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
CD Reviews 2012 www.therockpit.net

CD REVIEWS 2012

 

A Classic - CD of the Month

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LOTS OF GREAT NEW CD REVIEWS ON THE WAY EACH AND EVERY WEEK!

HERE's SOME OF OUR MOST RECENT

 

white flame cougar

BON JOVI

INSIDE OUT

2012

by Keren Harvey

I guess one of the most striking things about this release is that fact that only Jon is on the cover. Corporation JBJ is finally out in the open for all those that weren’t aware it’s very much a one man band and hired hands these days: all of which is also of course completely irrelevant! So is it worth buying for Christmas? READ MORE

GEOFF TATE

KING OF THIEVES

2012

by Mark Diggins

When I last spoke to Geoff on the eve of this year’s Rocklahoma he was still very much a part of Queensryche and also very much looking forward to the release of his solo album. So here we are – no more Queensryche (or rather two Queensryches) but at least we have his new album ‘King of Thieves’ to enjoy. READ MORE

REV THEORY

TAKE 'EM OUT EP

2012

by Mark Diggins

Like a cross between Buckcherry and ‘You Could Be Mine’ Gunners: Rev Theory is one of those modern straight ahead Rock bands that is designed to just deliver a dose of hard rock as quickly as possible straight to the blood stream. If you are looking for meaning and mystery, go look elsewhere. We of course love Rev Theory. READ MORE

HAILMARY

CHOICE . PATH. CONSEQUENCE. SOLUTION

2012

by Mark Diggins

Hailmary sonically are firmly post-grunge sound and with production from Jeff Tomei ( Alice In Chains, Jerry Cantrel, Matchbox 20 and Smashing Pumpkins to name but a few) if anything they effectively pigeon-hole themselves. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing these days as there are plenty of people still searching for their hit of the early nineties rock. READ MORE

LOVER UNDER COVER

SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE

ESCAPE MUSIC

2012

by Mark Diggins

I like this one a lot: Lover Under Cover are a brand new band from Sweden that combine lots of things we like here: there’s a big accent on melody, a great hard rock edge and the songs stack up very well against contemporary bands in the melodic genre. READ MORE

HINDER

WELCOME TO THE FREAKSHOW

2012

by Mark Diggins

I’m not afraid to say I’ve pretty much enjoyed these guys since they came on the scene though to me they’ve never quite managed to again capture that immediacy of their debut they have come close and there were moments on last time’s “All American Nightmare” that took us there. READ MORE

SOMETHING FOR KATE

LEAVE YOUR SOUL TO SCIENCE

2012

by Leslie Phillips

On one level alt-rock favourites ‘Something for Kate’ is a band that hard rockers would run a mile from but having seen these guys live they certainly do the business. Musically there’s of course no hard rock muscle, but there’s a huge appreciation for older rock acts that emerge in many of the songs; touches of Lou Reed here, REM elsewhere and America there; it’s diverse. READ MORE

GENE THE WEREWOLF

ROCK N ROLL ANIMAL

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

by Leslie Phillips

With the exception of a couple of songs – those exceptions being the wonderful opener ‘Wicked Love’ (which comes across like a party rock version of Airbourne, or maybe AC/DC meets Bulletboys); and the pair ‘I Only Want to Rock and Roll’ and ‘Firecracker’ (drop the Bulletboys and Keep AC/DC) – this album reminds me of one thing and one thing only: mid-eighties rock, and primarily Paul Stanley driven Kiss of that era. READ MORE

DEvine ELECTRIC

SWEET TEMPTATION EP

2012

by Jo Rockpit

Just when you think it’s late in the year and you can’t possibly hear any more great music another high class locally produced EP wings your way.  We were big fans of Devine Electric’s last release and the good news for us all is that this latest offering ups to ante and further develops their sound. READ MORE

ADLER


BACK FROM THE DEAD

2012

by Mark Diggins

An apt title if ever there was as Guns and Roses iconic drummer gets on board with a new band and puts out his first full length album since his departure from that giant of a band. For a lot of us this has been a long time coming and a rebranding from Adler’s Appetite to Adler signals a change of direction from being essentially a Gunners cover band with originals thrown in to a fully-fledged band in its own right with a new identity. MORE

GHOST OF GABRIELLE

GHOST OF GABRIELLE EP

2012

by Leslie Phillips

Spin this one a few times and there’s a real distinct feeling that you’ve heard this before, now sometimes that can be a bad thing but in the case of Ghost of Gabrielle it’s not, well not exactly… READ MORE

GRAPHIC FICTION HEROES

WHO WILL SAVE US NOW?

NOISE-A-THON

2012

by Mark Diggins

From the opening melodies and classic rock riff of opener ‘Too Highly Strung’ you know that this is on one level going to be a rewarding album and on another you instantly know that it’s not going to play by the rules. READ MORE

T&N

SLAVE TO THE EMPIRE

RAT PACK RECORDS

2012

by Mark Diggins

We love this one, we love it a lot. Three quarters of Dokken reconvene to create new music that really does remind you of why Dokken was so essential back in the day and also comes as a timely reminder that these guys are still very much great musicians with plenty to say. READ MORE

MEGADETH

COUNTDOWN TO EXTINCTION

20th ANNIVERSARY EDITION

2012

by Leslie Phillips

Surely one of Megadeth's most important album 'Countdown' sees it's 20th Anniversary and gets the royal treatment with a remastered concert from Cow Palace thrown onto a bonus disc. Still a great album, and in truth it's a pretty decent live show. Worth it for the fans and those ten pwople out there who have never heard of the band.

TEN

HERESY AND CREED

FRONTIERS RECORDS

OCTOBER 2012

by Jo Rockpit

Starting off with a short instrumental stab and calling it track one is and always has been one of my pet hates, but ‘Arabian nights’ that follows, with its lush meandering Eastern intro and driving riff is enough for immediate forgiveness. Ten whose last album we loved look like putting on another strong performance… READ MORE

BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION

AFTERGLOW

2012

by Leon Todd (of Ragdoll)

Black Country Communion’s second album was one of my albums of 2011; a big step up from their self titled debut that managed to fuse the best elements of their respective members past as well as charting new territory in the ‘classic hard rock’ genre. READ MORE

WHITE FLAME

COUGAR

2012

white flame cougar

by Mark Diggins

It's great to see these guys back three years after the release of the excellent 'Tour Bus Diaries' in 2009 which was our inaugural album of the year at The Rockpit. READ MORE

BLACK FOX

LINE OF SIGHT

2012

by Mark Diggins

We always talk about local talent at The Rockpit and we feel pretty lucky that we have so much of it down under. Black Fox is another band that we can see big things ahead for them. Taking a jumping off point as UK eighties alternative rock the guys from Black Fox have something about them that you can’t quite put your finger on. READ MORE

BIG DIX

JOANNA AND THE DEVIL

TANZAN MUSIC

2012

by Leslie Phillips

Hmmn, Big Dix I guess is one of those names that might put off the more PC amongst us but there you go, you live by your decisions and it certainly positions you in that sleazy end of town and after all that is what we probably want here. READ MORE

THIS BROKEN MACHINE

THE INHUMAN USE OF HUMAN BEINGS

2012

by Leslie Phillips

It’s always interesting to review a CD by an Italian band, as the Italian music scene is one that I know very little of but which Mark (our Editor) always raves about in relation to the Sleaze, Blues and Melodic Metal scenes. This however is altogether another genre.

READ MORE

SOUNDGARDEN

KING ANIMAL

2012

by Mark Diggins

Soundgarden was always one of my favourite bands, but to me their peak was Badmotorfinger. After too long an absence they return with an album that seems a tad too self-consciously trying not to be another Superunknown: this isn't the muscular rock we expected and the quirky slower numbers aren't what they were. Like some others have said this feels more like contractual obligation than joy and that's the real shame. 'By Crooked Steps' the standout though is all class - oh what could have been!

AEROSMITH

MUSIC FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION

2012

 

by Mark Diggins

OK first things first - anyone who expected this to be another 'Rocks' or 'Toys' take a look at your calender - it is after all 2012. The question is has Aerosmith managed to capyure the essence of what once made them to most dangerous band in the world or does this pick up where the disappointing 'Just Push Play' left off? 15 tracks (and more on bonus disc versions) is a decent way to start though... READ MORE

BROTHER APOLLO

EP

2012

by Todd Jolicoeur

Every once in a while, an unsigned band throws something out there for the masses to check out and purchase.  Brother Apollo is one of those bands utilizing Bandcamp.com. This group of youngsters (guitarists are 19, vocalist/bassist is 22, drummer is 20) are on to something here. READ MORE

DIO

THE VERY BEAST OF VOL .2

2012

by Todd Jolicoeur

There are legends of metal I respect based on their music and other that I respect based on accomplishment alone.  Dio has always fallen into the latter category.  I never really gave his body of work the attention it deserved.  I know his big hits, but the lesser known stuff never made it to my radar.  Man did I miss out. READ MORE

MIGGS

15TH AND HOPE

2012

by Todd Jolicoeur

Every once in a while a band pops out of no where and really impresses me.  The fact that this latest band is not your typical band of rockers makes it even more of a surprise.  Miggs’ latest offering, 15th & Hope, is a solid album through and through.  No flashy balls out loud guitars, thunderous drums, or screaming-screeching lead vocals. READ MORE

TRISTAN PRETTYMAN

CEDAR GOLD

2012

by Todd Jolicoeur

A press release shot across my email and I clicked on the video link.  I really enjoyed the video and song, so hunted down a copy of the disc to check it out.  I have to say, either my musical taste is getting diverse or I am slowing down in my old age.  I know, it has to be the diverse taste!!  Singer/songwriter Tristan Prettyman has really pulled out the stops on this disc. READ MORE

UPON THIS DAWNING

TO KEEP US SAFE

2012

by Todd Jolicoeur

Anything Italian is tops in my book right now, as I prepare for ten days there next month.  Add the fact that a young Italian band has been signed to one of my favorite labels and I have already interviewed them in the past, and they instantly fill a spot in my musical heart.  Upon The Dawning is one of the better bands to release a disc in the metalcore genre in a long time. READ MORE

SISTER SIN

NOW AND FOREVER

2012

by Mark Diggins

Now if you want some unpretentious hard hitting Rock and Roll you've picked the right artist. Sister Sin has produced a couple of great albums on theway to this one - which could very well be their best yet. READ MORE

TRICIA FREEMAN

EVERYONE CAN SEE

2012

by Keren Harvey

If you want to step away from hard rock for a minute and give something else a chance then the Blues meets Country meets Bluegrass of Tricia Freeman is worth a listen. On her latest release ‘Everyone Can See’ Tricia Freeman moves from traditional blues of songs like “Thought You Was The One” Which recalls artists like  Bonnie Raitt through to ballads with a distinct Country flavour. READ MORE

NIGHT RANGER

24 STRINGS AND A DRUMMER LIVE

2012

by Jo Rockpit

Nightranger may not be everyone's cup of tea and to be blunt they were always a little lightweight for me, but last years 'Somewhere in California' was a great album that made me have a little rethink. This of course pretty much the back catalogue stripped back and it's a great listen. READ MORE

NUBIAN ROSE

MOUNTAIN

2012

by Jo Rockpit

This is a great album that probably will not get the attention it deserves, but it should. If you love your melodic rock geared towards the Hard Rock end of the street then it's hard to see how you could fail to love Nubian Rose. READ ON

TALE OF TWO CITIES

NEW HORIZONS EP

2012

by Leslie Phillips

Soul searching modern rock from the UK. Tale of Two Cities manages to pull off what seemingly a host of US youngeters do and combine great melodies with big atmospherics and annoyingly cathy rhythms! There guys stand out though. READ MORE

KILL RITUAL

THE SERPENTINE RITUAL

2012

by Leslie Phillips

Sometimes you put on a CD and think to yourself who is not going to like this? Kill Ritual should have a broad appeal this is very much Metal for Metalheads! READ MORE

 

JIMI JAMISON

NEVER TOO LATE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

 

by Jo Rockpit

Melodic rock with heart and sould but that is starting to sound a little dated. This Jimi Jamison album will surely please fans (and there is no disputing the man has a great voice) but others may just find this a little 'heard it all before'... You choose. READ ON

WILL STOKER AND THE EMBERS

WILL STOKER AND THE EMBERS

2012

by Leslie Phillips

Australia and Western Australia in particular is getting to be a hotbed for up and coming talent and these guys from Perth know how to write a dirty alt-rock blues flavoured tune to beat you about the ears with... READ MORE

FREDERICO BRUNO

A GENTLEMAN LOSER

2012

by Mark Diggins

Sadly I held onto tis one too long, but I am so glad I listened. This album by Mr Bruno is like stepping back in time for me, a great tribute to the smoky barroom and the smell of whiskey! In many ways it kind of reminds me of one of my musical heroes - Tyla, but with an Italian rather than a Birmingham accent! READ ON

THE 69 EYES

X

2012

 

by Mark Diggins

10 albums in 69 Eyes are still a band I enjoy as much as I ever did. It’s not often you see a band that has been around for over 20 year still pushing itself and redefining it’s sound but again 69 Eyes are doing just that with X being far more melodic than it’s immediate predecessor the more Sunset Strip metallic sleaze of “Back In Blood”. READ MORE

ISSA

CAN'T STOP

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

by Jo Rockpit

After a couple of great albums Issa hits us with an album of covers - the twist being that they are lesser known melodic gems. So how does it rate? READ MORE

 

BIRDS OF TOKYO

THIS FIRE

2012

by Leslie Phillips

With a lead song whose introduction sounds so much like the Police it's almost criminal Birds of Tokyo shed members and bring out a new EP that seems to occupy that ground beteween bands like The Police and U2. It's uplifting rock and it goes dwon particularly well with the kids downunder, to me though it lacks that apark that sets aside the greats from the chart watchers and marketers.

MOSTLY AUTUMN

THE GHOST MOON ORCHESTRA

2012

by Leslie Phillips

Just when you thought you knew what to expect from Mostly Autumn they come up with this! To say it's a ittle different to their past few glorious melodic rock releases would be an understatement here. In 'The Ghost Moon Orchestra' Mostly Autumn turn all epic and produce something that isn't a million miles away from Nightwish. It's an odd turn but it still has the quality you'd expect from the band. Maybe it will grow on me.

THE KINECTED

EVOLUTION

2012

by Leslie Phillips

The Kinected is the purveyor of rather good pop music driven by guitar. It's good catchy stuff but it's not for hard rockers out there. Songs that stand out like 'Feels too Good' you can imagine cluttering the airwaves for years to come. I don't dislike this as a distraction but it's alltogether rather light on for us here at the Rockpit.

BOB MOULD

SILVER AGE

2012

by Mark Diggins

Bob Mould of course fronted the legendary Husker Du, who spawned so much that came later. Its great then to see him back on form with an album that both echoes his later work with that band as well as recapturing the sound he has with his sadly underappreciated SUGAR project. READ MORE

BAND OF HORSES

MIRAGE ROCK

2012

by Mark

I'm a fan of Band of Horses and their brand of soft reflective guitar music that traces its lineage from bands like CSN and America. 'Knock. Knock', 'Heartbreak on the 101', 'Slow Cruel Hands of Time' and 'Dumpster World' are immediate hits and the big searching ballad 'Long Vows' is sweet magic. Every generation needs a band like this to remind you of the simple pleasures of straight forward acoustic West Coast leaning rock.

NEAL SCHON

THE CALLING

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

by Mark

To be honest I've pretty much loved everything Neal has done both in and out of Journey for the past thirty years, though I'll admist it is sometimes his solo albums that are hardest to love. This is a great instrumental guitar led album don't get me wrong and there are some great songs on here but wuthout vocals it just doesn't tick that last box.

OSLO ESS

Verden PÃ¥ Nakken, Venner I Ryggen

2012

by Mark

If this Norweigan language album wasn't as good as it is I think I would have just slip by. As it is I love it. It may sound dated to some but this proto-New York Punk sound is a breath of fresh air and even the fact that the lyrics mean nothing to me matters little. You can hear Johnny Thunders in there, you can hear the Hanoi Rocks - this is life affirming rebellious punk - just the way it should be.

LUCID FLY

THE ESCAPE STAGE EP

2009

by Leslie

If you are a big fan of bands like ‘Evanescence’ and ‘A Perfect Circle’ then Los Angeles' LUCID FLY is a band you should be checking out. READ MORE

kix

live in baltimore

2012

by Jo

Who needs a Kix live album? No it's not a trick question, but apart from the fans that should be flocking to buy this one it's a real shame that Kix may just miss a wider audience. On the strength of this live CD (and DVD) it's clear that the band that produced gems like 'Midnight Dynamite' and the magnificent 'Cold Blood' back in the day has lost none of their bite. Oh to have been in Baltimore!

royal republic

save the nation

2012

by Jo

OK I'll grant you that not everyone out there has heard of Royal Republic, but let me tell you they should have. This is faultlessly catchy, high octane radio rady pop rock. Amazing and one of the best albums all year! Listen to the track 'I Don't Wanna Go Out' and tell me it's not one of the songs of the year!

RICK SPRINGFIELD

SONGS FOR THE END OF THE WORLD

2012

by Mark

OK I'll admist Rick has always been one of my guilty pleasures and after reading his bio I'll never quite look at him the same way again! This album is perhaps his most complete since 'Tao' days and pretty much every song is a winner. We love everything from 'Wide Awake' to the prefect melodies of 'One Way Street' - Rick is back to his best!

RIVAL SONS

HEAD DOWN

2012

by Mark

We love to champion new bands that manage to capture the essence of the golden age of rock and roll and add something new to it. So far in their career we've been more than impressed with RIVAL SONS. From opener 'Keep on Swinging' which empemplifies all that is good about 'retro rock' to the delicate closer 'True' it's clear that Rival Sons are more than just Zeppelin, Free and Hunble Pie wannabes...

MAGNUM

ON THE 13TH DAy

2012

by Mark

When you hear opening track 'All The Dreamers' you think that Magum has finally done what they have promised to do since their return- made a new record of equal quality and power to those of their heyday. In truth though when you dig a little deeper the album is good if a little patchy. Long term fans though will not be disappointed.

ELO

MR BLUE SKY

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

by Mark

ELO reminds me of my childhood: they were always there and I'm not sure if I either particularly liked or disliked them. This revisiting of the best of ELO by mainman Jeff Lynne actually forced my hand. ELO are simply brilliant and so very original. If you haven't heard these songs before you owe it to yourself to listen, if you have then the new takes on the songs by Lynne akways add rather than detract.

JEFF LYNNE

LONG WAVE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

 

by Mark

It'd hard to rate this album of covers by ELO' s Jeff Lynne in that the songs he covers largely predate what we would lnow as 'Rock'. But if you want to know what moved the man to create what he did in the 60's and 70's then I guess this is the place, from faithful renditions of Aznavour, through the Everlys to Orbison, perhaps the most outrageous we get is a great cover of Berry's 'Let It Rock' that closes.

KISS

MONSTER

2012

by Leslie

This sounds like vintage KISS for a moment if you close your eyes and there is certainly nothing wrong with songs like 'Hell or Hallelujah' but on the whole this sounds like a collection of songs that years ago might not have made it into the studio let alone made it to vinyl. Largely uninspiring I'm not sure the Thayer/Stanley writing partnership holds much weight...

DANKO JONES

ROCK AND ROLL IS BACK AND BLUE

2012

by Leslie

Danko Jones has always been a bit of a Rockpit favourite and in the two years since the last outing 'Below the Belt' they haven't missed a beat. This is an album that starts off good and gets better: pure dirty rock and roll of various hues and all of it good and great!

WAYLAND

WELCOME TO MY HEAD EP

2012

by Todd

Sometimes the very best things are right under your nose. I've had this Wayland EP for a couple of months now and I'm kicking myself that I haven't listened to it till I lifted up that pile of press releases the other day. Wayland on the promise shown here could well go on to be a very important band. - by Mark. Something we rarely do is repost reviews but this is worth it believe me! READ TODD's REVIEW

BORUD

SAVE TOMORROW

ESCAPE MUSIC

2012

by Tanya

I can honestly say that this album has totally blown me away and has already given me consideration of being in my top 10 albums for 2012. READ MORE

HEART

FANATIC

2012

by Mark

With a new book on the way Heart has been busy. In recent years the Wilson sisters have been through somewhat of a reiaisance and produced some great material as well as an essential definitive Heart compilation. The question is can 'Fanatic' build on the great work of 2010's 'Red Velvet Car'? READ MORE

DELAIN

WE ARE THE OTHERS

2012

by Todd

I have had a love/love relationship with symphonic metal over the last couple of years.  Delain is certainly a part of that affair.  I love the powerful instrumentation performed flawlessly and the killer voice laid over top of it, without being too operatic or too light.  Charlotte Wessels has her voice primed and ready to rock. READ MORE

DIGITAL SUMMER

BREAKING POINT

2012

by Todd

If my pal Steve played sports, I would always want him on my team, as he always seems to score regarding bands I am going to enjoy.  The latest from Digital Summer is no different.  Just when I think I have heard all of the same different hard rock bands that seem to sound alike, I come across this disc. READ MORE

YOUNGBLOOD

NO RETREAT

2012

by Todd

This disc was recorded in 1989 and is now finally seeing the light of day – thankfully.  These tracks are hair metal goodness straight out of the 80’s for those who loved bands like Slaughter, Firehouse, Steelheart, and others with great musicianship and soaring vocals.  Listening to the rock power demonstrated here, who would have thought these guys got their start as the touring band for Henry Lee Summer. READ MORE

YOUNG GUNS

BONES

2012

by Todd

I love when a publicist sends something new across my email.  I get to discover something new and hopefully add to my likes.  With the latest from Young Guns, my friend Michael has made it 2 for 2 on hits in my book.  These self-proclaimed alt metal rockers are more of a streamlined rock band in my mind – they do what they do well. READ MORE

TRACER

SPACES IN BETWEEN

2012

by Todd

This disc saw its release in the UK and other countries back in 2011, but it will see its official release here in the United States in about a week.  This disc has been a long time coming here.  The bluesy voice coupled with the heavy riffs and pounding rhythm section equal happy listeners to this disc. READ MORE

PROJECT 86

WAIT FOR THE SIREN

2012

by Todd

This disc came out of nowhere, but I have had it on my computer for two months now and have listened to it over and over.  At first, I was trying to determine if I liked it.  Then it was an issue of how much I liked it.  Now, I find myself listening to it as a standby when other discs just don’t enthuse me. READ MORE

KINGSFOIL

A BEATING HEART IS A BLEEDING HEART

2012

by Todd

Kingsfoil.  Not sure who they are or where they are from?  Once you listen to the tracks on their sophomore effort, it won’t matter (but if you must know, they are based in central Pennsylvania – thanks Nina).  These guys are building on something here, and it is good.  No, it is really good. READ MORE

MIA DYSON

THE MOMENT

2012

by Mark

You hear a lot of good music over the course of the year and occasionally you come across something very special indeed. Mia Dyson’s new release, her fourth in all: ‘The Moment’ is just such an album. READ MORE

PRIDE OF LIONS

IMMORTAL

FRONTIERS

2012

by Todd

I was never a big fan of Survivor.  Sure we all now the words to the songs, but I can’t say that I listen to them on a regular basis – hell I bet it has been  years since I really listened to any of it.  It is evident immediately this disc is associated or related to that Top 40 hit churner.  Jim Peterik is as vital to this sound as he was to that sound of old.  At times, even the vocalist sounds like Jimi Jamison. READ MORE

TRIUMPH

LIVE AT THE SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL

2012

by Todd

Formed in 1975 Triumph was really one of those bands that should have been a household name. This CD/DVD release from Frontiers, live from the legendary Sweden Rock Festival in 2008, shows why - it's full of great rock songs and a worthy addition to any fans, or anyone who is still curious' collection.

HESS

LiVING IN YESTERDAY

2012

by Todd and Mark

What is it about AOR that drags me in EVERY time?  I guess it is just the listener friendly music, lyrics that mean something, and all around pleasant sound.  Harry Hess’ latest has all of these and more.  Hess throws another disc of radio friendly rock goodness at us in the form of 'Living In Yesterday'.  It doesn’t hurt that he has worked with my friends in My Darkest Days either! READ MORE

 

LYNYRD SKYNYRD

LAST OF A DYIN' BREED

2012

by Mark

First of all let’s just say that we’re not going to use up half of this review with a recap of the history of Lynyrd Skynyrd, we’re assuming that everyone knows that right? Or at least has access to wikipedia? READ MORE

IAN HUNTER AND THE RANT BAND

WHEN I'M PRESIDENT

2012

by Mark

Is there anyone out there who isn't aware of the legend that is Ian Hunter? Anyone that is unfamiliar with Mott The Hoople? If there is then the good news is that you have a massive and eclectic back catalogue to work your way through, but if you are a seasoned fan then the question is what is the 2012 vintage like? READ MORE

P!NK

THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE

2012

by Todd

What can I say – P!nk is definitely one of my guilty pleasures.  The real problem is that is isn’t really a guilty pleasure when the new disc is that damn good.  P!nk has really cut loose again on this disc.  Just when you think she has pushed every button possible, she takes control and pushes herself and her music further... READ MORE

LIPSTIXX 'N' BULLETZ

BANG YOUR HEAD

2012

by Todd

A lot of bands try to forge a career in 80s style glam rock, but few succeed.  Lipstixx ‘N’ Bulletz are one of those bands that give it one hell of an effort and hit the mark.  Originally releases in 2009, this disc saw a reissue that will hopefully see it reach its potential among sleaze rock lovers... READ MORE

 

GLAMOUR OF THE KILL

THE SUMMONING

2012

by Mark

Now here is a band that should grab your attention. Glamour of the Kill is hard to pin down if you are playing the ‘genre’ game but just sit back and listen and there’s a huge amount to like. Metal meets pop with an early eighties hard rock undercurrent anyone? READ MORE

MELDRUM

LIFER

2012

by Todd

Reviewing this disc was quite the task.  How do you fairly judge a posthumous release?  You simply let the music do the talking.  This release from Meldrum, featuring lead single “A Toast To Romance,” is the first new music since 2007.  Unfortunately, Michelle Meldrum passed away in 2008 before this disc could be completed... READ MORE

LIV KRISTINE

LIBERTINE

2012

by Todd

Liv Kristine is widely known as the voice behind Leaves Eyes.  For most artists, including Liv, solo projects are simply an outlet for those thoughts, ideas, and songs that wouldn’t fit the mold of a band project.... READ MORE

LOUDNESS

2.0.1.2.

2012

by Glen Odin

Hot on the heels of last years 30th Anniversary album ‘Eve To Dawn’ (just officially released in the U.S.) Loudness have wasted no time in getting back in the studio to belt out another album of their trademark Japanese metal. The new opus 2.0.1.2 being their 25th studio release since the band begun in late 1981. READ MORE

SISTERS DOLL

DOLLHOUSE

2012

What “Welcome To The Dollhouse” is, is an irresistible hook-filled slab of catchy glam rock that could have easily sat high in the charts at any point between 1986 and 1991, and pays a certain amount of homage to one of their primary influences... READ MORE

 

ZZ TOP

LA FUTURA

2012

The first new studio album from ZZ Top in nine years is a long time for anyone to be waiting for a bus, so when that bus finally arrives it better be a nice looking bus with comfortable seats and great sound system… READ MORE

BOB DYLAN

TEMPEST

SONY MUSIC AUSTRALIA

2012

There’s a definite anachronistic wash of yesteryear to the palette used on this album; and daubed liberally across what amounts to a fairly simple construction on the first track alone, the result is not at all a bad reintroduction to the man who remains one of the most legendary figures in rock. READ ON

DOKKEN

BROKEN BONES

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

Dokken’s 11th album is the third release to feature John Levin on guitar, and after a couple of very decent releases in ‘Hell To Pay’ (2004) and particularly 2008’s ‘Lightning Strikes Again’ we get to hear what could very well be Dokken’s best new music, certainly since ‘Erase the Slate’ (way back in 1999) or possibly even further. READ THE REVIEW

GYPSYHAWK

Revelry & Resilience

METAL BLADE

2012

By Leslie Phillips

Some have compared Gypsy Hawk with Thin Lizzy or even UFO and there is certainly a retro-rock vibe here, but something morealso: with big grooves, great riffs and even metal undercurrents there is a lot to like. It works great on tracks like straightforward 'Overloaded' and 'Red Wedding' but the mythical themes of proggier songs like 'Hedgeking' and 'Frostwyrm' lose it a little for me. Solid album though and certainly a band to watch.

JOECEPHUS AND THE GEORGE JONESTOWN MASSACRE

AROCKALYPSE NOW

2012

Sometimes you wait to listen to an album far too long. This is the case here. Arockalypse Now is a very special album indeed: a mix of metal, punk and country that shows an amazing bredth of imagination and showcases a great collection of diverse songs, and an enormous amount of talent, with a few special guests along the way. READ MORE

GENTLEMAN'S PISTOLS

GENTLEMAN'S PISTOLS

2012

By Leslie Phillips

Here's ones for fans of great uncomplicated heads down heavy rock. While this may not blow you away it's an album that shows no sign of comprimise and is refreshingly straight-ahead and honest and even though none of the songs will change your life you'd be hard pushed to find a fault with any of the material here. Check out the opening track and tell me it ain't so!

AEROSMITH

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN LOVE (SINGLE)

SONY MUSIC AUSTRALIA

2012

SINGLE OF THE MONTH

Welcome to the other side of Aerosmith - the Rockier side, that is. With the simultaneous release of two singles Aerosmith is looking to appeal to both the fans of the big ballads and the trademark rocker - for me the rocker wins by a nose... READ MORE

AEROSMITH

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN LOVE (SINGLE)

SONY MUSIC AUSTRALIA

2012

Here's a new one for us - a single review, not something we normally do, but when the band in question is Aerosmith - the primary reason I love rock music so much, we'll make an exception and with the new Jack douglas album on the way it's a taste of the 2012 vintage... READ MORE

FEEDER

GENERATION FREAKSOW

2012

British rockers Feeder return following their long awaited follow up to 2010 critically received Renegades CD, with Generation Freakshow - their 8th studio album. READ MORE

LYNCH MOB

SOUND MOUNTAIN SESSIONS (EP)

2012

EP OF THE MONTH

Like I'm sure many readers have I've closely followed the career of George Lynch since Dokken days, and George's Lynch Mob have produced some fine music over the years.Here we see them emerging from their studio with something rather special... READ MORE

THE DARKNESS

HOT CAKES

2012

ALBUM OF THE MONTH - AUGUST

Hot Cakes is here and it's magnificently tasty and piping hot. If you loved 'Permission to Land' and were desperate when these guys broke up then you'll be glad to know that they are back with a bang... READ MORE

BIRCH HILL DAM

COLOSSUS

2012

I am always posting news items in our news section and by happenstance, the publicist passed along the link to the band and I received an email asking if I had any interest in checking out the latest disc from Birch Hill Dam.  Why not?  I love discovering new bands I like (and the occasional band to stay away from). READ MORE

SUGAR RED DRIVE

A STORY OF SIGNS

2012

I am usually weary of unsigned bands, as you never know what you are going to get.  It seems anyone with a Mac and an instrument these days can write, record, and press discs.  That being said, I popped in the latest from Sugar Red Drive.  This trio really has their shit together.  This disc rocks - I cannot wait until they take this thing out on a tour and bring themselves to Detroit. READ MORE

JUDGEMENT DAY

POLAR SHIFT

2012

Normally I dig a disc with great vocals and meaningful lyrics, but who can argue with Symphonic Metal?  I am not talking about Swedish or European metal with tons of huge arrangements.  I am talking about cello, violin, and drums.  If you are a fan of Apocalyptica, you are really going to like this, as the different instruments lend themselves to different tones and layering. READ MORE

EMILE AUTUMN

FIGHT LIKE A GIRL

2012

Victoriandustrial.  Quite the label, but it is self chosen here.  Emilie Autumn took what she knew - instruments not typically used in metal or industrial music - and created something amazing.  Add to it her back story, and you have something that you need to hear.  Fight Like A Girl has been a long time coming and her fans, lovingly referred to as Plague Rats, will be enraptured with this release. READ MORE

ANOTHER LOST YEAR

BETTER DAYS

2012

This is one of those releases that creeps up on you and gets better with each listen. Solid modern rock, with great songs and the right attitude. READ MORE

RAGDOLL

HERE TODAY EP

BEAUTIFUL DISASTER

2012

Sometimes you get that feeling that you are hearing something that could be rather important. Something that could just explode. After hearing Ragdoll's fist EP (Ragdoll Rock) I thought that I had heard something that had a lot of promise, but hearing 'Here Today' I am absolutely convinced that this band from Perth, Western Australia is destined for much, much bigger things. READ MORE

Y&T

LIVE AT THE MYSTIC

2012

Live albums seem to be an avenue that many 'heritage acts' go down these days with mixed results. If you are a fan of Y&T or the name is unfamiliar to you then this is definitely one that stands out from the crowd. It will either transport you back in time or introduce you to one of the hard rock greats that should be a much, much bigger name. READ MORE

ECLIPSE

BLEED AND SCREAM

FRONTIERS RECORDS

AUGUST 2012

Sometimes you get to hear an album that reaffirms why you love hard rock so much and which elicits a real emotional response in you that no other genre of music can. This is just that kind of album and it deserves to be heard. READ MORE

BABYJANE

MAKE IT SICK

2012

Western Australia has more than it's fair share of great rock bands at the moment, and Babyjane is litterally just back from recording in the US with legendary producer Michael Wagener. The Rockpit got to sample things first: here's what we made of'Make It Sick'... READ MORE

HYTE

EP

2012

On the eve of their EP launch we got a chance to have a sneak peak at HYTE's first EP and I must say I am mightily impressed, though at seven tracks it's hard to see Hyte's debut as a mere EP. This is music you have to hear, it demands your attention and keeps it... READ MORE

SOULICIT

PARKING LOT ROCKSTAR

2012

A band that really impressed me at Rocklahoma this year from the sidestages was Soulicit. But how do they translate on disc? READ MORE

EVE TO ADAM

BANQUET FOR A STARVING DOG

2012

Eve to Adam put out a great CD back in 2006 called 'Queens to Eden'; it was pretty good stuff and it's been a long wait for this one. The question is have they managed to recapture that spark, or gone one step better? READ MORE

FIREBIRD

HOT WINGS

2012

Firebird - now there's an under-rated and under-appreiated band. Again they pull off a blinder - now get up and listen to them! READ MORE

LOVERBOY

ROCK N ROLL REVIVAL

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

Loverboy, now there's a name to conjour with... Always seen as a lightweight contender for melodic rock's crown back in the day: and here we are decades later with a new release. Have the hands of time been kind? READ MORE

HESS

LIVING IN YESTERDAY

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

I have been eagerly anticipating this one since... well to be honest since Harry's last release: the awesome First Signal Project. Here we see him solo and I for one am expecting a temple of melodic perfection... READ MORE

AUDIO PORN

AUDIO PORN

2012

 

I'm still a little confused - the press says this is a self-titled release by Audio Porn (cool name eh?) But the cover says Audio Porn and Jezebel's Kiss... That of course is all irrelevant, let's get down to the music. READ MORE

Pierce The Veil

Collide With The Sky

2012

 

Two years ago, I took a chance at Warped Tour and decided to see Pierce the Veil, a band that I had been starting to hear about, but didn’t really know. I fell in love and for the next year, I saw them every time they came through Chicago. Their third studio album, Collide with the Sky, shows the progress the band has made since 2010’s Selfish Machine, but every song is still distinctly Pierce the Veil. READ MORE

THE WORD ALIVE

LIFE CYCLES

2012

The first time I heard of The Word Alive was when I went to go see Attack Attack in November 2010 and they were opening.  The Word Alive was there in support of their new album at the time, Deceiver.  Now, almost two years later, The Word Alive has released their second studio album, Life Cycles, and has become a staple in the metalcore scene. READ MORE

Drivin n Cryin

Songs From the laundromat

2012

I actually used to quite like Drivin' n' Cryin' back in the day and albums like Fly Me Courageous and Mystery Road still get the odd spin here at Rockpit HQ. Here we are looking at the first in a series of EPs from the band. READ MORE

WE ARE FICTION

EARTH MEDICINE (SINGLE)

2012

When you label yourself 'post-screamo' where does that leave the listener. Is it screamo vocals? Is it something more melodic? Well excuse my limited label-reading capactity the fact of the matter is this rocks and aht matters more than that? The great shame is it's only a single. READ MORE

HELLYEAH

BAND OF BROTHERS

2012

I sort of didn't particularly like Pantera... Sorry if I lose my job over that comment but it's out there now. Hellyeah however, well maybe it's the BBQ but they're much more my thing. And this? Well it just could be their best yet. READ MORE

HURT

THE CRUX

2012

Alternative Rock that moves you rather than checks itself it the mirror every few minutes or simply gazes at it's shoes. Yes this is the real deal. Alternative rock that deserves to be called ROCK! READ MORE

ICONIC TONIC

ROCK AND ROLL

2012

Iconic Tonic eh? With and ankh symbol for the ‘T’ in tonic – beats an umlaut I guess but what should we expect? Tales of Egypt? The meaning of eternal life? How about something that sounds very Van Halen meets Bulletboys via Sunset Strip’s eighties blossoming? READ MORE

JETTBLACK

RAINING ROCK

MAY 2012

Raining Rock? The Cover looks more like Spitting Fire surely? OK I get it that doesn’t have the word ROCK in the title! We all need more rock… READ MORE

XFACTOR1

FAMOUS LAST WORDS

2012

XFactor1 despite sounding like something from a bad UK rip-off of American Idol is a modern rock band you should be checking out. In ‘Famous Last Words’ they have produced an album of light and shade but most importantly passion. It’s rare these days I’ll play and album start to finish then hit replay but I found myself doing so here. They’ve definitely got something here. READ MORE

NOSTICS

AWAKEN

2012

From South Australia comes a band that you realy should check out - Nostics take something old and vital and mix it with some far more contemporary influences and come up with something a little bit special... READ MORE

jacKYL

BEST IN SHOW

2012

How nice is it to open the mail and see a promo copy of the new Jackyl disc?? VERY NICE - especially when it sounds like this disc does.  Jesse has really taken everything he has learned through the last 20 years as the front man of Jackyl and created a killer disc that is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessors.  The band has never sounded tighter - a sure result of the constant touring these road animals do.  READ MORE

P.O.D.

MURDERED LOVE

2012

I was never a big fan of P.O.D., but I have to admit, their music is infectious.  I remember hearing them and seeing them at Ozzfest back in the early 2000's.  More specifically, I remember my son being VERY pissed off that he missed seeing them because I wanted to meet Otep.  I have to say, the last ten years has either skewed my listening habits or improved the bands output. READ MORE

TREMONTI

ALL I WAS

2012

I wasn't sure what to think of this disc when my pal Kevin sent it my way.  I really liked Creed in the day, but I always thought they waited too long to try and recapture the glory and fame they had their first go around.  I have dug Alter Bridge since their inception, having been at their first show in the Detroit area years ago at Clutch Cargos in Pontiac.  READ MORE

RICKY FERRANTI & THE RUSTY MILES

RUSTY MILES

2012

Blues and country are the cornerstones of this new release from the generally rocking Tanzan label. If your appreciation of rock is open to the mellower side then there's plenty to like. The opening track has a warmth and honesty to it that sets the mood for the album, its never quite matched here, but the bluesier numbers like 'Like Me Know' almost sound like Adele (I like Adele) and ballads like 'Keep On' soar... Nice

SAVING ABEL

BRINGING DOWN THE GIANT

2012

It's Saving Abel but not as we know them, they seem to have been reincarnated as Matchbox 20 on this their third release. Some will be happy, but where's the real Rock gone? READ MORE

Fall from grace

THE ROMANCE YEARS

2012

Every once in a while you see a band live that makes you walk over to the merch table and buy a CD or two.  When I saw Fall From Grace open for Eve 6 recently, I found myself talking to one of the members at their merch stand after their set.  I wanted to take some of that energy and rock home with me.  I picked this one up and played it first thing the next morning.  Six weeks later I still listen to it. READ MORE

RICHARD MARX

INSIDE MY HEAD

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

If I say that I can bear to listen to Richard Marx now does that mean I'm getting old? He is? Or maybe we are both a little older and wiser? Normally when I get something like this I pass it on, but laid up in bed with flu does strange things to you... READ MORE

MILLION $ RELOAD

A SINNER'S SAINT

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

Gritty hard rock and roll that takes the classic AC/DC template as its basis but adds a whole host of other classic hard rock influences to the mix rather than auto-paints by numbers as many bands such as Airbourne are perhaps guilty of doing (albeit rather well). READ MORE

SWTICHBLADE SCARLETT

WHITE.LINE.FEVER

RETROSPECT RECORDS

2012

Catching only part of Switchblade Scarlett’s set at Rocklahoma this year was a shame as from what I did see they looked to be a band that actually manages to bring something new to what has sadly become a pretty stylised genre. I’m also happy to confirm that ‘White Line Fever’is a great representation of what sounded like a great live band. READ MORE

 

BARONESS

YELLOW AND GREEN

2012

Well the first thing to say is that this is probably not going to please anyone who was hoping for another helping of Red or a facsimile of Blue.  Sonically this is not the Baroness we’ve heard before and whilst the Baizley/Adams axis is intact this is altogether a more emotional undertaking. READ MORE

TRIGGERMAN

HAIL TO THE RIVER GODS

2012

Triggerman's third slab of dirty heavy rock is probably their best yet...

READ MORE

WIDESPREAD PANIC

LIVE WOOD

2012

Released earlier in the year to celebrate record store day 'Live Wood' sees Widespread Panic live in an acoustic setting. Now I can't think there are too many out there unfamiliar with Widespread's Allmans meets Black Crowes fare (which pretty much makes them America's greatest jam band) but if you haven't heard them you've years of catching up to do. Best version of 'Many Rivers' I've heard in a long time closes...

JORN

BRING HEAVY ROCK TO THE LAND

FRONTIERS

2012

The problem sometimes with being prolific and having a great voice is that you get involved in too many projects. I feel for Jorn Lande - probably one of the greatest hard rock/metal vocalists of his generation but still without a mainstream breakthrough. This may well be the reason. READ MORE

MERRI HOAXX

NEVER JOKES

2012

by Leslie Phillips

Being a big Cats in Boots fan when I heard this was finally coming out I got pretty excited. I loved that band and liked Joel Ellis' Heavy Bones that he formed later. Reading the publicity on this I thought it was going to be one of the great lost albums of the 'hair years'. It's not, and for once the label was right to pass on it, disappointed is an understatement...

WIGELIOUS

REINVENTIONS

FRONTIERS

RELEASED JUNE 2012

by Leslie Phillips

I like a bit of AOR as much as the next girl but this is really good. The singer has a great voice and comes via a Swedish Pop Idol style TV show on which he sang Journey... now why ain't it so downunder where all we get processed pop SHIT... Great hooks on 'I Reach Out' & 'Angeline' and the Toto-like 'Do You Really Know' make this a memorable melodic introduction. 'Next to me' is the real standout though.

DEE SNIDER

DEE DOES BROADWAY

Kinda odd, but not really. I mean, Dee did take a stab at a track on the Frank SIN-atra tribute disc in the past. Not to mention, Dee actually took a spin on Broadway with a role in Rock of Ages. It is easier to picture him rocking out to classic rock, not these tracks, but with the help of Bob Kulick, these tracks take on a TSO sound and rock. READ MORE

Elle King

The Elle King EP

I wasn't sure what to think of an EP from a woman who placed a track on VH1's Mob Wives Chicago, but I was willing to give it a shot and see what came of it. I am very glad I did. This is an eclectic mix of tracks that are well crafted and arranged in order to show the diversity in Ms. King's repertoire. READ MORE

DOWNTREAD

Stand Your Ground

When my buddy Steve surprised me with this disc, I was instantly transported to a large field in Pryor, Oklahoma. The year is 2008 and I am waiting to see the band Cockpit on a side stage at the annual Rocklahoma festival. I get there early and just hitting the stage is a band out of Minnesota. They destroy the stage – especially the drummer. This kid is a monster behind the set. READ MORE

CHERRI BOMB

This Is the end of control

How odd is it that a band comprised of all young ladies would call themselves Cherri Bomb? Not that odd when you consider the name was a hit for one of the original all girl rock groups. Do these girls rock as hard as The Runaways did? Well, let's take their new disc out for a spin and see. READ MORE

Thousand Foot Krutch

The End Is Where We Begin

When your boss tells you to check out a band, you may cringe wondering what you are getting yourself into, but when you have actually partied with your boss at a Green Day concert and rocked out to Alice Cooper live, you are in pretty good hands. John mentioned Thousand Foot Krutch and I have to admit, I had heard of them, but didn't know much of them. Let's see what comes of this. READ MORE

ASIA

XXX

I still rock out when I hear "Heat Of The Moment" on my Sirius XM Radio. There is something infectious about Asia that seems timeless. They have gone through various lineups through the years, but with the release of XXX, the original lineup seems to be firing on all cylinders and ready to crush the competition. READ MORE

STELLAR REVIVAL

Love, Lust & Bad Company

Every once in a while a new band jumps up out of nowhere, grabs me by the shoulders, and shakes me like there is no tomorrow. Stellar Revival is one of those bands. These guys took their vision to the streets with this disc, and it is chock full of big choruses, delicious guitar riffs, and a killer rock party vibe. READ MORE

EYE Empire

Impact

I was really excited when these guys self-released the disc Moment of Impact last year. I wrote a review of that disc at that time and gave it 4-1/2 stars. All this extra material and new songs garners the same number of stars on this review, but it is only because the material is just as strong as the tracks on that release. READ MORE

GOD FORBID

Equilibrium

This is probably the hardest CD review I have ever done. How do you honestly critique songs written and performed by friends of yours? How do you openly discuss a CD in which you are mentioned in the liner notes… TWICE (BIG thanks to the guys and especially Beaker)? Luckily these "Metal As Fuck" rockers from New Jersey created a disc worthy of praise. READ MORE

DEUCE

NINE LIVES

Listening to a solo disc from a former member of a group you enjoy can be tricky. Do you want to love it or hate it? If they succeed, does it eliminate the odds of a reunion? In the case of Deuce and Hollywood Undead, there is most likely never going to be a reunion, so this one is easier to listen to from a fans view point. Throwing this one into the player, I listen intently with an open mind. I love the genre and sound that Hollywood Undead is part of, so this should be good. READ MORE

THE CULT

CHOICE OF WEAPON

COOKING VINYL

2012

I've loved The Cult since before their first album, and saw them grow from a quasi-Goth band with a penchant for American Indian spirituality to a rock band, all leather and Marshalls, in the space of three albums and five years. But lately they've been very hot and cold. Bob Rock's back on board so let's see what we have here... READ MORE

GOTTHARD

FIREBIRTH

2012

Gotthard is back with new singer Nic Maeder in tow and it is of course bittersweet for most Gottahrd fans after the tragic death of previous frontman Steve Lee. The good news for fans is that this is a great return... READ MORE

THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND

A&R STUDIOS

RELEASED 2012

by Mark Diggins

The Allmans have been around since the beginning of time and I'm pretty sure just about everyone out there must have heard at least some of their output, even if the don't know it. Taken from a live radio broadcast from 1971 just months after the legendary 'At Fillmore East' album made them huger than huge this is available legitimately for the first time after years on the bootleg market. It is amazing...

WHITECHAPPEL

WHITECHAPPEL

2012

by Mark Diggins

If three guitar Deathcore assault is on your 'must listen to that soon' list then Whitechappel's fourth outing is probably their best. Combining ferocious speed and some intricate arrangements Whitechappel can finally justify that third guitar. If you are familiar with their previous output then beware this is Whitechapel playing at another level entirely.

King Cannons

The Brightest Light

EMI

2012

The shadow of Joe Strummer looms large over King Cannons’ debut album - Luke Yeoward’s vocal style and phrasing often reminds us of the Clash and Mescaleros frontman, an open-minded approach to instrumentation, a wonderful ability to tell a story that matters in three and a half minutes and more. READ MORE

AMERICAN DOG

POISON SMILE

Colonial Canine/BMI

2012

America’s favourite booze-fuelled hard rockin’ riff road train again prove why they are such an adored cult act throughout their homeland and beyond. READ MORE

SUBSCRIBE

BOOKMARKS

Zene360/EMI

2011

If it’s stunning, unique progressive metal you’re looking for, then go no further than Hungarian sextet SUBSCRIBE. Together since 1999, this is their third full length album – and although that doesn’t seem like a particularly strong work ethic, they are apparently huge in their home country, and music this involving and engrossing and intricate takes time to put together! READ MORE

LIL’ BAND O’ GOLD

…Plays Fats

Dust Devil Music/EMI

2012

Louisiana stalwarts Lil’ Band Of Gold have produced a record completely devoid of pretention or trend-chasing in this tribute to Antoine “Fats” Domino, and they’ve dragged a few (very) special guests into the studio to lend a hand. READ MORE

THE TREATMENT

Then & Again EP

Spinefarm UK

2012

There’s only three types of cover versions: classics, sound-alikes and shockers.Personally I don’t see the point in releasing a cover that sounds almost exactly like the original (Yes, I’m looking at YOU Poison!), and no-one wants to listen to a shocker more than once… so what constitutes a classic? READ MORE

XAVIER RUDD

Spirit Bird

Universal

2012

Multi-instrumentalist Rudd delivers a sometimes trance-like roots rock reggae wonderland through a haze of dope smoke, birdsong and indigenous rhythms which will be much beloved by uni students, hippies & surfers everywhere but which ultimately becomes background music for those of us wanting something a bit more visceral.

CHARM CITY DEVILS

SINS

2012

Ths may well just be up there with the best you will hear this year. CCD's debut took the sleazy end of Sunset Strip as it's primary reference. Here they have managed to retain that same attitude whilst taking all the good parts from modern rock and discarding the debris. An important album for sure... READ MORE

LITTLE CAESAR

AMERICAN DREAM

2012

A new Little Caesar album is always a welcome addition to the year’s rock releases and after such a great return with 2009’s Redemption it’s great to see the guys back again. This just adds to the legend... READ MORE

HEART

STRANGE EUPHORIA

BOX SET

2012

by Mark Diggins

At last a band that has managed to find the balance between a box set for the fans and for the casual listener. This 3CD 1DVD set showcases the best of Heart with some rare material for the real fan. It's a considered set, not just scraped together and better still if you buy this from Amazon (like I did) you get a bonus disc of Heart playing Zeppelin. A real winner!

GUN

BREAK THE SILENCE

2012

Back in the day GUN was probably the best rock band in Scotland and put out some albums of real world class, but somehow they went under most people's radar. Now they're back and the question is are we going to see a return to the Glory days? READ MORE

ZZ TOP

TEXICALI EP

2012

It's been a while since the Texans last gave us a new album, and when we will get a new one is still uncertain, but at least there's new material again in the form of this four track EP. The question is has it been worth the wait? READ MORE

LITA FORD

LIVING LIKE A RUNAWAY

2012

I think that I gave Lita's last album the equal lowest rating of any release here at the Rockpit. I was therefore pretty apprehensive giving this one a spin... But you know what? This is much better, far more cohesive, and at times it even hints at Lita's glory days. A huge leap in the right direction... READ MORE

MANOWAR

THE LORD OF STEEL

2012

by Mark Diggins

The Lords of True Metal are back (no problem with the genre here then) with an album which could perhaps be best described as Manowar by numbers... There's the anthems, the ballad, the chest thumping lyrics, but boy do they sound tired, with Eric Adams barely stretching himself and Joey DeMaio's bass distractingly set to 12... It may well keep the fans happy but it's unlikely to win over new beserkers...

SOUL ASYLUM

DELAYED REACTION

2012

I can't claim to have quite been there from the start, but I did get in early with these guys and loved both 'Hang Time' and 'The Horse They Rode in On' much more than their later mainstream hit 'Grave Dancers Union'. Sad to see them split some years ago, this is one I've been waiting to hear... READ MORE

JADED HEART

COMMON DESTINY

2012

by Mark Diggins

Jaded Heart always seem to get the raw end of the deal. With a long career producing many fine albums it's amazing so few people have heard of them. Much better than their last outing 'Common Destiny' is a decent stab at fist clenching melodic metal. Not their best by a long shot, but well worth a listen if that's your thing.

Chris Robinson

Brotherhood

Big Moon Ritual

2012

One of my favourite bands The Black Crowes called it a day a while ago, and whilst the last few full length forays of theirs might not have been all that I had hoped for I was very curious to see what the older Robinson brother had been getting up to now... READ MORE

JOE BONAMASSA

DRIVING TOWARDS THE DAYLIGHT

2012

by Mark Diggins

It should be pretty easy to criticise Joe Bonamassa, after all how many records does he put out a year? Surely a man this productive must have issues with quality control? The answer I'm glad to say is a resounding NO. Bonamassa is either a freak, a machine or an alien lifeforce (or maybe all of the above). This is the most immediate and enjoyable blues release of the year. All hail Joe Bonamassa.

MOLLY HATCHET

REGRINDING THE AXES

2012

by Mark Diggins

If you love your Southern boogie then Molly Hatchet has always been one of the finest purveyors of the genre. Sadly this is just a rehash of a previosuly released covers album rather than original material. It has that certain style, sure, and just maybe that's enough these days when bands are looking at reduced income streams. You'll love what they've done with Lizzy, the Stones, the Eagles, ZZ Top, The Allmans and even Skynyrd.

Ryan Adams

Heartbreak A Stranger

Black Sheets Of Rain

2012

by Mark Diggins

I like Ryan Adams, and while his current Americana-incarnation might not be for everyone (expecially Southgang fans) it's hard to deny he's a talented writer and musician. What I like more though and loved in my younger days is Bob Mould and Husker Du. This live single is Adams covering Mould. Can it get better? Shame it's just a single...

GOLDEN EARRING

TITS 'N' ASS

2012

I think this is probably Golden Earring’s millionth studio album, not that many outside Europe would be aware. This after all is the band that most people know for only one song – Radar Love, and some of them only know that because of the 80’s cover by White Lion. READ MORE

UGLY KID JOE

STAIRWAY TO HELL

2012

 

by Mark

Some saw Ugly Kid Joe back in the day as a bunch of rich boys playing at music and an unnecessary distraction of little merit apart from that one particular song ;Everything about you'. I didn't mind them actually, never a huge fan, but they were pretty good. So how is 2012 treating them? READ MORE

RUSH

CLOCKWORK ANGELS

Roadrunner

2012

Canadian prog rock power trio, Rush are no strangers to long form story telling but in the past their stories (By-Tor & The Snow Dog, 2112, Cygnus X-I to name but three) have always been told in one continuous piece of music with... READ MORE

MAMMOTH MAMMOTH

Hell's Likely

Golden Triangle

2012

MAMMOTH MAMMOTH – the band with a sound so thunderously huge they named themselves twice – have unleased this acid drenched slab of pure molten madness on an unsuspecting world which, if this got into the water supply, may never be the same again… READ MORE

THE BEACH BOYS

THAT'S Why God Made The Radio

Capitol (EMI)

2012

Old is still the new New, and 2012’s latest serve of oldies coming up with a goodie is courtesy of none other than The Beach Boys – with as close to their classic line-up as is possible nowadays reunited for the first time in donkey’s years. READ MORE

SHARAYA

The Road to...

Self released

2012

This may sound contradictory, but there’s a real Evanescence feel to some of the tracks on SHARAYA’s debut album, even though they should certainly not be pigeon-holed into the symphonic metal genre in any way shape or form. READ MORE

ROXETTE

Travelling

EMI

2012

After their surprisingly vibrant and enjoyable live show early this year, I’m prepared to forgive myself for expecting this album to be anything but the uninspired, lifeless, flaccid pap that it is.  Avoid.

Brent Enman

Wildman

Self released

2012

Brent “Wildman” Enman knows how to rock – real, honest, blue collar, hard edged rock n’ roll is his stock in trade and on “Wildman” he delivers time and time again. READ MORE

SHADOWQUEEN

Self Titled

 

An album that somehow slipped under the general radar upon original release in 2010, Shadowqueen’s is heavy melodic rock that has something for just about everyone (Though Bieber and Glee fans need not apply). READ MORE

SLEDGE LEATHER

Imagine Me Alive

2012

With a name like this, you had better rock the f*ck out of a disc. On the songs that are actual rock tracks, Sledge Leather does exactly that. The problem here is that there are quite a few interludes and intros that could have been built up or replaced with harder rocking numbers. READ MORE

RITA WILSon

AM/FM

2012

Is anyone else sick of singers that think they can act or actors that think they can sing? Just when I think I have had my fill of them, a release comes across my desk that makes me rethink this. Who knew that Rita Wilson could sing? Apparently the people at Decca Records... READ MORE

L.A. GUNS

Hollywood Forever

Deadline Records

2012

By tapping into their classic sound, L.A. Guns have created one of the best albums of their career in any incarnation.To clarify, this is Phil Lewis’s L.A. Guns, not the band of the same name featuring Tracii Guns, and “Hollywood Forever” does give... READ MORE

Spiders & Snakes

London Daze

Cleopatra Records

2012

Lizzie Grey was a big feature of the Sunset Strip scene for many years, but he never cracked the big time like some of his former band mates.Originally released in 2000, this fifth album from his outfit SPIDERS & SNAKES is a sugary sweet and highly addictive mainline of bubblegum... READ MORE

Circus Maximus

Nine

2012

“Nine” is the third album from Norwegian prog-metal band Circus Maximus, who must have taken the same class in naming albums as Chickenfoot. It has been 5 years since their last release “Isolate,” and taking their time has certainly paid off. READ MORE

Marilyn Manson

Born Villain

Cooking Vinyl, 2012

Love him or hate him, the self proclaimed God of Fuck is back. After a three year break joining him once again is his partner in crime Twiggy Ramirez. Many said that the music and the phenomon that was Manson was dying after two albums... READ MORE

Chi Chi & The Go Go's

No Decisions EP

2012

Bluesy rock ‘n’ roll never sounded as sexy as Chi Chi & The Go Go’s No Decisions EP. No Decisions is a delicate twist of foot stomping blues rock mixed with juicy guitar licks and huge vocals. Jackson Perry creates a spectacular guitar backbone with ... READ MORE

Elan

Retrospective 2002 - 2012

What do you do when you have never heard of a band and you are handed a retrospective collection? Normally I would cringe, as I think, how great can their songs be if I have never heard of them. How wrong I was in that thinking after I listened to this collection... READ MORE

Overkill

The Electric Age

2012

I kind of lost track of Overkill after the ‘80s until they regained my attention again with their fantastic 2010 release of “Ironbound.” “Electric Age” is a fantastic follow up and is leaving me with the thought that I need to go back and revisit the entire Overkill catalog to see ... READ MORE

Points North

Road Less Traveled

2012

“Road Less Traveled” is the debut album from California based Points North. If you like guitar based instrumental rock music such as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Steve Morse, and Eric Johnson, you should like this album. READ MORE

CURVED AIR

Live Atmosphere

2012

Just when I think I have figured out what my niche is, something else comes across my desk and makes me rethink my musical selections. Some view my tastes as very heavy, but the lastest live disc from Curved Air is anything but... READ MORE

EVE 6

Speak In Code

2012

Eve 6. When you mention their name, most people ask if they are still around. One listen to the new disc, Speak In Code, and there is no doubt they are still around - and doing it even better than in the past. READ MORE

Electric Touch

Never Look Back

2012

This random email shows up in my inbox explaining a new disc is coming out from a band that got my info while touring with the Warped Tour last year. After one listen, I am so glad they reached out. Pay attention to these guys… you will most likely hear their name again. READ MORE

Psychonaut

Shock 'Em Dead

2012

Psychonaut dark overlord Mark DeVattimo and co have constructed a fantastical world which owes as much to Black Sabbath and Slayer as it does to Frank Zappa, Star Wars, horror movies... READ MORE

SPiT LiKE THiS

Normalityville Horror

Dark Lord Records, 2012

You’ve had those days when you want to walk away from your jobs, turn your back on all the idiots making demands upon you, get into a souped up supercharged chrome n’ black pirate flag-sporting hot rod of doom and put the pedal to the metal as you roar down the highway to hell… and now you have the ultimate soundtrack to accompany the ride! READ MORE

Empra

Empra

2012

For Empra, the road to making this record and actually having it see the light of day has been a long one. After countless dollars spent and battles with recording studios, their self titled debut album has finally been released, and to say it has been worth the wait is an absolute understatement! READ MORE

SLASH

Apocalyptic Love

Sony, May 2012

5 stars SLASH!

Dirty Riffs, Melody, Shredding, Fist Pumping, Gang Vocals and of course one of the finest guitar sounds ever to grace the world’s ears! Slash is back with his second and newest release “Apocalyptic Love” but this time with the ever so incredible Myles Kennedy on vocals and a fully fledged band consisting of the finest musicians the world has ever seen! READ MORE

Humble Pie

On to Victory/ Go For The Throat [reissue]

Dead Line Music, 2012

It’s fair to say that by 1980 Steve Marriot was a bit lost in his career. The Small Faces and Humble Pie had been huge successes, but an abortive Small Faces reunion and a failed attempt at an All Star band with ex-Pie man Peter Frampton left him floundering. READ MORE

GINGER WILDHEART

555%

April 2012

Ginger Wildheart took the unusual step of setting up a fan pledge request through Pledge Music to fund his next project. 555% is a triple album including contributions from past bandmates and friends. The pledge process received overwhelming support... READ MORE

Head In A Jar

Atomic Circus EP

Listen to Head in a Jar, and it’s blatantly obvious that the bands influences are firmly entrenched in the thrash metal titans of the 80’s and early 90’s. Overall, the influence of Anthrax is strongest, but vocally, Dave Mustaine can be heard loud and clear, while thrash bands that didn’t make the “Big 4” like Exodus and Overkill ... READ MORE

MIMI VELVSKA

The Bona Fide Electric EP

Ask me what Tina Turner is up to these days, and I’ll answer “who cares, go and check out Mimi Velvska instead!”. Ask me who might be able to fill Amy Winehouses shoes, and I’ll answer “go check out Mimi Velevska!” READ MORE

Arkayan

The Marsh Chapel Experiment

It’s always good when I put a CD by a band I have never heard before, into my stereo, and almost instantly fall in love with what I am hearing. Arkayan have given me that feeling with their brand new, six track EP, “The Marsh Chapel Experiment”. READ MORE

Dead Cells

Tear Down The Heavens

Feb 2012

Dead Cells are clearly a very hard working band. They formed in 2009 in the U.K, and since their formation the band has released four demos, two singles and a video clip. Now comes their debut EP “Tear Down the Heavens” which was released on February 27th 2012. READ MORE

AFTER

EDGES OF THE WORLD EP

AFTERMUSIC

2012

After

It’s always great to hear a new band from LA that seems to have it all worked out. ‘After’ may not be a band that everyone out there is familiar with but on the basis of this EP that can surely only be a matter of time. READ MORE

SLEEPFREAK

Sleepfreak EP

mAY 2012

They may describe themselves as Metallica meets Led Zeppelin, but there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface of SLEEPFREAK’s debut EP. For starters, these are 6 great songs – which is damn good value for money for an EP. READ MORE

HARDLINE

Danger Zone

May 2012

Do you miss the arena sound of great 80's rock? God knows I do. Luckily, I don't have to miss it too bad now that Hardline is back on the scene with their latest release, Danger Zone. Big guitars, bigger vocals, and killer choruses are all over this disc... READ MORE

KISSIN' dYNAMITE

mONEY, sEX & pOWER

mARCH 2012

Kissin’ Dynamite, hailing from Germany’s Swabia (near Bavaria), prove my theory that what I called “Metal” back in my teens in the early Eighties has little to do with what passes for Metal nowadays.Ferociously combining a sleaze rock look and attitude with old school Teutonic metal violence and force, Kissin’ Dynamite have carved a mightily heavy rock/metal hybrid. READ MORE

ROYAL THUNDER

CVI

2012

What happens if you take a musical blender and mix up a little Jerry Garcia, heavy metal, and oestrogen? You get Royal Thunder."Parsonz Curse" is a moody dark rocker with a great vibe to it. If this track has any bearing on the rest of this disc, we are in for a good ride. READ MORE

WEST OF HELL

Spiral Empire

2012

Every once in a while a disc comes across my player that I shouldn't like, but I do like a few of the songs and some of the elements presented. The most recent release from West of Hell is one of those discs. One look at the cover and titles and it instantly build a preconceived notion before even listening to it. I have to admit, I was pleased compared to the initial idea I had about this disc. READ MORE

EUROPE

BAG OF BONES

RELEASED MAY 2012

Europe has had a bit of a renaissance over the past few years, producing a number of quality albums that have each bettered the previous. 'Bag of Bones' is a Europe with a soul full of blues, and it's very good indeed... READ MORE

FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM

Ceromonies (Ad Mortem Ad Vitam)
Released 2012

Fields of the Nephilim

For anyone out there currently hankering after a bit of quality old school Goth then Fields of the Nephilim's new doule-live CD/DVD release has pretty much it all. A great band back in the day I'm pleased to say on the evidence here they've lost nothing, sweeping Gothic brilliance!

Gerry Quigley & the Nomadic Druids

Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow EP

2012

Gerry Quigley - Irish by birth, childhood friend to not only Phil Lynott, but also Gary Moore and Rory Gallagher, Perth blues legend and much more – has delivered a tender, touching and intriguing EP in Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow. READ MORE

Murder Bay

Never Was An Angel

Eonian Records

2012

In the late eighties and early nineties, purveyors of the glory days of the Sunset Strip Sound were practically living in the land of plenty with fat cat record companies throwing bottomless cheques at any potential “next big thing”, and hundreds of thousands of kids ready to buy their products or invite them into their beds. READ MORE

The Magic Bones

Self Titled EP

April 2012

Melbourne’s MAGIC BONES have released a minor gem in this, their 5-track debut EP. Trippy, spacey psych rock abounds here – like Hawkwind if they’d been brought up on Americana rather than 60’s British R&B – from the barely restrained opener Space Between Us, featuring the beautifully wistful lyric “I want to feel your little piece of soul melting into mine”, and through the acid tripped colourfulness that is Devil’s Spawn. READ MORE

Blood Runners

Objective #1

5B Records

2011

Seven tracks of dirty, filthy rock n’ roll from the gutters of Noo Yawk, fuelled by a full tank of glam punk sense and sleaze rock senselessness. READ MORE

AXE

Axeology 1979 - 2001

Deadline Music

2012

Nowadays a band called AXE would be expected to be wearing leather, studs and fur, all flailing hair and viking power metal bluster, but at the end of the Seventies when Bobby Barth assembled Axe from the remains of Babyface, things were very different indeed. Long haired, often moustachioed chaps playing a boogie rockin’ AOR crossover, Axe’s 6 albums are all well represented here, along with a couple of unreleased tracks for the completists. READ MORE

4ARM

Submission For Liberty

Rising/Riot

2012

Melbourne’s 4ARM have delivered a mighty old school thrash metal assault on this, their third full length album. Fine tuning the production for the new age with an earth shakingly relentless rhythm section sound - the double kick drums boom like Michael Vafiotis has been possessed by the spirit of Metal Bonham while Andrew Hinterreiter’s bass rumbles up from the bowels of the earth. READ MORE

My Darkest Days

Sick & Twisted Affair

2012

How can you go wrong with a band who released singles about "Porn Star Dancing" and "Casual Sex" from each of their first two releases? When it is My Darkest Days, you have two of my favorite albums of the last 3 years. These guys have found a formula for success and I for one am very glad they have. I really anticipated a killer new album from them, hopefully building oin their previous success. READ MORE

Skinmask

EP1

RELEASED 2012

Back in December of 2011 I came across an unsigned band from Los Angeles California called Skinmask. They were opening a show locally in Chicago for one of my favourite bands The Dreaming. I remember seeing some pictures and descriptions of them and thinking, what the hell is this? Needless to say I had my reservations about them. READ MORE

WIN A VERY SPECIAL LIMITED PROMOTIONAL EDITION OF THE DOGS D'AMOUR NEW RELEASE

A GRAVEYARD OF EMPTY BOTTLES MMXII - WE HAVE TWO COPIES TO GIVE AWAY

JUST E-MAIL mark@the rockpit.net and tell us what you think of the Dogs D'Amour - two winners will be announced viA our facebook page on May 1st 2012

THE DOGS D'AMOUR

A GRAVEYARD OF EMPTY BOTTLES MMXII

www.justanenglishoutlaw

RELEASED 2012

This is an album not just for Dogs aficionados and fans; it’s a release that deserves to be heard by a wider audience. If you love a great song and a soulful lyric and have a taste for real music that can open your eyes and mind, and has a blatant disregard for the mainstream this pretty much has it all. READ MORE

WIG WAM

WALL STREET

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED JUNE 2012

OK brace yourselves… the already converted have nothing to worry about apart from having a good time with the new Wig Wam release. The uninitiated need to get off their asses, listen and join the Wig Wan clan… READ MORE

GREAT WHITE

ELATION

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED JUNE 2012

Great White is back and this time there's a lot to prove without the voice of Jack Russell at the helm. After a couple of very good albums over recent years the question is can Terry Illous step into those shoes and can the band pick up where they left off in 2010? READ MORE

DYNAZTY

SULTANS OF SIN

RELEASED 2012

Dynazty's first release ‘Bring The Thunder’ was a great debut released in 2009, that for the most part, flew under the radar.  Their second offering, Knock You Down was just released last year, and was one of the best CDs of 2011.  So, is it possible for a band to release a quality CD less than a year after their previous release?  READ MORE

DEMON'S ALLEY

DEAD END TRICKS

SELF RELEASED

2012

Sometimes you hear something as gloriously unadorned as ‘Dead End Tricks’ that sounds like it was found in the gutter somewhere in 1974 and then found again, a little worse for wear, in 1984. There’s the spirit within these grooves of some of the best punk-glam from New York Dolls to The Dead Boys to Hanoi and the Ramones and that to be honest excites me for one…READ MORE

OCTOBER RAGE

OUTRAGE

SELF RELEASED

2011

I didn't expect this... From New South Wales' Central Coast comes a band that I expect will be making a few waves very soon. It's been a while since I've heard a debut album from a homegrown band that sounds this good. READ MORE

CHAINSAW HOOKERS

Self Titled

Blood Rock Records

April 2012

Stepping out of a Tarantino/Zombie-esque desert hillbilly nightmare and onto the filthy stages of Australia’s most notorious dives are Chainsaw Hookers, a four piece that aurally emulate the explosive and destructive qualities of a thermite packed automatic shotgun. READ MORE

Jeff Scott Soto

Damage Control

Frontiers

April 2012

To be honest, this disc would totally have to suck to not get a high rating. Its Jeff Scott Soto… we have come to expect great things. So many people dissed his last effort, Beautiful Mess because it deviated from his normal fare. This disc is a return; not the return of Jeff Scott Soto, but the return of the melodic rock listeners have come to expect. READ MORE

BRAD

United We Stand

Having never been a fan of Pearl Jam, I was more than hesitant about listening to this disc. I grew up in an era when music, and the musicians, was larger than life and Pearl Jam was anything but. They were the epitome of "flannel rock." The lone connection, Stone Gossard, impressed me enough to give this one a whirl. READ MORE

The huntress

Spell Eater

 

With a name like Huntress and a debut disc called Spell Eater, I hope you weren't expecting the Donny and Marie Variety Hour. This disc is exactly what I expected, and more. You never know what to expect from a debut release anymore, but this band really delivers. The musicianship is more than solid and vocalist Jill Janus really adds .... READ MORE

Accept

Stalingrad

Nuclear Blast

AprIL 2012

xx

xx

Within the first few seconds of listening to the album's opener 'Hung, Drawn and Quartered', I knew this one was gonna deliver, just as 2010's 'Blood Of The Nations' did. As successful as that album was in re-establishing the band as metal giants, and with a new lead vocalist (Mark Tornillo), the band has taken up their own gauntlet... READ MORE

Sugar Louise

On The Radio 7" single

Naked Hollywood

April 2012

Billy McBarbie – he of the impossibly cool and glacially blonde barnet like some Norwegian Noel Fielding – leads his “poppunx” Sugar Louise back into the fray with this irresistibly bouncy and catchy number. READ MORE

Dragonforce

The Power within

3Wise (Aust)

April 2012

Dragonforce see the world through Valhalla tinted glasses – Dragons war with men, epic battles are fought (usually amid flames – oh, so many flames), emotions and environments are anthropomorphised (liberty is given wings, storms have a beating heart, etc), and love is painted on the heavens with grandeur and longing (usually amid fear and more epic battles… and flames, oh so many flames…). READ MORE

RIFF X

Search For A Better Day

Self Released

2012

Female fronted metal from the far northlands of Newcastle, England, RIFF X’s second EP is a solidly headbanging three tune sampler featuring the powerful and throaty vocals of Briggita Balogh. READ MORE

ON THE LEVEL

Live at the PBC

Self released

2011

Live at The PBC catches On The Level in blistering form, playing their trademark rocking boogie & blues with style and charm, and perfectly balancing a fun & tight delivery with their natural rawness. READ MORE

IAN Anderson

Thick As A Brick 2

Chrysalis/EMI

April 2012

What a curious oddity is the concept album – the very nature of having to cram the narrative of a cohesive story into the more traditional structures of rock and roll songs lends itself to compromise and clunkiness. READ MORE

MOTORTRAIN

Straight Six EP

 

Hailing from “the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma”, MOTORTRAIN play rock n’ roll – 2 guitars, drums, bass and voice – nothing more, nothing less. Combining the heads down dirty denim boogie of AC/DC, the supercharged rock n’ roll belligerence of Motorhead, and the Southern groove of Junkyard, this debut EP catches the mission statement of the band . READ MORE

RAYGUN REBELS

Bring It Home

Deathtone Records

RELEASED 2010

A hard rockin’ slab of rifferama with a touch of sleaze from the Bavarian hinterland, “Bring Me Home” doesn’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel or be anything other than what it is – guitar driven, good time, rock n’ f’n roll with a tip of the cap to AC/DC, Motley Crue and The Hellacopters. READ MORE

WILD TURKEY

Devil Ridin' Shotgun

Wild Turkey are a mean lookin’ trio of Rockabilly hombres hailing from the deep south of… Melbourne! Featuring chief songwriter Johnny Marsden on twangtastic guitar and vocals, Kirk Syrett whacking the drums, and Guy Lawson plucking a righteous double bass, they run the gamut of rockabilly styles on this eclectic album which dates right back to 2005. READ MORE

MY DYNAMITE

MY DYNAMITE

LISTENABLE RECORDS

RELEASED MARCH 2012

I love this CD from Melbourne's My Dynamite and please forgive me if I mention the Black Crowes even before I get to the review, but there's more than a hint off Atlanta's finest within these grooves. If you love well crafted songs with more than a spoonful of blues and a Southern slant you must check these guys out, you won't forgive yourself if you don't. READ MORE

STICKY BOYS

THIS IS ROCK 'N Roll

RELEASED APRIL 2012

If you ever wondered what a French AC/DC would sound like then you might want to get a hold of this one; and if you see Airbourne as the sincerest form of flattery then you are in for a treat... READ MORE

NATASHA STUART

LIGHT THIS FUSE

RELEASED 2012

Australia has a wealth of fine talent and there are some great vocalists out there with considerable gifts. If only it were just a question of setting those voices off against a great musical backdrop! Natasha Stuart has produced an album with a lot of depth that is well worth exploration READ MORE

 

TYKETTO

DIG IN DEEP

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

tyketto Dig In Deep - Therockpit.net review

Some albums you end up waiting twenty years for! But when you hear them all is forgiven! Check out our review of Tyketto's new album and Mark's interview with singer Danny Vaughn NEXT WEEK at The Rockpit.

For those that can't wait for the CD Review - CLICK HERE

TRIXTER

NEW AUDIO MACHINE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

Imagine the Trixter of their debut and ‘Hear!’ but better, bigger, bolder and slicker. This is some seriously good return to the arena...

READ MORE

CRAZY LIXX

RIOT AVENUE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED APRIL 2012

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Some bands just have it; and back in the day would have stood head and shoulders with the best of them. Crazy Lixx is one of those select few - a band that has captured what made late eighties rock sound so great, but on this, their third release they have managed to stamp it with their own distinctive sound.... READ MORE

Wayland

Welcome To My Head

RELEASED 2012

When Steve (a guy who seems to know what  I like, rock or otherwise) asked if I was interested in checking out a Michigan band he was working with, my initial thought was, "Hell yes, nothing like some good Detroit rock."  These guys aren't from Detroit, but the spirit and ability are there.  This one has been in my car after the second spin and I have yet to take it out READ MORE

BEAK

EYRIE

2012

I wasn't sure what to expect when I popped this in (well, actually downloaded and played).  I had no clue who some of the bands referenced in the other reviews or press release were, but decided to take it for a spin anyway.  Still trying to digest this one after about 10 spins READ MORE

FLYING COLORS

FLYING COLORS

2012

With this line-up of artists, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  Discovering this release is on a jazz label was even more misleading.  It is jazz, but infused with some killer rock riffs, drums, and arena style vocals.  The rock components are there, but not enough to call it a rock record.  Other than solid musicianship, the real highlight in my mind is the vocals of Casey McPherson (of Alpha Rev). READ MORE

TONIGHT ALIVE

SO WHAT ARE YOU SCARED OF

2012

Another Warped Tour band you ask?  Not here.  Yes, the music is exactly the style you will hear from several bands on Warped Tour… only better.  These guys can play and the vocalist is on top of her game.  I have gotten away from the screaming and am starting to expect my musicians to really play, sing, and entertain me. READ MORE

IRON MAIDEN

EN VIVO - DVD, 2CD

EMI

March 2012

Recorded before 50,000 rabid Chilean fans in Santiago in April 2011, En Vivo is a glorious treat for any Iron Maiden fan, no matter which format you choose. READ MORE

SWEET

New York Connection

Self Released, Mar 2012

Andy Scott’s SWEET have weighed in with as good a covers album as anyone could have hoped from a band that many thought would never release another album. READ MORE

BOB SEGER

ULTIMATE HITS – Rock n’ Roll Never Forgets
Capitol

2012

A classy collection of studio and live cuts by the man who was even MORE blue collar and middle America than Springsteen himself. From Old Time Rock n’ Roll, the Metallica covered Turn The Page, Hollywood Nights and Night Moves, through the recent Hey Hey Hey Hey (Going Back To Birmingham), Seger never puts a foot wrong, making this primo driving or drinking music.

SHINEDOWN

AMARYLLIS

Roadrunner

2012

Shinedown are one of the few bands that can release an album full of hit singles from top to bottom. Their last album, The Sound of Madness, has sold over a million copies and spawned six number 1 singles on active rock and 1 top 10 single on top 40. Simply put Shinedown have turned themselves into quite a musical juggernaut. READ MORE

De La Cruz

Self Titled EP

Self Released

2011

Remember Roxus and Boss – late 80’s radio bothering, big haired Aussies who played a riffy AOR style of bubbly hard rock? Well Brisbane’s De La Cruz may well be their descendants – serving up a debut 6 track EP chock full of polished, hook-filled pop metal classics. READ MORE

The Atomic Bitchwax

The Local Fuzz

Teepee Records

2011

What kind of madness is this? The best possible kind, if you’re a guitar riff kind of person! The Atomic Bitchwax weighs in with a fifth full length album comprising only one song – 42 minutes long, completely instrumental, and comprised of 50 distinct guitar riffs. READ MORE

KL II

World's Best Band

2012

KLII have a sound that is rooted firmly in the 70’s. From the first riffs of opening track “The Boat”, it is clearly evident that they are influenced heavily by the likes of Cheap Trick, Status Quo, KISS, The Sweet and Thin Lizzy. READ MORE

ALIEN KEN

Son Extraordinary

2012

Son Extraordinary is the debut solo EP from Alien Ken, also of the hard rock band Moth Circus. Coming from Norway, which is of course the home of black metal, it’s refreshing to hear something that breaks that stereotype. READ MORE

UFO

SEVEN DEADLY

RELEASED 2012

UFO’s new CD Seven Deadly is their 20th studio album proper and while it may never be held in the same high esteem as their 70’s classics Force It, Obsession or Lights Out it is nonetheless a great solid disc of classy old school hard rock. READ MORE...

LEGACY OF DISORDER

LAST MAN STANDING

BLACK ORCHARD MUSIC

RELEASED 2012

Those already with an ear to the NZ Metal scene will probably be familiar with the name already: and if the first few listens of this new release are anything to go by, then coupled with a couple of lengthy US tours already underway; the name might just be a lot more familiar pretty soon. READ MORE...

DIAMOND SINS

DEATH PUNK BABY

RELEASED 2011

 

I was first introduced to Adelaide’s finest Death Punk band last year when they came up as one of the supports for Sweden’s Crashdiet in Melbourne, and a thoroughly enjoyable set of Misfits-infused madness it was too. READ MORE...

 

HEAT

ADDRESS THE NATION

RELEASED 2012

HEAT is a band that makes you question the power of the Gods of Rock these days. A band that seems to put out quality release after quality release without getting either the attention or the breaks they deserve.

READ MORE...

TUFF

WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND (AGAIN)

RELEASED 2012

At the time Tuff suffered from being labeled as the poor man's Poison, but in truth they were a harder band than their more successful peers and even though they probably committed similar crimes against the ozone layer their debut was an album worth a good look. Here it is again then with a twist. READ MORE...

SERIAL KILLER SMILE

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM EP

2012

Taking a phrase that has become increasingly in the news in the last year or so, but which was actually coined back in the 50’s to describe something huge and obvious that you really shouldn’t ignore SKS has created an EP that is a bit like that elephant in that it’s something that you really shouldn’t be able to ignore. READ MORE...

RATTLESHAKE

RATTLESHAKE

EONIAN RECORDS

RELEASED 2012

Don't expect a band that looks like this with a name like this to blow your world apart with a groundbreaking album you've never heard the like of before... well you do know that's not the point by now right? Eonian exists to bring you the best of the bands that didn't make it back in the day and sometimes you end up with a real gem. The question is what do we have here? READ MORE...

VANITY BOULEVARD

ROCK AND ROLL OVERDOSE

Originally released back in 2008 just as the band looked like falling apart 'Rock and Roll Overdose' didn't get the best response when first released and suffered from a seeming lack of promotion. As the band looks to start recording their new CD in August 2012, the CD hits the letter-box and I get to take another look... READ MORE

NO ROOM THE BREATHE

EP

RELEASED 2011

Describing themselves as an 'alternative metal' band it's a treat to stumble upon a band like 'No Room to Breathe' There's a power, an honesty, a depth and a clarity about them that is hard to put a label on. Elements of traditional and modern metal, punk, prog and thrash makes this an interesting and rewarding listen. READ MORE

CRASH STREET KIDS

Sweet creatures

2012

Flouncing out of the Arizona desert with a studied insouciance and a Mott The Hoople sensibility come The Crash Street Kids with their fourth album “Sweet Creatures”. READ MORE

ADRENALINE MOB

Omerta

To see a few of metals stars mix it up, one automatically thinks super group, but this is no super group. This is a viable band that will make its mark and be a force to reckon with moving forward. . READ MORE

DARK NEW DAY

New Tradition

Known as somewhat of a nu-metal super group, the pedigree of this band is hard to deny. When your membership has day jobs in bands such as Evanescence, Sevendust, Stereomud, and Skrape, you will have a club that can produce solid rock. READ MORE

XANDRIA

Neverworlds End

I am not sure why I am so drawn to female fronted symphonic metal, but bands like Within Temptation, Nemesea, and Xandria are quite the constant spin in my rotation recently. Xandria brings a more operatic tone and voice to the mix, making it a strong addition to the genre. READ MORE

FURYON

GRAVITAS

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED MARCH 2012

A hard meal riff and an almost Soundgarden meets Alice In Chains  feel pervades opener ‘Disappear again’ it’s a storming way to kick off what proves to be a quality release from Furyon. If you like the best elements of grunge, crossed with a double-shot of modern metal and some great vocal and solid guitar work then these guys should be pretty near the top of your ‘bands to check out’ list. READ MORE

JACK BLADES

ROCK 'N ROLL RIDE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED MARCH 2012

You could dismiss the latest offering by Jack Blades: Rock N Roll Ride by saying that by and large an album of riff-driven rockers, but that is only part of the story of this album. Its nice driving music but if you are looking for ground-breaking remember this is a Jack Blades album, solid meat and potatoes just the way we like it. READ MORE

BLANCA WHITE

RESURGENCE OF ROCK

RELEASED 2012

The cynic might tend to eye a release like this with caution. After all the back-story sounds so good that it surely can't be true! Music fans just don’t put their heads together and write a collection of songs to take you back to the glory days of eighties rock, draft in some amazing vocalists and put out a killer album do they? READ ON

DEREK DAVIS

Re-Volt

Released 2012

Derek Davis Re-Volt

Being a massive fan of Babylon AD back in the day, it's always great to see new releases from members of that band. A few years ago we had Ron Freschi's 'Syrym' project and now we have singer Derek Davis' solo album - Re-Volt. Believe me this is well-worth checking out! READ ON

LILLIAN AXE

XI - THE DAYS BEFORE TOMORROW

FEBRUARY 2012

When you read in the pre-publicity that a latest album has been described as the 'strongest record yet' you always wonder if the hype matches the product, but when the originator of the comment is Lillian Axe mainman Steve Blaze, you sit up and listen. This one is amazing believe me, and you can check out our interview with Steve next week. READ ON

BAND OF SKULLS

SWEET SOUR

RELEASED 2012

Band of Skulls

I'll be the first to admit that a lot of high-brow critics I wouldn't normally give the time of day are on the 'Band of Skulls' bandwagon and are riding it hard. But this IS just so damn good, driving primal rock and roll, that manages to sound both dangerous and vital at the same time. Listen to title track 'Sweet Sour' and those guitars.... man. READ MORE

MOLLO-MARTIN

THE THIRD CAGE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

FEBRUARY 2012

A melting pot of metallic and hard rock influences driven forward by the guitar of Dario Mollo and the icing on the cake coming from the great vocals of Tony Martin (Black Sabbath) it's a releases well worth a look for metalheads who love a great song and a great voice. READ ON

DRIVE BY TRUCKERS

Go-GO BOOTS

2011

Drive By Truckers

By Mark Diggins

Whilst Hard rock will always be my mainstay I do have pretty borad listening tastes and over the years Patterson Hood's Drive By Truckers have produced some real quality. Go-Go boots is one of my favourite albums of last year and whilst I find the more traditional country elements a little hard to take tracks like 'Used to be a Cop' are sheer magic. Americana that opens your eyes and your ears...

LAST AUTUMN's DREAM

NINE LIVES

2012

Last Autumns Dream

Last Autumn's Dream has to be up there with my favourite current bands. There's just something about these guys that strikes a chord, gloriously light, fun, singalong melodic rock with choruses that are sheer gold there's not a lot of bands today who can produce such instantly catchy tunes. READ MORE

ROYAL HUNT

SHOW ME HOW TO LIVE

FRONTIERS RECORDS

RELEASED 2012

 

Beautifully constructed fiery rock that is now so smooth and well-rounded it starting to almost sound like a parody of the genre…

READ MORE

FOXY SHAZAM

Church Of Rock N' Roll

2012

Any band that grabs a tour with The Darkness is good in my book. When you couple that with their newest release, you have a band that is seemingly on top of the world. These guys embraced their roots but really took it to the next level and added very cool rock aspects to their disc, no doubt due to the production of Justin Hawkins. READ MORE

THe Dreaming

Puppet

2012

The Dreaming, where do I start? There is a decent amount of background info I must give before getting into the actual album review for Puppet. For those of you who do not know, The Dreaming is a band featuring Christopher Hall, former singer of Stabbing Westward. Their first album, called Etched in Blood, was released back in 08. READ MORE

SUNSTORM

Emotional Fire

FRONTIERS RECORDS

2012

You mention Joe Lynn Turner and a disc instantly goes to four stars in my book. It has to be horrendous in my mind to get less than that. This disc simply builds on that rating. JLT once again surrounds himself with great musicians to produce an awesome disc. This third offering from the band is just as good, if not better than the last two offerings. READ MORE

LACUNA COIL

Dark Adrenaline

2012

These cool Italians have a winning formula. I love this disc as much as the previous offerings from this great band. They really are pioneers in the area of symphonic metal that utilizes both female and male lead vocals. They never disappoint, and the latest offering is no different. READ MORE

DIABULUS IN MUSICA

The wanderer

March 2012

After nearly wearing out my copy of the band's debut release, Secrets, I couldn't wait to hear The Wanderer. One of the best parts of the debut was the surprising voice of Zuberoa Aznárez. Her vocie graces this disc as well, but something has changed. The music is stronger from a base stand point and the musicianship is as good, if not better. READ MORE

Tryone Wells

Where we meet

2012

I know what you are thinking.  "What reason does a guy who listens to KISS, Black Veil Brides, and other metal acts have for listening to Tyrone Wells' latest effort?"  It's this simple - I appreciate good music, regardless of the genre.  Even more to the point, good songwriting is good songwriting. READ MORE

Five Finger Death Punch

American capitalist

2011

American Capitalist is an extremely strong album from top to bottom. It's diversified, has excellent production and the songwriting has vastly improved. They have the usual heavy hitters like "American Capitalist" and "Menace" but then diversify themselves with tracks like "Coming Down" and "Remember Everything". READ MORE

ZEROKING

Kings of Self Destruction

Feb 2012

Hot on the heels of their late 2011 taster EP comes Zeroking’s debut full length album, and it’s up there with Van Halen’s newie as the best releases of the year to date. READ MORE

SUNSET RIOT

UPRISING EP

Feb 2012

After releasing a magnificent EP in 2010 and touring non-stop last year, Sunset Riot is back with their latest studio effort “Uprising.” With a more matured sound and a greatly evolved band since the last record, I was eagerly awaiting this 6 track EP and they definitely didn’t disappoint! With world renowned producer Mark Opitz onboard as well as stellar artwork from Joshua Marc... READ MORE

VAN HALEN

A Different Kind of Truth

Universal

Feb 2012

It’s finally here – the Van Halen brothers’ first album since 1998’s Van Halen III - and their first with Diamond Dave Lee Roth since 1984 - has finally landed and in less time than it takes to recite the names of all the guitarists to have contributed to the recording of “Chinese Democracy” we are acutely aware that this is old school Van Halen... READ MORE

SONIC STATION

SONIC STATION

FRONTIERS RECORDS

FEBRUARY 2012

In truth Sonic Station is a pretty nice listen, it’s sure to please fans of the genre, but at the same time I’m not sure it has that broader appeal. Songs to watch out for include the seventies balladeer feel that pervades ‘Hold On To Me’; the Foreigner-like ballad ‘The Most Beautiful Fear’ and the Toto-lite ‘Never Let The Sunshine Die’. READ MORE

MR. BIG

LIVE FROM THE LIVING ROOM

FRONTIERS RECORDS

FEBRUARY 2012

Hands up who wants a new Mr. Big Live album this year? Really? You couldn’t wait for the next studio album? Fair enough then, it has been just over a year so we’ll have a listen… READ MORE

THE DOORS

L.A. WOMAN (40th ANNIVERSAY)

RELEASED 2012

40 years on your can still hear the influence of the Doors all around you. Whilst we never really review re-releases you at least need to know this one is out, even if only to re-visit the album. LA Woman is one of the greatest records ever made. Here a bonus disc of alternate versions and odds and ends is a lovely distraction but can't really add anything to the beauty of the original. Hear it and love it.

MICHAEL THOMPSON BAND

FUTURE PAST

FRONTIERS RECORDS

FEBRUARY 2012

Michael Thompson may not be a name you’ve heard before but on “Future Past” he manages to put together a surprisingly nice collection of energetic AOR in the Foreigner meets Michael Bolton mould. ‘High Times’ that kicks us off is the song to download if you want a taste of the album... READ MORE

BEYOND THE BRIDGE

THE OLD MAN AND THE SPIRIT

FRONTIERS RECORDS

JANUARY 2012

What happens when Prog Rock meets sanitized metal riffs across a field strewn with spoken voice parts, the odd jazz phrase and the occasional melodic interlude? Well maybe this is what happens? READ MORE

THE EROTICS

BOULEVARD OF CHOKING SCREAMS EP

TRASHPIT RECORDS

MARCH 2012

It’s not often a band is as guilty of producing consistently great music as Mike Trash’s EROTICS is: so any new release is always a welcome addition to your sleazy catalogue. READ MORE

CHEVELLE

Hats Off TO The Bull

Epic

2011

Chevelle is back with their latest effort, "Hats Off To The Bull". I've been a Chevelle fan for quite a while now but tend to prefer their earlier releases and felt their last album, "Sci-Fi Crimes", lost just a little bit of whatever it was that drew me to them. That being said, "Hats Off To The Bull" seems to have recaptured a lot of that original magic. READ MORE

HAILMARY

Reminiscence [single]

Self released

JanUARY 2012

2012 sees Kevin Curran, vocalist, guitarist and chief songwriter for Hailmary, hitting his stride with ‘Reminiscence’ – the first single from forthcoming album “Choice Path Consequence Solution”. READ MORE

MELODY BLACK

Love Your Demons

Riot Entertainment

2011

With Dee handling the songwriting, and dynamic performances from all involved, “Love Your Demons” is a great collection of hard rock songs with a touch of darkness, a touch of sleaze, loads of catchy hooks and powerful riffs. READ MORE

MEGADETH

TH1RT3EN

Roadrunner

2011

With a blast of frenzied soloing Dave Mustaine’s Megadeth are back, the speedy riff of ‘Sudden Death’ allowing his famously sneering vocals a bedrock to rant at the world from. It’s immediately clear that having until-recently-estranged bassist Dave Ellefson back in the fold has had the desired effect... READ MORE

TRENT REZNOR/ ATTICUS ROSS

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Muse

Nine Inch Nails mainman Reznor and producer/programmer and long-time collaborator Atticus Ross have followed their Academy Award winning soundtrack for THE SOCIAL NETWORK with three full discs of music from THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. READ MORE

REVERSE GRIP

Nasty Reputation

Es Never Records

2011

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Reverse Grip sees the three Broda brothers – Dru, Sean & Dylan on vocals, guitar and drums respectively – plus bassist Eskander Mirza, making an impressive racket on this, their debut release. READ MORE

DOOBIE WHITEHORN

TOUCHé

Self released

2009

There are an awful lot of albums slipping under the radar nowadays, so it’s worth keeping an ear out for missed gems such as DOOBIE WHITEHORN’S 2009 album “Touché”. READ MORE

CAVEFIRE CINEMA

PARTY STARSHIP [single]

Self released

2011

A riff-heavy and irresistibly bouncy number, ‘Party Starship’ chugs along for all it’s worth, leaving us in no doubt that Cavefire Cinema’s forthcoming full length album will be one to keep an eye out for. www.cavefirecinema.com

THE LAST VEGAS

THE OTHER SIDE EP

Electric City Entertainment

JanUARY 2012

Chad Cherry’s sleaze merchants start the Year of the Dragon off with a taste of raw and sweaty rock n’ f’n roll with ‘The Other Side’, a great track in their Gunners-meets-Hanoi-Rocks-in-an-opium-den-at-4am style before slipping into the sinewy and sexalicious ‘Evil Eyes’... READ MORE

LAMB OF GOD

Resolution

Roadrunner

JanUARY 2012

This monstrous beast bursts forth with ‘Straight For The Sun’, almost a death metal take on Floyd’s ‘Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’, before a fiery drum breakdown segues us into the molten modern thrash of ‘Desolation’, angry and insistent guitars stabbing like blasts from a furnace READ MORE

GASOLINE INC

THE WANTED ONE

February 2012

Gasoline Inc The Wanted Man EP

The Rockpit

Having relocated to Melbourne from Perth in 2011, streamlined their lineup to a tight four-piece, and picked up new management, Gasoline Inc return with a very impressive EP which is guaranteed to win new fans and open doors for them READ MORE

SAFETY SUIT

These Times

JanUARY 2012

SafetySuit

x

I love when a band that is relatively unknown to me rears its head and asks me to pay attention. I love it even more when the time I spend on it pays off. This is truly the case with the sophomore release from Tulsa, Oklahoma natives, SafetySuit. READ MORE

 

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