The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

ONES THAT ALMOST GOT AWAY - 2010 REVIEW CATCH UP

Joe Elliot's Down 'n' Outz

My ReGeneration

MARK

I can take or leave Joe Elliot and Def Leppard these days but I love Mott and Ian Hunter and you have to applaud Mr E for his taste! Here you get an introduction to the great man, it's a nice enough homage but those already in the know will have the far superior originals. Still if this helps spread the word to a wider audience it's alright by me if you like Joe's voice then you could do worse than buy this and hear him belt through some real classics...

Tyla and the Dogs

Bess (Single)

MARK

As the crafy bugger didn't release an album this year I thought I would slip this one in for you all. A poppy energetic love ballard from the minstrel himself should fill the hole in anyones stocking. Let's see an album from Tyla and the Dogs soon!

FIREBIRD

DOUBLE DIAMOND

MARK

I love Firebird, I love Clutch, both purveyors of heavy blues but bands with a different emphasis. This is a must for Sabbath fans and with tracks like the epic 'Arabesque' you would swear you'd been transported to an alternate universe where Ritchie Blackmore's blood runs through Geezer's veins...

Ray Davies

See My Friends

MARK

It's hard to find anyone who has been as infulential as Ray Davies in the annals of rock music. Here we get to see Ray and his celebrity mates play some of his best known songs. I really enjoyed this one, it's nice and the songs are of course amazing. Cool but not essential.

Gov't Mule

Mulennium

MARK

Gotta love the Mule? Not a fan? Oh well each to there own. This 3CD live exploration is a must for the converted and certainly interesting enough for the casual fan. Recorded at the Roxy in Atlanta on NYE 1999 it's been a long while in the can. Personally I loved it and some of the cover tunes really shine.

Marco Mendoza

Casa Mendoza

MARK

Roving master of the bass puts out a solo album with mixed results. If you were to just sample three cuts here: the covers 'Living for the City' and 'Suzi Q'; and the mezmerising 'Circle of Life' you might think you had stumbled upon a genre-busting masterpiece but elsewhere things don't quite stack up. Jazz-funk-rock fusion may not be your cup of tea but here it has it's moments and Mr M ain't got a bad voice either...

The Lost Dogs

Old Angel

MARK

Beautiful soft harmonies and gentle songs like Dylan was born last week, some of the best world-waery Americana you will hear at the moment. I hear they cut-it-up live too. Music to drift away downstream to or maybe take with you down that dusty blue highway.

TNT

A Farewell to Arms

MARK

I like 'Farewell to Arms'. It's definitely a return to form for a band that I had only a casual love for in the past. Shorter songs, with a very in-your-face sound and maybe a little darker overall; this is how TNT should sound. Not a classic but a step in the right direction.

First Singal

First Signal

MARK

Wow this is a real bit of melodic magic that almost slipped me by. If you are a big fan of Harry Hess' classic Harem Scarem you will love this. In fact if you like good clean eighties melodic rock/AOR then this is pretty much a must have. A song like 'Goodbye to the Good Time' and 'When You Believe' are up there with the best songs I have heard all year. In truth quality does dip here and there but the gems far outshine the dust.

Fair Warning

Talking Ain't Enough! Live in Tokyo

MARK

Spanning Fair Warning's almost twenty year career these three live CDs recorded in Japan, show the band at their peak and in front of their most vocal crowd. It's good and really it's a bit of a surprise that fair warning aren't a little better known. For fans of Melodic/AOR with a hint of Scorpions. Makes me want to discover a little more.

Jeff Scott Soto

Live at Firefest 2008

MARK

I have mixed feelings about JSS. I love the guys voice but his releases have alwys been hit and miss by and large and in my opinion he has never released that classic yet that he seems to always threaten and seems more than capable of doing. This is Jeff in his element and this is what the fuss is all about. A great place to start for the casual observer. Long live Firefest whilst we're at it!

Unruly Child

Worlds Collide

MARK

This one should have been reviewed sometime ago but I lost the toss and didn't get to review it and somehow it got forgotten. In my opinion this is one of the ALBUMS OF THE YEAR. If you loved Unruly Child before then put aside your gender-related worries about the sound of Marcie's voice and just enjoy this Melodic Masterpiece. It's been a long wait, but it's worth it.

Angra

Aqua

MARK

If you wanted a Brazilian power metal musical exploration of The Tempest by Shakespeare then this is it. And you know what it's pretty darn good too. For fans of the genre this is a worthy addition to the collection.

Allen Lande

The Showdown

MARK

Did you like 'The Battle'? What about 'The Revenge'? Not heard them? Wow where have you been? Here we have two of the greatest voices in modern day Metal fighting it out an an immensely powerful collection of songs penned by guitarist Magnus Karlsson of Primal fear. This time Karlsson has created a monster and fortunately he has two singers on board capable of taming it. Pure magic with no weak spots.

Terra Nova

Come Alive

MARK

A bit of Dutch rock anyone? I must admit it's not my best subject. This is Melodic AOR with a Pomp slant! I miss a bit of Pomp now and again but it will never be my staple diet. It's definitely music from another age but songs like 'Under Pressure' are strangely compelling!

Virgin Steele

The Black Light Bacchanalia

MARK

My introduction to VS was the classic 'Guardians of the Flame' album and I still have the MFN vinyl. I kind of lost track of the band years ago and this is my reintroduction. I think I have just witnessed the birth of 'Dark Melodic Classical Lounge Metal' but I'm not quite sure. To be honest I quite liked it.

BAND OF HORSES

INFINITE ARMS

 

MARK

 

'Everything All the Time' and 'Cease' the first two CDs by Band of Horses were immense, here we get what might be seen as more of the same: great big choruses, simple lyrics and honest sounding Americana. However somehow it's not quite there. Maybe it's the time taken on this one? Maybe it's the change in personnel? Whatever the reason it's still a great album if you want something a little mellower. 'Blue Beard' is one of my songs of the year.