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Thursday, September 29, 2016

NEWS: Gary Rossington releases new album with wife Dale, under the Rossington monicker - Take It On Faith out November 4th

Gary Rossington, the legendary founding member and guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd along with his wife, Dale Krantz-Rossington, whom many call The First Lady of Southern Rock, release the heartfelt, soul-grabbing, bluesy new album Take It On Faith, under the name Rossington on November 4, 2016 on Loud & Proud Records.

The duo has been making beautiful music together for over 35 years beginning when Dale opened for Skynyrd in ’77 while she was singing with 38 Special, then as part of Rossington Collins Band in the ‘80s and then and now as part of the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd family.

Take It On Faith is comprised of 12 songs that are all ably supplemented by an ace studio band that was put together by the album’s producer and engineer, David Z (Prince, Etta James, Buddy Guy).
The line-up reads like a who’s who of studio masters (full list below) including Ben Fowler (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams, Billy Currington, Sara Evans), who provided additional mixing and production, players such as the late Richie Hayward on drums, Jack Holder on guitar, Bruce McCabe on piano and keyboards and David Smith on bass as well as some great guests including ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons who co-wrote “Good Side of Good,” Delbert McClinton blowing a mean harp to butter up some tasty guitar licks from two-time Grammy-Award winning producer, hit songwriter, recording artist and session guitarist, Gary Nicholson on “Dance While You’re Cookin’” as well as Bekka Bramlett, who has sung with everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Billy Joel to Robert Plant over the years.

As a guitar player, Gary is a master and it’s evident on tracks like “Shame on Me” and “Good Side of Good,” reinforcing the man’s expertise on his chosen instrument.  From the unstoppable drive of “Highway of Love” to the gritty lament of “Shame on Me” to the gutsy guitar showcase on “Too Many Rainy Days,”Take It On Faith spotlights the many facets of Gary and Dale’s intuitive chemistry, hearkening back to the roots of fine Rossington Collins Band hits like “Don’t Misunderstand Me,” “Prime Time,” and “Opportunity.”

Gary co-founded The Rossington Collins Band with Collins in 1980. The band released two albums, including the 1981 Gold album Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere which yielded the rock hit “Don’t Misunderstand Me,” featuring Gary’s wife Dale on lead vocals.  But they disbanded in 1982 after the death of Collins' wife, Kathy. Gary and Dale then formed The Rossington Band, which released two albums in 1986 and 1988, respectively.

For years, neither Gary nor Dale had any plans to cut another record together under the Rossington umbrella, content to share both stage and studio with their fellow Lynyrd Skynyrd brothers and sisters. Eventually, though, they realized they couldn’t ignore the wishes of their ardent fans any longer. “We do meet and greets every night when we’re on tour,” says Gary “and fans just kept asking us if we were ever going to do anything again, and we kept saying no but even the Skynyrd band would say during those meet and greets, ‘Hey, go do something — the fans want to hear it.’ Finally, we thought, ‘Well, let’s just do it.’  “Right now, we consider it a gift to the fans. We did it for them, and I hope they like it. They asked us to do something again, so we did it. We seized that opportunity, and ran with it. And we’re real excited it’s finally coming out.”
Tom Lipsky, President of Loud & Proud Records, commented “It is a joy and an honor to bring this very special music to the fans. Take It On Faith is beautiful and personal, full of emotion crafted with superb musicianship, and it showcases the extraordinary talent of both Gary and Dale."
And look at the line-up on this release
Players on Take It On Faith:
Gary Rossington - guitar
Dale Rossington - vocals
Jack Holder - guitar
Richie Hayward - drums
Bruce McCabe - piano, keyboards
Delbert McClinton- harmonica
Gary Nicholson - guitar
David Smith - bass
Reese Winans - organ
Kenny Greenburg - guitar overdubs
Michael Rojas – piano
Gordon Mote - piano and B3 overdubs
Shawn Camp - dobro
Bekka Bramlett & Vicki Hampton - additional vocals

NEWS: Bad Touch set for second album release

NORFOLK five-piece rock band, Bad Touch, who recently supported the Kentucky Headhunters on their critically acclaimed sell-out UK tour, will release their second studio album ‘Truth Be Told’ on Bad Touch Records, with distribution via Cadiz, on Friday 2nd December 2016.

The new album, which was recorded at Mwnci Studios in Wales, features the singles ‘99%’ and ‘Made To Break’, both remixed for radio by the legendary Rolling Stones engineer and co-producer, Chris Kimsey. Both singles will be accompanied by official music videos. (see 99% below).

“99% is a great song to ride around in cars and drink beer and smoke pot and listen to rock and roll on the radio,” says Chris Kimsey. “Not that I drink beer or smoke pot , but I remember the simplicity of music and life so it’s good to hear it is alive and kicking with Bad Touch.

"I heard something that evoked a good time melodic love song. It just needed some re arranging and mixing to get to the heart of the song.”

The new album sees Bad Touch celebrating classic rock with Southern boogie influences, supported with heavy guitar riffs and an iron-clad, tight rhythm section, in the great tradition of Black Crowes, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin.


1.       ONE MORE NIGHT (5:07)
2.       *99% (3:49)
3.       WAITING FOR THIS (4:56)
4.       UNDER MY SKIN (3:30)
6.       TAKE YOUR TIME (4:36)
7.       LET THE SUN SHINE (2:10)
8.       MY MOTHER TOLD ME (4:18)
9.       OUTLAW (4:31)
10.   *MADE TO BREAK (3:37)
11.   HEALING HAND (4:22)
12.   THE MOUNTAIN (4:18)
*Radio remix by Chris Kimsey

NEWS: Phil Campbell assemble for family affair with Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons ep to be relesed on Motörhead Music

PHIL Campbell and the Bastard Sons are about to fly a mighty Welsh-born flag in what is a rock’n’roll family affair

The legendary Motörhead guitarist, Phil Campbell, has teamed up with his sons Todd, Dane and Tyla, plus vocalist Neil Starr, to record their debut self-titled 5-track EP, which will be released by Motörhead Music on November 18th.

Produced by Todd Campbell at their own Stompbox Studios in Wales, UK, and mixed by Motörhead’s producer Cameron Webb, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons loudly shoves you head-first into its raw, gritty, classic and instantly-accessible rock’n’roll charms.

Whether it’s the speedy biker-charged refrain of “No Turning Back”, the crunchy catchy jump of “Big Mouth” or the beautiful, yet bombastic, balladry of “Life In Space”, Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons brings uniquely organic life and verve to every last riff and stomp, with Starr’s sensational vocals ensuring this EP will be the surprise of the 2016 rock’n’roll release calendar.

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons
Phil Campbell - guitar
Todd Campbell - guitar
Dane Campbell - drums
Tyla Campbell - bass
Neil Starr - vocals

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons EP Track-listing
1 Big Mouth
2 Spiders
3 Take Aim
4 No Turning Back
5 Life In Space

INTERVIEW: Brian Tatler chats about Diamond Head 2016

WHEN Diamond Head played Belfast earlier this week (review here) we caught up with Brian Tatler, founder and lead guitarist of the awesome NWOBHM act.

In this interview we asked about where Diamond Head are in 2016.

Listen to it here.

ALBUM REVIEW: Tyketto 'Reach' for glorious past and launch into a new future

WITH 25 years having passed since the release of ‘Don’t Come Easy’ Tyketto are due to release new album ‘Reach’ on 14th October.

And, it does live up to the mighty legacy of the band.

Having toured extensively for five years playing venues as diverse as The Diamond Rock club in Ahoghill Northern Ireland to US rock cruises the new line up of Danny Vaughn - vocals, Michael Clayton Arbeeny - drums, Chris Green (Pride, Furyon, Rubicon Cross) - guitars, Ged Rylands (Rage of Angels) - keyboards and Chris Childs (Thunder) - bass, decided to decamp to the Rockfield Studios in Wales, famous for Queen and Rush and many recording there, to lay down some new material, their first album in 4 years.
So how would the new additions fare?

Album opener ‘Reach’ is an easy tempo opener with a mix of acoustic and electric guitar that has a bit of a Queen feel to it. It also features a nice keyboard line from Rylands and Green hints at what’s to come on the rest of the album with a really sweet solo.

‘Big Money’ is the first sign of a heavier Tyketto sound with a mid to fast tempo riff and driving rhythm section. It features a slower middle section before building to a really smooth solo from Green.

Track three, ‘Kick Like a Mule’ does exactly what it says on the tin with a fast paced tempo to it. An acoustic section hides the fact that an awesome riff and solo are to come. A great song.
“Circle The Wagons” is the first power ballad on the album with a nice clean guitar tone from Green and complimentary keyboards from Rylands. Again Green the mark on his solo and you begin to reaffirm for yourself what a fantastic vocalist Danny Vaughn is. His vocals throughout are right on the money, no more so than on next song ‘I Need it Now’, where his delivery and diction are just about perfect. The huge chorus and back ground vocals have Tyketto stamped all over them.
‘Tearing Down The Sky’ is another song with a huge chorus. A slow intro with a great riff and solo where Green gets to flex his shredding muscles.
‘Letting Go’ is a lovely mid tempo acoustic song with great melodies and more fantastic guitar work from Green (There may be a theme developing here....)
Track eight, ‘The Fastest Man Alive’ has a great hard rock groove to it slightly reminiscent of Extreme. The funky guitar and rhythm section really makes this song.
‘Remember My Name’ has a down’n’dirty feel to it which is only added to by a bit of harmonica. The harmony vocals again are fantastic on this.
‘Sparks Will Fly’ is another song with some serious funk and groove to it. Some nice bass from Childs and background vocals are the perfect platform for Greens guitar work.
‘Scream’ is on the surface a guitar led ballad but Rylands’ keyboard prowess coming to the fore. It also includes a nice string arrangement. The highlight though is Vaughn’s passionate and moving vocals.
Final song ‘The Run’ has an acoustic intro before developing into a definitive Tyketto song, a bit of a throwback to Don’t Come Easy.
The addition of Green, Rylands and Childs has given the band a new lease of life both live and artistically.
Don’t Come Easy has been lauded as one of the best albums in its genre since its release. It would be no surprise if, in time ‘Reach’ is held in the same high esteem.....it really is that good!
Review by Andy Gillen

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

NEWS: Supergroup? Giraffe Tongue Orchestra...William Duvall, Brent Hinds, The Dillinger Escape Plan etc

"Supergroup” isn’t a word that often sits well with a lot of music fans. For some, it conjures thoughts of bloated egos battling for creative control. For others, it brings to mind flash-in-the-pan projects that lacked a lasting impact.
William DuVall, frontman for Alice In Chains, is ready to change everyone’s opinion on the subject with Giraffe Tongue Orchestra (GTO). DuVall, joining forces with Brent Hinds, lead shredder for heavy metal giants, Mastodon, and Ben Weinman, founder and lead guitarist of hardcore legends, Dillinger Escape Plan, is already generating incredible anticipation among fans and the press, which has fondly and excitedly dubbed them a supergroup.

They have just released their début album, 'Broken Lines'. The video for single 'Blood Moon' is below
GTO’s debut album promises to show and prove what this supergroup can really do by unleashing a sonic onslaught on all who are ready to rock! Don’t just take our word for it, the hype is real.
The line-up


GAMES REVIEW: Get on the Festival circuit with Forza Horizon 3

Froza Horizon is a realistic driving game based around the fictional festival known as Horizon. This brings in a much more arcade like feel into the franchise which is known for a realism masterclass in the form of Forza motorsport.

This year's instalment of the Horizon series is one of the best games to be released this year. I may be a bit biased and the Forza games are some of my favourite games anyway. The game follows the story of, well... you! Over the course of the previous two games you have risen to the boss. You own the festival, and now you've travelled to Australia.

With the help of Kiera, who I swear is Northern Irish, your PR assistant who will organise the PR stunts and races. The festival will be better than ever

Warren, your trusty Aussie mechanic, probably the best character in my opinion will help you buy new cars and upgrade them to your specs. Might even join in on a Showcase event.

Now Showcase events. These are how you get fans, doing outrageous stunts in the name of fame. Can't get fans just doing races now can we. You are the host and you want to make people want to come.

The bucket list challenges are still in the game and as always a fun little addition. Sort of a if this was your last day on earth kind of situation.

This year sees the new feature of blueprint mode where you can make your own race championships with the cars you like and race the way you want to. I mean you are the boss, right?

This feature even transfers across to the bucket list challenge, where you can choose any stunt and set your best score or time and task other players to beat it.

This game has so many features I could see myself playing this into the foreseeable future. Not in the same way but I'm still playing the Witcher 3 to this day and I can see myself playing Forza Horzion 3 in a years time. If I where to give it a rating, I couldn't it's too good to put an arbitrary number next to it. Now back to my Koenigsegg One:1! I still have to wait until I have a better PC setup to try the new Xbox play anywhere feature but from what I hear it works quite well.

Review by Zakk Traynor

NEWS: Stormzone reveal new drummer, Gordy Gray and plans for new album

WITH Davey 'Basher' Bates stepping down, Stormzone have announced that drum duties will be taken over by Gordy Gray of Irontown Diehards.

Gordy will continue to play with the Diehards as well as wielding the sticks for Stormzone..

Stormzone are currently beginning work on their sixth album and will appear at DistortionFest 2016 on 29th October.

It will be their first show with Gordy anchoring the rhythm section as the band prepare for next year's tour and festival circuit.

Also on the bill at DistortionFest 2016 are Warrior Soul, Lord Volture, Rabid Bitch of the North, Zlatanera, Bloodway, Valborg, Blood Thread, War Iron, and Drakonis, with four more to be announced.

The event will run from noon until 9pm in Katy's Bar and Limelight2. Tickets cost £10.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

VIDEOS: The (not so) true tale of (B)Rad Pitt's Belfast adventures and a night on the town with Maverick

SUNDAY afternoon - footie on the television on mute and browsing through a couple of videos from local bands, Molarbear and Maverick.

What do we learn? Is Brad Pitt stalking Molarbear in Belfast after the whole Brangelina divorce saga? We may never learn the truth.

We also learn that the lads in Maverick may sing about the pitfalls booze can cause in a relationship they seem to enjoy a night on the falling down juice in Belfast.

Maverick play the Diamond Rock Club on October 15th with Selene as support.

Here is Molarbear with Rad Pitt

And here's Maverick with Whiskey Lover

LIVE REVIEW: Diamond Head sparkle at Belfast's Voodoo, ably assisted by Terminus

THEY are the most under appreciated bands in the history of metal, a band whose licks, tricks and arrangements helped shape so many bands, but they are practically unequalled live - even when down one guitarist Diamond Head deliver.

It might be the case that Diamond Head are playing venues much smaller than they deserve, but they pack the Voodoo in Belfast with fans new and old - not just because of their reputation, but because there is a renewed buzz about Diamond Head and their self-titled release earlier this year.

Local act, Terminus, had the job of opening up proceedings and the five-piece roared into action just a few short weeks after performing a similar task for Chariot.

Their set is well-balanced and the entire arrangement speaks of a band that knows what to do and how to do it And, judging by several down the front singing along with many of the lyrics, it is clear that they are mining seams familiar to many in the audience

James is a commanding presence as they open with 'Reaper's Spiral' in a nine-song set that featured Paul and Gavin locked with riffs and solos.

'The Merchant Princes' and 'Poseidon's Children' may be stand-outs in the set, but the closer 'Centaurean' is obviously not only the mightiest of their tunes, but one that draws more people down front with its magnetic draw and sheer immense playing and tale.

We reckon that when Terminus release new material there will be an even bigger audience wanting to hear their sci-fi metal.

As the changeover began smoke breaks and bar queues had a sense of urgency, such was the desire to be in place when Diamond Head kick off their set.

They may have been reduced to a four-piece, but there was no audible sign of a band just pushing through; instead the acolytes were rewarded with a band showcasing what metal can be in the hands of experienced and accomplished musicians.

Of course, Brian Tatler is at the core of everything Diamond Head do, but this is no 'pension act', no re-tread; Rasmus and Brian seem to have a familial link once on stage.

Hits, anthems we all know fit in well with the three new tracks on display. 'Bones', Diamonds' and 'Shout At The Devil' may only been heard by fans for the first time in March, but they are not out of place in the set - 'Shout...' even serves as the last song before that iconic closer.

Yes, the audience were mainly there to hear the likes of 'Lightning to the Nations, 'It's Electric', 'Helpless', and 'The Prince' however, the sheer confidence of the delivery of the songs that were formative for most of the early thrash acts was outstanding.

Dean (bass) and Karl (drums) have nailed down the precise nature of the deceptively complex of the songs. It's hard to believe Dean only joined the band this year, such is the aplomb with which he fits in.

From the very moment that the band arrive on stage, through to the point they leave to enthusiastic cheers and applause Diamond Head show they know how to perform - visually there is constant movement, inter-change and smiles from the band.

Rasmus uses every inch of the stage and Brian and Dean do what so many players forget - eye contact with the audience and each other.

The reaction to all songs from the crowd was febrile at times, but, of course, 'Am I Evil' had the Voodoo vibrating to its very core.

Yes, it was a song many came to via Metallica, but its place in metal history was already assured. It is a track older fans and newer fans have established as a place in time; a moment when for many metal clicked into place and the world was a better place for the denim-bedecked masses.

Mass singalong and arms punching the air - it is nothing less than Diamond Head deserves, but the positive reaction to all the songs proved that DH are not a heritage act. Sure, they will always be expected to play the older songs, but the future of writing and performing looks bright.

Evil? If evil means metal this good, sign us up every time Brian and co are in town.

Review by Jonny
Pictures by Darren McVeigh
Reproduction by written permission only

INTERVIEW: Raging Speedhorn's John Loughlin speaks about where the band are in 2016

JUST before the mighty Raging Speedhorn destroyed Belfast's Voodoo (read the review here) we caught up with vocalist John Loughlin for a chinwag.

As they prepare for their appearance at HRH Stoner vs Doom in Sheffield next week John took us through the development of their latest release 'Lost Ritual' and plans for the future.

Watch and enjoy...

Interview: Jonny
Camera: Darren McVeigh

Friday, September 23, 2016

NEWS: UMG to release vinyl Blink 182 box set

Here's one for all you ageing pop punks...

BLINK 182 sees an October 7th release features group’s catalogue from 1995 studio debut, Cheshire Cat, through 1999’s multi-platinum breakthrough, Enema of the State, and 2001’s Take Off Your Pants and Jacket up to 2003’s self-titled effort and 2011’s Neighborhoods

Since their humble beginnings twenty-four years ago, when they started playing in a San Diego garage, Blink-182 has sold over fifty million albums worldwide and rocked audiences from Adelaide to Zurich having become one of the defining rock bands of their generation. The trio of bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus, guitarist/vocalist Tom DeLonge and drummer Travis Barker, emerged from the Southern California pop-punk scene of the early ‘90s and quickly gained a reputation for their raucous live shows, incredibly catchy songs and irreverent, tongue-in-cheek humor. Blink-182’s latest studio release, California, with new member Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio who replaced DeLonge, debuted at #1 in July, giving the band their second career #1 album and first in 15 years. 

UMG will bring Blink-182’s entire Universal catalogue together for the first time as a limited edition vinyl box set on October 7. The 10-LP collection will include their six studio albums on heavyweight 180-gram vinyl complete with MP3 downloads and consist of 1995’s Cheshire Cat, 1997’s Dude Ranch, 1999’s Enema Of The State and 2001’s Take Off Your Pants And Jacket on single LPs and 2003’s  blink-182, 2011’s Neighborhoods and their riotous live record, 2000’s The Mark,  Tom & Travis Show: The Enema Strikes Back!, as double LPs. A limited number of the vinyl boxes will come with exclusive stickers and a slipmat, only available at uDiscover: here. All titles will also be made available individually as “Back To Black” releases.

Cheshire Cat was Blink-182’s debut studio album. Recorded at Westbeach Recorders in Los Angeles and  Santee, Calif.’s Doubletime Studio and produced by Otis Barthoulameu and the band themselves, the album was originally released on February 17, 1995 through local San Diego-based record label Cargo Music who signed the band after hearing a handful of demos. The trio, composed of guitarist Tom DeLonge, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Scott Raynor, demonstrated their knack for catchy, energetic pop-punk and hinted at what was to come, leading to several major labels courting the band. Standouts "M+M's" and "Wasting Time" were released as singles to promote the album and received popularity on local radio. The band embarked on their first-ever national tour and expanded their fan base exponentially outside of So. Cal.

Dude Ranch was the band’s second studio album for Cargo and was picked up for distribution by MCA, who signed the band in 1996 after winning a bidding war. It was the band’s last with original drummer Scott Raynor before he was replaced by Travis Barker of the Orange Country ska band The Aquabats. Recorded at Big Fish Studios in Encinitas, Calif., with producer Mark Trombino, the album produced the rock radio smash, “Dammit,” on the heels of the band’s worldwide tour on the Van’s Warped Tour. Three more singles were released, including “Apple Shampoo,” “Dick Lips” and “Josie,” with a video that was an MTV fixture. The album peaked at #67 on the Billboard 200, but eventually went platinum by 2000. U.K.’s Kerrang! ranked it #15 on its list of the “51 Greatest Pop Punk Albums Ever.”

Blink-182’s third studio album, and first with new drummer Travis Barker, Enema of the State, marked their breakthrough to the mainstream and went on to sell 15 million copies sold worldwide, launching them to global fame. The band enlisted producer Jerry Finn, who a few years earlier had worked on Green Day’s smash, Dookie, and recorded the album at various studios throughout San Diego and Los Angeles over a three-month period. “What's My Age Again?,” “All the Small Things” and “Adam's Song” became hit singles and staples on MTV and crossed over into Top 40. “What’s My Age Again?” achieved the highest success on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart, where it peaked at number two. It registered within the top 20 on UK Singles Chart as well, peaking at number 17. The subsequent “All The Small Things” crossed over from alt-rock radio to contemporary hit radio, peaking at #6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and #1 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. It peaked at #2 in the UK and was a top 10 hit in Australia, Austria, Ireland, Italy and Sweden.  The album peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200, selling 109,000 copies in the U.S. its first week and eventually was certified five times platinum. The album was an international phenomenon: quadruple platinum in Canada, triple platinum in Australia, double platinum in Italy, platinum in the UK, gold in Austria, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, the Philippines and Switzerland. Ranked #37 on Rolling Stone’s 2016 list of the “40 Greatest Punk Albums of All Time,” the album is cited as having an enormous impact on contemporary pop punk, reinventing it for and inspiring a new generation and spawning myriad bands.

Recorded over two nights at L.A.’s Universal Amphitheatre and the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco in November 1999 by producer Jerry Finn, The Mark, Tom & Travis Show: The Enema Strikes Back!, released in 2000, captured the band in the midst of their meteoric rise as they enjoyed their first-ever arena tour. The high-energy set showcases songs from across their three studio albums with a focus on Enema Of The State which they were on tour supporting. A handful of songs – “Family Reunion,” “The Country Song,” “Blow Job,” – were songs made up on tour and only played at the shows. The album features one non-live track, “Man Overboard,” which was written during the Enema sessions and recorded after the tour. Released as the album’s lead single, it peaked at #2 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. The record debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 110,000 copies its first week. The fourth side of the vinyl release, titled “Words of Wisdom,” closes out the album with 29 “skits,” examples of some of the wild between-song patter by DeLonge and Hoppus that has distinguished the band for its fans.

Blink 182’s cleverly titled fifth studio album, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, released in 2001, continued the band’s mainstream rein and became the first punk rock album to debut in the U.S. at #1 on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 350,000 copies. It also debuted at #1 in Canada and landed on Germany’s Top 100 Albums. Within a year it went double platinum in the U.S. and went on to sell 14 million albums globally. All three singles – “The Rock Show,” “First Date” and “Stay Together” were top 10 hits and led to national TV performances on the “Late Show With David Letterman” and “Late Night With Conan O’Brien.” The record, produced again by Jerry Finn, has been referred as a concept album chronicling adolescence, with songs dedicated to first dates, fighting authority and teenage parties. Kerrang! ranked it #14 on its list of “The 50 Best Rock Albums of the 2000s.”

Blink-182 eponymous fifth studio album was released in 2003 following the group’s hiatus and involvement in various side projects such as Box Car Racer and Transplants. Recorded with longtime producer Jerry Finn, the album marks a departure from their earlier work, with experimental elements creeping into their usual pop-punk sound, inspired by both fatherhood and their work away from the group. The songwriting is both more personal and explores darker terrain, touching upon the realities of maturity and hardships. The track, “All Of This,” features vocals by Robert Smith of The Cure, one of Hoppus’ musical idols and an obvious inspiration throughout the record. The album spawned four singles, including “I Miss You,” which peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart, #8 in the UK and New Zealand, #13 in Australia and #21 in Ireland. The video, directed by Jonas Akerlund, has racked up more than 133 million views to date. Album opener “Feeling This” peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart and was a top 20 hit in the UK and Australia. Entertainment Weekly wrote that "despite their newfound earnestness, [the band] seem incapable of pretension. And in a career littered with songs about awkward moments, their latest is a dork classic.” Slant’s gave the album four stars, stating, "Giving up the fart jokes is risky business for Blink—but Blink-182 might just be the band's best album to date. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S., #1 in Canada and in the top 10 in Australia and New Zealand. It was certified double platinum in the states, eventually selling 2.6 million in the U.S. and a total of 7.5 million worldwide.

Blink-182’s sixth studio album, Neighborhoods, released in 2011, was the band’s first new music in eight years, following a six-year hiatus where each of them focused on other projects and family life. Hoppus, DeLonge and Barker were inspired to get the band back together following Barker’s near-fatal plane crash with his friend and fellow survivor DJ AM, and the premature death of their longtime producer Jerry Finn, often called “the fourth member of the band.” As a result of Finn’s death, the band produced Neighborhoods themselves, which would end up being DeLonge’s last album with Blink. The band worked on the album apart and got together several time to record. Each member’s influences inspired their contributions to the record and the sum resulted in a sound that recalled their individual upbringings. The album’s title stemmed from the idea that each musician brought something unique to the band much like the various neighborhoods that make up a city. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on both the Alternative Albums and Top Rock Albums charts. All Music Guide was impressed with the band’s new, more mature direction and said it was "a different beast than any of the cheerfully snotty early Blink-182 albums, as the band picks up the gloomy thread left hanging on its eponymous 2003 album ... yet it's far better to hear Blink-182 grapple with adolescent angst via the perspective of middle age than vainly attempting to re-create their youth.” New York magazine called the record "one of those albums on which a group reunites as professionals and equals, each having gone off and collected his own interests via side projects, and then negotiates a sound that brings it all to bear: no-nonsense modern rock, serious but unpretentious, ambitious but full of the same easy hooks as ever." The album would end up being DeLonge’s last with the band.


1. Carousel
2. M+M’s
3. Fentoozler
4. Touchdown Boy
5. Strings
6. Peggy Sue
7. Sometimes
8. Does My Breath Smell?


2. TV
3. Toast and Bananas
4. Wasting Time
5. Romeo and Rebecca
6. Ben Wah Balls
7. Just About Done
8. Depends



1. Pathetic
2. Voyeur
3. Dammit
4. Boring
5. Dick Lips
6. Waggy
7. Enthused
8. Untitled


1. Apple Shampoo
2. Emo
3. Josie
4. A New Hope
5. Degenerate
6. Lemmings
7. I’m Sorry/Dog Lapping



1. Dumpweed
2. Don’t Leave Me
3. Aliens Exist
4. Going Away to College
5. What’s My Age Again?
6. Dysentery Gary


1. Adam’s Song
2. All the Small Things
3. The Party Song
4. Mutt
5. Wendy Clear
6. Anthem



1. Dumpweed
2. Don’t Leave Me
3. Aliens Exist
4. Family Reunion
5. Going Away to College
6. What’s My Age Again?
7. Dick Lips
8. Blow Job


1.  Untitled
2.  Voyeur
3.  Pathetic
4.  Adam’s Song
5. Peggy Sue


1. Wendy Clear
2. Carousel
3. All the Small Things
4. Mutt
5. The Country Song
6. Dammit
7. Man Overboard


“Words of Wisdom”: 29 hidden tracks documenting Mark and Tom’s on-stage banter



1. Anthem Part Two
2. Online Songs
3. First Date
4. Happy Holidays You Bastard\
5. Story of a Lonely Guy
6. The Rock Show
7. Stay Together for the Kids

1. Roller Coaster
2. Reckless Abandon
3. Every Time I Look for You
4. Give Me One Good Reason
5. Shut Up
6. Please Take Me Home

BLINK-182 (2003)


1. Feeling This
2. Obvious
3. I Miss You
4. Violence
5. Stockholm Syndrome Interlude

1. Down
2. The Fallen Interlude
3. Go
4. Asthenia
5. Always


1. Easy Target
2. All of This
3. Here’s Your Letter
4. I’m Lost Without You



1. Ghost on the Dance Floor
2. Natives
3. Up All Night


1. After Midnight
2. Snake Charmer
3. Heart’s All Gone Interlude
4. Heart’s All Gone


1. Wishing Well
2. Kaleidoscope
3. This Is Home
4. MH.4.18.2011

     SIDE D

1.Love Is Dangerous
2. Fighting the Gravity
3. Even If She Falls

ALBUM REVIEW: The weight will be coming off with Crobot’s Fat City hard rock workout

CROBOT are coming with their second studio album, ‘Welcome to Fat City’ but will it ‘Steal the Show’ or just end up as ‘Blood on the Snow’?
Firstly, the inspiration of the album name comes from Hunter S. Thompson’s attempt to become Sheriff of Aspen. During his campaign he proposed that the famous snowy Aspen have its name changed to “Fat City” in order to deter investors from over capitalizing Aspen.

And, so 46 years or so later Crobot find it the perfect name for their album. But you will find that this album is not full of fear and loathing, but is an excellent Rum Diary.
From the first track and Album title, ‘Welcome to Fat City’, you get a good feeling of what you will be in for. This particular track is a swaggeringly funky piece of heavy blues rock that rumbles through the speakers with a hazy dirty sound. Brandon Yeagley’s screaming hard edged vocals perfectly fit the heavy driving rhythm.
Then we get some good gambling advice with ‘Play it Cool’ as it starts with a heavy Jimmy Hendrix style guitar tapping as it rolls on into a heavy bluesfest and Yeagley’s trawling voice reverberates through the chorus. Superb track.

On comes something we all want. ‘Easy Money’ kicks off with a dirty funky rolling sound and keeps the beat chugging along. It’s heavy and upbeat at the same time.

Now we have ‘Not for Sale’ lands through the roof to a fast rolling explosion of sound and will chase you down with its grime filled blues funk. Excellent track that’s perfect for the car.

Which is perhaps foretelling the next song ‘Hold on for Dear Life’ the longest song at 4.49 with a slow paced doom stoner feeling as the edgy scream of Yeagley crawls over the undulating Black Sabbath like swaggering metal coming from the guitar, bass and drums. 

Time now for ’Temple in the Sky’ as the song revs its metal engines to take you into the sunset. It’s another dirty fuzzy funky tune that is pure groove metal with a twist and has a movie credits song vibe

The next song will hit you ‘Right between the Eyes’ with heavy Iron Man style fists of thumping doomy rock and roll. It’s definitely another headbanging tune.

Beware the ‘Blood on the Snow’ as it will kick your proverbial metal ass as the heavy stoner rock rumbles through your speakers. Again they have hit another gritty groovy rhythm that just makes you want to rock out as it collars you and head-butts you in a firm rhythmic fashion.

Continuing into the album is ‘Steal the Show’ a swaggering tune that leads you on a fairly upbeat path until the chorus when it slows a bit to make sure it finds its mark with its heavy stoner boots. Quite a well-executed mix of speeds within the song

The penultimate track brings us ‘Moment of Truth’ a slow dirge like rhythm and blues tune with a dirty metal weight, as once again the doom groove grinds its way through the chorus.

The final song ‘Plague of the Mammoth’ is a thing of resonating heavy doom groove beauty. The depth of notes rumbles menacingly throughout this grimy hardened rock tune that feels at home living in your sub-woofer.

Overall, the Crobot album exemplifies an amalgam of familiar fat hard rock laden tunes from the past 30/40 years without sounding like a tribute band. There is a modern interpretive feeling. Crobot themselves describe this style as ‘Dirty Groove Rock’ and that describes it perfectly.

This is definitely an album to have as it should cross a number of boundaries just enough to have a wide appeal.

Out now on Nuclear Blast Records. Go get.

Review by Ivor Whitten

NEWS: Iron Maiden announce Irish date for 2017 leg of Book of Souls tour

RIGHT you happy metal fiends, you read the headline right, Iron Maiden are back on a European arena tour as part of the Book Of Souls cycle and there will be an Irish date.

This morning (Friday 23rd September) the band confirmed they will play Dublin's 3Arena on May 6th.

And, having seen the Irons rip up a sodden Download earlier this year this is a set not to be missed. Hell, all Maiden sets are not to be missed but they are on a form that is rarely equalled amongst any band.

Bruce has beaten the cancer, Steve will have British Lion out of his system, and the rest will, as always make other acts look like sloppish amateurs.

Of course, Bruce announced the 2017 arena tour from the stage at Download, something which he has 'form' (on stage with Bon Jovi at the 1987 Monsters of Rock he told the crowd "see you next year).

This arena tour has also been trailed officially by the band with the various streams announcing the aim to beat the ticket touts with a largely paperless ticketing system, something the band have trialled in the past

Book of Souls - the ambitious double album released in September 2015 an clocking in at a mammoth 92 minutes - scored Maiden their fifth UK number one album and a plethora of top slots in charts across the world.

Steve Harris said of the tour:
“The whole band is really enjoying this tour and though we love playing festivals and stadiums, it is terrific to return to the intimacy and atmosphere of arenas for a few shows.

"The songs from The Book Of Souls album and the new Maya-themed Eddies and stage sets have gone down really well and fan reaction has been amazing. And of course we know our fans appreciate us playing a lot of the older songs too, which we will continue to do."

Support will come from Shinedown.
Tickets go on sale on Friday, 30th September at 9am.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

ALBUM REVIEW: Monte Pittman powers through with prowess on Inverted Grap of Balance

HE is Madonna's touring guitarist. He played in Prong. He teaches guitar. But above all Monte Pittman is one helluva metalhead, azeman extraordinaire.

If you tentatively sampled his first release 'Power of Three' on Metal Blade and gave it a nod then strap yer metal braces in tight because 'Inverted Grasp of Balance' raises the bar that even the best Fosbury Flopping Olympian couldn't match this step up.

Here we find the alchemist's elixir. Well arranged tunes, riffs that rock more than an earthquake's max Richter scale, solos that seer your hearing and just more metal sensibilities than you can cope with.

Whether it is the opening pacey duo of 'Panic Attack' and 'Arisen in Broad Daylight' or the hyper catchy 'Skeleton Key' this is as close to the complete metal assortment as you can come.

Indeed there are at times when you think this is the type of record Dio could be recording now had his life not been cut short.

It is varied, it has tonality differences, the singing is clean but perfectly suited to the songs, and all have a balance in their structure and place on the album.

Whether it is the power of 'California' or the alt-version of a power ballad closer 'New Blood Keeps Us Alive' these are songs that engage and empower.

While the playing is exemplary - as well Pitttman Billy Sheehan and Richard Christie make up the rest of the threesome - it also has a nicely ambiguous lyrical slant.

"I like to write in a way where the listener can decide what the song is about", said Monte. "Like when looking at abstract art and each person sees something else.

"So a song like 'Guilty Pleasure' could be viewed from the point of view of either an antagonist or a victim.

"There are also some "ghostly, supernatural"connotations, such as 'Be Very Afrai'", which is about living in a haunted house, but can also be perceived as a take on the housing market crashing."

What is most impressive about this release is that whether you are someone steeped in the NWOBHM, a thrasher, or a hard rock fan or just a casual metalhead all the songs will engage you.

And, if you are a fan of the best of guitar playing then this should be in your collection.

As he said himself: "I incorporated some different, odd scales and chords into a lot of it. If I found myself repeating ideas, I knew to go somewhere else with it.

"As someone who teaches guitar, I also wanted to be able to use the leads as examples for teaching guitar lessons. In 'Obliterated', there are several little elements that could be guitar lessons on their own."

This is an album that sweats a love of the guitar, a love of rock and bursts with so many metal sensibilities that the so-called extreme metal acts need to listen to this and re-assess their sensibilities and aspiring guitar gods needs to listen to and weep a little...

Review by Jonny

NEWS: Diamond Head release new video ahead of tomorrow's Belfast date

NWOBM icons Diamond Head have released a video for All The Reasons You Live, taken from their self-titled album, which was released in March as the follow-up to 2007's What's in Your Head?

"Out of all the tracks on the album this one is my favourite," said guitarist Brian Tatler. "We spent some time searching for the right location and found The Hush House at Bentwaters Parks. It was perfect — it was a military base and just echoed the songs feel."

The album is the first to feature vocalist Rasmus Born Anderson, who joined the band in 2014 to perform in live shows. "I had no interest in doing another record," said Tatler, "but after working with Ras on the 2014 European tour that suddenly changed. I wanted to make a record with him.

“He’s a confident singer and he’s not trying to fill anyone’s shoes."

Diamond Head play Belfast on Friday, September 23rd in Voodoo, with support from Terminus.

And, having seen DH several times over the past 18 months you'd be a fool to miss this one...

WINNER! Lucky competition entrant off to see Bad Company in Dublin

THE runes were cast, the curtains were drawn and the ancient ceremony took place...names were placed in the mystical hat (baseball cap) and the gnarled knuckles of doom reached to draw a winner...

And, lo Paul's name emerged as the recipient of a pair of tickets to see Bad Company in Dublin's 3Arena on October 14th.

They will be in the post soon.

Commiserations to those who entered and were not fortunate enough to win will just have to just buy tickets now.

After all it is with original members: Paul Rodgers, Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke, plus support from Ritchie Sambora and Orianthi.

C'mon ya know ya want to go - you know you want to see these guys.

Oh, and the answer to the question? We asked you what was the name of the first Bad Company album - and the answer was....Bad Company. [Everyone, bar one entry...got that right. We're naming no names...]

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NEWS: The Mission release new video for Tyranny of Secrets ahead of album release and Belfast date

WITH their tour days away – including a Belfast date on October 2nd – The Mission have released a new video for the track ‘Tyranny of Secrets’ from forthcoming album ‘Another Fall From Grace’. [View at the end of this post.]

“Following on from the very positive response that we have received, and enjoyed, to the video for ‘Met-Amor-Phosis’, the first single release from the Mission’s soon to be released album ‘Another Fall From Grace’, it is with huge pleasure we now release the video for ‘Tyranny Of Secrets’, a track from the new album that is being singled out in reviews and by those that have heard the album. The video was, as was Met-Amor-Phosis, directed and edited by Shaun Hodson of LoKi Films,” Wayne Hussey said. And, it has some politically charged imagery...

Hussey said the album was: “The lost link between The Sisters Of Mercy ‘First And Last And Always’ and The Mission’s ‘God's Own Medicine’” 

Set to be released on September 30th Another Fall From Grace was produced by Wayne Hussey and Tim Palmer and features guest backing vocals from Gary Numan, Martin Gore (Depeche Mode), Ville Valo (HIM), Julianne Regan (All About Eve) and Evi Vine.

Another Fall From Grace will be available on CD, DL and 180 gram vinyl plus ltd edition deluxe double CD and DVD
To order the album go to: https://the-mission.tmstor.es

Another Fall From Grace CD track listing:
1 Another Fall From Grace
2 Met-Amor-Phosis
3 Within The Deepest Darkness (Fearful)
4 Blood On The Road
5 Can't See The Ocean For The Rain
6 Tyranny Of Secrets
7 Never's Longer Than Forever
8 Bullets & Bayonets
9 Valaam
10 Jade
11 Only You & You Alone
12 Phantom Pain
Another Fall From Grace Vinyl track listing:
Side A
1 Another Fall From Grace
2 Met-Amor-Phosis
3 Blood On The Road
4 Tyranny Of Secrets
Side B
1 Only You & You Alone
2 Bullets & Bayonets
3 Valaam
4 Phantom Pain
The Mission are at Belfast’s Limelight on October 2nd.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

NEWS: Glenn Hughes releases video for single Heavy from his forthcoming album

Glenn Hughes has released the official music video for ‘Heavy’ – the first single taken from his forthcoming album ‘Resonate’. View it below.

The video was launched online worldwide today, Tuesday 20th September. The music video features Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) on drums.

From album opener, ‘Heavy’, to the very last chords of the closer, ‘Long Time Gone’ some are already tipping ‘Resonate’ to be a contender for 'Album of the Year'.   

The album features his live solo band members, Soren Andersen (guitars and co-producer), Pontus Engborg (drums) and newcomer to his band, Lachy Doley (keyboards), in addition to long-time friend and drummer, Chad Smith (of Red Hot Chili Peppers), who joined them in the studio for the opening and closing numbers.

It might well be the most heavy sounding of his solo albums, but as is his trademark, musical diversity shines through and as Glenn commented upon completion of the new recording, "This album is the first kind of a complete Glenn Hughes album," said the man himself.

Hughes will tour the UK this autumn, including a slot at HRH X

NEWS: Gojira debut new video for The Shooting Star from acclaimed Magma album

GOJIRA have debuted their official music video for ‘The Shooting Star.’

Taken from their chart topping new album Magma, ‘The Shooting Star’ video is streaming now on Gojira’s official YouTube channel. The mind-bending video was directed and animated by Markus Hofko (www.bowbowbow.co). View it below.

This summer Gojira Magma took the number one spot on Billboard’s ‘Hard Rock Albums’ chart making them the first French band to hold the top slot on the chart in its nine year existence.  Magma marked the highest chart debuts of Gojira’s career across the world.

Later this month Gojira embark on a massive North American headline tour which continues through late October. Following that run, the band jet across the ocean for European dates with Alter Bridge, Volbeat, and Like A Storm in November/December.

Magma has been heralded by two stunning visuals pieces for album tracks “Silvera” and “Stranded.” “Silvera” is accompanied by a Drew Cox directed music video shot in New York City, which has received over 1.5 Million views on Gojira’s official YouTube channel while the official video for “Stranded,” directed by Vincent Caldoni, has already garnered 2.1 Million views and charted in the Top 25 on Spotify’s US Viral 50 chart.
For more information, visit www.Gojira-Music.com.

NEWS: Ex-Maiden singer Blaze Bayley set for Diamond Rock club in February

THE gig announcements keep on coming - Blaze Bayley - ex-Maiden and Wolfsbane singer will bring his band to the Diamond Rock Club on February 18th next year.

The redoubtable front man has battled through personal adversity and being written off to emerge as one of the true road warriors of metal: consistent and always engaging, triumphant and with tunes by the tonne.

Support will come from Terminus, who play this coming Friday with Diamond Head in the Voodoo, and who recently put in a stormer supporting Chariot.

NEWS: Stormzone added to already packed Distortionfest line-up on October 29th

SATURDAY 29th October - Distortionfest 2016, nine hours of hard rock and heavy metal in two of the venues of the Limelight complex. A celebration of the loud and the proud.

Today, Mr James Loveday has announced that the mighty Stormzone have been added to the already packed bill. Returning to the stage for the first time in what we might call a 'wee while' this will make sure that the already great line up has just gotten even better.

Playing on the day are Warrior Soul, the Dutch might of Lord Volture, local heroes Rabid Bitch Of The North, Zlatanera, Drakonis and War Iron.

Plus from Romania, Bloodway, the German might of Valborg and Scottish metal from Bloodthread.

As if that wasn't enough there are still more bands to be added. Yes, you read that right - even more to be announced!

All this metal for the measly sum of £10. Feck sake that's value for money of the highest order.

Hit up Mr Loveday and he'll explain how to get your mitts on tickets in advance.

Doors are at noon on the 29th October and the show ends at 9pm.

LIVE REVIEW: Voodoo shaken to foundations by Raging Speedhorn, ably assisted by Dead Label and By Any Means

BELFAST'S Voodoo on a Sunday. The Lord's Day. The Day of Rest. A day for quiet reflection. On Sunday, 18th September there was no quiet time as the Fountain Street venue was shaken to the foundations by Raging Speedhorn.

The six-piece metal force were rounding up a brief Irish tour, as part of this leg of the Lost Ritual Tour, after dates in Cork and Dublin with compatriots Dead Label and By Any Means, who reported themselves as "broken" after the dates.

Dublin three-piece Dead Label have developed a meaty sound over the past two years and have been no strangers to Belfast.

With their latest album forming the core of their set they appear confident and strident in their music and message. We look forward to many more appearances north of the border.

Despite the vagaries of recent touring that left some members 'fragile' By Any Means arrive on stage like a force of whatever nature is left in Belfast. Micky Higgins prowls around the audience for the first couple of tunes.

As he bellows out 'Built On Respect' the respect the hometown crowd gives the respect the band deserves. Their hardcore with a metallic edge translates so well with the passion the four members play each track.

The messages of the songs are powerful, and the performance matches that intensity. A superb version of 'The Hammer' is just one of the many highlights of BAM's set.

Raging Speedhorn were making their first appearance in Belfast since 2007 and they receive a welcome as if they were conquering heroes.

Since reforming after a few years hiatus Speedhorn have recorded a new album and even more keenly honed their already fearsome live show to a leathul edge.

Mixing old favourites with a healthy representation from 'Lost Ritual' from start to finish the entire band ooze sweat from every pore and invoke a similar passion from the crowd.

John and Frank dominate the audience as 'Hate Song' kicks off the hour-long show. and, the pace never slows. Sod the genre shit, this is just metal pure and not so simple.

There were no fillers here as new songs like 'Motorhead', 'Dogshit Blues' merged effortlessly with the likes of the band's first ever single 'Thumper' - all the way back in 2000.

However, this was not a band rolling back the years. This was a band still as relevant in 2016 as they were when they were starting off their musical career back in Corby. They even drew Paul BAM into the pit at one point.

What was evident as the crowd emerged into the late Sunday night air were the smiles and the chatter over each other's favourites. And, ringing ears...

Full-on music power and prowess - it may not have been an evening of quiet reflection, but this show will be reflected upon fondly for quite some time.

Review by Jonny
Pictures by Darren McVeigh

Reproduction by written permission only