Pretty Maids: “Kingmaker”, Frontiers Records.
Tracklist: 01.When God took a day off, 02.Kingmaker, 03.Face the world, 04.Humanize me, 05.Last beauty on earth, 06.Bull’s eye, 07.King of the right here and now, 08.Heavens little devil, 09.Civilized monster, 10.Sickening, 11.Was that what you wanted, 12. Kingmaker (extended)
Band: Ronnie Atkins (vocals), Ken Hammer (guitar), Allan Tschicaja (drums), René Shades (bass) and Chris Laney (keyboards). On the album Kim Olesen plays the keys…
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Pretty Maids and Jacob Hansen.
The band Pretty Maids has been around for quite a while now… And seen apart from a week epoque in the middle tha band has never been stronger! “Kingmaker” shows that with founding members Ronnie Atkins and Ken Hammer stil practicing magic in the studio – great melody and great musicianship. This time around they are joined by René Shades on bass and the human powerhouse Allan Tschicaja on drums – Kim Olesen from Anubis Gate is playing the keyboards – but live he has been replaced by Chris Laney.
The album starts out with a gospel choir – the intro to “When God took a day off” is majestic, and the song itself is a small masterpiece with power. There are more powertracks on the album like “Bull’s eye” and “King of the right here and now”. But as I said in the beginning PM is much more wide… i.e. “Face the world” is a happy song-a-long track, perfect as a first single. “Last beauty on earth” with its laid-back almost countrylike atmosphere is a great tune, too. For you metalheads outthere – there is a track like “Sickening” which almost leaves Rammstein and U.D.O in the ashes!
“Kingmaker” is in my opinion one of the bands better records – the strongest in lat’s say 10-15 years! I’m looking forward to the forthcoming tour – the band seem very hungry!
Mitch Malloy: “Making Noise”, Own Label
Tracklist: 01.Rocknroll, 02.My Therapy, 03.One Way, 04.Speak of The Devil, 05.Shook, 06.It’s just a Word, 07.Alone, 08.I was wrong, 09.Life has just begun, 10.Making Noise.
All instruments played by Mitch Malloy.
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Mitch Malloy at Malloy MasterTrack Studio, Nashville TN.
With a tracks like “Anything at all” back in 1992 Mitch Malloy made a big part of “my soundtrack” to my youth (or younger days:) and i am sure that every lover of AOR and/or melodic rock will agree.
Now we are in 2016 – and Mitch malloy has released a new album called “Making Noise”. And it will hopefully give him a chance to kick up the old audience (like myself) and give him some new listeners, too!
For a start: The album is great. It covers the genre from rock to ballads and shows that Mitch Malloy is a great frontman with an awesome voice – Van Halen are the losers here! There are several highlights on the album but tracks like the opener “Rocknroll” – also a perfect show opener, the first single “My Therapy” – much more edgie and tough tha i expected, “Shook” with its duelling organ/guitar-theme – reminds me of old school Deep Purple and finally “making Noise – really finishes the album of.
Mitch Malloy has taken care of all instruments and producing this record and it is a 100% MM-album. He is back on track and making music to some one like me – but also has an eye and an ear in the future, too. So thumbs up for this release and for the soundtrack to my future as well:)
Mitch Malloy & band
Portalen, Greve, Denmark 24th September 2016
Band: Mitch Malloy (vocals, guitar), Tyler Warren (drums, background vocals), Andreas Oxholm (bass) and Tristan Avakian (guitar, background vocals)
One of THE soundtracks to my youth (or “younger days” to be precise) is definitely the blistering debut from 1992 by the one and only Mitch Malloy.
Along the road Malloy made even more records – and even landed a job in Van Halen for a (very short) while.
But at the present time in 2016 Malloy is here again in a re-launched edition – packed with re-found enthusiasm and supporting a brand new album: “Making Noise”.
The night started out with the Czech modern rock 5-piece The Snuff. This young band was loaded with a lot of power, courage of youth, energy and a LOT of volume:)
Main attraction (not mane attraction) of the evening was Mitch Malloy, though! and when Mitch and the rest of the band went on stage the whole scene shivered of anticipation. And Malloy entered as a 101% rock STAR: Long curly hair (mane… got it?), shiny tight pants and a pair of big shades!
First track was even called “Rocknroll” – from the new album. A bit Van Halen-esque and a perfect show opener. After this Malloy owned the facilities and the crowd of approximately 150 people screamed along on every tune and riff Malloy and band made:
The set list continued with well known (and loved) anthems like “Mission of Love”, “Take me over the Water”, “Standing in the Middle of Nowhere”, “Cowboy & the Ballerina” and “Our Love will never die”. All tracks supported by a screaming crowd – helping the awesome vocalist.
First single from the new album – a track called “My Therapy” also got very positive respons- and it really has a captive riff and with the majestic “Forever” (recorded back in 1988) Malloy ended first set with Mitch running around IN the audience.
After a short break the band entered the stage and delivered the ultimate showmanship! The little gem “Love Song” from the album “II” was next, followed by the beautiful “Nobody wins in this war” – and the last encore was the biggest track from Mitch Malloy – “Anything at all” ended a perfect evening in melodic rock paradise.
Ah…. ended and ended! A very pleasent, down to earth and friendly Mitch Malloy even took the time and signed Cd’s, signing autographs and photos with and among the audience! Now this man is not only the soundtrack of my youth but also the future. Thank you very much…!
Text: Steen Elstrup Pejtersen
Photos & Video: Tine Elstrup Pejtersen
HitnRun: “HitnRun”, Lions Pride Music.
Tracklist: 01.Shot of Love, 02.Piece of the Action, 03.King of the Fools, 04.Got the Fire, 05.Forever, 06.Take it to the Limit, 07.She’s so wild, 08.Love gone bad, 09.Wild and crazy Days.
Band: Eric Montoyas (vocals), Mark Sutorka (guitar), Dan Whitman Montoya (bass), Jareth Grealish (guitar) and Beckett Grealish (drums).
Originally recorded back in the early 90’s with the wave of grunge hanging over their head HitnRun insisted playing good and classy hardrock with bluesy, hardhitting and melodic touch – sometimes even funky (just listen to the break in “She’s so wild”). All delivered with an enthusiasm and joy – they must have been a blast in the local music scene of Eastern Pennysylvania and New Jersey at that time.
The band opened for bands like Dirty Looks, Tyketto and Widowmaker – and really tried to deliver the goods live. Luckily for us today the band members stayed in touch – so here we are with the result!
The raw voice of Eric Montoya and the addictive riffs by the two guitarist is backed perfectly by a very tight rhythm group and after listening to party tracks like “Piece of the Action” and “King of Fools” i can’t help thinking of the mighty band Little Ceasar. The structure and quality of the songs are not that far from each other. HitnRun also masters the power ballads like “Forever” – a beautiful track with a lot of hit potential (in the 90’s). And the beautiful structured “She’s so Wild” – remember with that funky feeling?! Its sheer amusement… A track that sums it all up for me though is the monster track “Take it to the Limit” – hookladen and with lots and lots of guitar and a nice chorus to hum along!
So if you miss classy hard rock with a soulful and bluesy touch – HitnRun will be right up your alley!! I know that it is right up my one:)
Moonshine: “Moonshine”, Lions Pride Music.
Tracklist: 01.Mississippi Delta blues, 02.Warm beer catfish stew, 03.The devils road, 04.Fortunate son, 05.The last song, 06.Mamas kitchen brew, 07.Southern Blood, 08.Turn me around, 09.Fade away, 10.The american train.
Band: Derek Davis (vocals), Buzzy James (slide guitar and vocals), Creg defalco (guitar and vocals), Mike Malone (piano harmonica and vocals), Brian Fox (drums) and Michael Norton (bass). Additional players Jane Child (piano), Michael Anthony!! (bass), Kevin Hill (bass) and David Lauser (drums).
Twenty years after being recorded, Moonshine’s debut LP finally got out in the light. It had been hidden away in singer Derek Davis’ (Babylon AD) closet all these years. Derek recently brushed up the masters, had them re-mastered from analog tape to digital format and set about releasing this longoverdue little treasure. Fans of guitar driven blues-based rock will dig this release.
Had this album been released back in the day, I could see this song doing well at radio – alongside Tangier for example.
This whiskey-soaked, slide guitar laden musical journey down the Dixie land has more than a few highlights, be it the groovy, rocking, bluesy opener “Mississippi Delta Blues”, the maudlin melodic road song “The Devil’s Road” or the blues, Skynyrd-infused ballad “The Last Song.” Outstanding is the rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1969 classic “Fortunate Song,” featuring some blistering lead guitar work. “Mams Kitchen Brew” and “Warm Beer Catfish Stew” (my favorite) are dynamic pieces of hard-hitting blues with well-crafted choruses against the groovy instrumental background.
So get a little history lesson here – and buy Moonshine, you won’t regret that!
Stone Machine: “10 Stones”, Lions Pride Music
Tracklist: 01.Use you up, 02.Dirty sweet, 03.Down south mama, 04.Better days, 05.Long Road, 06.Slow down, 07.Rock ain’t dead, 08.Corn bread, 09.Mr. Blues, 10.Queen without a crown.
Band: Dirk Blevins (guitars, bass and vocals), Jason Mays (vocals, bass, drums and organ), Jamie Hall (bass) and Jeremy Hall (drums).
Hailing from the U.S. city of Huntington, West Virginia, in an area known for steel and oil refining industries, Stone Machine is a band not to be missed. Main member Dirk Blevins and co. have delivered a little pearl of classic rock that will transport you back to the good old days – when hard rock was born.
The bands style is best described in the vein of Free and Bad Company, with their own significant touch to the music and with very powerful vocals by Jason Mays. The band have s released 3 albums and 10 Stones is their 4 and best of album containing 2 previous unreleased tracks only featured on this release. The man behind the music, Dirk Blevins has a very nice old school-touch to songwriting.
Jason Mays high-ranged voice is made for rock music he reminds me of a cocktail of a young Sammy Hagar, Danny Bowes and Paul Rodgers – not bad!
Songs like “Mr. Blues” also has a certain sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd to it or Black Crowes for that matter – and that goes for several songs on this album
The track “Rock Ain’t Dead” is a true rock anthem on this one, and it will have you singing along just as the rest of them will. If you like your Southern Rock with a bluesy touch, I recommend Stone Machine very much!
Ragdoll: “Rewound”, Lions Pride Music
Tracklist: 01.Here today, 02. Tell me, 03.Could it be love, 04.Heaven above, 05.Overnight sensation, 06.Foot to the floor, 07.The feeling, 08.Ashamed, 09.In my mind.
Band: Ryan Rafferty (bass and vocals), Leon Todd (guitar) and Cam Barrett (drums) – bass on “In my mind” by Mike Mcculough.
Ragdoll cannot be labeled with any genre type as their entire mission on and off the stage is to bring new life into the music they love. This is reflected in their release of the compilation CD “Ragdoll Rewound” which brings together Ragdoll’s first two EP’s, “Ragdoll Rock” and the critically acclaimed “Here Today”. Mix in hard rock, classic rock and twist it with progressive and you have the Ragdoll sound and their stage presence is like none other.
Guitarist Leon Todd descibes the year 2015; “Another great tour ahead America! We have a new single out and new material we are ready to share as well as new shirts.” Last year’s tour brought some crazy merchandise and fans are ready to see what all Ragdoll will bring to the States this year. Preparing to come from the land down under, there is no better way to do so than opening for legendary Uriah Heep this past week at The Astor Theatre in Perth. Ragdoll farewell their home crowd in Perth, Western Australia, with a tour fundraiser show April 18 at The Civic Hotel. And for the fourth year in a row, the Australian trio, have announced their return to Rocklahoma Festival in Pryor, Oklahoma. Leon Todd, Ryan Rafferty and Cam Barrett will share the stage alongside Linkin Park, Tesla, Godsmack, Slayer and many more across the Memorial Day Weekend for ‘Life, Liberty & The Pursuit of Rock’.
So if you are into hard rock with a twist – Ragdoll will be right up your alley!
Elements of Frictions: “Elements of Frictions”, Lions Pride Music
Artist- and tracklist: 01.Marcello/Vestry What you wanna be, 02.Area 51 Little one, 03.Emma Varg Love don’t live here anymore, 04.Matti Alfonzetti Don’t leave me lonely, 05.Larry Baud Make you mine, 06.Oliver Fehr Don’t walk away, 07.Snakes in Paradise Without your love, 08.Mats Leven Only my heart, 09.Pete Loran To the limit, 10.Paul Laine Another me, 11.Tommy La Verdi Somebody up there, 12.Stephan Kammerer All about you, 13.Rich Cox Let me down easy, 14.Mark Evans Pieces of the action.
With Elements Of Frictions, the newly founded melodic hard rock label Lions Pride Music, is bringing back some of the voices from the past of the genre in the likes of Larry Baud of Red Dawn/Networks, Mark Evans of Heavens Edge, Stefan Berggren of Snakes In Paradise, Stephan Kammerer of Frontline, Tommy La Verdi of 21 Guns/LRS, Paul Laine ex. Danger Danger, Oliver Fehr from Transit and many more. Besides the “old garde” of rockers its lovely to hear a rock lady like Emma Varg who REALKLY shines on the magnificent “Love don’t live here anymore”.
Elements Of Frictions is the brainchild of label owner and founder Carsten Nielsen; I’ve been a fan of this genre ever since the young age of 12. I grew up on Hardline, Bad English, Danger Danger, Harem Scarem, Unruly Child, House Of Lords and the list goes on. Through the years the idea of starting my own label dedicated to this gerne, were always in the back of my head and when the first opportunity presented itself to realize this dream and the release of Elements Of Frictions, then there were no second guessing or doubt, it was all in.
I like this album for its diversity musically, hence the name Elements Of Frictions, it’s not all AOR or melodic rock nor is it hard rock, there is something on it for everyones liking. And that’s what I think stands out on this album and that of course that it has some of the voices back from the heydays back in recording for the first time in years.
On the compilation there are several jar-dropping tracks Marcello/Vestrys “What you wanne be” for one – melodic and powerful, a perfect showstarter. And Tommy La Verdi “Somebody up there” is really great, too. But here are to many highlights and great tracks to mention them all… Only band effort song is from Area 51 – featuring Matti Alfonzetti, Sven Cirnski, Jamie Borger, Micke Höglund and Patrick Appelgren delivering a solid bluesy melodic effort here. Personally I think taht it is very satisfieng to (re)-listen to Oliver Fehr fom Transit, Larry Baud of Red Dawn and Mark Evans from Heavens Edge.
A very recommended album if you – like me – is a sucker for melodic rock with a lot of melody, bangings choruses, screaming guitars and vocals to die for!
Stellar Revival (now known as Southern Gentlemen): “Love, lust and bad company” Lions Pride Music
Tracklist: 01.The crazy ones, 02.Watch you walk away, 03.Saving Grace, 04.Heart to stone, 05.Love,lust and bad company, 06.Cross your heart, 07.The bottom line, 08.Hungover you, 09.Edge of a dream, 10.England’s best, 11.Shattered, 12.Saving Grace (acustic), 13.Cross your heart (acustic), 14.Live it up (demo), 15.Self proclaimed (demo).
Band: Daniel Uricoli Jnr. and Gennaro Cerbone.
Stellar Revival – now known as Southern Gentlemen were abot to release their major label debut album, Love, Lust & Bad Company, a couple of years ago ( in 2013), but due to several circumstances it never happened and the band broke up shortly after. Here in 2015 Daniel Uricoli, (bassist), got the rights for the album and it got released on different streaming services – but only in mp3 format.
Horyzon: “Horyzon” Lions Pride Music.
Tracklist: 01.I believe in love again, 02.Fight for your dreams, 03.Caroline.
Band: Daniel Vargas (vocals), Wagner Alexandre (guitars), Ari Gomez (bass), Leandro Freitas (keys and bgv.) and Rod Marcus (drums and bgv.).
A great and tasteful EP with 3 awesome tracks. That is what brazilian quintet Horyzon has come up with from their native Sao Paolo.
Again it’s danish label Lions Pride Music that has discovered this little pearl. The sound is magnificent – all melodies and production is spot-on! Naturally their sources of inspiration are bands like W.E.T., Work of Art and The Storm etc. and therefore opener “I believe in love again” gives very high hopes for a full album in 2016.
All 3 tracks are high class AOR, with great high pitched vocals, a suitable carpet of keyboards and drums – supplied with cracky riffs and solos from the guitar.
I really have high hopes for this band – keep on rocking – and this will launch a third coming of the Scandic-sound – all the way from Brazil;)
Marenna: “My unconditional faith”, Lions Pride Music.
Tracklist: 01.You need to believe, 02.Like an angel, 03.Keep on dreaming, 04.You need to belive (acustic), 05.Life goes on, 06.Like an angel (karaoke version!)
Band: Rodrigo Marenna (vocals), Jonas Godoy (guitar/bass/keys), Guilherme Mello (drums) + “guest stars”
Marenna is the brainchild of composer Rodrigo Marenna – the lead singer of brazilian act Lacross.
This EP with its 4 tracks + 2 bonus ones is very promising. It is straight forward guitar orientated AOR/melodic rock that gives me memories of the first Bon Jovi albums and/or the melodic side of Whitesnake etc. all delivered with brazilian elegance and flair for a good melody.
First track “You need to believe” is an up tempo melodic rocker, which very much characterize the album as a whole – great melody, blistering guitars and an outstanding vocal performance. Semiballad “Like an angel” is also good, but my favorite is “Keep on dreaming” with its infectious riff in the beginning and GREAT chorus. “Life goes on” is also good and is hopefully a track that Marenna plays live – it is a genuine show starter and very sing-along-ish.
Rodrigo Marenna works as a vocal coach – maybe thats why there is a karaoke version of “Like an angel” and an acustic version of “You need to belive” on this album. Don’t buy it because of them – buy it because it is a GREAT album, More of this!!!
Zaneta: “Tales from the Sun”, Lions Pride Music
Tracklist: 01.Maryanne, 02.Coming back, 03.Feel you now, 04.Stay, 05.I won’t cry, 06.Not this time, 07.All my life, 08.Saturday, 09.Dream of love, 10.Tell me why.
Band: Simone Roman (vocals/guitars/bass), Fabrizio Leo (guitars), Steff Brusa (keys/piano) and Danilo Marinotti (drums).
Starting out with the rocking and swinging “Maryanne”, the cornerstone is laid down for a good and solid album consisting melodic guitar (and keyboard) driven AOR.
This Italian quartet has risen from the ashes of melodic fellows Eva – as Steff Brusa’s keys is awesome and massive involved in the soundcarpet of Zaneta.
The album as a whole is well produced – allowing all members to shine equally throughout the tracks. That is from opening track over the first single and the slightly softer “Feel you now” – with a kind-of-Toto sound to it. The grand ballad “Stay” also has a majestic flair to it – radiofriendly AOR of the best kind. My favorite track “All my life” has an infectous riff, great guitar breaks and solo – and really allows brilliant vocalist and guitarist Simone Roman to shine. But as a favorite the track “Saturday” also comes very close, with a great riff and a fresh up-tempo chorus.
All in all a very nice and pleasing release – among the best so far in 2015 in its genre!
Tracklist: 01.Take It Back, 02. Spinning Wheel, 03. Alive, 04. Sleep With The Lights On, 05. Depending On A Miracle, 06. Getaway, 07. Madeleine,08. I Won’t Back Down, 09. Free Birds, 10. Look My Way.
Band: Mikkel Bryde (Vocals & Keys,) Jes Kirstein (Guitars), Mads Fogt (Guitars), Morten Maltesen (Bass) and Jesper Andersen (Drums) – Jesper Andersen has been replaced by Fridi Oester (from LittleFish) after the recordings.
This is were it used to be difficult – releasing a bands number two record! Especially when the first one got so critically acclaimed as it was… But to Raspberry Park it all feels very natural:) They play their hard edged adult rock with such skills, elegance and maturity so they capture and embrace their audience – me, for one!
In comparison with their debut – the band has changed former Skagarack-guitarist Jan Pedersen with Mads Fogt from Brimstone Butterfly – and that has (to my surprise) given a bit to a more bluesier guitar-duel-thing and A LOT in the arrangement-area. What songs and arrangements… surely helped by the mastering, done by none other than Mats “Limpan” Lindfors (Scorpions, H.E.A.T, The Poodles, Crashdïet, Katatonia …) but maybe also by former Parber/Kerstein-mate Jan Parber doing the additional engineering.
At the moment i am totally blown away by tracks like “Alive”, “Madeleine” and “Look my way” but i have a feeling that it might change tomorrow, because there are hits piling up here – “Sleep with the lights on” and “Getaway” is masterpieces, too. Not to mention first single “I won’t back down”. On all tracks the band has all the good qualities of fantastic melodies, with mesmorizing riffs, a solid rhythm base and magnificent solos all over it!
Raspberry Park has made an exellent album here – and i’m proud being a native Dane (with all the other bands in the genre being swedish). I’m sure that the band will be a driving force (they alreadyare) in the melodic rock world in the future. I can only praise this release!
Raspberry Park: “Scratchin* the Surface”, PowerProg Records
9/10. Release date 18. April.2014
Tracklist: 01. On The Battlefield 02. Dangerous Zone 03. Paradise 04. Can`t Get Out 05. Straight To The Bone 06. I´m The Only One 07. Friends & Lovers 08. I´ll Stay 09. The Message 10. Make Me Wonder 11. Let Them Burn 12. One Second
Raspberry Park will release their awaited debut album “Scratchin’ the Surface” on the 18. Of April 2014 – can’t wait! The band features the well known guitar-slinger Jes Kirsten and the singer/keys Mikkel Bryde, the bass is handled by Morten Maltesen and drums by Jesper Andersen. Guest appearance on the record is also “good-old” Skagarack shredder Jan Pind Pedersen.
The idea originally started out as a project by Bryde & Kirstein – with the goal writing for others. But lucky for all us lovers of melodic rock/AOR with a modern touch, they decided to make a band out of it
Their music is very similar to classic acts like Giant, Bon Jovi, Signal and even Beatles – but with a modern production touch the album is a blast!
If you (like me) are a sucker for big melodies, grand guitars, hookladen big production delivered with a mature musical impact tracks like the two already released singles “Paradise” and “On the Battlefield” is right up your alley – Brydes vocals is right on the spot everytime, heavily supported by the powerful riffing by Kirstein and furious guitar blitz by Pedersen – especially the guitar-duo-thing on a track like “Make me Wonder” is fantastic. But also the classic to be “Friends & Lovers” is an absolute hit.