strangewaysDespite some over-excitement by many aging rock fans, Strangeways supposed “comeback” album, 2010’s ‘Perfect World’, was far from perfect.  So far from perfect, in fact, it couldn’t even stretch to being called average.  The record featured eleven tracks which had the little life they possessed sucked from them courtesy of one of the most appalling production jobs to ever grace a melodic rock disc.  The sound of a band desperately trying to be heard through a muddy dirge, ‘Perfect World’ was an insult to melodic rock fans and a bigger insult to vocalist Terry Brock, lending his great voice to the band for the first time since the 1980s.

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New Winger album released in April!

Melodic rock legends Winger are set to release their sixth studio album in April.

It has also been confirmed the band are to appear alongside other melodic rockers Aerosmith, Red Dragon Cartel and “comic” relief Steel Panther.

Entitled ‘Better Days Comin”, the album reunites original members Kip Winger, Rod Morganstein and Reb Beach (also a longterm member of Whitesnake) with guitarist John Roth for a continuation to the band’s hard rock legacy.

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VACATION Transmissions EP

vacation epFor their fourth EP, US lo-fi/anti-folk duo Vacation take on some familiar – and not-so-familiar – tunes by other artists.  As Tori Amos proved time and again, you can take the most rocking numbers and reduce them to a minimalist piano ballad with reasonable ease, almost to the point where the once unimaginable becomes predictable.  In some ways, Vacation play by a similar rule in that their chosen material gets stripped down and re-imagined in an echoing lo-fi acoustic fashion, but whereas Ms. Amos, Emm Gryner and countless other artists always ensure there was accessibility even within their most bizarre reimaginings, these guys just want to strip things back to their most stark.  This results in at least one tune that’s anything but predictable.

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gazpachoAfter a decade’s worth of interesting material and some prestigious support slots (including a full European tour with Marillion in 2003), Gazpacho showed no sign of running out of creative steam.  Their 2012 release, ‘March of Ghosts’ fused elements of Floyd with hefty doses of quieter Porcupine Tree and Pineapple Thief-esque prog to create one of their best albums to date.  Two years on from ‘Ghosts’, their eighth studio album ‘Demon’ is a dark and sprawling work, culminating with an eighteen minute showpiece.  Again, the element of storytelling is key – in this case, the ramblings of a possessed apartment inhabitant in Prague – but for those who do not wish to be bogged down with concept details, thankfully, the music is captivating enough to be enjoyed on its own terms.

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