Friday 7 October 2016

Album Review: THE PRETTY RECKLESS - "Who You Selling For", Release due October 21st on Razor & Tie/Virgin EMI

THE PRETTY RECKLESS - "Who You Selling For"
Release due October 21st on Razor & Tie/Virgin EMI

It has been a while since we had a genuinely good band from NYC. Ok, I know it is their third album already, and it is getting better and better I must say. 'The Walls are Closing In (Hangman)' is setting the tone. The 12 titles are strong - very strong even. There is a raw intensity all along the album. Taylor Momsens voice is strong, nervous and vulnerable at the same time. It displays such a sensitivity and emotion on 'Oh My God', 'Prisoner' and 'Already Dead' - that has rarely been found in the industry in the last ten years.

I would do a disservice to the band if I was going to play the 'it sounds like' comparison game. The Pretty Reckless sounds like The Pretty Reckless and that is important in the music landscape of today.

'Who You Selling For', which is also the title of the album, is a mix of folk, acoustic and electric tension with again this beautiful, smoky voice - carrying the whole ensemble to the land of iconic tunes sanctuary.

I like the sophisticated nonchalance atmosphere of the album and the formidable grunge, blues, folk and alternative rock cocktail. I am under the spell of their music - how can you not fall in love with 'Living in the Storm' for example, an epic story-telling piece with fascinating riffs.

'The Devil’s Back' displays with force and conviction all the talent and musicality of the band. It is more than just a low tempo 70’s flavoured ballad. It is such a beautiful track.

The last track Mad Love must have been written for me as I am madly in love with THE PRETTY RECKLESS!!!

Overall: Three thumbs up! Absolutely essential if you like real rock music!!!
If I was to pick three only: That's a hard one but let’s say Prisoner, Living In The Storm, The Devil’s Back
Live Test: Are you in Dublin anytime soon? Please!!!

Review by Pascal Derrien

Thursday 6 October 2016


UK Country superstars, The Shires, surprised their fans and shoppers in central London today when they hitched a lift down Oxford Street on the back of a vintage American 1957 Chevy pick-up truck. Arriving in style, to celebrate the release of their new album 'My Universe' this week, Ben Earle & Crissie Rhodes were delighted to be performing to adoring crowds at HMV today, as their second album is currently shooting up the UK album charts, landing at No.3 in today's Midweek. ‘My Universe’ has already broken records by becoming the biggest-selling UK Country album in Week 1! The Shires of course hold the record for the biggest-selling UK Country album of all time, with their debut ‘Brave’ which has now gone Gold.

The Shires stated: "We are thrilled to see such a fantastic reaction to the release of our second album this week! It's a very exciting time for UK country music. Thank you to all our fans for their support - it was wonderful to see you at HMV and we can't wait to get back out on the road next month for our next UK Headline Tour."

Ben and Crissie travelled in true Nashville style, arriving on the back of the truck to greet fans waiting at the store to celebrate the release of the album. Once inside HMV, the audience was treated to a set of new material from the new record, that has so far been winning them praise, five star reviews and new fans… most recently Robbie Williams, after they gave his smash hit ‘Angels’ a UK Country makeover on Chris Evans‘ Radio 2 Breakfast Show. ‘My Universe‘ has been Album of the Week at BBC Radio 2, with the first two singles, ‘Beats To Your Rhythm‘ and ‘My Universe‘ both A-listed at the station, and added to the Magic Playlist.

WINTER 2016 TOUR DATES: November: 23rd Royal and Derngate, Northampton 24th St David’s Hall, Cardiff 25th Corn Exchange, Bedford 27th Cambridge Corn Exchange, Bedford 28th Colston Hall, Bristol 29th Brighton Dome, Brighton

December: 2nd Venue Cymru, Llandudno 3rd Institute, Birmingham 4th Bridgewater Hall, Manchester 5th Sage, Gateshead 7th O2 ABC Glasgow, Glasgow 8th York Barbican, York 9th O2 Academy, Liverpool 11th O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London

Wednesday 5 October 2016

JOANovARC’s unveil brilliant new video for 'Dragon In The Sky'

JOANovARC unveil the brand new video for their powerful and punchy new single Dragon In The Sky, from their forthcoming debut album Ride Of Your Life released on November 11th through Red Vixen Records. Vibrant and psychedelic with a grunge twist Dragon In The Sky has a dark edge, and deals with “untreated mental illness” and the problems surrounding drugs in society today.

JOANovARC wanted the video to feature animation in order to highlight the psychedelic nature of the song and the subject of a dragon. With the band's characters displaying the different personalities and moods associated with some mental health disorders, the resulting video is both intense and spectacular. Feast your eyes on the result here:

To celebrate the release of the raw and raunchy Ride Of Your Life album JOANovARC take to the road for their most extensive headline tour yet. The tour includes a special album launch show in London at The Black Heart on November 30th, where the band “will be sharing the stage with some very special rock icons!”

Ride Of Your Life finds JOANovARC at their full creative tilt delivering hard-hitting, retooled classic rock with a modern twist. Describing themselves as “Puss In Boots”, this four piece force of nature have delivered a statement of intent with their debut album. Produced by Grammy Award winning Gil Norton (The Pixies, Foo Fighters) Ride Of Your Life has the essence of an old school record. Recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios, the album encapsulates and distills perfectly JOANovARC’s live energy. “He was completely different to what we expected, he brought the best out of us in the studio and let us breathe as musicians and made us feel like we were free to express everything in the studio”.

Ride Of Your Life is the journey of the band's life from the beginning to present, the ups and downs on the road. “We are all great friends but have been through everything together, heartache, death, illness, sweat, blood, great times, addiction, narcotics, break ups, celebrations, fights and tears! “

This energetic and diverse album features 11 finely crafted songs full of rock’n’roll attitude and glamour. The opening title track sets the tone for a rocking roller coaster ride, and features the singles; the vibrant yet vitriolic Dragon In The Sky, along with the epic and empowering White Trash and the infectious Live Rock’n’Roll. Plus, a further 7 songs, including feel good joyride Seeds Of Summer, before the spiritually beautiful ballad Peace of Mind closes this sumptuous debut album in the best possible way.

Ride Of Your Life’s striking front cover featuring “an image of our naked bodies is pure and we will not be affected by fashion in any way which is refreshing. There was something quite liberating about this photo and the road image tells the story of the album with the band stripped naked showing who we really are. It's the bare naked truth!”.

“We are role models, we want to inspire young females and empower them” and Ride Of You Life is an inspiring statement. Thanks to their relentless touring and high energy shows, JOANovARC have earned the title as one of the UK’s most promising rock acts, bristling riffs and jagged, riotous hooks are their poison - exceptional is not too strong a word. Ride Of Your Life is an unequivocal triumph.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Live Review: The Mission at The Academy Dublin. October 1st, 2016

Photo credit: Dani Kammler

"So many things can go wrong at a gig." This is an excerpt from the discussion Dani and I had with Simon Hinkler at The Academy in Dublin on Saturday 1st of October. The venue would be filled quickly later but prior to this we witnessed the sound check while waiting patiently. The mood was light hearted but focused. Craig and Wayne focused on making sure that their first night of the 30th anniversary tour would be a success. The band I am talking about is The Mission.

I was told a large contingent from the UK travelled all the way to Dublin to assist to the show. That’s probably true. The Mission is one of those high calibre group that have survived the test of time without compromising its integrity. Speaking of which: you don’t see too many bands today undertaking a double set. I think that was my probably first time personally but The Mission had already experienced this on their last tour and they liked the format.

The first set kicked off. The sound was good - especially the bass guitar which would be fairly even throughout the entire two sets. As Wayne had indicated: the first set was about trying news songs on us and it did work well especially the new single Met-Amor-Phosis. There is more technology involved with the new songs and the head drummer played from a percussion station while some backtracks supported new titles. Or he simply re-joined his drum kit to add the necessary beat to what was once a gothic band.

The first set was roughly 45 minutes and I must say I found the audience very contemplative, borderline apathic. Sensing this, Wayne engaged with the audience in a different way and the familiar sound of classic anthems triggered some reaction from the public albeit this was not hysteria either. Sometimes you get unexpected gifts on stage - Wayne received a fan parcel without wrapping paper with a nice message and a demo to listen to from a hardcore fan while Craig for some reasons received two ladies knickers on his baldie head. :)

As the show went on I could not help thinking I would have wished for a better sound to highlight the contribution of the female backing vocals. I could hardly hear her and it is not because I was on the right-hand side. I suppose we need to consider it as teething problems and I hope she had a better gig the following day in Belfast. We progressed to the encore and that point a few melancholic Iroquois’s trashed their heads up and down in unison with the acoustic guitar.

A few more songs and we were done, a strong and solid show... not helped by an audience which has forgotten what Saturday nights are all about. Is it a sign of the times when hen nights pick a Rock show as the ultimate venue to export their drunken antics? You don’t get to see bands like The Mission in Dublin too often, providing the prohibitive logistic costs, but we won’t get too many of them either if we don’t provide a warmer céad míle fáilte.

Photo credit: Dani Kammler

Monday 3 October 2016

Avatar Debut "Night Never Ending" Music Video

AVATAR have unleashed another visually stunning music video, with longtime director Johan Carlén at the helm, for their next single, "Night Never Ending" exclusively via Alternative Press Magazine.

"It's is a special song, being probably the most upbeat and, dare I say, happy piece we've ever released," says frontman Johannes Eckerström. "But under the surface of the fragile message of hope and fighting spirit it is little more than a prelude to a tragedy and that is what we set out to capture when we decided to make a video for it."

"It is very close to my heart for being the one video where there is no "rocking out" going on and we get to capture a side of Avatar that is just as integral as the good, headbanging times we love sharing with our supporters all around the world. There are few things in this world as beautiful and fascinating as contrasts and this is what all of Feathers & Flesh is all about. Hope and tragedy." The new video drops just a few months after the band debuted "The Eagle Has Landed" video, also directed by Carlén, the first official music video from the band's most recent LP. "The Eagle Has Landed" achieved Top 15 at Active Rock Radio and was even hailed as one of the Best Rock Songs of 2016 (so far) according to

With past buzzworthy videos like "Bloody Angel," "Hail The Apocalypse" and the 2015 Loudwire "Best Rock video of the year" video for "Vultures Fly," AVATAR continues to raise the bar for what bands are doing visually in the current state of hard rock and metal.

AVATAR released their very first concept album titled Feathers & Flesh May 13, 2016 via Entertainment One (eOne) in North America and Canada with Another Century releasing the record overseas. The new release is the band's highly anticipated followup to Hail The Apocalypse released in 2014, which cracked the Billboard Top 200 for the first time in the band's career.

The aim is set higher, further and deeper than ever before for AVATAR. Not only is this concept album their most extensive work to date, showing the widest range of any of their albums, it also contains a story too extensive for any booklet, so they made a book. A fully illustrated 60 page, 109 verse poem hardcover book.

AVATAR are back in the U.S. continuing their utter domination of The States in continued support of their new album. The band just wrapped a handful of arena dates with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, VOLBEAT and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. They will continue performing headline and festival dates such as LOUDER THAN LIFE and AFTERSHOCK this October.

Feathers & Flesh was recorded in Germany, Finland and Sweden in December 2015 with producer extraordinaire Sylvia Massy (System of a Down, Tool, Red Hot Chili Peppers). “Avatar is an amazing band,” said Massy, adding, “The singer has the wild energy and charisma I love, and the players are relentless. The album we’re making is an epic. Each song powerfully stands on it’s own, but is only a piece of a larger story. This album is the project I’ve been dreaming about for years!”

The music is as always, rooted in the extreme, with plenty of melodic sensibility and a lust for experimentation. There is a love for intense double bass drumming, riffing and shredding of timeless dimensions alongside rough edges, slow grooves and epic storytelling for the ages. The idea is that as the band digs deeper, the fists will be held up higher. The end result is a modern metal album with all the ruthlessness and power one could ask for handled with a loving songwriter’s hand, inspired by The Beatles and Queen.

AVATAR have developed quite the reputation for touring the US harder than even some of their American counterparts. Most notably, the band has grown well known for their epic performances in the US festival market. After their memorable performance at Rock on the Range 2014, a first for the band, it shows no signs of stopping.


Following recent outstanding performances in support of Asking Alexandria, SHVPES can now reveal a 17-date run of UK shows for October/November, taking in headline, co-headline & festival appearances…

Kicking off in Leicester, the first 5 shows are headliners; SHVPES will be bringing along five-piece rock band, Empire, as main support before joining forces with Press to Meco for an 11-strong co-headline run. All SHVPES appearances are listed below:

OCTOBER: 10 Leicester The Cookie (main support from Empire) 11 Colchester Arts Centre (main support from Empire) 12 Milton Keynes Craufurd Arms (main support from Empire) 13 Birmingham Rainbow Cellar (supports TBC) 15 Norwich Sound and Vision Festival 17 Bournemouth Anvil (co-headline with Press To Meco) 18 Plymouth Underground (co-headline with Press To Meco) 20 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach (co-headline with Press To Meco) 21 Nottingham Basement (co-headline with Press To Meco) 22 Manchester Satan's Hollow (co-headline with Press To Meco) 31 Southampton Joiners (co-headline with Press To Meco)

NOVEMBER: 02 London Boston Music Rooms (co-headline with Press To Meco) 03 Leeds Key Club (co-headline with Press To Meco) 05 Sheffield Corporation (co-headline with Press To Meco) 06 Glasgow King Tut's (co-headline with Press To Meco) 07 Newcastle Think Tank (co-headline with Press To Meco) 08 Liverpool Studio 2 (supports TBC)

Fans of SHVPES can now instantly download new single, ‘Skin & Bones’ upon pre-order of their forthcoming debut album, ‘PAIN. JOY. ECSTASY. DESPAIR.’