HEMBREE AND THE SATAN SISTERS – F.Y.F. EP

Formed at the tail end of 2017, Hembree And The Satan Sisters was borne from frontman Zachary M. Hembree’s desires to record more punk oriented material. Teaming up with ex-members of Guff and Burns Like Fire, The Satan Sisters finds Hembree (ex Nuclear Blast signings Toro) opting for speed and crunch over traditional heaviness and their debut release is…immense. Packing nine tracks in under twenty minutes, the EP format suits the band extremely well, allowing their music to greet the listener with a genuine sucker punch.

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Ric Ocasek: A Short Appreciation

Ric Ocasek was a legend. As a songwriter, his pop melodies were among the best. The way he blended alternative ideas with timeless power pop sensibilities marked him out as not only a great songwriter, but a master arranger. The very fact that tunes like ‘My Best Friend’s Girl’ and ‘It’s Candy-O’ became fixtures on oldies radio stations despite carrying the kind of vocal that was…quirky, to say the least, speaks volumes about his talent.

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THE FIERCE AND THE DEAD – Live USA 17

2018 was a landmark year for UK art rockers The Fierce And The Dead. The release of their third full length album really caught the imaginations of those at Prog magazine and their readership. Always progressive rather than prog, TFATD really branched out on that record. Some of its material (‘Truck’,’48K’) showed the band in a slightly heavier mood than before, while other bits seemed more commercial…without actually being commercial, if that makes sense. Whatever, the album and its subsequent coverage found the band in a position of strength. With an army of new fans, they could now legitimately call themselves a cult band.

The lead up to ‘The Euphoric’s release was first documented on ‘Field Recordings’, a live album recorded in 2016 at the second Rambin’ Man Fair in the UK. This second live release captures the band a year later at Rosfest 2017 during a rare visit to the US. But…with not that much time since ‘Field Music’, is there any real need for a second live release?

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KXM – Circle Of Dolls

Over the years, dUg Pinnick has put his name to some fantastic albums. His long career with King’s X has afforded him a legendary status. Likewise, guitarist George Lynch has performed on some great material. Even at times when Dokken’s material didn’t hit the mark back in the 80s, Lynch’s lead guitar work was almost always terrific. In theory, a union between the two should have created hard rock gold, but unfortunately, the first two albums released by KXM – their supergroup with KoЯn’s Ray Luzier – were patchy affairs. 2017’s ‘Scatterbrain’ was an improvement on the 2014 debut, but still fell a little short in direct comparison to anything by King’s X at their very best. The bulk of this third album – their first for Frontiers Records – follows suit with another hit and miss collection of heavyweight rockers.

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