Well it is damn hot here, so it is time for some top-down tunes.
You gotta love Joanna Dean and her brand of rebellious roar. She tries to outdo the boys on outta control rock, ’80s style, on this re-issue. Think a mixture of Janis Joplin and Bonnie Tyler, but who is also a decent guitar player. Yes, the lyrics are cheesy on Misbehavin’ but who cares when the voice and playing is this good.
Wigelius features two brothers of the same name. The lead singer brother won a Swedish singing show. But don’t let that turn you off as this guy could wipe the floor with every male Idol or Duets singer I have heard. The guys are really young but still manage a decent bit of AOR on Reinventions. To be honest, these guys reminded me of Trixter.
Doro is back with a retrospective release which is quite impressive. It is called Under My Skin and it is an extensive retrospective of her entire career. Many purists probably still prefer the Warlock stuff here to her solo stuff, but it is still interesting to hear how she evolved. It spreads out of two CDs and all kinds of rare stuff of varying quality. Probably a release for the hardcore fans.
District 97 are a progressive jazz rock band. Now most of this release is not very heavy, but lyrically they have a sting in their tale. “The Perfect Young Man” is a song sung from the perspective of a victim of a serial killer and is as dark as it gets, call it aural noir. Oh yeah, the vocalist is Idol finalist Leslie Hunt. Trouble with Machines is a prog-tastic release.
Cloudscape are another collection of uber-clever musicians who produce quality power-prog by the truckload. Think of “Pull Me Under” by Dream Theater with a modern touch and you would be right on the mark about New Era. The band certainly have done the rounds of the prog festivals around the world and it shows. This is a solid release that is worth your time.
Mörglbl have an umlaut over the “o” in their name, but they sound nothing like Mötley Crüe. In fact, they sound like a jazzier version of Dream Theater. This is jazz fusion that is born in molten metal. Brutal Romance is a great album that I cannot get enough of and highly recommend.
As you might imagine, I write this column with heavy heart having learned of the death of keyboard genius Jon Lord yesterday. Please pay tribute to him by listening to some Deep Purple and enjoying his keyboard wizardry.