THE END MACHINE – The Quantum Phase

The End Machine’s second album, 2021’s ‘Phase 2’ presented some great hard rock sounds. It found the sometime Dokken men George Lynch (guitar) and Jeff Pilson (bass) very much working within their musical comfort zone, but with that, came a great strength. Aided by brilliant Robert Mason on vocals, the band often sounded like a rock powerhouse, despite playing very safely. It would be fair to say that, in hard rock terms, fans of those three musicians got exactly what they wanted.

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THE REAL GONE SINGLES BAR #39

Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore the individual mp3s that have landed in our inbox over the past few weeks. As usual, there has been a bumper crop. This week, we bring you a singer songwriter who uses low key electronica to their advantage, some massive sounding post rock, the son of a Beatle, a throwback to the 90s (in the best possible way), and more besides. Dive in… It’s all good!

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HVALROSS – Running The Gauntlet EP

The debut album from Dutch rockers Hvalross introduced listeners to a band with a very distinctive sound. Released in 2020, ‘Cold Dark Rain’ wasn’t afraid to mix styles. Tunes like ‘Finally Repent’ and ‘I Shot My Best Friend’ blended old style melodic rock with light alternative rock tones and semi-bluesy sounds, and the band’s huge approach to backing vocals occasionally hinted at a love of ‘Dog Eat Dog’ era Warrant. ‘As I Am’ leant further towards a prog metal-post grunge hybrid with its contrasting muted riffs and huge blankets of sound, and ‘Death From Above’ showed how Hvalross could weave stoner-ish tones within their riffs and still convey a huge hard rock melody. They didn’t always get it right; the huge, wailing vocal cutting through the middle of ‘The Owl’ proved to be a massive distraction from some potentially enjoyable music, but few records are perfect.

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GOTUS – Gotus

Gotus? In terms of band names, that’s pretty ugly. It certainly isn’t terrible – that would be reserved for the likes of Smoking Gives You Big Tits, Dohny Jepp, and Fuck Yeah Dinosaurs, all of which not only have the misfortune to exist, but also the distinction of somehow being better than anything else those bands could come up with – but it certainly doesn’t inspire. It was chosen with solid reasoning, however: it’s a portmanteau designed to advertise the fact that this European supergroup features members of Gotthard and Krokus. That should be enough alone to secure the melodic rockers a decent audience, but in many ways, the biggest draw here is their choice of vocalist.

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THE REAL GONE SINGLES BAR #25

Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore some of the individual mp3s that have landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. Always a home for the varied and eclectic, this selection is no exception. In this – hopefully entertaining – batch, we bring you some solid sounding shoegaze, some synth based alt-pop from New Zealand, some hazy sounding indie folk and even a nod to big band swing sounds. As always, we hope you find something new to enjoy!

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