RED HAZE 'Keep on movin' (INDEPENDENT)

RED HAZE comes out of Holland and they have released a very good melodic rock CD. The band has a female and male lead vocalist which sets them apart from most other bands. The production by Marc Faasse and RED HAZE is wonderful and I couldn't find any weak song between the 12 tracks on 'Keep on movin'. The melodic rock/AOR of RED HAZE reminds me of bands such as TERRA NOVA, THE PROMISE, BIG GENERATOR, JACKLYN/LIFEFORCE…

A lot of songs are uptempo and do have a pure 80s Classy AOR/Melodic rock sound. Best songs are "Shot down in flames" (superb catchy chorus, kinda like WITNESS, HEART, old VIXEN), "Till the end" (AOR Ballad), "Behind your eyes" (uptempo AOR) and "The price" (uptempo AOR, TERRA NOVA meets THE PROMISE). But actually the whole CD is really wonderful cheerful AOR/Melodic Rock and if you like any of the mentioned bands, then you can easily buy this new sensation from Holland. Check out their website for more info at: Soon an interview with RED HAZE and much more info. You can buy the CD at: NEW FRONTIER RECORDS

Rating: 8,5/10


EXIT 'Sea of love/Towards the sun' (INDEPENDENT)

This band out of Illinois, USA has released a limited two-track CD which is available at EXIT play cool pure 80s oriented melodic AOR/Pomprock with many keyboards. The first track "Sea of love" features some very cool pure 80s keyboards which gives the song a very pompous sound. This great hookladen uptempo AOR rocker reminds me of the mid 80s style of bands like 8084 and WHITE SISTER.

The lead vocals of singer Mark Lee are high pitched and are more in the SHY area. The other song of this CD is "Towards the sun", a nice midtempo melodic rocker. I am pretty much looking forward to hear more of this band in the near future. I believe they will release a full-length CD later this year. We'll keep you informed about what might be the new AOR sensation. More info at their website:

Rating: 8/10



THE WILD MILD is a German band that is playing typical German melodic heavy rock/metal. This band reminds me of bands such as SINNER, RUNNING WILD, SHAKRA, MOON'DOC and even ACCEPT. Though that this is very tough metalish
sounding, THE WILD MILD still has a lot of melodic rock influences. The band also has a keyboardist which is pretty unusual compared to the mentioned bands.

The band's debut CD 'Totally dying' has a very professional sound and there are 11 songs on the album. The best songs are "Totally dying" (typical German melodic rock'n'roll), "Evil" (uptempo sing-a-long melodic HR a la SINNER, MOON' DOC, SHAKRA), "I need you" (great midtempo melodic rocker), "Forever young" (semi melodic rockballad) and the hidden bonustrack "Always I'll go" (good uptempo melodic rocker). If you like any of the mentioned bands, you must have a listen to this THE WILD MILD. More info at:

Rating: 7/10



This CD was sent to me by MPG/DAVID frontman David Mikael, who owns an own studio where bands like AS IS and this PSYCHO LIZARDS record their material and David produces them. This new band from Florida has released a CD which features a very large diversity of musicstyles. There are 9 songs on the CD and it all starts with the rap-metal song "What's all this for" which is not my cup of tea. Also the next two tracks are in this style, so I thought I was on to something really not intersting.

But then came "Downtown" which saw the band slowing their metal down and turning up the melodic rocksound into TESLA territory. This song is a nice semi melodic rockballad. It gets even better with the song "Out of time" which strangely enough reminds me of DAKOTA and MAGNUM, a good tune and one of the better ones on the CD. Then we get into heavy rap metal with the songs "Get up, get out" and "Lost" of which the latter has a lot of progressive metal influences.

Happily, the band is back on track again with the song "Turn around". "Turn around" is outstanding and totally different than anything else on this 'metal' CD, because this is a fantastic AOR oriented song which reminds me of SHOTGUN SYMPHONY. This song really has a classy AOR chorus and I can not understand why the band has put only one such song on their CD. If they would make more songs in the style of "Turn around" for a future release, then we could easily speak of the new AOR sensation here.

But unfortunately this CD only has one AOR tune on it, because also closing track "Falling down" has very little in common with our beloved musicstyle. This song is not that bad, but is just tougher melodic rock with some progressive influences and nothing more nothing less. If the band would turn into a more AOR oriented way (like their song "Turn around"), then I am very much looking forward to hear any new stuff.

For the moment, this band has too many diverse musicstyles (ranging from Rap Metal to AOR to Progressive Rock/Metal) which will not be accepted by fans of one particular style. If you're interested in this band, e-mail them at:

Rating: -


LADEN 'Politics of life' (INDEPENDENT)

This is a very interesting Melodic Rockband out of Florida, USA. They released this debut CD titled 'Politics of life' in 1995 and it is one-helluva-great album! The band is playing pure 80s typed melodic rock and remind me of the glory days of bands like DOKKEN, WHITE LION, BONFIRE… There are 11 songs on the CD and I can only wake up the European labels, because this LADEN is right up their alley. Right from the opeing tune you know you're onto something really good.

Opener "Paradise" is namely an excellent cheerful uptempo melodic rocker in the best 80s tradition of bands like DOKKEN, NELSON, WHITE LION… Next track "In the wild" is even better, this is a fantastic semi AOR/Melodic rockballad with some 80s DEF LEPPARD references and also again the WHITE LION similarities. Track number three is "Politics of life", the titletrack, another excellent uptempo AOR/Melodic rocker which brings memories of TYKETTO and RED DAWN. Just listen to the beautiful AOR hookline of this song which is better than the chorus that has a slightly progressive touch.

The CD continues with "Song in the wind", another impressive song. This track is sounding very much alike the last original SURVIVOR record 'Too hot to sleep'. The song features some very impressive lead vocals and harmonies during the chorus that will be liked alot by the fans of heavy AOR. "Heartland fear" follows and is a nice tougher melodic rocker which reminds me of the band RECKLESS. The CD continues with "Run for cover", a good DOKKENish melodic rocker.

Then we get to hear one of the best songs on the CD which is "Silent knight". This song is a really excellent (semi) uptempo melodic rocker with a chorus that will please all the fans of 80s DOKKEN. In fact, this song is in the exact same style as the DOKKEN album 'Back for the attack', without being a rip-off because the lead vocals on this track are outstanding and the use of the instruments is very impressive. Next track "Bliss" is the first song that didn't caught my attention that much, because this song is a bit weaker and groovy melodic hard rock, while still having a quite nice sound that will please most melodic rockfans.

"Given me" is the following track of the CD and this is another great cheerful uptempo melodic rocker which is in the style of VU, SURE CONVICTION, STRYPER… The acoustic late-night calmer AOR ballad "Desert eyes" follows and is very much in the tradition of KANSAS ("Dust in the wind"). Closing track of this great CD is "World in pain", a nice uptempo melodic rocker like DOKKEN meets BONFIRE. Concluded I can easily recommend this CD of LADEN to anyone that has a special place in their hearts for 80s melodic rock a la (80s) DOKKEN, WHITE LION, NELSON, TYKETTO, GUILD OF AGES…

The album also has a very good production and the songs itself are most of the time sounding pretty good. I dare everyone to check out this wonderful band from Florida, the sunshine state of the USA. And don't be surprised to see this band ending on some of the release schedules of the European labels later this year.

The band also was kind of enough to sent me a sneak preview CDR of their upcoming second CD release. Although I have to be honest and need to add here that the songs of this CDR are a bit more experimental and progressive partly due to the fact that this new CD of LADEN will be a concept record. Still I liked the song "See through you" very much, because this is a very nice semi melodic ballad/rocker, kinda like JADED HEART. The other two songs of the CDR were more Progressive oriented, but happily still have the melodic rocksound of the band's debut, only less polished and less pure melodic rock.

Anyway, this LADEN is a promising band and I urgerly ask you to check out the band's debut 'Politics of life' from 1995 to catch up with this hot new melodic rockband. More info at:

Rating: 8,5/10



FRENZABEN is a Californian band and they have released a CD, which really captures the spirit and fun of rock'n'roll like it was made in the late 80s. You can compare FRENZABEN to bands such as DANGER DANGER, NELSON, ATTRACTION, BRITTON… I have got very little info on this band, but I can recommend you to check them out asap, because there are some great tunes on their album. The first two songs are short instrumental acoustic intro's, but then it gets melodic hardrock with the song "Starting over".

Though things really get going when listening to "Down and out". This is a superb classy 80s uptempo AOR/Melodic rocker which sounds like a mix between the last VON GROOVE, HONEYMOON SUITE, the debut of HAREM SCAREM and VALENTINE. This is my kind of melodic rocktune, an upbeat happy tune with a very melodic guitarsound and a catchy memorable chorus which will please you anytime you hear it.

Following track "Seeing is believing" is another lovely melodic rocker, only this one is instruemntal, but you can clearly hear FRENZABEN is a band to watch out for in the near future, because they sure know how to play their melodic rock. Then we get to hear the wonderful "If", a fantastic cheerful 80s uptempo melodic rocker that reminds me of NELSON, VU, VOXEN, ATTRACTION… Just listen to the first few second of this song which features pure classic 80s guitar riffs. To me, "If" and "Down and out" are the best songs of FRENZABEN and I even think if they play these songs to the European record companies there will be interest of them to release it over here.

Anyway, we'll see what the future will bring for these Californian melodic rockers. Back to the CD which features a couple more instrumental rockers during the second part of the CD, namely the songs "Driving too fast" and "Sidewalk boogie" (VAN HALEN meets RIOT). The remaining songs are the semi melodic rockers "One step closer" and "The fight" (both stylish reminding me of WINGER), the great uptempo melodic rocker "One for me" (featuring very catchy harmonies during the chorus) and "Say it again" (VAN HALEN guitar riff, faster paced melodic rocker).

Not a bad song on this CD and I can only advise you to check out FRENZABEN if you like your melodic rock in the style of bands such as DANGER DANGER, VOXEN, VU, NELSON… More info at:

Rating: 8/10



LVP comes out of Rockvale, Tennessee, USA and they have put out a CD titled 'Output'. Musically they are playing pure 80s typed rock. I hear a good mixture of early 80s oriented AOR/Radiorock (like PRISM, BUXX, 8084, TANDYM, LOVERBOY) and some more party rock oriented melodic hardrock. There are 13 songs on their mp3 CD and most of them are uptempo.

The best songs are "Every night girl" (classy 80s melodic rocker), "Couldn't care less" (very cool early 80s uptempo AOR/Radiorock like PRISM meets 80s LOVERBOY, some great keys too!), "Bombs away" (80s uptempo melodic rocker like 8084), "The changeling" (great melodic rocker, classy 80s style), "Lost in love" (classy 80s melodic rock) and "Stage fright" (fine uptempo melodic rocker).

Some of the other songs are a bit weaker like "Three kinds of girls" (CRUE oriented partyrocker), "Space age world" and "Kickback". But for the most part these guys rock! I can easily recommend you to check out this LVP. More info at:

Rating: 8/10



MIND'S END is an American band and their debut CD contains a very unique own kind of musicstyle in which we can hear influences of Melodic Rock/AOR and Progressive Rock. Instrumental the CD is very much in the melodic rock/AOR direction, while vocally it is very much progressive and evry now and then the music is sounding very strange and weird and pretty much out of the ordinary.

There are 14 songs on the CD and my favourite songs have to be "Ene me", "Drifts of mind", "Meditation" and "New wings" which are all nice uptempo AOR oriented rockers, yet with some bizarre vocals every now and then. The songwriting of this band is also very strange, because who can come up with songtitles like "Stoneface", "Vivid visions", "Plasma burn". If you turn on the CD you hear right away what I mean with weird sounds, because opener "Plasma burn" is very weird sounding and is almost Progressive Pomprock with its space synths/guitars.

This first track reminds me of JIM STEEL whom some of you may know from his CD 'Time, space & life'. Thoght the rest of the CD is a little different. Influences of the band come from RUSH and early JOURNEY (pre-Steve Perry), so if you enjoy those sounds, you need to check up this asap, because this is bizarre progressive melodic rock like you never heard before. More info at:

Rating: 7/10



AS IS is a new jazzy progressive rock band formed by underrated singer/songwriter David Mikeal who is based in Florida. At one point David was even signed to A & M records and released a wonderful album with pompsters MPG, since then he has recorded two excellent solo recordsuner the name DAVID called "Journey To Poexula" and "Presence", both of which recieved much praise in magazines such as Hard Roxx and Aor Classics. AS IS are a very good band, and I thorughly enjoyed every single song, influnces range from KANSAS, ZZ TOP, FRANK ZAPPA, DAVID LEE ROTH (A Little Ain't Enough/Just A Gigolo era), MICHAEL SWEET, STUART SMITH, HENRY LEE SUMMER, THE MAGIC SHIP. THE BLUES BROTHERS, WALK THE WIRE and even a lower toned version of the mighty SPOCK'S BEARD.

I really liked the song "Leech", the song builds into a great southern bluesy song, David's vocal part sound perfect and very raspy and smokey, I particularly liked the inclusion of a horn section which gives the song it's commercial values, it's an excellent uptempo groovy fun song as is (no pun intended) "Pirate Ship", this track has some really cool bluesy guitar playing and some really cool keyboard work in that classic hippy 70's LED ZEPPELIN era style!!

"Amsterdam" reminds me of TAKARA, ERIC MARTIN and almost MICHAEL BOLTON (Everybody's Crazy era), and is a very commercial uptempo rock song, also well satisfying to listen to is the closing track "Nightlover" where the jazzy ZAPPA/VAI influnences shine out. The guitar work here is wicked and reminds me of STEVE VAI (flexable era), liste to the way David clambers up those scales, actually this is a great song, I hear so many different experimintations during this cut that i am left totally biased and dazzled!!

"Merlin" is also very good and features yet more dazzling jangly jazzy keyboard work, this song is simple btilliant, very progressive and almost sounds like vintage MAGNUM!!!
Yes AS IS is a good solid blues semi-progressive rock album full of nifty playing from the whole band, watch the labels fight over this lot!! Contact:

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)


STREET LEGAL 'Thunderdome'


STREET LEGAL, a Norwegian three piece, have, quite clearly, been absorbing many a lesson from the late PHIL LYNOTT and the much missed THIN LIZZY, with a tangential nod and a hearty wink at WHITESNAKE along the way. Self-produced, with the 'Thunder & Lightning' album as a sound template, and with vocalist ( and bass player!) Bjorn Boge (ex DAVINCI) phrasing things a la LYNOTT, and possessed of a similar warm catch in his voice, things could stray mighty close to the dreaded tribute territory.

Thankfully we are saved from such a fate by a fine collection of songs, sympathetic arrangements and a performance from guitarist Ken Ingwersen that brings prime time Mr Sykes to mind, and a strong sense of integrity. This is a band doing what it wants to do! The opening salvo of the title track and the LIZZY a la VAN HALEN of "Chasing the Rainbow" fling the listener back into their chair and smear a smile right across their features. The narrative drive and musical punch of "Wrong side of town" brings "Holy War" to to mind, and "Red Light District" swaggers into WHITESNAKE '1987' territory and takes the keys to the Jag.

And then, they give us a bloody glorious ballad, "Will I ever love again?", all emotive phrasing, atmosphere and big guitars, and thus a dip in the word 'classic'. Oh, and the T-RIDE, VAN HALEN rush of "In the Mood" has got to be mentioned, it would fill a dancefloor in the house of the dead! This is one album that will have your humble scribbler banging on to all and sundry about it's merits. It has every base covered, without resorting to pink and fluffy AOR slop. If LIZZY with touches of SYKES and VAN HALEN wobble your bits, I suggest that you get a copy of this cracking album.

Rating: 9/10 (Review by Andrew Paul)