Ghosts Of Sunset – Headed West EP

Headed West EP Cover Art

Ghosts Of Sunset – Headed West EP
Golden Robot Records
Release Date: 05/02/2021
Running Time: 25:05
Review by Beth Jones
8/10

The 80’s was an interesting decade in a lot of ways. Fashion, the beginning of the tech boom, and some really crazy stuff going on around the world. I was only born 10 days before the 80’s started, so I don’t remember much of it happening at the time, but, thanks to historical archives, the dots can be joined up. One thing I do remember is 80s hair! And the eponymous sound of 80’s Rock and Hair Metal.

Personally, I think some of the best rock and power ballads ever written came out of that era. And, it would seem that American 80’s Rock / Hair metal inspired project, Ghost Of Sunset, agree! The brainchild of singer-songwriter John Merchant, and singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Todd Long, their mission with this debut concept EP, “Headed West,” is to illustrate the story of the rise and fall of a fictional mid-western US rock band, getting lost in the changing music scene of 80’s L.A. They’ve enlisted a host of big names to help them bring this to life, as well, with musicians from the likes of L.A. Guns, RATT, Enuff Znuff, KIX, and Lita Ford, all involved with its creation.

I have to say, it’s a heck of a big story to fit into one 6 track EP! So, have they managed it? Well, let’s find out!

‘Headed West’, the opening, and title track, is an upbeat little number, perfect for a journey down a dusty highway, with the air of excitement and glorious wonderment buzzing along with you. It’s classic Rock ‘n’ Roll. And this theme continues through track 2, ‘Another Rock ‘n’ Roll Show’. This would be the perfect soundtrack to an upbeat advertisement for the ideals of 80’s young America. There’d be fast pans across crowded clubs, full of enough hairspray and back-combing to power the international space station for a good year. Everyone would be dancing, and smiling, and having a great time. Then you’d get the closeup cutaways of pretty girls laughing and pulling funny faces, and handsome guys, lighting up another Marlboro, and swigging from a cool Budweiser, while a killer rock band were giving a huge performance, in the background, on a stage the size of a postage stamp.

Then ‘3 Miles In-Between’ sweeps in. This takes things down a bit, and here we start to see the cracks forming, the yearning and longing for home, and the exhaustion of the punishing touring, and always having to put on your best face, that kept 80’s bands afloat. This is essentially one of those great ballads that I was talking about earlier, and it has a proper guitar solo towards the end of the track, completely in keeping with the soaring solos of the day!

This slowed down theme is continued in track 4, ‘Never Goodbye’. But here, we’re introduced to a new edge within the lyrics – bitterness and disillusionment – ‘You’ll tell them the truth, it’s all just a lie, just say goodnight, never goodbye’ being a perfect example of this. The plastic perfection of this era simply didn’t allow for open negativity.

Track 5, ‘It’s Not Over’, and the final track, ‘Try It For Love’, run through becoming resolute to their fate, with an almost ‘dead behind the eyes’ acceptance, and then finding peace in the realisation that it’s not all just about perceived success, but that, in fact, real success comes from within. It’s in the joy, and love, that just making music brings. Well, that’s how I see it, anyway.

Musically, this epic tale, neatly packaged into 25 minutes, is very pleasing. The songs are all expertly written, with nothing overstated, and skilfully executed by all the players (but then you’d expect this really, with the amount of talent and experience Ghosts Of Sunset has called upon). But for me the thing that makes this a great EP is it does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s everything that says great 80’s Rock / Hair Metal. There’s nothing new here, and there’s no flashy, all singing, all dancing, ‘shiny, shiny’. But there doesn’t need to be. If you’re looking for a new sound, this will not be for you (unless of course you’ve been living in a cave and have never heard any music before, ever!). But, if you, like me, are a sucker for some nostalgia, then this EP will make you smile, a lot!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Headed West
02. Another Rock ‘n’ Roll Show
03. 3 Miles In-Between
04. Never Goodbye
05. It’s Not Over
06. Try It For Love

LINE-UP:
Todd Long – Songwriting, Guitar, Bass, Drums and Backing Vocals
John Merchant – Songwriting, Vocals
+ many guests!

LINKS:

Ghosts Of Sunset Promo Pic

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

Video Interview with Gary Shea (Alcatrazz)

Alcatrazz Logo

Video Interview with Gary Shea (Alcatrazz)
Interview, Recording, and Editing by Chris Galea

Hi Everyone

In January 2021 Chris had the honour of chatting to Alcatrazz founding member/bassist Gary Shea, about their forthcoming album, the history of the band, and Gary’s musical journey.

Huge thanks to Gary for the interview and to Chris for putting this together.

Gary Shea Video interview by Chris Galea

Enjoy!
Rick
Owner/Editor

ALCATRAZZ LINKS:

Alcatrazz 2021

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Chris Galea and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with THE COMPULSIONS

EMQ’s with THE COMPULSIONS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with New York City, USA based Rock N Roll band, The Compulsions. Huge thanks to vocalist, guitarist, and founding member, Rob Carlyle, for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

My name’s Rob Carlyle, and I sing and play guitar. I formed The Compulsions in 2003 and since then, the band has featured David Bowie, Guns N’ Roses, New York Dolls, Raging Slab and even Howlin’ Wolf sidemen, both on stage and on record. Many other exceptional local musicians have also worked with me as The Compulsions. Over the years, The Compulsions have received a near-endless amount of glowing press, including “Coolest Band In The World” from Classic Rock Magazine and “Look Out, Axl! Here Comes Rob Carlyle & The Compulsions!” from PleaseKillMe.com.

How did you come up with your band name?

I had a list of possible band names taped to my refrigerator and after a while, the name that continued to stand out was The Compulsions.

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

The Compulsions are from the East Village in New York City. There’s a pretty good Rock and Metal scene here in New York, although most activity is currently slowed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

On November 13, 2020, The Compulsions released our third full-length studio album, “Ferocious”.

‘Dirtbag Blues’ (Official Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

The Compulsions greatest influences are probably The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Faces, Humble Pie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The New York Dolls and ZZ Top.

What first got you into music?

Watching re-runs of The Monkees.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Today my answer is Guns N’ Roses.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

After looking online, I see that the world’s biggest festival is Donauinselfest in Austria, attracting over three million attendees every year. So, I’d pick Donauinselfest.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Backstage after a show, a mother and daughter offered me their mouths. So of course, I took them.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thank you for buying The Compulsions’ music and merchandise!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

The first name that comes to mind is Bon Scott.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Enjoy the most: It’s a great way for ugly guys to meet girls. Hate the most: Not knowing what to do with all this money!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Those without talent should be banished!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

“Exile on Main Street” by The Rolling Stones.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I’ve got to say that I really miss vinyl.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

I once played a private party for a belly dancer in South Amboy, New Jersey.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I’d be an actor and I’d only play bad guys.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Cardi B, Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Megan Thee Stallion and Melania Trump.

What’s next for the band?

I can’t mention the name but I’m currently ghost-writing for a legendary artist.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Apple Music: www.music.apple.com/album/1525842445
Band Website:
www.thecompulsionsnyc.com
Instagram:
www.instagram.com/thecompulsions/?hl=en
iTunes:
www.itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-compulsions/id5043315
My Facebook:
www.facebook.com/rob.carlyle.3
Pandora:
www.pandora.com/artist/the-compulsions/ARJqZ4354mbwVxc
Spotify:
www.open.spotify.com/artist/0A9xzhQK3jivSdlOILuqfv
YouTube:
www.youtube.com/channel/UCHz05Jc0LX1SablKsliHiLw

Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Jaffa Cakes? Like Sami Jaffa? Just joking. I’ve never heard of Jaffa Cakes, so I looked them up online. I obviously don’t know what they taste like, but they look like tiny little cakes.

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

No, I think I’ve said enough! Thank you for the questions, Ever Metal!

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

Viking Queen – Hammer Of The Gods

Viking Queen – Hammer Of The Gods
Dr Johns Surgery Records
Release Date: 15/10/2020
Running Time: 38:19
Review by Rick Eaglestone
6.5/10

Talk about timing, I was deep in the midst of a debut novel about Vikings when this album came through! So, whilst my eyes were scanning the damage being dealt in the book, my ears were going into battle with Viking Queen, who were part of the Norwegian TV series “Norse Rednecks”, and who have now released their debut album “Hammer of the Gods”.

Opener and title track ‘Hammer Of The Gods’ is fist pumping classic rock at its finest which transcends into ‘Empire Of Death’ effortlessly.

It wouldn’t be a classic rock album without a ballad, right? ‘Knives Through My Heart’ is just that, but it stays at one level, which is a shame because I do like a ballad with a little bite…

Both ‘Blood Of The Viking’ and ‘Trail Of The Viking’ seem to blend together into ‘Swords And Dragonheads’ which does have a really good guitar solo, but is really repetitive. However, my highlight track of the album ‘Going Nowhere Fast’ does soften the blow somewhat.

‘Can’t Stand The Pain’ is another step in the right direction as to is ‘Sunstone’, which did get repeated a fair few times.

Finally, the battle ready ‘Warriors Last Stand’ closes the album nicely.

At the time of writing this, the band are looking for new members, so it will be interesting to see how Viking Queen will sound when their clan has re assembled.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Hammer Of The Gods
02. Empire Of Death
03. Knives Through My Heart
04. Blood Of The Viking
05. Trail Of The Viking
06. Swords And Dragonheads
07. Going Nowhere Fast
08. Can’t Stand The Pain
09. Sunstone
10. Warriors Last Stand

LINE-UP ON THE ALBUM
Lady E – Vocals
Miss White – Backing Vocals
Robban – Guitars
TJ – Bass
Chris Chruick – Drums

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rick Eaglestone 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.

Super Duper Alice Cooper

Super Duper Alice Cooper
Directed And Written: Sam Dunn, Reginald Harkema, Scot McFadyen
Produced by: Banger Films
2014
Review by Chris Galea
5/10

A film documenting the life, career, trials and tribulations of one of the founding fathers of Rock and Metal is certainly something to look forward to. “Super Duper…” starts by focusing on the upbringing of Vincent Furnier before he adopted the stage name of ‘Alice Cooper’, on his first forays into music, on meeting bassist Dennis Dunaway at school and revealing the origins of the band moniker.

More than half the documentary consists of voices speaking over photos and archive footage both of which are not necessarily directly linked to what is being said. It’s a very strange approach not to mention that it’s also very frustrating that you’re not actually seeing the speaker/s and sometimes it’s not even clear who is speaking.

For many years and seven albums into the band’s existence, Alice Cooper the band and Alice Cooper the frontman were two distinct entities and the film dedicates a hefty focus on the former. It tells about the band being discovered by Frank Zappa, who really got the ball rolling for the band. We get to know about a handful of crucial performances that significantly elevated the band’s status, such as a 1970 festival with John Lennon also on the bill.

Even after those shows, radio stations kept ignoring the band but that all changed when famed producer Bob Ezrin (Kiss, Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd) was roped in and Alice Cooper finally had their first hit single: ‘I’m Eighteen’. Since its inception, the band kept honing the theatricality of their live shows and “Super Duper Alice Cooper” makes this patently clear. Speaking of which, the film mentions some truly bizarre anecdotes about their gigs, one involving a chicken (think of it as Alice Cooper’s version of the infamous story concerning Ozzy and a bat). No less bizarre is footage of a live show involving panties…lots of panties.

The documentary then covers the divorce of Alice Cooper the singer from Alice Cooper the band. Around the same time, Alice/Vince suffered a mental breakdown. Upon emerging from that precarious mental state, one of the first things Alice did was collaborate with songwriter Bernie Taupin, famous for writing the lyrics to almost all of Elton John’s songs (incidentally Elton John is said to be a big Alice Cooper fan). The result of the Cooper/Taupin collaboration was for me Alice Cooper’s magnum opus, the album “From The Inside”, released in 1978 and recorded with the help of a large number of session musicians.

We are also told that Alice Cooper had to deal with a crippling cocaine addiction, from which he eventually recovered and returned to the stage in 1986 after an absence of 4 years. And in fact the documentary clocks off somewhere in the mid-1980s.

So, if Alice Cooper meant nothing to you beyond the albums, videos and concerts, “Super Duper Alice Cooper” certainly provides a revealing background about the band and showman. Sadly, though, the documentary is conspicuously lacking in any depth whatsoever. It mentions a number of stepping stones in Alice Cooper’s career but there’s very little insight in terms of how, why, who, when….etc. On the other hand, a lot of important events, albums and musicians are wholly overlooked. So, for example, we have nothing about the “Easy Action” album of 1970. And guitarists Glen Buxton and Michael Bruce, two musicians so crucial to the band, are almost completely ignored.

To that add what I mentioned earlier about invisible persons speaking over photo and video montages and in the end the prevailing feeling I got of this film-doc is one of a missed opportunity.

Interesting? Perhaps. But certainly not super duper.

Watch the trailer here:

Alice Cooper’s new album “Detroit Stories” will be released on February 26th, 2021 via earMUSIC.

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea 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.

Helix – Eat Sleep Rock

Helix – Eat Sleep Rock
Perris Records
Release Date: 04/09/2020
Running Time: 45:34
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

I’ve made the difficult decision today to take a break from progressive metal…Don’t worry, it’s only for the day! Because sometimes Sundays just call for a bit of good, honest, salt of the earth, hard rock, right?! Today’s listening pleasure is sponsored by old-school Canadian hard rockers, Helix, in the shape of their new album, “Eat Sleep Rock”.

This album is a compilation of the bands favourite songs recorded since their departure from Capitol/EMI back in 1990. (Yes, that is 3 decades ago, and yes you are, like me, getting very, very old. Eesh! 30 damn years, where the hell did that go?!) But as an added bonus, alongside some timeless classics, this album also offers two previously unreleased tracks, the title track, and ‘The Story Of Helix’, which opens the album.

And what a way to open an album it is. In a style akin to the ever popular ‘Tribute’ (originally performed by Tenacious D, but subsequently murdered millions of times over in every Karaoke bar globally), this track is an hilarious spoken word piece, set to music, and interspersed with musical fills at just the right points. It summarises the story of the journey that Helix have been on, over nearly half a century, into a neatly packaged 7 and a half minutes! And it’s funny as hell! I did some proper belly laughing at it! I would recommend that anyone who held the 90’s music scene in any level of contempt have a listen to this track. You’ll sympathize with it!

Following the amusing start, Helix get back to business in ‘Eat Sleep Rock’, the album’s title track. It’s just great, solid, hard rock. And that, my friends, really is all you need quite a lot of the time. Think Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, and AC/DC, and you’re on the right tracks. It’s written and performed to be tight and no nonsense, and when you listen to it, it’s completely impossible not to tap your toes and nod your head. And I’ve discovered, when you’re writing, it’s also impossible to stop yourself writing in time to the music, too.

The album continues in this way throughout. Just tune after tune of great hard rock. Superb solos, metronomic drumming, classic rock vocals – clean, but with just enough grit to give them edge, big riffs, and driving bass lines. It’s music for a road trip. Or music to shoot some pool and drink liquor to, and I love it.

I don’t have a favourite track on this album, as the whole thing just puts you in a great mood. There’s no way I could single out one track that does that more than the others. Everything is written, performed, recorded, mixed and mastered to perfection. But this is to be expected, as these guys are all seasoned professionals, and they’ve used some of the cream of the crop to take care of mixing and mastering, too. There isn’t a single thing that I would change, or that has irritated me, about this album, which is rare, because I’m a fussy cow!!

Ok, I’ll level with you. If you’re looking for explorations of new and Avant Garde sounds, you should probably move along. But if you want to be immersed in some proper ROCK, then get stuck into this bad boy, because you won’t be disappointed!

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Story Of Helix (Unreleased)
02. Eat Sleep Rock (Unreleased)
03. Shock City Psycho Rock
04. Wrecking Ball
05. I’m A Live Frankenstein
06. Even Jesus (Wasn’t Loved In His Hometown)
07. Cyber Space Girl
08. When The Bitters Got The Better Of You
09. The Tequila Song
10. (Gene Simmons Says) Rock Is Dead
11. The Devil Is Having A Party Tonight

LINE-UP:
Brian Vollmer – Lead Vocals
Daryl Gray – Bass & Keyboard Programming
Greg “Fritz” Hinz – Drums
Kaleb Duck – Guitar
Chris Julke – Guitar

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones 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.

One Desire – Midnight Empire

One Desire – Midnight Empire
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 22/05/2020
Running Time: 51:32
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9.5/10

When an album starts with a creepy voice that gives you goose bumps and then the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, you know you’re in for a good time. And this is how “Midnight Empire” by Finnish rockers One Desire begins. It is a feel-good album and the tracks just get better and better.

For those of you not familiar with One Desire, they formed in 2012, initially as a project put together by drummer Ossi Sivula. Fast forward a couple of years and they were working with renowned producer, Jimmy Westerlund (Negative, Sturm Und Drang, Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, Pitbull etc), who has several platinum and gold albums to his credit as a producer, guitarist, and song writer.

This brought them to the attention of Frontiers, but at the time, they needed a good singer. Enter stage right Andre Linman from the band Sturm und Drang, who joined the band in 2016. The remaining member, bassist Jonas Kuhlberg (Paul Di Anno, Cain’s Offering, MyGrain), then joined and the band was complete.

Their self-titled debut album really took off, with the track ‘Hurt’ gaining nearly 2 million hits on YouTube and almost 3 million streams on Spotify! After listening to the track, I can totally understand why! Following a successful European tour with Eclipse, they headed back to the studio to start work on this release. “Midnight Empire”. It took two years of work, but now it’s here!

Throughout the album I found myself thinking, “who do these guys remind me of?” and I kept coming back to two bands. Van Halen and the Scorpions! That upbeat, brilliant, 80’s good listening rock, that’s heavy enough to be ROCK, but not so OTT that your ear drums bleed! “Midnight Empire” is the complete package, punchy guitar playing, good rocking drums, amazing vocals…In fact, there’s nothing I don’t like about this! It’s been a while since an album I’ve reviewed has had such an upbeat vibe to it. It makes you just want to put it on repeat and listen over and over again.

Track 2 ‘After You’re Gone’ is definitely one of those tracks that is made for the summertime, window down, volume up, playing finger drums on the steering wheel (yes most of us have done it)! It has that feel good factor throughout. Not all the tracks are full on rockers though, you get some slightly slower tracks, but it just gives the whole album more appeal. I said earlier they remind me a little of Van Halen, by this I mean where you get an almost ballad type track, which then suddenly jumps to a faster tempo. It certainly keeps you on your toes which helps maintain interest throughout the album.

I have to give a special mention to the vocals here. You not only get some amazing melody vocals, but the harmonising is spot on as well! Not too overpowering but complimenting the main vocals of Andre whose vocals are crisp and clear, but with such an edge.

Track 5, ‘Through the Fire’, takes you in a differently direction all together. This slower, ballad like track, is such a variation to the others. But it’s not “just another ballad” because, out of nowhere, it explodes into another dimension! You can feel the guys passion for their music through almost every track, but in this one it’s especially noticeable. They sound like they’re singing their entire hearts out, and every ounce of energy they had went into it. In every track you can hear and feel how much the music means to them, and they want you to share that experience with them.

The final track, ‘Only When I Breathe, is a real ‘lighters out’ rock ballad, and really gets to you (for those of us who have a heart)! Listening to this, I think it’s something most of us can relate to at some point in our lives.

All I can say is wow. “Midnight Empire” is truly brilliant, and I have already added it to my music collection. The passion on each track is tangible. They have put their heart and soul into it completely and should be so proud!

As a little side note, a quick mention about track 9, ‘Killer Queen’! Just to say DON’T PANIC!! It’s not a cover of the Queen track!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Shadowman
02. After You’re Gone
03. Down And Dirty
04. Godsent Extasy
05. Through The Fire
06. Heroes
07. Rio
08. Battlefield Of Love
09. Killer Queen
10. Only When I Breathe

LINE-UP:
Jimmy Westerlund – Guitars
Andre Linman – Lead Vocals
Ossi Sivula – Drums
Jonas Kuhlberg – Bass

LINKS:
www.instagram.com/OneDesireBand
www.onedesire.net/
www.facebook.com/OneDesireBand/
www.twitter.com/oneDesireBand
www.youtube.com/channel/UCaMXnDg9g7WKw1tHHI69FnA
www.open.spotify.com/artist/1s25YudYTrIRBOSsj917K7

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.

Toby and the Whole Truth – Ignorance is Bliss (25th Anniversary Remastered Deluxe Edition)

Toby and the Whole Truth – Ignorance is Bliss (25th Anniversary Remastered Deluxe Edition)
Jepsongs Recordings
Release Date: 17/07/20
Running Time: 52:17
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

The 90’s was a Marmite decade, musically. The rise of the manufactured band and the new waves of Britpop, indie, and mainstream rave was making it an eclectic picture, which you either loved or hated. The punk, glam, and classic metal scene was being driven underground by the polar opposites of kids with baggy jeans and curtains, smoking joints and playing bar chords, or kids dripping in Burberry, dropping Es and ‘climbing the rope’ or ‘stacking the shelves’ until dawn. The industry was fickle, and driven by profit more than ever before, to the detriment of many artists and bands. But if you looked hard enough, you could still find glimmers of hope amongst the detritus.

In 1995, I was 15, and in somewhat of a period of discovery as far as music was concerned. My tastes had begun to grow up from the likes of Take That and Let Loose. It started after hearing Queen, “Greatest Hits”, for the first time, and having an epiphany moment! And thank god it did, hey?! It was also the year Toby Jepson, formerly of Little Angels, released his first solo album, “Ignorance is Bliss”. A couple of years previously, Little Angels had been seen as the most successful group of a generation, but thanks to the greedy and destructive place that was the 90’s music industry, that had all ended in somewhat bitter circumstances. Now, after a quarter of a century, the dust has settled a little and, Toby, now the vocalist with Wayward Sons, has decided to re-release it as a special 25th anniversary edition. It has been remastered for this release, and there’s also a Limited ‘Songbook’ edition with CD featuring all 11 original tracks and two unreleased songs. The book features 36 pages of production notes, hand drawn illustrations, lyrics, song explanations and a forward introduction by writer David Gailbraith (Kerrang!)

Musically, this album leaves behind the safety of Little Angels’ classic Hard Rock style, moving into the darker realms of Alternative Rock with a hint of 90’s Grunge. Not surprising really, given the events that led to the demise of Little Angels, and, I suspect the need to ‘fit’ with the scene back then. But this album has a more mature edge than a lot of the music that was in vogue at the time, and that makes it ageless. It doesn’t feel dated in any way, and its themes are still as relevant today as they were quarter of a century ago; betrayal, sadness and existential angst, juxtaposed with hopefulness and new musical discovery, which really do make it a timeless classic.

It’s littered with catchy riffs, and a hefty dose of distorted fuzz, and is underpinned with intricate bass and robust rhythms. On top of all this sit Toby’s vocals, crystal clear and with just the right amount of edginess and grit to meld in the classic Rock ‘n’ Roll overtones, without taking the sound too far back into the comfort zone of times gone by.

It also has a certain acoustic intimacy about it – all the tracks could legitimately be played acoustically and not lose any of their meaning or feeling. I like this a lot. A few of the tracks have purely acoustic lead-ins, giving them a certain reflective melancholy, which nods to the overarching mood in which these songs were penned. One example of this is track 5, ‘The Wind Blows Hard’. It mixes a 90’s Bon Jovi style, with a more grunge inspired guitar and vocal sound, and classic rock rhythms. It ebbs and flows between acoustic sections and full on crunchy choruses. And just to top it off, there’s also a couple of intricate cross rhythm sections that bring you out of any false sense of security you may have been lulled into. Although it’s hard to single out any favourite tracks on this album, this one is right up there for me.

You should all know by now that I’m pretty fussy on production values when it comes to recorded music. Having not heard this album originally, I can’t really comment on the scale of the improvement that remastering has made, but the production on this release is pure quality. It’s very thoughtful in its placement of sounds, making it full and expansive, and dynamically everything is placed perfectly to create a very balanced and rounded sound. And every time I listen to it, I hear something new!

I’m going to shut up now. You can probably tell I quite like this album! All I’ll say is, if you liked elements of the 90’s, but need something a bit more grown up, thoughtful, and edgy, and appreciate talent and superb production, then this is definitely an album you should check out.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Some People Are More Equal Than Others
02. Better Off Without Me
03. Slipping Through Your Fingers
04. Haven’t Got Your Strength
05. The Wind Blows Hard
06. All Heal In Time
07. I Won’t Be With You
08. Save Me From Myself
09. Out Of Sight Out Of Mind
10. Harder All The Time
11. Open Your Mind
12. Get Your Feet On (Previously Unreleased)
13. Spiritually Bankrupt (Previously Unreleased)

LINKS:
www.tobyjepsonofficial.com/
www.facebook.com/tobyjepsonofficial/
www.twitter.com/TobyJepson
www.instagram.com/therealtobyjepson/
www.youtube.com/channel/UCKYqWet2jpPHLa5bS5eEA6g

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones 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.

EMQ’s with GYPSY’S KISS

EMQ’s with GYPSY’S KISS

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with 1970’s Rock Icons Gypsy’s Kiss. Huge thanks to them for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

David Smith: Vocals, Guitars (For GK I use a Gibson SG Standard, a Gibson Firebird, a Line 6 Variax and a Yamaha APX500 Acoustic) and song writing.

Jonathan Morley: Guitar and backing vocals. Gibson Les Paul Deluxe (which I have owned from new in 1979!)

Fraser Marr: I play guitar. Primarily a Gibson Flying V. Hopefully Gibson.

After leaving school in 1973 and sharing a love of all things rock and West Ham United, David and Steve Harris (of Iron Maiden) decided to form a band. David even helped Steve choose his first bass and learn to play. They rehearsed and David began writing the songs that are still loved by fans today. They gigged around East London (including the iconic Cart and Horses in Stratford) but the band came to an end in mid-1975. David has been asked many times to reform the band but resisted until a charity performance in 2018. The response from the Iron Maiden family was so good that it kick started a fully blown reboot.

How did you come up with your band name?

David: The band were formed in 1973 as Influence (Line Up Me, Steve Harris, Bob Verschoyle and Paull Sears (Tim Nash was added later)) but we changed the name in 1974 to Gypsy’s Kiss (which is East End rhyming slang for ‘piss’). Steve wanted to change the name to Spare Rib at one point, but we resisted!

Fraser: David came up with it whilst chatting to Dinosaurs

What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?

Jonathan: Glasgow. And not a lot has come out of there in terms of metal. There was actually a New Wave of British Heavy Metal act called Glasgow. I always liked GUN as well. The best Scottish band you could call ‘heavy’ for me was Nazareth. I have the details of a couple of Scottish venues and Viv at Roulette Media (our management) will no doubt send them our new EP launch details!

Fraser: I am from Yorkshire originally where the Rock scene is good. I am now in Southern England where the rock scene needs a good kick up the arse!

David: I was born and brought up in Leyton (in London’s East End) about a mile away from Steve Harris in Leytonstone but now live in Chessington. Back in the early 70s the East London Pub Rock music scene was vibrant with loads of pubs and clubs having bands on most nights of the week. Sadly, in London now there are fewer and fewer live venues staying open and its really difficult for young bands to get a start.

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

David: We released the EP “Heat Crazed Vole Re-tailed” on 1st May which is a remastered copy of the EP we put out last year but including our debut single ‘Influence’ and our new radio single ‘Don’t Ask the Question’!

Who have been your greatest influences?

Fraser: Going roughly through the Years I would say. Clapton, Hendrix, Zappa. Stones, Skynyrd, Aero, Zep, Floyd, Nugent, Caravan, Lizzy, UFO, especially Michael Schenker. Later would be Queensrÿche, Lynch Mob, Guns n Roses, LA Guns etc…

David: I grew up in the 60’s and loved the great bands of the time (Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Who, Move etc). and then Purple, Sabbath, Free, Floyd, Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Bowie, Quo, Slade, Roxy – man what an era that was! I started playing in 1971 (yes that long ago) and have since been influenced vocally by Paul Rodgers, Rod Stewart, Robert Plant, Ozzy and Ian Gillan. Guitar influences would be Chuck Berry, Gilmour, Kossoff, Page, Peter Green and, of course, the greatest Jimi Hendrix.

What first got you into music?

Fraser: My parents. No question. They loved Jazz and it was always playing. Modern not Trad. In my house The Beatles were not regarded hugely. I went pretty much from Jazz to Rock and missed out Pop. First song I remember was Little Red Rooster by The Stones. My older brother turned me on to Sabbath, Zep, Atomic Rooster, Wishbone Ash, Nektar, Neu, Amon Duul. A lot of weird and varied stuff.

David: None of my family are musical but all loved music. We always had the radio on. My elder sister was into Elvis and then the Beatles and that kick started me. Like all teenage lads I wanted to play guitar and finally owned a Woolworths Audition acoustic (for the princely sum of £8) in 1971

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Jonathan: Rival Sons

Fraser: Aerosmith, Schenker, Queensrÿche

David: There would be so many, Paul McCartney, Dave Gilmour, Neil Young, Pete Townsend come immediately to mind, but the list is huge.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Download.

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

Fraser: Praise.

David: I would normally get the standard stuff like booze, pictures, t shirts etc. But there’s still time!!!!!

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

You know our legacy music and the Iron Maiden connection well, but look out for new material and an album in the not too distant future!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Jonathan: Bon Scott.

Fraser: Jimi Hendrix

David: Jimi Hendrix

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

Jonathan: I love gigging, recording, rehearsing, everything, even driving to a gig and setting up and getting nervous before playing. I don’t like packing up after. And it’s true what they say about singers never helping!

Fraser: There’s nothing to hate. We are lucky.

David: Pretty much all of it except setting up and packing up!

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Fraser: Reduce the price of CD’s and increase the payment from streaming sites to artists. A lot.

David: Bring back more live venues and to keep music live

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Jonathan: Rush – “Exit Stage Left”.

Fraser: Queensrÿche – “Operation Mindcrime”.

David: “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”

What’s Best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads

We can’t agree. But cassettes? Just no!

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

David: I pretty much love most of the gigs with all the bands I’ve been in but the very first GK gig at the Cart and Horses in 1974 is still in my memory!

Fraser: They are all good. Big or small. Need some right now.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

Fraser: Photography. Science, Conservation. Maybe gardening…

David: What I use to do being a Civil Servant!

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

James Bond, David Lee Roth, Prince, Bobby Moore & My Mum.

What’s next for the band?

EP release, write more songs and plan gigs.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Facebook and Instagram
www.gypsyskiss.net/
www.facebook.com/GK74Band/
www.instagram.com/gypsyskiss1974/

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

Jonathan: They should be allowed to identify as whatever they choose!

Fraser: Haha… They are a cake. They get hard.

David: Isn’t it a cake for tax avoidance purposes? I’m not a fan anyway – give me a digestive or a slab of bread pudding anytime!

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

David: Thank you for the opportunity. It’s good to be back after 46 years as Gypsy’s Kiss!

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

Lucifer Star Machine – The Devil’s Breath

Lucifer Star Machine – The Devil’s Breath
The Sign Records
Release Date: 03/04/2020
Running Time: 42:42
Review by Dark Juan
Rating 8/10

It is evening at Dark Juan Terrace, Mrs. Dark Juan is making facemasks upstairs in her eyrie and I have the pleasure of the company of Number Two Furry Son Sir Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover while I write this. When I say pleasure, I use the term loosely as he is variously shouting at me for my beer or trying to steal my crisp butty, the thieving little hellhound bastard. I have trained him well. He has been exiled from the eyrie because he is such an unutterable tiny terror. He honestly bullies a dog four times his weight. He has now left the room and I am instead blessed with the anal artistry of Number Three Furry Son Hodgson Biological-Weapon. He has just dropped a fartbomb of such stupendous filth that even he has left the room in disgust. Do you see what I have to endure in order to bring you such factual and splendid record reviews, dear children of the dark? I will attempt to stave off oxygen starvation and the possibility of being poisoned in order to bring you the benefit of my wisdom regarding Lucifer Star Machine’s latest opus “The Devil’s Breath”…

I don’t mind telling you, Novichok has nothing on that dog’s arse. I had to leave the room for a good ten minutes. Not a problem because I needed to get another beer.

Lucifer Star Machine are a German punk n roll band formed initially (and somewhat confusingly) in London, however they now reside in Hamburg and now have an all German line-up. With stage names. Dark Juan likes stage names. But theirs aren’t as good as his. He thinks…

Yeah, enough of the nonsense. What do Lucifer Star Machine sound like? The blurb the PR company very kindly sent says, “The Devil’s Breath is a high-energy mixture of classic rock, punk, a touch of metal, and a hint of 1950’s Rock’n’Roll…”

They are nearly right – there’s little to no metal on display here. It’s rock and roll and punk fused. And it’s pretty damned good. Imagine The Offspring and “Earth A.D.” era Misfits meeting Nekromantix and having a bloody good piss up together and then forming a band and you have a rough idea of what this bunch of German miscreants sound like. You’re fortunate – I have decided to forgo the usual nauseating sadomasochistic sexual metaphor I normally employ. It’s been a trying day. Frankly any album that starts with the words “Catholic Church sex abuse scandal” has already earned a million goodwill points considering my virulently anti-church stance (no matter how much fun it is deflowering virgin Christian girls upon the sacred altar in front of a packed house of increasingly shocked parishioners while the priest weeps quietly in the corner and I shout “Hail Satan!” at the moment of completion. Thus, another goth girl is created and the Church loses another sheep from the flock…) and sets the tone for a record that, although done before by the likes of the Hellacopters et al, has a certain charm all its own.

Opening cut ‘The Void’ crashes into the lugholes like a six foot, and ridiculously friendly pink mohicaned punk who’s pissed up at half ten in the morning and has staggered by accident into your venue of choice. This is good time music. Music you drink to and dance and do stupid things to. The kind of music that inspires Jackass style madness off your garden chair involving you, Smudgy the cat, the paddling pool and five very drunk friends. And a trip to hospital. And every song is like that. Speedy, fun, entertaining and well produced and accessible. Some punk can be samey and difficult to listen to and LSM are not like that. It does make it hard to pick standout songs from the record because it is an album that rewards you listening to it as a complete body of work rather than a song here and there. Lucifer Star Machine are the soundtrack to your stupidest ideas and they are to be commended for that. Every song is pretty much three chord punk madness, but played with a sense of fun and enjoyment you seldom hear on a record until you get to the last track which is the title track. Where Lucifer Star Machine delve perilously close to Green Day style chart bothering with acoustic guitar but thankfully with a suitably satanic lyrical content to save it from my righteous fury. That was a close one, meine herren!

Dark Juan officially recommends Lucifer Star Machine to your attention. If you like something less heavy occasionally then you’ll probably love it. If you’re a snotty purist, go fuck yourself. With a JCB or something. Make it count.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System (Das Patentierte Dunkle Juan Blutspritzer Bewertungssystem) awards Lucifer Star Machine 8/10 for a jolly hockey sticks, fun record that will be best enjoyed fucking hammered on a beach with ladies all around you. Of course, Dark Juan would do this while in the black desert in Iceland with Nordic hotties everywhere. Just saying…

TRACKLISTING:
01. The Void
02. Dwell In Misery
03. Cruel Hearts
04. Baby, When You Cry
05. The Night Is Young
06. Eat Dust
07. A Touch Of Death
08. El Camino Real
09. Pretender
10. Evil Blood
11. Midnight Crawler
12. Your Love Remains
13. Devil’s Breath

LINE-UP:
Tor Abyss – Throat
Mickey Necro – Guitars
Marshall Speed – Guitars
Benny Zin – Bass
Jay Impact – Drums

LINKS:
www.luciferstarmachine.com/
www.facebook.com/luciferstarmachine/
www.instagram.com/lucifer_star_machine/
www.spotify.com/artist/0OadEGpCQGopnStMsULCig
www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ0btWSJQ5kJE3RMn8yDyYA

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.