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Reviews
Remedy – Strange Fast Now

Remedy – Strange Fast Now

Remedy are just what the rock music scene needs. A cure for the overly diluted sub-genres of rock. They are classic in sound and modern in power. Their intent and purpose is timeless. The vocals of Jen Cherene and guitars of Graham Haswell duel beautifully throughout this full on classic rock sounding album. Whilst it’s pounding heartbeat of the drums and bass parts are held as tight as a stock and dye set by Mark Dodds and Lee Tuck. Opening with the crunching riffs and drum roll intro of ‘Last Demand’ and then having the truly massive vocal talents of the tiny framed front lady’s voice rammed into our senses, you know that you’re in for a treat. The album stays direct in it's intentions of just cutting the bull and doing what rock does best, pumping rhythms, great wailing guitar solos and lyrics that have deep meaning that are sung from the heart and injected with tonnes of soul. By the time you’re on to the penultimate track ‘Priests & Preachers’ you’ve rediscovered everything that was great about rock music in the 70’s. The closer is the epic ‘Sacred Deep Inside’ which is a real goosebump raising song that ticks all the right boxes - sultry, eerie, emotional and very powerful. Over the last year, Remedy have toured with some great legends of rock and this album proves that they can stand heads high among the best of them.

Andy Nutter
Tracy Gang Pussy - Chaos Rock n Roll Number 4

Tracy Gang Pussy - Chaos Rock n Roll Number 4

Hailing from the debauched underbelly of Paris yet sounding more like something that was spewed out of The Whisky-a-go-go, than from the artsy side of Europe’s more classy wine sampling city, Tracy Gang Pussy, spit, snarl and rip their way through twelve potent songs on their latest album. From the opener, ‘I Got To Move On To Be Free’, through the next 40 minutes of your life, they are every bit the angst fuelled, loud and dirty rock band, while showing depth by also sounding melodic and poetic with their well crafted contagious melodies. Recorded in a relatively short time, the album successfully sees Tracy Gang Pussy in heart stopping mode, capturing the energy and excitement throughout and teasing you with every song leaving you wanting more. The drums on the anthem ‘Teenage Years’ are so close to the end of their time signature that you feel your heart racing to keep up with the thrill of this awesome song and when you get to the chanting chorus of stomping "Hey Hey's" you haven’t realised it yet, but you’re hooked with your fist punching the air. Having toured with many of their peers and influences, they have now found their feet and definitely moulded themselves into a charismatic and eloquent act. Covered in tattoos, dripping in style and with guitars that bleed riffs, this album is destined to make a mark upon this genre for a long time to come.

Andy Nutter
The Scared Stiff - The Last Horror Movie

The Scared Stiff - The Last Horror Movie

A nice healthy slab of lust for the undead is never a bad thing, and when it’s done with the stylish approach that The Scared Stiffs manage you cannot help but be pulled in (or under!). Mixing Rocky Horror meets The Living Dead, great musical abilities (check out the bass parts throughout the album, they’re subtle in the mix but technically brilliant) and lacing it throughout with great tongue in cheek clichéd lyrics about preferring dead girls to the ones that still breathe as they are less argumentative. The Scared Stiffs prove to be a cut above the usual shock-for-shocks sake and instead go for the more grown up sound that could well be the tracks over the last horror movie.
The album grows as it plays through and every song sounds stronger and more crafted than the last. Hook lines like "There’s no wonder, I’m six feet under" and comically ironic twists like the awesome "Let’s put the F.U.N in funeral" make this album a cheery one even if the subject matter is mortality and the morgue.

Andy Nutter
Shush - Shush EP

Shush - Shush EP

If female fronted bubblegum rock is what you like, then Shush are guaranteed to be right up your street. Combining the talented vocals of frontl ady Milena, who has a distinct pop-punk sound to her voice with the powerful backdrop of Andy (guitar), Dean (bass) and Simon (drums). Backed up with catchy choruses, impressive guitar solos and a stylish attitude, their debut EP is a captivating chunk of fashionable female fronted angst. Taking elements of inspiration from Brody Dalle, Blondie and Paramore the London based four piece have a mix of all the right ingredients to secure their slots on the music scene for a long time yet. The EP kicks off with ‘Retroversity’, an infectious stomper which instantly hooks you in with it's familiar melodies and riffs. Followed by ‘XXX’ and ‘A Little Bit More’ which have future hit single releases written all over them. ‘Pretty Thing’ and ‘Rather’ are again cut from the same cloth being equally addictive. This short lesson in Shush definitely leaves you wanting to hear more and judging by a recent gig by them, I know they have a lot more to offer.

Hannah Nutter
Lauren Harris - Calm Before The Storm

Lauren Harris - Calm Before The Storm

Kicking off with GUN’s 1992 classic ‘Steal Your Fire’, this album instantly pins your ears back and makes you sit up and listen. Lauren Harris doesn’t do anything different from the original song and from two or three minutes in promises to be a great hard rock album. Unfortunately that’s where all the hard rock comparisons end. The rest of the album is more American styled chart based pop rock than it is Iron Maiden’s daughter balls of steel metal as promised within the opener. Each song in turn has lyrics covering the usual in love - out of love, love my man - hate my man cycle. Intermittently throughout the remaining ten songs the guitars try their best to burst into a great catchy rock riff and the drums pound out hints that something great is on its way, but all too often fall flat and just stay on the wrong side of the pop / rock divide.
Maybe initial expectations to the daughter of one of the UK’s greatest exports in metal music are unfairly high and heavy, and after a few listens you do realise that, although the album sits easy within it's comfort zone and never tries to push any boundaries, she does have a fantastic voice and some catchy tunes.

Andy Nutter
Guns N Roses - Chinese Democracy
Guns N Roses - Chinese Democracy

Everyone has heard the leaks, they've now become a thing of legend with many music fan’s hard drive already having a ‘collection’ of music labelled Chinese Democracy so what will be leftto hear and how much impact does it still pack? The intro to the first track is a whole minute long but I guess after 15 years waiting I’m sure we can wait for another sixty seconds! Eventually when the punch-in-the-air guitar riff starts followed by the trademark screechof rock's most infamous bad-ass, the long-time-coming, the leaks, lies, rumours and press bullshit all fall by the wayside. Nothing else matters because this IS Guns n Roses and it sounds great! After the much radio played title track you are belted with ‘Shackler’s Revenge’ - a song that dispels any invalidated reports of the bands sound being aged and dated. It's powerful and direct with crushing guitar riffs, sub bass effects, perfectly keyed vocals and razor sharp solos. The reported next single ‘Better’ follows and brings us into the recognizable Use Your Illusions territory, again not sounding like it was written in the UYI’s days, but very much with today’s relevance whilst still not following or bending over to any fashion or trend that would date this music in the next 15 years. Then there is the big hit, ‘Street of dreams’. This is a masterpiece, a tearjerker of a power ballad that ticks every box in the ‘November Rain’ checklist. Anyone who still is clinging on to the wavering bandwagon that is still claiming this isn’t really Guns, my advice would be sit back and put this track on loud. ‘If the world’ is the first song that leads us into not so familiar landscapes, with classical guitars over drum beats and loops. Axl’s voice sits over it like a velvet shroud keeping everything within the listener’s grasp and when the guitar solos break out over Tommy Stinson’s solid bass you know that you are back on terra firma. Another heavily leaked tune and live favourite of the Guns over the last five years or so is ‘There was a time’. The epic style and lyrical content of this song is far beyond the realms of what 99.9% of all so called songwriters could ever dream of scripting and yet again concretes that this album is the Guns we all love. By this time you’re not even halfway into the album, you have already forgot that it is the most hyped and expensive slice of music in history, and probably it will never have that crown removed. You have forgot that you have heard many incomplete versions of half of this album; you have forgot any bad press that you may have read about Axl’s mental, physical and of course musical state. You have even forgot that to some this isn’t a Guns n Roses album, because after hearing it, it absolutely is. After hearing the album from start to finish I was left with the same feelings, emotions and adrenaline that I did for the first time and every time I play Lies, Appetite, Illusions and even Spaghetti. Every song has its own strengths, the quality of the songs are undeniable, and when Axl emphasizes over certain phrases or words you know that this is his heart and soul   poured out for all to see and pick at. Just remember when UYI came out and it was torn limb from limb by many reviewers and fans alike, claiming it wasn’tGuns n Roses and that it was too overproduced and not at all like its predecessor. How far would they have got if they released another Appetite? Then another? Then another…would they be here today? Would they be the most important band of the last 30 years? And after listening to Chinese Democracy a few times, would it have been any better, or in fact any different if Slash, Duff, Sorum or Adler played on it?

Andy Nutter
Dear Superstar - Heartless

Dear Superstar - Heartless

Kicking in with a chanting wall of guitars and a glam proud guitar intro, then quickly running into the“Woah woah” chorus and easily infectious melodies, you soon find yourself swaying to what is becoming your new favourite sound. Although each member is only just old enough to remember the LA cock rock scene in it’s prime, when the strip clubs and seedy bars were full of spandex clad hairspray soon-to-be stadium fillers like Crue, Roses, Tigertailz and so on, Dear Superstar draw their influences massively from this era. But instead of just ripping it off and pretending that time has stood still since ’84, they've brought it right up to date and mixed it well with the big sellers of today like Bullet For My Valentine and Atreyu. The result is like listening to your favourite flash back album with the fashionable edge of today’s rock scene. Opener ‘Brink of Destruction’ with it's appetite name check, sets out their self-belief. Follower ‘Brothers in Blood’ is cast in the same dye, amalgamating self-belief with inner strengths and the bond of a very close band. Band mates Bullet’ helped out on what sounds like a massive hit ‘Live.Love.Lie’ and throw Dear Superstar right into the same playing field as all of the bands that we hear on every rock radio station each minute of every day. The following songs, ‘Signposts and Bedposts’, ‘Anytime Anyplace’ and ‘Raised Voices and Confrontations’ spell out a band that are living the hedonistic life on the road, with all the highs and inevitable pitfalls. While ‘Hollywood Vampire’ and ‘Diseased and Distraught’, pen on the morally inept of the fairer sex. The closer is the ballad with a difference titled ‘Can’t Write A Love Song’ and spits out ‘used to love her’ styled, scorn man lyrics towards every past notch on the bedpost.

Andy Nutter

 
American Dog - Hard

American Dog - Hard

The overly long instrumental intros and the far too over the top "Sometimes The Pussy Eats You" doesn't do this band justice. Because if you give them a chance beyond the first few songs, and I nearly didn't, you will finally reach the ironically titled "Long Time Comin" which sits mid way into the Ohio trio's "Hard" album. Then you will eventually get what this band is all about, drinking and playing loud rock.and that's just about it. "Long time comin" starts of with some very skilful acoustic guitar picking, displaying Steve Theado incredible talent. Which then roars up with a fierce build up from the amps and then the crushing riff carries on in a now distorted form. The drums of Keith Pickens are powerful and driving from here on and the vocals are as raw and raspy from Michael Hannon. "Beaten, Broken, etc" is their witty take on the smoke filled blues rock with moans and rants about just about all that is wrong is this world through the bottom of a bottle of Tennessee's finest. The C.D closer "Magnificent bastard" is an anthem of a song that sounds midway between a football terrace chant and any one of Lemmy's mid eighties hits.Once you have fallen into the double vision world American Dog and realised that the denim clad, beer swillin', less than serious, bar room gang are off to buy you another round before jumping up onstage to blow out another rip take of a blues rock standard. Done with awesome intent, energy and blinding guitar skills and that the drums and bass will hold you pinned down while the gravel is chewed up and spat out as the vocals. You may as well give in, drink up and get another round in.

Andy Nutter

Sebastian Bach - Angel Down

Sebastian Bach - Angel Down

As a life long Skid Row fan and one of the last remaining believers that Axl Rose can still do no wrong, I was incredibly excited to finally hear this album. Reigning in as a return to form for the over-the-top screaming blonde leggy giant of 90's arena rock and pulled out of the hat after a rekindled friendship merged during Sebastian Bach's stint as opener on the new Guns n Roses, this sounded like it should have been the next best thing. Boasting star guitar parts, a heavier sound, Aerosmith classic covers and Mr Rose on not one, but three tracks. So, does it live up to its high expectations, does all the hype, grandeur and intention pay dividends when you turn it up to 11, well, no it doesn't. Unfortunately, because after a pretty impressive chunk of that promised heavier sound on the opener and title track 'Angel Down' and 'You Don't Understand', it all seems to fall apart, and this is such a shame because as early on as track three, where the expected explosion of the not-heard-in-over-a-decade screech should have made this album amazing.it doesn't. Okay, it is good to hear Axl and Sebastian punching out the Aerosmith hit 'Back in the saddle' and you almost feel as if they are trying to tell you something. But it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth by the time you've heard '(Love is) a bitch slap' and 'Stuck Inside' and feel that maybe, just maybe the vocals weren't recorded when the two were together drinking JD and planning to regain what is rightfull theirs, and perhaps the truth is that Axl did his part in a studio somewhere, on his own at silly O'clock and just emailed it over to Sebastian who had it all mixed down and created what is barely a good rock album. The album boasts another nine tracks and some are good, some are okay, but none are what you wanted when you first hit the play button and cranked it up, you are left wanting and disappointed. Maybe too little too late, or just too little, only time will tell.

Andy Nutter

Black Stone Cherry - Folklore & Superstition

Black Stone Cherry - Folklore & Superstition

The proud chest thumping intro, the rolling overdriven guitar licks and the growling vocals of "Blind man" set the president for this powerful slab of deep-south American rock. By the time you have reached the fantastic half temp pre-chorus of the first song, you're already hooked on the radio friendly rock anthems of Kentucky's denim clad, long haired twenty-somethings. The next few songs follow the same mould of hooks, hooks and more hooks, in-fact you'll feel like you've owned this album all of your life and that you know the powerful wall of sound and vocal harmonies in the chorus off by heart after the first listen. Black Stone Cherry take a break from their heavier overdriven riffs and slow things down to great effect on a few tracks like the soulful piano led "Things my father said" which is a tearjerker of a song that comes straight from the heart of Chris Robertson. Proving beyond doubt maturity past their years and instantly dismisses the critics who might say they have no depth. Other than the awkward reggae tinged "Sunrise" most of Black Stone Cherry's songs sit comfortably with their peers and influences, but it is the slow burners like "Peace is free" and "you" which really stand out above the rest. Sounding like a great performance from a great band that have many albums under their belt, many tours, many tragedies and much experience to fall back on and when you realise that no one is older that 26 in this band it cements their chance of them having classic rock success and longevity.

Andy Nutter

Blacklist Union - Breaking Bread With The Devil

Blacklist Union - Breaking Bread With The Devil

The feel to this album combines sleazy Rock'n'Roll, bags of attitude and instantly catchy choruses that creep into your subconscious and refuse to compromise. With impressive lead guitar solos, angsty lyrics and enough chains and buckles to put 'Judas Priest' to shame, the ink covered Hollywood hellraisers certainly have the ability to grab you by the throat and force-feed you their music. Opening with the heavy and raw edged title track, 'Breakin bread with the devil' they hold a middle finger firmly up
the air to all the 'Backstabbin, shit talking, negative parasites' of the world. The equally fist pumping 'Wicked love song' is an energy ridden highlight with its blasting catch lines and industrial pounding drums that make this song sound like an obvious choice for a single release. They show diversity in the heartfelt melodic 'Say hello', which is dedicated to the birth of frontman Tony West's son Dylan. He then comfortably displays an even more sensitive side to his personality and tugs on your heartstrings again by easing off the gas to slow things right down for 'Sixty five steps away', an emotional yet powerful piano ballad. Singing the line 'Never been in love. Forever in pain' is the epitome of heartbroken anguish, baring his soul to you through his eyeliner and tattooed armour. This song is about his ex girlfriend and also his ex-wife who are both buried in the same cemetery, 65 sad footsteps away from each other. If that doesn't get your eyes welling up then what will? After touring with many of this genres stars, Blacklist Union have crafted their own sound that is part sleaze, part rock n roll, part classic rock and part metal but also has elements of industrial, punk and glam. They have all the in your face snarl and grit to hold their own with the big boys and judging by this album they have the material to back up their claims too.

Hannah Nutter

Buckcherry - Black Butterfly

Buckcherry - Black Butterfly

I was lucky enough to see Buckcherry play Rock City in 1999, well before anyone had heard of them (they were listed as Buck Cherry on the tickets!!) after a good friend returned from L.A. where he had seen them at the Whiskey and told me they are the next big thing. And the judging by that performance and the subsequent debut album, I agreed whole hearted. They were full on balls out American hard rock with everything that I love about that scene, the tattooed bad boy singer with a glass cutter voice and a more heavily inked guitarist with low slung les pauls playing over a backdrop of pounding drums and gritty bass lines.The following years saw a line up change for the Californians and a not so well received follow up album, showing that remaining founder members, Josh Todd and Keith Nelson were going through a turbulent time. Then there was the Velvet Revolver time when Josh Todd had shown signs of calling it a day with Buckcherry and recorded with Slash and Duff on their back then un-named
"project" until he was frog jumped by Scott Weiland. Buckcherry settled into their new shoes eventually and quickly recorded and released their third album '15' which included their biggest hit to date, the sex romp party song 'Crazy Bitch', but with the album going off into more experimental ways as Keith Nelson influenced a large part of the album with his love of country music, displayed a band that when they get it right, its amazing.but they do often get it wrong. The new album by BuckCherry is a definite return to their former glory, 'Black Butterfly' has a similar feel to the '99 debut, only slightly more grown up. Josh's voice is as powerful as ever and still distinctive, while Keith Nelson and Stevie D share solo parts and riffs giving the songs a more dynamic feel. Xavier Muriel on drums and Jimmy Ashhurst on bass pin the songs down and keep everything flowing leaving room for the vocals to sway in and out of soft singing and all out blackboard scraping. In true Buckcherry fashion they throw in the oddball party song with 'Too Drunk To Fuck' and Keith Nelson gets his own way with the acoustic 'All of me' complete with ukulele and pre rock n roll riffs, but with those
exceptions the album could sit very well with their first and best one to date.

Andy Nutter

Confederacy of Horsepower - Vagabond Caberet

Confederacy of Horsepower - Vagabond Caberet

This album is the musical equivalent of a Harley Davidson that runs on Jack Daniels and eats burgers and loose ladies for its supper, not even spitting out the bones, rather using them as tooth picks before devouring its next meal of gasoline and hookers!!! The album was produced The Almighty's Ricky Warwick who also plays additional guitars, and heavily influences the overall sound and direction of the band, if you liked The Almighty's first few albums, you'll love this, the opener, with its air raid sirens and Rule Britannia run in is even called 'Crucify me' and sound exactly like something the big ginger one would be proud of. But Confederacy of Horsepower really come into their own when the keys are played by the under-rated talents of Dizzy Reed on 'Bangkok and back' which is a true smoky bar rock n' roll call to arms. This song turns the album from a V-twin to a full V8 chugging away and coughing black ash on all who disagree. Mathew Mayhems vocals are as raw as they could be without tearing his larynx out with a rusty switchblade and the furious bass and drumming of Joe Truck and David Harvey leave you breathless trying to keep up. The guitars are kept in check by Ricky Reckless and (the best named lead guitarist ever), G# Sharp, who play huge walls of distorted wah-wah solos back and forth as if swapping licks for chicks at their favourite strip club. By the time the album reaches its last few rants 'Cat o nine', there own take on a love song (?) with 'High priest of love' and closer 'Thunder alley' you are already sold to their greasy anthem style chorus's and back n forth guitar breaks. Vagabond Cabaret is the perfect antidote for all of the less-than-masculine bands out there that spend more time applying make up and styling their perfect hair than writing good hooks and fun rock music with tongue in cheek lyrics about fighting, fucking and drinking, well, its only rock n' roll right?

Andy Nutter

Disarm - By Any Means Necessary

Disarm - By Any Means Necessary

If you have been fortunate enough to catch Disarm’s sweaty, exhilarating live performances, then you will be completely aware of the raw energy they exude on stage. Dripping with attitude and oozing Rock’n’Roll through every pore, the Sheffield based foursome not only kick your ass, they manage to volley you across the room! ‘By any means necessary’ combines angst ridden lyrics, wailing guitar solo’s and an explosive sleazy arrogance complete with infectious riffs that will leave you with a feeling comparative to stepping off a dangerously fast rollercoaster, but wanting to jump straight back on! The general vein of the album is Punkrock with frontman Brad, spiting and snarling emotion from the very depths of his gut. This is ever present in the heavier moments ‘The river city ransom death pact’ and the instantly hard driven, addictive ‘Bark. Bite. Scream’, a highlight that will have the hairs on the back of your neck prick up. Followed in quick succession by effortlessly cool ‘Faster faster…kill’ boasting the sexually precocious lyric "Kiss me in heaven, fuck me in hell". ‘She's my disease’ and the deliciously nasty ‘This is not a pop song’ contain the ability to grab you roughly by the short and curlies and keep them firmly held in a vice like grip. Staying true to their own unique style throughout, the deviant tramps conclude with the spectacularly charged ‘Too much is never enough’ which will make your heart skip and jump that little bit faster right through until the end. Disarm have established themselves as ‘The kings of sleaze’ with this absolute corker of an album, and more than proved that they function as a tight and talented unit, with the potential to go very far on the rock scene. Long may they reign.

Hannah Nutter

Naughty Boys - R U Naughty Enough?

Naughty Boys - R U Naughty Enough?

Their sickly sweet keyboard melodic rock songs are moulded from the same cast that built empires for arena rocking bands in the 80s and 90s and are so radio friendly and inoffensive that pretty much any track from the first full length album from the Swedish rock n rollers "R U Naughty Enough" would be easily slipped into any mainstream playlist without too much upheaval. The band has been together playing since the stadium rock hey days of 89 and although they have seen a few line up changes and bust ups along the way they remain focused and highly professional. Tracks like "After the Rain" and "Bitter Tears" prove this with displays of technical ability and the writing depth and capabilities that can only be gained by being on the scene for so long. The only song worthy of comment is the new single "Only God" which begins with a powerful attention grabbing intro and after the initial surge of guitars and drums leave a huge backdrop of bass and drums for vocalist Mikeal Sandvik to roll his silky smooth words out and lead you towards the lighter-in-the-air moment that is abundant on almost every song. "R U Naughty Enough" is lacking in the attitude that the bands image holds and would more suit the pop rock charts accommodated now by has-been rock stars and a few young never-gonnabees, than the new edgy rock scene of today that has replaced the stadium scene that they are longing to return to. They have been around a long time, but, after hearing the album, and recognizing that they are struggling to find their sound while also trying to fit into the ever changing pop rock culture, have realised why they have only got this far.

Andy Nutter

Peepshow - Out For Blood

Peepshow - Out For Blood

If you're becoming slightly bored with the majority of serious metal bands on the music scene and fancy hearing something guaranteed to make you smile. Then Edinburgh's finest glam rockers 'Peep Show' are probably just what you need. Taking elements from the mid-eighties sunset strip highlights such as 'Motley Crue', 'Cinderella' and 'Poison' and mixing in their own Murderdolls-esque take to complete a backdrop of snarling guitars, glitter and hairspray. The album is wall to wall sleaze rock, complete with infectious "woah-woah" choruses, catchy melodies, lipstick tinged lyrics and ear shattering 'foot-on-monitor-tongue-wagging-at-frontrow-hotties' style lead solos, all held together with bucket loads of attitude, you get the impression that these guys live and breathe purely for rock'n'roll.Opening song 'The Stand' is an instant favourite as once its in your head with its over the top candy sweet "take my hand to the promised land, one more night and we'll make a stand" refuses to leave, followed by equally addictive 'Turn it up' which will make you want to do just that. Title track 'Out for blood' leaves you wanting to backcomb your hair and dig out those spandex leggings! While other memorable tracks include 'Teenage nightmare', 'Until it's gone' and ''Peep show' with its never ending harmonic squeal from Rusty Gill, all leave your heart skipping that little bit faster and dreaming that the heyday of 80s cock rock scene will once again rule.

Hannah Nutter

 
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