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Easy Listening and Wee Heavier Stuff

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After a bit of a drought of CDs to review; the order was restored when I received two packages for my reviewing pleasure. Things are as eclectic as they have been of late with a bit of cheesy easy listening tossed into the mix. The transition from louche lounge type material to sub-sleaze metal is an interesting one to be sure.

But first lets start off with a couple of cracking singles. One of which I have found myself playing several times a day with a requisite sing-a-long.

CD Singles

Fatal Smile: “Learn-Love-Hate”

This lot are from Stockholm and have all the attitude of Backyard Babies with the talent to match. The first single from their forthcoming Neo Natural Freaks is a straight ahead rocker with the catchiness and attitude needed for this sort of heavy rock. As a taster for the album I can’t think of better single in a long time. This is a great slab of rock n’ sleaze. The fact there is a great video of the track included just makes things all the sweeter. The band looks the part. This is what the Brides of Destruction should have been. I can’t wait for the full album and hope these lads show up in the UK rather soon.

Crucified Barbara: “Play Me Hard”

Peddling the same sort of female grouch rock as Slunt does so well; CB have released yet another track that has all the subtlety of boot to the head. Seriously heavy hard rock with attitude and talent to match is on show here in droves. This lot certainly show young girl bands how to do it right. Suffrajets could do with taking a few cues from these girls. Its just great fun and leaves you so wanting to hear the ladies live. The track that backs the single (and video) is a little ditty called “My Heart is Black.” The track retains the attitude despite the laid-back format. The track is almost an update to the Vixen track “Love is a Killer.” Would it surprise you to know this lot are a bunch of Swedes as well?

CD Albums

James Warren — Jim’s Easy Listening Album

Well the bloke out of the Korgis has recorded a 16 song collection of uber-cheesy songs. Groups like the Carpenters, Poco and Loggins & Messina just seep from this collection. From the ‘”he Leaving Time” through the demo of “Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime” (which was a huge hit worldwide for Warren) there is mellow vibe flowing through the CD. Warren, mainstay of such bands as the aforementioned Korgis and Stackridge certainly has a talent for this sort of thing. Mellow sax and that easy listening percussion pervade. This is exactly what you expect to hear from those MOR stations that you hear in doctor’s office. Despite the fact this sort of music drives me ’round the bend there is no arguing with such talent.

Lynyrd Skynrd — Gimme Back Bullets

Originally released in 1976; this re-release is to commemorate the band’s induction into the rock & roll hall of fame next month. In addition to six bonus tracks (5 live, one alternate version of “Double Trouble”); there is a live DVD which features such classic as “Free Bird”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, and “Double Trouble” recorded live in 1977; two years before the band suffered the plane crash that cost it its lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, 3 backing singers and guitarist Steve Gaines. This is Skynrd in their prime, firing on all their cylinders in their 70s glory. This glorious heavy-drinking Southern Rock is all its magnificence. The fact that you get all the extras as well makes it an extra special release. Well a bit of LS has done a great job at returning my ears to their heavy rock normality.

No news yet on my band’s continuing adventure in the world of digital distribution. Things are going painfully slow; but I am assured that this is normal by CD Baby. There is more news to come on our band, including a name change and more songwriting. OK, to be fair we have been writing continuously whenever we get together and apart. The fact I have got me a fiance has added to the creative urges. Well that is what fiance actresses do for rockers ain’t it?

Its getting to the point that I may even be releasing music solo that does not fit with the new band image. Oh, and yours truly is heading off tomorrow to record a demo; only this time I ain’t going to be singing.

Anyway next week I have a couple of releases on Mausoleum and some more female fronted goodness in the form of Jaed. As always; be careful out there; but keep on rocking.

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