We dig out a Deep Purple live set from the early 70s and check out Babymetal’s hotly tipped debut.
There’s new music from The Amorettes (pictured), War and hardcore heroes Gallows.
We review and rate new music from Coal Chamber, Sumo Cyco and Galvano.
Plus we run the rule over Chelsea and Ribozyme.
Every Sunday we reveal the RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK. And we round up the very BEST OF THE REST.
RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK
Genre: Hardcore Punk
So we’re a little late to the party where this punked-up hardcore brute of an album is concerned but Desolation Sounds represents a titanic tilt at greatness from the ever-reliable Gallows.
Meaty, melodic, mean and moody, it’s a record Wade MacNeil has made his own with the most snarling, aggressive and affecting hardcore performance we’ve heard all year.
The destructive title track never relents but skip to lead single Chains and Bonfire Season for the pick of this superlative set. MacNeil is in monstrous form on both as he sings with the self-confidence, charisma and understated cool often lacking on his patchy Gallows debut.
Fans were worried Watford’s finest might never make music this furious once Frank Carter left the fold. Desolation Sounds is an assured response that quells any lingering concerns. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Sounds Just Fine
BEST OF THE REST
Take yourself into a dark, private space, close your eyes, put We Are, We Were and We Will Have Been On, and before long you’re drifting through the cosmos, floating through your own astral plain.
Lighter than its predecessor, Stoner Rock, Bong’s fifth album is a hypnotic, entrancing work of doom/drone bliss, with just two tracks on show: the mesmeric, weighty Time Regained, and the gentler, drifting Find Your Own Gods (though they clock in at nearly 20 minutes each). And courtesy of a warm, enveloping production by Mark Wood, this music almost glows as it filters through your speakers and fills your room.
One thing’s for sure, the prolific Newcastle outfit have excelled themselves once again with We Are, We Were… and while long-time fans may point to 2011’s incredible Beyond Ancient Space as the Geordies’ magnum opus, this new effort will still Bong’s many acolytes kneeling in worship. Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Breathe It In
That classic punk sound can be difficult to maintain over three decades but 10 years since their last release and Chelsea are showing no signs of hanging up their leather jackets just yet.
Lyrics on opening track About Time ‘it’s about time that you talk about something new, or what you’re gonna do’ suggest the band may be offering something a little different from the usual punk cliché – but this idea is a very short-lived one.
Fuck All is dripping with typical punk rock angst whilst We Don’t Believe You and Something Wrong In Your Head are filled to the brim with those Chelsea-esque gang vocals, showing exactly what the band do best but delivering nothing more than what is expected from the 70s punk act.
Saturday Night Sunday Morning is strikingly reminiscent of Billy Bragg’s To Have And To Have Not, but the poppy melody is a nice and catchy addition to the album’s all-enveloping attitude. Although the album as a whole may not have anything new to offer, it’s still hard to say no to anything which promises that authentic ’77 sound. Emma Carter
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Premier League Punk
Genre: Alternative Rock
Bergen’s Ribozyme have been building up a head of steam in recent years… and Grinding Tune will do much to keep the momentum going. Why? Because the quartet know how to write emotionally charged, memorable, passionate rock songs like Inside The Waste. And also because their post-rock edges and progressive leanings (a la At The Drive In) keep things very interesting – especially on tracks like the excellent Decontrol and the fraught, dark closer Sleeves.
Grinding Tune is at times, a difficult album, but even when you think it has taken a dreary turn, the Norwegians surprise you with an explosive chorus – Without a Prize a case in point.
Plus, Kjartan Ericsson has revealed himself as a truly incredible vocalist here, delivering songs like opener Bronze in some style, his melodies providing a gentle contrast to its spiky angular rhythms.
A fine album from a supremely talented outfit – seek it out. Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Tuning In
Genre: Nu Metal
The news that Coal Chamber has reformed for some live shows in 2011 was met with bewilderment in many quarters – especially as frontman Dez Fafara has seemingly left the eyeliner behind to forge a career with high octane, thrashy metallers DevilDriver.
A new album from his pre-DD days was even more of a shock, but here it is – and the unit which last spat out Dark Days in 2002 is unleashing those downtuned Goth grooves once again.
If you dug Coal Chamber first time around, then tracks like punchy opener I.O.U. Nothing and the pulverising Another Nail In The Coffin (complete with warped vocals from Fafara) will hit home hard… and there’s an urgency behind Rivals which hints that this is far more than a nostalgic cash in. Aggro waits at every turn, from the title track’s venomous chorus to the pit-starting riffs of Suffer in Silence.
Whether Coal Chamber are still relevant in 2015 is another matter: put next to DevilDriver’s best material, Rivals is pounded into the dust… and Miguel Rascón’s simplistic axework feels anachronistic.
However, the quartet have certainly put on a show here. They mean business – and credit to them for returning to the fray. Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 6.5/10 Carbon Emission
Genre: Sludge Metal
For a two-piece, Galvano make a monstrous racket – and a rather infectious one at that. The Swedes could easily dubbed ‘High on Mastodon’, with their granite hewn riffs and pounding, giant slaying rhythms reminiscent of albums like Leviathan and Blessed Black Wings. However, there’s enough spark to Trail of the Serpent to suggest that Galvano have a mind of their own, and the way guitarist/vocalist Mattias Nööjd and drummer Fredrik Käll interact is a joy to hear.
Listen to Driven Snow and you just know Galvano will be an explosive live act – why let a pesky bass player get in the way when you can kick out jams as gloriously heavy as Stench of Prey?
Each coming in at around the ten minute mark, the four songs on offer here could have done with a little trimming, but hey, that’s progressive sludge for you – and to be fair to them, Nööjd and Käll probably had an awful lot of fun recording this. Gruesome twosome? More like a dynamic duo…Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Two’s Company
Genre: Metallic Hardcore
And So The Sea Will Claim Us All by Wars isn’t just an EP, it’s a call to arms, it’s a call of defiance and a middle finger to those who doubted.
With the genre overpopulated by bands who wear their heart on their sleeve and bleed that into their songs, Wars somehow managed to break the mould.
There is something about this band that just seems fresh and interesting. From the very first song, Gamblers Ruin, they grab you and keep you interested. The song titles are just a bit part of that, from 8 On The Balantine Scale and The Leviathan and the Liar this group have got it all right.
The music is heavy all right, but there is a rhythm to the songs that stops them from going stale – which is something not everyone can say. Russell Hughes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Fighting Talk
Genre: Hard Rock
Channelling their inner Runaways and playing gutsy rock and roll as if their lives depend upon it, Scottish trio The Amorettes have crafted an album bursting with pride, passion and a healthy quota of power chords.
There’s fun to be had from start to finish with Game On as Gill Montgomery and her buddies mould singalong choruses with blazing riffs to create a modern-day Hit And Run.
Yet this is more Foos’-fuelled hard rock than the raw NWOBHM pedalled by Girlschool as The Amorettes search for their place in the new order of British rock.
It’s clear that they’ve yet to find their final destination where a trademark sound is concerned: Game On is a distinct change in direction following the release of the Geoff Barton-approved Haulin’ Ass but after five years that’s hardly a surprise.
Opener Bull By The Horns, Hot And Heavy and Heartbreaker won’t be winning Grammys anytime soon but The Amorettes understand the value of immediacy, simplicity and rock’s indisputable core values. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Big Game
Managed by the Amuse talent agency, it’s little wonder Babymetal veer from laugh out loud pop metal cheese to genuinely hilarious hard rock – often within the space of a single song.
The all-girl trio’s dazzlingly silly UK debut is a rollercoaster ride of screeching J-Pop, old school metal and frankly bizarre genre mash-ups that often prompt visions of Belinda Carlisle fronting Judas Priest.
The adrenalised energy of Gimme Chocolate, Doki Doki * Morning and Head Bangeeeeerrrrr!!!!! can be emotionally draining and mildly irritating and whether this ditsy debut has legs remains to be seen.
There’s no doubt Babymetal are a must-see live but this is far from essential listening. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 6/10 Child’s Play
Genre- Electro Punk/Metal
With a back story glittered in teenage pop and the stranglehold of major labels, Sumo Cyco front woman Sever has emerged on a new path where artistic freedom is everything.
Having released a host of digital singles over the last couple of years, the Ontario based four piece have finally landed with their first album that delivers a delectable mixture of punk vocals, driving guitars and smashing drums for an in your face, high powered debut.
Opening with Ugly, the album takes the feel of a rock focused Sonic Boom Six, with slightly less rapping and more screaming rock vocals.
Perhaps due to their singles-focused approach, Sumo Cyco go for the jugular with each track, meaning the album lacks real direction.
Despite this they are clearly a talented bunch that have a chorus or two in their locker, which can be seen clearly in the album’s drum driven, vocal heavy standout Like A Killer. Adam Keys
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Lost And Found
Genre: Classic Rock
At first glance this four-track live release has the look of a truncated EP. But this is Deep Purple and the flamboyant, artistically ambitious, early 70s version at that. Consequently there’s more than an hour of meandering, soulful, involving classic rock up for grabs.
A majestic 27-minute version of Mandrake Lake wraps up this Long Beach set but it’s ‘new song’ Strange Kind Of Woman – prefaced by the story surrounding what would fast become a Purple classic – that’s the real treat here.
The sound is raw but real. The production is patchy but of its time. Authenticity is at the heart of this rare gem of a release.
Sparks fly as Ian Gillan and Ritchie Blackmore jostle for top billing and it’s a delight to experience. Almost 45 years down the line Deep Purple’s early work still boasts the ‘wow’ factor. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Beach Party