Friday, 25 December 2009

FROM GREAT HEIGHT Live At the Bull And Gate 23.12.09 (Gig Review)

FROM GREAT HEIGHT

Bull And Gate, Kentish Town 23.12.09

Having watched this band all year grow with each performance, tonights show proved their coming of age.
It is in part due to the arrival of new drummer Tim who has now made the position his own with quite furious playing bringing a new vitality to already brilliant songs.
Each member of the band has now found themselves and the level of both stage performance and musicianship displays pure profesionalisim.
This gig will be looked back on as the defining moment in their career and one which will also be the starting block to a very succesful 2010.

STU









LAURA LONDONS XMAS SHOW @ BIG RED 18.12.09 (Gig Review)

FIVE SECOND RULE
AMBER AND SAM
LYDIA DARLING
SOPHIE LANDI

Big Red, Holloway Road 18.12.09

SOPHIE LANDI
After an introduction from tonights host, Laura London, Sophie takes to the stage for
another outstanding fire performance, how she does some of those things like running
the flames down her arms then blowing them out without being rushed to hospital burns
unit never fails to impress me!!!
After the fire comes the angle grinder, always visually impressive and slightly dangerous.

LYDIA DARLING
Laura then introduces Lydia, she comes on with a blow torch and lights a cigar which
she then puts out on her tongue!!!Her next performance still remains one of the best acts i have ever seen with a flaming hula hoop which she spins around her neck!!

AMBER & SAM
A special one off performance from Nemhains Sam and Amber with a unique version of
'Santa Baby' in the style of a drunken/stoned female singer (who said Amy Winehouse??).For the next 10 minutes we were treated to one of the best comic routines i have seen for a long time.
I must mention Sam's awesome backing vocals and ambers great improvisations.

FIVE SECOND RULE
Just the most explosive, fun, entertaining rock n roll band around full stop.Starting with 'Sunday Roast' an odd title for a catchy sing-a-long song that gets the place rocking.From this point on its just a non stop party, then we get to 'Clusterfuck' a moody song with a message about the current situation with soldiers fighting in afganistan, the weird thing is that the song works on all levels!
Next up is their cover of 'Word Up', this can mean one thing only...."sexy girl time",
and we have Claudia De La Creme onstage dressed as mrs santa claus and a great
striptease follows!
The song 'Malmo' gets nailed next with its borderline heavy metal riffs and thats
followed by 'Shadows' yet another great song.
The set ends with the song everybody likes 'Ambition' and Claudia and Laura jump up for
some dancing and a quick magic trick, the perfect end to a perfect set!

Lydia then returns to the stage for a classic burlesque striptease and throws her own
branded dollars into the audience.

STU

SOPHIE LANDI
LYDIA DARLING

AMBER AND SAM



FIVE SECOND RULE









LYDIA DARLING


Tuesday, 22 December 2009

KILLAFLAW - HIGHER GROUND (Cd Review)

01.Higher Ground
02.Power Corrupts

Benn Helm (Vocal/Guitar)
Andy Paton (Electronics/Trumpet)

Killaflaw as a writing and recording entity formed in 2006. Prior to this, the
individual members’ musical interests and activities are relatively diverse. Andy Paton
cut his teeth composing electronic music, melding various influences, while at the same
time adding his own original dimension. This led to him performing extremely innovative
and popular live electronics sets, characterised by a hard beat and intelligently
delivered improvisation.

Benn Helm on the other hand spent his years prior to Killaflaw in a more rock/blues
environment, writing, singing and playing guitar in several bands prior to Killaflaw’s
formation. It’s fair to say that singing is the standout quality in Helm’s range of
talent. Whether it’s low blues or screeching rock, Helm can find the notes.
The band formed through a common desire to see what the effect would be of combining
their respective talents.

They quickly picked up positive press from everywhere including the pop magazine
Kerrang! (wel it is pop, have you seen anything metal in there in say the last 10
years??) and a series of awards and high profile gigs.

The bio states "There are few acts worldwide that convincingly create and deliver such
a crossover sound as Killaflaw and that can be evidenced by the makeup of their current
fan base. Fans of everyone from Slayer through to Hot Chip find something in the sound
that they can associate with and enjoy".

Well the thing is that up to now it has not been the sort of thing a Slayer fan would
listen to, in fact up to now its been fairly average in the rock/dance crossover genre
like the much overrated Pendulum, but then these 2 tracks arrived.......

So i hit play and was taken-a-back by the quality of 'Higher Ground', the duo seem to
have matured and finally come up with a dark/industrial dance floor killer, its slow
and moody with an awesome vocal delivery and a simple but catchy chorus, some inspired
sampling in the mix as well sounding in places like a slowed down 'Ministry' and the
trumpet really adds to the ambience of the song.Its weird because it sounds like a collaboration of NIN and INXS!!

'Power Corrupts' follows along in the same style, again great sampling, driving
rhythms, good vocals all put together to create a quite stunning piece of music.
If this is the way forward for the band then i for one will be taking an active
intrest.

Rating 9/10

For fans of: Nine Inch Nails, Prodigy, Mortiis, Skinny Puppy

STU

WASTED SINNERS - UNLEASHED AND DANGEROUS (Cd Review)

01.Fakeness
02.One Night
03.Questions
04.I Want More
05.I'm Fallin'
06.Drugs & Angels

Roxx Hydi (Vocals)
Dainty Rockstar (Guitar)
Pete Sin (Drums)
Dude Rock (Bass)

Formed at the beginning of this year, the london based band mix classic rock with intelligent glam influences.

Track one 'Fakeness' has a real Motley Crue vibe but the guitarwork is much better, really flying solo's, the song 'One Night' is also in the same vain.

'Questions' is a classic rock ballad, this one has real soul, awesome vocals, a moving rhythm and very well written lyrics.

A neat little bass line introduces 'I Want More', followed up with a strong drum beat and punchy guitar, this one is the one that everybody will sing-a-long to, has yet another great guitar solo as well.This is the song that should be getting radio play.

'Im Fallin' is a G'n'R style ballad about falling in love, its a little weak compared to the rest of the EP, but it does the job!

Finally the broody rocker 'Drugs & Angels' another great song with more catchy guitarwork.

Overall an impressive cd, one of the better examples of the genre, well put together songs delivered with real style.

Rating 10/10

For fans of: Motley Crue, Guns N Roses, Roxville, King Lizard, Hanoi Rocks

STU

Sunday, 20 December 2009


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Friday, 18 December 2009

ACE MAFIA - VICIOUS CIRCLE (Cd Review)

01.No More Excuses
02.London Underground
03.Feel The Fire
04.Best Thing
05.Rolling
06.Difference
07.Someday
08.Open Your Eyes
09.So Cruel
10.Vicious Circle
11.Fallen From Heaven

K.Ghibli (Vocals/Guitar)
Richie Faulkner (Guitar)
Bruno Agra (Drums)
Geos Letona (Bass)

Formed in 2008 and based in good old Camden, the band hold a special place for me as their 'Feel The Fire' ep was the very first cd i reviewed on this blog on 30th August 2008.
So now i have been handed an advanced copy of the debut album 'Vicious Circle', time to hit play.........

'No More Excuses' is a great rocker with a BLS vibe, then its straight into 'London Underground' always my favourite song and after a year it still kicks with punchy riffs an awesome solo, great vocals and powerhouse drumming.Its a weird song lyrically about a man finally away from the rush hour nightmare of the Underground wishes he was back there while he is at the office ?!

'Feel The Fire' is a power ballad that also carries emotion and gives a nice break in the album.Wow is all i can say about 'Best Thing' its a fantastic song, a nice commercial sound that is boosted by some brilliant orchestration and guitar work.

The human condition is the subject of 'Rolling' dealing with the story of a man who loses his confidence, blames the world but sets to win it back by believing in himself and fighting his own self doubt.

'Difference' is pretty much a full on metal assault with a melodic breakdown thrown in and there is a really neat acoustic guitar solo in the mix as well.

Okay so it has a great solo in it but i cant really get into the ballad 'Someday' its one of those get your lighter out moments,but doesnt quite hit the mark for me.

The previous track is soon eradicated from my brain (Cell) with the moody 'Open Your Eyes' and then 'So Cruel' with its superb bass playing crashing through the speakers just gets that head a banging again.

The title track 'Vicious Circle' is a wonderful mix of guitar solos, crazy drumming and really strong vocals.

Finally 'Fallen From Heaven' comes up all too soon and as you might expect from the title its one of those big rock ballads, but this one is outstanding, a really nice acoustic intro is soon mixing with some furious double peddling and then once again the superb guitar playing from Richie, i tell you this one has it all and at six minutes it gives you plenty of time to get into and enjoy.

Rating 10/10

For fans of : Black Label Society, Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, Alice In Chains

STU

Thursday, 17 December 2009

MAN OF KIN - AND SO IT BEGINS... (Cd Review)


01.And So It Begins...
02.These 4 Walls
03.Disgrace
04.Overthrown
05.Self Righteous
06.The Unknown
07.Silver Lining

Jaz (Vocals)
Rob (Drums)
Carl (Bass)
Jon (Rhythm Guitar)
Aaron (Lead Guitar)

That 10 months from their debut album and the change of lead guitarists can have such a
profound effect on a band as to change their sound to a level of maturity that many
bands would strive for a decade to create is nothing short of genius.

That this disc is simply a limited edition pre mix demo for the fans is amazing when
you consider that the quality of these recordings is far superior than many an
overblown and over hyped release from so called "big bands".

'And So It Begins...' with a nice rhythmic drumming intro into a really punchy powerchord driven rocker with some great lyrics that nail the current philosophy of the band, "and take this all to where it should have been", perhaps proving a point that the band have now found their feet.As if to underline this new confidence and to herald the new sound we get to hear vocalist Jaz sing for the first time, sure the agression is there but half way through his coice sings out and he has a great voice, but thats not all for the soulful guitar work of Aaron just lifts the song to new levels.

The next song 'These 4 Walls' keeps the pace going with a drum driven metal onslaught and some neat little bass lines creep through.

If you want an anthemic fist in the air headbanger with a superb shout it out loud chorus then 'Disgrace' delivers on all counts, this would make an ideal single and has potential "hit" written all over it.

Evoking the moody thrash/metal of Megadeth and the mighty Judas Priest comes 'Overthrown', "it comes from the soul" screams Jaz and its an angry one but boy does it drive this motherfucker along!

The fastest track and the one that has most anger and swearing is 'Self Righteous', some great backing vocals on this as well.

'The Unknown' is an instant foot tapping head nodder, it just has this rhythm to it that gets to you straight away, its odd because the clean vocals on it make this sound like a Stone Sour song, which is no bad thing trust me.The second single i think.

Finally we come to 'Silver Lining' a fantastic melodic thrash song, again great vocals and superb guitar work come to the forefront of what has turned out to be a truly stunning cd.

Yes its the same band who gave you 'Primitive', 'Swear To God' etc but this is a totally different band in terms of writing, vocal approach and musical structure.The finished product will be out next May for everybody to buy, and it might just turn out to be one of the best british heavy metal albums you will hear.

STU

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of : Pantera, Megadeth, Stone Sour, Slayer, Judas Priest, Evile

HELLCAT MOLLY, FROM GREAT HEIGHT, RAGE DC, RAPID HEART BEATS Live At The Gaff 14.12.09 (Gig Review)

HELLCAT MOLLY
FROM GREAT HEIGHT
RAGE DC
RAPID HEART BEATS

The Gaff, Holloway Road 14.12.09

RAPID HEART BEATS
Very talented rock duo, not a duo by choice as they lost their bassist, but they do make great music.

RAGE DC
As opposed to ruts dc??
This is typical old school proper punk rock, think ruts,damned and uk subs.Short sharpe punchy songs delivered with true conviction.

FROM GREAT HEIGHT
New drummer Tim has really helped push the band forward in terms of music and performance and despite being on such a mixed bill still pulled off a superb set.A great warm up for next weeks big xmas gig at the bull & gate.

HELLCAT MOLLY
Sort of hair metal but without the hair, a really good band fronted by David D'andrade a vocalist in the Coverdale style and with a great stage presence.A good fun and entertaining band with a lot of potential.

STU

RAPID HEART BEATS
RAGE DC
FROM GREAT HEIGHT






HELLCAT MOLLY

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

CAVALAR, VIRUS, FERAL, XENOCHORD Live At The Gaff 13.12.09 (Gig Review)

CAVALAR
VIRUS
FERAL
XENOCHORD

The Gaff, Holloway 13.12.09

XENOCHORD
Hells teeth!
Stunninng death metal with a progresssive edge, a perfect match of agression and
melody, truley awesome power is displayed on songs like 'Sunday Morning' and 'Absinthe'
and one of the coolest bass lines ever on 'delirium'.

FERAL
Playing one of their most relaxed and fun sets i have seen sometime, the melodic
thrashers and really coming into their own now, great songs flow with catchy riffs and
outstanding vocals.

VIRUS
Exactley one year ago the reborn Thrash legends Virus took to the stage at the rock
attic in streatham a little nervous and a handfull of old songs.So for their first anniversary they once more take the stage, this time full of confidence and armed with some new songs.

In many ways this is a different band, now the musicianship has found its level of
professionlism, they looked comfortable on the stage and put on their best performance
to date.
Whilst the old songs like 'Testify To Me' and 'Lunacy' remain crowd favourites and
classics of the genre it is the new songs such as 'Skulls Of My Enemies' which have
their attention now and the ones which define the band as a major force on the current
scene.

CAVALAR
When vocalist Luca takes to the stage he always manages to turn the room into a
stadium, its maybe a little difficult to explain but he is just such a fantastic
frontman (without a doubt the best frontman in rock full stop!) he gives this larger
than life performance.
Backed by the powerhouse drumming of Arn, fantastic bass playing from Max and jaw dropping guitaring from Dan, cavalar remain the best in their field.

I would like to add a personal note here and thank every member of each band for
playing this gig as part of my sons birthday celebrations, thank you guys it meant a
lot to me!!

STU

XENOCHORD

FERAL


VIRUS






CAVALAR






DEMAGOGUE, FIVE SECOND RULE, NEMHAIN Live At The Unicorn, Holloway 12.12.09 (Gig Review)

DEMAGOGUE
FIVE SECOND RULE
NEMHAIN

Unicorn, Holloway 12.12.09

This was a gig held for the joint birthdays of James (Chaosanct/Cradle Of Filth) and
Amber (Nemhain), hosted by Laura London.

NEMHAIN
The rock n roll plague acoustic version and what a version.This was nothing short of stunning, the acoustic arrangements of the rock songs really worked, I dont think i have ever heard Ambers voice sound some emotional before, she put over every song with pure class.
Both Lakis and Sam excelled themselves on guitar, Adrian managed to restrain himself
from hitting the drums hard and Lisa's mellow bass lines punctuated each song with
ease.

Perhaps the stand out song here was the cover of CCR's 'Bad Moon Rising' usually an
upbeat tune but now turned into a dark and moody downbeat goth/doom song with some
outstanding slide work from Sam who also did some amazing backing vocals as well.

FIVE SECOND RULE
You know what you are going to get when the guy in the white hat shouts "time for some
fucking rock n roll", you get a 30 minute party!
Tonights set was a little chaotic but the songs just carry through and get everyone
dancing and singing, the venue went crazy on the final song 'Ambition'.

DEMAGOGUE
A mixture of thrash/death metal but with some huge melodic elements make this
headlining set quite something to see.Demonic vocals and massive amounts of riffing created a wall of sound that had everybody headbanging.

STU

NEMHAIN








FIVE SECOND RULE











DEMAGOGUE