Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
This week sees the welcome swing back into action of two classic American names, a compilation from another bunch of US masters. A book soundtrack putt. A newish eagle-eyed all girl band and a member of Trust holes out on a solo release.
Words: Malcolm Dome
For Journey, Eclipse (Frontiers) really is a case of a fine return to form. Thanks to the influence of guitarist Neal Schon, the band have accentuated the harder and rockier side of their nature, and come up with a true winner. The songs are well construction but not over produced. They’re allowed the breathe fire, and the result is one of the band’s best studio albums in years.
The return of The Rods is both welcome and fulfilling. Vengeance (Niji Entertainment) had the swagger and bravura of their classic self-titled 1981 album. The fury, pace and musicianship are still impressive on a set of anthemic songs, and Ronnie James Dio’s guest appearance on The Code is inspiring.
Nikki Sixx has come up with something rather intriguing on the Sixx: AM album This Is Gonna Hurt (Eleven Seven). It’s the soundtrack to his book of the same title, but offers far more than accompanying music. The album has more in common with, say, Godsmack or Sevendust than Motley Crue. The songs arte insightful and insidious, and show the man has a musical spectrum far beyond the confines of Motley.
No single CD compilation can ever hope to do justice to the legacy of Styx. But Babe – The Collection (Universal) does have some of their finest moments. From Too Much Time On My Hands to Crystal Ball and Renegade to Rockin’ The Paradise, it’s a timely reminder of the band’s power and enduring class.
Glasgow’s Comedy Of Errors show a really traditional prog style on debut album Disobey. They bring to mind early Genesis and Jethro Tull, but do it so well that there’s never a danger of the band sinking into a nostalgic mire. One to watch for the future. Find out more at www.comedyoferrors.org.
All girl band JOANovARC have made huge strides with Beneath The Sky (AJR). This EP shows that the band are moving firmly towards Girlschool territory, and this band might well be their natural successors. Everything is in place musically on the debut EP, and given a little luck JOANovARC will be a force to be reckoned with.
Arch Enemy continue to show their mettle (and metal) on Khaos Legions (Century Media). They seem to have the right balance between brutality and virtuosity. They still sound as if the Carcass album Heartwork is their blueprint, but what’s wrong with that?
Known mostly for being the guitarist with Trust, Norbert ‘Nono’ Krief has come up with a self-titled solo album (XIII Bis). While it inevitably has elements from Trust, it’s actually a wider ranging record, taking in influences from the Beatles and the Stones. But the Trust style bite is still in evidence. Thankfully.
Tags: Arch Enemy, Beatles, Carcass, Comedy Of Errors, Genesis, Girlschool, Godsmack, Jethro Tull, Joanovarc, Journey, Motley Crue, Nikki Sixx, Norbert 'Nono' Krief, Rolling Stones, Ronnie James Dio, Sevendust, Sixx: AM, Styx, The Rods, Trust