Yardstones – White Lies [2015]

Country Sweden

Style Hard Rock

Rating 82/100

Band Members Jim Lantz – Vocals, Adde – Guitar, Sankt – Guitar, Frankie – Bass, Noah – Drums

Tracks 01. Sweet Melody of Love, 02. Freedom, 03. Better Off Alone, 04. Primadonna, 05. Roses Are Wild, 06. Dear John, 07. Show Me Love, 08. On Delay, 09. Shed No Tears, 10. Afterlife, 11. Honesty

Profile Yardstones are a 5 piece hard rock band, formed 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Influenced by the legends of rock n roll like Guns N Roses, H.E.A.T., Aerosmith and Hardcore Superstar, the band has developed a unique approach within the genre by reinvigorating classic rock with a modern sound and style. It is melodic, right sleazigt, well composed and you notice that the band would hit big with their first real release. Their debut album “White Lies” was released on May 15th, 2015 and has garnered over 80,000 streams on Spotify alone. Shortly after the release, the band then played at Sweden Rock Festival. For the remainder of 2015, Yardstones have played many gigs throughout Sweden and are now looking forward to taking their new material abroad.

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Spyz – Thumbs Up [1994]

Country USA

Style Melodic Rock/AOR

Rating 81/100

Band Members Doug “Mellow D” Covington – Backing vocals,saxophone,percussion, Walter Mrakovcic – Bass, Marco LaPadura – Drums, Al Alonso – Guitars, Ginni Samardge – Vocals

Tracks 01. When I’m Alone With You (3:04), 02. Wild Child (3:40), 03. Tearing Out My Heart (4:43), 04. Million Miles Away (4:16), 05. Traces Of Red (4:06), 06. What You Want (5:16), 07. Without My Love (3:19), 08. Baby Baby (3:40), 09. Heaven (4:21), 10. Temporarily Disconnected (4:19)

Profile Mega rare female fronted band from New York releasing this album in 1994 privately in extremely limited copies. AOR, solid and melodic is what we have in here reminds bands like Alyson Avenue, Aurora, Legend and Darby Mills solo album. Singer Ginni Samardge has a good voice very much like Anette Blyckert. With a strong following, Spyz played at such venues as The China Club, Limelight, Nobody’s, and Kenny’s Castaways. They ended up going their separate ways in the mid 90’s.

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Runner – Runner [1979]

Country United Kingdom

Style Hard Rock

Rating 79/100

Band Members Mickie Feat – Bass,backing vocals, Dave Dowle – Drums, Allan Merrill – Guitars,keyboards,backing vocals, Steve Gould – Vocals,guitars

Additional Musicians Ian Lynn – Keyboards, Ray Cooper – Percussion, Jon Cole – Slide guitar

Tracks 01. Fooling Myself (2:59), 02. Run For Your Life (4:11), 03. Broken Hearted Me (3:43), 04. Truly From Within (3:23), 05. Dynamite (4:24), 06. Sooner Than Later (3:23), 07. Rock ‘N’ Roll Soldiers (3:41), 08. Gone Too Long (5:48), 09. Living Is Loving You (3:08), 10. Restless Wind (4:15)

Profile Runner were a short-lived British rock band, formed in 1978 out of a friendship between Steve Gould of the band Rare Bird and Alan Merrill of the band Arrows. Steve Gould had been touring with Merrill’s live band Arrows after his band Rare Bird broke up in 1976. When the Arrows broke up in 1978 both singers were looking for new projects. They went into the studio to do a rough demo with bass player Mick Feat, who was playing with Van Morrison  at the time, and drummer Dave Dowle who was playing with the band Whitesnake.

The demo the foursome did was so good that the band were signed by Arista Records subsiduary Acrobat Records in the UK and Island Records in the USA immediately. They went to The Manor recording studio in Oxfordshire England and recorded their first and only album with James Guthrie producing. The Runner album made the US Billboard top 100 charts, but due to musical differences the band broke up whilst recording their second album with Alex Sadkin producing.

After the band split, Mick Feat and Steve Gould went on to record with Alvin Lee, Dave Dowle with the Maggie Bell band Nightflyer, and Alan Merrill joined Rick Derringer’s band Derringer. Oddly, the band Runner never toured, in spite of their making the American charts.

 

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Galaxy – Galaxy [1989]

Country Sweden

Style Melodic Hard Rock

Rating 82/100

Band Members Jonas Sköld – Vocals, Niklas Ahlin – Guitar, Eric Jexén – Guitar, Mats Dahlberg – Bass, Daniel Svensson – Drums, Håkan Henriksen – Keyboards

Tracks 01. Stronger Than Ever (3:42), 02. Two of a Kind (3:46)

Profile Great act from Mariestad formed in 1986 became one of Mariestad’s most recognized rock bands and famous in the whole town. Their one and only release is this single released in 1989 through Rasta Husen Records and produced by Peo Pettersson of Leviticus and Axia fame. They play keyboard driven aor tunes with nice songwriting and stellar musicianship. They wrote and produced till today their own materials while the song “Two of a Kind” gain airplay attention. Galaxy became “immortal” when they plat said in The Encyclopedia of Swedish Hard Rock And Heavy Metal (1970-1996).

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The Toi – Water Into Wine [2015]

Country Scotland

Style Melodic Hard Rock

Rating 85/100

Band Members Paul Healy – Vocals,guitar, Andy Carr – Bass,guitar,backing vocals, Steve Mclay – Drums,backing vocals

Tracks 01. Get On It, 02. Come Alive, 03. I’m Still Crying, 04. Til The Morning Comes, 05. The One, 06 Staring At The Sun, 07. I Think About You, 08. Water Into Wine, 09. Cold In The Night, 10. Down By The River

Profile Scottish trio The Toi consist of Paul Healy on vocals/guitar, Andy Carr on bass/guitar/vocals and Stevie Mclay on drums/vocals and they describes themselves as Pop/Rock, but from the moment I heard the opening bars to ‘Get On It’ with its infectious chorus, I knew we were onto a winner, think more H.E.A.T., Estrella and cohorts. Each of these songs are very well written, played and produced, this band has a musical maturity beyond its years. Though recording the album at Rockfield Studios with Dan Hawkins/Nick Brine you can be sure to get a big sounding album. An impressive debut, and with a bit of luck, who knows where The Toi could end up. Highly recommended, a great pop/rock album with a west coast AOR feel.

 

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Isis Child – Strange Days [2011]

Country France

Style Melodic Rock/AOR

Rating 86/100

Band Members Alain Rinallo – Bass, Chris Drouin – Drums, David Zecca – Drums, Freddy Mazzucco – Guitars, Hugo Adam – Bass, Julien Spreutels – Keyboards, Mathias Lechartier – Bass, Nathalie Pellissier – Vocals, Robert Geoffroy – Keyboards

Tracks 01. Let’s Talk a Walk, 02. Dancing, 03. Can’t You Hear Me, 04. I Love the Way, 05. Loneliness, 06. If You Wanna Be Mine, 07. It’s Always the Same, 08. Looking for the One, 09. Strange Days, 10. Even If, 11. Someone, 12. Stop Looking Down On Me

Profile Isis Child is the brain child of French guitarist Freddy Mazzucco. After vocalist Nathalie Pellissier joined the fold Isis Child recorded their debut album “Ailleurs” in 2008 and sung exclusively in French, they returned with their English language debut called “Strange Days” via the label YesterRock. Isis child is melodic rock/hardrock that is fronted by a female singer, it is a bit heavier than what is known as AOR and it is not as catchy and polished as that genre either. Isis Child has delivered something extraordinary or even innovative with “Strange Days”, they have nevertheless presented a basic rock album, which is characterized by the individual performances of the individual musicians, the production and a knack for handy Melodies can convince.

 

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Chinatown – Play It To The Death [1981]

Country United Kingdom

Style Hard Rock

Rating 78/100

Band Members John Barr – Bass, Steve Hopgood – Drums, Danny Gwylym – Guitars, Pat Shayler – Guitars, Steve Prangnell – Vocals

Tracks 01. Play It To Death (3:18), 02. How Many Times (4:01), 03. No Time To Kill (4:00), 04. Time Will Tell (7:16), 05. Run To Japan (3:08), 06. It Could Happen To You (3:06), 07. Short And Sweet (2:56), 08. Rock And Roll Legend (7:43)

Profile One more short-lived band from Fareham, Hampshire acted in the early 80s with a sound refer to NWOBHM and pure hard rock that worth to pick it up. Formed by Pat Shayler and John Barr after their departure from a college band called Jody. Originally called Chinastreet and sounding quite glam-influenced, but soon went for a harder approach. The band release the single “Short And Sweet / How Many Times” and a full live album “Pay it to the Death” containing a show played in May 1981. They play the standard formula of catchy, up-beat heavy metal that scores of other bands did in the early 80s.

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Shyster – Thirsty for More [2011]

Country USA

Style Hard Rock

Rating 78/100

Band Members Michael Mundy – Vocals, Scott Hearn – Guitars,backing vocals, Bill Kahler – Bass,backing vocals, Marty Musser – Drums

Tracks 01. Overcome, 02. Again, 03. Little Hellion, 04. Shyster, 05. Pluggin’ Away, 06. Blue Lover, 07. Like A Lifetime, 08. Callin’ Me Out, 09. My Time, 10. Brat, 11. It’s You

Profile This band is a killer Hard Rock/Hair Metal band from Pennsylvania formed in late 2009, that delivers powerful, high energy Hard Rock, in the vein of Dokken and Black Rose.  The last track “It’s You” is a keyboard laden ballad that is perfectly executed.  All eleven tracks are well written and performed.  This album was released for a very short time on the band’s now defunct website.

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Hate – Hate [1993]

Country USA

Style Glam/Hard Rock

Rating 77/100

Band Members Punky – Bass,backing vocals, Mikki Lord – Lead/backing vocals, T. Shag – Guitars,backing vocals, Tori – Drums,backing vocals

Tracks 01. People Like Me, 02. Too Much Of A Good Thing, 03. It All Comes Back To Me, 04. Save Myself, 05. When The Chips Were Down

Profile This is one of those holy grail albums that all collectors have been searching for.  The band hails Fairport, New York and they released this in microscopic numbers on a tiny indie label backin 1993.  This is one of the all time greatest glam/hair metal records to ever be released.  The band has an uncanny similarity to Pretty Boy Floyd and Poion.  The glam anthems “It All Comes Back To Me” and “When The Chips Were Down”, are two of the most anthemic glam anthems ever with huge layered choruses. All five songs are stunning glam anthems, with killer vocal and guitar work.  This band should have been huge…

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Looker – Luck of the Draw [1987]

Country Canada

Style Hard Rock

Rating 80/100

Band Members Iain Walker – Bass,backing vocals, Mike Warren – Drums,percussion, Dave Murphy – Vocals,guitars, Pat Warren – Guitars

Tracks 01. Still the Same One, 02. Sweet Baby, 03. Arlena, 04. Rumour has it, 05. Changes, 06. Follow you Down, 07. Highway Romance, 08. Small Town Girl, 09. Julia

Profile Extremely rare released from 1987 on Fugue Records. This is one of those good-time, party-hearty, raise-some-hell kind of albums. Fans of straight-forward, unelaborate, no-frills 80s hard rock should go wilder than a gorilla in a banana plantation for this one. The sound is immediate and in-your-face, with a tough edge that somehow manages to sound both raw and polished at the same time. Lots of catchy hooks and rockin’ riffs and just a fun, freewheelin’ vibe. This is the band’s only work in the vein of bands like Helix, Honeymoon Suite and Coney Hatch.

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