Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
This time around, there’s some supergroup action, a spot of thrashing reissue, some London trash, a new Metallica book and a DVD of an old Velvet Revolver.
Words: Malcolm Dome
The Damned Things are a combination of Anthrax, Every Time I Die and Fall Out Boy. Their debut album, Ironiclast (Def Jam/Island) sees the five-piece trying to reinvent 80s classic rock. They do the job rather well, even if there are occasions when vocalist Keith Buckley remembers his metalcore past and starts barking and growling. But overall the songs are strong and the musicianship is convincing.
Evile have reissued their second album Infected Nations (Earache), this time with a bonus live CD. Still a fine record, and a reminder of the sad of loss of bassist Mike Alexander a year ago. They remain one of the best young thrash bands around.
Burning Tree were one of those late 80s bands who always deserved more recognition than they got. Pitched somewhere between blues, stoner and proto-grunge, their self-titled 1990 debut has now been welcomingly reissued by Rock Candy. You know what? It actually sounds even more relevant than it was back then. Guitarist Marc Ford went on to join the Black Crowes, but this is his finest work.
Londoners King Lizard have been around for some while, but Viva La Decadance is their first album. And it’s something of a minor trash classic. Guitarist Niro is potentially a superstar – the man has the touch and feel of someone who could have walked into Motley Crue or LA Guns back in the mid-80s. That’s where this band are coming from, with a hint of Thin Lizzy swagger. At a time when this genre is enjoying a real return, the Lizard might just be the right band in the right city at the right time. The album’s out on December 1. Find out more at www.kinglizard.co.uk
German doomsters Mirror Of Deception return with fourth album A Smouldering Fire (Cyclone Empire). If your bag’s Candlemass style metal, then you’ll get right into this lot. They’ve been going for about 20 years now, and know how to deliver this style with real panache. The only down side is that they don’t have a killer track here.
Poison Sun feature Accept guitarist Herman Frank. So, it’s no surprise to find that influence on Virtual Sin (Metal Heaven). In fact, it’s a cross between being Accept-like and also having the more rock ’n’ roll attitude of Skew Siskin. Whatever, singer Martina Frank is a real belter, and this band could really make their mark, given the right touring opportunities. There’s even a cover of The Pointer Sisters’ I’m So Excited that could become a cult hit. A late entry for one of the albums of the year.
While Velvet Revolver continue the search for a new vocalist, the Live In Houston DVD (Eagle Vision) reminds us all what they lost when Scott Weiland was fired. It was filmed in 2005, when the band were touring their debut album Contraband. We get all the goodies from that record, plus GNR’s Used To Love Her and Stone Temple Pilots’ Sex Type Thing. Whoever comes in now has got a helluva an act to follow.
There might be a whole raft of books out on Metallica, but Mick Wall has come up with one of the best with Enter Night (Orion). It’s an excellently written, highly readable and objective account of the band’s chequered history, and also meticulously researched. It could just be the best book around on Metallica right now.
Tags: Accept, Anthrax, Black Crowes, Burning Tree, Candlemass, Every Time I Die, Evile, Fall Out Boy, Guns N' Roses, Herman Frank, King Lizard, LA Guns, Martina Frank, Metallica, Mike Alexander, Mirror Of Deception, Motley Crue, Niro, Poison Sun, Scott Weiland, Skew Siskin, Stone Temple Pilots, The Damned Things, Thin Lizzy, Velvet Revolver