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Steven Reid

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John Elefante - Defying Gravity (Ex-Kansas frontman's best solo album. Beautiful melodies, amazing vocals (both lead and backing) and hugely memorable choruses. A sublime piece of AOR)

Vow Wow - Cyclone (The energy and attack behind this Japanese melodic hard rock album still takes my breathe away some 32 years after it was first released. Diehard fans will tell you it's the Bow Wow years you should listen to, but this may be the best album by any incarnation of the band)

Derringer - The Complete Blue Sky Albums 1976-1978: 5CD Box Set (this box contains the band's three studio albums and two live discs. A hugely underrated band)

Big Country - 5 Album Classics -The Crossing/Steeltown/The Seer/Peace In Our Time/No Place In Time (I've only ever had a passing interest in Big Country, but this box is a great opportunity to reassess the band's first five albums - bagpipe guitars and all. Why did it take me so long to 'get' it?)

Mutation - III Dark Black (Ginger Wildheart's 'extreme' metal project hits the heights. Undoubtedly the best recording Mutation have put together in what's previously been a patchy catalogue)

Status Quo - The Vinyl Collection 1981-1996 (From Never Too Late to Don't Stop, this box covers possibly the least celebrated era of the Quo. To be fair some of these albums (In The Army Now and Thirsty Work for example) are cringeworthy in places, but Never Too Late and 1+9+8+2 are great poppy blues rock, while Perfect Remedy has its moments. An album of rarities from across the period adds value to the set)

Aynsley Lister - Equilibrium (One of my favourite commercial blues albums of recent years. Aynsley Lister should be a superstar)

Halestorm - 3.0 - The Covers EP (Does anyone do covers better than Halestorm? Lzzy Hale is also THE best female vocalist around. Killer version of "Still Of The Night" (Whitesnake), "For Whom The Bells Tolls" (Metallica), "I Hate Myself For Loving You" (Joan Jett) and more!)

Fugitive - Locked & Loaded (Great little EP from UK melodic rock act who've been around for a couple of decades, but are finally getting their studio act together. Too good to miss)

Comics I've been reading over recent weeks

Moonshine (A cool mix of gangsters, monsters and moonshine)

The Chimera Brigade (World history rewritten, with a hint of steam-punk, politics, intrigue and loads of action)

The Strain - Mr Quinlan Vampire Hunter (A prequel to Guillermo Del Toro's The Strain series. A little slow, but still good fun. Don't make this your starting point in what was an awesome series)

KISS (Dynamite) (KISS are back in comics again, with Dynamite trying to weave lyrics and album titles into a ho-hum tried and tested story. A little disappointing to be honest)

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