Time and again, LondonFuse is fortunate enough to get CDs from local artists come across our desks. Even more fortunate, we have our very own music aficionado, Steve Murphy, to review them for you!
Artist: Randall And The Rivieras
Album: Self Titled
Label: Self Released
Never fear fans of old fashion bluesy bar room rock’n’roll. Randall and the Rivieras self-titled album exists for you!
The first few rocking tunes showcase the bands precise drumming, soaring keyboards, fuzzy guitar solos and some chanting choruses. Fourth track When I Fall is a southern-fried-country-rock that gives a new pace and voice to the album.
Kudos to Adam Plante for superb keyboards throughout the album but also, his crisp and clean production. Even with a snappy snare, crashing cymbals and, what sounds like an army of electric guitars blasting through the speakers, sounds are loud but clear.
The albums centerpiece Already Missed It is brooding and stands out as their pinnacle. The instrumental Prelude’s gorgeous synth, piano and guitars is over too soon, I could listen to it on repeat. Thankfully the track transitions well into the song’s second part. This tune is a great example that these men have grand aspirations for what rock songs are capable of. Pete Townsend would be proud, and this song wouldn’t sound out of place on The Who’s recent releases.
Vocals on the album walk the line of melodic and howling. Sometimes this works like on Excuse Me While I Whisper (I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that it has JUST right amount of cowbell!), while other songs could have benefited from one or the other direction taken.
Available Formats: CD, Digital, itunes etc..
Check Out: When I Fall, Excuse Me While I Whisper, Already Missed It
For Fans of: Deep Purple, Kiss or a punky version of Uriah Heep.
Artist: Never Betters/Grievances
Album: GUNS & ROSES’ ROSES
Label: Grooves Records Records
An introduction to the music of London guitar hero, Danny Kidd who plays guitar for both groups and sings lead vocals for Grievances, this split LP is perfect punk rock for your summer party.
Booming drums, revved up power chords, fuzzed out bass lines and a great vocal performance that sounds natural, nuanced and pumped up. Fans of Grievances previous full length Late Bloomers will not be disappointed. For the uninitiated, these fellas play distorted, turned up to 11, sleazy punk rock.
Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval or Juliana Hatfield had fronted Dinosaur Jr?
I caught Never Betters live a couple of times last year and have been excitedly anticipating this release. Throbbing, pulsating guitars swirl and envelope your ears while the drums and bass slam you into a head bob in each of the four tracks included.
It’s a testament to the power of singer April Romano’s voice that she’s able to overpower them to devastating effect. Her sugary sweet howls sound as if she was attempting to reach the stratosphere while being recorded.
Check out: Winona, Bliss, Pictures, Better Person, you know what, just check out the entire thing.
Available Formats: LP, Digital
Album: Made In London VI
Released by: Classic Rock Free 98.1 FM
Available Format: CD
Made In London VI is a compilation album featuring two songs each from the five winners of last years’ Made In London contest from Free 98.1. All songs were recorded at EMAC Studios and this CD succeeds in showcasing the stunning professional production and engineering they’re capable of.
Plan B– This song is exactly what you’d expect to lead a compilation from Classic Rock station Free 98.1. It’s epic and grandiose in a way that would have fit well on either of GNR’s Use Your Illusions and could have been a hit in 1992.
Red Sky – Maintains the “everything but the kitchen sink” formula heard in the first track.
Chloroform– I’ve seen Mirage promos on Facebook for a few months now and was extremely interested to hear them in the studio. From 1992, we’ve now moved into 1993. Major label grunge: guitar feedback crunch and funky slap bass included. I can definitely see this catching on with angsty teens.
Sick Puppet – Okay, this is the first great song on the compilation. This is rocks. Sonically it’s not dissimilar to their preceding track’s 90’s grunge BUT, what sets it apart is the song itself. I’ll say it again. It ROCKS. The stops and starts are timed perfectly and draw you in each time. Dear fans of Nirvana, L7, Bikini Kill, check this song out!
Girl Like That – A silky smooth voice can’t save a song from fairly formulaic “new country” production and lyrics like: “I’ll gladly shake your daddy’s hand and say thank you man how’d you make a girl like that?”.
Heart, Soul & Wallet – I give this song 2 Kid Rocks and 1 Brooks and Dunn out of 10.
With A Fox:
Walk Into The Fire– When did I Mother Earth get popular? 1995? Yeah, this sounds like 1995. If nothing else, this compilation is chronological. That being said.. these guys can play and this seriously have been a hit in 1995. It’s not generally a style I listen to much anymore but, for anyone interested in mid-90s rock, they should check this out. There isn’t any info about the bands but, whoever the singer is, he has a killer voice and everyone in the band can play.
Car Crash Critical = Stabbing Westward + Spin Doctors. You decide if that’s a compliment or not. If you think it’s a compliment – listen to this song now.
Water – In contrast to the Weathered, this song is bare bones; a strummed acoustic guitar and a few layers of Jessica’s tender voice. It’s simple. It’s nice.