Toseland – Cradle The Rage (52 Music)

With Cradle The Rage the multi-talented James Toseland is no longer the former superbikes star who turned his hand to penning rock tunes. This is the record that bridges the gap between intriguing gimmickry and gutsy, authentic rock and roll performance.

Once again producer and co-writer Toby Jepson’s influence is writ large over 11 confident, cocksure modern rock anthems that prove there’s still a riff-centric scene well worth worth exploring within the UK.

Slash and Myles Kennedy might grab the headlines but – and this is no idle boast – there’s very little to choose between their stadium-blasting hard rock and the Toseland-Zurab Melua axis at the heart of this fast-rising band.

Opener Too Close To Call is a bright, brisk and breezy shot of commercial rock but there’s a hidden depth to Cradle The Rage. The album title, alone, hints at a hater edge but Jepson has always been adept at unlocking the emotions: Fingers Burned and Never Love Another might have been Little Angels hits in another era.

Toseland’s convincing, Kennedy-esque vocal style has aways proved compelling live. Here he squeezes out every last drop of passion to deliver a record that’s equally fulfilling.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 The Cradle Will Rock