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Toseland: Cradle the Rage

James Toseland (vocals), Zurab Melua (Guitar), Ed Bramford (Guitar), Roger Davis (bass) and Joe Yoshida (drums), are the members of Toseland, and Cradle the Rage is their second album. The band's 2015 debut Renegade, which has apparently gone on to sell well over 10,000 copies, something that isn't to be sniffed at these days. Toby Jepson (Little Angels vocalist) is in the producer's chair with the legendary Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Bryan Adams, Mötley Crüe) in charge of the mixing of the album. James Toseland who is a two-time World Superbike Champion says,' "Cradle the Rage, as a title, is all about trying to control the frustrations of life we all go through. When things aren't going your way or you seem to be getting nowhere fast. I wanted a song you could sing to release that energy and frustration. All my lyrics are of real interest to me that I've discovered in my life. Whether it be through sport i.e. winning and losing or in life's roller coaster of situations that it throws at us."

Wow, that's a lot to say through the relatively constricted confines of melodic hard rock but Cradle the Rage is a more than solid record from beginning to end. For me the key tracks are "We'll Stop at Nothing" which has boundless energy, loud guitars and a supremely uplifting chorus and "Livin' a Lie" which may well be a little cheesier in the lyric department but absolutely begs to be heard in a large arena. Whether or not Cradle the Rage is the album to get Toseland into arenas is open to debate but that's mainly down to the lack of openings for young rock bands these days rather than the music which is good solid hard rock.

Track Listing:
1. Too Close To Call
2. Puppet On A Chain
3. Living In A Moment
4. Fingers Burned
5. Stranger Things
6. We'll Stop At Nothing
7. Never Love Another
8. Livin' a Lie
9. Waiting for the Answers
10. Nothing You Can Do About It
11. Cradle The Rage

Added: August 29th 2016
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1767
Language: english

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Toseland: Cradle the Rage
Posted by Steven Reid, SoT Staff Writer on 2016-08-28 19:09:10
My Score:

It would be easy to see Toseland as some sort of vanity project for James Toseland, a man who has already had a hugely successful career as a champion motorcycle racer. However after the well received Renegade album in 2014, Toseland, the band, gigged round the UK's smaller venues and took slots low down on festival bills in hope of building their fanbase from the ground up. Doubtless there are a few people who, having followed the singer's career on two wheels, were tempted to hear what he was like behind the mic. However by album number two, Cradle The Rage, you'd guess, what with little or no trading on his past going on, those numbers would be dwindling. Unless of course the music and Toseland's vocal prowess was up to scratch.

Having long followed his career as frontman in Little Angels and as a solo artist, it would appear that producer Toby Jepson is key to the continued success of this band, the Toseland sound feeling like a heavier, less chart (of their time) focused extension of the L.A. sound. After all, Dave Kemp (half of the Little Angels' 'Big Bad Horns' shows up on a couple of tracks on saxophone, while Jepson himself adds backing vocals here and there. That however is no bad thing, a sharp but accessible rock sound confidently delivered right across the eleven songs on show. Admittedly the slower "We'll Stop At Nothing" adds a more contemporary edge with strings and a Myles Kennedy like delivery from Toseland, while "Fingers Burned" brings a Thunder(ing) judder of blues rock to the party. Add in the upbeat Tyketto like-verse and Scorpions like-chorus of "Never Love Another" and there's more than enough variety to compliment the straight upbeat throb of "Too Close To Call", the pulsating "Puppet On A Chain" and searingly infectious "Living In A Moment".

However it's "Livin' A Lie" and its staccato riff and choppy beat that really has you realising that we're dealing with a top notch outfit here. And crucially this is an 'outfit', a 'band', a 'collective', rather than James Toseland fronting a group of hidden in the background nobodies. Instead drummer Joe Yoshida (a hugely respected session player) is allowed to drive the whole album with his dynamic style, while the twin axe work from Zurab Melua (yes, brother of Katie) and Ed Bramford is as good as you could hope to hear, while the experience bassist Roger Davis brings (he spent many a year in the underrated Marshall Law) is key.

Good, honest hard rock has long been under appreciated. However when it's done as well as it is here, it's easy to understand why it has endured as long as it has. Toseland are a great band and with Cradle The Rage they've proved it once again. Toseland will be hitting stages in the UK later in 2016 and I for one can't wait to hear these songs live. Until then I'll certainly be cradling their rage.

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