UPDATED ON  APRIL 11 - 2012


KAT PERKINS is the lead singer/songwriter of the Minneapolis based band SCARLET HAZE and after several independent releases (which were also reviewed by us), it is now time for them to release their major label deal debut ‘… one bad bitch’. Musically speaking the band is playing the typical catchy radiofriendly Modern Melodic Rock like we have heard it quite a lot the past few years (HALESTORM, DAMONE, THE PRETTY RECKLESS, PARAMORE…), but SCARLET HAZE is doing it at such a high level, it keeps you motivated to listen through the whole record over and over again. Besides that, the vocals of Kat are very strong and basically sounding the way you want to hear it from a female singer, meaning in a true Rock format that makes you remember the glorious days of LITA FORD, ROMEO’S DAUGHTER, VIXEN, WITNESS, LAOS and such (although I even sometimes hear similarities to PINK and KELLY CLARCKSON if I am allowed to mention such names here J). Especially during the ballads “Hero” (has all the ingredients to become a major hitsong!) and “Give me a reason” we get to hear almost 80s sounding AOR Power Ballads with truly magnificent vocals from Kat, featuring deadly catchy choruses that will never get out of your head after you heard it just once! Same goes for the midtempo melodic rockers “King of Loneliness” (SUPERB!) and “Oxygen” that together with “Hero” do sound a lot like classic 80s LITA FORD/VIXEN! In total 12 tracks are included and uptempo rockers such as “Blame it on you”, “Can’t get enuff” and “Sorry” are all sounding very catchy and thanks to the major label deal for the massive production, the whole record sounds like one of the strongest female fronted rockalbums at the moment. There are a couple of fillers (“Theres the door” and “Reach down”), but in general, this SCARLET HAZE album is a highly recommended album with non-stop killer material! Is it better than the new FIONA and ROBIN BECK albums? Yes, I do feel it definitely has much more to offer… Check it out for yourself at:

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)



GOOD OLD WAR is a band from Philadelphia, USA, formed around Keith Goodwin on Vocals, Guitar and Keys, Dan Schwartz on Guitar, Vocals and Tim Arnold on Drums, Keys, Accordion, Vocals. They released their debut back in 2008, followed it up with a Billboard top 50 chartering 2nd album in 2010 and now in 2012 they have their 3rd album available. The album is titled ‘Come back as rain’ and without any doubts, this is quite a sensational record. The music of GOOD OLD WAR is actually pure Singer-Songwriter meets Folk-Rock with a slight Psychedelic touch, but slightly rockier than for example FLEET FOXES and also more uptempo and song based with some really beautiful melodies and harmonies that do resemble a classic American Westcoast approach as well. This is one of those albums you put on, sit back, relax and just dream away to different worlds, so actually it is also a perfect ‘on the road’ kinda record. Although GOOD OLD WAR’s type of music is currently very popular and we have heard similar sounding records quite a few times recently, but it has also been done a zillion times in the classic late 1960s/1970s era, this new album of GOOD OLD WAR is still a very impressive album that belongs to the best out there at the moment in the Folk-Rock, light Psychedelic Rock and Singer/Songwriter genres. Songs like “Over and Over”, “Calling Me Names”, “Amazing Eyes” and “Touch the Clouds (Taste the Ground)” show the incredible level of this band and combine influences from CROSBY, STILLS, NASH and YOUNG, THE BYRDS and FLEET FOXES to an absolute perfection.

 (Points: 9.0 out of 10)



The Scottish singer/songwriter JAMES HARKER is not delivering one, but 2 full-length CDs as a debut album. ‘The red room’ is the title of the record, which has kept him busy since 2008. The result is a Classic 1970s style Singer/Songwriter album, with a strong focus on the Piano/Vocal department. The sound is crystal clear, with high pitched vocals also here and there, but I have to say that James sounds better in the lower octave range than when switching to the higher vocal octave. Although ELTON JOHN is a comparison one might draw at the start, vocally James is more diverse actually and also musically more interesting than Elton has ever been. Especially during a song like “Counterfeit” there is a real atmospheric approach with some nice female backing vocals as well. The music is quite calm and sounding very laid-back and is quite interesting to check out if you’re a fan of ANTHONY AND THE JOHNSONS, NICK CAVE, TORI AMOS… Somehow his voice even has some similarities to TONY HADLEY during “Lost soul music” and as already mentioned, the music is also very diverse, with a jazzy 1920s mood swing type of tune titled “Flimsy whimsy” slipped right through too. Actually it is hard to put this album in one specific genre, as it offering a very wide explosion of music styles, although atmospheric piano/vocal inspired Pop might be a nice description. Check it out for yourself at:

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)



‘Like the devil does’ is the title of the new CD of the Canadian diva MISS QUINCY, who offers Bluesy/Jazzy R&B based music, which is quite nicely done and reminding a lot of NINA SIMONE and ELLA FITZGERALD. The vocals are very good, but the music might for some be a little too much out-of-the-ordinary, as it really captures an almost 1920s Piano-Bar setting, which is of course very interesting and when it is done as well as on this disc, certainly very impressive. It even reminds me of the side-project LEE AARON did somewhere during the 1990s, yet a little rawer overall. However, it really takes some time to get used to the sound, but I’m quite sure that live the impact of MISS QUINCY will be even better than on this disc, because this woman definitely has got something a lot of other female singers out there are missing! More at:

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)



Ireland has IMELDA MAY as the current Rockabilly Queen, but in Australia there is a gorgeous lady called LANIE LANE in this music category. The name of course is very close to LANA LANE, the US based Melodic rock singer/songwriter, but this LANIE LANE is definitely doing something completely different, because the music is more akin to a mix of Classic 1950s Rockabilly and Rock’n’Roll. The comparisons to IMELDA MAY are quite obvious, both visually and musically speaking. However, as far as the music goes, one could also say that this type of music is influenced by such legendary female singers like CONNIE FRANCIS and BILLIE HOLIDAY, whom more or less created the same kinda music in a long but not forgotten past, yet a little rockier and sounding more fresh and up-to-date of course. Opener “Bang Bang” is as close to pure Rockabilly one can get. The following songs follow a slightly different, but very interesting direction that leave space open for other music genres to join in, mixing up Blues, Rock and Roll, Country, some Jazz and even a touch of Folk here and there. Lanie’s vocals are very strong and in particular songs like “Like Me Meaner”, “What Do I Do”, “The Devil's Sake” and “Heartbeat” are a pleasure to listen to. ‘To the horses’ is her debut album and together with her band she recorded this album in 4 days, so who says that great albums need time and money to sound convincing! LANIE LANE is a new music icon to keep your eyes wide open for in the near future, because she might well become the next big things. For now check out her site at: and and

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)



Coal mine it is, vocally reminding me of JIM PETERIK somehow, but then with more soul and actually going into JIMMY BARNES meets JOE COCKER territory here and there! We welcome MATT ANDERSEN, a singer/songwriter and guitarist from Canada, who started his career in music back in 2002 in a band called FLAT TOP,, with whom he toured as support for acts like APRIL WINE, LOVERBOY, AMERICA, LITTLE FEAT, etc. However, after a while, he started a solo career and his latest album ‘Coal mining blues’ contains a great mixture of Rootsy Rock and Roll, Blues and Ballads. Sometimes reminding of the solo stuff JIM PETERIK has released in the past, as well as the stuff the already mentioned JIMMY BARNES has released throughout the past 2 decades, so Bluesy Rock and Roll with influences from Americana, Folk and Country slipped through here and there. The vocals of Matt are top-of-the-bill and the first couple of songs are strong Country Folksy Rockers, such as “Don’t wanna give in”, “Fired up” and “Lay it on the line” (with its shuffle beat). It’s not all rock and blues that we get to hear, because there’s also balladry material of the OTIS REDDING kind included, like one can hear during the tiltetrack, “Baby I’ll be there” and “Home sweet home”, songs MICHAEL BOLTON could have made 40 years ago before he went into Housewive rehab! And how about “Heartbreaker” with it’s almost FATS DOMINO sounding beat, but then different with more rocky arrangements and once again really great rock vocals! This man has got the voice of a rocker, reminding a lot of JIMMY BARNES. There’s also some acoustic material included, on which Matt truly shows his vocal talent. The album is also featuring 2 covers, WILLIE P. BENNETTs “Willie Diamond Joe” and CHARLIE RICH’s “Feel Like Goin’ Home” and all together the album has a very honest sound with really excellent vocals by Matt. Check it out for yourself at:

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)



FRANKA DE MILLE is a London based singer/songwriter who is making her debut with the CD ‘Bridge the roads’. The album is filled with very nice calmer singer-songwriter type of popmusic with an orchestral back-up. There are some very obvious French Chanson influences, partly due to the use of the violin, cello, accordion, mandolin and flute. Franka’s vocals are strong and quite powerful, sounding really beautiful in especially the song “Birds”.  Some comparisons to KATE BUSH, JONI MITCHELL and TORI AMOS are possible, although vocally not as high pitched, but nevertheless Franka has a superb warm clean melodic voice. Most of the material is laid-back, but the album starts with the uptempo swinging sounds of “Come on”. After a while the music really gets a sorta melancholic approach, which thanks to Franka’s beautiful vocals really bring you in extase. Well done for a debut record, which took 2 years to create and more info can be found at: and

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)



Singer/songwriter ROBERT LAMM has a long career behind him, which started after he moved from Brooklyn, New York to Chicago, where he performed as part of the band THE TRONDELLS in 1962 on South Side of Chicago. Although he had some music lessons in NYC, this was his first band and in the later 1960s he would go on form the band CHICAGO, which became one of America’s most successful bands ever. However, he also continues a solo career, which so far has lead to many album releases, of which the latest is called ‘Living proof’. Already by looking at the front cover, it makes you think this must be a pure 1980s inspired album and indeed also musically speaking there is a clear touch of Westcoast/Hi-Tech 80s Poprock of the 80s CHICAGO/TOTO ‘’Fahrenheit’/MR. MISTER kind to be heard. No rockers can be find here and the drumcomputer sound is a little bit of a shame, we nevertheless get to hear some really smooth music with excellent vocals of Robert! It also has an early to mid 90s approach, kinda like that 2nd MITCH MALLOY record (if anyone remembers?) and, SAHARA SNOW, the project of RICK SPRINGFIELD. The album features a massive guest list, including Prog Guru TRENT GARDENR and the legendary ROBERT BERRY. The highlights on this new CD of ROBERT LAMM are “Arise (storm)”, “Living proof” (excellent proggy aor piece, very strong melodies, great vocals, more songs like this could have raised this album to higher places), “I confess” (pure 80s hi-tech AOR of the ROBERT BERRY kind, PLANET 3/JAY GRAYDON), the additional female vocal (ZOSIA) fronted “Those crazy things” and “Liquid sky” and “Keep the faith” (hello 80s hi-tech pop, shame about the drumcomputer). The second part of the album is leaning more towards AOR, but overall this is Westcoast-Hi-Tech Pop of the CHICAGO, TOTO, PLANET 3 style, so fans of that style should really check this out. More info at: and

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)



‘Broad’ is the 3rd album of Canadian singer-songwriter TERESA LEVASSEUR. She is an established singer, pianist and accordion player in the city of Toronto and on her new album the music may be described as very diverse. Dare to be different is quite clearly the case here! Free your mind here, with the horns and all going on, this is a more jazzy be-bop ish album with some great vocals. Although the CD really feels like the 1920s NINA SIMONE, SHIRLEY BASSEY, ELLA FITZGERALD and such, Teresa is also influenced by Nashville. She has the voice of a Harlem Gospel singer, very  impressive, while the music is taking us into a real different area, such as can best heard during “What We’re Worth” and “We Should Dance”. Later on the CD it even gets a little more bluesy, like on “Still got love” or the more modern type of balladry such as “Do run”. Things get almost completely out-of-control during the reggae beat of “Walk on by”. Quality stuff for sure, but only recommended to the open minded people. The vocals of Teresa are clean and spot-on, more info at:

(Points: 8.1 out of 10)



Toronto, Canada based singer/songwriter JAY AMAR is one of many musicians out there finding their home in the classic Nashville sound, which means we get to hear a nice mix of Folk, Blues, Country and Singer-Songwriter music. His latest CD is titled ‘Passing through’, which starts with “Seriously delirious”, a piano-acoustic guitar driven Jazzy Laid-back piece that even recalls memories of RAY CHARLES, but later on the CD we get to hear a strong Country twist into the direction of JOHNNY CASH, while there are also a lot of slower bluesy stuff included. Actually the best song is the calm acoustic titletrack, but also the cry out to Nashville in the song “ Hold On Nashville” is quite nice. Make sure not to miss this new album of Jay (his 5th I believe) if you’re a fan of traditional American music, yet made by someone who lives in Canada! More info at:

(Points: 8.1 out of 10)



LION MUSIC also re-issued both the 2nd and 3rd album, so anyone who missed these albums the first time around will be glad to have another chance. The reviews can be found in the archive pages of our website.

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)



The Progressive Metalband LORD OF MUSHROOMS returns with their 3rd CD titled ‘Perspectives’. It took them 7 years to finish, but with new lead singer GUS MONSANTO (ex-ADAGIO), they have released their finest album so far. What you basically get to hear here is an excellent mix of strong lead vocals, lots of harmonies, sounding very melodic all together, mostly straight-ahead material, so no freaking stuff here, justreally good clean quality Progressive Metal in the style of PAGAN’S MIND. Songs like “Warmth In The Wilderness” and ”Grace (Dedicated To…) are really excellent. There are lots of beautiful melodies to be found on this disc and in the end they sound like a slightly lighter version of BALANCE OF POWER and the already mentioned PAGAN’S MIND. The album was mixed in Canada by Richard Chycki (RUSH, AEROSMITH, JAMES LABRIE, DREAM THEATER…) and mastered in the USA by Andy VanDette (RUSH, DEEP PURPLE, PORCUPINE TREE), while the artwork of the frontcover was designed by artist Travis Smith (OPETH, DEVIN TOWNSEND, NEVERMORE). Concluded, this is another highly recommended album for the fans of melodic progmetal out there!

(Points: 8.6 out of 10)



Here we have something quite sensational and once again it is coming out of Sweden. Musically speaking ETERNAL is offering classic 1980s big time catchy Melodic Rock/AOR, with an excellent use of keyboards and guitars. Some of the material is akin to Melodic Heavy Rock and even the odd Metal influences are hearable. The vocals of CHRISTER GARDS are very strong, especially in the higher vocal range it sounds superb (even reminding of the NOCTURNAL RITES singer, with some STEVE LEE (RIP) / GOTTHARD similarities as well), although in the lower range there’s a little struggling going on, so some work need to be done on that part. However, all together this CD is definitely sounding fantastic and after several spins it is clear that this is actually very impressive and highly recommended to all the Melodic Rockfans out there. Comparisons to aforementioned bands are clear, with also some early HAREM SCAREM influences as well. THE POODLES might well be the best comparison, yet a little heavier perhaps and also featuring better vocals. As already mentioned, the guitarwork is really great and the best songs are the uptempo melodic rockers, such as “You can’t break us”, “Heroes” and “Human” as well as the bombastic midtempo “Start of a new era” that sounds like a hybrid between YNGWIE MALMSTEEN of the late 1980s and early HAREM SCAREM, although perhaps the legendary Swedish band NATION might all together be the absolute best comparison here. Great job from start to finish, sounding damn perfect most of the time and combined with a high quality sound/production, this is one to check out for sure. More at:

(Points: 8.4 out of 10)



Instrumental Fusion-Prog is what we get to hear from the Russian band DIVERSION VOICE. Besides 2 guitarists in the line-up, there’s also a saxplayer who gives it a real Jazzy feeling. Done very well this hybrid of prog and jazz, which you can hear for yourself at:

(Points: 8.1 out of 10)



DAY MOON is a Portuguese Progressive Rockband delivering a quality album in the shape of ‘All tomorrows’, which is in fact already their 4th CD so far. However, the first 3 albums were only featuring multi-instrumentalist FRED LESSING, but on this new album there’s a massive list of guest musicians, including Andy Tillison (THE TANGENT), who also co-produced and mastered the album. Musically speaking this is pure Progressive Rock like the Progfans would like to hear it. There’s a lot of diversity going on here, with especially during the song “Transcendenz” a fantastic guitarsolo by American guitarist PETE PROWN. Fred plays a lot of diverse instruments and makes it therefore a very interesting record, due to the different sounds one can hear all throughout the CD. Fred’s vocals are a little less appealing, but on a few songs we can also hear some guest vocalists, especially during the last couple of songs, which also contain the highlights, such as “Arklow” and “News from the outside”. Anyway, not a sensational release, but still a quality CD from this Portuguese progrock project. More at:

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)



Russians are more known for their rich Classical Music history than their modern Pop Music history and here we have a 3-piece band playing instrumental Classical Music with just 3 instruments (piano, drums and bass). Actually, the 8 included songs also show a love for Jazz-Fusion thanks to the rhythm section besides the piano led Classical Music themes and all together they are doing a very nice job here. No prog here, but something completely different to check out at:  

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)



MOEBIUS CAT is a Canadian band with a CD release on the Russian label MALS. The band is based around multi-instrumentalist ROMAN BERSHADSKY, who is playing drums, keys, percussion, djembe and wrote all the music and lyrics of the latest CD ‘End of time’. Vocally he is assisted by an excellent female singer called JODI KRANGLE on several songs, but also male singers KARL MOHR and ADRIANO SPINA appear on a few songs each. I have to say that the female singer Jodi makes a real impression on me personally with her amazing vocal style. It’s a major let-down she didn’t sing all the songs and also when checking the internet she is only doing voice-over jobs. This singer should be out there making music on her own, with such excellent vocals she could easily gain a lot of attention! Anyway, MOEBIUS CAT is a sort of Progrock thing, very calm and laid-back most of the time, with some Dark wave touches as well. PORCUPINE TREE comes to mind here and there and especially the titletrack and “It’s over” are 2 really beautiful songs that even remind a bit of MOSTLY AUTUMN, RENAISSANCE and KARNATAKA, while vocally it has a touch of a KATE BUSH. If only Jodi had sung all the tracks on the album, then this would have been one-helluva record! Nevertheless, check it out at:

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)



It’s almost unbelievable, but the 4 songs on the CD of the Italian duo PULSEVE are only featuring drums and bass, so the rhythm section and nothing more, but still it feels like a full band playing with guitars and keyboards as well. Anyway, the result is an interesting mini-CD that is best described as a mix of Math and Progressive Rock. 4 instrumentals are making up 30 minutes of bass and drums duals between drummer DIEGO FRANCHINO and bassist MAURIZIO VEGLIO. Quite original actually, so check it out for yourself at:

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)



Out of San Francisco, California we welcome the band NEW DIPLOMAT. Their debut EP-CD ‘Buy yourself some freedom’ offers 6 quality songs that are mostly uptempo Melodic Poprock/New Wave orientated, not very far removed from what a lot of UK bands have been doing the past few years. It sounds a bit like a guitar orientated version of WHITE LIES (circa their debut). Although NEW DIPLOMAT is an independent band, they sound as if they are signed to some major label and their album has a real high quality vibe written all over the place. Fans of typical British catchy New Wave ish Powerpoprock will absolutely love this American band and any of the 6 included tracks will be appreciated by fans of acts like THE VACCINES, WHITE LIES, FRANZ FERDINAND… Check them out at: 

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)



Female singer/songwriter MALOU BERG from Sweden has been in the music business for more than 30 years, releasing quite a few albums during that period, but this is my first experience to hear and review their music. ‘Breathe out’ is her latest release, an album that contains new versions of songs that can originally be found on 4 previous releases of Malou. Musically speaking we are stepping into an almost epic ambient World Music kinda direction that is actually not far removed from ENYA and CLANNAD somehow, so with a real Irish/Celtic kinda influence. The voice is then very important and thankfully Malou is blessed with a beautiful voice that makes this record a pleasure to listen to. Here and there it has a Christian/Christmas kinda feeling, but that’s not such a surprise, because in fact this is a Christmas album! Nevertheless, everyone will agree that this is high quality music. Most of the songs are quite laid-back, with soaring vocals and both a huge choir and a massive orchestration as background. The songs are sung in Swedish, so most of us will not understand the lyrics, but after repeated listens it is clear that Malou is a very talented and passionate singer/songwriter. More info at: and  

(Points: 8.1 out of 10)



The Danish band TINKICKER has released their conceptual debut album ‘The playground at the edge of the abyss’ on the Russian label MALS RECORDS. Surprisingly this band delivers quite a strong album here. TINKICKER was formed by composer/guitarist SOREN LINDBERG and lyricist/drummer KLAUS HERFORT back in 2006. Later on they found an excellent singer by the name of KLAUS BASTIAN, who clearly gives the band an extra needed touch in the progrockworld. The Melodic Progressive Rock of the band does have some similarities to PORCUPINE TREE and RIVERSIDE, though a little more accessible and even catchier, as the vocal melodies during the choruses are very prominent. “Li’L Mary” is a song that shows TINKICKER at their very best, featuring some haunting melodies sung by Klaus and precise guitarwork of the PINK FLOYD kind. Progfans are gonna love this record for sure. Some of the material is a little less proggy and even goes into a Melodic Heavy Rock direction that makes me even remember of bands like CONCEPTION and AXXIS during the uptempo “Man with the evil eye”. On the other hand, this makes the band quite interesting and overall I really feel this album should be seen as a concept almost Rock-Opera kinda album, because similairites to AYREON, KAYAK and such are very clear. Check out the band for yourself at:

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)



The Swedish band CROSS actually does not need an introduction, because already since 1988 they have been releasing records every now and then. A lot of the 1980s established Neo-Progbands seem to keep on going, as if the music climate never changes. It all started with MARILLION and many bands that followed the same sorta Neo-progstyle and now in 2012 there are still quite a few left. Last year PALLAS and PENDRAGON released new albums and now also CROSS delivers a new album. The band’s line-up has remained intact regarding the 3 core members (HANSI CROSS – Guitars, vocals, keys, percussion, LOLLO ANDERSSON – Bass and TOMAS HJORT – Drums), but also this album features plenty of guest appearances, including vocalist JOCK MILGARDH. I have to add here that I do feel that a lot of neo-progbands out there are more concerned about their instrumental parts and do not pay too much attention to the vocals, because also CROSS do not have a really great singer. This is matched with some harmonyvocals that make the songs a bit catchier (such as during the opening cut “Human resolution”) and also like already mentioned, instrumental the band has got that typical Neo-Prog click. It’s all been done before and also not much change compared to their earlier records, nevertheless CROSS delivers another good clean quality Neo-Progalbum that will bring hope for the people into IQ, PENDRAGON and PALLAS. More at:

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)



Now here we have something really special, because American rock singer/songwriter and guitarist MONTE PITTMAN delivers a stunning new CD in the shape of ‘Pain, love and destiny’, which is his 2nd by the way. You may wonder what is so good about this release then, because great new albums are released every day. Well, Monte has released an album which is actually a journey through the past, because almost every song has got memorable melodies that make you think of a classic tune from the past, but Monte has truly created 14 original tunes, on which he plays all instruments and sings. The music is always melodic and most of the time quite rocking, sounding like a less rockier version of FOO FIGHTERS crossed with a less polished DAUGHTRY. Basically it is a Melodic Rock album with a modern approach, but loaded with melodies in the style of the classic past, ranging from American Singer/Songwriter, Westcoast, AOR/Melodic Rock and early 90s Alternative Rock. The result is as already mentioned very impressive and with no less than 14 tracks, of which a few are even quite lengthy, this CD is definitely a recommended one. Monte’s melodic clean vocals are very good (a la NEAL MORSE) and despite his guitar playing is sadly a bit pushed to the background in several songs, he is clearly a superb guitarist as well, to be heard on a few of the longer tracks. When slowly going through the facts and figures on his bio sheet, I learned that Monte is not just another highly skilled multi-instrumentalist from LA trying to make it with solo material, because he also played and worked with major acts like PRONG, ADAM LAMBERT and MADONNA (!). Yes, you read that well, as in fact MADONNA learned playing a guitar thanks to Monte! Monte has already been MADONNA’s guitarist for 10 years now, playing on every single Tour she does, so I guess you can say that he is able to make a living with this, but thankfully he also continues with his solo material. Included on this new album of him is a lot of diversity musically speaking, because as mentioned there are elements of Westcoast, 90s Alternative Rock, Singer Songwriter Pop/Rock and AOR mixed up, with the tempo going from calmer, proggy, epic almost PINK FLOYDish material to semi-modern melodic ballad/rocker style of the DAUGHTRY type to uptempo Anthem Rock of the FOO FIGHTERS kind. I have to say that the uptempo Melodic Rocker “Close your eyes” really feels good and is almost sounding like a song that NIGHT RANGER or BON JOVI wished they had recorded, so a real winner here and a damn catchy singable Stadium Anthem uptempo Rocker for sure! Also a song like “Somewhere in the middle” has got the catchy Radio-ready rockvibe and actually each of the 14 included tracks sounds interesting, because take for example the epic dark proggy “(I am) the Black Rabbit” that combines a Classic 1970s Progrock moment a la PINK FLOYD/GENESIS with early 90s Alternative Rock in the style of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS/ALICE IN CHAINS and also includes a Classic 80s shredding Metal guitar solo a la RANDY RHOADS, JASON BECKER, TONY MACALPINE, while the choruses has some THE BEATLES similarities! The enormous diversity of this album makes it a highly recommended piece to actually any music fan out there and not many albums are able to combine influences of PINK FLOYD, BON JOVI, DAUGHTRY, THE BEATLES, ALICE IN CHAINS, FOO FIGHTERS so perfectly! SPOCK’S BEARD and NEAL MORSE fans will also like this album a lot and final remark to be made here is that KELLE RHOADS (the brother of the late RHANDY RHOADS) played piano on this album. Now go and check all further info on the highly talented Monte and his music at:

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)



Although the New York based band MY LOST REMEDY is said to be influenced by the typical British New Wave of bands like DEPECHE MODE, MUSE, RADIOHEAD and such, they are clearly a bit more American Melodic Rock orientated than those acts. Especially straight-ahead uptempo rockers like “Azalea”, “Diagonal”, “Erased all the progress” and the superb “Why you’re gone” are almost pure catchy Melodic Rocksongs, yet with vocals in the style of the already mentioned DEPECHE MODE. In fact, the sound is damn close to the guitar orientated debut album of WHITE LIES actually and trust me, that is a good thing! The production is top-notch, instrumental the band is sounding perfect and a lot of the tunes are radio-ready. Have to say that during the more midtempo based material, the band sounds less inspiring than during the uptempo rockers. Where as UK bands tend to sound quite boring after a while (SNOW PATROL, COLDPLAY, RADIOHEAD), the American equivalent of that sound is sounding always catchier and more structured. MY LOST REMEDY is a very good example of a band that combines the British and American way of making Rockmusic. Done very well and this could well have been a major label release! Check it out for yourself at:

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)



No less than 16 tracks are included on the first CD of the South-African singer/songwriter/musician JON DELINGER. Although South Africa is not quite known for its massive Rock history, they had a few interesting acts, such as the legendary AOR band STINGRAY, the Melodic Rockband OFF THE EDGE and multi-instrumentalist TREVOR RABIN. The CD was released already in 2010, but so far I haven’t seen that much exposure, which is a pity, because ‘Never walk alone’ is definitely a quality release. Musically speaking it is very American orientated, taking influences of Classic Rock in the guitarsound and mixing it up with melodies of the typical Modern Melodic Rock. Most of the songs are semi-ballad to midtempo orientated in the style of THREE DOORS DOWN, NICKELBACK, DAUGHTRY and such and that is the only pity, because when it gets more uptempo like the awesome “She's So Beautiful “ things get quite sensational. Nevertheless, everything sounds really good and there are no weak tracks among the 16 included. Jon has got an excellent voice, very soulful and even touching JEFF SCOTT SOTO and LENNY KRAVITZ here and there, also visually speaking. Then let’s have a run through those songs. The album starts with “Crossroad” and “It's you”, both calmer very American orientated semi-rockers a la DAUGHTRY. Up next is the already mentioned “She's So Beautiful”, which is by far the best song on the album and is basically an uptempo 80s catchy melodic rocker. “Sail Away” is sounding quite bluesy, while “Orchard Road” is a surprise cover of LEO SAYER. Following track “Better day” is a GOLDEN EARRINGish rocker and the next 2 songs (“Never walk alone” and “Chemical Times”) are rockier and even a bit reminding of ALTER BRIDGE. The 2nd part of the CD gets a more laid-back/balladish twist, with the songs “Falling Rain” (semi-ballad, AORish a la BRYAN ADAMS), “You Will Be There” and “Uyingelosi” (both semi-acoustic ballads a la BRYAN ADAMS again), “Just To See You Smile” (Country ish twangle, great song actually, BO BICE ish, some more songs in this style on a future CD would be welcome), “Goodbye My Friend” (AORish rockballad) and “Love With No Condition” (blues).  As bonus there are 2 additional tracks (“Story” and “Kids”) added to the original CD, because I received the new updated version of the 2010 album of Jon. Concluded, next time some more uptempo rockers wouldn’t hurt, as especially towards the end of the CD it all gets a bit too slow and relaxed, although keeping the music at a high level  from start to finish. Check it out for more info at: and and and!/jondelinger 

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)



Although she was settled in Nashville, singer/songwriter TORI SPARKS was actually born in Chicago and is currently living in Barcelona, Spain in order to promote herself to the European audience. However she is actually travelling all over the world, performing well over 200 concerts each year. She has already released 4 albums on her own record label GLASS MOUNTAIN RECORDS, but this is the first time I am able to hear and review her music. 2 albums were sent to us, but actually these are 3, as the latest effort is a double CD titled 'Until Morning/Come Out Of The Dark'. Tori has an excellent voice and the album ‘The scorpion in the story’ is a nice mix of calmer acoustic tingled material and more uptempo semi-country/shuffle type of songs, really beautiful music, honest and true. The new record ‘Until Morning/Come Out Of The Dark' is more uptempo and slightly rockier than the previous album, also with more prominent use of drums in the rhythm section. The album was produced by David Henry (R.E.M., COWBOY JUNKIES, WIDESPREAD PANIC) and Roger Moutenot (ELVIS COSTELLO, VELVET UNDERGROUND, GYPSY KINGS, ROSANNA CASH) and features special guest vocalists SHAWN MULLINS, MIKE FARRIS and DAVID MEAD. Although a double-CD set, it is actually a double-EP, because in total 13 not-too-lengthy songs are included, just spread on 2 discs, as to symbolize there is a difference, because ‘Until Morning' reflects the dark side of Tori’s vocal and songwriting skill, while 'Come Out Of The Dark' is a little lighter regarding the songwriting and also touches more the Americana/Folk side of her. Highlights can especially be found on ‘Come out of the dark’, such as “There is an ocean”, which is an almost melodic pop/rock affair, in a beautiful LUBA style, “Letter to a wretch #2” (a duet, with superb vocals of Tori by the way), “Tennessee line” (country ish) and the beautiful acoustic titletrack. Without a doubt, this is high quality music and let’s hope her upcoming non-stop touring throughout 2012 in support of 'Until Morning/Come Out Of The Dark' will pay off and give her the credit she deserves. More at: and and

(Points: 8.5 out of 10)



Originally from Australia, singer/songwriter KATIE COLE moved to Los Angeles, where she has underwent a make-over musically speaking, because in California things are done quite differently than in Australia. Katie is currently in the studio recording a full-length CD with none-other than the legendary TIM PIERCE playing guitars, but she was kind enough to sent us her 2 mini-CDs. The included music is of a very high level, sorta typical breezy Californian AOR/Poprock, super catchy and radio-ready. Although these concern independent releases, these albums could well have been major label releases. All 5 included songs on the ‘Lost inside a moment’ album are catchy AOR/Melodic Poprocktunes, with as highlights the uptempo rockers “Always” and “Sunrise”, although a semi-ballad “Found you” is also a pleasure to listen to. This is typical American radio-ready catchy Poprock that could easily be way up there in the Billboard Charts. Katie is a gifted musician, playing guitars and keys, writing her own songs and with a voice and the looks of an angel. The other album ‘Melodiem’ is in the same style, perhaps a little more acoustic tingled, but also showing her catchy melodic rockside. Some of the material on this album even reminds me a bit of THE WEBB SISTERS, THE CORRS, 80s FLEETWOOD MAC, 80s THE BANGLES and THE PIERCES, especially during the beautiful “Matter of time”. I am really looking forward to her first full-length CD to be released hopefully later this year and all I can say for now is that fans of catchy female fronted Melodic Poprock/AOR a la ROBIN BECK, ISSA and such will absolutely love this! We are definitely gonna hear from Katie in the future. For now, more info at:

(Points: 8.7 out of 10)



The Polish band AT THE LAKE has changed female lead singers a lot of times in the past, but now they have released their first full-length CD with singer NATALIA SIKORA. The band features 2 more beautiful girls in the line-up, namely Violin player MILENA GAWOREK (also bandleader/composer) and Keyboardplayer ANNA MENTEL, while 3 male musicians complete AT THE LAKE. The music the band is playing is very European orientated, so combining bombastic Symphonic Melodic Heavy Rock/Metal with Folk, Celtic and Gothic influences. For an independent release, it all sounds very professional and without a doubt highly recommended to fans of SIRENIA, LEAVES’ EYES, MIDNATTSOL, KAIRA and of course NIGHTWISH… Natalia’s vocals are quite good actually, with an impressive vibrato, although she sings with a slight accent, so some improvements in her English is recommended, but the music has a very nice setting, thanks to the Violin of Milena, who clearly is a gifted musician. All included songs follow more or less the typical European female fronted bombastic Symphonic Melodic Metalsound and thanksfully, it is done very well. Especially recommended if you liked the recent NIGHTWISH record. Highlight is the midtempo “Running out of time” that sounds very massive and features some haunting melodies. If you’re starting to become interested and you’re a fan of mentioned acts you should check out AT THE LAKE at:

(Points: 8.2 out of 10)

(All reviews by Gabor Kleinbloesem except where noted)