ANIMAL DRIVE – Back To The Roots EP

In 2018, Croatian hard rockers Animal Drive released their debut album ‘Bite!’ on Frontiers Records. With plenty of hard rock crunch, the record drew parallels with the heavier end of Skid Row’s early output, as well as showing off more than a passing fancy with the late, great Ronnie James Dio. The record featured at least a half dozen cuts that were well worth hearing, but if anything, it was the Dio-tastic ‘Time Machine’ with its heavy but melodic riff which best demonstrated the band’s skills.

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BURNING RAIN – Face The Music

When Doug Aldrich left Whitesnake in 2013 after an on-off seven year stint, it was potentially a huge blow to the band. For Doug, though, it was the definitely right thing to do, since the ‘Snake had been trading on goodwill for years and by the time of the ‘Forevermore’ tour in 2011, to suggest David Coverdale’s voice wasn’t…quite up to scratch would be putting it very politely. Since then, as an in demand musician, Aldrich has hardly kept a low profile: he’s recorded with melodic rock supergroup Revolution Saints, had success with hard rockers The Dead Daisies and latterly resurrected his hard rock outfit Burning Rain.

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KING COMPANY – One For The Road

KC2016Constructed of ex-members of Warmen, Thunderstone and Enfarce, King Company started out their musical journey as No Man’s Land. After a swift renaming they set about recording their debut album ‘One For The Road’ and were subsequently picked up for distribution by Frontiers Records, a label which, at the time of King Company’s first offering was home to Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Journey, Uriah Heep and other classic rockers. If nothing else, King Company found themselves in fine company.

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GRAHAM BONNET – Line-Up

graham bonnetAfter departing Rainbow in 1980 after just one album and tour, Graham Bonnet found himself at a career high. Returning to solo work, the third LP released under his own name, 1981’s ‘Line-Up’ is a huge step forward from his two solo discs from the 1970s. To be fair, it couldn’t be any worse; 1978’s ‘No Bad Habits’, in particular, borders on being a terrible waste of plastic.

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LYNCH MOB – Rebel

lynch mobEarly in 2015, ex-Dokken guitarist George Lynch teamed up with Stryper vocalist Michael Sweet.  Their resultant album ‘Only To Rise’ contained a bunch of feel good hard rock tunes with big choruses.   This release by Lynch Mob, released only seven months later, lacks the general joie de vive of the Sweet & Lynch project. It seems somewhat underwhelming by comparison and is certainly less varied, but maybe that’s precisely George’s point: everything has a darker side. Over the years, Lynch Mob have released some decent albums.  While many hard rock fans tend to gravitate towards their late 80s debut due to its classic sound, the later discs bring plenty in the way of huge riffs.  2003’s ‘REvolution’ showed the band at their absolute heaviest and had plenty to recommend it, particularly if you enjoy riffs in dropped keys.  In more recent years, their first release for Frontiers Records – 2014’s ‘Sun Red Sun’ – mixed classic rock sounds with the darker edge of ‘REvolution’ and achieved enjoyable results, resulting in their biggest US chart success to date.

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