Archive for February 2020

Rich Kid Express – ‘Bubblegum Radio’   Leave a comment

Solo project of Rob Richardson, Rich Kid Express is a laid-back, groove driven homage to the classic eras of rock, inspired by bands such as KISS, AC/DC, WASP, Sweet, Joan Jett and generally 60s’/70’s bubblegum rock, right through to 80’s hair metal.

From this glorious concoction, Rob’s sound was created. He started playing (drums) just after leaving school. Evolving into a pattern of performing in various bands, during the 90’s and 2000’s, after launching 2 CD’s with HEAVENS SAKE, Rob eventually founded his own record label (Squib Kick Records) and built his own recording studio, from scratch.

‘Bubblegum Radio’ was released on February 21st, 2020, as a production covering the genres of Glam, AOR, rock and hard rock. The 5 track EP, produced between August and December 2019, is the RKE debut, composed, performed and recorded entirely by Rob. Mastering by Dave Harris, at Studio B Mastering, Charlotte, New York City. Artwork by David Norman.

‘BR’ is a purely digital release, though a small number of limited edition CD’s are available.

Distributors – CD Baby and affiliate companies. Accessible from Bandcamp and Squib Kick Records sites. Available to stream or download, from all main platforms. Inviting licensing.

You Went Too Far – Instant classic touch to that intro. Seasoned vocals, accompaniments in sync. Carefully, but catchily arranged structure. Very much an old school feel. Effortless, flawless performance, echoing the typical Leppard sound. Fading out smoothly, it’s upbeat and good quality, with a memorable tinge.

The Way She Rolls – Strong pumping bass intro. Moving, seamlessly, into an uplifting melody. Classic trad rock lyrics, with that Leppard echo again. Well timed groove and rhythm. Powerful, natural rock vocals, tastefully offset, by that high-energy atmosphere. A skilled delivery, both passionate and plausible.

Bubblegum Radio – Low bass intro, with cymbal action thrown in. Narrative lyrical slant. Rhythmic standard rock ‘n’ roll fayre. An earlier sense to this one. Simpler beats and more focus on the repetitive factor. Background cheering, with the groove. Good, consistent quality to the performance, if a little too repetitious.

Just A Dog – Drum hits intro, launching into a scene-setting Cooper-esque atmosphere. Hard and heavy, in all the right places. Very focused and breaking it down, at just the right point, into a more metallic sound. Could do with a little more lyrical variation, but the general sense is palpable and visceral. Very Cooper-esque Poison era. That, in itself, gives it a certain draw.

Steamroller – Well spaced out drum hits opening. Quickly followed by more classic rock vocals. Well structured timing, with a catchy beat. Again, it transports you back to all the old school bands of the day. Mid-paced number, with an easy, loose flow. Fading out, on a carefully timed drum and cymbal hit.

Overall – A capable, confident performance, delivered with loosely executed grooves and lots of rhythm, with a classic old school, traditional rock emphasis. Whiles away half an hour, in a suitably rocky way.

8/10 ********

For fans of Def Leppard, Alice Cooper, WASP, Poison.
Spotify – TBA

Posted February 29, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Demonik – ‘Demon’   Leave a comment

Presenting Demonik’s recent album, ‘Demon’.

Art – Violence – Crushing steel drum intro. It gets straight into the metal force. A battery of drum hits combined with lighter cymbal touches. Heavy riffs sing with metallic energy. A hint of brutality pervades this, reinforced by the steady, but insistent rhythm. Good intro.

Demon – Energised tweaky riff intro, backed up by reliably heavy drum beats and background cymbal hits. Vocally strong, with hints of Hetfield, amongst death growl sections. It all gels together well. Speeding up, lots of melodic riffage and a Metallica-esque air. Gathering more speed, there’s a great momentum about this. Alternating pace, tempo and key, proving well capable of handling those changes, fading out, on a solid set of drum beats.

Where The Demons Guide Me – Right in there, with full power metal. An instantly clear electrifying theme to this. It knows just where it’s going. Exciting, fast-paced and upbeat. Even with that floor-penetrating bass line, it’s still uplifting and melodic. The metal equivalent of a fast march, to the beat. Speeding up, it’s flying along now. Ending on a refreshingly catchy tone.

W.M.D. – Immediate, frenzied riffing. Very accessibly rhythmic. Vocals swap between melodic and deathy. More emphasis to the growls. Growing faster and faster, like a chase scene. Again, keeping great momentum. Fading out on a final roar and mid-key riff.

The Dark Light – Chugging riff intro. Already demonstrating the title well. A notable edge to those vocals. Almost an audible tang. Very powerful. Imagine a metalled up version of the late David Bowie. Effective narrative theme to these lyrics. Very central to the track. Strong accompaniments, conveying clear messages. Liking that gorgeous bit of speed riffage. Very tasty delivery. Quite an affecting depth to the closing riff.

Revolution – Bass intro, low and creeping, leading into a seamlessly smooth riff and drum section, with clear melody. Vocals entering soon after. Stacked with loads of delicious riffage. Artfully handled drum rolls and an effective building tension to the vocals. That riffing gets more and more melodic, faster and plays out with such precision. Complete cohesion, in the vocal finale.

La Fin Absolute Du Mondo – Sound effects intro, moving into a strong breakdown of heavy, hard-line instrumentals, soon joined by passionate vocals. Cymbals emerging more powerfully here. Very Metallica-esque. Highly rhythmic. A positive battering ram of drum hits. Getting in plenty of opportunity to showcase that fabulous dexterous, melodic riffage. Great stop-start section, bridging the rest. A lot of skill shows within this. Returning to the sound effects, at the end.

Confrontation – Gradually emerging intro, soon evolving into a rapidly paced number. Here, the drumming really comes into its own, with plenty of high-calibre, lightning quick rolls, amongst those fresh, tangy vocals. A visually evocative track, performed with skill, precision and impassioned authority. Lots of blazing riffage, hitting the notes with absolute acuity. Gaining in speed and vocal emphasis, hitting its stride, as it ends, on a final harmonised shout.

Overall – A heightened level of production and craftsmanship, showcasing real skill and acute edge to each component, every aspect gets its day here. Alive with electricity, energy and acuity, ‘Demon’ packs an impressive punch.

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

For fans of Metallica, Megadeth, Warpath.

Posted February 27, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Demonik – ‘Ashes Of The Earth’   Leave a comment

Introducing Demonik’s latest album, ‘Ashes Of The Earth’.

My Wrath – Instant hit of power metal. Rhythmic, old school and catchy. Anthemic vocals, capable and sleek. Effective delivery. Slightly Pantheon-esque, vocally and as such, more shouty than melodic, but the fiery accompaniments compensate, to a degree. Speed and agility play out well, within the performance and the delivery’s smooth. Doesn’t quite light me up, inside, but it’s deft and impressive, still. The drums provide an ideal backbone.

Vision – Slightly darker and deeper intro, this time, adding an exciting flair of whammy, vibrato and melody. Again, it’s very Pantheon-esque. The fire does come across. It’s just missing the spark, for me, but an absolutely flawless, energetic track. Good structure to the riffage. Growing more melodic, in sections and no quarrel at all with the output here. This is a hard-working band, with undeniable talents and even, it seems, a knack for insertion of Pantera-esque riffs, as in that ‘Cemetery Gates’-esque section. Hammering drumming closes.

Bullet After Bullet – Straight into a standard power metal intro, with a darker edge and a traditional spin. A fast-paced number, with a slight edge and some death growls interacting with the lead vocals. Very defined and assertive delivery, with clear direction. Some very inventive riffage thrown in there, towards the end, of virtuoso quality. It’s a good mix of genres, covering power, speed, psych, death and traditional melodic metal. No easy feat and they pull it off well.

Codex – Opening on a mysterious solo vocal, then bursting into life. Steady rhythm, with slight tech metal tendencies and again, that Pantheon-esque echo. Built around quite a complex, but very workable structure. Breaking down into a catchy riff melody, well supported by the drums. Well able fretwork, building up into a fulsome riff section, making the guitar sing, briefly. Creating visuals, with the lyrics, the atmosphere powers it further, as it trundles down the track, fading out, steadily.

Cult To War – Heavy solid drum beats intro, with light cymbal hits and a powered riff. Now bunching up, to a rolling drum section, it’s a slightly faster pace, with Warrior Viking vocals inserted. Gathering steam, like a racing speed train, chucking out shards of metal encrusted shrapnel. Good demonstration of well worked use of versatile sounds and complex, interwoven structures, all riven with a strong metallic touch. Those para-diddles are its USP. Taking it up, to neo-classical level, yet never losing the heavy metal feel. Growing stronger, as it flows, it’s another faultless delivery.

Storm – A barrage of drumming opens. Rapid fire pace, complete cohesion and conviction. This is the catchiest yet. Great vocal anthemic harmonies. Getting very power metal, around the mid-section. One thing can be said for Demonik and that’s that they’re incredibly versatile and well up to the task of experimentation. Throwing so many styles and sounds into a track, they’re certainly no one trick ponies. Ending on a sleek bit of riffage, ‘Storm’ is bound to prove a hit.

To Exist – Doom riff intro. Very Gothic, building the atmosphere immediately. Nice touches on the cymbals, in amongst the ominous tones and the creepy visual imagery. Just further proof of Demonik’s seasoned ability to handle performance. Spreading out the composition well, again, there’s a slight Viking element. Brilliant riff melodies, bringing it up again, to another level. Impressively structured sections slot together, seamlessly and it fades out, fluidly.

In The Darkness – Great drum intro. Straight into a speed section, riffing into the feeling. Once more, those Pantheon-esque vocals hit, with just as much fire and that same passion. Well arranged structure, again. Very plausible vocals, sung with conviction and clear aggression. A drumming assault, like a punch machine, on speed. Flowing on, with a tangy melody, more impressive riffage and a generally, high octane quality. Now, it moves, effortlessly, back into pure power metal mode, with even more fabulous whammy and vibrato. Rolling drums match the vocal pace and timbre, getting harder, heavier and deathier, as it ends.

Overall – A fiery, inventive, versatile album, arranged and performed with impressive confidence and absolute conviction. Whilst less melodic than it could be, in places, the melody’s well utilised, where it does appear. Faultless presentation, through which, vivacity shines, as does diligence and perfectionism.

8/10 ********

For fans of Pantheon, Pantera, Yngwie Malmsteen.

Posted February 26, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Scott Beckett – ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright’   Leave a comment

Introducing solo artist Scott Beckett’s latest track, ‘It’s Gonna Be All Right’, featured on his 2nd EP, ‘The Ferris Wheel’. Anticipated release date in March.

The track title speaks for itself, as this ballad is meant as a hopeful message of reassurance, concerning any and all difficult life scenarios.

Stemming from folk inspirations, the gentle acoustic sound and lyrics bring light to any situation, reinforced by the sincerity of the vocals.

Becoming known for the emotional tone to his music, Scott plays acoustic pop rock, with very real lyrics.

Soundalike comparisons are Noel Gallagher, Bob Dylan and The Beatles.

Scott’s based in Liverpool, UK.

It’s Gonna Be Alright – Gradual intro, soon displaying heartfelt vocals and a clear beat to the melody. Pleasant sound, but it does need rocking up. That Oasis influence is definitely audible, in the vocals, only this is obviously a much softer delivery. It’s got a good rhythm and the notes are held well, though it ends too abruptly, cutting the closing lyrics off, in mid-flow. An okay track, if limited in its range of audience resonance and it’s definitely too poppy. Needs to lighten up, to catch a wider audience.

4/10 ****

For fans of Enrique Iglesias, James Blunt, The Kooks.

Posted February 24, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Martial Law – ‘Blatant Disregard For Human Life’   Leave a comment

Returning to the fold, after a 4-year hiatus, Martial Law now present their EP, ‘Blatant Disregard For Human Life’.

Thick Skull – Brutal battering ram intro! That’s what you call heavy. Aggression’s an understatement. No word would do justice to the level of evil anger in here. Slabs of steel riffs, pounding drums, thrumming bass and screamo vocals, raging for the whole metal establishment. A touch of feedback and audibly slicing into his fingers, with those riffs. Venom-esque brutality crunches the gears, with wild intent.

The Agenda – Drums strike a huge impacting intro. Vocals taken down a gear here, but still reverting to the wildness of before, in places. Riffage to floor the best and blazing lyrics blitz through this demon of a track. This is heaviness beyond heaviness. Solid production. Shit hot sound values. Rabid intensity, ending on some pointed cymbal hits.

Injustice System! – Steamrollering in there, with a drumming machine gun assault. Bringing in some anthemic group vocals now, alongside the leading screams. Full on attack, with absolute conviction. A brief, but insanely heavy track, with bald aggression throughout.

Subservient – Another crushing intro, this time, built around more of a slide/bottleneck emphasis. Still every bit as chunky, though and keeping that focused white hot aggression, to power it along. A battle-esque round of savage drum rolls brings it to an end.

Data Master – Ice pick riff intro! Severe blasts of heaviness, with no holds barred and just a touch of old school bass backing. Again, those sharply honed drum hits retain the momentum, as the riffs scream, in a metalled up Hendrix-esque ‘Foxy Lady’ style. Melodically screamo pitched vocals finish it, with true definition.

Corrosive Decisions – Blazing intro, with a slight ‘UYI’ era Axl Rose-esque vocal. Only edgier, with a greater capacity. More of a rhythmic slant to this, but still intently focused on every other aspect of acuity. Pure murderous intent. You wouldn’t want to piss these guys off. Cymbals hitting the last note again.

Nothing Changes – Steaming in once more, with a huge molten slab of steel. To call those vocals sharp doesn’t even cover it. A visible, wild-eyed red hot flame of incensed rage permeates them. Everything in sync, matching like-for-like, raging on, like a metal hurricane. Inexplicably powerful.

Transparency – Once again, that crazed battering ram of aggro-fuelled drumming opens. Riffs soon joining in, with a blitzkrieg of power. Visuals evoked of those wild eyes, burning with intense driven rage. The riffage hits its stride, as it barrels towards the end, as smoke trails after it.

Overall – Only one word. Brutal. No other means of description would suffice. Like the wroth of Satan, fuelled by all the fires of hell.

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

For fans of Venom, Exodus, Slayer.

Posted February 23, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

MIWA – ‘Hell Is Real’   Leave a comment

An American heavy metal band, with female vocals, named after its Japanese vocalist, MIWA also features Billy Sheehan on bass, Sean Lee and Mitch Perry, on guitars and Sean Elg, on drums. The debut album featured Chris Slade (AC/DC), on drums and Bjoern Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen), on bass.

An LA-based band, so heavy, it verges on death metal, MIWA have already received positive acclaim, from fans.

The Darker Of The Darkest Of The Dark – Launching straight into a classic metal intro, powered by confident, heavy riffs and thundering drums. That voice is instantly memorable, with its razor blade sharp acuity and grit-soaked gravel, all the more memorable, for coming from a woman. Echoing Space Parasites slightly, but there’s a rawness to those riffs, complete with a unique edge, delivered with total fluidity. Melodically strong, harmonising towards the end. Drumming driving it along, to a clear, definitive end.

Devil’s Avocation – Drum intro, breaking things down, into a rolling hook of a track. Those cheese grater riven vocals are really edgy. This one just rolls along, with darkened intent and a classic old school atmosphere. Smoking riffs and a nostalgic rhythm and melody. Speed rocks it hard, as it pounds along. Almost animalistic, in its delivery. Raw and bloody.

Hell Is Real – Slide electric riff intro, moving into a new, smooth, feminine vocal. Fast-paced rhythm, riven with catch and still, there’s an edge to the vocals. Drums completing the steady reliability and drive of the rhythm. Growing harder, heavier and wilder, as it rolls on. This has a unique stamp on it and this is one band with real chemistry.

Anything For Love – Powerful mighty riff opening. Back into those crackle glass vocals. There’s a real catchy sexiness to this pace. It drags you along with it, in the heightened atmosphere of rock ‘n’ roll excess. Such a 90’s hair metal touch to it. Just delicious. A real full-bodied sound, just filled with metallic passion.

One Single Bullet – Skidding into that intro steer, it hits its stride instantly, again. So much edge in those vocals, gleaming with metal spirit. Drums gaining heavier volume, bringing slabs of molten steel. Loving the electrified riffage, adding the precision and feeling. Closing with vocal definition, once more.

No Smoke Without Fire – Steering slide riffage intro’s. Vocals coming straight in, without missing a beat. Slight echoes here of Action City Blackout’s ‘Down In Flames’. So sexy and stacked with genuine metal ecstasy. Sirens trace the line in the mid-section, before the rock ‘n’ roll emphasis makes its mark, in a seamless ending.

Born In Bondage – Full on heaviness introing! Immediate rhythmic catch. Classic metal lyrics, completing the visual imagery. It’s smooth, sensuous and delightful. Get lost in that melody, as the riffs make their mark on your heart. Coming to a cohesive, harmonised end.

Cage Of Domination – More of that awesomely powerful sexy riffage intro’s. Right into the theme! Heavily sexy lyrics, delivered with feeling. Brave stuff to bring to the fore and bound to prove a hit. The title speaks for itself). This one just drives itself, effortlessly.

Cursed Without Warning – Drum intro, pounding out the rhythm, from the start, setting the scene well. Smoother vocals again here. Great to hear that passion and don’t be fooled by the smoothness, cos it gets raw, edgy and gravelly, all over again. Similar lyrical themes to the last. Fabulous pace, very much dictated by the drums. Palpable stuff and lots of visual evocations. Glorious darkness cloaks this track in blackness. All achieved with melodic consistency and vocal shades. Coming to a shuddering halt.

The Devil’s Fingerprints – Sharp riffage building an instant picture. Moving into another furied rhythm. Catchy drumming, sexily paced. Vocals doing their thing, again, with impassioned gore, while the riffs heat up and the melody hits you, with a palpable edge. Blood-drenched lyrics, fitting the sound, like a glove. Fast-paced number, executed with absolute razor-sharp precision. Closing on a vicious scream.

Overall – Pure metal fury, in glorious overdrive. Passionate performance, hitting its pace, from start to end. Sexy, driven and metallically wild. The quality and style of vocal rawness will stay with you and the stratospherically powered accompaniments will rage in your brain, forever.

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

For fans of Space Parasites, Zeit, Action City Blackout, Carcass.


Posted February 20, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Matt Springfield – ‘Things I’ve Said’   Leave a comment

‘Things I’ve Said’ is the new release from singer-songwriter, composer Matt Springfield. Inspired by an online relationship, ‘TIS’ was written with reference to the object of his affections.

Matt’s musical influences include: U2, Bon Jovi, Muse and The Killers, plus the solo work of Brandon Flowers, their lead singer. His music harks back to the 80’s, with more modern twists added in.

Produced by Greg Haver (Tom Jones, Manic Street Preachers, Mel C.) and mastered by Ryan Smith. Recorded at Modern World Studios, Tetbury, UK. Launched via crowdfunding, on akamusic. The 9 track EP, ‘Erase All Data’, on which, ‘TIS’ features, was also fan-funded, again, recorded by Greg Haver.

Things I’ve Said – Smooth riff intro, with steady drum beats following. Straight away, the 80’s vocals are audible. Fairly pop rock, very capable vocals, with a distinctive edge. Well structured track. Decent production. Something of a catchy vibe to it, definitely leaning towards the softer end of the rock genre, it’s a pleasant enough listen, if a tad generic.

7/10 *******

For fans of Erasure, Level 42, other 80’s pop rock and synth pop.

Posted February 19, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized