Goldray – Feel The Change

Goldray – Feel The Change
Akashic Records/Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 31/07/2020
Running Time: 39:36
Review by Martin Bennewith
8.5/10

Goldray were not really on my radar before now. I feel like I have been missing out, but not anymore. Leah Rasmussen’s strong and stirring vocals, together with (Former Reef Guitarist) Kenwyn House’s melodic intricate guitar lines are short of the perfect marriage, so it does take time to understand their relationship, but I think I do get it after listening through this. Their deep psychedelic progressive rock fuelled album “Feel The Change” demonstrates this to the fullest. While on my journey through this, at times I would close my eyes and almost feel the energy running through me, as if I was listening to them live, but then I would open them again, and realise I was still alone in my room.

The feel of the album is firmly announced in the first track ‘Oz’ – which for the most part is a phased rhythmic lead riff matched against steady stirring vocals and swirling effects. At times, it has an eastern feel to it both through the vocal melodies and the way the guitar riff morphs, as well as some mellow lead playing against stirring effects as the track moves from energetic to dreamy in a way that works really well. It is definitely one to close your eyes to, only to be nudged back to reality with the nifty but slightly self-indulgent lead playing towards the end of the track.

Title track ‘Feel The Change’ begins with some really nice arpeggiated guitar work, giving it an almost acoustic feel. Leah doesn’t disappoint with her vocal work – emotional with expression that builds up as the track develops with great energy. The track has a fairly laid-back feel throughout, but with enough groove, direction and meaning to keep me interested.

‘The Forest’ has an equally sweet feel and progression, and you really can hear House’s Hendrix influences shining through with his melodic rhythmic playing as well as the lead parts, whereas ‘The Forest (Part 2)’ in contrast has a heavier energy to it, and made me wish I still had hair to fly around while rocking my head to the beat. Leah’s impressive vocal range and versatility really shine at the climax of the track as my journey through ‘The Forest’ nears the end.

We return to a slightly eastern, more psychedelic feel on ‘How Do You Know’, with heavily reverberated vocals, against an energetic beat and repetitive hypnotic guitar lines. I don’t think this is the most memorable track on the album, musically it didn’t hold my interest as much as the other tracks, but it does have a guitar part that is lengthy and full of raw energy to spice things up a lot towards the end.

Next track, ‘The Beat Inside’ has a really pumping guitar riff that will blow the dust off your speakers. Following most of the album’s formula, the stirring vocal work strikes an almost unusual contrast which is most evident in this track. With ad-lib style vocals and lead, this track feels like a bit of a jam session, albeit a jam session that I love to listen to. This is followed by ‘Come On’ which in contrast, has a more laid-back country feel, so the vocals do not sound so much detached as they occasionally do in the more energetic numbers.

On the final track ‘Phoenix Rising’, I could really hear Kenwyn House’s style shining through with his Hendrixesque rhythm play and intricate bluesy lead lines. After lots of energy and vocal stirrings to finish the proceedings, I opened my eyes, and felt like I had listened to a pretty good album!

I don’t think this album will be for everyone. The style is quite raw. Musically, it sometimes sounds like a jam session as opposed to a work of art, and the vocals at times feel like they don’t quite fit the music. But if you are like me, and you can see that the way this was put together was to draw you in and send you into a dream that is mixed with raw energy and emotion, then you will like it a lot.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Oz
02. Feel The Change
03. The Forest
04. The Forest (Part 2)
05. How Do You Know
06. The Beat Inside
07. Come On
08. Phoenix Rising

LINE-UP:
Leah Ray Rasmussen – Vocals
Kenwyn House. – Guitars, Piano, Farfisa Electric Organ, Bass, Backing Vocals

Plus, appearances from:
Geoff Laurens – Bass
Mike Kenna – Bass
Jamie Morrison – Drums & Percussion
Jonny Brister – Drums & Percussion
Lee Spreadbury – Electric Piano, Keyboards
Stephen Large – Hammond Organ

LINKS:
www.goldrayband.com/
www.facebook.com/Goldrayband
www.instagram.com/goldrayband/
www.twitter.com/Goldrayband
www.open.spotify.com/artist/03shUdhAgHcvpG1dXz2WXT
www.youtube.com/channel/UCNkWB93F51PRK4geKuQP52w

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Martin Bennewith and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Collateral – ‘Collateral’

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Collateral – ‘Collateral’
Roulette Media Records / Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 21/02/2020
Running Time: 34:35
Reviewed By Paul Monkhouse
8/10

The rock scene has seemingly never looked healthier and 2019 has seen some absolutely incredible new albums emerge this year. This trend looks to continue well into 2020 with the release firstly of the Anchor Lane debut album and this, the first full length offering by Kent four-piece Collateral in February. Already making a big impression on UK and global audiences with slots at Camden Rocks, Ramblin’ Man and an appearance alongside Jon Bon Jovi, these South East rockers are amongst the most hotly tipped bands for future superstardom and this self-titled release shows exactly why they’re getting so much attention.

The songs on the album are huge and have such lofty ambitions to be played in stadiums but, unlike many who have come before, their strongest weapon in the fight is their talent and drive to succeed. Despite all the big, singalong anthems and flamboyant image, it’s not all empty glamour and glitz as beneath the noise and gleaming chrome of the surface lies a real blue-collar heart and recaptures the spirit of when Bon Jovi and their ilk were at their peak.

The album kicks off with the single ‘Mr. Big Shot’ and it’s a giant slab of commercial hard rock that mixes in some really 80’s elements ranging from classic American AOR to some almost New Romantic undertones and a pinch of ELO. Full of great guitar work from Todd Winger and epic vocals by Angelo Tristan, the track drips with tongue in cheek innuendos and a huge sense of a band having a ball in the studio. More monster riffing and vast melodies power along paeon to the modern music industry ‘Promiseland’, it sounds like the sleazy lovechild of AC/DC and, should have been huge, USA rock legends Giant as it snarls and purrs, leading to a superb solo by Winger. The band dust off their cowboy boots as the Southern Rock feel of ‘Merry Go Round’ brings images of swirling dust devils and shimmering desert heat to mind as they effortlessly turn their home county ‘Garden of England’ into the American Midwest. Close your eyes and you can feel the sun beating down and the dry mouthed feel that is desperate to be administered an ice-cold beer. Without doubt, one of the greatest strengths of the band is to conjure up that sense of time and place in a very tangible way, transporting you to a time when hair was big, and choruses were even bigger. This is no aping of the classic bands of that era but a contemporary take on the type of rock music that made Bon Jovi et al kings of stadiums, the production by Sean M Kenny bringing out the best in the material whilst giving it a thoroughly modern sheen.

‘In it for Love’ exemplifies this approach as it perfectly balances the pounding rock driven by rhythm section Ben Atkinson on drums and Jack Bentley-Smith’s bass alongside such a great, dynamic song that will have you singing along in no time. With its instantly catchy “woooh oooh oooh” gang vocals during the chorus and another fret blazing solo ‘Lullaby’ has already become a live favourite and should be blaring out of every car radio across the Atlantic, such is its perfect suitability for the American market.

Also finding its main inspiration the other side of the ‘pond’ is ‘Midnight Queen’, the band tilting their Stetsons to a more AOR meets Country Rock feel that sounds like it might have been written by Richard Marx and Vince Gill, the opening line the name of a huge hit that Marx wrote for Vixen and it shares that same sense of space, the focus on the songwriting, not the flash.

Those waiting for the heartfelt power ballad won’t be disappointed as ‘Get Back to You’ ticks all the right boxes, Tristan pouring his heart out as he longs to return home whilst the song proves it’s more about quality and quiet than drama school overemphasis.

Having stated their love for the aforementioned Mr. Jovi, the band expressed their intent to write something that captured the spirit of tracks like ‘Always’ and this certainly will see a sea of mobile phone lights (nobody is allowed lighters at gigs these days) held aloft in tribute. The pace picks up once again in the spot on, commercial pop rock of ‘Won’t Stop Me Dreaming’, a song that contains a tough streak of steely determination laced through its supremely candy coated and instantly addictive shell. The album ends with ‘About this Boy’, another country tinged track that once more heads more to the massive and lucrative Nashville scene than the heavier end of their material. Whilst a meatier number may have been more fitting, the song is still imbued with that Transatlantic feel that may well find the band gaining ground both in their home country and in the United States given the growing market here and the already titanic base there. Always doing things their way, Collateral continue to push forward, and this album shows just how far they’ve grown and where they’re heading. The stadiums of the world are beckoning.

Track Listing:
1 Mr Big Shot
2 Promised Land
3 Merry Go Round
4 In It For Love
5 Lullaby
6 Midnight Queen
7 Get Back To You
8 Won’t Stop Me Dreaming
9 About This Boy

Links:
https://www.collateralofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/collateralrocks/

https://www.instagram.com/collateralrocks/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Thunderfuck And The Deadly Romantics – Dirty Sleazy Rock ‘N’ Roll

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Thunderfuck And The Deadly Romantics – Dirty Sleazy Rock ‘N’ Roll
Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 26/07/2019 (Europe)
Running Time: 41:31
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
8/10

Oh God. Oh my good God. Jesus Christ in a chariot driven sidecar. These are a bunch of devilishy handsome chaps, aren’t they? I haven’t seen faces that craggy since Mount Rushmore or beards quite so luxuriant since Uncle Albert’s on Only Fools And Horses. Vocalist Thunderfuck (a rather splendid name which has already earned a bonus point for sheer wonderfulness and audacity. Especially with that face, seeing as he looks like he has charged at full pelt into a brick wall) both makes me want to cheer him on with a beer or arm myself for imminent violence. I have not yet decided which, although I have come to the conclusion drinking heavily is the way forward this evening. But that is my general rule of thumb for a Saturday night in the company of my millions of adoring minions. Yes, ok, there’s probably two people hanging on my every word worldwide. Quit harshing my buzz, motherfucker.

Hello, dear acolytes, I’m Dark Juan and I am currently dying of heat exhaustion as it is 11pm at Dark Juan Towers and it is STILL 25 fucking degrees. I am not even in my invocation robes this evening. I’m wearing nothing but denim cutoff shorts and a rictus that could only loosely be described as a smile because I’m sweating my beer out as fast as I can down it. Sir Igor Egbert Cleavage-Hoover (being his full name – shame he is not KC registered because I would fucking LOVE to write that on the registration form) is laid next to me, alternately emitting the kind of smells that were outlawed by the Geneva Convention or begging for my beer. Satan has a better chance of getting a checkout job in Asda than Igor the Evil One has of getting my beer, the little alcoholic bastard. He likes gin. A lot. Sir Zeusington Zeus, KCVQ, VC, MM, DFC and Bar has sparked out across most of my sofa, leaving me a square inch to perch on as I write this nonsense, and Hodgson The Living Breathing Biological Warfare Machine has taken himself and his weaponised arse upstairs to wait for Mrs. Dark Juan to emerge from the bathroom. I swear that woman is half mermaid. She’s never out of the sodding bath.

Anyway, this mob of Canadian horror film extras (sans special effects makeup) are releasing “Dirty, Sleazy Rock ‘n’ Roll” on July 26th and I am supposedly here to tell you about it, aren’t I? We have already concluded that this band and the lead singer in particular have a fucking awesome name and I like it a lot. The music on the record is pretty run of the mill heavy rock mixed with the odd punk riff and attitude. Thunderfuck is not what you would call an accomplished singer either. In fact he has a short of cheery, beery and hoarse delivery that rather…… approximates the note he is going for rather than necessarily hitting it, and there are occasions where he just doesn’t fucking bother. This is NOT negativity, however. Rock n roll and especially metal has forgotten its roots and the fact that us metal fans are one big, drunken, happy family – at its most cheerful with some filthy music playing and two or three hundred of us are in a field dying of alcohol poisoning and projectile vomiting competitions. THIS is what Thunderfuck and The Deadly Romantics are about. They do not give two fucking hoots about precision, your worthless fucking opinion, technical ability, tuning, or any of that shit. They are here to play rock and roll and party. I am here to tell you that this record is a fucking hilarious soundtrack to your Saturday night drinking and party treats and quite simply have that same level of obvious fun, enjoyment and sheer dickheaded joy in what they are doing as what GWAR used to have. The band are musically most similar to the Love Commando himself and his crew (Zodiac Mindwarp and The Love Reaction in case you’re a fucking dirty philistine from hell who has never heard Britain’s greatest rock and roll export. I, Dark Juan, Groove Ipssisimus and Sex Fuhrer, command YOU, false metaller, to listen to Back Seat Education and Prime Mover (NOT THE GHOST ONE!) repeatedly and then you will understand the peculiar, childish genius of Thunderfuck and his mob of freaks), mixed with the punkiest of riffs and the party hard aesthetic of Andrew WK. Lording over it all is the demented ringmaster that is Thunderfuck, a man born not to sing, but to command an audience. It is very easy to imagine this band in a live setting and the lyrics are just funny as fuck. They are very misogynist in places and in others downright perverted but I have the sense of humour of a twelve year old, so I have been laughing my arse off for the past hour and although this record is absolutely from a musical quality point of view a fucking disaster area, it has that amazing thing called entertainment… Excuse me. I have to attend to something. Mrs. Dark Juan has interrupted my lyrical flow to make me sate her thirst for horror. So as she has chosen to watch a horror film on an ENTIRELY LEGAL (Disclaimer: Could possibly be lying. Then again, might not be.) streaming site and has a kind of Luddite electronic warfare field that completely fucks up any electronic entertainment device or internet connection known to man (anything that works on 19th century technology, like, I dunno, fucking goat chariots or spinning wheels or ploughs and oxen and shite, she is groovy with) and I have to step in otherwise her computer would have more viruses than a fucking Ebola victim with AIDS, Gonorrhea and a fungal nail infection. Where was I? Oh, yes.

Thunderfuck and The Deadly Romantics are almost ridiculously entertaining and I love and hate them at the same time. I love them because they are fun, raw and rock n roll in distilled and super potent form, but as an actual musician (yeah, I can play instruments. My old band might not agree, but they are just wrong ok?) they set my teeth on edge, especially Thunderfuck and his approximate approach to singing. This, however, has not ruined my enjoyment of a record that sets new standards for beer soaked fun in a world of metal that’s getting far too serious and po-faced for its own good. I love this record. It’s ironic I love this record because I recently reviewed Warrior Soul’s latest album and it was an assault on my senses and my intelligence and it was rather like this one, but Kory Clarke has fuck all sense of humour, whereas these guys are all about the fun and the party. I have a full and all abiding hatred of all ballads that don’t match up to Skid Row’s 18 And life but even the ballad on this record (charmingly entitled Go Fuck Yourself) is fucking brilliant. Every song on this record is just out and out party music.

Thunderfuck And The Deadly Romantics, I conclude, are awesome. Buy this record, be appalled at how sloppy it is, but then appreciate it for the sheer amusement value it generates. I defy you to not smile when listening to this record. If you don’t there’s summat wrong with you. Bon soiree, mes amis!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has been educated, amused and edified and awards Thunderfuck And The Deadly Romantics 8/10 for full on rock n roll joyfulness.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Drink this Party Dry (This is Thunderfuck at his most excruciating.)
02. I’m Not In Love (Certainly not a cover of the 10CC classic!)
03. Anal Annie (Almost pathetic but still amusing if you are an overgrown child like me.)
04. Spray My Love (Could be a WASP song with that title.)
05. The Finger (Probably not to do with V For Vendetta.)
06. Attention Whore (Thank you for noticing, Thunderfuck. Yes, yes I am.)
07. One More For The Road (Inspired by Boz Scaggs, by any chance?)
08. Let’s Fuck (No thanks. I’ve seen your face.)
09. Go Fuck Yourself (That would be my standard answer to the above question, unless Gemma Arterton or the utterly delectable, delicious and delightful Beth-Ami Heavenstone was doing the asking…)
10. Get My Hole (Not on your fucking nelly, Thunderfuck.)
11. Jaegerbomb (Give me 10 of the fuckers. To be fair there is a serious message to this one dressed up in the lyrical shenanigans – Thunderfuck was developing a serious problem with drinking and quit Jaegerbombs in order to survive.)
12. #Me Too (For rock n roll sexiness, then yes. Fuck yes.)

LINEUP:
Thunderfuck – Vocals
Johnny Douchebag – Guitars
Jim McPain – Guitars
Ryan Cumsock – Bass
George Leghumper – Drums

LINKS:
https://deadlyromantics.wixsite.com/deadlyromantics
https://www.facebook.com/deadlyromantics/

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Cats In Space – Daytrip To Narnia

Day Trip To Narnia Cover

 

Cats In Space – Daytrip To Narnia
Harmony Factory/Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 01-03-2019
Running Time: 52:33
Review by Tsarina Wilson
10/10 (Only because I couldn’t give it more!)

Cats In Space “Epic Long Player” album is everything I expected it to be. From the amazing art work of the album cover to the punchy, catchy tracks, this band never disappoints. I had the pleasure of reviewing their last album and, as with this album “Daytrip To Narnia”, once again they have gone above and beyond to give us a fun, bouncy, rock album with tracks that will just bowl you over.

The guys, who include Paul Menzi on lead vocals and “screams”, Greg Heart on lead guitar, tubular bells and acoustic vocals, Dean Howar on lead and rhythm guitars, Andy Stewart on piano, synthesizers, vocoder and organ, Steevi Bacon on drums, percussion, timpani and vocals and, last but not least, Mick Wilson on vocals, acoustics and additional synthesizers, have such a unique sound it certainly makes them stand out for me.

The guys have certainly caused a stir since they exploded onto the scene in 2015 with their debut album “Too Many Gods” and they have earned their right to be still going strong after touring with legendary rock giants Deep Purple, Status Quo and Thunder playing UK arenas, plus playing Hyde Park with Phil Collins and Blondie. But somehow, I think the best is yet to come for these guys! They are a total breath of fresh air.

‘Tragic Alter Ego’ reminded me very much of ‘Good Old-Fashioned Loverboy’ by Queen, with also the hint of the lyrics from ‘Play the Game’, but they also remind me of bands like ELO and Kiss.

But don’t think for one minute this band is your standard run of the mill band. They deliver great guitar riffs, brilliant vocals plus some great synths with a fun and light hearted air about them.

That said this album is one of two halves. The second half (tracks 8-14) make up ‘The Story Of Johnny Rocket’ which takes you on a trip into space and, let’s be honest many of us have dreamed of that. This is great song writing with a twist, terrific harmonies and just a great feel good factor to it.

‘Thunder In The Night’ is the track where “Johnny” meets the future Mrs Rocket, ‘One Small Step’ continues their story and the slower song ‘Twilight’ is quite melancholy compared to other tracks but the harmonies are so good.

The last track concludes the “Johnny Rocket” story and ends in an uplifting mood telling us never to give up hope and I’m sure these guys never did. The whole album is like a story within a story and you get little hints of their influences. It maybe just a few notes of guitar but makes you think “wow that could be…” Some lyrics certainly make you reminisce, especially when they mention “The Soup Dragon” and, for those of you not old enough to remember, it’s from The Clangers! But thank you! You have now made me feel very old!

This album “Daytrip To Narnia” has it all, storytelling, fun, rock, great clear vocals, great harmonies, but above all it’s just a damn good listen.

So, make time for it either in the car, in the office or at home as it’s an uplifting and great album.

The whole album “Daytrip To Narnia” is a pleasure to listen to, a real “pick me up listen”
Some tracks have a real 70’s rock feel while others have quite deep lyrics, but one thing for sure is I hope I get to review their next album as well.

The album will be available on standard CD, 12” 180g white vinyl and the extremely limited addition Narnia Box which are numbered, premium quality wooden boxes full of Cats In Space goodies including the new album, a 12”of Thunder In The Night, which includes unreleased tracks like their version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Communication Breakdown’ ‘Man in The Moon’(acoustic) a Johnny Rocket woven patch, dog tag, guitar plectrum, six collector cards and a cover of Slade’s ‘How Do You Feel’ featuring Danny Bowes from Thunder on 7” vinyl. (Ok just take my money now hahaha)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Narnia
02. She Talks Too Much
03. Hologram Man
04. Tragic Alter Ego
05. Silver And Gold
06. Chasing Diamonds
07. Unicorn
08. The Story Of Johnny Rocket I: Space Overture
09. The Story Of Johnny Rocket II: Johnny Rocket
10. The Story Of Johnny Rocket III: Thunder In The Night
11. The Story Of Johnny Rocket IV: One Small Step
12. The Story OF Johnny Rocket V: Twilight
13. The Story Of Johnny Rocket VI: Yesterday’s News
14. The Story Of Johnny Rocket VII: Destination Unknown

LINKS:
https://www.catsinspace.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/catsinspaceband/

https://www.instagram.com/catsinspaceband/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6u18E3uWblUypQJu8_UAcA

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.