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Friday, 13 July 2012

Reviews: Ginger Wildheart, Million Dollar Reload, Panic Room

Ginger Wildheart:  100% (Round Records)

The Wildheart's mainman was going to pack it all in after his success with collaborating with Michael Monroe on still one of the best albums of last year. However this new album was funded entirely by fans through PledgeMusic. What resulted was a three disc album called 555% which was the completed collected work of this fan funded package and was only sold to those who pledged for it. This album is a single disc compilation of the 'best' songs from the project chosen by the pledgers themselves. Due to the fact that this is culled from a triple disc compilation means that the genres shift throughout but the majority is the amalgamation of punk, metal and glam rock filled with huge pop hooks. Internal Radio is a rapid assault that is an ode to his creativity, You're The One... is a techno pop Queen song, Taste Aversion is a twisted, jazzy, progressive masterpiece that features the immortal refrain "Fucked From Behind". Ginger himself plays most of the instruments as well as using his unmistakeable vocals and clever lyrics to spin excellent tales of Rock N Roll mayhem. As for highlights the aforementioned Taste Aversion, the RHCP disco bass sounding Just Another Spinning Fucking Rainbow which explodes into an electro country chorus and the epic carcophony of sound that is the final track Time that builds it's finale over the chimes of Big Ben. However to be  very honest most of the album is full of highlights with every track brimming with creativity and Ginger's sense of overriding fun. This is a great album full of excellent tracks and its well worth the investment that the fans made. 9/10

Million Dollar Reload: A Sinner's Saints (Frontiers)

Belfast's Million Dollar Reload return with their second album of no frills balls out Rock 'N F'N Roll mixing the swagger of the Stones, with the brass balls of AC/DC and some modern sleaze of Buckcherry. The album has big hooky choruses see Bullets In The Sky, killer guitar licks from B.A.M and Andy Mack and the fantastically gruff vocals of frontman Phil Conalane who evokes the spirit of Bon Scott from AC/DC and Dan McCafferty of Nazareth. Can't Tie Me Down has a distinctly Slashesque guitar solo and a massive shout-along chorus. The band seem to have expanded their palate a little on this album especially with super ballad Broken which has more than a whiff of Aerosmith about it and breaks up the rocking perfectly, before being followed by rocking I Am The Rapture which will kill in live arena. This is a great second album for fans of proper full on ROCK! 8/10

Panic Room: SKIN (Esoteric Antenna)

The most eclectic rock band in Britain rise again during the Mostly Autumn off season to release their third album and this stretches their musical palate even further adding electronica (Screens) and a classical quartet that features on most of the album, to their plethora of genres. They still have the very acoustic backing heavily featured on Chances on which guitarist Paul Davies gives a superb performance. other tracks like Tightrope Walking and the latter half of Chameleon both have a middle-eastern influences with other tracks like Nocturnal having more of a Celtic feel mixed with the Prog rock staple of a Floydian crescendo. This menagerie of styles couldn't be managed if the band were not supremely talented so it is a good job they are with the aforementioned Davies merging brilliantly with the keys and synths of John Edwards Gavin John Griffiths' drums and Yatim Halimi's bass cannot be overlooked either anchoring all of the songs (and showing off their jazz licks on Freefalling). It is the vocals of chanteuse front woman Anne-Marie Helder that is the bands major selling point (she is also the co-writer of nearly all the songs with Edwards) as her range is magnificent she is equally adept at breathlessly seductive as she is glass-shatteringly powerful. This is an album that despite all its stylistic changes seems less progressive than their last two albums, making this one seem far more accessible to non-rock fans. The intelligent lyrics and virtuostic playing meld to create a fantastic album of well-crafted music. 9/10

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