She Burns Red:”Interstellar” / “My Curse” - Returning Scottish rockers She Burns Red have now released two brand new singles, the latest being the full throttle rip and roar of “Interstellar” where Foo Fighters at their most caustic is evoked in fine, fine style. The twin lead vocals are also an absolute joy! “My Curse” was released a little while back but it too possesses a power packed punch that’s proud to live in the land of Wildhearts, Baby Chaos and Deftones. This lot are undoubtedly a band to watch!
Fugitive: The Awakening - Prime British melodic hard rock from UK veterans who’ve undergone something of a reinvention and rejuvenation over the past couple of years. With a 50% new line up (and combined age of over 200!) album number three from the band is a confident outburst that cranks up the good times, while also throwing in a great mix of slower and acoustic asides. A welcome return that’s available for pre-order on Pledge right now.
The Room: Caught By The Machine - Another British band making waves, The Room have teamed up with the White Star label to deliver a more mature and rounded outing with their third album. With a singer that reminds of Michael Sadler, there’s no getting away from the fact that the band draw from Saga for inspiration, but there’s a more blatant pop side going on here and an individual streak that proves The Room to be no simple copyists.
King Diamond: Songs For The Dead - Live - A stunning visual live document of one of Metal’s greatest frontmen as he delves into his stunning catalogue, a sprinkling of Mercyful Fate and the entire Abigail album. Two shows appear, a Graspop 2016 headline appearance and a more intimate Philadelphia Fillmore show from the year before. The productions and setlists may be near identical, but the performances have a distinct enough vibe that both are compelling viewing.
Toby Jepson: Twisted Rhapsodies - The one time singer and song writer with Little Angels, Toby Jepson has a solo catalogue that never really quite got the recognition it deserved. Tracks like “Paper Thin”, “Cutting Me Down To Size”, “When Love Has Gone” and, well, most of the fourteen studio cuts here remind us of exactly why Little Angels were and remain so loved. With an excellent live disc offering a mix of solo and Angels cuts, this underrated release is well worth seeking out.
Headspace: All That You Fear Is Gone - I really enjoyed this mini-supergroup’s debut album, I Am Anonymous, but I have to admit that the follow up All That You Fear Is Gone has taken me much longer to really get to know. I’m a big fan of singer Damian Wilson but even with that and the stellar work from Lee Pomeroy (bass) and Adam Wakeman (keys) alongside Pete Rinaldi (guitars) and Adam Falkner (drums) it’s only recently that I’ve unlocked this technical progressive collection. Proof that it’s always worth revisiting those albums in your vaults that didn’t quite click with you first time round.
UFO: Seven Deadly - One of the hardest things for new bands coming through is just how damn good the oldies still are. Whether it’s Uriah Heep, Saxon, Deep Purple, Styx, or in this case, UFO, the standard of music these ‘has beens’ have been tossing around is of the highest order. I’ve only just caught up with Seven Deadly, but boy have UFO done it again. Phil Mogg is in fine form, but it’s guitarist Vinnie Moore who truly shines here, making a band known for another iconic guitarist very much his own.
Marillion: Glass Half Full - A three disc affair that charts the making of the band’s excellent Marbles release, GHF is maybe for Marillion diehards only. If you fall into that category, then this is an insightful, interesting and at times intentionally humorous journey under the skin of a release that has long proved a fan favourite.
Thrills: First Thrills/Magical Hands From Kingdom Come - I can’t claim to be a long term fan of the majestic melodic rock of Thrills, this welcome if simple reissue of the band’s debut alongside a previously unreleased album coming to my attention due to recent forum chatter. Boy, was that a thread worth reading! The is pretty awesome stuff from a time when melodic rock was neither throwaway, or cookie cutter. If you love rarities from the 70s, this should be on your radar.
(Audio Drama) Doctor Who: THE WAR DOCTOR SERIES 01: ONLY THE MONSTROUS - The late John Hurt may not have been the Doctor for more than a few minutes on TV but we can only thank Big Finish that through their audio dramas we get to savour his angst ridden incarnation for a few episodes more. Pitted against the Daleks, the War Doctor takes choices that that he really has to but the consequences are no easier for him to live with.