Monday, March 17, 2014

SPOTLIGHT REVIEW: California Breed

CALIFORNIA BREED by California Breed
(Frontier Records)

Glenn Hughes (vocals, bass)
Andrew Watt (guitar, vocals)
Jason Bonham (drums

When news broke about California Breed, I was stoked with anticipation! The band is a power trio of epic proportions that features "The Voice Of Rock" Glenn Hughes on bass and vocals, veteran drummer Jason Bonham and the astoundingly talented 23-year-old singer-guitarist Andrew Watt. The band's self titled debut is produced by Dave Cobb, whose worked with Rival Sons. All 12 tracks on the album have equal co-writing credits amongst the members. All of which are great. "My Way" kicks off the album like a punch in the jaw! The intensity in Glenn's vocals are fiery with a swagger that just floored me, as it will you. The rest of the tracks are mid-paced rockers. Other tracks guaranteed to satisfy are "Sweet Tea", a heavy, riff-based mover powered by Andrew Watt's ballsy guitar work and the powerful combination of the Bonham and Hughes rhythm section working to nail the song to the floor. "Chemical Rain", "All Falls Down", "The Grey" and "Invisible". California Breed are tight powerful unit and fit together just as smoothly as whiskey and soda, sounding as if they've been playing together for years, and although the performances are tight, the songs sound loose and comfortable, as if they were done live in the studio in one or two takes. California Breed's debut showcases the talents of these amazing artists, and the combination of these three talents makes for one hell of a memorable listening experience! Glenn Hughes dishes out huge, thumping bass lines and turns in a vocal performance that proves why is "The Voice Of Rock"! Andrew Watt, young though he may be, plays guitar with the power and passion of an old soul and shines like few other guitarists on the scene today. Jason Bonham is a powerhouse, who plays with such power and passion and along with Glenn's bass, is the unstoppable force of nature! Hands down! California Breed stands out as one of best releases in 2014 and in my book, a masterpiece that is destined to be an instant classic! - Highly Recommended

Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

CD Reviews for March 2014 / Page 2

S/T by Fake Idols
(Lifeforce Records)

The Italian based rockers, Fake Idols breakout onto the music scene with their high octane self titled debut release consisting of twelve shots of adrenaline induced tracks based on great songwriting with focus on killer riffs and intoxicating hooklines. The Fake Idols are, Claudio Coassin - vocals (ex Raintime), Ivan Odorico - guitars (ex Slowmotion Apocalypse/Raintime),  Cristian Tavano - guitars (ex Jar of Bones), Ivo Boscariol - bass (ex Slowmotion Apocalypse) and Enrico Fabris - drums (ex Raintime). The Fake Idols,  take all of the best elements of that 80's rock sound, strip away the cheese, and add a hefty dose of glam rock sleaze stylings and an almost punk rock attitude, energy and swagger. Claudio Coassin's vocals rock like a hurricane, with sneering odes to living fast, partying hard and little else, and choruses you absolutely have to shout along with. The band is Rock solid and have such great chemistry. The songs on record are all well-written and catchy, and they keep the filler at check throughout the entire record as well. The highlights of this record are hard to point out due to the fact that every song is quite amazing. If I had to pick though, these songs would be my favorites, "One Way Trip", "My Hero" (feat. Mia Coldheart of Crucified Barbara), "When The Curtain Closes", "Far From My Widow" and a cover of The Cardigans' ,"My Favourite Game " are all outstanding tracks that make this album an adrenaline rush of a listening experience! This is a total party rock record, and one that's impossible to listen to sitting down! The Fake Idols make rock n' roll fun again, and how many bands can you really say that about these days? If you still blast albums by Motley Crue, Guns n' Roses and Skid Row on a regular basis, this album will reaffirm your faith in modern rock. If you're already down with current high octane bands like Dirty Penny, Crash Diet, and Hardcore Superstar you'll definitely want to check out the Fake Idols! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

BIG CAT LOVE by Smash Fashion
(Electricpudding Recordings)

'Big Cat Love' is the latest release from Southern California glam rock revivalists and purveyors of decadent psychedelia and atomic power pop, Smash Fashion. This is the band's third release following up their 2006′s 'A Gentleman’s Guide To Sophisticated Savagery' and 2009′s 'Don’t Pet The Sweaty Things.' Smash Fashion is made up of Roger Deering on vocals/guitar,  Lloyd Stuart Casson lead guitar, Tony Kinman on bass and Reijo "Repo" Kauppila on drums. This quartet channel 70's rock icons like Mott The Hoople, T-Rex, Sweet and Cheap Trick into a totally infectious brand of good time rock n' roll. You could use an album like 'Big Cat Love' as the soundtrack to That 70's Show. The band's sheer adoration for glam rock styling  work on every possible level. Is it the most original album in the world? Obviously not. But I guarantee if you start blasting songs like "Wicked Ways", "Marionette", "Strike My Fancy (Knickers Down)", "Stay Off My La La" and "Super Glam", you and any one in your vicinity are going to be grinning ear to ear and singing along by the second verse. These songs are ridiculously catchy and they make you want to get up and get moving. There are so few bands that remember how fun rock n' roll can be, so it's good to have a band like Smash Fashion to remind us. 'Big Cat Love' is exactly  a totally satisfying electric solid wall of sound. Whether you're a fan of the classic artists that inspired the band's sound or just looking for some honest fun in your rock n' roll  'Big Cat Love' by Smash Fashion is an absolute gem. Turn it on, turn it up, and PLAY IT LOUD! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by General Store
(Brennus Records)

Hailing from Bordeaux, France seasoned blues rock band the General Store serve up a modern incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band meets Gov't Mule vibe, and you can certainly hear that on the band's latest release, 'Somewhere In The Middle'. General Store is Will Lester (Guitars & Vocals), Phil Sun (Bass), Bob Franks (Hammond, Piano & Vocals) and Pascal "Lee" Boy (Drums). This is the work of serious musicians. Long jams, that gritty southern rock feel. But General Store take that sound and add some more dimensions to it. From tragic to upbeat, and everything in between, this album deserves a hard look for anyone looking to become immersed in blues. To the "seasoned veterans" of the genre, it is a fantastic milestone of the evolution and joy of blues and adds a new dimension to the General Store's repertoire They stretch out the bluesy improvisation and take it to a whole new level making for a memorable listening experience.  Will Lester's guitar playing, and rightly so - he's hot soloing, fills out a big sound on rhythm parts, and uses dynamics. Plus the guy has a solid set of vocal chords. As for rhythm section of  bassist Phil Sun and drummer Pascal "Lee" Boy their chemistry is like hand in glove. While Bob Franks on the Hammond gives the band that extra spice. 'Somewhere In The Middle" is an album that mixes pretty good blues, southern rock with such great taste from start to finish I cannot think of a song that I would have the nerve to skip. Songs like "Celebrate", "Second Chance", the title track, "My Father Said" and Trail Of Tears" will hook you immediately and the other songs grow on you after the second and third listen. The writing is fresh and original, yet stays true to the Blues rock tradition.  All in all, 'Somewhere In The Middle' by General Store is a very solid album well worth owning if you like high quality blues rock. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Black Label
(Bad Reputation Records)

Heralded as the best live band in Australia. Aussie rockers Black Label have paid their dues with a twenty five year career having played thousands of shows, including countless shows with both fellow Australian rock legends Rose Tattoo and The Angels. If you like heavy, blues based hard rock is in the tradition of those aforementioned bands, then you will dig Black Label. The band return with their fourth release in the form of, 'Blood Money' and as bonus, a live recording, 'Live In Berlin'. The new album shows a significant maturity in both the song writing and musical delivery. Black Label have a pedigree that included former members of both Heaven and Boss in their ranks. Steve Mulry on vocals, Steve Downs on guitar/ backing vocals, Mick Fryar on guitar, backing vocals, Loz Marlow on bass, backing vocals and Geordie Muscat on drums. These lad serve up  a high quality set of songs steeped in classic rock influences. 'Blood Money' sounds like a heavier version of The Angels. The vocals definitely reminded me of a cross between Rose Tattoo’s Angry Anderson and Nicky Moore and the guitar tandem of, Steve Downs and Mick Fryar work well together and at times reminded me of Brewster brothers from The Angels. Highlights include the cracking opening track "Slap In The Face", " Big Talker", "Forever More", "Blood On Your Hands" and "Fallen Angel".  'Blood Money" is definitely a solid ball of rock that delivers a balls to the wall rock sound that is guaranteed to satisfy. Now the bonus CD, 'Live In Berlin' captures the band doing what they do the best and that put on one hell of a show! If AC/DC took Black Label out on tour with them, these lads would be big. Such a shame, but it happens, there are some bands that get overlooked. Hopefully by reading this review it puts Black Label on your radar and  they don't go unnoticed. A rock band that rocks and play great songs are deserving of an opportunity to be heard.  If you’re into hard-hitting rock music that is loaded with attitude and swagger, 'Blood Money' by Black Label is a must-have album. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by The Royal Zapphire
(Independent Release)

Formerly known as Stains, the Swedish based rock band now known as The Royal Zapphire  come onto the scene with their self titled four song Ep.  Patrik "Pata" Sjöstrand on lead vocals, lead guitar, Oliver "Stanzy" on rhythm guitar, Freddie Burestad on bass, backing vocals and Tim Jälminger on drums, backing vocals. Sometimes a rock band will have the right stuff going on and create something really special. Such is the case with these lads from Sweden. Their four song Ep is just the tip of the iceberg and a sign of greater things to come. All four tracks will get your rock and roll blood pumping for sure.  The shot of adrenaline that is ,"I Want More"" kicks things off. "My Way" and "Tough Luck" keep the rocking pace going then finishing things off like they started with a bang on "Save Rock n' Roll". The tone of the guitars are fantastic! The melody lines that sing over them are so freaking catchy. While listening to The Royal Zapphire you can't help but think, "Is this grunge, rock, punk, or alternative rock music?" Then half way through you realize. "Who cares? This band ROCKS !" Well crafted and perfectly infectious songs bursting with energy and catchy as hell! The Royal Zapphire is band whose music is meant to be Played at Maximum Volume!". Keep an eye and ear out for this band, these lads deliver the goods! Quality Rock. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

KING OF THE WORLD by Humbucker
(Humbucker Records/Perris Records)

Norwegian rock band Humbucker return with their sophomore release, 'King Of The World', delivering a great an old school rock sound that draws from AC/DC and Aerosmith as well as Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet. The band is powered by, Jan Anders Bøen on vocals, Vidar Svanheld on guitar/backing vocals, John Petter Pershaug on guitar/backing vocals, Lars Stian Havraas on bass/backing vocals and Geir Arne Dale on drums/backing vocals. Humbucker are the band that tears down the local club with riotous songs about drinking and debauchery and then steals the girlfriends of the sensitive "rock" guys trying to be the next Coldplay. Song titles like "Self-Made Son Of A B***h", "One Size Fits All", the title track and "Lone Rider" tell you exactly what to expect from this album and if those sound good to you, you're in good company.There are two bonus tracks in the form of, "Wine, Women An` Song" and "Strongman". 'King Of The World' is non-stop, in your face rock and roll. The bass and drums are straight forward, rock steady, and keep a driving rhythm section pounding with force. The dual guitars are balls to the wall and the vocals are solid with a great sense of melody that fits the band's songs perfectly. Most importantly, the songs rock, and are catchy. If you like your rock hard but melodic with lots of energy and fast flying guitars, give these guys a listen. You won't be disappointed. Energizing and driving, 'King Of The World' by Humbucker is essential for any fan of rock music. - Highly Recommended
Tony @  The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

GUNSLINGERS by Baby Snakes
(Trøndercore Records)

Norwegian rockers Baby Snakes come out locked and loaded with their smoking debut release, 'Gunslingers'. The band formed by former Wig Wam guitarist Trond Holter known from his work with Jorn and Dream Police as well and bassist Bernt Jansen . Rounding out the band are Christian Klykken on vocals and Magnus Galgutten on drums. 'Gunslingers' is extremely solid from beginning to end, there is absolutely no filler material on this album.  It's very high energy rock music that will makes you want to drive fast and party hard. Highlights are hard to point out due to the fact that all the songs are rocking. If I had to pick though, these songs would be my favorites, "Diagnosis Nymphomania", " Give You My Love", the title track, "Gunslinger", "Judgement Day" and "Deadman City" are all outstanding tracks that make this debut outing an impressive and memorable listen. Trond Holter is a tremendous guitarist. Christian Klykken's vocals are rock solid and solid rhythm section of Bernt Jansen and Magnus Galgutten are tight as a glove. These guys can not only play, but also know how to craft great songs. It's clear that the Baby Snakes are about constructing quality songs, with a big arena sound. This is rock music where you can get into the lyrics, and genuinely groove to the music. Baby Snakes is a band that just plain rocks and has tons of swagger!  If you enjoy hard rock I doubt you will be let down with this great release. They may be called Baby Snakes, but these lads sure pack a serious dose of rock and roll venom! 'Gunslingers' is a remarkable debut album. Hopefully Baby Snakes can keep it together for some time to come. This band is the REAL DEAL! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Gods Of Macho
(Independent Release)

Just when you thought rock didn't matter at all ... Here come the Gods Of Macho, Gary Macho, Roscoe Macho, Camero Macho, Egg McMacho and Reverend Ronnie Macho. This outrageous LA based punk-pop-rock band will make you want to throw bricks through the police station windows and pound a hole in the dashboard. This five song Ep is loaded with the best elements of power pop, punk, and arena rock all rolled up into one amazing and rocking package. The opening track, "Reno" is a sing along rock anthem that will have you stomping your feet and clapping your hands in no time flat! The next two tracks. "Bad Mother F_#Ker" and "Rain On Me", are sure to get your blood pumping with punk meets hard rock bravado. On ,"Candy Store" we see a shift to a more power pop punk vibe. The band closes thing out in rocking fashion with the the shot of adrenaline that is, "Mystery Girl". The Gods Of Macho R-O-C-K plain and simple! So hard they could be a hazard to your central nervous system. Warning: Listenng to this record you may need to see a chiropractor. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

S/T by Gods Of Macho
(Independent Release)

L.A. based rockers, the Gods Of Macho are a band like no other. Taking a page from the book of The Ramones, the bands member have all adopted the surname Macho they are, Gary Macho, Roscoe Macho, Camero Macho, Egg McMacho and Reverend Ronnie Macho. Their debut self-titled release is loaded with upbeat, infectious rock anthems that the band's energy and obvious enthusiasm make very hard to resist. Their songs are catchy rock-n-roll numbers that will remind listeners of anything from Kiss to David Bowie to The Ramones. But derivative or stuck in the past they are not. Gods Of Macho forge a distinct sound that, alternately, has both a hard edge and a sprightly, melodic quality, complete with irresistible hooks and choruses.  Guitar-driven with crisp, hard-hitting percussion, the sound these five talents create will make you want to sing along at top volume. Just repeat to yourself "it's OK to rock, it's OK to rock", then let songs like "Macho", "Sneaky" "Black Iron Lung" and " Loosers" packed with enough hooks, woah-ohs and shout-a-long guaranteeing enthusiastic audience participation. In short, Gods Of Macho shows us what rock-n-roll is all about: good songs, good beats, good hooks, and good times. When they rock out, you'll want to rock along with them. It's certainly a ride I'm more than happy to take. This is a phenomenal debut for a band that has what it takes to be a big time band this day in age, because they are creative and enjoyable.  If you've been missing the kind of pure fun rock & roll that's been so hard to find these past 20 years, you've got to check out Gods Of Macho. You'll be cranking it up and singing along before you know it. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Black Label Society 
(Entertainment One)

Brother Zakk and his Black Label Society, Dario Lorina on guitar, John DeServio on bass and Chad Szeliga on the skins are back with their latest slab of sonic brewtality in the form of, 'Catacombs of the Black Vatican' and they sound darker more BADASS than ever! Brother Zakk pushes his vocals further than he has to date on this offering and his guitar work is monster! The album itself is a asskicker of a recording from start to finish. It's dirty, muddy and doomy mixture of Classic Heavy Metal touches, a sort of Stoner Rock approach, and also occasional hints of Alice In Chains. Brother Zakk unleashes his musical arsenal that attacks your senses from all angles!  There are the riff laden rockers like, "Fields of Unforgiveness", "My Dying Time", that is simply badass! While "Believe", "Heart Of Darkness", "Beyond The Down" and Damn The Flood" are balls to the wall monsters!  Then there are laid back numbers like, "Angel Of Mercy", "Scars" and the album closing, "Shades Of Grey". With Black Label Society you pretty much know what you're going to get on each album, riff rousing anthems with plenty of guitar virtuosity from Brother Zakk. And on 'Catacombs of the Black Vatican' Brother Zakk and the band deliver the goods ten fold! Overall; 'Catacombs of the Black Vatican is a very strong Black Label Society album.  If you like Black Label Society anyway or anything else that you've heard Brother Zakk appear in, 'Catacombs of the Black Vatican' is worth your attention. If you want Black Label Society at their rawest, darkest and heaviest, then look no further. - Highly Recommended
Tony @The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

S/T by Vandenberg's Moonkings
(Mascot Records)

Adrian Vandenberg aka "The Flying Dutchman" is back with a vengeance and it so good to hear him playing again with his new band Mookings.  Along with Adrian' s powerful and amazing guitar work are, Jan Hoving on vocals, Sem Christoffel on bass and Mart Nijen Es on drums. The band's highly anticipated debut self titled release is loaded with dripping bluesy hard rock hooks that go for the throat from the moment you press play. Straight away you know you know your listening experience will be a memorable one when, "Lust And Lies" bursts out of your speakers. From there the band lays down a serious dose blues base rockers with the band getting their "Led" out with, "Close To You" and with the groove laden swagger of "Good Thing". The band downshifts a bit with the lead off single and melodic gem, "Breathing". Things pick up once again with, "Steal Away" and "Line Of Fire". Other note worthy mentions include, "Out Of Reach", "Leave This Town" and "Nothing Touches". The album closes with "Sailing Ships" featuring David Coverdale on vocals. This is a strong debut album from, top to bottom, not a bad song among the bunch. Hats off the Adrian Vandenberg for putting together a great group of talented musicians. I've always considered Adrian Vandenberg an amazing guitarist and when you listen to this, you will hear why. As far as band chemistry this band is well oiled rock and machine. The rhythm section of bassist, Sem Christoffel and drummerMart Nijen Es is tight. Jan Hoving's vocals are solid with lots power and passion that gives off a David Coverdale meets Chris Cornell vibe. Overall, what you have is an powerful debut outing. If you are a fan of Adrian Vandenberg, this album is a must have to add to your collection. Adrian Vandenberg's Moonkings, this is the beginning of something big!! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Pavic
(Anteo Records)

Italy's, Pavic make a triumphant return with their latest release, 'Is War The Answer?'. Armed with a new singer and American producer Rick Beato (Shinedown, Fozzy, Ingram Hill), Pavic are set to gain a wider fan base.  Pavic is, Joe Calabro on vocals, Marko Pavic on guitar, Aleks Ferrara on bass, Lorenzo Antonelli on keyboards and Antonio Aronne on drums. The new album finds the band reaching out and exploring some new ground. The new album is like a kick in the butt that will not let you sit in silence. For starters the title track "Is War The Answer" is a balls out rocker opens the album in rocking fashion. Setting the tone for the rocking experience that awaits you. "In You Eyes", the melodic "Song For The Rain", "Your Own Misery" and a rocking cover of the Duran Duran hit, "Notorious". All songs rock heavy with intensity with no let down whatsoever. Marko Pavic's guitar work in this album is stellar, with a heaviness and rapid pace he brings to each song. The more I listen to this album the more I discover that this is a multi-layered work of art. What's most amazing to me is the band's chemistry. Each showing a mastery of their trade, combining into a well oiled rock and roll machine. 'Is War The Answer?' by Pavic is powerful, energetic and moving at the same time.  If you like rock music with an edge that is heavy and melodic and, in general, have an appreciation for good no nonsense music, you need to check this album out. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Free Spirit
(Carpel Music)

Finnish band Free Spirit are back with their sophomore release, 'All The Shades Of Darkened Light' and it's a winner! Sami Alho, vocals,  Marko Haapamaki, guitar, Vesa Yli-Maenpaa, guitar,backing vocals, Sami Hamalainen, bass, Timo Alho, keyboards and Pasi Koivumaki on drums. These guys, much like every other band from Europe have an innate ability to produce amazing melodic rock records. On the new album the band deliver power chords, great guitar riffs and power drumming all mixed into great melody and progressions. Rarely do I like every song on an album but these guys nailed it. Every cut is great, hard to chose a favorite. The production is outstanding as usual, and the song writing is considerable more concentrated than their debut offering, ' Pale Sister Of Light'. Vocalist Sami Alho defies any rock singer stereotype that I can think of and in that sense, is a welcome breath of proverbial fresh air. 'All The Shades Of Darkened Light' kicks off with "Nights Of Paradise" is a high energy track. Up next is "Living Tattoo" with its very catchy and commercial sounding chorus. Other highlights include; "Hysteria", "Ever Come True", "Turn On The Night", "Burning Love" and "Fever" have some serious attitude. Everything on this album just works, the singing, the musicianship, the song writing and the production are all very well balanced and mixed to make a great album. So if you are looking for an album in this genre that will not only breathe new life into it, but also renew your faith in sensible melodic hard rock, look no further. Whether you start with 'All The Shades Of Darkened Light' or go back to  their debut, you will soon be a believer in Free Spirit. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

Saturday, March 8, 2014


(Rat Pak Records)

One of the most anticipated debut releases this year without a doubt! KXM features three of rock music's most heralded musicians, dUg Pinnick of King’s X on vocals/bass, George Lynch of Lynch Mob/Dokken on guitars and Korn’s drum maestro, Ray Luzier. The band takes its name from the combination of the member’s other projects: K from Korn, X from King’s X and M from Lynch Mob. The excellence of KXM and what they've created on this powerful debut outing sneaks up on you. On first listen, you think, "Hey, this is a pretty cool CD!" You listen again and you wonder why these tunes are still running through your head more than 4 hours later. Next few listens, you're thinking, "These guys are musical geniuses! Listen to that intricate drumming! That bass! Those soaring, emotional guitar solos! Listen to the way they all meld together into one of sickest, most infectious jams I've ever heard!" First of all, the chemistry between dUg Pinnick, George Lynch and Ray Luzier is just tremendous. The music is complex yet imminently listenable and so solid it sounds like a single symphonic organism. The vocals and lyrical work are everything you've ever come to love from dUg Pinnick. Besides the musicianship exhibited on this album, the musical production is also ridiculously scary. From the opening drum riff of “Stars” and menacing guitar swagger of the lead off single, "Rescue Me" to the final chord on “Human Friction,” KXM is an album that will blow your senses away in ways unimaginable!  Songs like “Gun Fight,” “Faith Is A Room”, the touching "Never Stop", the tale of domestic violence, “Sleep" are sure to be instant favorites among fans. The tones, feel and finish that KXM put on this album is remarkable. You can tell that dUg, George and Ray loved every minute of creating this magnificent work of art. I can only hope they don't stop here! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

CD REVIEWS for March 2014

REFUELED by Skintrade 
(AOR Heaven)

A welcome return! Swedish rockers Skintrade are back with their highly anticipated new release, 'Refueled'.  Matti Alfonzetti (vocals, guitar), Stefan Bergström (guitar, backing vocals), Håkan Calmroth (bass) and Håkan Måsen Persson (drums, backing vocals). I have to say the band sounds better than ever! 'Refueled' is a pretty straightforward melodic rock album with an edge, but "straightforward" quickly becomes "extraordinary" in about as long as it takes for Matti Alfonzetti to start singing and the band hitting the first note! Matti Alfonzetti has such a tremendous voice that pretty much any project he's involved with is worthy of attention. He's also a solid songwriter, which also helps make Skintrade's return album such a winner. The songs on 'Refueled' have an old school melodic rock feel to them, but still carry a slightly modern edge so they don't end up sounding dated. This album is loaded with great songs from start to finish with absolutely no filler at all. From the opening, "Monster", the lead off single is a rocking song that pulls no punches! The same can be said for, "Lair", "Pay It In Blood" and the balls out rocker, "Hardcore MF Heartattack". The production is very big and the guitar work is top notch. Thanks to Stefan Bergström's stellar and passion filled guitar playing. While the rhythm section of Håkan Calmroth on bass and drummer Håkan Måsen Persson are air tight and provide the band a rock solid foundation.  Listening to Skintrade on 'Refueled' will take you back to those glory days of Rock music. It will remind you how great this music was and still can be today. What Skintrade have done here is tapped into a tried and true formula that works, there is no reinventing the wheel here, just great song writing, melody, edgy guitar and passion for the genre. Well done Skintrade and WELCOME BACK GENTLEMEN! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Magnum
(Steamhammer/SPV Records)

UK Rock legends Magnum return with their highly anticipated new release,  'Escape From The Shadow Garden', this record is great and majestic. The performances on the album are top notch. Some really nice guitar work from Tony Clarkin on this album. Bob Catley's dramatic and ethereal vocals are as wonderful powerful as ever. Mark Stanway sounds as great as ever. The rhythm section of, bassist Al Barrow and Harry James on drums are simply outstanding. The first song, "Live ‘Til You Die" brings to our minds echoes of the band's signature grand sound. From there, each song shows a very distinctive sound, each one very different but with an unmistakable style. "Unwritten Sacrifice" lulls you in with its slow intro then explodes with it's rocking groove. Magnum are very much at the top of their game, as this new album may very well be one of their best albums ever. That statement isn't made lightly. With songs like ,"Falling For The Big Plan", the all out rocker, "Too Many Clowns", the touching and heartfelt,"The Art Of Compromise", and the soon to be Magnum AOR classic, "Burning River". Magnum flex their musical muscle to maxinum effect. It's simply amazing how Tony Clarkin can write so many songs and all sounding so different with so many subject matters. For me, Magnum have never recorded a bad album, but 'Escape From Shadow Garden' towers a little bit above most of them. Ultimately, I think this album is a success both in proving worthy of Magnum's legacy and reestablishing Magnum's sound for the 21st Century. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Pretty Maids
(Frontier Records)

Dannish rock legends Pretty Maids are back and like the title of their latest release states, they are 'Louder Than Ever'! Ronnie Atkins on vocals, Ken Hammer on guitar, Rene Shades on bass, Allan Tchicaja on drums and Morten Sandager on keyboards. Produced by Jacob Hansen Not exactly a new album but features seven re-recorded classic Pretty Maids rockers from the 1995 - 2006 era, "Playing God"; "Psycho Time Bomb Planet Earth", "He Who Never Lived", "Virtual Brutality", "Tortured Spirit", "With These Eyes", "Snakes In Eden" and "Wake Up To The Real World". I have to tip my hat off not only to the band for doing an amazing job in giving these classics a great facelift, but also to Jacob Hansen in the production department for a stellar job capturing the pure energy of the band and taking it to a whole new level. The new songs sound great all loaded with the signature Pretty Maids killer sound taken up a notch! The powerful,"Deranged ", "My Soul To Take", which reminded me of their work off their 'Sin-Decade' album. The pulsating bravado of "Nuclear Boomerang" is sure to get your rock and roll juices pumping and "A Heart Without A Home". Also included 'A Retrospective of the “Motherland” 2013 World Tour', DVD, that features archive footage from early stages of the band’s career, interviews, backstage, Studio Footage and the usual freakiness. Listening to, 'Louder Than Ever', you still get a sense of hope that melodic rock and metal are very much alive and well, in a disposable world where music is such a throw away, Pretty Maids shine a light and act as a beacon for those of us still hanging on to that rock sound which captured us in the early 90's. 'Louder Than Ever' marks a new sound. A new focus. A new beginning.  It's hard-hitting but highly melodic. The whole band is a the top of their game. Ronnie Atkins' vocals just sound incredible here.  Ken Hammer's guitar work is just as impressive. Between the melodies and the solos he's definitely giving 100%. I've been a Pretty Maids fan for a while, but I've never heard them quite like this. If you are/were/want to be a Pretty Maids fan, you absolutely must hear 'Louder Than Ever'. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by L.R.S.
(Frontier Records)

If you are a fan of AOR music, you will definitely want to check out the genre's latest sensations, L.R.S., featuring Tommy La Verdi (21 GUNS), Josh Ramos (THE STORM, HARDLINE) and Michael Shotton (VON GROOVE, AIRTIME). The band's debut release, 'Down To The Core' looks to be one of the biggest surprises and highlights of 2014. The album is a melodic rock masterpiece and a very well produced album. All songs manage to amaze the listener as they are executed perfectly by experienced musicians. The strong point of this album, besides the first rate musicianship and song writing, is the fact that it varies musically from start to finish. As is evident from the moment you hit play and melodic gems like  "Our Love To Stay", "Livin 4 A Dream", "I Can Take You", "Never Surrender" and ""Waiting For Love", the trio have you under their spell as they serve up nothing less than stellar melodic rock music at it's highest level.  The songs do not follow a certain formula and thus you get a variety of melodic hard rock, ballads and AOR songs. Josh Ramos handles all guitars and does a fabulous job proving what a technical proficient guitarist he is. Alessandro Del Vecchio on keyboards adds his progressive and melodic feel in the right places. Nicola Mazzucconi, Anna Portalupi and Jamie Browne  help out Michael Shotton on drums with a rock solid rhythm section. Special mention has to go to vocalist Tommy La Verdi who is surely the highlight of the album. His voice has matured and gotten stronger, since his days in 21 Guns, while he has managed to obtain tremendous control over his huge vocal range. You will surely be amazed by what this guy can do with his voice and how much emotion he uses in his singing. Naturally one would expect that L..R.S. sounds like a mixture of the three bands mentioned above. Well there is a certain amount of truth but fact is that this project has a sound of its own. 'Down To The Core' is a strong debut outing, it's much better album than I had even hoped for.Tommy La Verdi , Josh Ramos and Michael Shotton are at the very tops of their games, and I hope this is only the beginning of a long engagement. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Tracy G.
(Spooky G Music)

'DEVIATING FROM THE SET LIST II' by Tracy "F*#Ken" G. features nine fully loaded classic Heavy Metal and Classic Rock songs interpreted by one of most talented and most definitely dangerous guitarist on the face of the planet! Once again Tracy G. has blown me away! I thought 'Deviating From The Set List I' was a tour de force juggernaut of a recording (and still do), but with 'DFTS II', is a whole new monster of it's own! Covering songs is a tricky thing. Especially classic ones. For me it's all about how the songs are interpreted.  Putting one's own signature sound and making it their own while taking nothing away from the original. In this case, Tracy G.'s weapon of choice is his trusted six string and a artistic vision that would make Pablo Picasso or Salvador Dali envious. Helping in the creation of this audio intense behemoth are a group of talent singers that include, Michael Beatty, Elvin Rodriguez (Pain Savior) and Adam Weber. As well as a group of stellar musicians on bass that include, Jeff Pilson (Dio/Foreigner), Randy Oviedo and Damien Torres. On drums, Ray Luzier (Korn/KXM), Dominic Torres and Bob Buchler. First up, "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath with Michael Beatty on vocals, and does a damn good job!  A fitting song for Tracy to cover paying homage to the "Riff Lord" himself, Tony Iommi and doing him proud. Next up a amped up version of "Pain" from his days with Dio featuring Elvin Rodriguez (Pain Savior) on vocals. Tracy shows some love for the Dimebag Darrell with a killer take on Pantera's, "Broken"(Elvin Rodriguez on vocals). Showing love for the classics Tracy serves up  a smoking red hot take on the Jimi Hendrix classic, "Red House", a ballsy version of Mountain's, "Mississippi Queen" and a great version of Cream' s "Politician Man".  All in all with, 'DFTS II'  Tracy G. puts on an intense guitar clinic! All l can say is be prepared to have your senses blown away! - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

30 Years Of Hits 
by D-A-D
(AFM Records)

D-A-D (formerly Disneyland After Dark) Denmark’s most successful Rock band is a rock band who has had a very diverse history. Jesper Binzer on vocals /guitars, Jacob Binzer on guitars, Stig Pedersen on bass, and  Laust Sonne on drums. Over the years D.A.D's sound has changed from album to album as they have grown. To celebrate the band's 30th anniversary the band offer up, '30 Years Of Hits', a two CD set featuring a 30 song “Best of" covering a career-spanning retrospective.  The albums highlights include strong rockers like, "Marlboro Man", "Sleeping My Day", "Bad Craziness", "Scare Yourself", "Hate To Say I Told You So", the very melodic and pop influenced "Grow or Pay" and of course the very catchy acoustic semi ballad "Laugh `N' A Half". The presentation of '30 Years Of Hits' is really well thought out. It all sounds great and will bring you up-to-date with this talented, underrated band. D-A-D should've been huge in America, they still could be. Their music is well constructed, with a great sense of European humor thrown in to the lyrics for good measure. '30 Years Of Hits' is a fantastic set, and it is a quick, easy way to get nearly all of DAD's material in one convenient set, after all, their stuff is next to impossible to find here in America. If you are a fan of D-A-D, this is an essential pick up. If you are fan of rock and roll music, '30 Years Of Hits' comes highly recommended. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Lions In The Street
(Beverly Martel Music)

Combine The Black Crowes and Classic Joe Cocker and season it with The Stones and Faces, and bring it to full flavor in a slow cooker and serve blistering hot. Often the best music is a master blend of old that creates something totally new. The five song Ep, 'On The Lam' from Canadian rock band Lions In The Street brings together all the right ingredients at the perfect point and serves up a dish of blues based rock that will touch every taste bud in a new and tantilizing way. The band is made up of, Chris Kinnon - Lead Guitar, Vocals, Sean Casey - Rhythm, Acoustic and Slide Guitars, Enzo Figliuzzi - Bass, Jeff Kinnon - Drums and Vocals. The band's sound has touches of gospel choir and soul that permeates throughout the album, easily sliding in alongside their more traditional brand of that Stones meet Faces influenced funky rock n' roll swagger. From the opening mover, "All For Your Love" to the soulful groove of "Moving Along", this quartet will make sure your musical taste buds are satisfied. You won't go away hungry that's for sure. You will have more than you can take in at one time and you will keep coming back for more. 'On The Lam', though only an Ep is truly a recording you will never grow tired of. The band's depth and compexity will treat you with new experiences every time you listen. Bon Appetite - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Chasing Karma
(Independent Release)

This album ROCKS...plain and simple. This is the first I have heard of Chasing Karma and they are AWESOME! Power chords, great guitar riffs and power drumming all mixed into great melody and progressions. Chasing Karma is Mark Allen Lanoue on vocals and guitar , Dave Melton and James Gillies on guitar, Lee Cooley on bass and Robert Gronkoski on drums. Rarely do I like every song on CD but these guys nailed it. My favorite tracks from the album are "Destiny", "Embrace Tomorrow", "Armed and Ready", "Your Fallen" and "What A Shame". The album is entirely solid throughout though, and I can't imagine any melodic rock fans being disappointed. Mark Allen Lanoue's vocals are also easy on the ears and well suited to this style of music; while he also plays guitar to boot. The dual guitar attack of Dave Melton and James Gillies is tight. While Lee Cooley and Robert Gronkoski provide the band with a solid foundation. Chasing Karma take the basis of melodic rock from the 1980's and make it their own with this album. The production is rock solid and the song writing is right on target. Everything blends nicely and I've enjoyed listening to the entire album several times over. I would recommend 'Cosmocracy' to anyone that likes solid anthem rock. Definitely a worthwhile addition to any melodic hard rock collection. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by No Sinner
(Provogue Records)

It's about time we have an amazing Blues band with an amazing vocalist to hit the music industry. Vancouver, Canada's, No Sinner emanates Motown soul with a bluesy swagger to perfection with their debut release, 'Boo Hoo Hoo''. The band is made up of, Colleen Rennison on vocals, Eric Campbell on guitar, Bradley Ferguson on bass and Ian Browne on drums. Impeccable musicianship with a decisive bluesy soulful vibe.  But however excellent the songs, the musicians and the production, the main attraction is the voice of Colleen Rennison. Talk about a force to be reckoned with! There are no proper adjectives in the English language to accurately describe the pure force of nature that is her voice. She is a unique artist with an amazing, soulful, bluesy voice and uncanny ability to connect with the listener through music. Her ability to get inside your soul with her words and sing the songs from the heart is simply amazing. From the rockabilly  vibe of the title track and the down southern comfort of “Running,” with it's upbeat groove.  Rennison's vocals on "Love Is Madness" has that Dusty Springfield to it with it's soulful smooth bass line. Other highlights include a cover of Nina Simone’s version of “Work Song”, “Rise Up,” the sensuous plaint of “If Anything” and the feedback-charged “Devil on My Back,” a band composition that features Black Mountain's Matt Camirand. This is one of those albums that gets better every time you listen to it. The cool thing about No Sinner' s music is that its so nuanced and layered that a song you might have initially passed over can quickly become a new favorite on repeat listens. There are so many great Blues bands around now putting out strong blues albums, and there is no doubt, 'Boo Hoo Hoo' by No Sinner is one of them. The soul of their music and the passion in their music come alive. A well crafted album where the choices of the songs and how well each is done makes for a really great experience. No Sinner will win you over and take your soul by storm.  - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

by Gus G.
(Century Media)

Heralded guitarist Gus G. has recorded over a dozen studio albums, performed around the world as a member of acts ranging from Arch Enemy and Dream Evil to his own band FIREWIND. Then in 2009 was hand selected by Ozzy Osbourne to be his guitarist.  Now, in 2014 Gus G., after years of being asked to record a solo album, unleashes his long awaited and highly anticipated debut album, 'I Am The Fire', embarking on a new chapter of his illustrious career.  This debut outing allows Gus G. to experiment and explore different sides of his musical repertoire with the support of some of rock music's elite vocalist and talented musicians. Kicking this off in rocking fashion are the adrenaline pumping numbers, "My Will Be Done" and "Blame It On Me", featuring Yngwie Malmsteen/Candlemass singer, Mats Levén.  The title track, "I Am The Fire" is a groove laden mover with a progressive/power metal vibe. The potent combination of the Blake Allison and Joey Chicago from Devour The Day and the superb axework from Gus is a match made in heaven. Other guest vocals featured, Alexia Rodriguez from Eyes Set To Kill on the hauntingly powerful "Long Way Down", Jacob Bunton from Adler/Lynam on "Just Can’t Let Go", Steel Panther' s lends his vocal prowess on "Redemption", Jeff Scott Soto from W.E.T. and current Trans-Siberian Orchestra vocalist on "Summer Days" and Tom S. England from Everygrey on "Dreamkeeper". Gus offers up two explosive instrumental tracks as well in the form of, "Vengeance" featuring Megadeth's David Ellefson on bass. Then on, "Terrified" featuring Billy Sheehan from Mr. Big/The Winery Dogs on bass. Gus' s guitar work on these tracks are thoughtful, powerful,  passionate, soulful, and Gus keeps you guessing with his intricate and melodic phrasing. 'I Am The Fire' is  an absolute gem of artistic expression by Gus G. proving that he's a damn good songwriter and more than just a metal shredder. - Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society/All Access Magazine

Monday, March 3, 2014


Swedish Rockers HONG FAUX 
Interview by The Dedicated Rocker Society

Ever since Hong Faux‘s very first recorded notes started their journey from blog to blog, to magazines, and finally all the way to the radio, people have tried to label the music and try to figure out the meaning of the band’s name. The band is made up, Nik Seren on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Johan Bergqvist on bass and backing vocals, Bjorn Billgren on lead guitar and Daniel Israelsson on drums

First things first. A London promoter called it “Old school super sludgy riffology with blues wailin’ vox”. Listening to the songs “Present Tense-Less” and “Bad City Blues” on the debut EP (released in November 2010) it would be foolish to argue against such a statement. On the other hand you’ll also find the sound that brought together four guys with very diverse musical tastes and backgrounds. One of the things the band members all dig on the same level is the harder bands that came out of Seattle in the early nineties. So, all put together, with a few added ingredients, you get the heavy stoner riff galore with strong melodic vocal parts that honor the harmonic complexity of the grunge era.

The buzz around the EP had the band members packing their bags as the first tour they ever did took place in the UK. Returning to their native Sweden, more shows were to follow, where they played venues and festivals with Sweden’s top, heavy rock bands like Graveyard and Mustasch.

The single ”Feign Death to Stay Alive”, that followed the debut EP, is a heavy rock anthem that broadens the Hong Faux concept even further. So far the song has made it into the radio airwaves in four European countries and college radio in North America, generating a strong following of fans. The single earned Hong Faux the title “Immense new band of 2012″ when British Classic Rock Magazine recently hand-picked who and what their readers should look into during 2012. The song was featured on the CD that came with the February issue.

Almost to the day a year after the first EP came out, the full length album 'The Crown That Wears the Head', pressed on heavy black vinyl only, saw its first release in a limited run of LPs. The album contains eight tracks that takes the listener on a 33 minutes long rollercoaster ride through epic sceneries, fuzzy riffarama and soaring vocals to the pounding sound of some very big Ludwig drums and heavy bass lines.

In 2014 the band signed with Swedish label Razzia Notes and two new records will be released this year. Before long everyone will know the meaning of HONG FAUX.

On April 4th the band will release new music in the form of 'Hello Neptune' a six song EP that is just the tip of the iceberg of bigger and better things to come! Hong Faux's bassist Johan Bergqvist was kind enough to shed some light on the new album, the band, their influences, Angry Birds and more. Here's what He shared with us...

Q:  What was your approach, as far as musical direction, in the making of, 'Hello Neptune'?

"We kind of found out what kind of band we were with the first record, "The Crown that Wears the Head". When we went back into the writing process again after having toured with those songs, we felt that we should continue on the same path and refine our sound more as well as focus more on the production. The arrangements are more elaborate and we've wanted to create a richer sound this time around."

Q: The album features six songs. Is it more of an EP? Is there a full album on the way? By the way, what is, "ATS"?

"Well, it's a collection of songs that we wanted to get out there now. It doesn't matter whether you call it an album or an EP or a mini-album or whatever. Since people mostly tend to listen to songs rather than albums nowadays, we're not too worried about the categorization of this record. However, there is what you would call a full length LP in the works right now, and it's slated for release in October of this year. "Hello Neptune" is a taste of what's to come on the LP and the new direction we're taking. Most of the songs on this release were meant for the album, but since we've been playing a lot of those songs live already we felt that it made sense to put them out ahead of the album release and continue writing new material while we're in a good place creatively. As for ATS, the answer's right there in the lyrics :)"

Q: Where was the video for, "Coming Through The Rye" shot? Any memorable moments, good or bad, in the making of the video?

"The video was shot in a couple of different locations in and around Stockholm. Our rehearsal space served as the set for the band shots. When we were out scouting locations for the outdoor shots we were out in the woods and it was pitch dark and freezing cold. Our drummer Daniel was in charge of lighting the flares that we were planning on using. Since he didn't have any previous experience handling them got a bit careless when he was swinging them around and one of them accidentally started dripping on his hand. It burned him pretty bad and left a crater between two knuckles. The air was filled with a scent of barbecued meat! He didn't suffer any permanent damage though, luckily!"

Q: Will you be playing of major music festivals this Summer? Any plans of coming over to America for some shows?

"We will definitely visit some festivals this summer here in Europe. We don't have any plans to play in the US but it's something we'd really love to do in the near future."

Q: What goals have you set for yourselves to achieve in 2014?

"The main goal is to make the best rock album of 2014 and to hopefully continue reaching new audiences in new territories. In April we're doing eleven dates together with D-A-D, and those will be our biggest shows yet. We want those shows to be the best we've ever done so another big goal we've set for ourselves is to create a tighter and more professional live show."

Q: Who are your musical influences?

"We all come from very different musical backgrounds, which I think is a big strength. You're gonna get different answers from everyone in the band, but we have a few common denominators like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Guns N' Roses, Kyüss, Neil Young, Fu Manchu... I myself have mostly been playing and writing pop music for the past decade or so, so I'm heavily influenced by bands like The Posies, Weezer, Jellyfish, Fountains of Wayne, Mike Viola, Big Star, The Beatles and the like. What's so great about being in this band is that we're all able to bring our influences into the mix when we're writing, which makes for a fun creative process and often than not an interesting end result."

Q: For someone hearing or about Hong Faux for the first time. How would you describe the band? Where did the name of the band come from?

"We're a heavy rock band. We're mixing the heavy riffs from the 70's with the melodies and sound of the 90's and dressing the songs up in a suit from the 2010's. As for the band name, we like to keep people guessing :)"

Q: What do you guys like doing when your not recording or touring? Any particular hobbies?

"Hobbies? Who's got time for hobbies?! Kidding aside, we all like reading. I love playing computer games, even though I don't really have time to do it these days. But I play a lot of Angry Birds in the tour bus!"

Q: Any parting comments or messages you'd like to pass along?

"Come out to the shows and have a beer with us! We don't hide backstage after we've played; we love to meet people that are as passionate about music as we are."

For more info on Hong Faux: