2017 is offering up a staggering number of new releases – from newcomers, to familiar names, to classic rock legends – there’s something for everyone as they say.
Here is a quick summary of some of those releases and some insights into the ones that I’ve been fortunate enough to hear.
Night Ranger – Don’t Let Up (March 24) Another well-produced hard rocking release with a couple of slower acoustic ballads, but very diverse – perhaps the most diverse NR album yet. The lead single is the most commercial and recognizable NR song, but also listen out for Running Out Of Time, Truth and Jamie.
Eclipse – Monumentum (March 24) There was never any doubt right? The lads have done it again and perhaps turned things up yet another notch as far as sonic bombardment and guitar shredding. Plus Philip Crusner on drums is fantastic. It’s heavy, its melodic, it’s brilliant! Look out for The Downfall Of Eden, Hurt and Killing Me. Extrordinary stuff and exactly what I was hoping to hear!
Brother Firetribe – Sundown (March 23) hang onto your hats boys and girlsd – here comes another multi-layered, guitar and keyboard soaked, big budget Scandi melodic rock album. Easily better than the great last album, and growing on me more every day, BFT fans can be assured they are getting a killer album here!
Pride Of Lions – Fearless (Feb 24) More or less, just another POL album. But that isn’t said with any complacency or hesitation. It’s another great set of songs from the pen of Jim Peterik and the voice of Toby Hitchcock. Diverse, pompous and theatrical as the couple of albums before it, more reliably memorable melodic rock.
Lionville – A World Of Fools (Feb 24) Always great to hear Lars singing and while we wait for a new Work Of Art album, this is more than enough quality AOR to fill the void. Expertly produced and featuring slick, pure AOR at it’s European best.
Tokyo Motor Fist (Feb 24) It’s a lot of fun. It’s quite varied and definitely reaches into Def Leppard territory during the second half, it really is a great mix of Ted Poley and Steve Brown’s talents. Production is pretty loose, but the energy and hooks are infectious.
Unruly Child – Can’t Go Home (Feb 24) Never a band to do things in the simple, structured way, this is another quality AOR album, more varied than the last album and still weighing in on the lighter side, but there’s a lot of musical intelligence in these songs and the performances.
One Desire (March 24) Pure Scandi-melodic bliss. Layers of everything (vocals, guitars and keys) and a monster production right out of 1985. These guys make the 80s sound like now with their contemporary production, yet classic AOR sound. Absolutely brilliant.
Black Star Riders – Heavy Fire (Feb 2) More Lizzy-like guitar driven 70s rock n roll and more quality music. Wasn’t as impressed with the last album, but this sounds up there with the debut.
Also coming up to watch out for:
Thunder, Dirty White Boyz, Black Country Communion, TNT, Steelheart, Treat (Live), Art Nation, Crazy Lixx, H.E.A.T, Degreed, Toby Hitchcock, Riverdogs, Harem Scarem, Mr. Big and Heaven & Earth!
And don’t forget the Arti Tisi archives from MelodicRock Records and new announcements due very shortly about 2 classic and unmistakably amazing albums that were never released back in the 80s!
Plus new albums from Faith Circus and a few other familiar MRR names.