www.needleinthegroove.co.uk

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Scarlet Rebels - 'Show Your Colours' Album Review



Scarlet Rebels – Show Your Colours

Every now and then a band comes along that makes you go a little bit moist. Am I right fellas? Well this happened in 2015 with a band called V0id. Their third album ‘Keep Fighting’ was a little belter, and I bigged them up to anyone who would listen. They were good. Very good in fact. Even better live.

Thankfully a name change came about last year. An internet search for Void (without the ‘0’’) meant you’d find them about 27 pages in! When the name Scarlet Rebels was announced, I gave a sigh of relief. It suits them. After an album hiatus of 4 years, the next , or should I say ‘first’ chapter of Scarlet Rebels is about to be written, and it’s going to become a best seller.

The band still has a nucleus of brothers Wayne (Vocals, Guitar) and Gary Doyle Drums), along with bassist Wayne Esmonde, but have added some steel with lead guitarist Chris Jones, and Josh Townsend (guitar, keys); and after witnessing them at HRH, with a couple of teasers from ‘SYC’, a huge leap forward that I didn’t think was possible has been achieved. That was before I even heard the album. To that end, I have eagerly been awaiting for ‘Show Your Colours’ to drop.

So, if you’re a fan already then the lads have produced their finest piece of work to date. If you’re thinking of getting into a new band…..then lets see if I can convince you to part with your hard earned. Opener ‘No One Else To Blame’ isn’t exactly a sprint, more of a well-timed finish. A slow burn for me initially but after a few listens, the guitar work, and chorus just power it along like a juggernaut. ‘You Take My Breath Away’  is all about the chorus. They are giving ‘every song a killer’ Vega a definite run for their money. ‘Head’s In The Ground’ sees Scarlet Rebels aligned with my opinion on a certain orange coloured fella across the water (and Brexit!), and is a bit Shinedown in its preaching, and that’s no bad thing.

‘Part Of Me’ has a country-rock-slide-guitar and acoustic opening. It’s a bit of a change of pace, but the chorus is just HUGE. ‘Heal’ is a song they aired when I caught them at HRH AOR and was one of the stand out tracks. It’s low key first half, before a riff kicks in, then its down to the emotive and passioned chorus. Wayne Doyle certainly has a knack in getting you involved with his lyrics. A song of two halves, its my fave of the album so far. ‘Let Your Love Go’ reminds me a bit of a song by Tito and Tarantula. Its got high energy and a wallop to boot. ‘Nothing To Say’ is another song about sticking it to the man. Doyle clearly has a lot to say in his lyrics.  ‘Save me’ is standard fare as it guys for these guys, but its up against some high quality songs.

‘Blinded By The Pain’ is the longest song on the album. Whilst it isn’t epic in length, it is epic by any other means. It has to be a shoe in for their live set. ‘Shattered Dreams’ sees me running out of superlatives at this point. A harder edged song that evokes a bit of Alter Bridge. ‘Can I Open My Eyes’ is a cracking fast paced song that deserves to be a hit in any other time when rock ruled the airwaves.

‘Returning Light’ is the third barnstorming song on 'Show Your Colours'. I love the melodic hard rock numbers, but the real gems for me are when you can hear Wayne Doyle open up his heart and expose himself to some real emotionally delivered songs and this one is the absolute pinnacle of the album. I could imagine this with a choir or an orchestra and it would just bring people to tears. Its stunning, absolutely stunning.  ‘Losing End’ is a song that could easily be from the Foo Fighters, and goes toe to toe with the Grohl. Last and by no means least is a Scarlet Rebels 'balls out rock song' in the vein of bands like ‘DC, Krokus and Accept where it is all about the riff and the chorus.

Its the kind of album that you could be blindfolded with a pin in hand, and the song you pick could easily be a single or a favourite. Scarlet Rebels have a contender here, because the songs range from ‘great’, to ‘excellent’ and have 3 ‘absolute stunners’. There are songs here for every day and every emotion. Four or five listens in and I’m trying to be a bit picky, but I cant really find anything!

Its almost a perfect storm, all five guys hitting peak performance, a pounding rhythm section from Gary Doyle and Esmonde, a three guitar attack from W Doyle, Jones and Townshend, and some great vocals from Wayne Doyle.

Whilst they are not newcomers, Scarlet Rebels have put lots of miles, hard work and graft into these past few years into what should be an album of breakthrough proportions. If you like songs that are 
a) as catchy as a baseball glove dipped in UHU, or 
b) have more hooks than a fishing tackle shop then look no further for your musical fix.

Its 53 minutes of some of the best melodic hard rock you’ll hear all year, and beyond…

32 out of 33 1/3  (or 9.5/10)


Track listing

1.    No One Else To Blame

2.    You Take My Breath Away

3.    Head’s In The Ground

4.    Part Of Me

5.    Heal

6.    Let Your Love Go

7.    Nothing To Say

8.    Save Me

9.    Blinded By The Pain

10.Shattered Dreams

11.Can I Open My Eyes

12.Returning Light

13.Losing End (Bonus: Digital download/ streaming only)

14.Radio Song (Bonus: Digital download/ streaming only

Musicians:
Lead vocals - Wayne Doyle
Backing vocals - Wayne DoyleWayne ‘Pricey’ Esmonde and Josh Townshend
Guitars - Wayne Doyle, Chris Jones & Josh Townshend
Lead guitar - Chris Jones
Bass - Wayne ‘Pricey’ Esmonde
Drums and percussion - Gary Doyle
Keyboards and piano - Josh Townshend



Album Artwork - Josh Townshend
All images by Graham Harries at G Photography
Scarlet Rebels logo by Aled ‘Not Jones’ Williams



Scarlet Rebels are:
Wayne Doyle (vocals/guitar)
Chris Jones (lead guitar)
Josh Townshend (guitar)
Wayne ‘Pricey’ Esmonde (bass)
Gary Doyle (drums)


 
Released on Fri 09 August 2019 - ROAR! Rock Of Angels Records
Available as Download / CD / Limited Vinyl (250)
Recorded in Sonic One Studios, Llangennech, Llanelli, South Wales
Produced and engineered by Tim Hamill (Girlschool, Lemmy, George Michael)
All songs written by W. Doyle, C. Jones, G. Doyle, W. Esmonde & J. Townshend
All lyrics by W. Doyle

Pre-order here:  

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Nitrate - 'Open Wide' Album review


Nitrate – Open Wide

If your idea of a  ‘who’s who’ of a band made up of members with extensive CVs (not because they cant hold a job, the opposite, because they are so much in demand) then look no further than Nitrate. If you think that the music on offer gives a nice warm comforting feel, that’s because main guy Nick Hogg , bass and keys co-wrote the songs with Robb Wylde (Teenage Casket Company / Midnite City / Tigertailz / Vega). Robb is also providing rhythm guitar on Open Wide. Also present are Mike Newdeck  - drums  & mixing (Midnite City / Edens Curse / Blood Red Saints / Newman), Marcus Thurston - guitar (Vega), vocals from Philip Lindstrand (Find Me / east Temple Avenue / Strong), and mastering from Harry Hess (Harem Scarem). Fuck, just to make sure, Nick Hogg got the other three-fifths of Vega (Martin Bros and Wilson) to chip in with one song (Bad Girls). Nick Workman was obviously having his hair done!

With all the Vega-ing, and Midnite City-ing, this is a Ronseal album straight out of the box. You know what you’re gonna get, and its gonna be good. ‘You Want It You Got It’ sprints out of the starting blocks like a stabbed rat. Its a good riff, and an instantly sing-able chorus. Whats not to like? Well, nothing thankfully.

‘Night Time City’ is another in the ‘big sound’ vein, and just like Vega and Midnight City, I’m already seeing a pattern. ‘’Only A Heartache Away’ is a ballad of sorts, but in a Ted Poley vein, a harder edged and melodic ballad. ‘Heart Go Wild’ steps back on the gas to anthem-ville! ‘I Don’t Want To Live’ is all about the chorus, and it’s a big one. ‘Never Surrender’ is as 80s as Coverdale’s legwarmers, and would be a shoe-in for MTV back in the day. ‘Heartbreak Suicide’ could only come out of the pen od someone like Wylde in 2019, thanks to his random song name generator, and a knack for a riff / bridge / chorus that few can copy, or emulate and is one of the stand out songs on the album. ‘In The Night’ reminds me instantly of JonBon or Poison in their element – all cowboy boots, leather chaps and it would have had a hand 1000s of births if it was 1988. It’s a little belter. ‘Bad Girls’ riff is laid on the foundation of ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ and you can tell is a Martin penned tune just by the number of ‘whooaa’s’ in it! ‘Shot In The Dark’  is a blend of Robin beck, and Vinnie Vincent’s Invasion, if that’s ever possible. I must cut back on my meds. Its soon onto the last number, ‘Waiting On You’ which again has a nailed down chorus.

All I can tell you is that Nitrate has some powerful tunes with Thurston’s riffery and playing some of the best that’s this side of Ritchie Blackmore's wig.

I do have one tiny irritation and that’s Linstrand’s phrasing of the word ‘you’. But then again, his English is definitely better than my Swedish, so I can go and fuck right off.

It’s hard not to make comparisons to Teenage Vega City, or Midnight Vega, when the songwriters concerned want all the songs to be an anthem, or a big number. And that’s a good stall to set out. With Nick Hogg pulling the bass strings of a puppet-master, he has pulled off a shrewd move and come out the other end with an album that will be at the top end of the best lists come the year end. I’ll have to go out and get my mitts on the debut.

30 out of 33 1/3  (9 out of 10)

Tracklisting
You Want It You Got It
Night Time City
Only A Heartache Away
Heart Go Wild
I Don’t Want To Live
Never Surrender
Heartbreak Suicide
In The night
Bad Girls
Shot In The Dark
Waiting On You

Nitrate
Nick Hogg – Bass & Keyboards
Robb Wylde – Rhythm Guitar & Keyboards
Philip Lindstrand – Vocals
Mike Newdeck – Drums
Marcus Thurston – Guitars

Mixed by Mike Newdeck
Mastered by Harry Hess

AOR Heaven
Released 21.6.19



Saturday, 1 June 2019

Hollowstar, Florence Black, Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts, Star & Garter, Manchester, 31.5.19 Live Review


Hollowstar, Florence Black, Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts, The Star & Garter, Manchester, 31.5.19

As what seemed like the whole of the World descending on Manchester for the first of a run of nights for The Spice Girls at the Etihad, just around the corner a small band of real music aficionados chose to be at The Star & Garter for a night of what would be one to remember.

The venue was small, and bijou at best, and possibly (some) blood, definitely sweat, and some tears would be shed here this evening. More on the tears later...

The guys in attendance know a class act when they see one, as the upstairs room was almost full for Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts. Matt (ex-Pride/Furyon/Colour of Noise) is the most experienced man on the bill, but sometimes you just have to start anew, dust yourself off and get on with it. His album dropped today and MM&TC came out fighting. The album is good, but the select songs chosen stand up a lot better played live as they are performed with a bit of added welly. Mitchell looks and sounds the part, and has surrounded himself with quality musicians. It was a case of hit ‘em hard with what little time you’ve got...’On and On’ is a good pacey opener, but ‘Black Diamonds’ gets the crowd bouncing (Literally, thanks to the floor in the venue!). Matt wails ‘I hope you find what you’re looking for’ and he is spot on. We did. ‘Kings & Queens’ is a summer song that should be on repeat on the radio, and ‘Unavailable’ showcases the heavier side of Mitchell. It was the fantastic ‘Home’, which did it for me, a number that showcases his and The Coldhearts talents and is his shining moment. It’s all over too soon with ‘Wave Goodbye’. Apt, and a great start. Form is temporary, class is permanent.



Where MM&TC was a composed and very good performance, Florence Black essentially ripped up the rulebook and are one of those bands that don’t care who precedes or follows. A three piece from South Wales they opened up with the Budgie classic ‘Breadfan’ and practically beat the audience into submission and levelled the Star & Garter. When the person next to you (Roger) leans into you and says ‘that was worth the admission alone’ you know you are onto something special. Me, I just had two words written down...’fucking awesome’. Its one of the best covers of any band I’ve ever heard, its that good. Like a Tasmanian Devil that’s been provoked with a pointy stick, Florence Black were taking no prisoners – ‘Fiesta’ is a pounding track that leaves you breathless, and in frontman and guitarist Tristan Thomas gives his lot, especially sweat. In fact, in Thomas, Perry Davies and Jordan Evans it’s like being in a 3-2-1 fight, the punches just keep coming and there’s nothing you can do about it. ‘Same Again’ is a song built on the foundations of Budgie and grunge and is a belting force of nature. ‘Gunshot’ originally features Benji Webbe of Skindred, and if anything for me is the weaker song of the set. A mix of Skindred and Disturbed, it doesn’t fit FB as much as the rest, and their own songs prove they don’t need endorsements or outside assistance. Finally its onto ‘Smoke’ and Florence Black finish as they started, with a wallop, and its a pleasure and delight to see these guys rip the place up. I think that had they reversed the set, and left ‘Breadfan’ until last, I think I’d have come in my pants! 


Where FB had raw power, force and energy, Hollowstar are riding the coattails on the back of a very good debut album with some belting songs. Coming on to a strange, but nice intro in Massive Attacks ‘Teardrop’, before launching into album opener ‘Take It All’ and a twin guitar attack of Haines and Collett, Joe Bonson is the focal point and rightly so, with charm and substance and a voice to match. With Hollowstar is more about groove and feel, and ‘Down By The Water’ ‘Lay Down’ and ‘Guilty’ are as groove-laden as they come. ‘Invincible’ highlights the intensity of Hollowstar and is almost ‘Cult-like’ (The band). ‘Think Of Me’ is my fave track from the album and is even more Alter Bridge/Bad Company live and has a very infectious chorus. This was dedicated to Chris, who gave Jon a job booking gigs for Hollowstar who passed away before the Album was done. ‘Money’ was...er...bang on the money. ‘New Age Lullaby’ and ‘Feel The Burn’ show the bands roots, and their sharp progression over the last couple of years. 


There are a couple of heartfelt tributes to a pair of Hollowstar soldiers who have fallen along the way and deserve their mention. Chris, who gave Jon a employment to essentially book his own gigs for Hollowstar and is given ‘Think Of Me’ and the lads friend Carl who lost his fight to depression last year, in ‘Good Man Gone’, a rousing tribute. Both gents were given a rightful round of applause and at both points I had something in my eye. (As did others I expect.

Free’s ‘Wishing Well’ is up next and a staple of the Hollowstar set. Its more Moore (Gary) than Free’s version, and breaks their set up well for the final furlong. ‘Overrated’ is definitely not what Hollowstar are judging from tonight’s performance. The set is over all too quickly with ‘All I Gotta Say’ and was released a good year ago and whetted the appetite for the debut, and is a great song to finish the set. Its easy for bands to play a whole set of an album, but Hollowstar have a core of songs from this and their EP that will be a staple of sets hopefully for years to come. I sincerely hope all 3 bands tonight are here for the long run.



It was one of those nights that I’ll remember for quite some time. Catch them still while you can for one of the best and intimate gigs of 2019. And it wasn’t at The Etihad.



The result, Rock 1, The Spice Girls 0 

P.S. either the PA at the venue is shite, or the sound engineer was wearing mittens, or was a deaf as a fucking post! All 3 vocalists sounded as if they were singing underwater at times. But rock is mainly about attitude, and thankfully the 3 bands had this in abundance. That aside, it was still a cracking gig, but could have been so much more, had the sound be decent.

Setlists

Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts

On & On

Black Diamonds

Kings & Queens

Unavailable

Home

Wave Goodbye



Florence Black



Breadfan

The One

Fiesta

Ghost

The Ride

Same Again

Gunshot

Smoke



Hollowstar



Take It All

Down By The Water

Lay Down

Guilty

Invincible

Think Of Me

Money

Let You Down

New Age Lullaby

Feel The Burn

Wishing Well

Overrated

Sinner

Good Man Gone

All I Gotta Say



Saturday, 25 May 2019

BEXATRON’S SINGLE ‘I’M TRASH’ FROM ALBUM ‘HEY YOU!






London based glam rock artists are announcing the release of their new single ‘Trash’, soon to be accompanied by a video produced by MHG Music Videos.

‘Trash’ is the second release from their album ‘Hey You’ which launched in November 2018 with their first single ‘Dirty Disco’ receiving both critical acclaim and national radio rotation in the UK, Canada and US.

What began as a song with love as a theme, evolved into a hard-hitting track that speaks to what many now loathe, about modern society; the challenges of daily life, relationships both good and bad and the evils of manufacturing and multinational corporations. They all find their way into the trash and leave most of us trashed.

Bexatron have built a hard-core following of dedicated fans who celebrate the mix between the 80’s rock icons and the solid dose of post punk provocation.

Well known as a ’must see’ live band, their recordings lose none of the energy that they deliver on stage and their new single, ‘Trash’ will not disappoint.

“Certain aspects of London sub-culture make it hard to disassociate yourself from the certain stereo-types that come to mind, namely – leather jackets, exhaust fumes and grit. Seemingly, there is never going to be a time where street level society will become too elite for bands that champion themselves as bridging alternative attitude with high energy fun”Music News Today


LISTEN HERE


Album Listing
  • Out of My Tree
  • Dirty Disco
  • Co Co (I Should)
  • New York Doll
  • Subway Freaks
  • Mandy Meltdown
  • Take Me Back to Jo Jo’s
  • I’m Trash
  • Love and Distortion
  • Hex Your Ex
Show Dates
  • Saturday 27th April – Two Tibes Brewing Co. London
  • Friday May 24th – The Treatment at The Underworld, Camden –
  • Saturday 1st June – Camden Rocks Festival
  • Saturday June 22nd – Aktion Music Presents, The Finsbury, London
  • Wednesday 3rd July at Mavericks, Ottawa, ON - Canada
  • Friday 5th July at Rivoli, Canada
  • Saturday 24th August Jigsaw Festival , The Camden Assembly – London
  • Saturday 9th November at Amersham Arms

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Crazy Lixx - 'Forever Wild' Album Review


Swedish Hard Rock / Hair Metal band Crazy Lixx carries the torch of Rock ‘n’ Roll with pride. Formed in 2002, the band has been enthralling crowds with their unique brand of 80’s Hard Rock. Noted as one of the last standing bands of ‘The New Wave of Swedish Sleaze’, Crazy Lixx are pioneers of Sweden’s rock music scene in their own right. With over a decade of experience and several line-up changes, the band has under their belt five full-length studio albums and one live album including “New Religion” (2010), “Riot Avenue” (2012) and “Sound Of The LIVE Minority”(2016). Crazy Lixx’s most recent and fifth studio album “Ruff Justice” (2017) comprises of 10-tracks, three of which are featured soundtracks for the hit video game “Friday the 13th – The Game”. Rendering the pure nostalgia of 80’s classic horror and action themes, “Ruff Justice” packed with impressive guitar solos, memorable hooks and catchy choruses, big drums and defining riffs became an instant Hair Metal masterpiece.Influenced by Rock giants such as Kiss, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Whitesnake, Alice Cooper and Bon Jovi, the band etched their signature style. Bridging a lasting connection with old and new audiences alike, the band continues to produce energetic live performances across Europe. 

Crazy Lixx are back and believe me when I say these guys mean business, I mean it,Forever Wild is the follow up to 2017s Ruff Justice and what a follow up it is. 
 
This is an album that will have the older generation of rockers donning their double denim and ill fitting spandex once again. Forever Wild not only grabs you by the balls it squeezes them until you hit the same high notes that Danny Rexon does on a regular basis. Danny Rexon and Chris Laney have produced an album of anthemic masterpieces.  

When listening to this opus make sure that every window and door in your home is open and the volume of you music system is cranked loud enough to make your ears bleed and annoy the hell out of the neighbours, to be honest they would probably come round hammering on your door to join for  a beer because you’ve introduced them to such high quality music.

I absolutely love this album and have had it playing constantly for the last few hours and it is as close to perfect as an album can be without reaching that lofty pinnacle. I think if I had listened to this album on any other day it would have had the very rare 10/10 score, that said if you’re a fan of the 80-90’s hard rock scene get yourself online or into a record store and buy this beast, you will not regret it.

 I am giving Forever Wild a well deserved..... 

9.5/10

Review by Hollywood Vampyre

Tracklist:
  1. Wicked
  2. Break Out
  3. Silent Thunder
  4. (She's Wearing) Yesterday's Face
  5. Eagle
  6. Terminal Velocity
  7. It's You
  8. Love Don't Live Here Anymore
  9. Weekend Lover
  10. Never Die (Forever Wild)
Line-up:
Danny Rexon  vocals
Joél Cirera - drums
Jens Sjöholm  bass guitar
Chrisse Olsson - guitar
Jens Lundgren - guitar

Friday, 3 May 2019

Nötorious - 'Seducer' EP Review


NOTÖRIOUS – Seducer EP

NOTÖRIOUS are located around Bergen, Norway. The bands PR bumf states that “The band was formed in the beginning of 2018 with the intention to bring back to life the classic sound of the hard rock/glam metal bands that ruled the Sunset Strip back in the early 1980s. The band is inspired by classic groups like Mötley Crüe, Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Europe, Scorpions, Skid Row and Poison.” I’m going to add Love Fist to that list.

Well….bloody hell! I’ve banged on about up and coming bands doing their homework if they are setting out their stall for a genre that had its heyday with the advent of MTV and was all but dead by 1991. I’m talking about hair/glam metal. Anyway, Notorious have definitely done their homework. Ok, so the sound isn’t original, but what they have done is pretty much knocked this EP out of the park. All the fore-mentioned bands are present and that in itself is great.

Right from the opening riff of ‘Nötorious’ I’m salivating at the prospect of what is to come, and ho-lee-shit these Norwegian metallers do not let me down. I’ve probably got gig tees older than these guys, but they live and breathe hair metal to the core. The riff is superb, the chorus catchy, and the guitar solo from Nikki DeCato is everything you want it to be. Chris Houdini on Vocals hits all the right notes, and its rhythm section just powers it along. (I’m guessing the lads are using pseudonyms!)

‘Friday Night (Get Ready)’ is early era Mötley Crüe only with better vocals, and having Yngwie on guitar. ‘Seducer’ sounds as if The Cult had a threesome with Ratt and Dokken, and the outcome is this! ‘Have A Good Time’ is the first song that’s not as up to the standard of the others, and it’s a bit of a plodder, but that’s only because they started off so well. Final track ‘Tonight (Gonna Get It)’ is a leaf out of Vinnie Vincent’s Invasion, like ‘Boyz Are Gonna Rock’. It’s a great closer.

Considering this genre was THE ONE to beat in the 80s, lots of bands have tried, and failed to match up to the hedonistic sound of glam metal. Even bands that were the glam forerunners haven’t written songs as good as they did back in the day. I’m not saying that Nötorious have written 80s worthy anthems, but what they have done is epitomise the sound of glam metal, and as far as the last few years have gone, Notorious make for one hell of a promising career. UK festivals take notice, as Nötorious are going to level your stages, shag your girlfriends, and leave you begging for mercy!

All they have to do next is come up with enough songs for an album, perfect the Scorpions pyramid, piss against the walls of The Alamo, and they are admitted to the glam rock alumni.

The production is meaty, beefy, big and (you guessed it), bouncy!

One for glam metal purists, and the V-Rock generation. Plus, any band that has umlauts in its name, gets my vote!

Score 28 out of 331/3 (or 8.5/10)
Review by Paul Chesworth

The band consists of:
Chris Hoüdini – lead vocals
Nikki DiCato – guitar/backing vocals
Andy Sweet – bass/backing vocals
Freddy Kixx – drums


Link to their music:
Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQK1tnXzBf9OugOA2FRwz1g

Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/artist/3tWDNG6WIlioWYh01xHWJ1?si=CsQ2ZniTTsma8ItLAs7WSQ
Facebook: @notoriousbandofficial

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Hollowstar - 'S/T' Album Review


Hollowstar – S/T

I’ve been looking forward to receiving this album for a while now. I’ve seen some clips of them appearing at a friends venue ‘dahn sarf’, The Rock Den in Hatfield. Check it out, its great.

Anyway after the clips were posted I stumped up for one of the many bundles on offer, I was (am) that confident in their ability to deliver the goods. Hollowstar cite the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Thunder and Slash as influences. They formed in 2014 in the metal hotbed town of St.Ives in Cambridgeshire. Not so much of a hot bed, more like a warming plate. 2017 saw them release their debit EP ‘Some Things Matter’. They have built a burgeoning following due to this EP and some serious graft and getting support slots with the likes of Stone Broken, Toseland, Dan Reed Network and Graham Bonnet, and many more!

Straight out of the box Hollowstar are onto something rather special. ‘Take it All’ is built around a stonking, and spine tingling riff and you’re hoping for it to punch you right between the eyes and ears, and does so by the bucketload.  It’s a big, fat sound that belies its cost I suspect. ‘Let You Down’ is a bit less powerful, bit still provides ‘oomph’ and bang for your buck. ‘Invincible’ sees the twin guitar attack of Haines and Collett in full swing, and it delivers. ‘Think Of Me’ falls into an Alter Bridge / Bad Company groove, if Paul Rodgers fronted AB! ‘Money’ is about the guitar sound more than the vocals and is very Red Sun Rising. ‘All I Gotta Say’ is getting on for its birthday, and was an excellent choice for whetting the appetite for this album. Its got a cracking chorus, and has riffs as thunderous as Thor’s Led Zep tribute band, Hammer Of The Gods!

‘Good Man Gone’ is more classic rock old school brigade, and shows their love of 70s rock when Coverdale was king, Blackmore had hair, and Keith Moon lost his no claims driving his Rolls into a swimming pool. ‘Overrated’ is built on a riff that many have used before, and Hollowstar make it work here, especially as it builds to a high-octane guitar solo. ‘Down By The Water’ is a ‘big’ song and shows off Joe Bonson’s vocals. Its quickly onto the last track ‘Sinner’, a full on track that is a perfect way to finish off the album.

I'm guessing these guys don’t have a shit load of money, so its full testament to whoever produced this, as it sounds as if its had someone like Martin Birch at the helm. Its not a long album for album sake, the lads have gone for quality over quantity. Hollowstar are one of the best new(ish) UK bands I’ve heard in quite some time. It may not be long before newer bands are citing Hollowstar as their influences.

There are a lot of wannabees currently out there, all trying to be another Rival Sons, or Led Zep, Lynyrd Skynyrd, etc. These guys have the potential to be the real deal.  It's an impressive debut.  As Diamond Dave would put it, these guys have ‘Car-asma’

Catch these guys live in May, when these songs will really come to life. And before the venues sell out!

Score 27 out of 33 1/3   (8/10 for purists!)

Tracklisting
Take It All
Let You Down
Invincible
Think Of Me
Money
All I Gotta Say
Good Man Gone
Overrated
Down By The Water
Sinner

Hollowstar are
Joe Bonson – Vocals / Bass
Phil Haines – Guitar / Backing Vocals
Tom Collett – Guitar
Jack Bonson - Drums