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Monday, 16 June 2014

Out Of The Beyond 33

Virgil & The Accelerators: The Radium (2010)

Virgil McMahon is a 22 year old guitarist from South Africa who and the Accelerators are his band consisting of his younger brother Gabriel on drums and Jack Alexander Timmis on bass. He is the youngest man ever to be nominated for the 2010 British Blues Award. He and his band have been compared to Cream and from the massive guitar crescendo to the bluesy as hell Working Man (not a Rush cover Paul) you can see why, this is some amazing guitar playing from the youngster who draws on his influences of Hendrix, SRV and ZZ Top in every song to create some amazing blues rock, he is also blessed with a voice that is far beyond his years rich and sonorous with the right amount of guts and grit to it. After Working Man we move into the rocking Top-lik Refuse To Believe with more ZZ Top style naughtiness in the shape of the funky Bad Girl which is straight off the Eliminator album. McMahon's influences shine to on the dirty Rory Gallagher style blues of Backstabber and Racing With Life. For a debut album this is a great one full of some of the most accomplished blues rock I've heard since I heard and album called New Day Yesterday by a man named Bonamassa. McMahon is a killer guitarist and on the instrumental The Storm he shows that you don't need fancy solos to show that you are talented. If you like your rock full of blues swagger and your blues with a rockier back beat then The Radium is for you Virgil McMahon has all the potential to be as big as Joey B mark my words and if you want proof just check out Fell To The Floor which is showstopper of a ballad. 9/10

Blues Pills: Devil Man E.P (2013)

With all the amazing doom/retro rock bands coming out of the woodwork at the moment any band that delves into this world of voodoo grooves and occult mysticism. Hailing from Ã–rebro Sweden The Blues Pills are a female fronted blues band that sound like Lynne Jackaman fronting Graveyard, front woman Elin Larsson has blues howl that many men cannot attain, it is pure, unrestrained and tribal in it's delivery. She is backed by some fuzzy bass led, retro riffage with Cory Berry's drums, Dorian Sorriaux's guitar and Zack Anderson's bass all providing some psychedelic, hazy and blissed out retro rock. See The River which is everything I just mentioned distilled into one perfect slab of doomy, psych rock and is followed by the distinctly Sabbath-like heaviness of Time Is Now. They then have the riff fuelled opening title track and the jazzy, percussion filled final track Dig In which ends things in a blissed out way. A nice little snippet to get you ready for their forthcoming album, it shows what this band are capable of. One to seek out before their full length debut is released 7/10

Europe: Last Look At Eden & Bag Of Bones (2009 & 2012)

Yes THAT song will forever haunt them but Europe are and have always been more than a one hit wonder. They have always been a talented band but on their two most recent albums, the second and third releases since their early 2000's reformation as a band the first being 2006's Secret Society. They have really pushed the boat out delivering possibly their two career defining albums.

Last Look At Eden

First up was Last Look At Eden in 2009 which brought a huge dollop of Zeppelin and some Whitesnake to their sound with this album. From the orchestral opening which leads into the title track which has all the glorious pomp of Kashmir with its big orchestral backing, massive guitars from John Norum big John Lord like organs from Mic Michaeli, all topped with Joey Tempest's awesome voice, he is channeling the Coverdale for the most part. In fact the entire album is very similar to Whitesnake's last few albums all of which have been very strong hard rock focussed affairs full of big riffs, massive keys and the unmistakable voice. Well if you didn't know this was Europe then you would think it was Coverdale and co see New Love In Town for pure bonnet frolicking rock balladry. The riffs come thick and fast on The Beast on which the vocals change to become more like Ian Gillan and the song has more than a hint of Black Country Communion to it as does U Devil U. Yes this is far removed from the early 80's euro metal of their early career but the sound of a band aging gracefully and maturing their sound with more blues influences throughout. 9/10

Bag Of Bones

With Bag Of Bones the band expanded their sound a little more becoming more bluesy on what is their ninth album in total, much of this blues influence may have come from guitarist John Norum who released a blues album in 2010. The album brings a lot more stripped back pure rock to proceedings do away with the orchestral pomp of the previous release, a lot of this comes from Kevin Shirley's analog style of production technique which means that everything is a little more authentic. The Ian Gillan style vocals are back with Tempest blasting it out directly from the offset, Shirley's work with BCC is prevalent throughout especially on Not Supposed To Sing The Blues which with it's "Boy you're not supposed to sing the blues where you come from" refrain could be the band's mantra on this album. Yes this album is very good with all the band playing their hearts out, Caveman (Shirley) has his imprints all over the record, which is no bad thing, Joey Bones himself pops up on the title track providing some killer slide guitar. Yes the maturity of Europe shows through and so does their songwriting skill, channeling Free, Bad Company and Deep Purple this is yet another great addition to Europes catalog of great albums! 8/10

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