Heaven’s Basement - Filthy Empire
Five years after their creation and numerous line up changes later, Heaven’s Basement have finally managed to release their debut album titled Filthy Empire. Was it all worth it?
From the thumping opening of Welcome Home you are whisked into a whirlwind of punchy riffs, belting choruses and a charismatic performance by frontman Andy Buchanan. Those of you familiar with the unstable, disorganised sound from a few years ago will have all doubts immediately washed away by the tight, sharp tracks blasting out infront of you. First single Fire, Fire is a proper fist pumping rock track, featuring a ferocious riff and cries of fire you can’t help but shout along with. Each member contributes their own thundering part to each track, with great understanding of every role within the group creating dynamic, exciting music. The explosive Nothing Left To Lose and I Am Electric sandwich a beautiful vocal performance from Andy Buchanan in Lights Out In London; delivered with such passion he holds you under his spell. From the quirky Heartbreaking Son Of A Bitch to the stunning Price We Pay, Filthy Empire is a diverse, innovative debut and shows it was worth the groups persevering. Executioner’s Day is a brilliant ending and really showcases Sid Glover’s guitar skills with a blinding solo.
Heaven’s Basement have finally found their voice with this line up, a voice of pure, energetic rock at it’s finest.
Songs I’d Recommend: Fire, Fire, Nothing Left To Lose, Price We Pay.
Bon Jovi - What About Now
One of rocks most prominent pioneers, Bon Jovi are never too far away with a new album and tour dates with 2013 seeing the twelve studio album for the quartet. Can their music still weave it’s magic?
First single Because We Can opens the album; it’s the typical light, radio friendly track we’ve begun to expect from the group, nevertheless; it is a lively opener and gives promise for what is to follow. I’m With You is beautiful track with swelling melodies and a swaying chorus. Jon Bon Jovi’s voice shines through the delicate layers and his vocal performance on the album is as good as ever. Unfortunately, as the album progresses, the promise shown in the beginning begins to fade and leads the way to a rather monotonous, plain album. There’s a choice between a catchy riff building to a bold chorus or a hum drum mellow track that fails to capture the imagination. It’s easy to forget where one track begins and another ends, or if you’ve just infact listened to a track twice. Final track Every Road Leads Home To You, performed by Richie Sambora, is a shining redemption on the album. The addition of piano and strings utilising varying dynamics and a brief, but stunning guitar solo makes for a captivating track that will commands you to stop and listen.
What About Now Bon Jovi? It’s a while since your studio work really captured the listeners attention…
Songs I’d Recommend: I’m With You, Every Road Leads Home To You.
Hardcore Superstar - C’mon Take On Me
After over 10 years together, the question of ‘have they still got it?’ arises with every album. 16 years on and Sweden’s Hardcore Superstar have released their ninth studio album. 3 years since their last release Split Your Lip, which received a lukewarm reception, are they back at their best?
Utilising the popular concept of a intro track, Cutting The Slack works well as a teaser for the first minute or so before beginning to drag and leave you wondering when the music is going to kick in. Title track C’mon Take On Me starts the album of with a brash chorus and pounding drums but lacks a bit of that charismatic punch. The opening chants of One More Minute, leading into a punchy riff and heavy beat makes for a much more captivating track that displays their clever use of sleaze rock mixed with heavy metal that they are so well known for. Jocke Berg’s powerful, gritty vocal is as commanding as ever, particularly in Above The Law; a track that harks back to early HCSS. The diversity on the album keeps you on your toes with the heavy Are You Gonna Cry Now followed by the mellow Stranger Of Mine, the latter featuring some beautiful melodies. Dead Man’s Shoes is bold, energetic and is a real fist pumper, one to get you fired up! As the album progresses, the better it gets with some punchy choruses, neat guitar solo’s and lively beats; all traits you expect from HCSS. Long Time No See is a brilliant way to end the album; dynamic and dripping with attitude, it’s got classic HCSS written all over it.
C’mon Take On Me isn’t going to set the world alight, but contains some catchy tracks that you can get involved with in true Hardcore Superstar style.
Songs I’d Recommend: Above The Law, Dead Man’s Shoes, Long Time No See.
Hell’s Addiction - Raise Your Glass
Every now and then a band comes along that embraces the raucous debauchery of rock; Hell’s Addiction are certainly one of those groups. They’re debut album Raise Your Glass explodes out of your speakers to encourage you to forget your troubles and just enjoy yourself.
Opener Feels Like Rock N Roll features some quirky riffs and is your first introduction to Ben Sargent’s raw gravelly, tone. It’s a great opening track and immediately gets you involved in the Hell’s Addiction rock n roll party message. The pace is picked up in the ferocious Let The Good Times Roll, a classic hard rock anthem along with the bold first single Alcohol. Breaking Free displays they’re classic rock influences with it’s brash chorus and snappy riffs and features an 80’s influenced guitar solo. Sargent’s vocals have a real Jocke Berg feel to them that are intense and powerful, delivered with passion and energy. Brand New Story really showcases his vocal abilities, particularly the softer side and is accompanied by some beautiful guitar melodies.
From start to finish, Raise Your Glass is a frantic, captivating debut and a great one to turn up to 11!
Win tickets to see The Treatment!
If you read our gig picks the other day, you will have spotted Cambridge quintet The Treatment will be playing their biggest headline show to date at Nottingham’s Rock City at the end of the month.
We have 5 pairs of tickets for 5 lucky winners to give away! Just answer this simple question:
What is the name of The Treatment’s debut album?
The gig will be raising awareness for the Anthony Nolan blood and bone marrow cancer charity and features the best of the UK’s rising rock groups. Joining The Treatment will be Trucker Diablo, Afterlife, Massive Wagons, BlackWolf, Sinners Highway and Wraith for a jam packed, rocking day! Doors from 4pm and tickets priced at £10 if you just can’t wait!
To enter, send your answer and full name & address to email@example.com
Closing date is 12pm on 24/03/13. Multiple entries by any single person will not be considered. Entrants must be over the age of 14.
The Darkness - Manchester Apollo, 02.03.13
After a triumphant comeback both on stage and in the studio, The Darkness train is still rolling with great determination and focus and stopped off to entertain the people of Manchester.
With Ginger Wildheart’s solo band in support, his loyal fanbase were out in force to hear his latest creation Hey! Hello! take centre stage, and let me tell you, it sounds just as brilliant live! Lock For Rock was a set highlight with it’s sheer force and obscurity gripping your attention.
The usual blasting of Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town to announce The Darkness’ impending arrival to the stage encourages rapturous applause with Justin Hawkins flouncing out in a black & white striped, sleeveless cat suit. Launching straight into Every Inch Of You, both band and audience are up for giving it their all tonight with the energy levels never letting up. The set is heavy with old classics such as Growing On Me and the hugely popular Get Your Hands Off My Woman with the new material slotting in nicely. Justin’s wailing is on fine form, particularly in Concrete, and he is as charismatic as ever, jumping in the crowd, bouncing around and being carried round the audience mid guitar solo. He revels in the applause and it is clear that he is right where he is meant to be, with the audience hanging on to his every word. With a mighty trio of Givin’ Up/Stuck In A Rut/I Believe In A Thing Called Love to end, the quartet stride away leaving an ecstatic crowd behind cheering for more.
The encore features their well known cover of Street Spirit (Fade out) which made it on to their most recent album. Their take on this Radiohead track is truly mesmerising and brilliant live. Love On The Rocks With No Ice brings the evening to a close with ample audience participation, a fantastic end to a fantastic evening.
The Darkness have proven the last couple of years that they still have what it takes both live and in the studio, and long may it continue as you’re always guaranteed a fun night when these guys are in town!
See what March has got to offer…
The Black Crowes
Ending their second hiatus, The Black Crowes come back to UK soil for a 5 date stint, it’s gonna be a cracker!
Dates and tickets can be found here.
After successful spells supporting some of the mightiest names in rock, The Treatment are heading to the legendary Rock City for their biggest headline show today. In support of the Anthony Nolan Fund, it’s going to be a brilliant evening.
Get your tickets here.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
With their 7th album Specter At The Feast due for release mid March, BRMC are playing a strong of UK dates in support. Surrounded by anticipation and excitement, it’s gonna be a big one!
Get involved here.
Pioneers of the Britpop movement, Suede announced a one off show at London’s Alexandra Palace for the end of the month to coincide with their new album. A warm up date at Nottingham’s Rock City has also recently been announced, both of which will be killer!
Grab your tickets here.
The Union - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 19.02.13
After another success story coming from Pledge Music, The Union headed out to support the release of The World Is Yours, finding themselves in Nottingham this particularly chilly evening.
Up first were Leicester trio SKAM, delivering thumping riffs and gravelly vocals, they went down well with the early comers. BlackWolf followed doing a great job warming up the crowd with plenty of audience participation sandwiched between raw, punchy tracks infected with blues. Scott Sharp’s vocals were simply stunning, commanding your full attention.
Kicking off with Step Up To The Plate, The Union have identified their audience well and cater to their musical taste. They are on fine form and Peter Shoulder’s vocals are spot on, the only thing they lack is a bit of character. The energy level is fairly stagnant which is a shame as musically they perform so well. Obsession’s dirty grooves are a highlight in the set and provide some much needed charisma to their set with snarling vocals and gritty blues hooks. Ending on Siren’s Song, featuring a crowd sing a long, the cheers echo round the Rescue Rooms for their return. Watch The River Flow brings the night to a close, a night performed brilliantly, and well suited to the audience but sadly missing that injection of life.
Pictures by Sean Larkin.
Tremonti - HMV Ritz, Manchester, 17.02.13
Sending tremors through the rock world and surprising the majority with some mighty strong vocals; Tremonti came to shake Manchester’s foundations, even after another bomb scare!
First up were Glaswegians Logan who warmed up the crowd nicely with brutal drum beats and plenty of enthusiasm. However; any thoughts of the quintet were quickly forgotten as Heaven’s Basement took to the stage. Aaron Buchanan prowled this stage with charismatic intent and had the crowd wrapped around his little finger from the get go. Backed by an explosive classic rock sound, it’s not surprising the group are turning heads and gaining momentum.
The moment the room had been waiting for arrived and guitar hero Mark Tremonti walked out to a wall of cheers. Opening with Leave It Alone, the band ripped through all 12 tracks on the solo album, and the 2 bonus tracks, matching the energy of the passionate, rowdy crowd; so rowdy the last time infact, that they decided to film their second visit to the city. From the ferocious All I Was to the fiery So You’re Afraid, the audience screamed the words back as Tremonti dazzled with prolific shredding and booming vocals. New Way Out added a tender moment to the evening, followed by the thundering Decay; complete with audience participation. Leaving to rapturous applause and chants of his name, Tremonti shortly returned to deliver the explosive Brains.
It’s rare to attend a gig with such an electric atmosphere with energy levels never fading; the band and the crowd encouraging one another, Tremonti & co are at the top of their game, that’s for sure!
Picture from Rich Booth.
The Virginmarys - King Of Conflict
Emerging from the shadows, and gaining big name fans on the way, come Macclesfield trio The Virginmarys. Recruiting a loyal fanbase through two fiercely strong EP’s, they’ve taken on the task of producing their first album.
From the opening chords of first single Dead Man’s Shoes, you can hear the distinctive twang of The Virginmarys; that punchy, raw rock n roll sound. Ally Dictaty’s gravelly, distincitve tone really commands your attention and he cleverly utilises the textures in his voice to great effect. The screams in the brilliant Portrait Of Red showcase Ally’s vocal talents accompanied by sharp riffs and crashing drums. Those of you familiar with the EP’s will recognise a few tracks that made the debut; the super catchy Bang Bang Bang and captivating Out Of My Mind join forces with new blood creating an exciting, enchanting record. Taking The Blame’s simple, yet addictive riff matched by a bold chorus and dramatic build up, followed by the pounding off beats of You’ve Got Your Money, I’ve Got My Soul, display the trio’s creative growth and add to the anticipation surrounding their future.
The Virginmarys have taken a step back from today’s electronic world and gone back to pure, simplistic rock n roll at it’s best. King Of Conflict is a strong, powerful and damn addictive debut album!