GIANNI SIRAGUSA comes out of Italy and has been singing in Rockbands in Tuscany, Rome and Latina since his early youth. Now he has released his first solo-CD titled ‘Fammi fare poesia' that contains 13 songs. Musically there is a variation of uptempo AOR rockers and acoustic ballads. The CD starts with “Curami curami”, an acoustic song which is not really something special.

Next track “Ritmi” is much better, because this is a great uptempo pure AOR rocker. After the acoustic song “Il fiume reno” we get to hear another great uptempo AOR rocker titled “Non ci potete disturbare”. “I laghi del Nord” follows and is a nice semi ballad. The acoustic song “Onde radio” follows.

Then we get to hear another great uptempo AOR rocker entitled “Sotto un cielo sereno”. These uptempo rockers are not only the best songs of Gianni, but also very much AOR oriented (a la STAN BUSH, only with Italian lyrics) and shows Gianni at his very best musically. The following two songs (“Del cielo della terra” and “Baba yetu”) are again acoustic ballads, though very short this time.

“La vita” is a nice semi AOR rocker which is followed by “Al di la del mare”, a nice semi AOR ballad with a very nice long guitarsolo. Very good is next track “Dopo la notte”, a good semi AOR ballad like JOURNEY. The CD closes with the titletrack which is an acoustic song. The reason why there are so many acoustic songs on Gianni’s CD is due to the fact that he plays himself the acoustic guitar.

I hope there are more uptempo AOR rockers on his next album, because that’s the style which shows Gianni at his best. More info can be found on his site at:

Rating: 8/10




This a very satisfying record of simple pop songs in the style of JAIME KYLE, especially the opening track "Double Take", this is a great song, Susannah's album is full of crediable tunes, her vocals are solid and meaingful,and like JAIME KYLE and sometimes MARIAH CAREY. The songs are pure bliss.

It's nice to hear songs like "Stubborn Kinda Woman", and the foot taping pop of "Last Train To NYC", this is a great bouncy soft pop album that any fan of female pop and rock will love thanks to it's simple charms of musical delight.Well worth a listen. Email or check out her website

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)



"Magic Hands" is the debut record from San Diego based singer/songwriter Irene Weiss,whom I must say has one hell of a nice pair of legs. The album builds upon delicate and sensuous foundations in the vein of KATE BUSH , JANE FALLON, JANE
SIBBERY and TORI AMOS, it really sounds as if she's put her heart into the songs and there are pleanty of uplifiting moments such as the touching "Home" and " In Our Life",but the album isn't without it's uptempo moments such as the title track "Magic Hands" and "The Edge", all the songs are instant and very enjoyable,but how far Irene can go is anyone's guess. contact : Irene Weiss or visit her website at: and tell her strutterzine sent ya!!

Rating: 6,5/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)



Love Candy are a radio friendly pop band from Indianapolis,the songs are catchy and groovy,but not essentially aor or melodic rock, it's quite good and a lot better than most of the indy bands out there as the band often offer lush harmonies like "Dirty Circus" which bare resemblance to CHEAP TRICK, BANG TANGO and even ALICE COOPER.

"Mr.Rain" is also very good and has loads of chart potential, but as I said this is guitar driven modern pop with a slight rocky edge,I rather liked the subtle piano led ballad "Sombody", which has a CHEAP TRICK, BEATLES, ENUFF Z'NUFF edge to it and is very cool, and livens up as the song goes on,if only all chart bands could sound like this!!
Check out their website

Rating: 5,5/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)



Baunagrasid is nothing more than glorified demos that contain some interesting musical styles, the music on offer is sung in the bands native Austrian language and this eight track little beauty is basically slushy light weight romantic aor with "Vinddukkulagid" being the jewel, the riffs, keyboard playing and chorus line remind me of bands like LYNN ALLEN,
EUROPE, I-TEN, BOBBY MESSANO, DEPARTURE etc.. and most obscure eighties aor relases,but it's really catchy and sits in your head for days.

As does the next track "Eins Og Pu" which again features a heavy use of synthesisers, and some very good female background vocals, the rest of the album continues in this vein and also includes some nice ballads. I don't have any info on this band which is a pitty, as they aren't bad at all. I really would love to hear all these songs in english, I may then be able to tell you what they are about.

Rating: 6,5/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)


DEN GALNA MANEN 'Den Galna Manen'


This is a lovely record of pure swedish pop and piano led aor songs,I don't know an awful lot about this band but Ann-Sofi Andersson is one hell of an amazing vocalist,and posssess a strong voice,the songs are sung in Swedish ,and this makes it even more appealing to these ears. She sounds like GLORIA ESTEFAN, and this is basically soft rock full of lush melodies and subtle guitar work from Johan Glossner. Track one "Mina Drommars Mal" is as good as anything that STEVE PERRY or BRYAN ADAMS would lend their voices too.

Other cool songs are the piano led ballad "Du Ar Min Ungdom", the haunting "Vid Gatan Dar Han Bor", the aor/pop softness of "Brev Fran Kalmar", but my favorite song is the superb "Nagra Steg Tillsammans". Ann sing this song with so much passion. The song leans into ROBIN BECK territory and deserves to be re-recorded in english, a definate hit and possable eurovision song contest contender!!!

I like this album so much, it's real and has tons of emotion and great subtle playing from all the band topped with a great production, that scores some deserved high points from yours truly. I wish I could give you a contact addy for this so that you too could here this, but like a div, I have lost the bands information, so Ann if your out there and you read this, please get in touch.

Rating: 7,5/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)



This band comes out of Clinton, Maryland, USA and they have put out a very interesting CD. DIVINE STATIC consists of vocalist/bassist Eric Scott and keyboardist/guitarist and vocalist Ronnie Smith. Musically they are described as a pop oriented band with influences ranging from popacts like SEAL and PRINCE to melodic rockacts such as BRYAN ADAMS and VAN HALEN. But forget these comparisons, because I have listened to the CD and can inform you that this DIVINE STATIC is well suited for any AOR fan, because there are some superb pure AOR songs on their debut CD. I would rather describe DIVINE STATIC as a mixture between FM, TOTO, JOURNEY, PROMOTION, a calmer JEFF PARIS and MICHAEL MORALES with some Poppy overtones every now and then.

This CD contains some hit-potential songs that could easily end up high in the charts with the right promotion. There are 14 songs on the album. The CD opens up with “Before the dawn”, an instrumental intro that sounds Scottish because of the use of bagpipes. This instrument is also used in the next track “More than a little”, a nice midtempo melodic rocker that reminds me of the last couple of FM albums, it has the same vibe as that British band.

“Questions unanswered” follows and this is the kind of pure AOR songs on this CD I was talking about. This song is a beautiful semi AOR ballad with some very impressive lead vocals of singer Eric Scott who has almost the same voice as the FM vocalist Steve Overland. The song also is in the FM style (circa their album ‘Tough it out’). A beautiful song that should top the charts here in Europe because such a wonderful AOR song should not be ignored and actually I think if you play it out to a wide audience they will love it because it is really good.

“Walkin’ right next to you” is a cheerful summerish AOR song that sounds like a perfect mixture between MICHAEL MORALES, late FM and PROMOTION. Then comes another short instrumental piece called “The party: This is the intro for a song called “The life of the party”, the first weaker song on the album. This track is namely an experimental poptune which falls out of place between the other AOR oriented songs.

Happily next track “Shield my eyes” is very AOR based. This song is a beautiful piano- keyboard lead pure AOR ballad that sounds like JOURNEY with Jeff Paris on lead vocals. The following two tracks are “It’s all about the money” (PROMOTION kinda light
AOR and “It’s all I can take” (an experimental 90s oriented poprocker), both are not so AORish and sensational as the rest of the CD. Though, “Everything for you” takes us right into AOR territory again. This track is a nice acoustic AOR ballad that sounds like JEFF PARIS and late FM.

Then we get to hear the best song of the whole CD which is “If I fell in love”, pure midtempo AOR with very impressive vocals and a brilliant chorus. This superb AOR song is from a very high level and is up there with bands like STREET TALK, CHANGE OF HEART, ROKBOX, early FM. “If I fell in love” is definitely one of the best songs on the CD and also the most AOR oriented track. “Power of a woman” follows and is a good calmer AOR ballad like JOURNEY and STRANGEWAYS.

Following track “I will meet you halfway” is totally different and is more sounding like 80s U2. Closing track “Give me air” is again AOR oriented, though it is very calm. It sounds a little like late STRANGEWAYS and ORO. DIVINE STATIC has released a very worthwhile CD. The album features a few very good pure AOR songs, but also some poppier moments. If bands like PROMOTION, HIGHER GROUND, TOTO are up your alley, you can’t miss this release.

But I would also recommend the pure AOR fans to have a listen to this record, because some songs on this album will surprise the AOR fans. Although not the whole record is AOR, I still must admit that a lot of songs will please the AOR fans. You can contact this band at: ITZLLGOODE@AOL.COM and visit their website at

Rating: 8/10



ROCKARAZZI is some kind of a cult-band, because they opened up for partybands like QUIET RIOT and WARRANT and they are playing their rock as cliche as possible with songtitles like “Rock the night” and “Rock and roll is forever”. Musically they play typical American Rock with influences from both 70s and 80s rock. You can clearly hear this band mixing 70s New York Rock (KISS, STARZ) and 80s Californian Partyrock (KIX, KEEL, CRUE).

It all sounds very simple, but it really works every now and then and you can find yourself singing along on songs like “Rock the night”, “Rock and roll is forever”, “Red hot summer nightz” and “Shock! shock!”. There are 8 songs on this CD and all of them were recorded live at the studios in New York. This studio website allows bands to record their music live in a studio which burns the music onto CD, for more info on this, I should recommend you to visit their website at:

Back to the CD of ROCKARAZZI, one of the bands featured on My favourite songs on the CD are “Rock the night” (pure 80s melodic party rock’n’roll with 70s KISS influences, tough drumsound which is real rock’n’roll), “Rock and roll is forever” (80s RATT meets CRUE), “Dive-bomb track baby!” (melodic uptempo party rock-n-roll like 70s KISS meets STARZ), “Red hot summer nightz” (cheerful pure 80s uptempo Glamrock like POISON meets CRUE with cool harmonyvocals) and closing track “Party with your pantz down” (good old time party rock-n-roll like 70s KISS/STARZ).

These guys have released a good CD that contains fun rock-n-roll and avoids every genre from the 90s. If you like partyrockbands such as QUIET RIOT, STARZ, KISS, POISON, KEEL, CRUE, KIX... then you must purchase this CD of ROCKARAZZI. More info on their website at: and e-mail them at:

Rating: 7,5/10



This guy looks a little like JOHNNY LIMA and also musically there are some similarities. Randy Fricke comes out of La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA and has written, performed, produced and recorded all the 12 songs on his debut CD himself. I hear a lot of influences from the 80s partyrock. Bands that come in mind are 80s KISS, RATT, POISON and CRUE. Though the best comparison I can come up with is THE MICHAEL RYAN BAND. Not many people have heard that band before, but that’s also a new band and actually RANDY FRICKE plays in the exact same style as THE MICHAEL RYAN BAND, an
independent band we featured some time ago on our website.

Randy mixes Melodic Hardrock with Partyrock. I must point out that his vocals is not his best part, because they are sounding a bit raw and not really melodic. Maybe in the future he can improve this. The instrumental sound of the songs is quite well and as good as a band. The beginning of the CD was a bit weak with songs like “I see you, you see me”, “Payin’ for paradise” and “Connect” that reminded me a little of ALICE COOPER meets NASTY IDOLS with a groovy vibe a la LYNCH MOB.

The second part of the CD is better and much more melodic rock oriented. Songs like “Can’t stop thinking of you” (good semi melodic rockballad), “Someway, someday” (uptempo melodic rocker with a cheesy 80s sound), “I’ve seen enough” (uptempo melodic rocker, very much like 80s KISS) and “It’s wrong” (melodic chorus, groovy vibe a la
LYNCH MOB) are my favourite songs of the CD.

If you liked THE MICHAEL RYAN BAND from a few months ago, then this may be up your alley. Otherwise said, if you want to hear a partyrock influenced melodic hardrock album a la RATT, 80s KISS... then you need to check RANDY FRICKE’s debut CD at:

Rating: 7,5/10




WOW!! Here comes what could be next summers hot new sensation. Attraction are a colourful melodic hard rock/aor band that are simply a cut above everybody else, with the high quality of feelgood music on "Get Up And Shake" Attraction should have no problems securing themselves a deal with one of the big four labels in time for a proper release this summer.

Attraction are Adrian Stone (vocals), Jayson Cole - (drums), Brad L'Nart (bass), Jeff White (guitars), Marc Proto (guitars), and the album features guest appearances from James Christian and Jeff Canata, together the band play a majestic and colourful blend of simple rock songs that have tons of hit potentiality, songs like "Save Me Now", "Story Book", and the title track all have the potential to be huge arena rock anthems,the production by James Christian is superb and very crispy and glassy, the songs come at you in a summery dose of Californian dreams.


This album is filled with glorious melodies and tons of big fun entertainment,check out "Licity Split", this song is big time rock,and the band have pulled out all the stops on this one,it's gloriously bright and catchy and by the end of the song you will be singing along like a fool and raising your fists to rock,this song is in the style of DOKKEN, BON JOVI, HEAVEN'S EDGE and XYZ with fire burning guitar solos and sleazy lyrics,but the award winning rock n roll pips simply must go to the awesome "Summer Days",a huge riff laden song with some really nice keyboard sections making this a surefire summer hit,this song is very much in the style of THE STORM, DANGER DANGER and HUGO with even a little hint of FAIR WARNING and a very bouncy guitar solo in the style of STEVE VAI and JOE SATRIANI.

Look my view on this album is of a very high standard, this beckons to be one of the most talked about albums of 2000.The rest is up to one of the big four labels.SIGN 'EM UP NOW!!the rest will simply fall into place,this could well be the band to set the standards of hard rock for the next generation!! UTTERLEY ESSENTIAL

Rating: 9/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)



FKC is a Brazilian band and they have put out a CD titled ‘Life goes on’. Unlike many other bands from Brazil, FKC has released a CD which has a very good production and professional sound. Musically they play very non-Brazilian Rock, because FKC plays Symphonic AOR rock and I hear similarities to KICK, RUSH and SAGA.

The CD contains 11 songs and they are a good blend of mixture between uptempo melodic rockers and semi-ballads. The uptempo melodic rockers “Falling down”, “Life goes on” and “Fake smiles” are the best songs on the CD and remind me very much of the British band KICK.

The progressive influences of RUSH and SAGA can be heard in songs like “Deny” and “I’m glad”. This is a rather good record from a Brazilian band. More info at:

Rating: 7,5/10



The Good China are an interesting rock/alternative act from San Diego, the music reflects both sides of those genres and often feels similar to BRYAN ADAMS and HENRY LEE SUMMER, vocalist Ren Zenner has a nice subtle charm of originality in her voice and is most convincing indeed, kinda like a darker Sue Willet's of DANTE FOX fame.

"This Is Your Life" is a cool rocker with a 90's edge, but is very singable and catchy thanks to Ren's sexy voixe and Gilberts Koury's guitar playing. It's often very indy sounding in the style of THE CORBANS, but their are moments such as "Strange", and the riffy "D-day" and "Burning Up", that deliver catchy songs with memorable chorus lines. My fave song however is opener "B-4", closely follwed by the excellent "Need", I think this band could go far, and it will be interesting to see what the band come up with next time around. A nice album. Email:

Rating: 6,5/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)


RACER X 'Technical difficulties'


In my youth RACER X were everything that I loved about heavy metal and hard rock, mouthwatering songs played with amazing musicanship from all the cast, then the band split with various members joining JUDAS PRIEST and the fastest kid of the eighties Paul Gilbert became succesffull with MR.BIG.

Eleven years later and the the start of the new Millenium and the return of RACER X, and I am reminded of just how good a band they actually were,RACER X simply gelled and pulled off amazing virtuoisty stunts from each band member. Each song features the classic bombastic RACER X formular, track one "Phallic Tractor" opens up with a huge amount of outsatnding guitar widdles, this is very much in the eighties formular a'la DOKKEN , OZZY OSBOURNE , unfortunatley this album is minus Bruce Bouillet, but does feature the intense talents of Paul Gilbert, Jeff Martin, John Alderete and Scott Travis. The production is very good and the music is more than just overblown neo classical hard rock, this rocks like a dream,"Snakebite" is very VAN HALEN features some catchy riffs and has a great chorus that reminds me old RACER X and also SWORD.

The title track then pounds and burns into action with manic solos,and shows strength within Paul's complicated harmonies coupled with some rather funky bass thumping a'la BILLY SHEEHAN, "Missmistreater" is also pure hard rock a'la JUDAS PRIEST but is not so good,"Bolt In My Heart"explores commerical hard rock territories and reminds me of BADLANDS and TESLA,"17th Moon" continues in this vein and is very catchy and glorious, this almost sounds similar to the speedy crunching sound of MEGADETH "Rust In Peace" era, "Waiting" is basically a blues based song with plenty of melodies, "Posion Eyes" gets the rock guitar chops burning and again falls into melodic DOKKEN territory with some magic power picking harmonies. "Poison Eyes" is my fave track so far.

Then we get the short instrumental "B.R.O" which I guess stands for "Bach Rip Off" and like "Y.R.O." this is a magic neo classical showcase of Paul's skills and technique,that equals Malmsteen etc."God Of The Sun" is all fiery and atmospheric,whilst "Give It To Me",is colourful and tounge n' cheek and reminds me of DAVID LEE ROTH, whilst Paul incorporates some very fast VAI like hammer-ons,this is a great song and another highlight.

"The Executioner's Song" develops into a fine classy rocker in typical RACER X style that almost reminds me of CACOPHONY,and we round things off with the superb "Children Of The Grave" which is overloaded with speedy runs and lightning licks from all the band members, yes this is a very satisfying album of shred and mayhem, that I find hard to fault,the music is often stunningly played from a very unique blend of musicans,my only wish is that they come over for some shows, then the sparks will fly!!! Who said the eighties is dead!!!

Rating: 8,5/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)



It's amazing really when you think about it, that guitar maestro Tony MaCalpine has been releasing a vast amount of albums for over fifteen years, yet as always with the guitar player success has passed him by, although successfull in his own right he has yet to make the commericial impact that say YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, JOE SATRIANI, and STEVE VAI have.

MaCalpine's music has always been very impressive to these ears,with some of the finest orgasamic soloing of the eighties guitar hero genre,MaCalpine is more subtle though,and plays his songs with care and thought."Master Of Paradise" is a full on hard rock album and features MaCalpine on vocals,he sounds similar to Goran Edman, Don Dokken etc...This is a very Yngwie/Satriani styled neo-classical record and features some superb rockers like "Live And Die" DREAM THEATER meets QUEENSRYCHE, meets TNT,featuring some very complexed and gratifying signatures,"Master Of Paradise" is another favorite and is full of memorable compositions that sound simply incredable and worth their weight in gold.

But the jewel in MaCalpine's crown this time around is the excellent "Maker Is A King" a fret burning song that is played with warp speed chopping melodies and beckons back to the days of MaCalpine's albums "Maximum Security" and "Edge Of Sanity", "Time" is another highlight and is a huge ballad a'la YNGWIE's (Dreaming/Save Your Love) with a beautiful
melochony feel,very elegant and classic sounding,the guitar work is just very majestic and sends shivers down your spine.Yes this is a fine return to form,"Master Of Paradise" reflecs yet another side to MaCalpine's genius,he is a very good singer as well and delivers a fine performance on each song,a great album of unexpected precision and impact.

Rating: 8/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)


EUROPE 'The final countdown - 2000'


Is this a joke? Do we really have to accept this? And did any of the other EUROPE members had any thing to do with this? I don't think so. It's that singer Joey Tempest who is almost bankrupt and is trying to make some money with a new recording of "The final countdown". His two solo-albums never gave him the success he achieved with EUROPE. Why on earth can someone come up with something like this? Do you really think any of the old fans will accept this. I don't think so.

But on the other hand there are enough stupid people out there who are gonna fall for this easily, because if you look at the charts of today you see so many of these stupid useless house/disco songs it would not suprise me if also this terrible remake of the 80s classic "The final countdown" turns out to a big hit. In the meantime all the rockfans will laugh at Joey, because the guy turns out to be a whimp after all. OK Bon jovi went a different way, but he still makes quality music, but this new version of "The final countdown" - EUROPE is so stupid and from the lowest quality you can come up with.

Rating: ?/10


EUROPE 'The final countdown - 2000' (EPIC RECORDS)


AAAHHHHHHH This is crap and bullshit!!!At the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve, hopefully Joey Tempest got turned into a pumpkin never to return to the music scene ever again. This is disastorous and a total sell out, in making a last bit of cash, as Tempest and co fall further into obscurity, I certainily hope that this dancy techno version of "The Final Countdown" is just a one off, and that if Europe do reform,then they stick to their original melodic rock/aor formular, but this is just taking the piss and makes the world of rock music seem even more distant from ever achieving the glory days of the eighties.


Rating: ?/10 (Review by Nicky Baldrian)



GLASSOLINE comes out of Woodbridge, VA, USA and features a girl on lead vocals. The band is playing a mixture of 80s Melodic Rock (like LITA FORD) and 90s oriented Poprock. I must say that their 90s influences are put upfront and this makes this band less interesting for the fan of the typical cheerful 80s female fronted melodic rock. That doesn’t mean this band isn’t interesting at all, because they still have a lot to offer. Opener “Lips are burning” has a very 90s sound, but still a nice melody, kinda like LITA FORD. Next track “Cereal” is a RUNAWAYS typed rocker.

“Passage” is a song which is featured twice on this CD and actually it leaves me cold, just an acoustic ballad, nothing more nothing less. “Boyfriend” is another RUNAWAYS typed rocker. “Leaving the game” is a bit weaker. The remaining two songs are “Forgive me” (nice semi melodic rockballad) and “Sexx” (another RUNAWAYS typed rocker) and actually these songs show GLASSOLINE at their best. If you wanna know how the RUNAWAYS would have sounded like in the 90s, then I urgently recommend you this GLASSOLINE. Check their website at:

Rating: 7/10