Category: CD Reviews

Robby Krieger – ‘The Ritual Begins At Sundown’ (The Players Club)

Robby Krieger is probably most well known for his stint as guitarist in The Doors. Born in LA, his early love was for classical music but after an initial attempt to learn to play the trumpet, he found the piano and used it to play mostly the blues. Krieger joined The Doors in 1965 after the departure of co-founder Ray Manzarek’s brothers, Rick and Jim from the original band, ‘Rick & The Ravens’. The Doors never replaced the bassist as they felt this gave them a unique sound, and it is this piece of information that hints at the talent that existed within The Doors.

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Nana – ‘Selfish Propensities’ (Rum Bar Records)

Jonny B will be the first to admit that he’s particularly up to speed with the comings and goings of the Boston music scene. When he thinks about the scene in Boston, he’s always assumed that it’s all Irish bars and Dropkick Murphys clones, but obviously that’s not the case as this “new” release shows. Why “new”, we hear you ask? Well ‘Selfish Propensities’ is perhaps the only documented evidence that the band Nana existed in mid to late ‘90s which has recently been uncovered in a box of CD and written by Tom Baker (not the Doctor Who one, The Dirty Truckers one). So, while this may be new to most of us, this is certainly a bit of a relic of its time…

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Black Crown Initiate – ‘Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape’ (Century Media)

Black Crown Initiate are one of these prog bands that honestly baffles Jase W as to why they’re not bigger in the UK. In comparison with the sizable following they’ve got in the States, it’s surprising they’re not throwing larger weight around here as they’ve got solid offerings that are reminiscent of some of Opeth’s older material with all their heavy proggy motifs that blend in a bit of death metal. Their third album offering, ‘Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape’ comes in at nine tracks with two appearing to suit “outro” style tracks on a vinyl (‘Bellow’ and ‘He Is The Path’), and is the first album with their new rhythm guitarist Ethan McKenna. Jase mention this as their second album featured the well-known Wes Hauch on rhythm, so it’ll be interesting to see how the songwriting dynamic changes…

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Lythium – ‘Have It All’ EP (Self-Released)

This rising young quartet from Preston must have caught ÜR boss Monk on a good day. We say this because they committed one of THE cardinal sins when it comes to submitting your CD for review to this or any other website… although it came nicely packaged, in a handmade brown paper envelope and was accompanied by a colourful badge with the slogan “you could have it all”, as well as a couple of stickers, that was all they wrote – or, rather, didn’t, as there was no press release or any form of useful information included… nada, diddly-squat, sweet FA to tell us anything about the band or the EP (apart from the song titles). Now, normally such a basic error leads to the offending submission going straight in the appropriate recycling bin…

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A. Swayze & The Ghosts – ‘Paid Salvation’ (Ivy League)

A Swayze & The Ghosts are set to release their debut album later on this year via Ivy League Records. Talking about the record, frontman Swayze said, that “it really shits me off when bands have this pedestal and they have the ability to influence so much around them and they waste it by singing about stupid shit”. Hannah R wasn’t too sure what she was expecting when she started listening to the band, having not heard of them before, but she was pleasantly surprised by the sound, as you now find out…

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Elimination – ‘Of Gods And Beasts’ EP (Self-Released)

Old school thrash fans may well be familiar with the name of Elimination, as for a brief period the East Anglian trio threatened to be serious contenders on the UK scene and trouble more than its dark underbelly, releasing two excellent albums before falling quiet in 2012. Thankfully, two years ago they returned refreshed, re-invigorated and ready for the fight once more, further signalling their intent to take no prisoners with this just-released, all-too-brief sample.

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Grumpynators – ‘Still Alive’ (Mighty Music)

Hearing a band described as mix of Social Distortion, Motörhead and The Stray Cats piqued Phil C’s interest straight away. The concept conjures up all kinds of things in the minds ear. Certainly, the idea of a sound with catchy rhythms, gritty riffs and bags of swagger. That is exactly what the Danish four-piece Grumpynators have offered up with their third album, ‘Still Alive’.  No strangers to the live circuits of northern Europe and bagging support slots with countrymates Volbeat, Grumpynators have been a hard-grafting band and their energy and passion shines through on this record.

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ZipGun Bomber – ‘Paper Airplanes (Revisited)’ (Rum Bar Records)

In a world where nothing seems to make sense anymore, It’s comforting knowing that bands like ZipGun Bomber still exist. When Steve M pushed play on the ‘Paper Airplanes EP’ this morning, his pop-punk time machine instantly transported him back to the mid-Nineties! Our man immediately felt like his worries were melting away and things would be OK from the first chords of their hit single, ‘Chase That Feeling’. Nate Doyle (vocals/guitar) has an endearing voice and style very reminiscent of early Green Day and Billie Joe Armstrong. Click the link to find out why he immediately wanted to jump up and start dancing around the living room as the songs played on!

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Blind River – ‘Made of Dirt’ (Self-Released)

If ever there was a year for good times rock ‘n’ roll, 2020 would be it. While the world burns loudly outside, sometimes its good to just find a record that taps into a base desire for a good dance and sing – and if that’s the kind of thing you are seeking out, Blind River are your band. ‘Made of Dirt’ continues the journey the band first set out on their self-titled debut, drawing on a mixture of 70s and 80s hard rock greats to evoke the same sense of grease-and-grit that prevails over the pantheon of classic rock.

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Behind The Horror – ‘Burn Up This Truth’ (Self-Released)

This album has definitely been hard-won. Ten years in the making, it arrives before us in spite of Behind The Horror’s personal experiences of unsettling major life-changes, troubles, fights and upheaval.  The band are the Alves brothers, a duo originating from Brazil with Lucas on drums and Gabriel who tackles vocals, guitar and bass. As Behind The Horror, they have composed ‘Burn Up This Truth’, their first full-length release, from their current base in New Jersey. 

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Begrafven – ‘Dödsriket’ (Unexploded Records)

Seven years in the making, ‘Dödsriket’ is the debut release for Swedish black metal duo Begrafven. With concepts formed with a previous demo, the sum of the ten tracks present had been delayed by line up changes and other reasons until recording in 2017. Now, at last, the duo is able to capitalise on the original two track demo release that sparked the whole project. From the opening track of ‘Nyckeln’ till ‘Dödsriket’ itself, it’s clear that this album is intended to make a statement.

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The Über Rock Singles Club – Awesome August (Part One)

As the temperatures start to climb towards something resembling what is supposed to be summer, it’s hard to believe it’s been a fortnight since the Singles Club opened its virtual doors and we fired up the death decks with a selection of the finest single-track releases to have come our way in recent weeks. Yet, here we are again with another bumper pick of the crop – actually, for the second successive iteration it’s one of our biggest clubs in a long time, as once again we have just shy of two dozen tracks for your aural and visual delectation, whittled down from the 250+ submissions which have come our way over the past 14 days or so, and again hopefully containing something to tickle almost everyone’s musical taste buds as we traverse multiple subgenres of the glorious artform we like to refer to as rock ‘n’f’n’ roll…

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