Another week and another bunch of reviews. This time they are actually the physical version of the releases, almost a rarity for a reviewer these days. Before I get started, though, why not check out Rival Sons? I will do a full review next week, but if you like Led Zep, these guys hit that same place.
Nazareth - Big Dogz
Nazareth are back with a cracking album that reminds those of us that remember them in the old days why they were headliners. A close friend was telling me recently about the time he saw Aerosmith and Queen open for Nazareth in the US. Nazareth, despite, their Scottish ancestry, have a similar sound to old Aerosmith. I wonder if the touring rubbed off on the young Aerosmith?
It's not just the sound that harkens back to the band of old that features two original members in the form of Dan McCafferty and Pete Agnew. The album title reminds the old listener of the great album and title track that was Hair of the Dog. There is nothing on here that rivals their huge hit “Love Hurts," however.
However if you want a solid hard rock album from a great band the you can do far worse than this release. It is certainly the best thing they have released that I can remember for many a time. McCafferty is on cracking form as is the band, the “new” members have been with the band for over a decade. Maybe Aerosmith can return the favour and take them out of on tour.
China - Light Up the Dark
This album opens with a riff that would not be out of place on an Audioslave release. Then again on “Hey Yo” they sound a bit like Loaded. Then the album descends into familiar hard-rock territory. This is very much in the Gotthard and Bonfire mode, not a bad thing of course. It's not surprising that this bunch have done well in Japan; they have also bothered the charts in the UK, Germany and Switzerland. Another thing: now you can safely name a damn good band from Switzerland other than Krokus.
The band has had quite a wonky past, losing members and fizzling several times over the last decade; not that that seems to be reflected in this album at all. This is a very solid release of European hard rock. The sound is slick and the band is tight as can be. The sound is tinged a bit with the current American hard rock sound and that might be because the album was produced by a couple of guys from LA. The track “Gates of Heaven” is pure power-ballad bliss that would have been huge in the '80s.