Vega – Only Human

Only Human Cover

Vega – Only Human
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 11/05/2018
Running Time: 52:57
Review By Beth Jones
9/10

My first experience of Vega was at Amplified 2017 and I was an instant fan. I love their kind of melodic, American rock – it brings out my girly side. Having been a life – long Bon Jovi fan, they sit very nicely in my tastes, and I was very pleased when I found out that they were releasing a new album this year.

Only Human is Vega’s fifth album. The band have produced it themselves, and have teamed up with legendary Canadian musician and producer, Harry Hess of Harem Scarem, to mix and master the final product, and what a pretty damn fine final product it is! Since it’s release date on 11th May 2018, I have had it on in my car as my ‘cheer me up on the drive to work’ music and it really does the trick!

Whilst Vega do sound very much like Bon Jovi, Nick Workman sounding very similar to JBJ in particular on this album, they do definitely have their own sound. That being said, they do fit very neatly into that style, it is very 80s, very American and very easy to get on with. With the quality of the songs on this album, this could quite easily be an album from a multinational chart topping band of that genre. It is 12 tracks of thumping American style melodic rock, with a good mix of upbeat anthems and ballads, all of which have catchy hooks, great melodies, and a finesse in the production quality that shows not only the skill, but the passion and craftsmanship of those involved.

It is really hard to pick out a favourite track from the album as they are all so good, however I think I do have two favourites; the title track, ‘Only Human’, and ‘Last Man Standing’. These were the two tracks that instantly caught my attention on first listen, and are definitely the tracks that I now sing along with.

Only Human, appearing about half way through the album, has the feel of a classic stadium anthem, starting off quietly, just vocals, keys and drums. I can imagine the staging for it – packed stadium, low lighting, the whole crowd cheering, spotlight on Nick for the verse, smoke machine, then BAM! Lights up! More Smoke! Drums! Guitars! Keys! Crowd going wild! Bouncing! WE ARE ONLY HUMAAAAAN…… Then I stop getting lost in the song and focus on the road because I am driving! But that is what that song does to you, and that for me is the mark of a good song and the whole point of music – the fact that it takes you somewhere else and makes you feel good. It has a more modern feel, whilst still hanging on to its classic roots. It is one of those songs that will stay ageless.

Last Man Standing, positioned in slot 3 on the album, is a different kettle of fish! More upbeat, but very 80’s American Rock. Good solid chunky rhythms underpin the whole song, with bass and rhythm guitar providing good riffs that echo each other in the chorus, along with a very catchy melody line, with classic harmonies in 3rds on the title line, which give the track a very nice lift. This is a track that you can really move to, and even if you are too cool to have a bop, I can guarantee you that you will not be able to resist some sort of movement to this song, whether that be a slight toe tap, or a very aloof nod of the head in time. IT WILL MAKE YOU DO IT – IT IS INFECTIOUSLY GOOD!! This track is my ear worm at the moment. I can be stood in the kitchen at work making a brew, and then all of a sudden, there it is!!! So goddamn catchy!!

The vibe of the whole album is pretty much encapsulated by these two songs. This is 12 tracks of really solid, really catchy ear worms that wouldn’t be out of place at any ‘mainstream’ event, but fit perfectly into the world of rock too, and it is for this reason that I am pretty sure the Vega boys are some kind of sorcerers, and their songs are their spells!! They certainly have me hooked!

If I had one criticism, and believe me it is incredibly hard to find one on this album, this is just because I am properly fussy, it would be that the vocals on track 11 (Fade Away) seem to be slightly out of sync with the rest of the track – just by a tiny bit – in the chorus, so it feels like the vocals are rushing. Whether this was an issue in mixing, or it is meant to be like that, I’m not sure, but it just doesn’t hit the level of brilliance the other tracks do. For this reason, it is my least favourite track on the album and, depending what mood I am in, I do sometimes skip it as my brain can’t cope with it being not quite in sync!

Other than that, this is an absolutely stonking album. OK, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it most certainly is mine, and judging by some of the other reviews it has picked up so far, I am not the only one who thinks so. If you are a connoisseur of high class Melodic Rock, you need this album in your collection now…right now!

TRACK LIST

  • 1. Let’s Have Fun Tonight
  • 2. Worth Dying For
  • 3. Last Man Standing
  • 4. Come Back Again
  • 5. All Over Now
  • 6. Mess You Made
  • 7. Only Human
  • 8. Standing Still
  • 9. Gravity
  • 10. Turning Pages
  • 11. Fade Away
  • 12. Go To War

 

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Vega Pic by Beth Jones, Amplified Festival 2017

 

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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photographs are the property of Beth Jones and PhotograBee – http://www.facebook.com/PhotograBeeImages

Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters – Bad Habit

Bad Habit Cover

Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters – Bad Habit
Running Time: 35:36
Release Date: 03/04/2017
Independent
Review by Beth Jones
6.5/10

I know that this is a hotly debated topic, but I am a huge fan of ladies in rock and metal, 1. – because I love rock and metal of any kind, and 2. – because I am a lady!! Having said that, some of it can be a bit weak and whiney, however one person that couldn’t be further from that category is honorary Welsh powerhouse, Beth Blade!

Since hitting the scene a little over two years ago, Cardiff based Beth, and her ‘Beautiful Disasters’ have been making a big impression, with their debut album, “Bad Habit”, being released in April 2017. Heavily influenced by classic rockers such as KISS, AC/DC and Guns n Roses, Beth is the modern embodiment of your classic Joan Jett style Rock Chick, which for me is an instant thumbs up!

We were handed The BBATBD album at Rockwich last year (2017), and it has been on the review list ever since, and I am glad that I have finally got around to doing it – better late than never I always say! Having seen the guys live, I had very high expectations for the album and on the whole it didn’t disappoint. It is full of classic riffs, ripping vocals and face melting guitar and, as a debut album, is pretty solid. Beth has a great, powerful tone to her voice, which really sits well in their classic rock style, and is backed up competently by her merry band of musicians. The album switches between a good pacey headbanger and a slower pace ballad well, and doesn’t feel too disjointed.

Opening in classic fashion with ‘Hell Yeah’, and rocking through ‘Bad Habit’, ‘Beautiful Disease’ and ‘Down And Dirty’, the chunky guitar and solid rhythm and bass section drives the album and makes you tap your feet, nod your head and remember. One thing that I would say is this – I love a good bass sound, but in the first track the mix has the bass turned up to eleven, and I felt it might be just a touch too much. I would be interested to know if this was purposefully done like this, as the rest of the album is more well balanced. The bass player is however a giant, as illustrated in a picture of me standing next to him, with him using my head as an arm rest, which is still floating round Facebook somewhere, so maybe this has something to do with it!

That aside, after a couple of listens I was singing along to the infectious melodies and I found myself humming them round the house for a good while afterwards, which is always the mark of a good song for me.

My favourite track on the album is ‘Poster Girl For Pain’, but not necessarily for its musical qualities, more for its lyrical meanings, which I feel are very current. The song itself is almost 90s Grunge, which I know is a bit like Marmite, but I think it works – it is sleazy, melancholy and scathing, but for me it is the stand out track on the album – the raw emotion of it slaps you in the face! Hard!

The tempo of the album picks up again after this mid – session break, with ‘This Bitch Bites’, to which my answer would be, ‘Yup, judging by this I am pretty sure she does’!! Again, it is punchy, solid, classic rock which continues through to the end of the album.

By the last track I was daydreaming about being back in the late 80s/ early 90s, eating a 20p mix, nursing BMX wounds and listening to the soundtracks for ‘Bill & Ted’ and ‘Wayne’s World’ – so much so I very nearly shouted ‘PARTY ON WAYNE’ at the top of my voice. I was sat in a traffic jam at the time listening to it in my car, so it is probably a good job I supressed the urge!

But for me that sums up the feel of the album. If you liked that era and musical style then; then you are going to love this album now! It is catchy, infectious, punchy and rocky, and a very good start on the road for Beth and her Beautiful Disasters. Some of the album feels a little tentative – like they are holding back a bit, or are not completely confident that they have found their sound, but essentially, they are a very good band, and with a few little tweaks, I am sure they will be a great band. I can’t wait to see what they do next. PARTY ON BETH!!!!

TRACK LIST

Hell Yeah!
Bad Habit
Beautiful Disease
Down And Dirty
Poster Girl For Pain
This Bitch Bites
Hell In High Heels
If You’re Ready To Rock
Angel With A Dirty Face
Legends Never Die

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