Monday, 21 January 2019

Rockicks – Keep On Rockin’ (A Retrospective Anthology)



FINALLY!!!! G’daaaam! I’ve been waiting for this 70s classic to be released on CD since Moses was running around in shorts. Rockicks classic album “Inside” was released on RSO Records back in 1976 and I bought the LP back then. The band delivers a big chunk of southern influenced hard rock with dual guitars all over the place. There are heavy rockers like “Consideration”, rockers like “Rock N’ Roll Band”, powerful hard rockers like “Sweet Wealth” and “Keep On Rockin”. What was a huge surprise was that besides the 8 tracks from the original album there’s a SHITLOAD of previously unreleased bonus tracks here!! 7 tracks on the CD containing the album AND an extra CD with another 14 (!!) tracks!!! There’s a whole lot of killer stuff here! Damn, I wish they would have been given the opportunity to record a follow-up. Not that these tracks are badly recorded, but they could have been even better! 16 of the bonus tracks are from 1977! Damn! That’s even two albums (ok, there are a few alternate versions). There are also three really great tracks from 1991-1992. The quality of these tracks makes me wonder why there wasn’t another album there and then! The quality, both musically and soundwise is killer! The final track is a 2005 alternate version of “Consideration”, a sort of lounge version. Not bad at all, but I do prefer the heavy version. Unfortunately, two of the original members have passed, Rick Altschuler in 2004 and Brian Naughton in 2012, so I guess a Rockicks re-union is out of the question. Well, this double shot will at least give you the bands outstanding music in digital shape and form. A must!!

Janne Stark
Label: Grooveyard Records
Year: 2018

Country: USA

Vindicata – Beneath The Surface (CD)


This was not really what I expected to hear from the Grooveyard, I must admit! Vindicata, fronted by the raspy and fiery power pack Mary Magill leans more towards modern detuned riff-oriented hard rock (think Sevendust, Alter Bridge etc.) than the 70s influenced bluesy stuff we’re used to hearing from the guitar label of guitar labels. However, I must say I do not mind at all. This is some heavy shit! The band was previously called Half The World and released two CDs, now really rare and hard to find. The band changed their name to Vindicata and “Beneath The Surface” is a compilation of these two albums, but with a couple of changes. The band has also added the talent of Chris Poland (Ohm, OHMphrey, Megadeth etc). He has added some outstanding solos on almost all the tracks!  Even though the albums were written and originally recorded a few years apart and they were released some years ago, this does feel like a very homogenous and fresh album! You definitely can’t tell it’s a not a "new" album (I was actually halfway through the album before I was like – Where the hell have I heard this before??). Guess the band was a bit ahead of its time. Great band! Looking forward to hearing some new material!

Janne Stark
Label: Grooveyard Records
Year: 2018
Country: USA
Link: www.facebook.com/vindicataband

-->

Revolution Highway – Revolution Highway (CD)


Man, when this album kicked off I was immediately thrown back to when I first heard the debut album by Montrose back in 1973. Earthy, analogue hard rock with phat riffs, pounding drums and a singer that rips! David Fefolt is his name and he’s previously been heard in bands like FireW├Âlf, Hawk and Masi). Nothing wrong with his past ventures, but this one kicks them top the curb! So, who’s delivering the guitar riffs if not the hardest working man in Greece, Mr Stavros Papadopolous of Universal Hippies, Freerock Saints and Super Vintage. He’s really proved to be a riff force to be reckoned with on his other releases, and here he really sums it up, blending his bluesy licks and his powerful riffing capabilities. Two songs in and I’m in hook, line, singer and rod! This is without doubt one of the best albums of 2018! If you’re into bands like Montrose, (the sadly underrated) Manic Eden or Badlands with a touch of heavier 80s hard rock (think Whitesnake “1980”) this one’s for you. As usual it’s got flawless, powerful production from Stavros. When I hear an intro and a riff like in “All The Way Down” a big smile just floats out all over my face. This ROCKS (yes, capital letters required)! There’s honestly not a single weak track on the album! My biggest problem will be, getting it out of my CD-player, as it will probably get stuck from melting of excessive playing. A killer album indeed (if you haven’t gathered that by now)!

Janne Stark
Country: Greece/USA
Year: 2018

Label: Grooveyard Records