Wednesday, June 21, 2017

CD REVIEW: THE MISSION by Styx




THE MISSION by Styx
(UME music)

Rock icons, Styx are back with their latest the conceptual, 'The Mission', 14 years after their last studio outing. I have to say it was refreshing to see the band revisiting their progressive classic rock roots. It reminded me of a combination of 'Grand Illusion' meets 'Pieces Of Eight'. Vocal harmonies, synthesizers laced with guitar riffs flowing perfectly. As soon as I pressed play the music sucked my senses in and didn't let go until the last song.  Opening with the progressive laced "Overture" that transitions perfectly into the rocking, "Gone Gone Gone", highlighted by power guitar riffs and trademark Styx harmonies. Up next, "Hundred Million Miles From Home", a catchy tune that has cool rock groove then a shift in gears with "Trouble At The Big Show",  featuring James Young on vocals and laying down some tasty guitar licks followed by one of my personal favorites off the album, the Pink Floyd-ish, "Locomotive". From there the album stimulated my senses nicely with ,"Radio Silence", "The Greater Good" , "Time May Bend", and "The Red Storm" and completing the album's journey with "Mission To Mars". Overall, 'The Mission' is a triumphant return to form for Styx and I love it! If there were any doubts if Styx could still deliver the goods, this album puts any doubts to rest for good. Welcome back gents!
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, June 19, 2017

CD REVIEW: CALIFORNIA by Riverdogs




CALIFORNIA by Riverdogs
(Frontier Records)

Six years after their last studio album, 'World Gone Mad', Riverdogs are back with their fifth release, “California”.  Musically it takes its lead from classic, Riverdogs delivering that blues based rock sound that first put them on the map. Rob Lamothe on vocals and guitar, Vivian Campbell on guitars and vocals, Nick Brophy on bass and vocals and Marc Danzeisen on drums and vocals. Where many bands falter, Riverdogs shines. This latest outing  is every bit as good as their debut, with great rockers like "American Dream", "The Revolution Starts Tonight" , "Searching For A Signal", "You're Too Rock N Roll" and "I Don't Know Anything". There is no denying the amazing talent which exists within this group as these gentlemen know exactly how to deeply touch someone through the art of music. The combination of Rob Lamothe soulful vocals with incredible musicianship and top-notch arranging and what do you have? An amazing musical experience with each listen. Hopefully, 'California' will  finally see the guys getting the recognition they deserve as one of the best rock bands put together. Overall, this album is fresh sounding, the band sound like they enjoyed themselves as they play the songs. Its good to hear the band still sounding hungry, simultaneously echoing their past yet with something new to say.  I really can't recommend this album enough.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, June 16, 2017

CD REVIEW: GOTHICA by Ten




GOTHICA by Ten
(Frontier Records)

When it comes to melodic hard rock, UK's TEN are legends in my book. Primarily because of the musical genius of the band's leader, Gary Hughes. The latest chapter of this melodic juggernaut comes to us in the form of, 'Gothica'. Along side Gary Hughes, the band is comprised of the triple guitar attack of, Dann Rosingana, Steve Grocott,John Halliwell. Steve McKenna on bass, Darrel Treece-Birch on keyboards and Max Yates on drums with additional backing vocals by Karen Fell. Based from the title and the amazing cover art by Stan W. Decker, I had a feeling that this album would have a much darker vibe, musically. Where does one draw inspiration from a dark theme? This is where the musical brilliance of Gary Hughes comes into play. His vision of embracing as it always does, covers history, romance and erotic horror, through his masterful way with words, vividly comes alive.  Once, "The Grail" explodes out your speakers, your senses are transported to the world of the supernatural. A world of, elaborate spells, evoking embers that spark the imagination. Once again, big production, big sound and some real epic tracks such as "Jekyll And Hyde", "The Wild King Of Winter", "Welcome To The Freak Show", the powerful, "Paragon", "La Luna Dra-Cu-La" and "Into Darkness". Overall, TEN have produced another great piece of epic music. One of the most under rated bands in the UK and the rest of the world, despite producing great melodic rock albums over the years.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

CD REVIEW: GOING THE DISTANCE by Jimmy Davis & Junction




GOING THE DISTANCE by Jimmy Davis & Junction
(Melodic Rock Records)

Just about the perfect music release on many levels: A great album. I'm talking about the phenomenal shelved sophomore Jimmy Davis & Junction album 'Going The Distance'. I suppose you could say it has that  'Heartland Rock' album vibe to it. Good feeling, good musicianship and good vocals are evident the whole way through. It does sound quite dated now. Don't let that put you off it or anything. The best albums/recordings do tend to sound dated after a while, sometimes because they were so relevant to what was going on at the time, the way the instruments had been recorded, or simply for reasons unknown. With that said, everything about 'Going The Distance' grabs you from the word go - the production is Rock solid, the playing is unbelievably tight, the mix is perfect and the songs are first class. Twelve tracks total, no filler. Highlighted by,  "Out Of Control", "Enough Is Enough", "Better Believe It", "Against The Ropes" and "Right As Rain". Altogether, it would not be an over-exaggeration to call this a classic album. There are always going to be people who will sneer at a mainstream rock album like this, but for anyone who enjoys rock music, one listen to 'Going The Distance' would probably be enough to convince those, apart from the biggest cynics, that this is a truly great piece of work. Proof positive, this music is "Classic" and will never go out of style. There is a  grin on my face listening to Jimmy Davis and Junction after almost 30 years, since his debut release, 'Kick The Walls'. It's like reconnecting and welcoming back a good friend that you haven't seen in ages. As the saying goes, better late than never. An essential pick up for Jimmy Davis fans and definitely worth the wait.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, June 9, 2017

CD REVIEW: DEATH RACE by Magnetico




DEATH RACE by Magnetico
(Independent Release)

Los Angeles based rock trio, Magnetico are back with their sophomore release, 'Death Race'. Serving up a great melodic rock sound, that is a perfect combination of rock with melodic sensibility laced with some of energizing guitar playing. The trio is comprised of,  Rafael Moreira on vocals and guitars, Ben White on bass and Ed Tancredi on drums. 'Death Race' is one of those albums where the musicians are locked in and clicking on all cylinders. The guitar hooks are amazing, and the melodies lodge themselves in your head instantly. Moreira turns in solid vocal performance and his guitar playing and songwriting skills are truly impressive.  Their crafting of the tracks on this album is superb; it has a synergy that will make you listen to it all the way through. You can  pretty much pick any of the songs off this album at random and find an absolutely killer single-worthy rocker. "Lady Friend Of Mine", "Hunter", the title track and "Beautiful Memories" are particularly convincing.  There have been some really good melodic rock releases so far this year but with 'Death Race', Magnetico has put out one of the best rock albums you'll hear year this year and easily makes my "Best Rock Albums Of 2017 List". If you love music with energy, great songs, and musicians who are making clear through their playing that they have the ambition to be on top of the world, then you need to do yourself a favor and check out Magnetico!  
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

CD REVIEW: MAGIC VALLEY by Goodbye June




MAGIC VALLEY by Goodbye June
(Interscope Music)
Nashville based rock trio, Goodbye June come on to the scene with their very impressive debut, 'Magic Valley'. The band is composed of cousins Landon Milbourn (lead vocals), Brandon Qualkenbush (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), and Tyler Baker (lead guitar). This trio's debut is soaked in a nostalgic sound that evokes comparisons to The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. From the opening riff of "Bamboozler", you are placed on familiar but fresh musical ground. Landon Milbourn is a cross between Chris Robinson and Robert Plant. His vocal phrasing and whisky blues soulful vocals are what pushes these songs over the top with power and ferocity that stuns you upon first listen.  The guitar interplay between Brandon Qualkenbush and Tyler Baker are on point laced with tasty riffs which the songs revolve around heavily colored with fuzz pedals and wah wah effects.  There is a freshness and spark to the songs that give them a magical type quality when the music is coming out of your speakers. My favorites are, "Oh No", "Daisy", "Good Side", "Riding", and fuel injected, "Liberty Son", a rocker of a song that will  have you either singing or tapping to it before it's over.  If anyone thinks there are no truly great rock bands coming out anymore, you are wrong! Goodbye June do their own thing while still reminding you what their influences are. A throwback sound that brings blues rock with that southern swagger all together and tied up in a nice bow. If you like classic rock bands and retro sounding bands like Palace Of The King and The Temperance Movement you are going to really dig what Goodbye June bring to the table
   Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Saturday, June 3, 2017

CD REVIEW: HALFWAY THERE by Mark Slaughter




HALFWAY THERE by Mark Slaughter
(EMP Music)

Mark Slaughter is back with his latest release, 'Halfway There', a no compromise, hard rock record which sees Mark Slaughter in top form. Providing a great balanced selection of heavy hitters and mid tempo movers. Mark Slaughter's vocals sound better than ever and his guitar playing really shines. Mark Slaughter delivers the goods on all ten tracks.  From the full-throttle adrenaline rock of opener, "Hey You" followed by, Devoted", "Supernatural", featuring Mark using a guitar owned by the late Tim Kelly, who he played with in Slaughter. "Halfway There" and "Turn It". I'm sure this album is going to get some serious replay time for me for months to come.  All in all, this is a superb slice of rock music. Mark Slaughter has really come up with a winner here. Everything that his fans have come to love from his days in Slaughter is here with more passion and more power. I will say this in closing, if an album makes you listen to the end, then makes you go back for seconds, it's got something, this is one of those albums. 'Halfway There' is an extremely strong rock album, and is one of the fiercest slices of rock music you’ll hear this year.
   Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society