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Sunday, 29 November 2015

Reviews: Dorje, Ape Machine, Fate's Right Band, Maddie Jones

A Collection Of EP's

Dorje: Catalyst (Self Released)

Dorje are progressive rock/metal four piece band hailing from the UK, they were formed in 2012 by frontman/guitarist/youtube star and guitar maker Rob Chapman, he recruited Rabea Massaad on lead guitar, along with Ben Minal on drums and Dave Hollingworth on bass. The band set about creating subtly complex technical music that had both melody and groove as well as heaps of technical prowess. Catalyst is their first EP that has been readily available (iTunes, etc) and it shows the bands incredible ability of playing and songwriting. Aeromancy is the EP opener and the flowing Floydian guitar work moves into some chunky palm-muted riffage with a huge chorus that sees Chapman showing not only his guitar skill but his excellent vocals. The band are a thoroughly modern sounding prospect with big sounding songs and passionate performances, all the players have incredible talent and it gives this EP a great style that will see them progress very rapidly when their debut album finally comes about. 8/10

Ape Machine: Coalition Of The Unwilling (Ripple Music)

Portland Oregon's Ape Machine will resonate with anyone that loves the southern rock psychedelia of bands like Clutch, Orange Goblin, Fu Manchu and COC. Think big hammering riffage bouncy songs and old school reel-to-reel sound and you wouldn't be far wrong, a 70's sound reverbrates through this 6 track EP especially on Ape'n-stein which is their cover of Edgar Winter's Frankenstien. They brings blues, rock and psych to the table brilliantly with the four piece having a locked in sound that sees the rhythm section thundering, the guitars crunching and Caleb Heinze's soulful voice that shows its power on the more reserved kaleidoscopic Never My Way that ends this album in spacey Sabbath style. Ape Machine have created 6 great tracks that will definitely win them new fans that love a good old fashioned rock out. 7/10

Fate's Right Band: Smile (Self Released)

Fate's Right Band is a collaborative project started by bassist and guitarist brothers Marko and Jari Aalto, they set about writing 70's/80's hard rock songs with no fixed intention of releasing a full album but rather EP's that will show the bands songwriting. The brothers then recruited drummer Jonas Andersson and lead guitarist Jens Mann to complete the instrumental line up and began writing songs for their debut EP Knuckleduster Hits the line up rounded out by Nocturnal Rites from man Jonny Lindkvist, now they are on their second EP and Smile once again ramps up the rock with some heavyweight rocking and a link to bands like Whitesnake on Black Heart Of Stone. Lindkvist is on hell of a vocalist and it's nice to hear him outside the confides of his power metal day job, he really gets to be a grittier with his vocals while the band behind him rock out like so many before them. Fate's Right Band don;t do anything new but they do it well enough to keep your attention for this EP's duration. 7/10

Maddie Jones: Colour Me In (Self Released)

I first reviewed Maddie Jones debut album Vita Brevis in July of this year and I though it was a very exciting album that blended folk,pop, rock and acoustic troubadour tendencies with dreamy melodies combined with Jones' brilliantly hushed bluesy vocals. Now I did think while listening to the album that Maddie Jones could do with letting loose and rocking out a bit, there was nods to rockier tendencies on the debut but on Colour Me In Maddie has got rockier with some fuzzy guitars and an almost doo-wop vocals that could have come off Zep's In Through The Out Door the track was co-written by Jones and Matthew Evans from psych-band KEYS. Jones' voice once again shines through especially on the smoky Deadliest Little Fever which has jazz club feel to it as Jones channels her inner Ella Fitzgerald. She has recruited a great band behind her who all play with skill Dan Fitzgerald plays a mean guitar, Tom Jones (not that one) has a locked in bass, the drums of Laurence Wickham show flair on the bluesy rocker Push Back which once again has a Zep style to it. Colour Me In is less a reinvention more a natural adaptation of their sound for Maddie and her band, hopefully these three tracks are a sign of things to come, roll on album two. 8/10 

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