Mike Tramp–Second Time Around

Mike Tramp has been carving out quite a successful solo career for himself with his brand of Americana. He has a new album out called Second Time Around which in a trailer he said reflected that some the songs have been around for a while and were finally making into onto an album. From this first track available from the album it sounds like he is sticking to a tried and trusted sound. His albums are always worth a listen.

Harem Scarem–Change the World

Well, if I’m going to kick Mood Swings back to life, I’ve got to mention the guys that were the inspiration behind the website’s name……

It happen earlier in the year whilst Mood Swings was on hiatus, but Harem Scarem released another studio album called Change the World. Another short one, very similar to their past few albums. If you haven’t heard them before it will blow your brains – short, sharp and very melodic. These guys consistently produce high quality albums. They are like a machine. Better than their last album? Possibly?

Conception–State of Deception

Way back I remember liking the band Conception, especially their Flow album. It was one of those albums that grew on you and became a compelling listen, despite the fact that I couldn’t name any of the tracks. Conception called it quits about 20 years ago and singer Roy Khan went on to join Kamelot. They surfaced again unexpectedly in 2018 with an EP. This year came the first new full album – State of Conception. Like their previous work, it takes a few listens to work it’s magic. Below is the quarantine version of By The Blues taken from the album.

Godsticks–Victim Video

Godsticks released their third album back in February this year. They have now released the third single from the album. They describe their music as “the mix of heavy rock, progressive and alternative metal with a dynamic range of angular riffs and emotional depth is leaving listeners reeling”. I’m partial to bands like Blind Ego and RPWL. Godsticks have a similar vibe, I’ll have to check out the album.

Intelligent Music Project

A couple of days ago an album called Life Motion by a band called Intelligent Music Project came up in my Spotify music suggestions. Based on the cover I thought it might be the sort of chilled or ambient instrumentals I listen to when working. On closer examination I saw the names Simon Philips, Ronnie Romero and John Payne across the bottom. I put in on and it kept me company while I worked. The music turned out to be mainly AOR with a hint of progressive elements (if you really used your imagination). Later that night I did some research and found out that the Intelligent Music Project is the brain child of Bulgarian Dr. Milen Vrabevski. In fact, this is the fifth album and like the others it features an all star line up.

New JSS Live Album

I was listening to Human Clay – The Complete Recordings at the weekend and thinking that I much prefer it when he sticks to hard rock or AOR, rather his metal adventures with Sons of Apollo and his own band Soto. Today the news that Jeff Scott Soto has released a live album on digital platforms. It was recorded that the 2019 Frontiers Festival. Not sure what the content of the whole album, but this teaser is the style I prefer. This apparently will be a bonus album to accompany a new solo album due later this year.

Winger – Better Days Comin Jam

All star web jams are all the rage during lockdown.

Winger have done a version of the very appropriate “Better Days Comin’”.

Thanks for the great version and the positive message guys!

Vanden Plas – The Epic Works 1991 – 2015

VANDEN PLAS the epic works.jpg

This box set covers the bands career, including
1 Colour Temple
2 AcCult
3 The God Thing
4 Far Off Grace
5 Spirit of Live
6 Beyond Daylight
7 Christ 0
8 The Seraphic Clockwork
9 Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld [Path One]
10 Chronicles Of The Immortals (Netherworld II)

Axe – Final Offering

Axe, featuring Bobby Barth, have a new album out on the 20th Sept on Escape Music. I haven’t heard anything from the band in a long time. A welcome return to my speakers.


 

The Defiants -Zokusho

The Defiants, featuring Paul Laine, Bruno Ravel and Rob Marcello, are to unleash more D2 style rocking upon us shortly. If this first sample is anything to go by, it will be well worth exploring.

Innuendo – ei8ht

Innuendo - eig8ht cover

Innuendo are a band that I reviewed a few times during the 2000’s and then around the mid-2000’s they disappeared off my radar for quite a few years. They then popped up in 2017 with “The Road Not Taken” and here they are again with their eighth album.

They consist of main songwriter Brett Richey who plays guitars/bass/keys together with Pat Laferty on vocals, with Tom Carr completing the lineup on drums. Brett plays in a number of gigging bands, but Innuendo is where he gets to showcase his own songs.

I remember being partial to their 2000’s albums, with ‘three’ being particularly memorable for me. Their last album was a somewhat mellow affair that it took me a few listens to get into. This time the band are giving us the short sharp shock treatment with 11 songs squeezed into 36 mins.

The band describe the music as ‘ultra-melodic, AOR, classic hard pop-rock’ and talk about the music harking back to an era when music made a statement. Their music has evolved from the acoustic hair metal/AOR of their early albums to a more mainstream retro pop-rock sound.

Neal Morse – Jesus Christ The Exorcist

Neal Morse has a new progressive musical released called ‘ Jesus Christ The Exorcist’. It seems it has been in the works for quite some time. The subject matter is pretty obvious from the title.  I have only dipped into this and further listening is definitely required. Featuring a variety of singers, it is a great way of bringing the life Jesus to the world.

Stan Bush – The 80’s

Stan Bush has a new single called the 80’s released. Yeah, all melodic rock fans hark back to the 80’s as the heyday of the genre. Needless to say, the spirit of the 80’s are evoked by this slice of nostalgia.

Eclipse – United

Eclipse have a new single out called ‘United’ ahead of a new album, ‘Paradigm’,  which scheduled for release in October. The single has been selected as the official theme for video festival Dreamhack Showdown.

I discovered these guys on the back of W.E.T. as delved into the background of the other members, having originally been attracted to W.E.T. due to Jeff Scott Soto’s involvement as lead singer.

Arch / Matheos

I’m not sure why is has come into my sights this weekend, but the Arch/Matheos album that came out a couple of months ago, Ethereal Winter, has been my choice for listening. Reading reviews it seems that the lack of bass is an issue for some, but overall it is a good listen. I’ll definitely be checking out their earlier album.

Dennis Ward joins Magnum

Dennis Ward is to replace Alan Barrow as the bassist in Magnum. Since Alan moved Stateside he has been finding it increasingly difficult to meet band commitments. In steps Denis (PC69), who is currently helping the band record their new album which is due for release in 2020. Here is Alan saying goodbye to the fans:

Starting again

Well, yet more hosting technical issues have forced a wipe of existing content and wiping the slate clean. Attempts to import existing content failed so far. More work to be done in that department.

New content to follow, although maybe not this weekend, as the sun is shining in this part of the world 🙂