Music Blog

All the music-related posts gathered together in one place.

Metallica: Oasis’ part in their downfall

Today’s Guardian Music Blog clickbait is Oasis: the band that changed our lives – by Lars Ulrich

It was Oasis and the Supersonic single. Thus began a long and very rewarding relationship with a sound, an approach and a way of looking at the world that has had a huge impact on me and helped shape who I am today … for whatever that’s worth.

Yes, you read that right. Lars Ulrich has claimed Oasis changed his life in the early 90s. Let’s take a closer look at the chronology, shall we?

1) Metallica produce the groundbreaking and seminal “Ride the Lightning“, “Master of Puppets” and The Black Album.

2) Lars hears Oasis and it changes his life

3) Metallica release “Load“, “Re-Load” and “St. Anger

So, as well as setting mainstream British guitar music back 20 years, can we also add ruining one of America’s most important metal bands to the Gallagher brothers’ charge sheet?

Posted in Music Opinion | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New Red Jasper album on the way

Red Jasper’s new album “The Great and Secret Show”, is due in January 2015. Pre-order informaiton coming soon.

Posted in Music News | Tagged | Leave a comment

A question for those of you who are here primarily for the music posts. Do you prefer the magazine-style front page, or the old-school blog page? And why?

Posted on by Tim Hall | 14 Comments

AOR Review Roundup

The contemporary AOR scene is a strange beast. While much of the progressive rock world at least makes an attempt to be something more than 70s revivalists and incorporate contemporary influences into their sounds, many, AOR acts seem content to repeat the same moves from the commercial hard rock of a generation ago, and make records that sound as though they could have been released in 1985. Still, it gives the impression of being a thriving scene complete with its own festival circuit.

These three new releases from Frontiers Records give a taste of what the current scene has to offer.

Vega - Stereo MessiahStereo Messiah“, the third album by British rockers Vega is a solid piece of work. With a shimmering production from John Mitchell of It Bites, it’s full of big choruses, spiralling guitar breaks and the occasional very 1980s keyboard sound. Frontman Nick Workman provides some classic high register AOR vocals, and Marcus Thurston’s guitar shredding always complements the songs, with a touch of Neal Schon in some of his solos. It does suffer a little from a lack of variety, with many songs sharing very similar tempos and structures; it’s not until the closing power-ballad “Tears Never Dry” that we get any real change of pace. But with tight playing and some strong songwriting, fans of the likes of Def Leppard or Journey should still find a lot to like about this record.

Dalton - Pit StopPit Stop” by Dalton is far less impressive. Dalton were an 80s hairspray band from Sweden who made a couple of albums and were then “killed off by grunge”. A generation later they’re trying to make a comeback. Unfortunately this album gives a clue as to why they might have failed the first time around. The opening song “Ready or Not” gets of the album off to bad start with some ugly sexist lyrics that should have stayed in the 80s, and the sound of a bunch of blokes who must be in their 50s singing adolescent-themed lyrics about girls and parties is not a pleasant one. Musically it’s very formulaic, and it’s all been done many times before by far better bands. Hair metal is a genre that hasn’t aged well, especially for a band who were also-rans in the first place.

Allen Lande The Great DivideThe Great Divide” by Allen/Lande can best be described as epic melodramatic cheese. But it’s high-quality cheese made with the very finest ingredients. Russell Allen and Jorn Lande are a pair of class acts as vocalists, with Jorn Lande in particular the nearest thing nowadays to the late Ronnie Dio. The songwriting and production is the work of Timo Tolkki, formerly of Finnish power-metallers Stratovarius, who also plays all the guitars, bass and keys.

The result is a record that’s completely over the top, whether it’s big riffs and choruses or epic power ballads. There are echoes of Dio and early Yngwie Malmsteem, though guitar histrionics are toned down to throw the spotlight on the vocals, and the whole thing has a huge, bombastic sound. With lyrics like “Lady Winter/Do you ever long for spring/When the birds begin to sing” you do wonder whether they’re trying to be profound or are just taking the piss, and there are a couple of moments that sound just a little too close to specific Dio songs for comfort. But while you know it’s all corny hokum, if you don’t try to take it too seriously it’s still a very entertaining listen.

Posted in Record Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Chantel McGregor tour dates

Chantel McGregor Tour Poster

Blues-rock guitarist and singer-songwriter Chantel McGregor will be on tour for much of October, November and December. If you haven’t seen her live before, she’s not to be missed.

Posted in Music News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Giving the excellent Occupying Forces by Halo Blind another spin. One of no fewer than five excellent albums from the York scene so far this year.

Posted on by Tim Hall | 4 Comments

Haken – Darkest Light

Haken release a promo video with a track from the forthcoming EP “Restoration”.

Posted in Music News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Purson on tour

Purson at HRH Prog 2

Psychedelic rockers Purson are on tour in the UK throughout the second half of October, starting with a free gig at The Purple Turtle in Reading on October 14th, and endng at The Borderline in London on the 28th. In between it takes in much of the UK including Scotland and Wales.

Posted in Music News | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Pineapple Thief announce tour dates

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

The Pineapple Thief have have announced a European tour culminating in four UK dates at the beginning of December.

The four UK dates are:

  • Wednesday Dec 3rd: O2 Academy Islington, London
  • Thursday Dec 4th: Fleece, Bristol
  • Friday Dec 5th: Ruby Lounge, Manchester
  • Suturday Dec 6th: The Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh
Posted in Music News | Tagged | Leave a comment

I am liking the new Robert Plant album “Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar” a lot. It’s the best thing he’s done for years, with a fire that’s beem missing from his last few records.

Posted on by Tim Hall | Leave a comment