Fynn Grabke (Guitar/Vocals) and Philipp Mirtschink (Drums/Percussion), have a freeform way of life, splitting their time between making music, fixing/riding motorbikes and skateboarding the two piece approach their music in the same way. Having released three full lengths of percussive, earthy blues rock, last year the band found themselves with more than an albums worth of material as they couldn’t tour. So what to do with it? Well how about call some of your buddies and tour partners to collaborate on 10 of the 12 songs on this fourth record.
According to the band only opener Here’s To Magic with Refused’s Dennis Lyxzén and the brilliant centrepiece Too Soft To Live And Too Hard To Die which is a mind-tripping psych, garage rocking duet with Elin Larsson (Blues Pills) were pre-planned the rest of the songs happening organically when the collaborators were asked. Whether it’s the thrusting pure rock fury of Corrina Corrina featuring Neil Fallon of Clutch, the rock radio balladry of Rebel, passionately sung by Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) or the loaded Americana of Riders And Farmers, which feature Laurent Lacrouts and Mathieu Jourdain of The Inspector Cluzo and is almost an autobiographical song about the two bands.
Robert Jon & The Wreck – Shine A Light On Me Brother (Self Released)
Having been carving their name into the modern Americana/country/blues/rock revival since 2011, Robert Jon Burrison and his band The Wreck may well have come to your attention with their last album Last Light On The Highway, they certainly did with me. It’s a brilliant Southern rock album with obvious influences such as The Allman Brothers and Skynyrd but also the same authenticity as contemporaries like Blackberry Smoke and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats. It really made me fall in love with Robert Jon & The Wreck so I was excited to hear that a new album was in the works.
Dare I dream? A follow up to one of my favourite albums of last year! The return of Rachel Cohen (ex-The Reasoning) to music, joining former Karnataka bandmate Jonathan Edwards (Panic Room/Luna Rossa) for an album of the wistful, emotional, arty progressive rock they have both been at the forefront of for many years. Well this is now a reality, Love’s Lost Property is the follow up to The Science Of Goodbye, taking a proggier route than the debut but also never becoming to self-involved with just being music for music’s sake. I went into great detail about how I hold the Welsh/West prog scene so close to my heart, especially Karnataka, The Reasoning and Panic Room, on the last review so I won't here. But Love's Lost Property is about a perfect follow up to the debut as you can get. There is still a strong melodic heart to this record driven by the densely layered keys of Edwards and the soaring, spine-chilling vocals of Cohen, who edges into the realms of the Goddess herself, Kate Bush on the pulsating Last Day On Earth.
The Magic Bus - Το Κάστρο (Self Released)
The Magic Bus are a Greek language rock band from Livadia City and feature members of Redeye Caravan, Nox Die, Peculiar Three and Beyond This Earth. Το Κάστρο (The Castle) is their debut album of punchy hard rock, sitting comfortably in the Greek rock scene with some punk influence as well. Now I have the accompanying information for what the songs are actually about, and this album has lots of literary, historical and fantasy stories.
Musically though the band are heavily influenced by their countries 90's rock explosion especially Trypes (who they get their name from), and bands such as Ypogeia Revmata and Xylina Spathia who they share a jangly guitar approach with. A mix of alternative, pop and grunge rock The Magic Bus are deeply indebted to these Greek rock leaders, a style that many outside of Greece may not really know anything about. As the more traditional/folk sounds of Το Πλοίο των Τρελών (The Ship Of Fools) ends the record, it'll be worth seeing if Το Κάστρο can break The Magic Bus outside of their home country. 7/10