Saturday, August 30, 2014

CD Review: Enuff Z'nuff Reaches For "Gold" with New Covers Album

It has been thirty years since glam rockers Enuff Z'nuff came onto the music scene and twenty-five years since the release of their best selling debut album. The band is known in the U.S. for the MTV video hits "New Thing" and "Fly High Michelle," but have had a consistent growth in Japan over the last fifteen years. Recently it has become the formula for bands from the "hair metal" days to release a covers album to give praise to the bands and songs they admired as well as showcase their talents with songs that the general public may know to remind the fans how good these band still are.

Enuff Z'nuff's latest album is entitled "Covered In Gold" and features a dozen cover songs that the band feel a connection with in recording. Beginning a cover of Cheap Trick's "Everything Works If You Let It," which sounds as if could have been an addition to their debut album. It has that classic Enuff Z'nuff psychedelic metal appeal of their early days. They turn the "Greatest American Hero" theme song ""Believe It Or Not" into pop/rock magic that should be a radio comeback hit for the band. They seem to have fun with The Beatles' "Run For Your Life" as the band's sound loose and relaxed on this gem. Some of the songs that don't work as well is their spot on cover of Nirvana's "All Apologies" as more could have been done with this song. Another one that misses its mark is their cover of David Lee Roth's "Yankee Rose." It's more to display guitarist Johnny Monaco's skills then it is to add any depth to the band's sound. One of the surprise covers that works so well is Prince's "When Doves Cry" as the band turn it into a smoldering metal magic as everyone is in fine form. The album adds a couple of bonus songs, including an acoustic cover of The Beatles' "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and a live unplugged version of their hit single "New Thing."

The new album "Covered In Gold" was released on August 19th through Dead Line Music in association with Cleopatra Records. Enuff Z'nuff have a few live dates left on their calendar, to find out more, please visit enuffznuff.com.

Friday, August 29, 2014

CD Review: New Independent Music Comes Rising To The Top

First from San Jose, CA comes the new release from Curious Quail entitled "After The Lights Failed." It was released back in May and showcases the band's talents perfectly as the music draws influences from folk, Americana and alternative rock to create some exceptional songs. The new ten song release begins with the title song which builds with instrumentation until its abrupt end. They have a modern alternative vibe going with "Instant Gratification," before moving on to the "Moon + Stars," which sounds like a lost Coldplay song. The band plugs in to rock out on "The Villian," then allows the acoustics to flow through "Heavy Rain." The album closes with the uptempo, energetic feel of the Americana sounding "Reconstruction." To find out more about Curious Quail, please visit curiousquail.com.
 
Next, from Cincinnati, OH comes the debut album from singer/songwriter Royal Holland. The new five song EP entitled "Volume One -- The Maze" was produced by Grammy award winning producer Brian Olive (The Greenhornes). Beginning with "Devil's Night," Holland's vocals float on top of the beat heavy rhythm, while the gentleness of "Statues" sounds like a song still in the development stages. The EP closes with the country sway of "Twin Rivers," featuring Margaret Darling on vocals. To find out more about Royal Holland, please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/royalhollandsongs.
 
Last, but not least, we get the self-titled debut album from rising folk artist, Maggie Anderson. As a former member of the School of Rock, Maggie has perfected her vocal and guitar talents and has put them on display performing live along the east coast and even at the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock concert held at the National Mall in Washington D.C. Her new three-song EP begins with the reflection of a relationship gone bad in "It's All Pretend." She draws you in with her sweet voice in "You'll Be Around," before closing with "These Are The Nights" as her talents continue to grow and amaze. To find out more about Maggie Anderson, please visit maggieandersonmusic.com.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

CD Review: New Metal Blade Records Releases From Cannibal Corpse, AntropomorphiA And Dictated

As the summer season winds down, Metal Blade Records keeps things smoldering hot with a few blazing new releases. If your look for machine gun-like speed drumming, growling vocals and ear blasting music then I have the releases for you. New albums from Cannibal Corpse, AntropomorphiA and Dictated is just what the doctor ordered.
 
First up is the latest release from Cannibal Corpse, "the biggest death metal band in the world" according to Metal Hammer UK magazine. Their new album "A Skeletal Domain" will be released on September 16th and is the band's thirteenth album in their 25 year career. The twelve song release has all of the aspects to make this another classic Cannibal Corpse album. Things get going with with the heavy drumming of "High Velocity Impact Spatter" as lead singer George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher rolls out the dark lyrics to "Sadistic Embodiment." The band marches on through the destruction of the title song and showcases their aggressive nature with "The Murder's Pact." They push their music to the limits with the shear force of "Funeral Cremation," before closing the album with hardcore metal groove of "Hallowed Bodies." To find out more about Cannibal Corpse and their new album "A Skeletal Domain," please visit metalblade.com/cannibalcorpse.
 
Also being released on September 16th is the new release from Death Metal band AntropomorphiA entitled "Rites Ov Perversion." Their last album was almost banned in Germany due to its violent and occult topics and they new album doesn't stray to far from those subjects either. Beginning with "Temphioth Workings," the new release blazes a trail through your head with dark subject matters and great metal music. The energy of "Carved To Pieces" and doom metal of "Inanimatus Absqui Anima" shows the band diversity which allows you to dive in and appreciate their musicianship. They keep the intensity flowing right through to the end as "Morbid Rites" and "Open Casket (Death)" continue to blast your eardrums. To find out more about AntropomorphiA and their latest album "Rites Ov Perversion," please visit metalblade.com/us/artists/antropomorphia.
 
Finally we get to the new release from Dictated entitled "The Deceive." It is the band's second album and was just released on August 19th. This European metal band plays with such an intensity that shakes you to your core, beginning with the one-two punch of "This Is To All" and "No Absolution." The haunting vocals of "No Mercy For Cowards" and the agressiviness of "The Deceived" should have this band ranking up their with some of the world' best death metal bands. To find out more about Dictated and their new album "The Deceive," please visit metalblade.com/dictated.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CD Review: Cleopatra Records Releases Rare Live Albums From Cactus

Classic hard rock band Cactus was supposed to be America's answer to Led Zeppelin. Featuring members of Vanilla Fudge, Savoy Brown and Mitch Ryder's Detroit Wheels, Cactus was one of the forgotten foundations to heavy metal music in the U.S. Lead by the rhythm section of Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert, Cactus released four studio albums in only three years from 1970 to 1972. The band disbanded shortly after the release of their album "Ot 'N' Sweaty." Three original members reunited in 2006 to produce a new Cactus album ("Cactus V") and tour with new lead singer Jimmy Kunes. A show in June of that year at B.B. King's in New York was recorded for a possible live album that finally saw the light of day on August 5, 2014. The album, "Cactus - Live In The U.S.A." was released by Cleopatra Records and is two discs packed with many of the classic Cactus originals along with a few covers songs thrown in.

The ninety-plus minute set begins with roughed-up cover of "Long Tall Sally." Highlights of the first disc is the heavy metal thunder of "One Way...Or Another" and "Oleo," which includes Bogert's bass solo. Cactus also tackles the blues with authority as the songs "Brother Bill" and "Part Of The Game" rock hard with controlled recklessness. The second disc includes the nine-minute "Evil (Drum Solo)" in which Appice puts his skills on display, before closing the show with the Zeppelin-esqe feel of "Rock And Roll Children."

Also coming from Cleopatra Records is "Cactus - TKO Tokyo - Live In Japan," double CD and DVD and "Cactus - An Evening In Tokyo," single CD. Both releases were recorded at the Garden Shimokitazawa Club in Tokyo on back-to-back nights in late 2012. "An Evening In Tokyo" begins with the quick fury of "Swim," before diving into the ten-minute jam of "One Way...Or Another." Cactus turn Bo Diddley's "You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover" into the hard rocking pinnacle of the album, along with the guitar screams of "Muscle And Soul." The album closes with another amazing ten-plus minute rendition of "Rock N Roll Children."

To find out more about these new live Cactus releases, please visit cleorecs.com.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CD Review: New Music From Rockers The Everyday Losers, Gas Attack And Loving Forty-Four

From Indiana comes the full-length debut album from The Everyday Losers entitled "Revel In The Chaos." Some of the band's songs have been played on local radio and they even performed a show hosted by the Fuse music television station. The new fourteen song release begins with the hard-hitting rock appeal of "You've Got War," which should be in rotation on mainstream rock radio. They pound away the heavy rhythm of "Scream," then slow the tempo down for the more pop/rock feel of "Avid Believer." The Everyday Losers get the adrenaline pumping once again with the shouting chorus of "Say It" and the roughness of the "Good Life." The album closes with the aggressive turn of "7 in 7" and the softer, acoustic side of "Turning Pace." The album was released back in March, so look for them to hit the road again soon. To find out more about The Everyday Losers, please visit theeverydaylosers.com.

From Boston, MA comes the independent metal band Gas Attack with their fifth album, "Power Drinkers and Trustees Of Modern Chemistry." The five-song EP was released back in June and showcases a band searching for their identity by combining aspects of punk with thrash and hardcore metal. Beginning with the speed and power of "Slurred Vision Blurry Speech," the band looks to win you over with their "tongue-in-cheek" lyrics as displayed in "Party Karate." They lock into a hardcore metal groove with "Broken On The Wheel," before finishing up with the aggressive punk-like attitude of "Cisco Made Me Do It." To find out more about Gas Attack and their latest release, please check out their Facebook page at facebook.com/Gasattackboston.

From England comes the latest album from alternative rockers Loving Forty-Four entitled "Strip Me Dirty." It follows the band's 2013 self-titled release and shows growth in the band's songwriting. The new four-song EP begins with the slow buzz of "Sabretooth," before picking up the tempo with the aggressive feeling of "Burn My Body" as the musicianship continues to amaze. The album closes with the crunching guitars of "Nicotine" as they bring back the nineties grunge heydays. To find out more about Loving Forty-Four and their latest album, Strip Me Dirty," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/LovingFortyFour.