Ugly Kid Jow is back. After they were very successful in the beginning of the 90's, when they had hits like "Cats in the cradle" and "Everything about you" the band stopped in 1996. Than it took 16 years till the band came back with some new stuff. It was the self-produced "Stairway to hell". But the EP was also only online available and hardly to get.
Now the band decided to make a proper release out of this EP. They added three acoustic songs to the EP and in addition to that there will be also a DVD with the 2012 Download show. Sound like value for money. Since I haven't seen the DVD yet I would like to focus on the CD.
The six songs are good rockers in the mid-tempo like we expect them from Ugly Kid Joe. It is good party music even thought all tracks sound for me a little bit more mature than in the old days of the band. "I'm alright" is really kicking-ass and has one of those typical Ugly Kid Joe verses. With "Another beer" the EP has already it's own acoustic song with great lyrics. Just listen to it and amuse yourself. And the opener "Devils paradise" is another song in the mid-tempo with a lot of sleaze attitude, build on a pretty heavy riff. Good stuff.
The three extra acoustic songs are all OK. Well done and of course they include "Cats in the cradle". A nice add-on.
Ugly Kid Joe got mature (but not old) over all those years and release(d) a good EP which makes me curious for more. I'm looking forward to see them live together with Skid Row in autumn.
You make me sick
No one survives
Love ain't true
Cats in the cradle (acoustic)
Would you like to be there (acoustic)
No one survives (acoustic)
Switzerland is in the meantime known for quite some hardrock bands. Just think about Krokus, Gotthard, Crystal Ball and Shakra.
Fox is the band of the former Shakra leadsinger Marc Fox. "Lucifer" is his second release after the the 2012 released called "2012". The records contains in total 11 hardrock songs. The tracks are a mix between Motley Crue, Cinderella and Gotthard with an essence of AOR here and there, esp. in the ballads.
There is no doubt that Fox has a pretty good voice, which gives the songs have a lot of rock'n'roll spirit. There are faster songs like "Hang on Ruby" and "Right to the end", which is by the way the heaviest song on the album. Ballads are probably needed on these kind of albums. There are three of them on the album, which is at least one too much for me. I would have been fine with "Too young to die" which is the most intensive. With "Wonderland" the album has also a boogie based rocker, which has a touch of AC/DC. A good song with a pounding bass and a catchy chorus. On "Gimme your love" Fox gets support from a female singer (unfortunately I could get hold of her name. If you know the name please write into the comments)
The production is professional and powerful. But this is not a big surprise, since Dennis Ward was responsible for it.
"Lucifer" is no revolution in the hardrock sector, but it became a good rock album which has some good songs. It's a good soundtrack for the last days of summer.
What I don't get is that lucifer/devil/dark image, which is transferred by the cover and the photos of Fox. I guess it is a kind of irony but it doesn't fit at all to the songs, since they all transport a very positive party feeling. I also think, that nobody was singing in such a melodic and positive way about "Lucifer". No idea who came up with this image, but I want to recommend to Fox to change this. Keep it to what it is: Hardrock, Club, Party, Good times, Jeans and cigarette smoke.
Label: Sony Music Entertainment
The desert is not dead – the desert is ALIVE! Kyuss is back. Of course under a new name (Vista Chino), but with the same sound. After years of Garcia Plays Kyuss and Kyuss Live John Garcia started a band with new name – Vista Chino. This was mainly due to some legal reasons, but I also think, that the name doesn’t matter as long as the music is good. And I have to say that the music is good.
“Peace” is now the first album of the band and has 10 great songs. The starting point of the album is where they ended in 1995 with Kyuss’ “…and the circus leaves the town”. To stick to the terms I have to say that the circus is back. And that’s good.
Vista Chino plays very cool stoner rock. Nick Oliveri’s booming and pumping basslines together with Brant Bjork’s energetic drumming build the foundation for all the songs. On top of that the cool down-tuned swinging guitar from Bruno Fevery which creates together a sound like shimmering air in the desert heat. And with John’s distinctive voice you’re just back to the 90’s. Listen to songs Like “Barcelonian” or “Sweet remain” and you know what I mean. Also to mention is the 13 minute long “Acidize…the gambling moose”. Even though it is a very long song it doesn’t get boring at all. It is exciting from the beginning to the end. But actually it is not fair to just mention some tracks since all of them are good and there aren’t any fillers on the record.
“Peace” is an album which brings the heat into the coming autumn and for me this album is another highlight in 2013. Put on your sand storm glasses and enjoy the trip.
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Stoner Rock
Imagine the situation. You’re standing in a hurricane and the wind tries to blow you away. You don’t really know what’s coming next but you enjoy it.
This is almost the feeling when you put the new album of Speedtrap into your CD player. The band is from Finland and they are fairly new. Even though they released a split-CD and an EP already “Powerdose” is their first full length album.
I was just blown away when I heard the album for the first time. The four guys from Finland bring good old speed metal back to life. They don’t give you time to get into the album. From the very first note on they just give full speed. From 0-100 in 0 seconds. Great. The first song which takes away speed a little bit is “Out of time, out of line”. This a more mid-tempo track with a great rock’n’roll attitude. All the other songs are reminding me to pretty fast Motörhead song with a little bit of Venom, combined with traditional power metal and speed metal elements. This is the translation of old-school metal into the 21st century. The vocals are also excellent and even reminds me partly to Joe Comeau when he did the vocals for Liege Lords “Master Control”. It’s the right mix between singing and screaming.
After 30 minutes (or 8 songs later) the hurricane stops as fast as it started and leaves you standing there, thinking about what happened the last half an hour. Whatever it was, it gave you a good feeling.
So, take your seat, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the journey. This album is definitely one of the highlights in 2013. Good to see those bands like Speedtrap, but also e.g. Night Demon. They are really a refreshment for the whole scene. Check out the album. You will love it.
Label: Svart Records
Genre: Speed Metal
Listen to a new snippet of Scar The Martyr, the side project of Joey Jordison from Slipknot. The song is called "My retribution" and sounds pretty cool.
It's a long story with Trouble. The band haven't had a lot of good luck in their career. Founded already in 1979 they went through a lot of ups and even more downs. In the past they released great records like "Psalm 9", but also "Manic frustration" in the early 90s.
After a lot of changes in the line-up during the band history Trouble released now their new album "The distortion field" with their new singer Kyle Thomas. I must say that I like the way he's singing. His voice fits perfect to the sound of Trouble, even though I can imagine that there are still fans scream for Eric Wagner.
The songs on the new album "The distortion field" are as expected from Trouble. They are heavy and have the band typical doom/stoner character. Also on this album some parallels to Black Sabbath are recognizable.
The opener "When the sky comes down" is not well chosen, since it is a weaker song on the album. But with "Paranoia conspiracy" the quality level get's a real boost. This song really rocks. "Sink or swim" is another highlight on the album. A great riff meets great vocals. Thomas even reminds me party to Ronnie James Dio. With "One life" the band takes out some tempo. It's a real doom song and again the vocals are making the difference. When I heard "Have I told you" for the first time I thought that I have the shuffle mode turned on, since the song sounds very much like Pearl Jam. But this is more a complement than a critic. With "Hunters of doom" the speed increases again. A straight froward rocker with a break in the middle. The best songs for me come in the end. "The graying chill of autumn" gives us a preview into the next season. The strong atmosphere which this song creates makes you feel a wet and foggy autumn day. And with "Your reflection" the album ends with a slow track with a riff that feels like tons of metal.
Resumee: Album number 8 is a typical Trouble album with good songs and good production. There are real hightlights on the album and 1-2 less good tracks, but that doesn't have an impact on the positive impression of "The distortion field". I like it.
Label: FRW Records
Genre: Doom metal
The circumstances under which “Wild card” was created weren’t the best ones. You could almost say that “Wild card” wasn’t a wild card at all. After the split up of After Forever, in which Floor was singing for years, she started with ReVamp in 2010. She released the first album and shows were planned. But then Floor had to suffer from a burn-out. This sickness stopped all activities for a longer time. Now we are three years further and next to the new ReVamp album Floor also joined Nightwish.
What I like with “Wild card” is the fact, that the album is heavy and spreads a dark feeling. I think, that Floor used the album to get over all the disappointments in the last three years and this is what makes the album very different from bands like e.g. Within Temptation since they have decided to go for more catchy songs with a certain pop-appeal. “Wild card” combines really heavy guitars and great riffs with a very complex way of singing. Both, guitar and vocals, got the same attention during the production. It’s not like often in this genre that the guitars are in the back and the vocals are in focus. It’s a good balance. Also keyboards were used to support the songs instead of dominating songs. And there is anyhow no doubt on the singing capabilities of Floor. She can handle classical soprano parts as well as rock vocals.
What I don’t really like with the album is that I have the feeling, that guitar and vocals don’t really fit together. The heavy guitars and the operatic vocals are sometimes for me a contradiction and doesn’t really fit together. This could be the special charm for some, but not really for me. I like Floor’s singing most when she turns on her rock voice. I would wish that this part could increase on the next album and that she focus with her classical way of singing with Nightwish. Furthermore there is no song on the album which I kept in mind. They are all good, but none of the songs really stands out.
All in all ReVamp released with “Wild card” a good album and it is good to see Floor back in business after some difficult years. I just hope, that the double work (ReVamp and Nightwish) will not demand too much from her. But the future will tell…
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Female Fronted Metal
Brazilian thrash metal band Sepultura revealed the album cover and the tracklist of their new album "The mediator between head and hands must be the heart". The album will be released in October via Nuclear Blast records and will contain 10 songs.
Here is the tracklist:
After Grave released their last full-length album a year ago they are releasing now a new EP. The album contains 5-tracks which are a logical next step after the “Endless procession of souls” album in 2012. The tracks are well chosen. There are two new tracks, one cover version and two older tracks from Grave.
The album starts with the mid-tempo song called “Venial sin”. The song contains a real heavy riff and has also some doom parts. With “Morbid ascent” the speed increases. This is like a 5:30 minute long steam hammer treatment for your ears. With “Possessed” Grave covered a song from Satyricon and the version sounds good. I was curious how they will interpret a black metal song. The experiment worked out fine. After remixed version of “Epos” from the last album the EP contains also a song from the older days of Grave. “Reality of life” is originally from 1989 and shows the intransigence and energy of Grave in those days.
“Morbid ascent” is a good release which will shorten the waiting time till the next full-length album.
Label: Century Media
Genre: Death Metal
Italian female fronted band Silent Lie put their song "While I hurt myself" on YouTube. Their best song on the EP "Blood under snow".