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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Quick site update for Thursday 8th September, 2011

Hi folks, sorry it's a brief update and while I do have some news updates to share, right now I'm very limited for time here, as I've been trying to catch up with reviews which I'm very sadly behind with.
I hope to get to you within the next week Status Quo's latest 'Quid Pro Quo,' John Wetton's 'Raised in Captivity,' Doobie Brothers 'Farewell tour - Live at the Greek 1982' DVD / CD and Deep Purple's 'Phoenix Rising' DVD.
The good folks that provided these, did so sometime back, but as you're all aware, life has been full of many ups, downs, major life changes and I've been doing all I can to keep you up to date with news items. 
All of the last events have put me behind on so many of my reviews, not to mention interviews that are long overdue posting at the site ... Not good, eh?!
Add to that, unfortunately it seems I was a little hasty in my remark of getting some assistance here with album reviews and that's not now going to happen ... I hope, my good friend will be able to assist in some way in the future with more live reviews. :)

On a final, way more positive note I'd like to say an incredibly huge and very humbling thank you to so many of you for sticking by me, as this week the site has past 80,000 page views!
No, it's not a million and somedays it's as low as just 130, which simply means to me that you lot are just as bloody busy as I am and don't have time to get over here!
Of course, it makes me ecstatic on those rare days of 400+ hits!
Whatever the case, you lot are great and I thank those of you that take the time to send me emails saying how much you enjoy the site and the comments good or bad - Hey, it's real world right?! - on my reviews, it shows you are into this stuff as much as me and that's great. Thank you!
So, that's it for now from me, so here's just a few bit's and pieces for you.
Hope the rest of your week goes well and really, thanks again! Cheers, Al :)


2-CD Package Available For The First Time On October 4
New York, NY (September, 2011) — Styx will have its entire career encapsulated within the 16 tracks of Regeneration, Volume I & II on a double-disc to be released via Eagle Rock Entertainment on October 4.

With over 30 million records sold in North America alone, Styx is one of the most beloved rock bands on the planet. Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Chuck Panozzo, Lawrence Gowan, Ricky Phillips and Todd Sucherman have been together longer than any other lineup in the band’s 40-year existence.

In addition to thirteen Styx classics and a brand new song “Difference In The World,” Regeneration, Volume I & II also includes interpretations of “High Enough,” and “Coming Of Age,” originally recorded by Damn Yankees, which featured Shaw, along with Night Ranger’s Jack Blades, Ted Nugent and drummer Michael Cartellone. The band had originally re-recorded these acclaimed anthems to sell only at their live shows, as they continued to tour the globe and introduce a new generation of fans to their chart-topping hits. Now, for the first time, this music is being made commercially available.

Eagle Rock Entertainment has previously released Styx: One With Everything, a DVD and Blu-Ray filmed with The Contemporary Youth Orchestra Of Cleveland. Upcoming in December will be 'The Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight event – Live, on DVD/CD, DVD, and Blu-ray.

For more information on Styx, please visit

Track Listing:
1) The Grand Illusion
2) Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
3) Lorelei
4) Sing For The Day,
5) Crystal Ball
6) Come Sail Away
7) Difference In The World

1) Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
2) Miss America
3) Renegade
4) Queen Of Spades
5) Boat on The River
6) Too Much Time On My Hands
7) Snowblind
8) Coming Of Age
9) High Enough
Release information and more through:

New interviews with Journey's Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda

Andrew McNiece at recently conducted interviews with both lead vocalist Arnel Pineda and guitarist Neal Schon, both of mega American act Journey.

Neal Schon: Doing It His Way. Read Interview.
Arnel Pineda: From Dusty Streets To Platinum Records.
Read Interview.
Happy reading folks ... He's one or should that be two up on me, that's for sure! ;-)
Good result Andrew!

New Michael Schenker track from 'Temple of Rock' available for streaming

Check out 'Miss Claustrophobia' from the forthcoming new Michael Schenker album, 'Temple of Rock' due out in October this year, right here:

Keep tabs on all his upcoming activity including his '3 Guitar Greats' tour with both Uli Jon Roth and Leslie West, right here:

Here's the latest from UK melodic rockers FM

Update via the band's

"On September 8th 1986, FM's first album INDISCREET was released. Recording started in the hedonistic atmosphere of Ibiza and finished in the more earthy surroundings of Wood Green, North London. Who would have thought back then that in 2010 Planet Rock listeners would vote Frozen Heart one of the greatest AOR songs of all time? 25 years have passed but the songs from Indiscreet still hold a special place in all our hearts.

It is only fitting that we mark such an important day in FM history with something special, so we're excited to announce the launch of 'Indiscreet 25Live' - for the next 12 months we'll be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the release of Indiscreet with competitions and more. Our dedicated Indiscreet 25Live page will be the place to congregate for all the latest Indiscreet-related news and to share your memories. Check out the new page now for more info and a chance to win one of our new Indiscreet 25Live T-shirts!

Steve Price will be helping us launch the Anniversary celebrations this Sunday September 11th on his ARfm Rock Show from 6-9pm. We'll be joining Steve live for a chat during the show so please join us on Sunday at

Thanks everyone for all your support over the last 25 years!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Crashdïet – Generation Wild album review

Crashdïet – Generation Wild album review
Released on: Frontiers Records. Release Date: Available now

Yes, that's indeed a scary looking cover isn't it?
I’ve got to say this from the offset that this is an absolutely killer album, no really!
It really captures so many of the bands noted influences and much more!

Crashdïet has already had some sad history, after their original lead vocalist Dave Lepard committed suicide in 2006, but they managed to bounce back amazingly with the addition of Simon Cruz, who has a great voice if you ask me.
The band also features guitarist Martin Sweet, bassist Peter London and drummer Eric Young.

Here's the thing, I did not look at the band, before I listened to this or the album cover and seriously, honestly ..., if I had, perhaps I may not have given this much attention. I'm glad I did!

I also personally hear influences here that the band do not have mentioned in their press release and I like it, so, please keep that in mind before you turn away from this through looking at the band's image.

Opening after the intro warning sound like an impending alert of some intrusion or attack, it then leads into ‘Armageddon’ which rocks out in a manner not unlike say Ratt. Plenty of harmony vocals going on too and then when the pre-chorus hit, it’s loads of melody and then the chorus proper, give a massive big vocal assault.
The track overall is a hard rocking, sub-metal number with loads of melody.
The strange thing about lead vocalist Simon Cruz’ voice is not just the range but the different styles that he applies across the whole album. Great opening track, it really is!

‘So Alive’ next starts with a riff that could Judas Priest or any other metal act, but the verse and chorus combination has a sound, that while heavy is melodic enough that it could be something from the Bon Jovi back catalogue.
These guys have certainly got the knack for writing commercial / hook driven songs, no question, big harmonies throughout too, all power to them, they have a great sound overall.

Title track ‘Generation Wild’ again while having a heavy edge, has loads of melody and I love the chorus and the song overall to be honest. Great track!

These guys influences are very strong, even if not intentionally, I hear Ratt, Scorpions, Treat, Saxon, White Lion, Motley Crue, in fact loads of the big L.A. type sound too, yet there’s big melodic influences even like Honeymoon Suite if you ask me … I’ll get to that in a minute.

‘Rebel’ next is a short and sweet out and out rocker that has a riff that the aforementioned Saxon could be proud of.

OK, I mentioned Honeymoon Suite didn’t I? Well, when I first heard ‘Save Her’ I thought somehow Frontiers had got a new Honeymoon Suite track in the mix, as this totally sounds like something off ‘Racing After Midnight’ or ‘Big Prize,’ it’s killer!
I don’t care if this band sounds like a load of others, the songs are so strong, it’s hard not to sing along.

‘Down with the Dust’ is an up tempo rocker that reminds me a lot of White Lion meets 80’s era Scorpions, of course done in Crashdïet’s own way. Great stuff indeed!

The dirty sleazy LA glam sound is hugely present on ‘Native Nature.’ It’s a big edgy rocker without question.

‘Chemical’ up next is a more melodic type rocker, with an almost alternative edge, but at times Simon Cruz sounds a little like Johnnie Dee (Honeymoon Suite) again here. Still sounds good to me.

Another more melodic mid paced glam like rocker next in ‘Bound To Fall.’ Nice guitar work from Martin Sweet here and again big harmony vocals make it another strong number.

Last track here is ‘Beautiful Pain,’ which is a big old power ballad in the bands own style, to close things out here.

I’ve never heard these guys before, but apparently they’ve been around since 2000 and this is their third album, I recommend this album and look forward to hearing what they put out next! You go guys!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Official website:  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bad Company - Live at Wembley CD / DVD review

Bad Company - Live at Wembley CD / DVD review
Released through: Eagle Rock. Release date: Available now

You know it's funny and yet still cool that Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke and Mick Ralphs are touring again as Bad Company, as for the longest time it had simply been just Simon Kirke joining Rodgers and calling the band Bad Company. Sadly of course, Boz Burrell passed away a few years ago in 2006.
With the live band we also get Howard Leese (Ex-Heart, Paul Rodgers Band) on lead guitar and the much traveled Lynn Sorensen on bass.
Mick Ralphs came on board just a couple of years ago, strangely enough after receiving a 'Cease and desist' notice from Rodgers management - Or should that be lawyers! - for his side Bad Co project XCOM featuring former Bad Company vocalist Robert Hart as well as Simon Kirke at one point.
Here go and check this out:
Anyway, funnier still is a very good point that another former Bad Company vocalist Brian Howe had mentioned to me in an old interview, was at least he was still recording new material. When was the last time Bad Company featuring Paul Rodgers did that?
I have to agree with Brian and add that his last solo album 'Circus Bar,' was bloody brilliant!
Looking forward to his next one, but that's another story!

I can tell you, it was the bonus tracks on the 'Original Bad Company' two CD set from 1999, so he's kind of right that it's indeed been a while, yet Rodgers has continued to release his own solo works? Strange one that?
This show opens (DVD) with red stage lights flashing on and off and a heartbeat echoing, before the band opens with 'Can't Get Enough,' which for these fans was a winner from the start, with nice harmony guitar work from Ralphs and Leese.
Who'd believe it had been 31 years since a Paul Rodgers fronted Bad Company had toured the UK.
'Honey Child' is a surprise next - Don't recall hearing that on US Bad Company live dates myself. - from 'Run With The Pack' so for US fans watching this, perhaps a welcome change. That said I did not catch the band when they played just ten US dates in 2009, but on previous times I saw them, it wasn't included.
Paul jams some on the piano for next track 'Run with the Pack,' which for me is a Bad Co song that never gets old unlike perhaps 'Can't Get Enough.' Again nice harmony guitars parts with Ralphs and Leese.
Rodgers sounds OK to me, but it's like he's really going through the motions a lot of times during the performance, with all his adlibs and twists on the original versions of each songs presentation.
As lightning flashes on the backdrop and thunder rumbles over the PA, 'Burning Sky' is up next and Paul Rodgers perhaps reflects slight strain in his voice, although still a favorite song of mine.
Paul then introduces the band, including himself at the end ...
Then we get an old blues, honey tonk rock 'n' roller from the 'Lieber / Stoller' songbook in 'Young Blood,' which is just what seems to be a fun jam. I guess it breaks things up a bit?!
Paul and Mick both grab acoustic guitars next to perform 'Seagull' by themselves, with a single candle burning on the backdrop screen behind them. Nice.

Things pick up with 'Gone, Gone, Gone' next from 'Desolation Angels,' which is perhaps a surprise choice but good to hear nonetheless. Good one guys.
Then Paul hits the piano again to kick off 'Electric Land' from the 'Rough Diamonds' album, the last full studio Bad Company album to feature the four original players. It's very well received too.
'Simple Man' from 'Run With the Pack' is next and it's good in a sense that the band is indeed mixing it up, not playing perhaps a more safe, predictable set, but then we get a more familiar number for the 'Greatest Hits' fans in 'Feel Like Makin' Love' with a beautiful intro from Howard Leese on the mandolin, before the band kicked in too.
Perhaps my favorite Bad Company song ever is next with 'Shooting Star' and the band has various deceased rock stars images shown on the screen behind them as they play through the number nicely. Paul then gets into his adlib bit in the middle before encouraging the crowd to sing along with them for a few choruses and the Wembley choir sing in good form on this night and the band wrap the song up in epic style. No denying it.
Now of course we're clearly getting close to wrap up time as a couple more hits are rolled out in 'Rock and Roll Fantasy' and 'Movin' On,' before the band leave the stage ..., briefly, the end the main set.
The band returns with a lengthy 'Ready for Love,' where the crowd is singing along with the band from the start, but I'm sorry it does seem to drag a little after a while as it's perhaps extended a little too long.
The bands title song 'Bad Company' is next with Paul taking to the piano again and I know I really haven't mentioned Simon Kirke or Lynn Sorenson much, but they simply keep it all steady and tight, no question and Bad Company put simply, is a classy number.
That's not it though ... Unbelievably, the band returns for 'Deal With the Preacher' how about that and yes, this finally closes the hour and a half set. Nicely done guys, now then, any chance of a any new material?

Editor side note: DVD cover says running time is 110 minutes approx. I can tell you, it runs for longer than that. :)

The DVD comes with bonus features of band interviews, before and after the show and same with audience members.
All said and done, it appeared that everyone present had a good time.
The CD by the way gives you almost all of the same, but 'Burning Sky' is omitted.
I didn't see the Blu-Ray, so can't comment on that one.
Rating: 4 out of 5

News update for Monday September 5th, 2011

Happy Labor day to all American readers! Yes, see I spelt labor the American way, since it is an American holiday AND it's one I get! :)

Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekends and enjoying whatever event or family get together grabs you?
Anyway, I apologise for the lack of review updates, hope to put that right very soon.
I am enlisting the help of a friend, whose already done something for you folks and I'm pretty sure you enjoyed his writing then. I'll wait until I have his 'helpful' results before I give the game away - No pressure mate if you're reading this! LOL! - but put simply, I admit when there's too much work for one person to do and hopefully it gives folks a slightly different angle too.
Well, enough of my babble, onto the updates. Cheers, Al

 Night Ranger puts on a special show for charity

A special concert with Night Ranger to benefit veterans and their families presented by 105.9 The Rock and Hard Rock Café.
Sunday, Sept. 11 Night Ranger will perform an intimate, UNPLUGGED show for its fans at Hard Rock Café Nashville. All proceeds from the show will go to 'Not Alone,' a nonprofit organization that provides no-cost counseling to returning combat veterans impacted by post traumatic stress disorder and their families.

Doors open at 6pm, Show starts at 7pm.
General Admin tickets $30, VIP tickets $50 (Meet the band and receive their new album 'Somewhere in California'). For more information and advance ticket purchase go to or

Europe 'Live at Shepherds Bush, London' to get US release in October 2011

Well I have to say that this is one I've been looking out for, for a few months now after it originally simply got a release in Europe's homeland of Sweden and just this month got a UK release but now at last, it looks like Europe's much talked about show in London, UK from earlier this year is about to get a US release.

The information that I have through MVD Entertainment only gives limited details on the forthcoming DVD and Blu-Ray release, but you can always go to the band's website for further information.
The planned release of 'Europe Live at Shepherds Bush, London,' will happen on October 25th, through Talent Trust ...
Also, the UK released version - Looking at - seems to have different artwork to the Swedish and planned US releases?

The newest DVD from Scandinavia's biggest rock band Europe, who finished their two year long 'Last Look At Eden' tour with a second run in the United Kingdom baptized "Balls 'n' Banners Tour 2011."

Europe took the opportunity to record their sold-out performance at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London on the 19th of February 2011. The DVD includes the whole show and a multitude of bonus material from the bands Swedish performances at Johanneshov Ice Stadion and Gröna Lund, plus interviews, videos and more.
Info source and pre-order links:
Blu-Ray -
 Go to:

Van Halen update appears

The Van Halen news desk - - has posted an update on the current status of the 'new' Van Halen album ... It's finally done ..., but when well see it remains anyones guess?!
This from that site:

Good news regarding Van Halen’s upcoming album – as of a little over three weeks ago, the band has finished mixing the album. The rumor that the mixing process was taking overly long isn’t true, as the mixing began in July and was finished in August.
The album is to be mastered in mid-September. This process should only take around a weeks time, so the album should be 100% completed sometime this month! There is still no word on a definite release date.
Stay tuned to for a more extensive update within a few days.
There had been some back and forth stuff about David Lee Roth's vocals, that Eddie (Van Halen) wasn't happy with them, but according to another report over at all is now good.
Triumph 'Allied Forces' coming live on Rockline
Canadian rock trio Triumph, it appears are making another small step to what all of us fans of the band can only hope will lead to some kind of new reformation.
It's been too long since those two reunion shows from a few years ago took place at Sweden Rock Festival and Rocklahoma.
It looks like the trio will be appreaing together on the Rockline radio show, towards the end of the month. 
This from Triumph's site:
Experience TRIUMPH’s classic breakthrough album, Allied Forces like never before! Fans will get a first listen of the completely re-mastered album LIVE on
Tune in September 21st at 8:30pm PT/11:30pm ET, when TRIUMPH themselves will be live guests in studio. All three members of the Canadian rock juggernaut will be there to debut the release of the album, along with Rockline host Bob Coburn. Fans are encouraged to speak with the band by calling 1-800-344-ROCK (7625). For a station near you or to listen online, go to 
Fans are given the opportunity to phone in and have their questions answered by Mike, Gil and Rik. This is the perfect time to rediscover this landmark in Canadian rock music, as this date marks 30 years to the week, of the album’s original release.
Fingers and everthing else crossed that it turns out to lead to more.
Official site: