Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
So, what have got for you this week? A band with the same name as a Muppet. A band who sound like they’ve Shakespearian connections. A band who sound like they dunk digestives. A band who sound like a well-known jail. Plus a few others…Words: Malcolm Dome
Fozzy are regarded by many as WWE superstar Chris Jericho’s vanity metal project. Harsh, to say the least. Because most of Fozzy are also Stuck Mojo, who are an excellent band, and the combination of the various talents makes this band a very good mix of aggression, energy and anthemic tunefulness. Remains Alive & Chasing The Grail (earMUSIC) is a very good reissue combination of live action (Remains Alive – originally out in 2005) and studio groove (Chasing The Grail – first put out last year). Worthy metal mayhem.
Romeo’s Daughter are currently working on a new album. In the meantime, fans can enjoy once again the charms of 1993’s Delectable (Rock Candy), now reissued in a quality package. This often regarded as inferior to the 1988 self-titled debut, also available on the same label, but it actually sounds stylish and confident now.
The return of Limp Bizkit seems to have been greeted by some with joy, simply because they’re now seen as ironic gods. Whether the same folk will view Gold Cobra (Polydor) with similar enthusiasm remains to be determined. In truth it’s a bloated parody of what the band did in the last decade. There are no interesting musical ideas here, and just rehashing the past either betrays their laziness, or else proves they’ve nothing more to offer. And Fred Durst swearing almost every other word is not ironic, it’s dull.
Barclay James Harvest are still undervalued, despite the way they strode with such proggie command through the 1970s and much of the 1980s. But the four-CD collection Taking Some Time On: The Parlophone Years (1968-1973) (EMI) is a jolt of wonderful music, including some rarities. This will underline BJH’s importance and creativity.Don’t forget John Lees’ Barclay James Harvest are headlining the Prog stage at the High Voltage Festival on Saturday, July 23.
Virginmarys are definitely among the most intriguing and talented young bands on the scene right now. The Just A Ride EP (Virginmarys Recordings) has elements of early 90s grunge, and add in their own slant. If you can imagine a combination of Alice In Chains, Black Crowes and Therapy?, then you’ll appreciate why this lot are very exciting.
Always seen as AOR royalty, Strangeways’ back catalogue is full of gems, and Native Sons (Rock Candy) is one of their most celebrated albums, Originally released in 1987, this was their second release and pulses with class, melody and a smoothly charismatic style. When you hear this again, you just have to wonder how they failed to become an international sensation.
Presto Ballet are among the best pro metal bands to come out in the last decade. Based around the wide-ranging talents of Metal Church guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof, the band really have come a long way on the new EP Love What You’ve Done With The Place. It combines challenging and well realised jazz rock reflections with some dynamic riffage. Definitely a winner all round. And it’s got a cracking version of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s The Faith Healer.
And let’s end with some seriously searing stuff from Morbid Angel. Altars Of Madness (Earache) was the Florida death metal band’s debut in 1989, and it remains one of their best. No wonder their were so influential back then. Oh, and the limited edition digipack contains a free poster. Lovely.
Tags: Barclay James Harvest, Chris Jericho, Fozzy, Fred Durst, High Voltage Festival, John Lees' Barclay James Harvest, Kurdt Vanderhoof, Limp Bizkit, Metal Church, Morbid Angel, Presto Ballet, Romeo's Daughter, Sensational Alex harvey band, Strangeways, Stuck Mojo, Virginmarys