SHADOW PEOPLE – Washing In Soap Opera EP

Blending elements of metal, noise rock, art rock and pure sludge, Baton Rouge’s Shadow People bring a whole new meaning to the word “intense”. Contrasting sludgy riffs, grinding sounds and retching vocals against unexpected bursts of melody within three tracks that seem to blend into each other, their 2020 EP ‘Washing In Soap Opera’ is as a careening ten minute noise-fest. Its music is almost as frustrating and broken as the era in which it was created. …And yet, there’s something about this wanton ugliness that’s potentially brilliant.

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Chris Rea’s extensive catalogue has never been given the credit it fully deserves. While many of his albums have remained available in various territories, only a few have been reissued in a deluxe format. In many cases, that’s not even because there isn’t a lot of non-album material. There are live shows sitting in Euro TV archives, which could be used for both audio and visual extras alongside various b-sides and other material. With a few of the bigger albums receiving 2CD editions in 2019, it would be a real treat to see Rea’s third album, 1980s ‘Tennis’, afforded an expanded reissue. Continue reading

STARDUST – Highway To Heartbreak

When Stardust appeared on the melodic rock scene in 2016, they managed to build a fanbase fairly quickly. Their self-released EP captured a likeable sound and by securing the legendary Michael Wagener – producer of classic albums by Skid Row, Warrant and White Lion – to bring the songs to life, the Hungarian band’s career seemed to get off to a better start than most. Fan enthusiasm brought them to the attention those long time champions of AOR/melodic rock, Frontiers Records, who quickly signed up Stardust for their full length debut.

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VAN HALEN – Live in Sydney, 20th April 1998

When Van Halen first appeared on the live scene in the late 70s, they revolutionised hard rock.  Artists like Led Zeppelin were playing mammoth live sets, dominated by huge solos and many other rock acts were seeming just a little…tired.  Van Halen’s combination of volume and energy was said to floor any act they were invited to support.  Just one listen to their self-titled debut album makes it easy to see why.

The power in ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’ and ‘On Fire’, combined with the jaw dropping ‘Eruption’ – during which guitarist Edward Van Halen pretty much reinvented what was considered “cool” at the time – still makes that record a thrilling listen decades on.

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