You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month. It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site. See…simple! Now, if you want to cast more than one vote, comment on the Twitter and Facebook post and you could get up to 3 votes on your favorite pick.
There are no longer rules for my selections, maybe themes. I’m just picking albums in my collection and this time they are all from European Bands that never really made it in the States. What are the 5 albums you ask? I have them right here…
Gotthard – ‘Lipservice‘ (2005)
The Poodles – ‘Metal Will Stand Tall’(2006)
Jorn – ‘Worldchanger ‘(2001)
Reach – ‘The Promise of Life’ (2021)
Passion – ‘Passion’ (2020)
Let me know which one you would like to see and sometime in March, I will post a review of the album that gets the most votes. You have one week to decide and from there I will start listening to the album and do a review.
Alright…You Picked It! This one was really close and we actually ended in a tie. That is right. Two artist got the same # of votes. The winner for this month’s picks ended up being Queensryche’s ‘Hear in the Now Frontier’ AND Saigon Kick’s ‘The Lizard’ and I am real excited about this fact. So, what we are going to do is review them both, but with a twist. First, we will review Queensryche’s ‘Hear in the Now Frontier’ and down the road, we will do Saigon Kick’s ‘The Lizard’ as someone out there has agreed to review it at the same time with me so I am taking him up on that offer. Here are the results.
Queensryche – ‘Hear in the Now Frontier’ – 5 votes
Saigon Kick – ‘The Lizard’ – 5 votes
Arcade – ‘Arcade’ – 4 votes
Collective Soul – ‘Collective Soul’ – 2 votes
Stryper – ‘Against the Law’ – Disqualified as I already reviewed that one…doh!!
Thanks to all for participating. The March choices will be up on Saturday! And the choices are all from my collection and the next one will all be more modern European Bands that never really made it in the States. Hopefully you can help me decide which one I should review.
QUEENSRYCHE – ‘HEAR IN THE NOW FRONTIER’ (1997):
Back around 1997, music was a sort of black hole for me. I was lost, wandering around trying to find something I liked and whenever bands from the 80’s put something out, I would get excited and grab it. As I did this one back in the day. Queensryche’s 6th studio album was ‘Hear in the Now Frontier’ and it was released on March 25, 1997 and I wasn’t one of the first to get it, but I did get it that year. The CD was no longer in my collection for some reason, and when I was out digging, I found it and saw the name of the song “Sign of the Times” and thought, I liked that song, let me get this as it was only about $3m. Man, did I over pay for this thing. Also, now I remember why it was no longer in my collection. This was my jumping off point for Queensryche and honestly, never have revisited anything that has come after. They completely lost me with this one.
In talking with Michael LeFevre over at 80sMetalMan after he did a Survivor post, we thought it would be fun to do an album ranking of all 8 of their albums. We wanted to see how we looked at each album. So, here is my list. Click on 80sMetalMan to go see his list.
Survivor…everyone knows them because of the Rocky movies whether it is “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky III or “Burning Heart” from Rocky IV, but the band was so much more than that. They were a great pop rock band / AOR or whatever you want to call them. The main three band members were vocalists Dave Bickler, keyboardist Jim Peterik and guitarist Frankie Sullivan (the only original member left in the band). They had other members but those were the three consistent members. After 4 albums, Dave left due to vocal issues and Jimi Jamison came in on vocals and took the band to a different level. The band sort of broke up after 1988’s ‘Too Hot To Sleep’, but Jimi Jamison still toured under the name which caused a lot of lawsuits. Dave came back in the fold from time to time and so did Jimi. After an 18 year break, they released their 8th album ‘Reach’ and that has been it ever since…mainly due to the passing of Jimi Jamison back in 2004. Maybe some day we will get more Survivor music, but for now, this is what we got. How do they rank? Check it out.
April was a solid month of purchases and some great finds. I went digging at an antique mall and cleaned up, I found a few things on ebay and discogs I needed for something special and then I found a few things that were especially cool.
First up, we will go with the especially cool things. I am a big fan of the Train album ‘Drops of Jupiter’ for many reasons. One, it is a really great album! Two, my brother-in-law was the engineer on that album. So when the 20th Anniversary Edition popped up online, I had to grab as I don’t think it had ever been issued on vinyl prior which means I didn’t have it. It is a beauty…
The next was a Michael Sweet album. Stryper released an album years ago called ‘Reborn’ which was the band’s comeback album. The album was originally done as a Michael Sweet solo album, but it was decided to redo it for the band. Well, now we get the original Michael Sweet solo album the way it was intended. This one is called “Reborn Again” and is on a fiery red vinyl and is autographed (on the back) by Michael Sweet…SWEET!!!
Happy Friday everyone! Spring is upon and us and things are heating up both in temperature and releases. We have some great stuff for you today, at least I hope you find some of it great. Lots of rock, lots of Indie and lots of country. I know I’m excited as I have 3 new albums I am eagerly waiting on and those are marked in Blue. Let me know what you are interested in hearing and what I may have missed on my list so everyone can know what is out there. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.
Reach – The Promise of a Life – (Icons Creating Evil Art): This three-piece band from Sweden is back with their third album. Their last album, ‘The Great Divine’, was my favorite album a few years ago so can’t wait for this one. The used to be a little melodic rock, but now they are far from it. They are way more alternative rock now in the vein of maybe The Muse or even Panic at times. We will see if I like the new direction, but I have a feeling I still will.
Kaleo – Surface Sounds – (Elektra Records): Are you ready for Icelandic Blues Rock…you heard me right. This band from Iceland are the real deal. This is their third album that was supposed to come out last year right around the time the pandemic hit and now we are finally getting it. They are a solid blues band and you will be in for a treat.
Welcome to the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2018. These songs are my favorite songs of the year and were not necessarily played on the radio or even shot up the charts. They just moved me in some way good or bad!
#20 – “Loading Zones” – Kurt Vile off the album ‘Bottle it In’: Kurt’s can be about the mundane and anything that troubles him in life. This is about the horrors of trying to park in the city. It has such a great little beat to it and some great guitar and such a simple subject that yet turns into something amazing. The video is great as well.
#19 – “Roll Me Under” – Stone Temple Pilots off the album ‘Stone Temple Pilots (2018)’: I know I did give the album the best review, but I liked this song. It had the old STP sound, but it was also Jeff Gutt at his best on the album. Such a heavy bass and guitar sound, it was just great.
2018 was another year with some great releases and way too many to get through them all so I am sure I missed a number of great albums and if you look around the web, there will be tons of Top Album lists you can get a pretty good idea of what you should check out in case you missed any of these.
This list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year. All other types of music will be for a later post. I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre. It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!
Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!! These are not the most popular or trendy albums. These are the albums that I connected with during the year and I kept coming back to again and again. And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2018:
My #1 Album of the Year:
Reach – The Great Divine: A modern, yet melodic rock album that just grabs hold and won’t let go from beginning to end. A band I had never heard of prior to this album and I am now wondering where they have been my whole life. Just a fantastic album with no songs to skip or delete. Almost pure perfection. The first album I bought that was new in 2018 and still listen to it today. With songs like “The Great Divine”, “Nightmare” and “Into Tomorrow” you can see they have the goods. The production value was great, the music, the vocals, it was all solid and my favorite album of the year!! Give it a try (and check out my original review by clicking the album title).
I am going to go ahead and say I had no idea who this band was before listening. I saw their album reviews on other sites I visit and the ratings were really good so I decided to check out the album. And let me tell you, those reviews were no where close to how I good this album really is. I will put it out there…this is my FAVORITE album so far this year. It is unbelievable!!
Now, who is Reach? Reach is a band out of Sweden and ‘The Great Divine’ is actually their second album. I completely missed the first. The band is now a power trio and consists of the following members:
Ludvig Turner (Guitars & Vocals)
Marcus Johansson (Drums)
Soufian Ma’Aoui (Bass)
The album was was recorded at Rocksta Sound Studio, produced by Jona Tee (H.E.A.T) and mixed by Tobias Lindell (Europe, Avatar). That is the basic summary I have found on the band. They are labeled as a melodic rock band as it seems most bands from Sweden seemed to be labeled. Well, that and Glam. But I feel that label limits them. They have that sound – the strong hooks and melodies, but their sound is also so modern and varied that I think they are so much more. Ludvig’s vocal abilities are definitely showcased throughout the album.