They’ve built a loyal following on the live circuit and have put in some hard yards at festivals. They can count ex-Clash drummer Nicky “Topper” Headon and sometime AC/DC tub-thumper Chris Slade among their fans. However, in the grand scheme of things, UK rockers Salvation Jayne aren’t so well known at the time of their EP release ‘Moves That Make The Record Skip’. This probably says something about the huge amount of music we now have at our disposal rather than the band’s actual talent, since had this EP been released back in the early 90s when The Black Crowes and Kiss of The Gypsy were making waves, you certainly would’ve heard Tommy Vance and Fluff Freeman talking about these guys on a Friday and Saturday night in radioland.
The Islington Assembly Hall always feels like a venue of two moods. The stage and balcony areas have a feeling of old theatre about them, much like the Empire at Shepherd’s Bush and fitting for a Grade II listed building. In other respects, visiting other parts the venue feels like stepping into a parochial town hall, albeit a rather large one. It’s easy to imagine a large table set up on a weekday afternoon with a man banging a little gavel, making announcements about Mrs. Jones’s award winning marmalade before alerting the neighbourhood watch team to a potential catastrophe regarding a missing moggie. On this evening, that feeling isn’t quite as strong as when Snakecharmer took the Assembly Hall’s stage in 2013, and even less so as the house lights dim.
Shrewsbury’s The Devil In Faust mix up a world of rock-based influences on their debut EP, ‘Come Apart’. Three of the four featured songs centre around a genuine punch, and whether attempting something borne of faster alt-metal elements or tackling something a little meatier, there are some great riffs to be heard. These are riffs that, for the most part, sound a hundred times better with the volume cranked, thanks in no small way to producer Tue Madsen – a man best known for his work with Meshuggah, Sick of it All and Dir En Grey. The end results aren’t perfect, since the actual song writing can be a touch wobbly, but there’s certainly some enjoyment to be had from this uneven musical ride.
Formed in 2010, Helsinki based rockers Damage Limit spent six years plying their trade on the live circuit and released a couple of demo EPs before taking the plunge and entering the studio to record their first professional release. The years of stage toil and sweat shows, too, since ‘Crank’ has an edge that very much sounds like the work of a hard-driving live act. Throughout the seven tracks, the riffs come thick and fast – aided by a reasonable crunch, too – and some of the hooks not only feel like they’ve been honed not just in front of an audience, but created very much with that audience in mind; a more than reasonable translation from stage to disc.
Jim Peterik is a legend. His work on various Survivor albums cements his place in the melodic rock history books, regardless of anything he has written or recorded since the 80s. Tracks like ‘American Heartbeat’, ‘Jackie Don’t Go’, ‘I Can’t Hold Back’ and ‘Poor Man’s Son’ are stone cold classics…and of course, it would take a hard heart not to be amused by the ‘Eye of The Tiger’ video with Survivor attempting to look tough whilst stomping through a warehouse.
Peterik’s post-Survivor projects have, understandably, been less high profile. After all, how can you follow a million selling rock band, radio play and worldwide number one singles?