With their brand of blues inflected hard rock, In the late 80s and early 90s, Great White gained strongly favourable press on a regular basis. On the back of albums like ‘Twice Shy’ and ‘Hooked’ (1989 and 1991 respectively) providing a more sophisticated slant on the big hair sounds that were popular at the time, supported by a tough live show, their fan base was more than solid. Over the years, however, the Great White legacy has been a little sullied. An extremely unfortunate falling out between band members and a long drawn out legal battle over the band name meant that internal politics somewhat interfered with their music. Furthermore, the market has been flooded with various budget compilation packages and a fair amount of recycling material with re-recorded and inferior versions of GW classics.
The first half of 2015 represented a very busy time for the collected members of The New Trocaderos. In power pop circles, it seemed as you couldn’t move very far at all without seeing one of the band pop up somewhere. Vocalist Brad Marino and guitarist/vocalist Geoff Palmer released a full-length album by their “other” band The Connection; bassist/vocalist Kurt Baker played a whole bunch of live shows and released his first live LP, while previous New Trocs singles and EPs were gathered together as ‘Frenzy In The Hips’ – a full length release of unmissable quality. Among all that, chief New Trocs songwriter Mike Chaney was beavering behind the scenes, shaping up a new batch of songs. The resultant collection, ‘Thrills & Chills’ – the first “proper” full-length from the Trocs – is a belter; it’s songs are a small step up from previous works and provide a welcome addition to any power pop/retro pop record collection.
Post-rock quartet The Fierce And The Dead first captured the attention of listeners the artier end of the rock spectrum with their 2011 full length ‘If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe’. While the intricacy of the album’s music inevitably found the band gaining the “prog” tag, the instrumental wig-outs pulled far more from various alternative rock sources, with elements of noise rock, often making their love of Hüsker Dü/Minutemen et al fairly obvious. The following album, 2013’s ‘Spooky Action’ was potentially even more bonkers, showcasing four very talented musicians working their frenzied guts across a variety of angular rock sounds, with most of the material sharpened by brevity. With no filler, ‘Spooky Action’ is potentially TFATD’s masterwork; in addition to the world of looped guitars and mind bending, gleeful complexities, Kevin Feazey’s bass sound – particularly on ‘I Like It, I’m Into It’ – comes across with a genuine force. It is a record that anyone interested in quirky and thoughtful musicianship should lend an ear.
With cult proggers Big Big Train breaking years of live silence this weekend with three quickly sold out London shows, Real Gone thought this would be an optimum time to find out which albums have spent the most time on your stereo systems.
Betweeen 14-16th August 2015, progressive rockers Big Big Train make most of their fanbase’s wishes come true, staging three live gigs in London. This breaks years of silence for the band in the live setting, having not played any live shows for decades. Unsurprisingly, tickets for those shows sold out in record time.
There’s still another piece of the BBT puzzle eluding most fans. Their third proper album ‘Bard’ has been out of print forever. Recorded at a transitional time in the band’s history, they do not feel it is at all representitive of the bulk of their work and are not keen to have it reissued, despite fan demand.