Sunday, 20 March 2016








Thursday, 18 February 2016

FIVE A.M. - American band

Five A.M. are a six piece band from the United States, playing an energetic, anthemic, Alternative Rock and have been playing together for quite a few years.  The players are Trent Yaconelli (lead vocals), Zach Hammer (lead guitar), Jason McGrath (bass), Jed Friesen (drums), Benjie Kushins (percussion) and Jimmy Domnaghy (keyboards).

Influence of the band range from U2 and Matchbox 20 to Snow Patrol and Foo Fighters.  Personally, I think they remind me a little of the Welsh band Stereophonics, Trent has that husky Rock voice at times and the melodies and backing match up brilliantly that could please many genres.  Lyrics and music that can evoke a little Soul, Blues, Pop and Rock, I'm surprised I hadn't heard them before in little old England, they are a really great band with some stunning tunes.

I first heard the band from the video to "Come On, Come On" from the latest album "Broken///Beautiful".  It's a brilliant song and just made me want to hear more from this great Rock band.  The sound reminded me of a mix between Pearl Jam, Kane and Stereophonics.  Husky voiced vocals with a pure Rock backing encompassing a few genres.

The first album "Degrees Of Falling" was finally released in 2002.  After realising they didn't have enough money they requested help from the fans who duly helped them fund the disc.  The Grunge Rock influences were here but also the experimental artistry of the band was showing itself even on this debut set.  "Lost And Found" for instance has an R.E.M feel to it, a lilting ballad until a couple of minutes in then a complete rock out!  "Painted Words" is a gorgeous ballad with signs of Bob Dylan and Tom Petty while "Paper Bag" and "Joker" could be Pearl Jam at their peak.  "Restless" on the other hand, is a Country tinged sweet ballad complete with slide guitars.  A genre-breaking taste of things to come.

In 2005 the second set "This Morphine Life" was released, yet again a variety of experimental musical influences shine through and the versatility of these musicians.  "In Between" and the title track are strong, emotive Rock ballads in the vein of Dutch band Kane.  There is a fast paced Punk rocker "Reach To" and the album ender "Closing In" which could be a Bon Jovi/Pearl Jam hybrid.  The Foo Fighters surely influenced "Open Your Eyes" while there are also hints to The Calling and Goo Goo Dolls on this second effort.

"Raise The Sun" the third Five A.M. album emerged in 2008 with the usual influences of the previous two albums but going one step further and opening to even more broader audiences.  My favourite here has to be "Be Still" which is a Goo Goo Dolls/The Calling influenced real Pop Rock crossover, a bit of everything, emotive lyrics, melodious guitar riffs and powerful vocal chorus.  "Every Now And Then" is a bluesy foot stomping rocker while "Lillian" gives me a reminder to a Bon Jovi slow rocker.  "Sunshine" could be the lovechild of Tom Petty and Bob Dylan,a really pretty lilting ballad and the Tom Petty sound can also be heard in "Fall Apart.

After an "Acoustic Sessions" disc was released in 2009 including some live tracks,
"Broken///Beautiful" became the fourth album release in 2014.  Containing the brilliant aforementioned "Come On, Come On" and 9 other fabulous tracks.  There are more Pop Rock tracks here but the Alternative power and performance and the band has not suffered.  "Only The Night" reminds me of Stereophonics and is superb Pop rocker while I love "Start All Over Again" could be 80s style Classic Rock in the vein of Aerosmith.  There are power ballads such as "Hit The Ground" and "Belong" which are similar in style to Goo Goo Dolls and Bon Jovi respectively.  The most unusual track and one of rmy favourites is "Lets Go" which is a mixed up mind blowing mix of The Cars/Bowie and Tom Petty but it is a masterful song!

With so many strings to their bow this band should be more massive over here in the U.K. and beyond and I, for one, am glad I have found their music even late in their career.  Let's hope more is heard from Five A.M. in the future, keep your eyes peeled, New Music Ear will be watching and listening!

Check out some of these tracks from this great band Five A.M. -
"Lost And Found", "Paper Bag", "Painted Words", "Joker", "Restless".
(From "Degrees Of Falling").
"In Between", "Open Your Eyes", "This Morphine Life", "Reach To", "Closing In".
(From "This Morphine Life").
"Be Still", "Fall Apart", "Every Now And Then", "Lillian", "Sunshine".
(From "Raise The Sun").
"Let's Go", "Only The Night", "Start All Over Again", "Come On, Come On", "Belong".
(From "Broken///Beautiful").


Friday, 22 January 2016

4 2 WATCH - Sneak peek at 4 up and coming artists! - Whitney Rose/The Rua/Wolf Alice/Chasing Dragons


Whitney Rose is a Canadian singer-songwriter who gives her music the genre name of "vintage-Pop-infused neo-traditional Country".  In the photos and on stage she looks a pretty, quirky dressed girl with a guitar.  She admits her latest album "Heartbreaker Of The Year" is as quirky as herself but there is no doubt this lady has a big talent.  Sometimes channeling her inner Olivia Newton-John, Katie Melua and Patsy Cline.  There is a vulnerability in her voice, a sultry feel at times and also fun.  It is classic Country with a twist!

I first saw the video to "Chivalry Is Dead" with Whitney wearing a cute little white dress complete with cowboy boots and then she started singing.  A very pure vocal which you just have to be drawn to, comparable with the great female Country singers of the past.  With only her debut album, "Whitney Rose" on the streets, she toured with The Mavericks, the popular all genre accessible band in 2014.  She captured the imagination of The Mavericks' producer Raul Malo who produced the new album.

The new album is precisely what Whitney calls it, "weird and quirky".  "The Devil Borrowed My Boots" is a favourite of mine with that sultry bad girl vocal similar to Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles.  "The Last Party" is classic Country lost love while "Lasso" has a little 60s vibe complete with slide guitars and lots of twang! 

Surely this lady is going to go far, I look forward to following her progress! Whitney was one of the critically acclaimed break out Country artists in 2015, and she is on the road in 2016 while also signing for Six Shooter Records.

Check out these links to find more performances and songs from new Country star Whitney Rose!-

The Rua are Irish family trio Roseanna (guitar/lead vocals), Alana (piano/vocals) and Jonathan (violin/vocals) Brown.  The band have just released their debut album, "Essence" which was produced by Bob Rose (The Beach Boys/George Harrison) and they are joined on tour by such Rock luminaries as bassist Nigel Harrison (Blondie) and drummer Clive Deamer (Portishead/Radiohead/Robert Plant/Siouxsie Soux).  It is a unique blend Rock, Pop, Folk and hints to the 70s but always keeps an Irish feel.  The vocals and melodies are crafted superbly.

 You may have seen the three faces in the Harry Potter movies, the band are heavily influence by films and also music artists as diverse as Taylor Swift, Debussy, The Corrs and The Cranberries!  The siblings all live together in Windsor, England and have Classical backgrounds singing in choirs and sometimes learning pieces in other languages!

I was looking for new bands to review on YouTube and came across "Fight For What's Right" by The Rua.  Powerful vocals and beautiful melodies and strings which immediately brings the comparison to The Corrs but this is a brilliant record.  I instantly fell in love with this song and kept playing it a few times.  

The album "Essence" is a brilliant debut, "Fire And Lies" is akin to classic Fleetwood Mac while "I'm Ok" is an upbeat positive track in the vein of Taylor Swift.  "Stand Down" is a lovely ballad which shows the versatility of the band.  The future looks bright for this talented young trio!

Check out these links to find more performances and songs from the very talented The Rua!-

Wolf Alice are an Alternative Rock quartet comprising of singer Ellie Rowsell, guitarist Joff Oddie, drummer Joel Amey and bassist Theo Ellis.  After two E.P's "Blush" and "Creature Songs" they released the debut album "My Love Is Cool" in 2015.  Attracting rave reviews and media attention it was nominated for a Mercury Prize.

The band play a powerful, almost Grunge, almost Electronic atmospheric Rock with hints to 90s bands such as Garbage and Elastica.  The music is such an interesting and intriguing mix it is hard to ignore.  I first saw the video to "Freazy" with its Stone Roses "Fools Gold" drumbeat, engaging haunting vocals but in an upbeat melodious style.  I couldn't decide if it reminded me of Smashing Pumpkins or Morcheeba.  I thought this band are something a little different!

In 2013 the band were chosen as the single most blogged about artist in the UK by BBC Radio 6 Music.  I guess its time they arrived on New Music Ear! At the UK Festival Awards they were named Best Breakthrough Artist in 2014.  The aforementioned debut album "My Love Is Cool".

The album is a compelling piece of many parts.  The song "Silk" kind of explains this, at one moment, atmospheric, haunting, then chanting, child-like sing a long, then powerful vocals.  This gives you an indication of the whole album.  Brilliantly created songs with a little bit of everything.  "Giant Peach" is a total Rock out hybrid of The Bangles and Elastica, while the opener "Turn To Dust" is similar to Kate Bush meets Smashing Pumpkins!  "Swallowtail" is only missing The Stone Roses' Ian Brown, it is perfect anthemic 90s hippie Rock.  Watch out for this band!

Check out these links to find more performances and songs from the intriguing Wolf Alice! -


Rock band Chasing Dragons are a female fronted quartet form Leeds in England.  The group comprise of Tank on vocals, Mitch on guitar/vocals, Murf on bass/vocals and Kate on drums.  The style of music they play are undeniably heavy Rock, but with the melodies and superb combinations of the likes of Europe, Heart, Bon Jovi and Whitesnake.  Add the punky angst power of Guns 'N Roses and you get the idea!

In 2014 the band released their second E.P. "Checkmate" following 2012's debut "Take Flight For A Firefight".  The debut album is expected in March 2016 and if the previous releases are anything to go by, its going to be catapulting Chasing Dragons to major stardom.  

I first heard Chasing Dragons on the track "Broken Jaws" and originally thought it was Evanescence.  On checking the song on YouTube there was this striking looking female vocalist (Tank) angrily stomping the stage.  Add this to a backdrop of heavy metal riffs and with the striking Rock imagery and the energy of the performance I was hooked.  I thought this band were something unique and special.

The album contains "Throw Down Your King" which has elements of Iron Maiden then slows down to a Heart vocal performance that Ann Wilson would be proud of, then it explodes into a Metallica-like riff fest.  You just never know what you're going to get and that's why this band are heading for something big.  Check out the "Hindsight's A Bitch" single, a Joan Jett/Pat Benatar hybrid and "City Of Steel" from the first E.P.  The beautiful Acoustic number "It's Bravery, Honestly" he band's cover of Alannah Myles' "Black Velvet" are pretty damn awesome too!

Check out these links to find more performances and songs from hard Rock band Chasing Dragons! -


Check my blog soon for more 4 2 WATCH!


Tuesday, 12 January 2016


At the time of writing this article, there have been 3 recent deaths of music stars Natalie Cole, Lemmy from the Rock band Motorhead and David Bowie.  As usual, when these sad events happen, many people from all over the globe from various professions throw around words like "legend", "genius", "idol" and "icon".  Sometimes, we can go a little crazy when a music star dies.  No offence meant, but can we really compare Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse's contribution to music with the impact that David Bowie and James Brown brought? Yet, ALL of these artists had one of the aforementioned words accompanying their epitaph.
In the Oxford English Dictionary "idol" is defined as "an image or representation of a God used as an object of worship".  Well we sometimes think our favourite music artists are Gods and we do worship them, ask One Direction fans if they worship the band!  The second definition is more apt, "a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved or revered".  I respect a lot of artists although I may not have their music in my collections, I admire many and I "love" in the broadest sense (as in I have a strong feeling of affection for).  These "feelings" can come from how the music affects you, the artists' attitude or their all round persona.

We all have idols, all music lovers will have their favourites and all generations will have different idols.  Some will be claimed as geniuses, being "before their time", or "misunderstood legends", all these words come when the artist is not around anymore.  Do we just say this after death so random, but not really mean it?
"Icon" has several cultural definitions but I will use this one;"a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration".  Now "symbol" is something you see that represents an object, function or process.  So let us assume that this means the artist who is an "icon" represents a certain musical movement, style or genre when you think of his/her name or see their image.  "Veneration" is great respect which could also apply to the word "idol" so I think the "symbol" part of the definition should be applied to "icon" status.

So after establishing what the two words actually mean how can we stop putting everyone on the same pedestal?  Being a lover of music and writer I have read about lots and lots of bands who give their influences in interviews and say whoever inspired me and such like.  There are the "followers" and the "pioneers", and this is how the world turns.  Let me explain.
As for today, the likes of Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, One Direction, Adele...of course they are popular right now, but can we really see in 20, 30, 40 years time that these artists "made a difference"?.  I doubt it, because they are "followers", there's not enough "unique" artists anymore, which is why I introduce new artists here in this blog.  Those who catch my eye and I think "hm, that's a little different, it's not an imitation".

Although I may be biased, Madonna is a pioneer, there has been and probably won't be anybody like her again.  She broke down boundaries in the way females think and also with the constant change of styles, staying ahead of the game.  Kylie and Lady Gaga have tried, and as good as they are, they are always 5 years behind Madonna.  Prince broke down boundaries, playing over 30 instruments, a one man band, having a multi-racial band, crossing over funk, rock, jazz, creating electrifying shows and still (even though music sales are not "Purple Rain" standard, he has that aura that everyone knows his shows are second to none and they want to work with the mystique and talent that is Prince just to be around him.  Some say he copied Sly Stone's funk, James Brown's moves and Jimi Hendrix's guitar licks, well I say how many people combine and excel in all departments?

Shania Twain was blasted for "shedding her Country roots" in the 90s and making Rock/Pop radio friendly Country.  She paved the way for Leann Rimes and Taylor Swift to be brave enough to make that switch.  Debbie Harry of Blondie was a strong, independent woman fronting a Rock band, she made it possible for the likes of Garbage and Paramore and was at the forefront of New Wave music in the 80s.  There are others that have changed the course of music such as Abba, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, Simon and Garfunkel and made a unique stand but back to the start of my article...the icons that have died. 

David Bowie  (1947-2016) was indeed an icon.  The Thin White Duke, Ziggy Stardust, Major Tom.  It is not an understatement, he was a visionary.  His videos, style and music were always ahead of their time.  From the start of his chart career with the very strange but appealing "Space Oddity" he was at the core of Glam Rock in the 70s, created his own style to break America calling it "plastic Soul" and then blended in with ease into the 80s through Electronica and New Wave records.   Although I wasn't a massive fan, he was always around, everyone mentioned him, I had respect for him, even if I didn't understand his music sometimes.  Even when he didn't make records he was still known and his name was thrown into conversation mixes.  A true icon.

Michael Jackson (1958-2009) was also an icon, the King of Pop, love him or loathe him, the man was a talented guy.  Although his last few years were tough personally, I think almost every household in the world holds a copy of "Thriller".  To have the most sold album in the world for so many years and still today, years after his death is some achievement.  His videos, his dancing, his music, his mysterious persona, the little boy lost, whatever you think of him, he can't be ignored as an icon of popular music.  He brought a Pop/Rock edge to Motown and crossed boundaries.

Miles Davis (1926-1991), one of the original Jazz trumpeters of the 50s, he became a very notable bandleader and composer for other artists.  He is regarded by many as one of the most influential and innovative musicians of the 20th Century.  Miles Davis basically changed the format of Jazz and made it accessible to new listeners.  Bebop Jazz, Cool Jazz and Jazz Fusion were all brought to listening ears during his time with many musical groups and crossover collaborations.

James Brown (1933-2006) was the founding father of Funk.  The Godfather of Soul is another title given to him.  A producer, singer, dancer and bandleader he re-defined the "show".  With his bands The JB's and The Famous Flames among others his energetic, uptempo R & B, Funk and Soul dance moves and airtight band cues thrilled audiences for decades.  Releasing a 100+ albums, the man was as was "the hardest working man in showbiz" as his introduction always claimed.  Drugs and marriage problems came at the end but the Brown was a pioneer, Jimmy Page once said, "James Brown is a genre in his own right".

Elvis Presley (1935-1977), The King or the King of Rock n' Roll.  Elvis is the best selling solo music artist ahead of Michael Jackson and Madonna.  A most celebrated artist of the 20th Century, still adored by legions of fans around the world today.  He has been indicted in numerous Hall of Fame's and commercially successful in Pop, Blues and Gospel genres.  Thousands of people still mourn him outside his home in Memphis under candlelight.  When Elvis first came to be popular, the "hip swiveling" dance routines caused uproar.  It was seemed "inappropriate" and created mass hysteria among the teenage girl fans.  Apparently teenage boys were not impressed and hated Elvis and became jealous.  Through the years, he continued his domination of the charts with his film soundtracks, dabbling in Bluegrass, R&B and even Country.  He also was a forerunner of the crossover Country/R&B fusion that became Rockabilly.  Since his death numerous compilation albums are snapped up and hit the charts by new and old fans alike.

So there you have it, my own take on the idol versus icon debate.  We are too quick to praise and give titles to any music star that died.  Sometimes, there are young stars who instigate their own death, old stars who die from natural causes, some are hit factories, some are personalities, some are top class musicians, but surely everyone isn't an icon....?


Saturday, 28 November 2015


This is a new series, I will listen to all the 80s albums released by the decade's artists and judge the songs that were not singles (in the UK) from an album.  I will give my opinion whether the remaining songs were just fillers or could have been singles.  How many singles I can find will determine the final rating of how good the album is as a whole.  Below 49% = Poor/50-64% = Average/65-79% = Very Good/80-100% = Excellent.  There will be a different artist each blog.  I am a big fan of all the artists I review in this series, so I have to think hard if the song would wow the chart public, even if they are my favourite songs!

Members - Joey Tempest (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar/Keyboards)/ John Norum (Lead & Rhythm Guitars/Backing Vocals)/ John Leven (Bass/Backing Vocals)/ Mic Michaeli (Keyboards/Piano/Backing Vocals/Occasional Rhythm Guitar)/ Ian Haugland (Drums/Percussion/Backing Vocals).

Other Members - Previous - Tony Reno (Drums/Percussion)/ Peter Olsson (Bass)/ Marcel Jacob (Bass).

Later - Kee Marcello (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals).

EUROPE (#0) (1983) -

Tracks -
In The Future To Come/Farewell/Seven Doors Hotel/The King Will Return/Boyazont/Children Of This Time/Words of Wisdom/Paradize Bay/Memories.
Singles -

Potential Singles -
Farewell - Very Foreigner-like, would have been a big hit.

Seven Doors Hotel - Catchy chorus would have just given this enough.

Paradize Bay - Classic Rock at its best. 
Fillers -
In The Future To Come (70s/Iron Maiden cliches abound)/The King Will Return (Unremarkable and overlong)/Boyazont (Searing guitarists dream instrumental, not mine or a hit)/Children Of This Time (Basic Rock, no catchy chorus or hooks to grab you)/Memories (Very average album finish).

Poor album! 3 singles from 9 tracks.  33.3/100.

WINGS OF TOMORROW (#0) (1984) -

Tracks -
Stormwind/Screams Of Anger/Open Your Heart/Treated Bad Again/Aphasia/Wings Of Tomorrow/Wasted Time/Lyin' Eyes.

Singles -

Potential Singles -
Stormwind - Catchy enough to be a hit, hints of 1986 classic Europe.

Open Your Heart - The original version of the "Out Of This World" hit, still great without the later production.

Lyin' Eyes - Uptempo catchy song with an AC/DC influence.

Fillers -
Screams Of Anger (Fast paced Iron Maiden influence but doesn't really work)/Treated Bad Again (Screeching guitars and 60s psychedelic middle of the song, should have been better)/Aphasia (Another filler instrumental)/Wings Of Tomorrow (Poor title track, could and should have been much more)/Wasted Time (All the Rock cliches, unfortunately another weak song).

Poor album! 3 singles from 8 tracks.  37.5/100.


Tracks -
The Final Countdown/Rock The Night/Carrie/Danger On The Track/Ninja/Cherokee/Time Has Come/Heart Of Stone/On The Loose/Love Chaser.
Singles -
The Final Countdown (#1)/Rock The Night (#12)/Carrie (#22).

Potential Singles -
Danger On The Track -  A great Pop/Rock crossover with keyboard solo.

Cherokee - Reminds me of The Cult in their prime, definite hit!

Time Has Come - Anthemic ballad.

Heart Of Stone - Classic 80s Rock.

On The Loose - Similar to Heart, light stadium  Pop Rock .

Love Chaser - Fleetwood Mac influenced mid-tempo track with catchy chorus and guitar solos.
Fillers -
Ninja (Average Rock filler).

Excellent album! 9 singles from 10 tracks. 90/100.

OUT OF THIS WORLD (#12) (1988) -

Tracks -
Superstitious/Let The Good Times Rock/Open Your Heart/More Than Meets The Eye/Coast To Coast/Ready Or Not/Sign Of The Times/Just The Beginning/Never Say Die/Lights And Shadows/Tower's Callin'/Tomorrow.

Singles -
Superstitious (#34)/Open Your Heart (#4)/Let The Good Times Rock (#85).
Potential Singles -
More Than Meets The Eye - All the classic Europe hit combinations.

Coast To Coast - Really nice song, a Rock ballad to wave your lighters to!

Ready Or Not - Iron Maiden/Foreigner hybrid.

Sign Of The Times - One of my favourites, top Europe song!

Just The Beginning - Almost a Supertramp chorus with Heart/Bon Jovi backdrop.

Tomorrow - Gorgeous ballad, light and powerful, emotional vocals.

Fillers -
Never Say Die (Not remarkable, lets down a solid album)/Lights And Shadows (Back to early Europe, needs a kick to get it going)/Tower's Callin' (Just average).

Very good album! 9 singles from 12 tracks.  75/100.

My favourite 80s Europe tracks?

Top 20 in not particular order -

1   Sign Of The Times
2   Superstitious
3   Cherokee
4   The Final Countdown
5   Carrie
6   Rock The Night
7   Coast To Coast
8   Danger On The Track
9   On The Loose
10 Seven Doors Hotel
11 Farewell
12 Stormwind
13 Paradize Bay
14 Open Your Heart
15 Lyin'Eyes
16 Time Has Come
17 Tomorrow
18 More Than Meets The Eye
19 Ready Or Not
20 Just The Beginning

 Check back for another 80s artist review :)


Tuesday, 17 November 2015

4 2 WATCH - Sneak peek at 4 up and coming artists! - Sinnober/Sabrina Carpenter/Forever Still/Season Of Ghosts


Sinnober are a Danish/British band who create gorgeous melodies and harmonies in an Alternative Blues/Country/Pop sound.  The band consists of Sebastian Brice on vocals and guitar, Natalie Brice on vocals, bass and keys and Mike Griffiths on vocals, drums and percussion.

The band's debut CD "Sinnober" was released in January 2015 and are currently working on their second album.  I first saw the video to "Fool (To Be Your Lover)" and was instantly taken in by not only the brilliant performance but the vocals of Natalie and Sebastian compliment each other beautifully. There are several live performance videos of songs on YouTube and you can see what a tight trio of musicians they are.

The album is a collection of songs of such variety that everyone who listens can pick up something new.  "Lucky 13" is an uptempo 70s fast Rock Blues track while the sweet "Never Is A Long Time" is reminiscent of The Everly Brothers.  The songs are well constructed and brilliantly executed showing the band's depth.  There are elements of the 60s and 70s, with Pop, Folk, Rock, Blues, Americana, Country and Indie all covered.  Big things are coming for this band currently based in South West England.  The album was majorly recorded in their home studio.

Currently touring, playing festivals and getting noticed by radio and critics alike, I would like to see more of this band as they are a very special trio indeed.

Check out these links to find more performances and songs from brilliant trio Sinnober!-


Sabrina is a 16 year old actress and singer from Pennsylvania, USA and has appeared in Disney Channel's Girl Meets World.   The Disney corporation has unearthed major Pop stars Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and most recently, Miley Cyrus.  Ironically, Sabrina came third in The Next Miley Cyrus Project, a singing contest run by Miss Cyrus. 

Sabrina cites her influences as being the aforementioned Christina and also Adele.  Her voice is powerful and also emotive, continuing her singing career would surely make her a big star in music.  There's a little Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato lurking underneath the wholesome image, a little bite and determination comes through in her vocals.

"Can't Blame A Girl For Trying", the debut E.P. was released in 2014 and the lead track (which Meghan Trainor had a hand in writing) was voted "Best Crush" song at the Radio Disney Awards.  The album "Eyes Wide Open" followed in 2015 and reached #29 on the Billboard 200.  

From the straight sing along candy pop of "The Middle Of Starting Over" to the obvious influence of Christina and Adele ("Two Hearts") and Taylor ("Your Love's Like").  There is something for all tastes on the album and I think there is more to come from this young lady to be more than just a teen singing sensation but to a global music star.  Let's hope so.
Check out these links to find more performances and songs from talented Sabrina Carpenter! -


Forever Still are a rock band from Copenhagen, Denmark who play an atmospheric, harmonic Rock similar to Evanescence and Within Temptation.  They are the ultimate D.I.Y group, delivering all of their 3 E.P.s to date on a "pay what you want" basis, which has brought them an ever growing fan base along with their high energy, full blown in your face gigs.  Its how it should be, its all about the music for this band.

Consisting of Mikkel Haastrup on bass, guitar, keyboards and drums, Dennis Post on guitar and the powerhouse vocals of Maja Schonning.  The 3 E.P's released so far have brought critical acclaim and have built a massive online presence which will surely bode well for the release of the debut album coming soon.

The songs, although similar in basics to the aforementioned bands have a unique feel.  "The Key" (from the debut E.P. "Breaking Free") for instance has elements of late 70s Heart before ending with heavy metal piercing screams!  The following E.P.'s "Scars" and "Save Me" are part of a trilogy of E,P's which will form a concept debut album "Tied Down".  The theme is about an individual overcoming anxiety, stress, depression and all that comes with it but becoming well in the end.

This is a band going places with a unique drive to succeed but keeping their music in their blood and gaining fans in a really positive and inspiring way.  Forever Still are ones to watch!

Check out these links to find more performances and songs from Rock band Forever Still! -


Season Of Ghosts are the unique brainchild of Greek singer/songwriter/producer Sophie  Aslanidou.  Sophie is in charge of everything on the debut album, "The Human Paradox".  Season Of Ghosts provide a backdrop of imaginative Science Fiction/Horror soundtracks with Rock riffs and eerie electronic sounds with intertwined storytelling singing.  Sound unusual? It is, but highly compelling listening!


In 2010 the inventive and talented Sophie moved to Japan and was singer of Trance Rock band Blood Stain Child.  After a successful stint in the band led to critical acclaim in Japan she also performed in various collaboration projects before looking at her next venture.

In 2014 she founded Invictus Media ( a company specialising in soundtrack and album production) with guitarist Zombie Sam (who, along with bassist Paul Brown and drummer Max Buell form backing band Ghost Legion).  Sophie is not only talented but also very intelligent and versatile.  She speaks six languages including her native Greek and English.  She has been a pioneer for the J-culture community outside of Japan and has been involved in band management, event organising
 and even VJ!.  

The album "The Human Paradox" was released in December 2014 and contains a variety of tracks including the rather lovely lilting "Beautiful Eternal Things" and romantic sounding "The Road To Acheron".  "Time Travellers" is like an Electronic Rock version of Evanescence and there are so many genres hidden in this unique set of tracks.  There are searing guitars, operatic vocals and orchestral hints.  I hope there is another album in the pipeline from this unusual lady and her legion!

Check out these links to find more performances and songs from the inventive Forever Still! -

Check my blog soon for more 4 2 WATCH!


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

RADIO DRIVE - American band

Emerging from the capital of St.Paul in Minnesota, Kevin Gullickson launched a solo career after appearing in various bands and kept one of the names, that of Radio Drive.  He has travelled through Europe to fine tune the music style which is positive, uplifting and motivational.  Rock how it should be.  The band have been described as Pop and Indie, but I'm not sure a label can be put there as there is such a variety in the music.  Everyone can find something different that means something to them.

Currently Kevin's band consists of himself, Patrick Spott, Wesley Henderson and Joe Maffei.  Radio pay has been steadily building and with social media the band are becoming bigger.  Kevin's song "One Life To Give" from the debut album "Dream the Impossible" represented the humanitarian effort Sudan Hope in 2009.  As a performer h has played numerous club gigs in the "Twin Cities" of St.Paul and Minneapolis and played at renowned First Avenue.

I first heard the band on the video "Never" which reminded me a little of Roy Orbison with the brilliant "twang" guitar backing, it had something that made me want to hear more.  When I dug a little deeper I found there was more to this band than middle of the road easy listening, they could rock out when the time comes!  Kevin's lyrics are emotive and make you listen and feel good no matter how you're feeling.

The first album "Dream The Impossible" was released in 2009.  The opener "One Tin Man" reminded me a little of Crowded House, light, sunny and calming.  The title track and "The Winning Edge" could have been lifted from a Rush album, Electronic Rock at its best.  The previously mentioned "One Life To Give" is a beautifully crafted ballad with the lines "one heart, one life to give, what I have is yours" was perfect for the Sudan Hope cause.  The variety continues with the Folk Rock style of "Man Inside Of Me" and the INXS style of "Break Of Day".

In 2010 came the second album, "Life Today".  Another eclectic mix of styles are encapsulated in this set of tracks.  There are a couple of nods to the 80s with "Give It Away" (Gary Numan), "When Hearts Grow Cold" (Depeche Mode/Human league) and "Who You Are" (Pet Shop Boys with real guitars!).  "My Song" could be Tom Petty at his peak and "Life Today" has a great 60s feel and is reminiscent of theat era's  Merseybeat bands.  Just to add to the generations covered there's a 70s style Classic Rock element in "Heart Of Kings"!

"I Can See The World From Here" is the third album by Radio Drive and came in 2011.  There is a more harder rockier feel to this album than the previous two offerings.  There are still the lovely calm songs of positivity in 60s style like the Everly Brothers sound of "Footsteps" and the Psychedelic preaching good message of "Humanity".  "Run" is a late 60s/early 70s Progresive Rock track while "Drowning In Your Love" could be late Depeche Mode in their Gothic Rock phase.  Other stand out tracks are "Northern Heights" (which contains the words to the album title, searing guitar solos and a catchy little chorus) and "Created" which is an anthemic, atmospheric, Alternative Rock number.

"This Is Our Time" was released as album number four in 2012, which contained the aforementioned "Never".  There is another similar track in the Roy Orbison vein with "I Believe In You" which is a really lovely ballad.  There are influences all over this album from Foreigner ("Hardwired"), Supertramp ("Two Simple Words") and again Crowded House ("Borders").  The title track is an 80s Electronic Rock track while "Money You Don't Own Me" and "Light" remind me of Classic Rock and early 70s psychedelia respectively.  Its easy to see why you can't pin a genre on these guys, they have a unique blend of everything that appeals to all tastes.

Radio Drive have just released their compilation album, "Restored" in 2015 and a single, the re-worked previously mentioned "Humanity".  A single, the brilliant Midge Ure/Ultravox sounding "A Taste Of Heaven" was released on a "A Taste Of Heaven" E.P.  released in 2014.   This also contained remixes of previous tracks "Borders" and "Footsteps".  Kevin is holding off playing clubs for a while as he prefers to stay out of the harsh Minnesota cold winter writing and recording, a sort of "hibernation" he says.  Still with Artista Group he is listening to offers from labels and production groups hopefully to bring more music to Radio Drive fans and beyond!


Check out some of these tracks from this great band Radio Drive -

"One Tin Man", "The Winning Edge", "One Life To Give", "Man Inside Of Me", "Break Of Day".
(From "Dream The Impossible").
"Heart Of Kings", "Life Today", "Give It Away", "When Hearts Grow Cold", "My Song").
(From "Life Today").
"Footsteps", "Run", "Drowning In Your Love", "Northern Heights", "Created".
(From "I Can See The World From Here").
"Hardwired", "Money You Don't Own Me", "Light", "Never", "Two Simple Words".
(From "This Is Our Time").