

NOBODY IS SAFE
THE VIRUS HAS NO PREDJUDICE
NO BLACK OR WHITE
THE RICH AMONG THE POOR

Tokyo Motor Fist released the “Lions” album.

“The world is in chaos” is how the title track starts off. And it sure is.

Michael Grant And The Assassins released the excellent and underrated “Always The Villain” album. It’s a Frontiers release and I became a fan on the first listen.

So who is Michael Grant?

When you listen to the album, remember that Michael Grant is playing those riffs, the majority of the drum tracks, the bass lines, the guitar lead lines and he also does the vocals.

“The Assassins” part of the name comes from his touring band, but they didn’t play on the album.

And before going solo, Grant was the founder, and lead singer/guitarist in the alternative melodic hard rock band “Endeverafter” between 2004 and 2012, who had a deal with Epic Records, and they released one album “Kiss Or Kill” in 2007.

From 2012 to 2018, Grant was the guitarist in LA Guns and also wrote and recorded “The Missing Peace” album, released in 2017.

The LA Guns camp said he left the band to pursue his solo project, while Grant said he was fired from the band.

Anyway.

Every single song on this album is melodic, with good riffs, catchy AOR choruses and great leads.

“Nightmare” is my favorite today, because of the lead break that reminds me of Dave Gilmour but depending on the day or my mood, other tracks take over.

Haken released the album “Virus”, which is a coincidence because the title was decided way before the whole COVID-19 spread worldwide.

And if you like progressive and technical rock/metal, then this album would fill the void.

And two albums reigned supreme for me in July.

“How Do We Want To Live?” from Long Distance Calling was released in June but I really sank my ears into it in July. From Germany, its instrumental Pink Floyd style rock with Tool like grooves and a few vocal tracks. And it’s the moods that always hook me in.

“The Kingdom” from Bush took me by surprise. This is their best album since the first two albums. Its heavy and it’s the Bush I like.

“Flowers On The Grave” has the riffs.

“The Kingdom” starts off with a bending note, before it explodes into a heavy riff that reminds me of Tool and Rossdale is nailing the vocal.

Only in the silence we can see who we are

When we are alone with our thoughts, that’s when it’s real. That’s when we know who we are. Are we thinking of how to make it, or are we thinking how to get back at someone who upset us or to get it on with someone else.

“Undone” moves me, every single time.

On my grave nothing really matters

Death gives us perspective.

Check it out.

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

Best Of May 2020

May had three posts on the new releases.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

So by May, the albums from Trivium, Red, Harem Scarem, Storm Force and The Night Flight Orchestra kept getting spins, along with some of the Jorn and H.E.A.T songs.

The single song releases from Machine Head – “Circle The Drain”, Royal Bliss – “Feeling Whitney”, Spoken – “Awaken Me” and Free Spirits Rising – “I Would Love To Rock The World” and “Moon Of Forever” kept getting some of my time.

“Prove Me Wrong” from Dee Snider got my attention. After 40 years in the business, Snider is still proving people wrong.

His recent releases are varied. “We Are The Ones” takes a stab at modern pop rock and he takes on modern groove metal with “For The Love Of Metal” which in turn returned him to the throne of the black sheep’s, the SMF’s, the “King Of The Fools”.

And “Prove Me Wrong” has a foot stomping metal riff that could make it on a Metallica album with Dee at his metal best.

“Atlas Falls” from Shinedown also hit the streaming services. This track is a left over from the “Amaryllis” album released in 2012 and I was hooked, because this is the Shinedown I like.

And the album that reigned supreme for me in May is “2020” from Vandenberg.

The whole album is stellar.

It gives me this feeling of when I listened to Bad Company, Rainbow (Dio fronted), Led Zeppelin, Scorpions, Deep Purple (Coverdale/Hughes version), Whitesnake and Black Sabbath (Dio fronted).

“Ride Like The Wind” reminds me of “Gates Of Babylon” from Rainbow.

“Hell and High Water” reminds me of Bad Company.

And “Light Up The Sky” sounds similar to a riff in “Bad Boys”.

“Shout” reminds me of “Slow And Easy” on steroids, with a driving beat. Especially that section after the solo, when it’s just drums, and Romero is singing, “Get Up And Shout”. “I Love It Loud” also comes to mind.

There is the “Fool For Your Loving” inspired “Shitstorm” with a David Coverdale like vocal that has been my go to track.

Or the Richie Blackmore inspired “Shadows Of The Night”.

“Let It Rain” reminds of Bonfire.

And my favourite track “Skyfall” closes the album.

Apart from the excellent riffage and song construction, the lead breaks are superb, song within song moments.

Check it out.

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

Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – Rose Tattoo

Here is the usual prologue.

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”.

How good is Rose Tattoo as a band name?

The debut album dropped in November 1978, produced by Harry Vanda and George Young from The Easybeats, who also did double time for AC/DC up until they got their U.S deal.

And if anyone is not aware, George Young is the older brother of Malcolm and Angus Young.

Rose Tattoo was formed in 1976 by Peter Wells, bassist for Australian heavy metal band “Buffalo”, who wanted to create a tougher blues rock/slide-guitar band.

The band for the album is Angry Anderson on vocals. Peter Wells is on slide guitar and Mick Cocks is on lead guitar/rhythm guitar. Drums are by Dallas “Digger” Royall and bass guitar duties are by Geordie Leach on the majority of the tracks and Ian Rilen is on three of em.

“Rock ‘N’ Roll Outlaw” kicks it off, with its “Whole Lotta Love” influenced riff and some tasty slide guitar. Lyrically, it’s all about trying to make it in a rock and roll band. Bon Scott wrote about it in “Rock ‘N’ Roll Singer” and “Long Way To The Top” just to name a few.

Keel covered the song in 1987 for a movie soundtrack. LA Guns did it for a covers album. And this song went to number 1 in Switzerland and number 6 in Germany with the title as “Rock And Roll Gypsy” by U.S singer Helen Schneider.

The punky “Nice Boys” is up next, a track that Guns ‘N’ Roses used to cover in their early club days. It appeared on their “Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide” EP and it was later re-released on their 1988 EP “GN’R Lies”. According to Wikipedia, Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin have both claimed that Rose Tattoo changed their lives and the band confirmed to them that their own future would be in rock ‘n’ roll.

“The Butcher And Fast Eddy” has the groove of “The Jack” about a showdown between gangs. “One Of The Boys” is one of those 12 bar blues boogie songs common in the 70’s. “Remedy” has that “Long Way To The Top” pattern, sped up and whiskey’d up.

How good is the “Bad Boy For Love” guitar riff, a boogie woogie head banging blues riff?

If you like ZZ Top in all of their blues glory, then there is no way you can’t like this song.

“Tramp”, “T.V” and “Astral Wally” continue the 12 bar blues on punk steroids, while “Stuck On You” is as a subtle as the fish named Sam in the lyrics, who lived in a bowl, so Angry heated up the water so he wouldn’t get cold.

Underpinning it all is Angry Anderson’s voice, which can be rough like Lemmy and street ready barroom brawling like Bon Scott. A perfect combo.

Crank it up and let the sounds of Australia fill your room.

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

Best Of March 2020

Change was happening and by the middle of March, lockdown had happened in Australia because of COVID-19 and a lot of things changed, especially for the artists.

March had three posts on the new releases.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

The albums from Storm Force and The Night Flight Orchestra kept getting spins, along with Jorn and H.E.A.T.

The single song releases from Machine Head – Circle The Drain, Royal Bliss – Feeling Whitney and Free Spirits Rising – I Would Love To Rock The World kept getting some of my time.

A pre album release single from Vandenberg called “Shadows of The Night” really got my attention.

Adrian Vandenberg knows how to write some killer songs and the dude can play, referencing some classic heavy metal riffs on this one. Plus he’s finally allowed to use his surname again, so gone is the Moonkings and its just Vandenberg again.

Verdict: I like.

Trivium also released two pre album release singles in “Catastrophist” and “What The Dead Men Say” and they also got my attention.

But the album that reigned supreme for me in March is “Change The World” from Harem Scarem.

Have I mentioned before that Pete Lesperance is one hell of a guitar player?

As soon as the opening guitar lick to “Change The World” started, I was all in.

And then the lead break section started and he’s mastery of major and minor keys is evident.

You and I are gonna change the world…

Damn right we are.

Songs like “Aftershock”, “The Death Of Me” and “Swallowed By The Machine” have some of the best riffs that Lesperance has written.

“Riot In My Head” is a speed rock song and “In The Unknown” has an excellent melodic intro.

Check it out.

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

Best Of February 2020

February had three parts on the new releases.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

A single song release from Machine Head called “Circle The Drain” got my attention.

That intro with the chorus vocal melody, gets me pumped every single time, especially when that riff kicks in after Robb Flynn sings, “bring that hammer down”. Its bone crunching mosh pit time.

Another single release that got me interested was “Feeling Whitney” from Royal Bliss, a cover of an acoustic song from Post Malone, which he released in 2016.

The chord progression reminds me of “Dust In The Wind”.

Jorn released “Heavy Rock Radio”.

Jorn Lande is one of the best singers to have come out in the last 30 years. His style is rooted within the classic signers of Coverdale, Dio, Dickinson and Gillan.

“Heavy Rock Radio” is a project which has Jorn Lande covering classic songs which inspired him. It’s another project funded by Frontiers, who are trying their hardest to get so many recordings under the label’s control.

One of my favourite Kiss songs is “Naked City” and it gets an updated rendition here. Which I certify as 100% excellent.

“Ride Like The Wind” from Saxon and “Lonely Nights” from Bryan Adams got taken out of the early 80’s and brought into the 2020’s as modern rock songs.

And there is no cover album from Jorn without a tribute to Ronnie James Dio material, in this case, “Die Young” and “Mystery”.

“The Final Frontier” actually sounds better than Maiden’s version and Jorn delivers on the vocal front.

“New York Minute” is a Don Henley cover and the intro highlights were “18 And Life” might have come from.

“Needles and Pins” is from the 60’s by The Searchers and the band Smokie made it a rock like ballad in the 70’s which sounds like the version that Jorn took and modernized even more into a melodic rock anthem.

“Love” is from Santana’s 1979 album, “Marathon” and this version is so good.  

I’ve include “Running Up That Hill”, a cover from Kate Bush, which appeared on Heavy Rock Radio Volume 1 from a few years before because Jorn has taken a really unique pop song and turned it into a beautiful rock track.

And a few albums got me interested like “Ordinary Man” from Ozzy Osbourne.

The people around Ozzy, like his family, the label, management and so forth, they know that Ozzy is marketable. If they surround him with creativity and good musicians/producers, it can’t really go that bad, could it.

“Under The Graveyard” has a clean tone intro which could end up on any pop song, that’s how much crossover appeal the riff has. The chorus is heavy, and that “Children Of The Grave” solo section fits.

“All My Life” is similar to songs that have appeared on previous Ozzy albums. The album “Scream” has a few songs with this major key vibe.

“Eat Me” came from the depths of Ozzy’s Delta Blues Sabbath past. “Straight To Hell” rocks out of the gate and “Goodbye” starts off like “Iron Man” but it sounds like a track from “Ozzmosis” which is an album I dig.

Ozzy should scrap touring and keep recording and releasing.

Another album that got me interested was
H.E.A.T II “ by H.E.A.T. It surprised me how good it is. I can’t even explain all the influences on the album that I hear.

Songs feel like they come from Harem Scarem, Skid Row, White Lion, Van Halen, Ratt, Bon Jovi, Kiss, Whitesnake, DLR, Dokken, Queensryche, Europe, Scorpions, Nelson, Lynch Mob, Firehouse, Ozzy “Bark At The Moon” and “The Ultimate Sin” era, Malmsteen “Trilogy” and “Odyssey” era, Judas Priest, Poison and Motley Crue albums.

If you really like the 80’s, then this album is for you.  

“Dangerous Ground” kicks off with the sound of an high performance motor vehicle starting. It’s perfect for a Mad Max movie. “Come Clean” has a Chorus which remains with me long after the song is finished.

“Victory” kicks off with an instantly memorable guitar lick before morphing into a heavy riff. “We Are Gods” sounds like it came from the movie “Rockstar”. “Adrenaline” has this Journey vibe, but the more rockier Journey than the ballad Journey.

But the album that reigned supreme for me in February is Aeromantic from The Night Flight Orchestra.

The whole album is excellent.

Each song has enough of an influence from a previous song to connect with me and TNFO are excellent players, so the musicianship and song writing is excellent.

If you like your classic Deep Purple, then opening track “Servants Of The Air” will serve you well, kicking off the street opera about shattered dreams, broken illusions and glimmers of hope.

“Divinyls” is full of hooks, nice synths and pulsing bass riffs.

“If Tonight Is Our Only Chance” brings the disco rock melodies, handled masterly by the TNFO guys, with a dose of rock thrown in. And the lyric line of taking that last chance is inspiring and hopeful.

“This Boy’s Last Summer” has a pop punk feel merged with a melodic hard rock. “Curves” is a funk masterpiece in the vein of Steely Dan.

ABBA is all over “Transmissions” in the Chorus and the synth is just driving the song along, which makes me think of driving. The violin solo at the end is brilliant.

“Aeromantic” has a riff which came from their first album (the song “California Morning” comes to mind) which is basically a riff inspired by their love of Kiss, Free and Sweet.

The ballad ‘Golden Swansdown’ has two brilliant guitar solos. “Taurus” sounds like “Gemini” from their previous albums as it rolls along with its addictive chorus and melody. “Carmencita Seven”, “Sister Mercurial” and “Dead Of Winter” close the album, a triple punch combo knock out.  

Check out The Night Flight Orchestra.

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