REVIEWS – NEW MUSIC
This Sunday we round up the best of October’s new releases with big hitting records from Aerosmith, Black Country Communion, Graveyard, Neal Schon and Doro leading the charge.
We also run the rule over Night Ranger and Ten as we close in on next month’s eagerly anticipated 2012 RUSHONROCK Roll Of Honour.
RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK
Black Country Communion – Afterglow (J&R Adventures)
Genre: Classic Rock
If this is, indeed, the final act of the best blues rock band to emerge in a decade then at least Glenn Hughes, Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian have signed off on a high.
Afterglow somehow manages to surpass the band’s previous two efforts by adding heavy slabs of chunky rhythm to the quartet’s classy melodies and allowing top tinkler Sherinian free reign on the keys.
Such is the emotion and passion coursing through this inspirational record that it’s deeply upsetting to imagine that it could be the end of BCC. Should that happen file under: potential unfulfilled.
RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10
BEST OF THE REST
Aerosmith (Music From Another Dimension, Columbia) are back with their first album since 2004’s patchy Honkin’ On Bobo and their best effort for almost two decades. Opener Luv XXX is classic Toxic Twins and if follow-up Oh Yeah comes across like a lazy B-side it’s a rare dip. A long-awaited return to form and proof that good can come from bad (RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10).
Doro can do know wrong right now and her latest offering (Raise Your Fist, Nuclear Blast) is no-holds-barred metal to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. The former Warlock fox is on fine form and the Lemmy-enhanced It Still Hurts has club hit written all over it. Dishing up quality as well as quantity in 2012, Doro is still the go-to girl for female-fronted hard rock (RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10).
Meanwhile retro rockers Graveyard (Lights Out, Nuclear Blast) take their brand of 70s-soaked sentimentality to a whole new level with one of the must-have records of the year. The supremely talented Swedes have crammed all they know and love into less than 40 minutes and as a consequence there’s not a dull moment here. Exquisite stuff and the next step towards superstardom (RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10).
Another album with a nod to the past is Neal Schon’s (The Calling, Frontiers) new solo offering but this is far from a case of trading on former glories. Similar in tone to his Schon & Hammer releases, this intriguing collection still manages to sound current and stands up to the greatest scrutiny. Hammer actually features on Moog on the fantastic Fifty Sixplus Tumbleweeds and it’s a triumph. An unexpected pleasure (RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10).
Label mates Night Ranger (24 Strings & A Drummer, Frontoers) continue to enjoy a welcome resurgence and this live CD/DVD package is a riot from start to finish. Melodic rock royalty, Joel Hoekstra and his buddies were given a fresh boost earlier this year when Sister Christian featured in the Hollywood version of Rock Of Ages and it’s the standout track here. A cracking cover of Boys Of Summer comes a close second (RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10).
Ten (Heresy And Creed, Frontiers) kicks off in fine style with the mid-80s Malmsteen meets Slip Of The Tongue vintage Whitesnake of Arabian Nights. Gunrunning is founded on a funky blues rock vibe but the vocal doesn’t quite fit and that’s the only problem here. Ten try to be too many things to too many men even if the Little Angels-influenced (Boneyard, anyone?) The Priestess is brilliant (RUSHONROCK RATED: 6/10).
I’m a journalist specialising in sport and rock music. Can’t play either so I write about them instead.