Alice Cooper-Paranormal ©2017 earMusic
I've always been a pretty big fan of shock rock and Alice Cooper is definitely the king of the genre. He has influenced many through the years, but nobody has his touch. 'Paranormal' is his latest album and is quite the platter of vintage sounding stuff. Guests on this latest album include some legends as well with Roger Glover, Larry Mullen, Neal Smith and Billy Gibbons. There are elements in this record that had a familiar feel when thinking about some of his earlier stuff. Tracks that I felt stood out included the title track, 'Paranoic Personality', 'Fallen in Love', and my personal favorite, 'Dynamite Road'. Alice has recorded some youtube videos that explain the meaning of each track and it's well worth your time to go view this to understand the subject material even better. This is a very cool record and is an easy recommend!
Shadowside-Shades of Humanity ©2017 EMP Label Group
Solid band and album that features former Hammerfall Bassist Magnus Rosén. The band is female fronted but is geared more to a modern power metal sound instead of Symphonic like you usually hear. Music is aggressive by nature, but not as aggressive as some of the sounds in the current metal scene. There is good crossover appeal when it comes to more traditional fans and modern fans. I feel this band is a good fit for the EMP roster. There is a bit of variety at that label but quite a bit of it is pretty heavy. Shadowside is a band that fits into my own personal taste as well. Music is consistent throughout the album and closes on a very high note with the track 'Alive' which offers a different feel to the listener. The track has a nice vibe and would be more of the epic track of the album. Very cool band with an equally cool album!
Release Date: July 28, 2017
Janet Gardner-Janet Gardner ©2017 Pavement Entertainment
So, if you heard that Vixen vocalist Janet Gardner was going to release a solo album, what would you expect. Well, I had my general ideas of what I thought it would be and was I ever wrong. This is a very explosive modern sounding rock record. The music overall has good heavy intensity, but at the same time has a catchy nature to it. You'll remember it long after you turn it off. Janet sounds great and really belts it out through each track. It will be interesting to see the reaction from the Vixen fan base as this record has a slight feel of that, but in most ways is something different, or at least that's the way I hear it. In ways it also has an anthemic feel here and there. I came away pretty surprised at the direction, but satisfied as well. I tend to like a variety f different sounds and this album fit the bill well. Do give this one a listen as you too might be surprised!
Release Date: August 18, 2017
Cats in Space-Scarecrow ©2017 Cats in Space/Cargo Records
I remember hearing this bands first album 'Too Many Gods' and becoming an instant fan. I really started my musical journey in life with 70's rock and it evolved from there. The bands latest 'Scarecrow' continues with the sound that they offered on the first record. You can feel certain structures on the songwriting that were more prevalent in that era. 'Scarecrow' is once again a great record. Great songwriting and a very nostalgic feel to each song. In ways, I feel that nobody does this type of thing better in this day and age than Cats in Space. What I didn't expect was to get another album so soon after their last brilliant effort. The consistency is very evident and the chemistry within this band is its driving force. They do have a video up for 'Mad Hatter's Tea Party' on Youtube if you haven't heard this band yet. Another easy recommend!
Release Date: August 25, 2017
Riverdogs-California ©2017 Frontiers Records
This one has been out for a little bit now, but I didn't want to miss getting a review up for it. I'm familiar with this band, but maybe not as familiar as other reviewers. I have their brilliant debut, but lost track along the way until this release. I heard the promo and immediately ordered a physical copy of it. The music is very smooth and soulful. Rob Lamothe does a superb job at vocals and there is a tightness to this band that you don't always get in the industry. Today's market is a tough one to make it in, but some of the tracks on this album would propel this band to great heights. I loved tracks like 'Golden Glow' or the first single and video 'American Dream' basically give the listener an idea of the reason this band is so highly regarded in the genre. I will definitely have to keep these guys on my radar in the future as this album is a favorite for 2017!
Release Date: July 7, 2017