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New Year; New Load

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I apologise for my absence in the last few weeks. I have to admit that I was bereft of CDs/DVDs to review as well as being rather distracted getting ready for my own band’s debut. A few discs have been trickling into the MMM front door and I have received others at events I have attended as of late.

The first of these was the the CD launch of the new 100 Reasons CD Kill Your Own at the rather nice HQ of V2 Records in Holland Park. The record company is housed in a lovely large house with its own bar in the basement. The new CD was produced by the guitarist and is an interesting mixture of modern heavy rock and old school metal. It’s not released until March; but I was generally rather impressed. It was nice to hear that some of the fellow rock journos recognised my band name when I mentioned it. An early evening well spent.

CD reviews:

When Gravity Fails s/t

This lot have produced a tight 7 song set as a debut. The only trouble with the music here is that it is so incredibly derivative of Alice in Chains. The band are seemingly obsessed with the band; although it has to be said lead singer has a better voice that the A.i.C. singer. This is a mini-album and it shows a great deal of promise. This band is founded by the former co-songwriter and bassist for the critically rated band Cortizone. The album has gotten kudos from such luminaries as Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) who has played them on his radio show. I just wish I could hear more originality on this very professional release. The band really missed that special unquantifiable something that will push them into the higher leagues. When Gravity Fails is certainly a band to watch.

Mendeed — This War Will last Forever

Mendeed has been getting much deserved praise from all quarters for their high quality death-like metal; both live and on CD. Blast beat drumming, screaming vocals and power rifting is all over this stuff. There is no subtlety in this lot, not one bit. What is most impressive is their ability to combine modern metal and old school thrash; while making it their own and not sounding too derivative. If you like brutal driving death metal then this lot are for you. Which each release the band get better and better. There is a serious Slayer feel to this album; and other more extreme bay area thrashers. Like Dragonforce, with whom they toured, they are introducing old school metal to a whole new generation while at the same time making it their own. This is quality stuff for the metal-heads of the world.

Here are a couple of CDs outside my normal remit to mention. I am perfectly happy to review whatever comes my ways; if I have to admit that sometimes I am less than up on the particular genre of music. Most amusing of all is the fact that these “side” reviews do occasionally generate some emails from those whom I review.

Boston T Party s/t

This is for fans of the jazzy edge of Dream Theater and Zappa. It’s jazz prog rather than rock or metal prog. This is great stuff and, naturally, it’s amazingly well played. This sort of musoing is certainly not for everyone as you might imagine but if you have the ear or stomach for it there are lots of rewards to be found.

Neil Lamb — New Tunes for Jazz Guitar

Not exactly the normal fare for this column to be sure. This is a mellow collection of jazz guitar. Very much the type of thing you put on in a laid-back time to enhance the mood. It’s a pleasant collection of well-played jazz guitar. If you like this sort of music then this is top quality stuff. It might not be rock & roll; but I like it.

Single Reviews;

Last Stop China Town — Just Ashes

A couple of tracks from this lot of nutters (and an album version of the first track) sees them forsaking the navel-gazing boredom of much of the recent crop of single releases and going for something far more aggressive. Melodic undoubtedly; but with the force of two guitars to add that extra edge. Tracks are taken from their debut album Vital Signs; both tracks are quality indy-rock in vein of Killing Joke. Last Stop China Town shine despite the daft name. I am certainly looking forward to their full length release.

As you can see its a wee bit of an eclectic bunch ranging from the uber-metal of Mendeed to the mellow Jazz vibes of Neil Lamb. Musical uppers and downers methinks. But hey I review them as I get em’.

Next week should be more of my normal fare with a gig by Thunder (supported by Toby Jepson (ex-Little Angels) and Roadstar (formerly known as Hurricane Party).

Got a few interesting CD that have just showed up. Look forward to seeing you back here next time.

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About Marty Dodge

  • Nick

    Better than the AIC singer? His name is Layne Staley and there is no fvcking way he’s even close!

  • Guppusmaximus

    Great Review Marty!
    I’m a metal head myself but I do love Modern Jazz. Alot of the new Metal is seriously lacking but I’ll take a listen to Mendeed. I will definately try out Boston T Party(Kick ass name)because I love “Prog” anything…
    I guess a big misconception of Metal Heads is that we don’t comprehend talent but if you look at the REAL Metal there is alot of that. Look at Yngwie Malmsteen, He is fucking incredible and composes some brilliant shit. Opeth do an awesome job as well. Just because something is heavy does not mean it that it doesn’t fuse the passion and talent of other music… Oh well, enough of my soapbox:-)

    Again…Great Review and thanks for the insight to these bands.

  • hey, your mention of the Boston T Party made me learn something new. i saw that Dennis Chambers was the leader/drummer…so i checked out his site.

    for some reason, i never knew he played with Parliament/Funkadelic. woa! how’d i miss that?!

  • Alon

    FAO Marty Dodge,

    Hi Marty,

    Thank you for your review of our first single Just Ashes. I’m the lead singer of Last Stop China Town; Alon. I was happy to read your thoughts and glad that you seemed to enjoy it. Ismiled at the comment of our daft band name as I came up with it! No hard feeling though, I reckon it’ll grow on you??

    Just so you know our follow up plans include a double A-side release next on 10th April and our album will be out on 22nd May. We’ll make sure that Workhard PR get you a copy of both in due course. Thanks again for taking an interest and feel free to get some sneak peaks off the album on our offical website of http://www.laststopchinatown.co.uk

    Thanks again, take care…………Alon…..LSCT