alex-harvey-bandIf you want to understand just what 70s rock was all about then the pick of tomorrow’s new releases will, at the very least, point you in the right direction. The Sensational Alex Harvey Band never lacked modesty and maybe this month’s top pick explains why.

But if you prefer you rock rooted in nu-metal and with growling vocals to boot we’ve managed to bag a belated copy of the new Static-X record which is selling bucketloads on the other side of The Pond. And we’re not quite sure why. It’s not even as good as the latest album by German thrash metal newcomers Drone and that really is saying something. For the rushonrock verdict on all three read on.

alex-harveyThe Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Hot City: The 1974 Unreleased Album (MLP)

Those of you who own The Impossible Dream might find this record reassuringly familiar. On the other hand you might find it rather superfluous or simply judge it a complete waste of time. Here at rushonrock we like to think this unearthed collection of previously binned TSAHB material can be filed under ‘hidden gems’, such is the quality and vibe underpinning an album which showcases a classic act fast approaching its creative peak.

It’s difficult to know why the band and their management decided to dump this record after spending weeks with legendary US producer Shel Talmy writing, recording and mixing an immediately enjoyable disc. But they did. Later that year the album resurfaced as The Impossible Dream but with a new producer and a fresh vision the originals had been rehashed often beyond recognition.

Vambo and Anthem are given a new (or their original) lease of life on Hot City and die-hard Harvey devotees will love the chance to compare and contrast the songs reworked and revamped within six months. as a forerunner to one of TSAHB’s best-loved albums this is a record of rare interest. But it’s about a whole lot more than intrigue.

rushonrock rated: 7/10 Sensational Discovery

static-xStatic-X – Cult Of Static

If this is still what floats the boat of metal heads across the Atlantic then is it any wonder the lacklustre Limp Bizkit are ready to chance their arm again? That Cult Of Static has already dented the Billboard charts is shocking enough but the possibility it could sell upwards of six fugures before the year is out really does beggar belief.

You have to sit through three of the most mundane metal songs ever composed before something resembling quality filters through. There’s no doubt Hypure, Tera-Fied and the sparkling Stingwray are good songs but even they’re not that great. And the real disappointment? It all goes downhill again from here.

Wayne Static is a walking cliche and his songs are no better. The production smacks of too many cooks spoling a pretty unappetising broth and if it wasn’t for the stunning album artwork this mediocre offering would barely warrant a passing glance. But that’s more than it deserves. Surely one of the worst records you’ll  hear all year – if you’re lucky.

rushonrock rated: 3/10 Static By Name, Static By Nature

droneDrone – Juggernaut (Wacken Records/SPV)

Winners of the 2006 Wacken Metal Band contest, Drone should also claim the prize for 2009’s most apt album title. Juggernaut does what it says on the tin as 10 uncompromising slabs of thrash metal come at you hard, fast and with relentless zeal.

Whether tunes like Motor-Heavy Piss-Take and Piss Drunk will always be viewed with a sense of pride by this shameless troupe is open to debate. Both are more than a little immature and are more likely to induce toe-curling embarrassment in years to come. But then opening track Boneless and the ambum’s title track offer more than enough hope that Drone can develop their trade in the future.

Frontman Moritz Hempel may insist his band’s roots lie in the Bay Area scene but acts like Testament, Mastodon and Pantera are not just streets ahead of these ambitious Germans – they’re whole blocks apart. But enjoy Drone with a pinch of salt and they might just be to your taste.

rushonrock rated: 5/10 Heavy Going