Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
This time, we get to grips with Brit legends (Peter Gabriel and Jeff Beck), the Europeans (Brother Firetribe and Skanska Mord) and the Americans (Year Long Disaster and While Heaven Wept).
Words: Malcolm Dome
It’s already out, but mention must be made of the new Peter Gabriel album Scratch My Back (Virgin). It’s a covers record, but being Gabriel he’s tackled these songs (by the likes of Radiohead, David Bowie and Neil Young) in a very different, orchestral way. If not entirely essential, nonetheless it is fascinating – in a hat stand kinda way.
Year Long Disaster might be predicated around the son of a Kinks legend, but they’ve got a lot more going for them than Daniel Davies being fruit of Dave Davies’ loins. Black Magic: All Mysteries Revealed (Volcom Entertainment) is stuff with strong songs and some cracking modern, stripped down hard rock punch. A real gem.
Brother Firetribe are one of the best melodic rock bands around. But Live At Apollo (Spinefarm) is a real disappointment. Recorded at the Apollo Club in Helsinki, it lacks passion and drive. The Finns have gotta be a lot better live than this…surely?!
Skanska Mord. Sound like an exotic disease – the sort you might catch spending too much time with your head down the loo in Guatemala – but it’s actually a really impressive Swedish band with a love for early ’70s heavy rock and psychedelia. Their debut album The Last Supper (Small Stone) is dripping with Blue Cheer, 13th Floor Elevators and Captain Beyond references.
Jeff Beck is one of the true greats. A man with a unique blend of technique and intuition. His albums are never less than landmarks, and Emotion & Commotion (Rhino) is no exception. His first record in seven years is a stylish amalgam of classical, folk and jazz motifs, with the Beck guitar mastery very much in evidence.
Finally, something that came out late last year and got totally lost. While Heaven Wept are an American band who combine doom, prog metal and symphonic soundscapes in a way that brings to mind Savatage at their peak. If that description piques your interest, then get Vast Oceans Lachrymose (Cruz Del Sur) – it is simply stunning metal with a dark, desperate yet uplifting atmosphere.
Tags: 13th Floor Elevators, Blue Cheer, Brother Firetribe, Captain Beyond, Daniel Davies, Dave Davies, David Bowie, Jeff Beck, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Radiohead, Savatage, Skanska Mord, The Kinks, While Heaven Wept, Year Long Disaster