Another diverse week of rock releases should provide all those romantics out there with plenty of food for thought ahead of Valentine’s Day but The Who’s latest greatest hits package will be the biggest seller of the week.
We rate the Super Bowl-bound vets alongside new releases from Robin Brock, Edge Of Forever, Titan and Orden Ogan.
And there’s a full review of thrash legends Anthrax‘s repackaged and remastered classic Among the Living, featuring the Live In London DVD Oidivnikufesin (NFV).
There will be those who tune into tonight’s Superbowl coverage not to cheer on either the Saints or the Colts but to watch the half-time entertainment.
And there will probably be US football fans, unfamiliar with The Who’s rich back catalogue who are so impressed with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend, they will want to hear some more.
With impeccable timing, The Who release their latest Greatest Hits offering and for newbies it provides the perfect introduction to one of classic rock’s greatest bands. But as the title suggests, there’s more, much more with an outstanding second CD featuring live cuts recorded between 1965 (the legendary My Generation) and 2007 (the anti-iclerical Man In A Purple Dress from the recent Endless Wire album).
Most of the songs, however, are taken from concerts staged in the 70s when The Who were proclaimed the world’s loudest band..
There’s a blistering Pinball Wizard, an enchanting Behind Blue Eyes and a not-to-be-missed Won’t Get Fooled Again which will blow away fans who have followed them for 40 years – or just since catching them at the Miami showpiece. Ian Murtagh
rushonrock rated: 9/10 Fooled One More Time
This very site has lauded Titan as the natural heirs to fellow Swedes Europe and there are moments on this six-track mini album where the two acts become one.
Yet where Europe have moved on to forge a heavier blues rock sound less reliant on striking keys, the young bucks of Titan frequently head in the opposite direction to create a melting pot of retro 80s pop rock.
Borne out of the ashes of Striker it’s doubtful this cool-as-ice quintet will appeal to the mass metal market – at time they sound more A-Ha than AC/DC – but there’s something achingly attractive about Titan’s ear for an anthem. Title track Hero is a strange choice to open with as a the weakest of the songs showcased here but When Evening Falls is fantastic stuff. Roll on the full length debut.
rushonrock rated: 7/10 Confident Steps
Apparently Robin Brock is an award winning artiste with a sound akin to Heart, Pat Benatar, Def Leppard and Shania Twain. Not on this evidence.
Lyrically this record is astonishingly immature. The song Two Words (one of which is a rude one) is the kinda thing adolescent boys would revel in before gaining a greater grasp of the English language. Just what possesses an experienced female rocker with the aforementioned pedigree to pen this trash is anyone’s guess. Perhaps ‘hitmaker’ John Capek should shoulder some of the blame.
Throughout Monsters there’s a familiar theme of cringeworthy lyrics, messy production and a sense that too many ill-equipped cooks have utterly spoilt this tasteless broth. New Addiction tops Two Words in terms of serving up a series of nonsensical couplets you’d be embarrassed to sing in the confines of a deserted studio – let alone in front of a roomful of fans. This was one CD I couldn’t wait to review – talk about a huge anticlimax.
rushonrock rated: 3/10 Monster Failure
This melodic rock treat is a personal triumph for singer/songwriter/producer Alessandro Del Vecchio and if the vocals don’t always meet the high standards set across 10 anthemic tracks then at least there’s room for improvement.
Perhaps Del Vecchio has taken on too much, too soon but there’s no doubt he’s enhanced an already glowing reputation with one of the surprise packages of 2010 to date. His pipes have potential but vocal inconsistencies are the only downside to an utterly engrossing record.
Even the urgent cover of Flashdance (What A Feeling) fits well within a raft of originals capable of giving the 21st century’s returning hair metal heroes a real run for their money. Lonely is a cracker of a tune and What I’ve Never Seen will tingle the spines of the most hardened rocker. Keep an eye out for Edge Of Forever and keep your fingers crossed they keep moving in the right direction.
rushonrock rated: 8/10 Edge Of Greatness
Pitched somewhere between the bombast of Dragonforce and the battle metal of Turisas this is a mighty album which more than enhances Germany’s reputation for flying the heavy metal flag with meaning.
Vocalist Seeb sounds like he could front any number of British indie rock bands but this slight anomaly aside his sheer power is what draws the listener in to a stunning collection of hard and fast rock classics.
Nobody Leaves offers a foreboding sense of things to come and the pace rarely slackens after that. We Are Pirates is perfectly pitched at taking boozed-up festival crowds by the scruff of the neck and that’s exactly what Orden Ogan intend to do throughout 2010. Seeing these guys live should be a real treat if this accomplished record is anything to go by.
rushonrock rated: 8/10 Ogan Grinder
Founder members of thrash metal’s big four Anthrax were always liable to deliver some of the heaviest and most eclectic music around. Where Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth stuck to the genre’s hard and fast rules in their formative years, these guys were never afraid to push the boundaries and look outside of the rock box.
In Among The Living they successfully created a thrash classic capable of drawing in fans of rap, rock and punk without ever alienating a fan base in awe of the band’s raw passion fused with ,usical precision. Given a full revamp this landmark album sounds nastier and edgier than ever with the frenetic Caught In A Mosh still the definitive anthem for the thrash generation.
Packaged with 1987’s video Oidivnikufsin – featuring 12 tracks performed in front of a manic London audience – this is the most luxurious of deluxe editions. Back to the audio and the instrumental version of I’m The Man is the perfect illustration of why Anthrax were revered by those musicians in the know and why their essential thrash legacy lives on. Groundbreaking stuff.
rushonrock rated: 9/10 Among The Best