MelodicRock NewsFeed Powered by Twitter. Scroll through twitter feed for breaking news.

Fri
29
May

HOUSE OF LORDS - New World, New Eyes (Review)

information persons: 
content: 
88%
Label: 
Frontiers
Categories: 
Once you get past the absolutely horrendous “drum” sound and the somewhat muddy mix, the new House Of Lords (or on this occasion, House Of Spiro), offers some of the band’s best tunes in several years.
 
A production budget would have raised the quality of this record to sit alongside some of my favourite HOL records. I love the return to a more interesting musical landscape, a touch progressive even, much like parts of Sahara and Demon’s Down.
 
The overall energy is similar to Demon’s Down too. But this is a different band again. As suggested earlier, the biggest influence and difference here is the genius of Mark Spiro. He has co-written most of the album, with his influence so strong there are at least 3, maybe 4 songs that are more Spiro than HOL. He is simply all over this record and his vocals can be heard on most tracks. In fact, he could feel unjustly denied a duet credits on We’re All That We Got and Better Off Broken.
His influence over Change (What's it Gonna Take) delivers one of my favourite House Of Lords songs in years, The Both Of Us also impresses.
 
The guys lose the plot a little towards the end, $5 Bucks Of Gasoline is about as catchy as it sounds and The Chase goes nowhere.
 
Overall, despite that drum sound and the overall missing production elements, this is a very enjoyable record and their best in a few years. Spiro and James Christian have delivered some great songs for the most part and most of the record runs very smoothly.
Score: 
88
 
Wed
20
May

MR Update on Whats Next

Artist: 
G’day to all friends, followers, subscribers and stalkers.
 
I’ve presented an open letter of sorts on a couple of occasions already, so this can be seen as an update to those, or a fresh take on where I stand right now and the complicated world we all live in currently.
The recent worldwide situation has seen my kids schooling at home, taking up a lot of my time and at least one source of my income has been completely suspended. Issues I know a lot of others have been faced with too. These things, on top of recent events and the whole state of the music business now has me continuing to question my role in this industry and what I want to be known for moving forward and what kind of services I can offer.
 
I’ve experimented with a few different things. For starters the recent re-feature of my 1998 Neal Schon interview complete with audio recording created almost zero interest, and that’s good to know as it suggests doing the other interviews in a similar format are a waste of time. The change of format in the news delivery (via Twitter feed) seems to have been better received as were the 4 recent new reviews added (a pathetic output I agree, but again…outside issues interfere).
Patreon is something I’m having fun with and that platform will remain at the forefront of whatever other decisions I make. But I do need more subscribers, if you care to have a look at what’s on offer there. I have been using the recent downtime to digitize a lot of rarities and source additional tracks and rarities, so I can offer a more complete series of features and artist spotlights over the coming weeks.
 
I am grateful I was able to carve out a somewhat unique position in this biz for so long, nearly 24 years now. A lot of others have come and gone in that time. Today, social media, and Facebook in particular, allow everyone on earth the opportunity to have an opinion and be heard. Everyone has a FB page, a podcast, an Instagram…or all of the above. Across the board all websites have less traffic and less advertising power.
Adding to the complexities of business realignments and self-examination was the decision to cease running the MelodicRockFest brand (after MRF-USA 5) and also more recently selling off 75% of the MelodicRock Records business, so I could concentrate on the parts of that I love (the artists and the music).
 
Those moves have not delivered the desired outcomes. The MelodicRock brand was recently subjected to some damaging and unanticipated negative publicity. Having sold off the MelodicRock Fest name some 18 months back, the first event under new management was anything but positive. It was a disaster. I was retained as a consultant for all MRF events for the first 3 years, but in light of those recent events I am relinquishing that role effective immediately.
 
The MelodicRock Records situation is a little more complicated. As an entity starting a new chapter, it is yet to have the chance to prove itself. The MRF event saw all available finance from the investing partners evaporate, so the brakes got applied before we even started the engine. Then COVID19 put the whole industry on pause. I’m patiently waiting to see when the label can relaunch and what my role in that will be.
 
I’m left with many questions that still need answering. I'll be bluntly honest when I say trying to stay motivated with all this going on has been challenging. I feel there is a need to re-invent. The format of that I am still grappling with. Do I start over? Do I switch focus? Do I try and innovate with a fresh delivery method? What is the most effective way to deliver content and just what content do I want to deliver? What do I do with my fictional passion project that never seems to get a look in? What do people even want from myself or MelodicRock in 2020? Too many questions.
 
On the subject of the fictional project, I will soon launch an introductory chapter free to all, with an expectation of future instalments being available to all Patreon subscribers (starting with the $5 level).
And while I wait for the label and pandemic issues to play out and for the options to become clearer, I thank everyone for their patience and feedback and support. That never ceases to amaze me.
So stay tuned…for something...
 
Thu
07
May

BRIAN HOWE R.I.P

Artist: 
Categories: 
BRIAN HOWE – RIP
 
Died from a heart attack yesterday at home.
 
This one hurts. Brian was an outspoken and sometimes controversial character, but a good heart with a great fondness for dogs and promoting dog adoption homes, which in my book is a truly great thing.
 
He was also one hell of a singer. And I don't give a flying fukarri if you want to argue the fact, but the Bad Company albums Brian was a part of were the BEST Bad Company albums. Dangerous Age, Holy Water and Here Comes Trouble were Terry Thomas produced perfection!
 
Brian's own solo release Circus Bar and the Emotions EP are also absolutely essential for all fans of this genre.
 
I saw Brian live a few years ago - all the power and swagger of a man half his age. His death at just 66, after past heart problems, is both tragic and untimely.
 
RIP Brian, you will be missed.
 
 
 
Thu
30
Apr

The MR Interviews - NEAL SCHON #1 (1998)(Audio & PDF)

Artist: 

 

As part of my move to tidy up old interviews, for what eventually will be a book of them all, I've gone back to find the original audio recordings that went with them.

 

And to kick things off, I thought who better than Journey's Neal Schon, who I first interviewed in 1998, shortly after Steve Augeri came aboard.

 

I'd spoken to Jonathan Cain previously, but this was my first time talking to Schon, so forgive the fanboy tone :)

 

Inside the zip file (link after purchase) is the original full interview recording, plus a tidied up (and error fixed) text version. Patreon subscribers get this interview and all future ones free: www.patreon.com/melodicrock

 

Each interview is just $2

 

 

 

 
Wed
29
Apr

WAITING FOR MONDAY - Waiting For Monday (Review)

information persons: 
content: 
60%
Label: 
Frontiers
Categories: 
 
Much hype for this debut album from this Los Angeles based melodic rock band, touted as a modern equivalent to the Big 3 (Foreigner, Styx and Journey). And despite the obvious shortcomings in the album’s production quality, the opening anthem ‘Until The Dawn’ certainly gets your attention.
 
Unfortunately, that’s clearly the album’s best track. The guys have talent and the singer has a sure set of lungs on him, but when the album is dominated by ballads (a couple of very good ones) and the rockers fall short, the song consistency comes to light and the production issue becomes something that can’t be ignored.
 
I compare this more to Two Fires – a band with huge potential and great performers – who couldn’t get all elements to come together for that killer album.
 
Score: 
60
 
Wed
29
Apr

NEWMAN - Ignition (Review)

information persons: 
content: 
88%
Label: 
AOR Heaven
Artist: 
Categories: 
 
There is a sense of comfort when diving into a new NEWMAN album. Much like Ten, Vega (to name just two), you know exactly what you are going to get, and Steve Newman never disappoints. With a history dating back to his debut in 1997 that stretches over 2 decades and 15 releases, you are always going to have albums that fans rate more highly than others and differing opinions of just which those albums are.
 
But one thing you cannot deny is that NEWMAN delivers something great on every record. And of course, ‘Ignition’ is no exception. There a few twists in the tail, the electro-Def Leppard-groove of the title track is certainly one, but mostly this is just classic Newman.
 
Another collection of strong, classic melodic rock.
 
Score: 
88
 
Wed
29
Apr

AXEL RUDI PELL - Sign Of The Times (Review)

information persons: 
content: 
90%
Label: 
SPV
Categories: 
 
I could be a lazy reviewer and just write 'Axel. Rudi. Pell'. You’d still know exactly what to expect from the German guitar wiz and his right-hand man, Johnny Gioeli. I’ve expressed some disinterest in the last couple of albums, due mainly to the restrictions of delivering the same formula album after album, but I’m very happy to declare this album head and shoulders above the last couple of records, with stronger songs and some terrific melodies – delivered by both guitar and vocals.
 
While there are no surprises, this album’s surge of urgency has definitely re-sparked my interest in Axel’s unmistakable style. I think fans will be more than happy.
 
Score: 
90
 
Wed
29
Apr

THE UNITY - Pride (Review)

information persons: 
content: 
94%
Label: 
SPV
Artist: 
Categories: 
What a great album this is.
 
Having been bombarded with several hundred new releases in the last few years, THE UNITY had until now slipped under my radar. Let’s fix that right now, with their newly released album ‘Pride’.
 
The 6-piece German hard rockers fit beautifully alongside the likes of Masterplan, Dynazty and maybe Eclipse even, with 12 cracking rock tracks with surprisingly melodic chorus hooks.
 
The band keep delivering right until the last track, which itself is a standout anthem. The initial pressing of the expertly produced and mixed album comes with a bonus 5 track live disc. Now its time to go investigate the band’s first two albums. Great stuff.
 
Score: 
94
Tags: 
 
Tue
28
Apr

JEFF SCOTT SOTO Releases 'Live In Milan' Digital Live Album

Categories: 
Jeff Scott Soto has released a new live album, “Live At Frontiers Rock Festival 2019” on all digital platforms. 
Today marks the one year anniversary of the performance captured in Milan, Italy on April 27, 2019 at the Frontiers Rock Festival. 
 
Stream or download it HERE: https://orcd.co/loudlivemilan  Listen to a performance of 'Eyes Of Love'
 
 
The performance will be released later this year in physical format as a bonus disc on Jeff's upcoming solo album, “ Wide Awake (In My Dreamland), which he has co-written and co-produced with producer Alessandro Del Vecchio.
On April 27, 2019, the one and only Jeff Scott Soto performed a one-off live performance at Frontiers Rock Festival VI in Milan, Italy. Over the course of 60 minutes, he presented a fantastic review of his solo career. Jeff's live shows are always pure energy and fun and this one was no exception! At the end of the set, there is a nice little treat as Jeff called fellow singer and labelmate Dino Jelusick (Animal Drive, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) up from the audience (literally) to get him on stage to perform a fabulous unrehearsed and spontaneous duet of the classic 'Stand Up' (which many may recognize from the hit cult movie, Rock Star).
 
One of the first artists who partnered up with Frontiers Music Srl back in the day, Jeff Scott Soto has become part of the label's family. Not only has he recorded albums for the label for nearly 2 decades, but has brought, and continues to bring, up-and-coming musical talent to the label's roster.
 
Jeff's musical career spans over 35 years and is showing no signs of slowing down. Jeff burst onto the scene as the vocalist for guitar hero Yngwie Malmsteen’s iconic first two solo albums, before going on to front acclaimed hard rock band Talisman. Later, he would spend a period of time fronting one of the most famous melodic rock/AOR bands in the world, Journey. Currently, while maintaining his solo career, he is now busy singing for the wildly popular Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the awesome melodic hard rock band W.E.T., his own metal project SOTO, and the prog metal supergroup Sons Of Apollo.
 
Jeff will release his next solo album on Frontiers in the second half of 2020.
 
 
 
Tue
28
Apr

The Latest From Rock Candy: ZON, SABU, MOLLY HATCHET, ORPHAN

Categories: 
NOW AVAILABLE FROM www.rockcandyrecords.com
 
MOLLY HATCHET ‘S/T’ CANDY412
 
BY THE MID 1970s the southern rock sound had been well and truly established by the likes of the Allman Brothers Band, the Outlaws and, most prominently, Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was a style that seemed resistant to change but with the release of Molly Hatchet’s debut album in 1978, that tradition was challenged by a bigger, louder and harder sound that introduced elements of contemporary hard rock into the mix. Indeed, Hatchet’s debut album signalled a new, supercharged, approach to old school blues and country music.
Formed in Jacksonville, Florida, 1971, and led by guitarist Dave Hlubek, Molly Hatchet finally settled on their classic line-up in 1977 and signed to Epic Records by A&R man and in house record producer Tom Werman. Skynyrd leader Ronnie Van Zant heard and liked the band early on and was originally scheduled to produce their debut but his tragic death in the infamous plane crash scuppered that idea. With Danny Joe Brown on vocals and two further guitarists to beef up the sound, the band relied on the more than capable Werman to assume the producer’s role.
Released in 1978, the album single-handedly reset the southern rock template, introducing a raw and aggressive edge to the scene which won them immediate support and unexpectedly large sales. Check out tracks such as ‘Bounty Hunter’, ‘Gator Country’ and ‘The Creeper’ for unequivocal proof that southern rock had entered in a new era. There was, however, a nod to the past with a fine cover of the Allman Brothers anthem ‘Dreams’ retitled ‘Dreams I’ll Never See’. Oh, and let’s not forget the stunning album cover art by Frank Frazetta, a man that supplied the band with his distinctive artwork for the next two albums.
 
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Southern rock classic album, 5 previously unreleased bonus tracks, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, rare photos and new interview.
 
TRACK LISTING: 1. BOUNTY HUNTER 2. GATOR COUNTRY 3. BIG APPLE  4. THE CREEPER 5. THE PRICE YOU PAY 6. DREAMS I’LL NEVER SEE  7. I’LL BE RUNNING 8. CHEATIN’ WOMAN 9. TRUST YOUR OLD FRIEND. **BONUS TRACKS** MOLLY HATCHET LIVE 1978: 10. BOUNTY HUNTER 11. GATOR COUNTRY 12. BIG APPLE 13. DREAMS I’LL NEVER SEE 14. TRUST YOUR OLD FRIEND
 
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Southern rock classic album, 5 previously unreleased bonus tracks, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, rare photos and new interview.
 
TRACK LISTING: 1.BOUNTY HUNTER 2.GATOR COUNTRY 3.BIG APPLE 4.THE CREEPER 5.THE PRICE YOU PAY 6.DREAMS I’LL NEVER SEE 7.I’LL BE RUNNING 8.CHEATIN’ WOMAN 9.TRUST YOUR OLD FRIEND. BONUS TRACKS: LIVE 1978: 10.BOUNTY HUNTER 11.GATOR COUNTRY 12.BIG APPLE 13.DREAMS I’LL NEVER SEE 14.TRUST YOUR OLD FRIEND
 
  
 
SABU ‘S/T’ CANDY386
 
THE NAME PAUL Sabu is held in incredibly high esteem amongst rock fans. His musical output has consistently attracted praise - the quality of songwriting, singing and performance securing him a star in the AOR/melodic rock scene that continues to burn brightly. However, his first foray into the music business actually commenced in the late ‘70s, producing a succession of successful disco records for a number of artists. He was quickly offered a solo deal and released a self-titled, but band-orientated, rock/disco hybrid under the Sabu handle, which had little commercial impact.
After going back to the drawing board he was the offered an album deal with the giant MCA label, who were backing his plans to record a rock record. The result was another full band project issued, once again, with the album title ‘Sabu’, but this time the music was full-on melodic hard rock. MCA objected to a number of recorded songs and stripped a few tracks off the final release – making it a six song record of just 30 minutes duration. Clearly this was a blow for Paul, but the quality of the remaining songs was undeniable.
Produced by Paul himself, the results are spectacular. Opening track ‘Rock Me Slowly’ has the feel and swagger of an all-time classic rock track, with sweeping chords and terrific vocals that wouldn’t be out of place on a Bad Company or Sammy Hagar record. And it only gets better. ‘Tracks such as ‘Wet And Wild’, ‘Turn Back’ and ‘Streetheart’ pack a massive punch. But it’s the addition of several blistering bonus tracks to this re-issue, original lost material, that will excite his followers most.
 
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, First time on CD! Features 5 previously unreleased tracks, Contains ‘Rock Me Slowly’, Wet And Wild’ and ‘Streetheart’, 16 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay and enhanced artwork.
 
TRACK LISTING: 1.ROCK ME SLOWLY 2.WET AND WILD 3.TURN BACK 4.SHAKIN’ LOOSE 5.STREETHEART 6.FOR LOVERS ONLY. BONUS TRACKS: 7.SKINTIGHT 8.SIX STRING GUN 9.SHE’S NOT THERE 10.NOWHERE TO RUN 11.BAD MOON
 
KIDD GLOVE ‘S/T’CANDY388
 
PAUL SABU - already with a superb rock album under his belt - had become an early ‘80s a name to watch. His superlative voice and penchant for crafting solid yet melodic rock made him a desirable commodity, something that didn’t escape the notice of a new record label called Morocco, a spin-off from Motown. It might have sounded like a strange coupling but the revered soul and pop label was keen to penetrate the burgeoning rock market and what better way to start than to sign Paul Sabu.
However, in a strange and circuitous route, the label initially hired two renowned songwriters to write songs for an album and started the search for a frontman. Paul was recruited and the project was bestowed with the name Kidd Glove. Recording commenced at Motown’s famous Hitsville studio in Hollywood, but not without some curious manoeuvres by the label and the studio. Musicians were recruited from a proven roster of Motown session players and the producer was aghast when Paul wanted to use his Marshall amplification, equipment that had rarely been used at the studio before!
Issued in 1984, the album initially looked like it was going to connect with the public, but for some inexplicable reason the label suddenly got cold feet and cooled their publicity efforts. That was a shame as the record contained a fine selection of tough yet melodic hard rock, with tracks such as ‘Hellzarockin’, ‘Killer Instinct’ and ‘Spirit Of The Night’ emphasising Paul’s distinctive vocals and superb guitar work. For Sabu it was a bitter pill to swallow but it didn’t diminish his desire or ability to continue on with his rock ‘n’ roll quest.
 
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, features 4 bonus tracks, contains ‘Hellzarockin’, ‘Killer Instinct’ and ‘Sprit Of The Night’, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay and enhanced artwork
 
TRACK LISTING: 1.GOOD CLEAN FUN 2 KILLER INSTINCT 3.STREET ANGEL 4.SPIRIT OF THE NIGHT 5.FADE TO BLACK 6.HELLZAROCKIN’ 7.SOMEWHERE IN A SONG 8.SECRETS 9.SUSIE WANTS TO BE A STAR. BONUS TRACKS: 10.BROTHERS FOREVER 11.ROCK YOUR WORLD 12.ROCK DON’T RUN 13.VIKING BOY
 
  
 
ZON 'ASTRAL PROJECTOR' CANDY424 (FOUR BONUS TRACKS)
 
BY THE TIME of the late 70s, rock music had coalesced into various styles and genres. One branch moving towards perfection and, by contrast, experimentation was accurately labelled pomp rock. It was a finely-honed amalgam of early seventies progressive rock, art rock and hard rock, bound together by a developed sense of melody and a keen feel for songwriting. The music world was on fire with such magnificent purveyors as Styx, Kansas, Starcastle, Saga and Trillion. These were acts that took their craft seriously, making sure that musicality and melody were at the very forefront of every move.
Zon were no exception to the ensuing flood of young pomp rock hopefuls. Originating from Toronto, they garnered the attention of Epic records, who signed them hoping to score big with the band’s unique brand of quirky, yet superbly crafted, rock that sounded not unlike a young Styx. Their debut album, ‘Astral Projector’, made quite a splash, hooking fans and critics with its punchy content and adventurous arrangements. Vocalist Denton Young leading the band through a knock-out selection of tracks that were determined to impress.
Boasting a full complement of streamlined tracks, such as opener ‘Put On The Show’, and the fascinating ‘Man In The Mirror’, their glorious mash-up of Styx/Kansas and Genesis is electrifying. There’s even pop rock on offer, such as ‘Talkin’ About’ and ‘Melody’, but the undoubtedly brilliant title track is the cream of the crop. Also look out for four previously unreleased bonus tracks, including ‘The Battle’, an eight minute pomp rock masterclass.
 
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Canadian pomp rock classic album, 4 bonus tracks, 16 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork, rare photos and new interviews
 
TRACK LISTING: 1. PUT ON THE SHOW 2. TIME FOR YOUR LOVE 3. POINT OF VIEW / WHERE TO SPEND MY DOLLAR? 4. MAN IN THE MIRROR 5. TALKIN’ ABOUT 6. MELODY 7. ON THE ROAD 8. ASTRAL PROJECTOR 9. HOLLYWOOD BONUS TRACKS:10. ASTRAL PROJECTOR (Alt Take) 11. THE BATTLE (Unreleased) 12. HOLLYWOOD (Full version) 13. ON THE ROAD (Alt Take)
 
ORPHAN 'SALUTE' CANDY336
 
ORPHAN WERE FORMED in Winnipeg, Manitoba in the early 80s, initially going under the handle of The Pumps. They released a moderately successful album titled ‘Gotta Move’ in 1983 but a planned follow up album was inexplicably shelved, forcing the band to re-evaluate their future. Undeterred, they regrouped, switched their name to Orphan
and scored a coveted contract with label giant Portrait Records. Under this guise they recorded the, now highly praised, album ‘Lonely At Night’ (also available on Rock Candy) produced in New York by Tony Bongiovi and Lance Quinn - the same production team that nurtured Bon Jovi’s early records.
‘Salute’, the band’s highly anticipated follow up album, was a more mature and sophisticated record. Produced by the same British team who worked on The Pumps album (Jon Astley and Phil Chapman) and recorded in Long Island, New York, the record oozes quality and class. Blessed with a polished sheen and a rich tapestry of songs the sound is highly reminiscent of equally impressive Canadian acts such as Red Rider, Honeymoon Suite and Streetheart. But don’t go running away with any idea that they had mellowed out, there’s enough pulsating hard rock to satisfy the most discerning heavy-leaning ear.
Check out tracks such as ‘Stand Up’, ‘Lyin’ To Me’ and ‘Uncle Sam Wants You’ for proof positive of a new found sophistication, whilst the luxuriant, widescreen, vibe of ‘The Way It Should Be’ displays them as more than just a one Dimensional rock outfit. We can’t recommend this album highly enough.
 
SPECIAL DELUXE COLLECTOR’S EDITION. Fully remastered sound shaped from 24 BIT digital technology, Classy Canadian's second highly rated AOR album, 12 page full colour booklet, 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork and new interviews
 
TRACK LISTING: 1. OPEN UP THE SKIES 2. LYIN’ TO ME 3. WOMAN IN LOVE 4. CRAZY FOR THE NIGHT 5. STAND UP 6. A LITTLE HEART AND SOUL 7. OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW 8. UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU 9. STEEL & IRON 10. THE WAY IT SHOULD BE

 

 

Pages

 

Foreign Music CDJapan