Great to have new music from the Divine Comedy and ‘Queuejumper‘ is a catchy little ditty that bodes well for the upcoming double album ‘Office Politics’ due on June 7.
Creed vocalist Scott Stapp returns with a new song – an enjoyable piece of modern rock. Or as the PR blurb says…
“Purpose For Pain” is an auto-biographical rush of memories, from abuse, to escape, and going from bad to worse before finding the beauty in life’s hard-learned lessons. The single is the first from Stapp’s upcoming album “The Space Between The Shadows”, out in July 2019 on Napalm Records.
Also some bonkers space power metal from Gloryhammer, who have a new album, also released on Napalm Records, called ‘Legends From Beyond The Galactic Terrorvortex’ which is out on May 31.
Kian Sparkes is a musician/audio engineer who has released a series of EPs and albums to date. The four songs on the free EP are well produced rock with a distinct country feel. Not surprising given his love of Lynyrd Skynyrd! ‘Has It Got What It Takes’ is a tasty classic rock fuelled tune, featuring plenty of loud guitar. The other stand out is the country rocker ‘Come Outside (And Hold My Hand)’, one perfect for daytime radio. Maybe not the strongest vocalist, however the songs have strong melodies and tales of the everday in the lyrics.
Couple of upcoming releases on MelodicRock Records are in the review pile.
Cannonballz features vocalist Robbie Le Blanc (Find Me, Blanc Faces) plus Living Colour bassit Doug Wimbish and drummer Jonathan Mover (ex-GTR, Marillion) amongst its line-up. Guitarist Alan Friedman is the driving force behind it all and it has a smooth production, bringing to mind Toto and Find Me. The album is out on May 10.
LastWorldsees Jim Shepherd and David Cagle teamed up by MRR head honcho Andrew McNeice, with JK Northrup on mastering. After enjoying last year’s Cagle & Northrup and Jim Shepherd’s solo releases I am pleased to say this team-up works well. Lots of keys and anotehr chance for the vocal talents of David Cagle to come to the fore.
The 2019 summer concert calendar has just been lit up with the announcement of YES’ North American concert tour, “The Royal Affair Tour.” Headlined by prog rock pioneers and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees YES, who triumphed last year with their acclaimed and hugely successful #YES50: Celebrating 50 Years of YES tour, this must-see best-of-British-rock show will also feature Asia with the return of founding member Steve Howe in a special performance, John Lodge of The Moody Blues, and Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy with guest vocals by Arthur Brown. View the trailer:
The first set of dates for “The Royal Affair Tour”
has been announced. The trek will launch Wednesday, June 12 in
Bethlehem, PA and visit cities including Holmdel, NJ; Toronto;
Nashville, Hollywood, FL; Phoenix; Las Vegas; and Irvine, CA before
wrapping Sunday, July 28 in Saratoga, CA. Most shows go on sale Friday,
April 5. More dates will be revealed in the coming weeks.
YES is Steve Howe (guitar – joined 1970), Alan White (drums since 1972), Geoff Downes (keyboards; first joined in 1980), Jon Davison (vocals since 2011) and Billy Sherwood (guitar/keyboards in the 1990s and the late Chris Squire’s choice to take over bass/vocals in 2015), with Jay Schellen on additional drums. See quotes below from YES.
Look for YES to perform songs from throughout their
storied career, one of rock music’s most prized bodies of work, and
their set will honor the memory of YES members Chris Squire and Peter Banks.
• Asia will play their signature songs and pay tribute to their late
founding member John Wetton. A portion of their set will feature
original guitarist Steve Howe in a special performance. Asia will also
introduce its new line-up featuring guitarist/lead vocalist Ron
“Bumblefoot” Thal and bassist Billy Sherwood.
• John Lodge’s set will encompass his classic hits by Rock & Roll
Hall of Fame inductees The Moody Blues and pay tribute to the band’s
recently departed member Ray Thomas.
• Carl Palmer will honor the memory of his fellow Emerson, Lake and
Palmer members Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, with vocals by British
vocalist Arthur Brown.
• As part of the evening’s British theme, there will be Alan White of
YES’ tribute to John Lennon; White was the drummer on Lennon’s solo
material including the recording of “Imagine.”
Steve Howe: “Yes is delighted to headline this celebration of
British music which has been so warmly received in America over the past
Alan White: “I’m looking forward to joining a number of classic
British talents that have delighted so many fans over the past half
Geoff Downes: “This is a unique celebration of the British
contribution to classic rock over many decades. It will be inspirational
to be a part of. And I know it is what John Wetton would have wanted.”
New album Big Big Train will be releasingGrand Tour, their new studio album, on May 17th 2019. It is available for pre-order now: follow the links on the front page of our website. Inspired by the 17th and 18th century custom of the Grand Tour, where young men and women travelled to broaden the mind, Big Big Train have made an album of songs set in distant lands and beyond. Grand Tour features nine new tracks which will take listeners on an epic journey over land and sea and through time and space.
Drummer Nick D’Virgilio says: “There are songs inspired by the legacy of the Italian Renaissance genius, Leonardo da Vinci; songs telling the story of the rise and fall of Rome; of the beautiful mosaics of Ravenna, and of the shipwreck of a great poet, lost in a tempest off the coast of Italy. Along the way, the story of mankind’s greatest ever journey is told.”
Vocalist David Longdon says: “Grand Tour is a celebration of the human experience, of science and art, and of what it means to be alive.” The album will be available on double heavyweight gatefold vinyl (featuring a 24 page booklet), digipack CD (featuring a 52 page booklet), on standard and hi-resolution (24/96) download, and on streaming
Novum Organum (2:33)
The Florentine (8:14)
Roman Stone (13:33)
Theodora in Green and Gold (5:38)
Lonely Robot, the project masterminded by producer, guitarist and singer/songwriter John Mitchell
(Kino, Frost*, Arena, It Bites), recently announced the release of ‘Under Stars’ for the 26th April 2019.
Today sees the launch of the first track taken from the album, and you can watch the video for ‘Ancient Ascendant’ here:
“Ancient Ascendant is a wry poke at and indeed musical equivalent of
the famous ‘evolution of man’ picture. We may be evolutionary but we
seem to be walking backwards into the swampy quagmire of a synthesized
society. Maybe we can learn something from the
simpler times and customs of our ancestors even if we can’t learn from
their history. This was the first song I recorded for Under Stars and I
had a ball recording it!”
once again features drums by long-time collaborator Craig Blundell
(Steven Wilson), plus bass contributions from Steve Vantsis (Fish), with
all other instrumentation on the album delivered
by Mitchell himself.
John comments of the record:
“It is the final part in the astronaut trilogy, and was recorded over
an intensive month and a half period. This time I wanted to reference
my love of 80’s synthwave pop a little more, so beware the 808! The
title is derived from belief that we as humans
spend far too much time not noticing the beauty around us and far too
much time tethered to technology.”
How Bright Is The Sun? (Cosmic Mix)* CD / digital bonus track
Under Stars (Cosmic Mix)* CD / digital bonus track
Lonely Robot – Chapter One – Airlock* CD / digital bonus track
Stars’ is the final album in a trilogy for Lonely Robot, John Mitchell’s
visionary project. This began in 2015 with the ‘Please Come Home’ album
and continued two years later with ”The Big
always saw this as a trilogy, and it feels like the third part of the
Lonely Robot master plan has reached a natural conclusion.”
As with the two previous albums, there is a theme running across the songs here, as Mitchell explains.
“On ‘Please Come Home’, the theme was about the idea that life on
Earth didn’t originate from this planet, while for ‘The Big Dream’, I
was really giving everyone the benefit of Zen musings according to John
Mitchell. This time things are a little more down
to earth. What I am doing is looking the millennial generation, and the
fact that kids today are so tied to their phones and to technology.
They really have no clue what is actually going on around them, and I
find that worrying.”
Mitchell is a man with a rich musical heritage and history – from
musician and vocalist, to songwriter and producer. With bands like
Arena, Frost*, Kino, It Bites and Lonely Robot, to name but
a few, Mitchell has left his mark on the current progressive rock scene
and has been involved in dozens of recordings. He is also a respected
producer & mixer, running Outhouse Studios in the UK and working
with artists as diverse as You Me At Six, Enter Shikari,
Alter Bridge, Asia, Don Broco, Funeral For A Friend, McFly & much
The Beta Machine,
led by bassist, vocalist and keyboardist Matt McJunkins and drummer
Jeff Friedl, and featuring vocalist Claire Acey and
guitarist/keyboardist Nicholas Perez, have signed a global deal
with Andy Gould’s T-Boy Records and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe).
The band’s debut full-length album,
Intruder, will be released worldwide on 29th
March by T-Boy/UMe. It will be released in the UK by UMC. Starting
today, the album is available for preorder on CD, digital, and colour
vinyl LP formats. The album’s lead single, “Embers,”
is also released today and is available for streaming and for immediate
download with album preorder. The Beta Machine is on tour throughout
2019 with headlining dates across North America and Europe.
Based in Los Angeles,
The Beta Machine’s McJunkins and Friedl are well known for their roles
in the rhythm section of A Perfect Circle. “Musicians’ musician” is a
term that can be overused, but in the case of
McJunkins and Friedl, it’s well-suited. Both accomplished and
sought-after musicians, the two first rubbed shoulders when they
auditioned for Ashes Divide, led by A Perfect Circle’s Billy Howerdel.
Recognising a powerful
creative bond that went beyond that band’s ranks, the duo was soon
asked to join Puscifer, led by Tool frontman and APC co-founder Maynard
James Keenan. Their associations still extend
far beyond that cluster of bands: Friedl has performed with Filter and
Devo, McJunkins with Thirty Seconds to Mars, and the pair also appeared
together in Eagles of Death Metal.
As Friedl puts it, he
and McJunkins would take material incompatible with their other
collaborations and stow it away for then-mysterious future use. As the
pair continued to work together, the creative energy
started flowing freely. “We just had such a good rapport with each
other,” McJunkins recalls. “The ideas flowed nicely. There weren’t any
ego problems along the way.”
The pair put a name to
the energetic, futuristic sound they were developing: The Beta Machine.
But they wouldn’t be alone in their mission. They had already worked
and palled around with vocalist Claire Acey
(of Nightmare of the Cat) and guitarist and keyboardist Nicholas Perez,
who both gamely stepped up to join them for The Beta Machine’s lineup.
Together, The Beta
Machine’s members found a respite from the public expectations of their
other musical projects; creative experimentation and eclecticism were
shared goals. The band established itself with
the 2017 release of an EP titled “All This Time,” revealing a new,
exciting sound and aesthetic, at once familiar to fans of
forward-thinking rock, but without the constraints of any genre
“It’s hard for any artist or band to exist outside of a bubble,” says McJunkins.
“They get pigeonholed pretty easily into being known for one thing.
We’re trying to create a wide range so we don’t fall into those traps.”
Fans might hear the Intruder
album as an extension of the “All This Time” EP, springing forward into
fresh and unpredictable terrain. Highlights are everywhere: the album’s
lead single “Embers” rides
on a haunting tandem vocal between McJunkins and Acey, “Bones,” is a
shimmering ballad, and “Palindrome” kicks up the energy for a
One could draw
connective lines from The Beta Machine along myriad avenues of
contemporary popular music. There are shades of goth and new-wave; The
Cure and Blondie here, New Order and Depeche Mode there, synthesized
brooding everywhere. But the band doesn’t lay bare any specific
influences in their music. Rather, a deep wellspring of collective
creative experience fuels The Beta Machine’s songwriting, recording, and
The Beta Machine has
already toured extensively. A Perfect Circle’s recent arena tour
featured the band as its only opener, with McJunkins and Friedl’s
rhythmic engine revving through both sets every night.
The Beta Machine is on the road for much of 2019, bringing
Intruder to cities across North America and Europe. The fledgling
band’s next steps are significant and important to its founding
“It’s such a new project. The world is our oyster,” says Friedl.
“We’re hoping that at the end of the day, we have a pretty vast,
varied fanbase full of people who appreciate all the vibes we put on the
McJunkins adds, “We just want people to enjoy themselves and have fun. We hope we can bring an energy that moves people.”
Whether the sounds of Intruder
inspire their burgeoning fanbase to dance, brood or ponder, it’s all part of the deal for The Beta Machine.