Billy Miles Brooke “All Dressed Up… and Nowhere to Go”

billymilesbrookeAfter reviewing 80s Sunset Strip band TRAGIC ROMANCE’s CD a couple of weeks ago, it appears as logical to talk about this album as Billy Miles Brooke was actually their singer. This is not a new release, it’s actually from 2008, but the fact is that this record obviously didn’t receive the attention/promo it deserved, so it’s never too late to give these 10 songs a second birth…
From opening song “Queen Of The Stardust Ball”, you can feel that Billy probably owns more than a couple of STONES and FACES records. The guitars and piano also make the comparison with The QUIREBOYS and early BLACK CROWES as obvious. Billy’s vocals stay on the glammy side, evoking BOWIE and BOLAN at times.
Songs like “The Lights On Lonely Blvd.” even have a bit of CULT thrown into them while “Tears and Wine” or “Midnight Rain” are the kind of slide guitar oriented ballads The ROLLING STONES could have written.
There’s some great catchy songs on this album: “All Wound Up”, “Around The World”, “Tearin’ Up The Town” or “Moonlight Boogie”, and that’s just another reason for every rocker into this kind of 70s rock’n’roll to check this album out!/Laurent C.

Straight To Video “S/T”

Staight To Video CoverRob Lane from TEENAGE CASKET COMPANY, Trash Pit ‘zine, etc. is back with this new project based on the idea of 80s/90s nostalgia and pure fun!
As a big fan of 80s movies, Rob decided to record some of his favourite soundtracks with the help of his former bandmate Jamie Delerict, KITTY HUDSON members and a few others:
“Rush Hour” from License to Drive with Johnny Monaco (ENUFF ‘Z NUFF) as a guest guitarist,
“Pretty In Pink” (The PSYCHEDELIC FURS) from the same titled movie which is turned into a very good punk/power pop version, “Misery” (SOUL ASYLUM) from Clerks 2 with Jaret Reddik (BOWLING FOR SOUP) on vocals, “Miss Amanda Jones” (The MARCH VIOLETS) from Some Kind Of Wonderful, and the always great “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)” (DRAMARAMA) from A Nightmare On Elm Street 4.
Apart from the obvious good taste in choosing the songs, this EP offers new versions of these classics that are not too different from the originals, but different enough to make it work as a whole. A limited edition of this EP will be released in a VHS video case including a T-Shirt. That’s another reason for you to get it!/Laurent C.

Faz Waltz “Back On Mondo”

FazWaltz2013Starting with a STOOGES kind of beat, this new album from Italian band FAZ WALTZ takes them to new musical territories that bring garage rock (“Little Home”) and bands like The HIVES (“Fingers In My Brain”, “Baby Left Me”), or JET (“Get The Poison”) to mind.
The band also still have one foot in 70s glam rock (T.Rex especially) as “Looking For a Ghost” and “Leave Her Alone” display, and you’ll even get a bit of modern blues (“Cannonball Blues”.)
The production is really good, the melodies are great, the vocals and playing are solid, there’s energy and hooks, and when you think about it, there’s still an unoccupied space on a larger scale when it comes to this genre in music nowadays. So, after listening to “Back On Mondo”, there’s just one question that comes to mind: How come this band isn’t big yet?/Laurent C.

Tragic Romance “Hollywood Daze”

tragic_romanceTRAGIC ROMANCE was one of these bands that haunted the Sunset Strip in the late 80s. Lost into the glam metal/sleaze rock tsunami, TRAGIC ROMANCE shared stages with bands like JUNKYARD, JETBOY, BANG TANGO, VAIN, WARRANT, etc.
This CD offers us songs from that time, and also two songs (“Little Miss Innocent” and “Shameless”) that were recorded in 2012 for FnA records. There’s some good party rock songs on here (“All Wound Up”, “Shameless”), and Billy’s glammy vocals pefectly fits. Of course, you also get the compulsory power ballads (“Satin Sheets”, “Just Couldn’t Bear It”)… TRAGIC ROMANCE were good, but not different from many of their contemporaries, which eventually led them to play a heavier, darker kind of rock in 1989 as the style was evolving with bands like LOVE/HATE, BANG TANGO and JANE’S ADDICTION. “Love and Revolution”, “Vampire Blues”, or “25 Days” are close to what these bands were doing, which shows that any record label support really could have helped… The last two songs “Seasons”, and “Denied” actually get close to MOTHER LOVE BONE, or even ALICE IN CHAINS and SOUNDGARDEN.
You’ll find old flyers and pics as the album artwork. A good tribute and testimony of two eras in one!/Laurent C.

Cannibal Mosquitos “Surfin’ Love Party”

CannibalMosquitos13 instrumental surf rock songs influenced by bands like The MUMMIES or MAN OR ASTROMAN. The only voices you’ll hear are dialogues from old French movies about love and sex in between the songs. This works quite well and it reminds me of HAWAII SAMURAI. The CANNIBAL MOSQUITOS cover French cult actor Guy Marchand’s “Destiné”, and this alone should make you want to listen to this album!
The trio dress up as mutant mosquitoes, which can only add up to the show, as this style is made for live performances before all.
The album is available on CD and vinyl through Dirty Witch records./Laurent C.

Kurt Baker “Brand New Beat”

KBakerFirst time I ever hear about to Kurt Baker (former LEFTOVERS member), and the name that immediately comes to mind when listening to this album is Butch Walker! Kurt’s voice is close to Butch’s, and songs like “Don’t Go Falling In Love”, “Qualified” or “She Can Do It All” could have been on a Butch Walker album… Well, that’s not a bad thing at all to me. These two guys probably share a lot of common influences (CHEAP TRICK, RAMONES, BEATLES, etc.), and it can only show in the song-writing. Fine melodies, catchy choruses and sunny moods, you won’t get bored while listening to “Brand New Beat.”
Kurt’s punk pop roots show on songs like “Partied Out” and “Weekend Girls” (as catchy as a BOSS MARTIANS song!), but you’ll also find a strong 60s feel in “I Don’t Wanna Cry”for instance. You’ll even get two bonus songs, the killer “Want You Around” and the poppy “Emma Stone.”
11 songs on French record label Dirty Witch Records that will make modern power pop fans happy!/Laurent C.

Adler “Back From The Dead”

ADLERThere is no need to review who Steven Adler is, but it must be said that he drove the G N R music into the ground with his various versions of Adler’s Appetite, although it was always fun following the shenanigans going down when that band was on tour. I have to disclose that I am friends with Lonny Paul, who is the guitarist/songwriter in Adler, so take what you want from that.
The new blood that Lonny, bassist Johnny Martin and singer Jacob bring to the Adler group is what Steven Adler needed to remain relevant in these rock and roll times, and all these guys are real Rock N Roll survivors. I know Lonny has been waiting to bust out on a national and now international level for years, and the right stars aligned for him to show his talents ( and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy), and Johnny Martin has been kicking around with Chelsea Smiles and various TV and movie gigs, and Jacob has his Lynam group that tours around (the guy has signed some major label deals with major A & R players), but this is the release that will bring these guys the attention they deserve, and not because of Steven and Guns N Roses tunes, but because of songs like “Habit” and “Your Diamonds”.
The CD was recorded and produced by Jeff Pilson here in my backyard of Santa Clarita, Ca., and is a mix of classic rock and roll with contemporary and heavy sounding guitars and production accents, not your typical rock action. Overall the release has good vocals, good songwriting, good production, not what was expected from most, and my only complaint is that Johnny Martin was not able to add his Dee Dee Ramone punk rock bass to the songs, as Pilson played all the bass on Back From the Dead.
“Own Worst Enemy”, “Another Version Of The Truth” and “The One That You Hated”, all have great catchy vocals and chorus and “Good To Be Bad” has some cool horror movie guitar effects and solo from John 5 from R. Zombie/M. Manson. “Just Don’t Ask” is a nice acoustic ballad, but my jam on this CD is “Habit”, which was written by Lonny Paul, with it’s BOC “Godzilla” riff and cool effects guitars during the verses and the catchy ass chorus! The other favorite of the CD is “Your Diamonds”, which is a cool mid-tempo vibe, similar to Journey’s “Lights”. These guys have the look and the sound, and now the live show, as they are in Japan as I write this, and with a tour of the states and Europe coming in the next few months. Go see them live, I was lucky enough to catch their debut Los Angeles show with Steel Panther, and am glad to report that they sound even better live and in your face! /Teddy Heavens

Demon Vendetta “Guardians Of The Bitter Sea”

DVendettaNasty Samy gets back to surf rock with this 8 song vinyl. While he used to play bass in HAWAII SAMURAÏ (one of the best French surf bands!), he now uses his guitar to bring us this horror movie influenced project.
This is surf music, but not in a traditional way, think of DICK DALE jammin’ with M.O.D. or The BEACH BOYS partyin’ with Rambo! Surf guitars, punk rock beats and thrash metal riffs altogether is what you get on here. Quite an original recipe and some great moments (“The Force Of Gravity”, “Retaliation Stomp”…) DEMON VENDETTA even offers us their own version of JOY DIVISION’s “Transmission” (here rebaptized “Transmission Mono” as they don’t play it by the book), the song that got me into Ian Curtis’ band back in high-school! Just another proof that a good song can work in many different music styles.
Sometimes not far from the MAN OR ASTROMAN? in their vision of surf music, DEMON VENDETTA created a new monster with this debut release, call it crossover surf, surf metal punk or whatever, but that swampy creature will get you if you let it approach you… /Laurent C.