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Music Reviews: Planet Alliance, Masterlast, and Marble Index

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The dusty end of August is a tough time to get review material but I prevail. I have an interesting selection for you and some nifty do it yourself music news.

CD Reviews

Planet Alliance

You take a whole mess of heavy metalers and stick 'em in a studio to see what they come up with. More often than not this type of stuff ain't a good sum of its parts. Egos and ability tend to get in the way. Well Planet Alliance is quite frankly not one of those occasions.

I rather enjoy their hard rocking styling not too far from the various Scandi-rock bands like Pink Cream 69 and Masterplan. With veterans of Last Tribe, Ozzy Osborne band, Gary Moore, Hammerfall, Flower Kings, Rob Rock and Freak Kitchen amongst others there is no lack of experience here. One thing that is welcome is no one tries to show off and instead it's just 11 tracks of hard rock goodness.

"The Quickening" is one such classy track that could do well on hard rock radio. "Calling My Name" is another great track. Put your prejudices aside and just enjoy this quality hard rock. 'All Star' projects don't have to always be dire, just come take a listen.

Master Last: Mastery of Self

Israel vocalist Lizza Hayson and Swiss lead guitarist Val Glauser are Masterlast. Combine gothic, industrial and some plain ole metal with a dash Middle Eastern feel for this lot's output. Rather than an odd mishmash it works quite well.

This sort of stuff is not unusual these days but they do it rather well. I am especially keen on the opening track "I ache" with its straight in your face/catchy chorus combo. It helps to have a vocalist with such a good range on the lead vocals. The band plays some damn good metal with class and I suspect they are awesome live. Whether they have what it takes to rise above the pack is a matter for others to decide. Good solid metal delivered well is always welcome.

Single Reviews

The Marble Index: "I Believe"

A bit of The Killers and a bit of the Artic Monkeys results in angst indie attitude rock. Having supported the Pixies, who are their heroes, this band do hang their influences on their sleeves. Nothing really interesting enough here to get me excited; however the kids will probably eat it up if they get a chance to hear it. They are Canuck's who sound English; so it's not all bad. It has to be said the title track is catchy and worth checking out. I am looking forward to hearing the full album.

On the digital music front you can now sell stock in your band imaginatively titled Sell A Band. Its similar to those schemes allowing one to invest in a movie from a director you like. You do need to find 5000 people who believe in your band. Your "investors" get an exclusive CD for their investment. It will be interesting to see how well the site takes off. It has been getting quite a bit of press in both music and financial circles. Needless to say my band is having a go at this venture.

That is my lot for the week. Only a couple of weeks until Iron Maiden's new one drops.

Stay safe and stay rocking everyone.

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About Marty Dodge