A dreampop and shoegaze influenced project helmed by Matt Messore (previously of Dear Tracks), Cathedral Bells’ debut EP isn’t exactly shy about recycling musical influences. With strong elements of the more commercial Jesus & Mary Chain, the synthier and more cinematic aspects taken from The Cure and more than a trace of Pale Saints, its six tracks play like the greatest EP not to be released by 4AD Records in 1990. When influences and moods are recycled as well as they are here, originality is more than welcome to take a back seat as Cathedral Bells join Norway’s Spielbergs in heading up a full-on 90s revival.
Irish singer songwriter Lisa Hannigan has been recording for seventeen years. She first came to fame via her appearances on Damien Rice’s early albums, but her own ‘Sea Sew’ album from 2008 propelled her to stardom and earnt her a Mercury Prize nomination for the song ‘Lille’.
Each of her subsequent albums have been critically acclaimed and her career has continued to thrill fans. In May, Lisa will release her first full length live album, ‘Live In Dublin’, recorded with Stargaze.
Chas West will be familiar to most listeners as having been the vocalist for Bonham, as well as fronting Craig Goldy’s short lived band Resurrection Kings. With regards to the latter, West always felt like the weak link. A band that included Goldy and drummer Vinny Appice could never be all bad, but West’s tendencies to sing everything at full volume made the album hard going in places.
Two years on, West Bound finds Chas working with cult hero Roy Z, a man best known for his work with Bruce Dickinson in the 90s as well as being a key member of Tribe of Gypsies. Throughout this debut, West still approaches many of the songs at full pelt and with maximum metal theatrics, but with much better material to hand and with Z’s having a more sympathetic style, it’s more obvious why he’s been in demand as a session vocalist in the past. In this case, West’s overblown style combined with Z’s vast array of riffs actually results in a great album.
Greenslade’s first three studio albums presented a band experiencing a period of rapid growth. In ‘Bedside Manners Are Extra’, released at the tail end of 1973, they released an album with a bigger focus on songs than their debut recording of just a few months earlier. Their third LP, ‘Spyglass Guest’ (released in the summer of ’74) found Dave and his eponymously named group delving further into jazz rock, unleashing something which sometimes came closer to Hatfield & The North than previous Greenslade recordings.
In 2017, Hear No Evil Recordings released an excellent REO Speedwagon box set entitled ‘The Early Years’. The mid-priced release rounded up the band’s fist seven studio albums and 1977’s double live set ‘Live: You Get What You Play For’ in one handy package, making some of the albums available on CD in the UK for the first time in a long while…and in the case of the unedited version of the live disc, for the first time ever. Given the love that went into that set, it seemed inevitable a similar set covering the band’s next decade – the period that brought them the most commercial success and some massive hits – should follow. Such a box would be an essential release, especially since a few of the albums from that period have become equally hard to find despite selling in huge numbers.