Archive for November 2017

Zero Fire – ‘Ghosts’   6 comments

Zero Fire is a Canadian hard rock/metal band, who attempt to conjure a marriage of impacting riffs with uplifting vocals, groove and intuitive sense and flow. It pays homage to the 90’s and 2000’s eras, whilst retaining an individual style. Founded from the brainchild of vocalist Graham King and drummer Eric Thorkildsen. The self titled, 5 track EP was nominated for a Hamilton Music Award, for Loud/Metal Recording of the Year, 2016 and showcases their signature sound. Taylor Lucas, at Wood Street Studios, London, worked with them on and contributed to the production. Mainly, the tracks represent the heavy catchiness for which the band are aiming. ‘Ghosts’, the self release, is now available digitally, including on spotify and iTunes.

Ghosts – Gorgeous bluesy slide intro, instantly and unexpectedly moving into a crushingly loud, explosive sound. Massively melodic, pop rock style, with a crushing metallic edge. The drumming reinforcement’s particularly noticeable, providing the perfect structural surround. Lively upbeat vocal tones, which stand out, by themselves. Effective harmonies, with plenty of catch. A highly expressive song, with a lot of energy within it. This is what Skin from Skunk Anansie would sound like if she was a bloke. That’s a good thing. The world needs more of this.

9/10 *********

For fans of Skunk Anansie.

Self released, October 27th. Available now, on all digital platforms.

Posted November 10, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

The Courtesans – ‘Feel The Same’   11 comments

London based doom pop rock band The Courtesans’ new pre-tour video release, ‘Feel The Same’, is the 2nd video from their current launch, after ‘Mesmerise’, prior to their support gig for Wednesday 13, which took place in October and their headlining UK tour, from late November.

‘Feel The Same’ relates to the disappointment and devastation inherent in discovering the truth of others, their treatment of us and the inevitable harrowing process that follows, as we struggle to make sense of it.

‘Feel The Same’ – Introing on a contemplative, edging on mournful spoken word section, before exploding into a plainly felt accompaniment. Very rap rock in much of its sound, but it’s combined with melancholy sung vocals, carrying a slight sense of 90’s pop rock. Very abrupt ending, leaving you with an anguished scream, saying much about the theme of the track. Throughout most of the song, the same question, reflected in the title, is asked, in a plausibly delivered, hopeless, need to know tone. So much wrapped up in 1 track. It’s definitely one which’ll likely appeal more to the Brit rock, Emo, pop rock fans, than those of straight out rock, but it’s real, honest and unashamedly raw, in an emotional sense. Its ability to hit emotions is phenomenal and for that alone, it deserves huge credit.

8/10 ********

For fans of Dido, Embrace, The Smiths, The Clash, Razorlight, The Kooks, Placebo, Elastica.

Released 26th October 2017.

The Courtesans will play various dates from 23rd November-10th December, on their Subspecies UK tour, with special guests Bullet Height.

Posted November 9, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Dustland Express – ‘The Question, Sir, Is Why?’   3 comments

From Cape Town, formed in 2008, Dustland Express is a highly energised combo of rock, pop and punk, with meaningful lyrics, pertaining to socio-political issues. Having been playing live locally for several years, including a slot at the 2016 ‘Rocking The Daisies’ Fest, their debut EP is available digitally, for free. Their music video for ‘The Poetic Injustice Of Rats’ in August 2017, led to this, their debut album, ‘The Question, Sir, Is Why? ‘TPIOR’ is the first single from the album.

The songs for ‘TQSIW’ emerged naturally, out of a home studio, with the usual recreational influences, fulsome emotive experiences and discussions behind them. The outcome is a unique, resolved and affecting album, of deep personal meaning to the band.

Voyage Of Men – Very unexpected vocal intro there, with more of a musical theatre atmosphere than a metal one, but there’s something very Queen-esque about it and the metal grit and aggression does find its way in there, as it goes on, showing extraordinary strength and volume. There may still be a significant thread of stage and film production infiltrating this, but it’s categorically unique and true to say that you won’t forget its’ style.

The Poetic Injustice Of Rats – Again, you’ll feel that theatrical sense about it, but its power is undeniable. Slight rap theme creeping in, but it moves through a range of emotions in its short duration and one thing’s for sure – there’s an unpredictable quality, which will leave you wondering where it’s going next, but you’ll be willing to stay for the ride.

Flight Of The Meek – Now this is heading into a more metallic arena, with a touch of operatic metal about it. An intelligently crafted and well-placed technique. Consistently powerful, alternating between volumes, styles and pace, via some fairly complex arrangements. By now, the vocalist’s range is becoming apparent and it’s definitely impressive. It’s also well supported, instrumentally and there’s an unarguable strength in the performance.

The Question, Sir, Is Why? – The title track opens on a drum and bass type intro, followed by another operatic metal vocal style, gradually growing into a grittier sound, but not quite losing that classical edge. Nightwish fans will dig this. The strength in that vocal seems to be increasing all the time. An unusual and creative track.

Empire Of Dreams/ = Heisenberg – A gentler song now, very ballady. Quite lovely, in its own way, again, there’s incredible vocal power at play. More repetition in here, but that’s forgivable, given the loveliness of its sound. Ending on a piano outro, it’s haunting, in the way of most ballads.

The Solution – Very Lacuna Coil-esque intro there! Drumming central focus initially, along with a bit of piano work, till the vocals take over again, accompanied by the riffs and a general air of passion. The strength of feeling just grows throughout and it ends on that vocal power.

Nemesis – Piano intro, very visually evocative of winter scenes, before that film score sound overtakes again. Quickening pace, almost like a chase in action. Clever alternation of rhythms and tones. Ultimately, the main thing is it’s building strength and momentum, to the end, which genuinely would make a great film soundtrack, with all the heightened atmosphere to match.

Take The Devil For A Spin – Bloody hell! That’s some intro! Incredible feeling and passion’s gone into that. The full impact of this alone could knock you down and make it difficult to get back up again. The flute section’s a markedly well-placed part, making it stand out all the more.

Don’t Say Goodbye, Scott – Lots of emotion here, profoundly felt and conveyed. It may repeat slightly, but it doesn’t seem to need to say much more than it does. Short, but meaningful and possibly cathartically resonant for some.

Apocalypse – Opening with a slowly gathering sense of meaning and impact, it’s a curious melding of sounds and styles, but always demonstrates quality of sound and production.

Overall – A well produced and startlingly vocally powerful album, with a great deal of obvious passion and strength of feeling thrown into it. Unusual in style and atmosphere, but that’s why it stands out. It may be more theatrically/operatically based than straight out heavy-metal, but one thing it has in spades is strength of conviction and that stands out a mile.

8/10 ********

For fans of Queen, Nightwish, Lacuna Coil.
https:// (‘The Poetic Injustice Of Rats’ video).

Posted November 6, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Trucker Diablo – ‘Fighting For Everything’   7 comments

Introducing Irish rockers Trucker Diablo’s new album, ‘Fighting For Everything’.

Born Trucker – Crash bang intro, exploding into life, with full on passion and no holds barred. Vocally and instrumentally characterised by true Trucker style all-out rock). Catchy as hell and instantly lovable. Absolutely packed to the rafters with 100% hard rock, with full on flavour. Love it.

We Will Conquer All – Opening up with more of that true Trucker stuff and injecting a harder edge now, hooking you in, with that memorable chorus, as strong as concrete and making a massive sound, with undeniable plausibility and top-class audio values. It’s a stunner and it rocks damn hard!

Drown In The Fire – Very tasty banjo intro, rapidly drowned by the mega watt volume of heavy rock, with attitude. True passion lies at the heart of this and it’s got plenty of heart and then some. Throwing in some divine riffage, making the most of its space, you could easily drown in this song. Solid, defiant and unshakeable. Hugely expressive performance.

Voodoo II – Sliding in there, with a bluesy road type track, filled to the brim with true heart and passion and hitting the apex of rock rhythm, this is immense. A perfected class follow-up to ‘Voodoo’, which all true Trucker followers will know well. Rockin’ all the way, with that special blend of rock, unique to T.D. An ace and no mistake.

Let’s Just Ride – Starting with a gorgeous piece of riffage, a real rock ‘n’ roll flavour and a taste of sentiment thrown into the lyrics, this one’s a classic anthem, Journey style. Much in the vein of ‘Don’t Stop Believing’, only with a heavier edge. Just an enormously big sound, with a whole humongous heap of feeling thrown in. Spectacular.

Fighting For Everything – Right in there, with rock, rock and more rock. Plenty of high octane material here. Extraordinarily powerful track, with gigantic riffs, ginormous vocal strength and drumming sensation. You couldn’t fail to be moved, caught and sucked in by this. Passion so great, no words could describe it. Just hugely, hugely powerful.

Over The Wall – Drumming inferno intro’s and much in that same way, the rest of the track continues, like a towering fire of heartfelt passion. Mounting riffs, building momentum and showcasing sheer unbreakable conviction. Lyrically explicable, clear and relatable, for anyone who’s experienced the same scenario. It’s a song with which it’s easy to identify and it shakes the world to its foundations.

Detroit Steel – Banging intro again, as the drums declare war and the riffs follow suit. Vocals kicking in with just the same intention, as headstrong, justifiable anger and determination pours out of them. Harking back to earlier Trucker material, in arrangement and sound, the magic shines on in this, blowing your mind, to the end. Magnificent.

Die For You – Tribal like drumming style here, with a warlike command inherent in the entire performance, the hardened edge takes over once more, with gloriously involving sounds, it’s just catch all the way, till the gorgeously well-placed reverb closing riff. Divine.

Pocket Full Of Changes – Bang! No hesitation at all, lyrically focused and so, so strong. Just get that delicious high-pitched riff! You could die for that alone. A briefer, but certainly no less lively, enthused track, with such heavy drumming closing, it’ll get you at first listen.

When The Waters Rise – Changing tack now, to a poignant string and vocal solo and acoustic intro. Thoroughly believable and thoroughly beautiful. If this doesn’t get you, you ain’t got a heart. An entirely touching and truly sincere performance, utilising thoughtfully placed electric sections to maximum effect, proving just how moving electric guitars can be, in the right hands. It leaves you at a loss for words, except to say how deeply affecting and meaningful it is.

Overall – Showing Trucker Diablo at their best, ‘Fighting For Everything’ is an earth-moving demonstration of the real and profound emotion that lies at the heart of the best that rock has to offer. T.D. never give any less than their best and few bands rock as hard, as ‘F.F.E.’ attests.

10/10 **********

For fans of high-powered, anthemic rock, with a classic feel, a harder edge and a heavy base.

Posted November 2, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Pilsen Drinkers – ‘Join The Brotherhood’   Leave a comment

Formed in summer of 2004, Pilsen Drinkers’ debut EP, ‘Contralado Por El Odio’, was independently recorded for release. In 2013, the line-up was completed and their debut album, ‘Join The Brotherhood’, recorded, in 2015, released via Australis Records, in March 2017. It was launched in CD and cassette format and distributed worldwide. Having already earned themselves a reputation locally to their home, P.D. have played in La Serena, Coquimbo, Ovalle, Santiago and Valparaiso. They’ve also supported Suicidal Tendencies, at Coquimbo Rock Fest 1, in May 2017.

Digital Human Control – Unusual intro, with a sci-fi-esque sound about it initially, but rapidly overtaken by the delicious loudness of face shredding metal. It’s just filled with lots of that throughout. A bit of reverb and some short lived wah wah effects here and there, but really, just standard pleasing metal, with a crunch.

Slaughter By Order – In-your-face, striking drum attack intro. Followed and joined by equally violent riffs and vocals, it throws in a pretty vivid visual, with the echoic section, performed with great acoustics, as if in a great hall of some significance. From there, it grows more ferocious, with shouted vocal expressions, rolling drums, gaining in volume and increasingly frenetic riffs. A good performance. Awesome track title aswell).

Join The Brotherhood – Heating it up now, with a markedly more ferocious intro, this sound does the title track justice. They’ve just stepped it up a few notches and the pace has picked up aswell. Impressive general sound quality and here, the passion becomes audible. It’s almost like a fretboard chase, so catchy in itself, you’re disappointed when it ends. A tough thing to nail, but it’s been nailed.

One Last Time – Crash bang intro there and it certainly makes a cracking impression. More melody in here and more cohesive sound, approaching anthemic style, suiting the track well. This time, the upbeat nature of the tones becomes the central focus. Piercingly shrill closing note, but still holding plenty of vibrancy and ultimate enjoyability.

Pyrokinesis – Instant, punchy, riff and drum attack combo and the heavy’s increased again. Vocally intense and throwing in all they’ve got, this is the hardest track yet and it’s probably the standout track. Vicious, aggressive, meaningful intent just pours off it. It may be short, but it leaves its mark.

Prophets Of Chaos – Strikingly unique echo intro, with enough feeling for the entire track. Soon followed up by another aggressively pitched performance, but this time, interspersed with more melodic sections, shadowed with more light. Growing ever more Slayer-esque in the riff tones and techniques and overall sound, it’s now displaying a rumbling effect, with a classy edge. Great closing fadeout riff, with definite echoes of ‘Seasons In The Abyss’. It’s getting better all the time.

Asesinato En El Pit – Bang! Right in there, with an increasingly Slayer-esque sound, the extremity’s gaining ground all the time. There’s a European flavour, combined with the extreme emphasis and though this is the shortest track yet, it’s undoubtedly the most feral, angry and driven.

Perros De Bataua – Killer opening riff! Ace way to intro and it gathers rage and murderous intent. A deliciously dangerous, destructive thread to this, it’s forceful as hell and again, delightfully Slayer-esque. On the raging angry raw intensity continues, right to the end and it’s just majorly fun and should just continue forever.

Undestino Bajo Tierra – More of the same passionate fury, it’s a fabulous choice of closing track. Filled with energy fuelled drumming, electrifying riffs, tasty melodies and vocal power, stepped up to the max. If there’s such a thing as indelible metallic ink, these guys have just showcased it, magnificently.

Overall – ‘J.T.B.’ may take a short while to get into its stride, but given what emerges, it’s well worth the wait. From the title track onwards, the metal fest reveals itself, getting better and better all the time. From the moment you hear those Slayer-esque sounds, you’ll be hooked and glad you persisted with the metal magic that is ‘J.T.B’.

9/10 *********

For fans of Slayer.

Posted November 1, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized