Review Ratings
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Kick Paralysed EP Indie
Album Details
Released: UK
Genre: Modern Rock
WebLink: Kick
93%
Review
UK hard rockers Kick are back with the first taste of what's to come in 2003. The guys continue the trend of their last album and sound more aggressive, heavier and certainly more contemporary than ever. But with both new tracks Paralysed and Electric Storm are plenty of embedded melodies to capture the attention of most melodic fans. These guys are class all around - heavy, modern, melodic and produced immaculately. The additional tracks are an excellent bonus - an Orchestral mix of the classic Painless and two 1998 demos that also rock. Essential!

Thunder Back For The Crack EP Indie / STC Recordings
Album Details
Released: UK
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Bowes & Morley
91%
Review
After a couple of disappointing releases - in my eyes at least - Danny Bowes, Luke Morley and the guys of Thunder preview their 2003 return with this 4 track EP. 3 songs from the new album and a 4th new track unique to this release.
What can I say of these 4 new tracks? Bloody marvelous - this is classic Thunder sounding as fresh and as revitalised as they possibly could. While continuing to be entrenched in blues rock, these tracks rock as hard as one could hope for and give a lot of reasons to be excited for the full album release in February. Classic Thunder that will have their fans excited.

Tom Cochrane & Red Rider Trapeze Indie
Album Details
Released: CA
Genre: Rock
WebLink: TC
95%
Review
TC is one of my favourite singer/songwriters in the world. The magic of both his solo career and that with Red Rider are covered here. Tracks from every album and 2 new tracks - Just Like Ali is a style departure for Tom, a touch of pop/soul that takes some getting used but ends up as catchy as ever and Pictures From The Edge, which is typical Cochrane - deep, thoughtful and musically akin to the Mad Mad World album. Added bonus for those that wanted it - a bonus 7 track live 2002 CD, with some of Tom's classic tracks, including a brilliant 7 minute plus version of Boy Inside The Man. Did I mention the sensational liner notes from Tom himself?

Masterplan Enlighten Me AFM
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: AFM
90%
Review
Jorn Lande in any form is a good thing and sure enough, no disappointment in what's on offer here. 2 new tracks and 2 non-album tracks are featured. The band's style is closer to the commercial sound of Millenium than that of Ark. The album will have to be heard before ranking it, but the powerful hard rock and booming voice of Lande shows this is one to watch for! Not as complex as Ark and not as commercial as Millenium. Somewhere in between.

Various Artists A Classic Rock Christmas Sanctuary
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Classic Rock
WebLink: Sanctuary
75%
Review
It's always good to have some rock n roll Christmas tunes to play in these festive times...this is a pretty good collection of tunes that were recorded this year. Best tracks include Shaw/Blades and John Waite, with Eddie Money close behind.
Good production and interesting artist and song selection, but no matter which way you look at it - this CD is only going to get played one day a year, so invest wisely.

Shut Excruciating Pleasures Indie SUP013
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Modern Rock
WebLink: Shut
82%
Review
The talented Gary Schutt is back with his new band project - essentially all Gary anyway, but what the heck!
Style wise Gary has modernized a touch, with a heavier and darker guitar tone employed. But generally, his vocals and the song style is all melodic. Fans of his previous work will identify with this and should - like me - rate it as his best release to date. Strong songs and good chorus hooks - and of course, it rocks! Gotta love the track Psycho Bitch!

Jamie Walters Believed Leisure Records
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Pop Rock
WebLink: Jamie Walters
84%
Review
Jamie Walters has moved past the fame of TV acting and is 100% into his music - which is a good thing for fans of his first 2 albums. This time around he's out on his own, through an independent label and producing himself.
No complaints from me - this is more of the same acoustic and electric driven, singer/songwriter style, soft melodic rock as featured on the first two albums. A few tracks are a little too stripped back and introspective, but others like Just Like You and Better Off Dead are more electric driven and uptempo'd and that's when the album works best.

AOR LA Reflection AOR3 Indie
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: AOR/Westcoast
WebLink: E-Mail
90%
Review
LA Reflection is album number 3 for Frederk Slama under his AOR moniker. And without a single doubt this is his finest release. I haven't been convinced by the other two, with production lacking a little, but am very much impressed by this album. Flooded with special guests from the world of Westcoast and AOR (Lukather, Baird, Gaitsch, Thompson, Paich, Denander, Porcaro) this album is a smooth as anything else out there and better produced than most. This album is better written and performed and far better produced than the first two albums and comes highly recommended to any fans of smooth Westcoast, AOR and the likes of the guests involved.

Richard Marx Days In Avalon Z
Album Details
Released: JP
Genre: MOR
WebLink: Richard Marx
86%
Review
Richard Marx has long since given up being a rocker - so I guess I should just accept that and get over it. If you can do the same - you will appreciate this album. Pity though, as it's when he cranks it up a notch that he sounds at his best. His sometimes too-slow, softly softly approach can tend to grate on my ears. But I own all his albums because when he nails it, there are few better. This album is his best in recent years - best since the first couple. No, it doesn't rock, but the songs and the production are all very enjoyable and are a worthy addition to his catalogue. Only thing he could do better is plug in that guitar and crank it!

Willie Hines Yeah Right RR1258 Indie
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Rock
WebLink: Willie Hines
87%
Review
Willie Hines was the lead vocalist for 80's hard rockers Jet Red. While they were a hard rocking outfit suited for stadiums, Willie as a solo artist has reverted to the singer/songwriter format - a more stripped back and acoustic driven sound.
But as much as this features acoustic guitars, there are plenty of electric ones too. Couple that with some super smooth harmonies, strong lead vocals and catchy uptempo pop rock songs and you have an album that's a real winner.
Fans of stuff like Danny Wilde, Jimmy Harnen, Shaw/Blades or Little America should check this out.

Joseph Lee Wood Joseph Lee Wood Indie
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: AOR
WebLink:
80%
Review
Joseph Lee Wood recorded this album in 1989! Why wasn't it released? Who knows, but it's here now and well worthy of checking out if you are a fan of classic mid 80's AOR. Unlucky not to be released in it's time, fans of Starship style AOR with layers of keyboards and big vocals should appreciate this. It's a little more dated than some other albums recorded at the same time, but holds up well if you class it as a classic 80's release.

Tribe Of Judah exit Elvis Spitfire Records SPT-15198-2
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Alternative
WebLink: TOJ
60%
Review
Right up front I'll say this - I don't like this record. It's not to my tastes and I won't be playing it again after this review. If you are looking for straight up Extreme style hard rock it's not here.
Gary Cherone also continues to suffer the vocal strains of Van Halen 3 and has not yet returned to the power vocal style of his Extreme days.
However, if you like a little high-tech industrial, or synth driven alternative metal, with new age rhythms and layers of vocal effects in your music, this album certainly offers one of the more adventurous musical journey's of the year. Points to Cherone for being bold enough to do it his way, but I can't see this shipping to many Extreme fans.

Sinopoli The Eyes Never Lie Generation Records GR005-2
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Retro Rock
WebLink:
84%
Review
Good ol' Joey Sinopoli and his brother Nicky have been putting their heart and souls into his band Sinpoli for many years and this release covers most of them. This release covers the old and the new, piecing together a musical recording history for the band.
This is a great slice of classic 70's and 80's New York hard rock, with a ton of attitude, swagger and in your face melodies...recorded with the help of Jack Ponti and other notable NY names like producer Eddie Kramer.
This is one for fans of retro hard rock and that slightly dirty, punkish rock that Joey so amply performed in his band with Ponti - Angry Tears.

$ign Of 4 Dancing With St. Peter Track Records TRK1014CD
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Rock
WebLink: Track Records
86%
Review
A very smooth blues driven hard rock album. UFO vocalist Phil Mogg handles vocals and Jeff Kollman guitars. The combination works very well and the songs are all good melodic friendly rockers.
At times this is easily better than recent UFO, other times something new and different. It has a darker, bluesier tone than that of UFO and should appeal to guitar lovers that like to hear some improvisation and some flexing of the muscles.
An enjoyable and solid debut that needs to be in the collections of all UFO fans. I'll look forward to a follow up.

Bonfire Live Over Europe LZ Records 800023
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Bonfire
85%
Review
This is a very solid live album. Released by the band themselves, this 17 track Greatest Hits Live album takes in most of the band's career, with a large dose of their recent works and a selection of older classics.
The sound is A-Grade, with no over dubs leaving a nice raw, live hard rocking sound. I could do without a 6 minute plus Sweet Home Alabama, but the inclusion of Don't Go Changing On Me and Don't Touch The Light make up for that. Primarily a fan targeted release, in that regards it does hit the spot.

Various Artists Jason Becker Tribute Vol. 2 Lion Music LMC2225 2
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Lion
79%
Review
Volume 2 of this Becker tribute sees most of the songs inspired by Jason, rather than covers of his own tunes. The first album covered most of those and highlights the brilliance of the guitarist and how tragic that his career was cut short.
Fans of the first Volume need this and of course, it all goes to the worthy cause of Jason himself. Guitar fans have 30+ tracks to pick through, with some of Europe's biggest names paying homage and a few better known names like Steve Vai and Marty Friedman also featured.
Some inspired listening and performances from all involved - particularity aimed at all fans of guitar virtuosos.

Blackmore's Night Past Times With Good Company SPV 092-74492
Album Details
Released: EU JP
Genre: Minstrel / Rock
WebLink: Blackmore
78%
Review
Mmmm...a live Blackmore's Night album? As big a talent of Richie is and as appealing as a general live album from him is, your enjoyment of this one is dependent on your liking the choice of material that Richie has immersed himself in over the past 5 years. Most of the minstrel inspired renaissance rockers are culled from the band's studio albums featuring Candice Knight on vocals. If you didn't embrace those, this is not for you. If you did - then the looser, freer live interpretations are a cool change.
The inclusion of the classic Soldier of Fortune is a bonus, although none of this is hard rock n roll! Richie - it's time for Rainbow again...

Various Artists American Hair Bands Vol. 1 - A Tribute To Versailles Records VE20008
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Versailles
79%
Review
This album has to be taken in the context of which it is released - a good fun party rock album, with some well known and some lesser known rockers covering some classic "hair band" hits from some of rock's big guns!
Richard Kendrick does a cool version of Van Halen's When It's Love, Enuff Z Nuff cover Roth's Yankee Rose, Gilby Clarke does a natural version of The Cult's Wild Flower and Straightjacket Smile do Def Leppard.
Add another 2 Cult covers, another Van Halen tune, and covers of AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and Motley Crue and you get a good fun album - play it loud and don't take it too seriously. One point - the label has already done a Cult tribute, so those 3 tracks could have been used to feature different classic tunes.

The Screaming Santas Going Insane At Christmas Studio 22 SS0001
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Santas
85%
Review
The Santa's have been gaining quite a strong reputation around the traps, taking on the unenviable task of promoting their releases only 1 month a year! Going Insane at Christmas is another fun, tongue-in-cheek look at the holiday season by this mad bunch of long haired rockers. A bunch of originals are mixed with a few classics - altered slightly to match their madcap approach. Nothing short of a lot of fun and guaranteed to give grandparents heart attacks.
For best results, play it loud and skull eggnog.

Andy Logan Last Dance On The Wild Frontier Koan Records K-290428
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Southern Rock
WebLink: Andy Logan
80%
Review
Andy Logan is one of the long lost Little America clan. Great to have him and drummer Custer back in business. Andy's independent release is out now, and features a sound that won't be to foreign to fans of LA - but certainly isn't a replica of it. This is a more stripped back, acoustic in places, southern rock album, with additional touches of country and folk rock.
For those that enjoy a quiet, personal, introspective slice of acoustic rock, Andy Logan's album of passionate and emotional lyrics might be an interesting investment.

Kurt Custer Peaceful Lunatic Koan Records
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Southern Rock
WebLink: Custer
80%
Review
Just like Custer's partner Andy Logan, this album sees the Little America drummer in a more laid back, personal light. Again, this is mostly acoustic driven, but rather than country, this southern rock tinged album has a retro pop vibe, not unsimilar to the psychedelic era Beatles. The production is raw and sparse, with Kurt's vocals taking center stage in the mix. Another musically interesting album that will appeal to fans of acoustic/stripped bare Southern rock.

Silvertide American Excess J Records 80813-21217-2
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Modern Rock
WebLink: Silvertide
83%
Review
This is Silvertide's debut EP and from what I have heard, there will be quite a push on with these guys in 2003.
Who are they? A new US band who bring us an attitude filled EP of almost classic hard rock, but with a modern twist.
These guys are part Guns N Roses, part Black Crowes, part early Pearl Jam. Attitude a plenty, these 3 uptempo hard rockers show plenty of promise and will assure that their full album is one to watch for modern rock fans.

Cyril Achard Confusion Lion Music LMC 2239-2
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Instrumental
WebLink: Cyril Achard
78%
Review
This is a re-release of Cyril's 1996 album, with 3 bonus tracks added - one of which is a new 2002 track.
If you are not familiar with Cyril's work, this is an instrumental hard rock album, with plenty of shreds and progressive twists. Add some nice melodic twists a la Steve Lukather and you get an accomplished player that doesn't forgo style for speed.
One of the better guitar instrumentalists currently out there.

Powell Young 2065 Flying Fingers Lion Music LMC2036-2
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Instrumental
WebLink: Lion
49%
Review
Powell Young is another guitar fret-master, touted as China's answer to Steve Vai or Joe Satriani. In fact, his album was personally endorsed by Satriani.
This is one guy that wants to play fast and this album contains a ton of music - shredding, soloing and generally fretting out. However - the production is well below average, quite muffled and to be honest, after one track you have heard it all. Much more enjoyment for me in something like Cyril Achard's release.

Iron Mask Revenge Is My Name Lion Music LMC 2229-2
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Progressive
WebLink: Lion Music
68%
Review
Iron Mask is Belgian guitar hero Dushan Petrossi's new power metal outfit. This neo-classical metal at it's fastest - with double kick drums, over the top vocals and swirling keyboards all powered by high-octane guitar shredding.
Not my particular taste, but I have heard worse in this genre. But I've also heard better. One good point is the album's length - just right at 50 minutes....any longer and impact would be lost. A solid, but not outstanding production.

Peter Wolf Sleepless Artemis Records 751125-2
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Pop/Rock
WebLink: Artemis
79%
Review
This is songwriter/producer/vocalist Peter Wolf's new album - released without much fan fare at all. Peter has dabbled with high-tech pop and melodic rock and also with stripped back pop - but his music has always been just left of center, whatever the album's influence.
Sleepless is no different - full of quirky little pop songs, featuring an older and more mature Wolf. These days he is more laid back in the style of Warren Zevon or an alternative pop version of Tom Petty. This is a solid album of pop rock and acoustic country influenced songs - with intelligent lyrics the highlight.

Nick Carter Now Or Never Jive Records
Album Details
Released: WORLD
Genre: Pop
WebLink: Jive Records
83%
Review
Well, he still sings like a chipmunk, but at least the material has improved. Backstreet Boy Carter has made a grasp for mainstream pop rock acceptability here - with some quite AOR-ish numbers surrounded by high-tech pop rockers and the odd shmoozy ballad. The fact that I can listen to and enjoy this says a lot, with a few of the songs not far shy of Bryan Adams or even a poppier version of Def Leppard - Mutt Lange style. Check out track 6 I Got You excellent stuff.
Production is also a highlight. But as hard as I try, I still can't get past the fact that his voice isn't that strong - proof that boy bands only work because there are 5 guys singing at once - yet the combined power of those 5 guys is still only quarter that of 1 Steve Perry.

Kick The Kangaroo Bits & Pieces
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Nu-Breed
WebLink: KTK
70%
Review
KTK are a Danish modern rock outfit. I say Modern Rock over Nu-breed, as this is more that, than anything else. In fact, there isn't that much on here for nu-breed fans. The majority of tracks are soft alternative/modern rock, with a certain tone that just leaves me wanting to skip tracks. Much like Australia's own Powderfinger.
However - the inclusion of the TaxiRide-esque uptempo nu-breed rock anthem Last Kiss is almost worth the price of admission alone. One of the better nu-breed songs this year, but not matched by the album overall.

Kerry Livgren The Best Of Numavoz 010
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Rock
WebLink: Livgren
82%
Review
Kansas songwriter and guitarist Kerry Livgren has put together a very tasty best of release for his fans. The album contains 14 of his songs, 3 new tracks, some others re-recorded this year for the occasion, some previously unreleased and the rest all remastered. Quite a good offering for fans of his work and more interesting than your average best of release.
Fans of Kerry and Kansas will be grateful for this release, which should also be investigated by fans of jazzy/experimental vocal and instrumental pop songs. Not unsimilar to the Steve Lukather/Lanny Carlton style project release.

The Alchemist Songs From The Westside LedSled Music LS-6969
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Retro Rock
WebLink: MK Store
75%
Review
The Alchemist is another album that doesn't fit into any category. Despite featuring Glenn Hughes on vocals for 5 of the album's 8 tracks, I wouldn't recommend his rock fans to race out and grab this.
The album is the brain child of composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Carl Kennedy - with guests including Tim Pierce, Ian Crichton, Carl Palmer, Matt Bissonette, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Rocket Richotte and more. This is not a hard rock release - it's more a new age soft rock. If you are a fan of music by the likes of ELP, Marillion and King Crimson, then this is worthy of checking out.

MTM Music Sampler Volume 8 MTM Music
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: MTM
85%
Review
Another melodic sampler, this time from MTM. It's Volume 8 up for the German melodic label, this time featuring recent cuts from Rondinelli, Loud & Clear, Street Talk and Biloxi. Also featured are new cuts from Crystal Blue, Mikael Erlandsson and a new demo from XYZ. Throw in a previously only available in Japan track from Radioactive and Hughes/Turner and a pretty good value purchase is yours for the taking!

Jonathan Cain Animated Movie Love Songs One Way 35187
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Instrumental
WebLink: JCain
60%
Review
Another new solo piano instrumental album from Journey's Jonathan Cain. It's his second for the year - the first being all original and this one all covers of love songs from animated movies. That means plenty of Disney tunes on offer like A Whole New World, You'll Be In My Heart, Can You Feel The Love Tonight Beauty And The Beast, plus a few others from non-Disney films like Somewhere Out There. All very nice songs, but it will be up to the listener whether they want to sit through these versions. I think Cain is a genius musician, but this largely programmed slice of easy listening won't take Journey fans by storm. Then again, it's not really supposed to.

Airless Airless MellowMusic MMCD-0001
Album Details
Released: JP
Genre: AOR
WebLink: Mellow Music
76%
Review
Airless are Spain's answer to Harem Scarem. Add in a little Fate and Europe and take off some production marks and you have it. There's certainly a bit of Pete Lesperance in guitarist Robert Rodrigo. This version of the album - released by Mellow Music in Japan features 2 bonus tracks. Those tracks (3 and 4) are both good additions to the album and fine melodic tracks in the context of the album's other songs. A solid debut.

Taylor Mesple Victory Land Hapi Scratch 70048
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: MOR
WebLink: TM
85%
Review
Taylor's album features another appearance by LA's #1 session man, guitarist Tim Pierce. That's worth pointing out, as he has a strong following. The album is a mature slice of adult contemporary pop, with softly sung, but authorative vocals riding over a mix of guitars and keyboards, all in the style of Richard Page, Richard Marx or Jason Cheff. A fine slice of soft Westcoast style pop - if the mood fits, this is a fine record.

Scott Rockenfield The X Chapters Nitrate Visions
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Instrumental
WebLink: Rockenfield
73%
Review
It seems to be the month of left of center and instrumental releases. This is another and fits both categories. Scott Rockenfield is of course Queensryche's drummer in his spare time. The music within this CD is entirely Scott's making. It features a set of tracks that make up a "soundtrack". Scott has envisaged this set of songs being put to film, and listening to it in that matter it makes sense. It's an album of programmed songs utilizing different instruments, but mainly centered around synthesizer. A musically interesting voyage, but another that has to find the right fan base to appreciate it.

Shad Shad Shad Music
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Melodic Rock
WebLink: Shad
65%
Review
Shad's album was recorded in 1999 and is available independently via the band themselves. Frontman Matthew Shad wrote the album's material, which contains some good lyrics and a style of hard rock that isn't quite classic and isn't quite contemporary.
As far as an indie release, it does sound it, but in the same way, it sounds better than a lot of others out there and manages to contain a solid guitar sound. No comparisons to other bands sorry - just the indication that this is contemporary American indie hard rock.

Tommy Paris 2009 Indie
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Rock
WebLink:
71%
Review
Tommy Paris is from Britny Fox and this is the demo version of his album to be. The guys are shopping this around for label interest. This is quite a varied affair than that of the straight ahead hard rock of Fox. Some cool tracks for sure and a few that maybe don't quite hit the mark, but after all, this is not quite the finished product. The sound is a blend of traditional hard rock, modern alternative, and punk ala the Ramones, all with the distinct vocals of Paris. An interesting release with a couple gems - it will be interesting to see how it improves before its official release.

Bruce Gaitsch Nova Lion Music LMC 2219-2
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Westcoast
WebLink: Lion Music
75%
Review
Westcoast guitarist Bruce Gaitsch's new solo album features guests like Richard Marx (vocal 1 track - Haunt Me Tonight), Bill Champlin (vocal 1 track), Janey Clewer (vocals), and a bonus track from his band King Of Hearts - an instrumental version of the track Don't Call My Name with Kelly Keagy, Tommy Funderburk and CJ Vanston featured.
Surround those songs with a few other solo acoustic instrumentals and a very soft, but well written Westcoast album is made. Not for those into heavy metal!

Nightwish Century Child Spinefarm SPIL49CD
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Melodic Metal
WebLink: Nightwish
86%
Review
This is a great European melodic heavy metal album, or melodic goth rock album - whatever you like. I'd love to bring you soundbyes, but the CD is copy protected, so we all lose out. But the powerhouse female lead vocals, surrounded by some of the best production of its type make for a very solid album. With lots of great melodies and a super heavy sound, it's no wonder it shipped a zillion copies and made the charts in their native Finland.

Winter Parade Midnight In Paradise MTM Music 0681-51
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink:
69%
Review
I'm not sure if they are better known for being in this band or providing the musical backing for the White Diamond project. Either way, this is the band as they are now, and this is their MTM debut. Musically, the album is produced ok, and on the surface sounds like pretty good European melodic hard rock. The vocal accent of Bjorn Westum takes a little getting used to - but are enjoyable none the less. The band are competent players, but their downfall is trying to be too complex within the confines of a single song. There are too many chops and changes that sometimes don't mix together. That's the bad point - the good side is at least they are original and prepared to fit as much into each song as possible!

Lillian Axe Live 2002 Red & Gold Int. RGI2006
Album Details
Released: EU US
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Lillian Axe
94%
Review
Lillian Axe have recorded and released this album independently - they deserve better. 21 tracks over 2CDs ensure that this is a great value package that anyone with a studio album from the band should own. The sound recording is perfect for my tastes - raw, live and unproduced, but clear and evenly mixed.
The band covers everything any fan could wish for - which is why there is no excuse for not buying it. The name of the recording - one complete show - means that there is a great vibe throughout the record. Had Tesla released their live album in the same style and manner, it would have been utterly flawless. This isn't far off that.

Stephen Pearcy Social Intercourse Top Fuel Records
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Modern Rock
WebLink: Top Fuel
84%
Review
Former Ratt vocalist Stephen Pearcy's 2002 release sees his rocking harder than ever, with a slightly updated guitar sound - more aggressive and modern rock influenced. I didn't get into the album first time around, but a few listens in (and assuming that Pearcy's voice does it for you in the first place) this album becomes more likeable. It's well produced and it's best feature is that big fat guitar sound and the totally in your face hard rock attitude.

Domain The Artefact Point Music
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Domain
83%
Review
Domain have been making records in Europe for a few years now, I'm pleased to add them to the bands featured on this site. Their style is very much classic German melodic hard rock, with a dose of keyboard & guitar pompousness thrown in for added value. A strong performance and excellent production and mix make it a musically strong album.
If European hard rock is your thing, but you like it a little more melodic if possible, and don't mind a little over the top singing, then check these guys out. A metal version of the Beatles Daytripper is interesting!

Domain New Horizons Point Music
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Acoustic Rock
WebLink: Domain
78%
Review
Same as the above really - except this one is an "unplugged" record of sorts, with some acoustic tunes and some piano versions making up this 8 track release. Not a release to introduce the band to yourself with, but another worthwhile purchase should you enjoy the full albums - like Artefact.

Nick Bold For A Small Fee Indie
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Acoustic Rock
WebLink: Nick Bold
79%
Review
Nick was the guitarist for UK AOR favourites Virginia Wolf. The band have long since gone and singer Chris Ousey went on to Heartland. But Nick's kicking about and this new solo album is proof. Musically it's different from that of Virginia Wolf, quite so....this is more easy going middle of the road pop rock. There's some slower numbers, but it's mainly uptempo indie-pop style songs. Some have a retro vibe - both 70's and 80's and others have a more contemporary sound. Either way, it's a listen to first affair.

John Oates Phunk Shui Beyond
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Pop
WebLink: John Oates
30%
Review
I am a seriously dedicated Hall & Oates fan...I love those guys so much - their harmonies, the high-tech blend or rock, pop and soul and those hooks!
Daryl Hall's solo work hasn't quite reached those heights and I am disappointed to add, nor do John Oates'. In fact, this is pretty forgettable soul / pop - with not a lot of great hooks or memorable tunes to warrant repeat listens. Together they make magic, apart they risk becoming unemployed. Can't wait for the new H&O studio album in February.

Kenny McGee's Disease KMD Metal Mayhem
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Kenny McGee
80%
Review
KMD is Kenny's most recent musical work. It was recorded and released originally late last year independently and again a month or two back by Metal Mayhem. Established Julliet fans will dig this - the singer is in fine form. Musically this is not too far from the melodic rock of Julliet, especially the killer opening track Drive.
Elsewhere it's a more contemporary sound with occasional traces of punk overtones and acoustic pop rock.
More varied than previous releases, there's still enough attitude here to provide fans with a few new favourites.

Julliet Passion Metal Mayhem
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Kenny McGee
75%
Review
Julliet's second CD comes more than 10 years after the original, but was recorded soon after as a follow up that never happened. Produced by Quiet Riot's Kevin DuBrow, this CD moves away from the more melodic rock of the Frankie Sullivan produced debut. Instead this is heavier and rawer, with DuBrow's influence obvious.
Not as catchy or as polished (by a long shot) than the debut, but still a reasonable release for fans of American heavy rock of the mid to late 80's. The production is the album's let down.

Kenny McGee Kenny McGee Metal Mayhem
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Kenny McGee
85%
Review
Another archive Kenny McGee release - this one recorded a few years back. Metal Mayhem now has it out and I like it a lot. This is closest in style to the debut Julliet record - complete with big hard rock hooks, raspy vocals and the band's cool hybrid electric/acoustic sound. This is prime 80's American hard rock and is better than the second Julliet album and the new KMD album. No matter of when it was recorded - this is recommended! Production is a little varied, but ok.

Mindset7 Blur Metal Mayhem
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Modern Rock
WebLink: Mindset7
80%
Review
Mindset 7 are a new US modern rock outfit and this is their debut album. They are off to a good start - no doubt about it. If you are into moody modern American rock, check this out. The guys have a wall of guitars and a singer with a cool swagger that reminds me a little of Guns N Roses and the vocalist from Slash's last solo album.
Melodic riffs and powerful lead guitars are the highlight of this cool modern rock release.

Eric Bazilian A Very Dull Boy Bad Candy
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Pop Rock
WebLink: Bazilian
79%
Review
Ex-Hooter Eric is back with solo album number two - another collection of witty lyrics and personal insightful thoughts of relationships and the world around him.
His style is somewhat rawer and rougher than the polished Hooters, not to mention the more distinct fuzz-tones of his tuned down guitar. Still, there's a few tracks that could be lifted off this, polished and Hooterized. It all boils down to whether you are a fan of the singer/songwriter/musician. I know I am and I like this. Rockier and more uptempo than the debut, although the production is very rough and tumble.

Adrenalin Twenty Five Years Indie
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: AOR & Hard Rock
WebLink: DC Drive
82%
Review
Not too many bands can go through a few singers, two names and still put out an interesting 25 year spanning Best Of compilation. That's exactly what Adrenalin have done. Known by that name for their monster hit Road Of The Gypsy (still unsurpassed) and also by DC Drive, this 18 track compilation takes in some rare and unreleased as well as some album tracks.
Fans of 80's American hard rock and those with a sense of rock history will find fewer compilations as classy as this. The songs take in the time span of 1977 to 1999 - not bad for a band many still haven't heard of. Check their site for the complete history.

Richard Kendrick Murder And The F-Word Versailles Records VE20007
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Kendrick
81%
Review
This short review is way long overdue, so apologies to Richard. It's one of the more attitude filled albums I have heard this year, with a diverse range of styles in play. There's punk pop/rock, moody hard rock, acoustic ballads, modern rock and pompish anthem rockers. Wow...not wanting to nail himself down to any one style might make it a bit hard for some to get into this - some 17 tracks long - but generally if you like something a little different and challenging, the quality is certainly there. Some strong vocals and some hot guitar solos.

Kelly Simonz's Blind Faith The Rule Of Right Lion Music LMC 2235-2
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Kelly Simonz
78%
Review
Japanese shredder Kelly Simonz is one of those hot shot guitar virtuosos that can play a million notes in 22 seconds. This being his third album means that he has had time to get the formula right. Formula is a good word, as between the vocal tracks are the required instrumental passages and the frantic double kick drum rhythms.
As far as these kind of neo-classical Yngwie shred fests go - I have heard many - I like Kelly's more than most. A million miles and hour yes, but he can sing, hold a tune and play a wicked solo, all while somehow keeping the listener interested. If that sounds like you thing - check Kelly out.

Jackson Browne Naked Ride Home Z Records
Album Details
Released: WORLD
Genre: Pop Rock
WebLink: J Browne
80%
Review
After a 4 year hiatus, Jackson Browne is back where he left off, with more soulful, introspective songs of life, love and experiences. Nothing musically awol from his traditional style, although this continues the moody style of his last solo record.
A mix of electric and acoustic driven tracks, with nothing really going through the roof pace wise. Great quality production and his voice sounds great - although the big choruses of his early career continue to be left behind in favor of more mature song structures.

Blue Angel Three Wishes Indie
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Blues Rock
WebLink: Blues Angel
80%
Review
This is different! The songs are left of center for sure, but memorable nevertheless. This is a 6 track EP of songs influenced by 70's retro rock, blues rock, southern/country tinged straight ahead rock n roll.
Richie Onori appeared on the two Heaven & Earth albums, but this is softer and less European influenced recording, featuring a more southern blues sound.

Enuff Z Nuff Welcome To Blue Island Dream Catcher
Album Details
Released: EU JP
Genre: Blues Rock
WebLink: Enuff Z Nuff
83%
Review
It's always a case of more of the same from the Enuff boys - the pioneers of fuzz guitar-rock!
But this album clearly stands as one of their best in recent years, with a more uptempo beat and a slightly more guitar heavy set of songs.
The album also seems to have an upbeat feel on top of the upbeat song tempo! Highly recommended for past and present fans of the band.