Well this batch of stuff is most interesting, but very much a varied and mixed bag to be sure. Not that much coming through my door as PR types head off for their Easter holiday like everyone else.
I have a bunch of stuff on the way if my email box is accurate. But let's get on with this week’s collection.
Fatal Smile: Neo Natural Freaks
Powerful heavy rock from a bunch of nutters from Sweden. Those of you who read my review of the CD’s first single "Learn, Love, Hate" will know how I rate this lot. Fortunately that was not a rarity on this album, although it is the best track and certainly the most accessible. This is catchy as f***, head-down, driving hard rock with attitude, pace, and style. Listening to this ten-track CD, you just so want to see this lot live as soon as possible. The title track is pretty damn impressive as well as stuff like "Practise what you Preach".
Vocally, while HP Andersen has his own style, at times he ventures in the Graham Bonnet-isms on "Common People" with a bit of Zakk Wylde doing Sabbath on "Quiet Chaos". This gives the album a bit of variety. And the fact that he has a bloody good voice is welcome relief from all the rubbish singers out there. The rest of the band aren’t any slouches either, with enough oomph to satisfy even the most cynical of heavy rockers.
This lot do rather deserve to be huge, that is for damn sure. As I have said before, this is what Brides of Destruction should have been — raw, heavy, melodic and catchy as stink. This is certainly one of the best heavy rock albums of the year and strong contender for my album of the year. Hell, any album that got me ole’ head twitching as much as this one is good in my book.
Neil Leyton: Dean Fashion Brigade EP
I have never heard of Neil Leyton, but Ginger of Wildhearts fame certainly has as he has produced this EP and has let Neil supported him on his solo gigs. This is eclectic, slightly cranky angst rock; well except for the downright pretty "Maryland" replete with a nice solo in its midst. Ginger, along with Stidi from the Wildhearts, re-recorded/re-wrote the tracks on this EP. There are two bonus tracks, one taken from Leyton’s forthcoming album in the form of "The Betrayal of Self" and "Right Here Don’t Feel So Right Right Now". That album includes the talents of members of Diamond Dogs, Backyard Babies and Hellacopters. This stuff is rather similar to some of Ginger’s solo material. Its very travelling minstrel-type tales of woe and angst. Unlike much of this sort of material, there is no sense of dreariness or over-introspection. It's different and quirky (a good description of his voice) that is for sure, but that doesn't always mean bad. One listen and you will know why the guy has a bit of cult following here in the UK.