Snakecharmer – Second Skin

Second Skin Cover

Snakecharmer – Second Skin
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 12/05/2017
Running time: 51:00
Review by Vikkie “Queen Of Rock” Richmond
7/10

There seems to be a glut of ‘super groups’ rising to prominence these days and Snakecharmer is the latest one to grace my turntable with their wares.  “Second Skin” is the second album from Whitesnake’s Neil Murray, coming a surprising four years after the eponymously titled debut. Also featuring members of Thunder, Wishbone Ash, Ozzy Osbourne and Heartland, Snakecharmer is a veritable feast of musical talent, brought together to play classic rock their way.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this eleven track offering, but the opener “Sounds Like A Plan” is a clear shot across the bows of the good ship Classic; it is suffice to say that Chris Ousey’s vocals have a raspy, vibrato style going on that wouldn’t have been out of place twenty or even thirty years ago. The old school sound runs through the whole album but I feel is particularly prominent on second song, “That Kind Of Love”, with the harmonies on the vocals and the overall feel-good vibe to it.

One of my favourite tracks is “Are You Ready To Fly” as it kicks in with a down and dirty vibe and features a sweet guitar solo which brings the song to its peak. The rather lovely “I’ll Take You As You Are” features some soulful guitar effects and is pretty uplifting.

“Hell Of A Way To Live” has a more modern feel to it, with some nice vocal harmony work, a raunchy riff underpinning the song and a nice time signature change towards the end. However, I had to check for technical difficulties when “Dress It Up” kicked in; for a second I thought I had inadvertently changed music to AC/DC, but it’s a rocking song nonetheless.

“Forgive And Forget” is an altogether more mellow effort, with a funky back line which builds up to a big chorus before dropping back to a more laid back vibe with some nice piano effect. Closing track “Where Do We Go From Here” is a big, powerhouse of a semi-ballad, featuring some echoing vocals and huge guitar sounds – it’s a perfect closing song.

Snakecharmer are not reinventing the rock wheel with this album, however what they are doing is taking the ‘classic’ vibe and rocking the bejesus out of it. Does it sound a bit dated?  Maybe a little, in some places, but it’s a passable, pleasant listen and let’s face it, who doesn’t love a bit of cowbell?  There is talent in abundance and the experience of the musicians shines through. I did see them at this year’s Ramblin’ Man fair and whilst they were clearly at the top of their musical game, I was left feeling a little bit ambivalent towards their performance. That’s not to say I wouldn’t see them again; after all, Snakecharmer as a unit are bona fide rock royalty.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Sounds Like A Plan
02. That Kind of Love
03. Are You Ready To Fly
04. Follow Me Under
05. I’ll Take You As You Are
06. Hell Of A Way To Live
07. Fade Away
08. Dress It Up
09. Punching Above My Weight
10. Forgive And Forget
11. Where Do We Go From Here

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie “Queen of Rock” Richmond 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

Outright Resistance- Me vs I

Me Vs. I EP Cover

Outright Resistance- Me vs I
Self-Released
Release Date: 06/09/2016
Running time: 32:00
Review by Vikkie “Queen Of Rock” Richmond
8/10

Stevenage screamers have been recognised underground as a bit of a diamond in the rough for a while now, but I suspect it was their outstanding performance at the very soggy Amplified Festival that catapulted them well and truly out of the darkness into a very bright limelight.

“Me Vs. I” is not billed as an EP, but at only seven tracks long, I would be hard pressed to call it an album. It’s all irrelevant really as it doesn’t matter whether its 30 minutes or 30 hours long; Outright Resistance are a pretty special find.

So what can one expect from ‘Captain’ Paige Lee and co? Well, if you haven’t yet seen the band or heard the music, frankly you have to have been living under a rock. Proceedings get under way with the rather threatening “Me Vs. I”, a short intro to the music. “Maimed In Chelsea” is the first proper track and it features some amazing double bass drumming. Growling vocals and screams from Lee accompany a strong riff running through the song, making it an opener that leaves any listener wanting more.

“Prove Them Wrong” is a good pacey, head nodding track whilst the slow burn of “Pain” morphs into a frenzied pace. I could make out some discordant keyboard in there, which adds to the atmosphere of the song. “Gee, Dysphoria” is also an angry track with a bruising time signature.

“Destiny Is All” is a slightly slower track, but it’s a winner in my book because there are some sneaky pinch harmonics squeezed in there. If I had to choose a track that I feel sums this band up, it’s this one. It is menacing and it creeps along and into your consciousness like iced water through veins.

Last track “Take The Blame” is another frenetic offering that really is just the perfect closer to this small, but perfectly formed collection of music.

I saw the Amplified performance and this band truly kicked some metal arse, brightening everyone’s Saturday morning. It’s true that in a couple of places the production is a little bit shaky, but nothing to worry about. It’s basically a great collection of bruising songs and surely it’s not going to be long before Outright Resistance break through into the collective metal community consciousness, if they haven’t completely done so already. With some absolutely storming vocals and first class musicianship, “Me Vs. I” is a blistering, intense and enjoyable offering that can be enjoyed again and again, getting to know every little nuance of every song. Outstanding.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Me Vs. I
02. Maimed In Chelsea
03. Prove Them Wrong
04. Pain
05. Gee, Dysphoria
06. Destiny Is All
07. Take The Blame

LINKS:

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie “Queen of Rock” Richmond 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

Inglorious – II

II Cover

Inglorious – II
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 12/05/2017
Running time: 42:39
Review by Vikkie “Queen Of Rock” Richmond
9/10

For a band that seemed to burst onto the scene out of nowhere, Inglorious are certainly doing very nicely for themselves, thank you.  They only formed back in 2014 and a line-up change saw original rhythm guitarist Drew returning to the band earlier this year.  Appearances with such rock royalty as The Winery Dogs, Dead Daisies and Steel Panther have garnered an ever growing fan base and a forthcoming headline tour will see them play across the UK, with some venues already sold out.

Debut album “Inglorious” was well received and catapulted the band into the limelight, bringing with it some anthemic tracks including their eponymously titled anthem.  “II” was eagerly awaited by fans and critics alike, as most second albums are.  So, what’s it like?  Don’t be fooled into thinking, from the introduction of the first track “I Don’t Need Your Loving”, that this is going to be a weak, watery copy of the first album.  After a few seconds, this track literally explodes into a cacophony of funky guitars and raunchy vocal stylings.  Nathan’s voice is in fine fettle and this song will make you get up and dance, for sure.

Third track, “Tell Me Why” is a huge song, with a time signature change just before the end and some startling vocals.  One of my stand out favourites is track four, the familiar sounding “Read All About It”, which I believe has the potential to become the anthem of the album.

There’s a nice, thoughtful guitar intro on “Change Is Coming”, indeed it almost lends itself to ballad territory but again, it segues into a massive sound, rather than the softer song that you might be expecting.  “Hell Or High Water” is a bruising affair that races along faster than Mo Farah in a 5,000 metre race and features some sweet vocal harmonies, underpinned by a strong bass line.

The classic influence is particularly strong on several tracks, not least “I Got A Feeling”, with some killer keyboards coming through.  The album closer, “High Class Woman” begins with a nice riff and some promising drums and the rest of the song doesn’t disappoint with more of those sweet harmonies and lots of attitude.

Basically, if you like your old school rock, such as Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Led Zeppelin, etc, there is nothing not to like here.  “II” is not that big a departure from the debut “Inglorious”, although it does have a bigger sound and clearly there is more experience and knowledge under the collective Inglorious belts.  There are several tracks that match the first album in terms of anthem potential and it’s no surprise that, although the band produced this album themselves, it was mixed by none other than Kevin Shirley, who has worked with all manner of legendary bands including Led Zeppelin and Iron Maiden.

It will be interesting to see how album three turns out when it eventually comes, but for now, enjoy the ride and make sure you catch them live.  See you at the front!

TRACKLISTING:
1. I Don’t Need Your Loving
2. Taking The Blame
3. Tell Me Why
4. Read All About It
5. Change Is Coming
6. Making Me Pay
7. Hell Or High Water
8. No Good For You
9. I Got A Feeling
10. Black Magic
11. Far Away
12. High Class Woman

LINKS:

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie “Queen of Rock” Richmond 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

Tokyo Motor Fist – Tokyo Motor Fist

Tokyo Motor Fist Cover

Tokyo Motor Fist – Tokyo Motor Fist
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 2017
Running Time:  39:32
Review by Vikkie “Queen Of Rock” Richmond
8/10

Here’s a little teaser for you – what do you get if you mix Danger Danger’s Ted Poley, Trixter’s Steve Brown and Rainbow’s Greg Smith and Chuck Burgi?  Well, what you get is a generous helping of rock and roll created the old fashioned way, with a side order of modernity and a pinch of irony.  Together, Tokyo Motor Fist have a fine rock pedigree and that much is evident when you listen to their debut, eponymously titled album.

“Tokyo Motor Fist” is a package of eleven neat songs which are quite simply, classic.  Proceedings kick off with the riff-tastic “Pickin’ Up The Pieces”, which is a feel good, upbeat sound with that big guitar that is so typical of many older tunes.  This is the sort of song, in fact, that you can’t help but nod along to.

Second track “Love Me insane” starts off with some good work on the “woah-oh-oh” front, so I couldn’t possibly say that I didn’t like it.  It jogs along at a brisk pace with some nice harmonies and that soaring, echoing guitar sound.  In fact, it would be pointless to describe each song on this album; they are what they are – huge, bouncy, feel-good songs that you can’t help but dance to.

I will, however, highlight some of what I consider to be my favourite tracks.  I’m particularly fond of “Love”, purely because of the naff, yet timely sentiment expressed.  “You’re My Revolution” features a divebomb in the first ten seconds and sprints along at a fairly good pace, albeit with some slightly cheesy lyrics, but I kind of liked it.  Clearly with this album, I’ve found my level, music-wise.

The ballad-like quality of “Don’t Let Me Go” appeals to my dramatic side and I like the vocals and the melancholic riff just over half way through.  “Put Me To Shame” has a vaguely dirty feel to it, but it does remind me ever so slightly of Danger Danger.  “Done To Me” is more of the same, but those were probably my favourite two tracks overall.

At just under forty minutes of music, this isn’t the longest album ever, but the harmonies are huge, the quality of the musicianship is first class and overall, this is a pretty good effort, as you would expect from a so-called ‘super group’.  At various points I was reminded somewhat of the style of bands such as Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, but that’s no bad thing. In the saturated genres of 2017, it’s sort of a pleasure to listen to something that makes me feel good and transports me back to happy times gone by.  We need more of this type of rock music in this day and age, although I know that some will say that with all of the new music pouring on to the web these days, there is no place for this style of music when there is such a vast catalogue of great artists and songs at our fingertips!

These guys don’t have their own Facebook page, just an official fan page. They don’t even have a website. There is just the music and that, frankly, speaks for itself.

TRACKLISTING:
01.  Pickin’ Up The Pieces
02.  Love Me insane
03.  Shameless
04.  Love
05.  Black And Blue
06.  You’re My Revolution
07.  Don’t Let Me Go
08.  Put Me To Shame
09.  Done To Me
10. Get You Off My Mind
11. Fallin’ Apart

LINKS:

Tokyo Motor Fist band pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie “Queen of Rock” Richmond 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

New Generation Superstars – King of the World

New Generation Superstars - King Of The World Cover

New Generation Superstars – King of the World
Underdog Records
Release Date: 06/01/2017
Running time:  45:38
Review by Vikkie “Queen of Rock” Richmond
8/10

I’m not entirely sure that New Generation Superstars self-proclaimed style of ‘face ripping rock’ is completely accurate, but I was interested to listen to the Nottingham rockers’ fourth studio album, released on their own label.  Having built up a cult following – their fans are affectionately known as ‘The B*stard Division’ – NGS have toured with some of the greats of the modern age, including The Wildhearts, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Love/Hate, Ricky Warwick and Michael Monroe, to name but a few.

The opener on this twelve track album is “Friend Or Foe” and it kicks off with some nice guitar work; a pacey track that trots along quite nicely, however I’m not sure that AJ’s vocal stylings are entirely to my taste.  Part punk, part alt-rock, part rock-rock, this song is a perfect introduction to New Generation Superstars’ work.

I particularly liked second track, “King Of The World”; it has some mildly offensive lyrics and a tight musical style.  Indeed, there is little to fault in the way of musical talent on this release – all of the songs are accomplished and it’s clear that this is a band who are comfortable with what they are doing and who they are.

“Out Of My Head” is probably my favourite track, it’s a bouncy, anthemic track that screams punk and makes you want to get up and jump around. It’s still stuck in my head and probably will be for weeks and I like the way it just ends abruptly with no fanfare.

Special mention goes to the rather lovely “Hold On”; a piano led, somewhat haunting tune, with some lovely harmonies and a rather classic sounding guitar riff kicking in halfway through. It’s almost a ballad, but I’m loathe to describe it as such, especially as there is a less than full on drum solo near the end, which segues into an orchestral bridge, complete with string section.  It was an unexpected interlude and I rather liked it.

Other stand out tracks for me include the bass driven “Keys To The City”, the attitude laden “Crash Course”, the frenetic “Halo” and funky “Last Of A Dying Breed”.

With an eclectic list of influences and a career spanning over ten years to date, New Generation Superstars show no sign of disappearing off of the scene any time soon, indeed they appear to be going from strength to strength.  I would like to see them live as I have a feeling that the stage is where these songs will come to life.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Friend Or Foe
02. King Of The World
03. Taste Of Me
04. Out Of My Head
05. Hold On
06. Keys To The City
07. Crash Course
08. Damn You (To Hell And Back)
09. Halo
10. Hello
11. Last Of A Dying Breed
12. Not Like You

LINE-UP:
NGS:
AJ Superstar – Guitar and Vocals
Davey Messiah – Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
Jonny Suicide – Bass and Backing Vocals (Co-lead on ” To Hell & Back”)
Mord Fustang– Drums (Piano “Hold On”)

Featured Artists:
Sophia Marshall – Vocals “Hold On”
Ross Hillard – String Sections “Hold On” and “Hello”
Neil Hunter – Piano “To Hell and Back”

LINKS:

NGS logo

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie “Queen of Rock” Richmond 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