For most AOR fans, Rob Moratti is a man who’ll need no introduction. However, here’s a quick recap for anyone unfamiliar with his career: his early work with his eponymously named band put him on the map via some chunky sounding melodic hard rock, and his brief tenure as frontman with Saga elevated his profile considerably. At other times, he could be found as frontman for AOR band Final Frontier, or sporadically releasing solo material.
Serbian vocalist Nevena Dordevic came to the attention of Frontiers Records via her friendship with The Big Deal’s guitarist Srdjan Brankovic, whose own band released their debut album on the label in May 2022. Seemingly, his championing of Nevena was met with a huge amount of trust which was not misplaced.
When FM appeared at the first Ramblin’ Man Fair in 2015, they played an excellent set. Despite a low down billing on the main stage, they played with the professionalism and intensity of a headline act. Apparently, their London show on the 2022 ‘Thirteen’ tour – featuring Grand Slam in support – was similarly strong, so it was always likely fans on the Kent coast could surely rely on a typically enthusiastic set at the tour’s end.
Following a string of fairly jagged albums that pulled together punk, emo and mod influences, Dot Dash’s sound had a drastic overhaul on their 2018 LP ‘Proto Retro’. The rougher edges were smoothed out and in their place came some hugely melodic power pop. The bulk of the record’s tunes came with a 60s jangle as heard through a 90s filter, sometimes as if stumbling upon deep cuts from Teenage Fanclub; sometimes showing a massive love for Buffalo Tom. The musical changes were all for the better, since no matter where you dropped into the record, it was possible to hear something with huge hooks and a really positive feel.
Between 1987 and 1992, Faster Pussycat released a trio of major label albums that gained them a lot of very positive press. Between the trash-glam aesthetic of tracks like ‘Bathroom Wall’ and ‘Smash Alley’, the retro Stones-ish love of ‘House of Pain’ and hard funk of ‘Madam Ruby’s Love Boutique’, the band displayed a broad range of talents and influences, often only linked via Taime Downe’s distinctively scratchy vocal.