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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Reviews: Dana Fuchs, Thunderpussy, Electric Rebels, Highview (Review By Paul H)

Dana Fuchs: Love Lives On (Get Along Records)

Born in New Jersey, Dana Fuchs (pronounced Fyooks) has channelled a tragic family background into a strong career. Her music features death and loss as a regular theme, somewhat unsurprising if you read about the events that have surrounded her life. Love Lives On is her ninth album, with her debut as far back as 2003 with Lonely For A Life Time. Fuchs’ possesses a stunning voice, soulful and smoky, able to t to rock out or deliver Country-style ballads, such as the gospel-style emotion drenched Faithful Sinner.

Much of the album contains aspects of Southern rock, soul, roots and blues, all delivered in an accomplished manner, with brass sections complementing the simple musicianship. And when I say simple, that ain’t no derogatory term, no sirree! Check out the smouldering Sedative, which screams class from start to finish. Whilst the rock element is probably a little light in comparison to most releases we review, this is a slow burn which improves on repeated plays. Fuchs’ love of Esther Phillips and Etta James is evident throughout the album. This is an impressive release which allows some respite from our usual aural assault. 8/10

Thunderpussy: Thunderpussy (Stardog Records)

Thunderpussy hail from Seattle, WA, not to be confused with the Swedish outfit of a similar name. The band comprises Molly Sides on vocals, Leah Julius on bass, guitarist Whitney Petty and drummer Ruby Dunphy. Formed in 2013, the band plays a pleasing range of garage and alt-rock with a hard rock edge. There’s an abrasive yet sweet twang to Sides’ delivery, with her wide range hitting the deeper tones of Joplin and Slick whilst the higher range includes the power of Elin Larsson of the Blues Pills.

The soulful blues of tracks such as Gentle Frame which has a Vintage Trouble flavour nestle comfortably alongside the harder rocker Velvet Noose (featuring a solo from Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready) and Badlands. Establishing a reputation for impressive live shows, Thunderpussy have been making waves in the US with their sound which even crosses into the Florence Welch territory on The Cloud. Whilst it is not the usual riff heavy power that we usually get stuck into here, this is a decent release, especially if you are after something a little different. 7/10

Electric Rebels: Heaven Tonight EP (Self Released)

A three-track EP from Manchester five-piece Electric Rebels, and as their info states, it’s 100% rock n’ roll. The band is Neil Priddey on vocals, guitarists Steve Warburton and Frank Segers, drummer Matt Bates and bassist Laurie Simmonds. Opening track One More Night is full of chunky riffs, harmonised vocals and Priddey's gravel-soaked vocals. Sick Of The Bitch needs little explanation, and follows a similar vein to the opening track. Plenty of potential here, the riffs and melody combine neatly into a solid if unspectacular song. Final song Heaven Tonight starts with a thumping chug, and expands into a slower, but no less riff heavy track. A band that it will be worth keeping an ear out for. 7/10

HighView: Aftermind EP (Self Released)

Hailing from Canberra, Australia, Aftermind is the second EP from this rock quintet. Playing empowering melodies with captivating chorus structures, this is an EP which will appeal to fans of Shinedown, Sevendust and the like. Consisting five tracks, each with intricate guitar work and interspersed with synths which flesh out the songs. With plenty of depth and quality, my only issue is that this could be any one of a hundred other bands. Still, if you like a bit of elaborate alternative rock with a hard edge, HighView should fit the slot perfectly. 6/10

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