Heavy Hearts Benefit Album

Friday April 6th sees the release of a fundraising album called Heavy Hearts featuring 21 bands and songs in aid of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund and also to help musician Lenny Thomas.

     Lenny Thomas (Sorry & The Sinatras/ex-Trashlight Vision drummer) found himself hospitalised due to a serious foot injury earlier in the year with serious complications arising due to his pre-existing diabetes. Though on the road to recovery thankfully, rising medical bills and the possibility that he may not be able to work for the foreseeable future if not worse have made life very difficult.

      Thomas has made a multitude of friends in music and life and they have come together and through contacting further friends in the music community to create this benefit album to help him and raise money for the charity.

The compilation will feature songs from the likes of The Wildhearts, Michael Monroe, Piggy D (Rob Zombie), Steve Conte & the Crazy Truth, Eureka Machines, Sorry & The Sinatras, The Loyalties, and Supercharger and many more with many of the artists donating rare or previously unreleased tracks.

For more information and to get the compilation from April 6th go to http://heavyheartsbenefit.com/

Heavy Hearts track listing:

1.The Wildhearts :City Overture.  The original version can be found on The Wildhearts 2007 self titled release.http://www.thewildhearts.com | http://www.gingerandfriends.com

2. Piggy D : 1975 
Piggy D. The bassist for Rob Zombie has a mouth. And it is a big one! http://www.blackvictorystore.com

3. Steve Conte & The Crazy Truth : The Truth Ain’t Pretty
The former New York Dolls, current Michael Monroe guitarist/singer/songwriter brings you into “his” New York on his eponymously titled debut. (Varese Sarabande Records) ”Genuine rock and roll…” – Steve Lillywhite (U2, Rolling Stones Producer), “Music to instigate & soundtrack fighting, fucking, speeding, hurling abuse and waking up buck-naked in a stranger’s bathroom…” - Classic Rock Magazine (8 stars) http://www.steveconteandthecrazytruth.com

4. The Loyalties : Whole Lotta Hate (previously unreleased)
Demo mix of a previously unreleased song from the forthcoming album & book Til The Death Of Rock & Roll http://www.facebook.com/TheLoyaltiesSoho

5. Eureka Machines –: The Bigger They Are The Harder They Fall
The Eureka Machines latest album Champion The Underdog was described by SPIN magazine as ‘ the sweet spot between 10cc and Green Day’. This track is taken from the Everyone Loves You EP.  http://www.eurekamachines.com/

6. Role Models: Cherry Dear
The ROLE MODELS are a power pop 4 piece based in London. This is off their 12″ vinyl FUCK YOU SEE YOU AT THE TALENT SHOW  that was released by Taken by Surprise (Germany). A new album is in the works as well as a solo EP by frontman Rich Rags (who apparently is quite handsome). Role Models on Facebook

7. Smoker & The Rollers : Cut Me Off
Smoker and the Rollers from Philadelphia play raw, ready and rough rock ‘n’ roll. The three piece line up  are Jay Smoker (bass and vox), Micheal Danger Dunn (drums and vox), and Ryan Moll (guitar).  Check out their debut self-titled release on ITunes and their follow up release in the Summer 2012. http://www.myspace.com/smokerandtherollers

8. The Black Halos : Radio!!
Rare 2001 demo from the upcoming album F.F.T.S. – 1994-2001 on Yeah Right! Records

9. Darlings Of Chelsea : Raise This Flag
Darlings of Chelsea are the amalgamation of Canada’s seediest, most guttural rock/punk masterminds. Culled from legendary mainstays including The Black Halos, Kill Cheerleader, Robin Black, Scratching Post, and more, Darlings of Chelsea are a new chapter in the book of Canadian rock n’ roll. http://www.darlingsofchelsea.net

10. Skag Barons : Come On
Dirty working class rock & roll from London Ontario. Dan Schultz – Guitar Nevada Brown – Drums Sean Farwell – Bass Kris Pageau – Guitar and Vocals http://www.skagbarons.com

11. CC Voltage : Radio Generation (previously unreleased)
Previously unreleased demo from the Spitfires bassists solo album A Touch Of Class… Just a Touch. CC Voltage on Facebook

12. Michael Monroe : Got Blood
Finnish rock’n’roll legend Michael Monroe capped off an amazing 2011 by bagging Classic Rock Magazine Album Of The year award for Sensory Overdrive, from which this track is taken. Still touring the world in support of the album, expect even bigger things from Michael in 2012!http://www.michaelmonroe.com

13. Billy Liar : Is It Me?
Billy Liar is an acoustic folk punk singer from Scotland. He has been touring the UK and Europe relentlessly for the last five years, leading him to be described as ‘the town centre wordsmith and backstreet philosopher…who has played more venues than anyone else of his generation – something most of his peers can only gawp at!’ Billy’s latest EP, It Starts Here, was produced by Acey Slade (Murderdolls/Amen/Trashlight Vision/Joan Jett). http://www.billyliarmusic.com

14.  Sorry & The Sinatras: Valencia (previously unreleased)
A brand-new, previously unreleased song from the upcoming Kings Of Shambles Street EP, coming soon on Bomber Music.http://www.facebook.com/sorryandthesinatras

15. Crazy Arm :Tribes/Animals
Crazy Arm set up camp in mid-2006. Not easy to categorise, and all the better for it, their sound is an accumulation of decades of influence and inspiration: rooted in hardcore/punk, 60s protest folk/country and classic rock n roll, combined with a grass-roots political overview that embraces anti-war, anti-fascist and pro-community activism. Tribes/Animals is taken from the 2011 album Union City Breath released by Xtra Mile, published by Bomber Music Ltd. http://crazyarm.bandcamp.com/

16. Obsessive Compulsive : Virago 
Dreams Of Death and The Death Of Dreams is one of the most exciting rock albums to emerge from the UK in a long, long time. It’s time to get obsessed – Dom Lawson http://www.obsessivecompulsiveband.com/

17. Brijitte West w/ Jesse Malin : How To Be Good
Former NY Loose front woman teams up with solo troubadour and D Generation frontman for a track from her solo debut album Brijitte West & The Desperate Hopefulshttp://www.lamf.biz

18. Supercharger : Hold It Down
‘upercharger hail from Newcastle Upon Tyne, England and feature ex members of Scottish heavyweights The Almighty and Geordie Punk-Poppers Whatever in their lineup. Their sound is a strong cocktail of big fat riffs, catchy melodies and addictive choruses which refuse to exit your head long after the last listen http://www.supercharger666.com

19. Thousand Watt Stare : Lights Out
Members of Dee Dee Ramone’s band and Unwritten Law team up for this heavy hitter. Their debut album Silver Dimes is out now.http://thousandwattstare.com/

20. Von Hertzen Brothers : 21st Century Schizoid Man
Von Hertzen Brothers had a massive year with their Stars Aligned album shooting to the top of the charts and going gold in their native Finland. They’ve generously donated their take on King Crimson’s classic for this compilation. http://www.vonhertzenbrothers.com

21. Texas Terri Bomb : Never Shut Up
Raw, rock & roll from our favourite Texan. Special guest guitar on this track by Wayne Kramer. http://www.reverbnation.com/texasterribomb |http://www.facebook.com/texasterribomb

Thirteen Shots: Vaudeville

Hear that creaking and the scraping of fingernails on wood in the dead of night? That is the sound of UK horror punk band Thirteen Shots rising from the cold earth to unleash their debut album Vaudeville. Consisting of eight crypt borne tunes the album stomps and fiddles with the senses with an eager and infectious lingering charm and mischief. The album might not be flawless but it is fresh, vibrant and thrilling, an attention seeking bundle of fun.

The Birmingham based band creates a sound that combines sixties garage rock, horror punk and rock n roll with occasional infusions of psychobilly. It grabs with an eager bony hand to lead the ear in a gravestone leaping tour through realms of the dead and superheroes, each and every detour either a mesmeric wanton skeletal dance or a dirty riled up roughage of sound. Always fun, often silly and at times leaving one wondering why, the release simply does what it says on the tin, offer a full on varied entertainment that makes no apologies in having fun, this is Vaudeville.

Miss Eerie opens up the casket of Vaudeville, a decomposed love song with throbbing bass and firm rhythms spiked with acidic guitar tones and riffs. Part Misfits, part Thee Exciters, and more Johnny Thunders the song is a solid piece of punk rock. The band do not go hell for leather at any point almost having a slight reserve in their intentions but this allows each to shine and bring a distinct part to the sound, from the crisp attack of guitarists Izzy and Joe with eager backing vocals to match, the sinister basslines of GMT (George), and the bone rapping beats of drummer Chelsea, the band find a clean yet dirty mix that brings a strength to this and each song.  With the keen punk vocals of Johnny Roxx Rose scraping up and bringing forth the lyrics there is a accomplished feel to all songs even if some are more successful than others.

This strong start steps up a gear with Inspector George. A recognisable grooved bass and guitar riffs teases the ear whilst the drums bring a metallic punch to open up the listener before the surge of punk energy. The song switches back and forth keeping things interesting and only the feeling the song wants to explode into something more vigorous at times but never does brings a slight question against it.

     Boogie Man continues in similar vein, again suggesting there is more waiting within to spring out but never realised, still it is a very agreeable track that leaves its swagger behind long after it departs. This point marks the moment the album really kicks up some dust as the next three songs prove what a current great band Thirteen Shots is and the distinct promise they have within them for the future. Danzig, and yes you know its theme without us saying, is a hypnotic slice of horror punk, bringing a flavour of the man without stepping on toes and taking the effect too far. This is rock n roll of the Devil and a thoroughly pleasing thing for us mortals.

This Looks Like A Job For Batman leaps in next with cape flying; the band twisting the legendary theme riff into a Meteors flavoured psychobilly taunting that is delicious. With added ska punk grooves and touch of The Adicts it is a gem that demands instant replay before moving on. The song is a must and sets itself up for best track on Vaudeville until the following Dead Girls Don’t Scream makes its claim. A New York Dolls wrapped rock n roll with essences of Misfits and Resurex pours out of the track, a full rounded flavoursome treat that carries a sing-a-long lure and contagious hook to ensure it cannot be denied.

The release is completed with the easy going temptress that is The Graveyard Stomp and the American Rock Song before it.  The Graveyard Stomp is all about instant bonding with very obvious hooks and riffs you have heard often elsewhere and that many bands have played with to far less fun. American Rock Song is a good garage rock/punk song but does not quite live up to the rest of the songs , its taste a little bland in comparison but taken as a separate entity works very well and is easy to return to.

Vaudeville is great fun, a strong album that sets Thirteen Shots as a band with an impressive future. Maybe right now their own distinct sound is still trying to break out but it will surely come and with this much of a pleasing release that is a promise that breeds a great anticipation.

Ringmaster 02/04/2012

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Thirteen Shots – Danzig

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Exumer: Fire & Damnation

Like a whirling dervish the returning album from German thrashers Exumer takes one to a sonic ecstasy that leaves a massive grin on the outside and within. Fire & Damnation is the first album since the proper return of the band n 2008 and its predecessor of 1987. It is a magnificent beast that shows no sign of aging within the band musically or in their aggressive energy, only a tighter mature sound to rival any thrash pretenders today. The album does not offer anything new or groundbreaking for the band let alone the genre but it does what all good albums should do, thrill the senses with bone crushing rock ‘n’ roll for the greatest satisfaction.

Formed in 1985 Exumer became one of the more exciting and essential German thrash metal bands joining the likes of Kreator and Sodom as an essential focus point for fans even if their contemporaries gained more of the attention. 1986 saw them release Possessed by Fire to be followed the year after by Rising from the Sea, both to acclaim and regarded by a vast many as two of the most important thrash albums of the time and since. Live too the band conquered all before them, the albums and shows finding a vast eager following from their homeland and in countries like Poland, Brazil and Europe in general. A fluctuating line-up and internal turmoil brought the band to an end in 1990 until band founders vocalist/bassist Mem V. Stein and guitarist Ray Mensh decided to bring the band back to life in 2008, though previously in 2001 Exumer returned for a one off show at the prestigious Wacken Open Air Festival. 2009 saw the band perform live through Europe and the US before attention turned to a new album the subsequent Fire & Damnation.

Completed by guitarist H.K., bassist T. Schiavo, and drummer Matthias Kassner, Exumer have not just made a return but with Fire & Damnation have announced they are back as strong and eager as ever. Consisting of ten songs the album released via Metal Blade Records April 11th lights up all the fires within and ticks all the boxes of what a good album should be, even if its length is too short. Aggressive and formidably direct the album also has a clarity and crispness from the production work of Waldemar Sorychta (Grip Inc., Therion, Sodom, Moonspell), that is fresh and invigorating. As mentioned it does not try to be anything different, just offering up what the band do best and to their strongest ability.

The opening title track storms the ear from the off its assault a raging burning rampage upon the senses. The band crushes and oppresses with riffs that sear the ear and rhythms that pound and bruise until complete submission. The song is immediately infectious and with Stein growling and shouting the lyrics with intimidating ease there is a seamless connection with the senses and heart. The groove and drive of the track is not the most original but with the anthemic group chorus and unrelenting attack plus the great controlled guitar eruptions the song is rock at its very best.

The following Vermin Of The Sky follows with barely a breath taken and if you are not paying attention can take over without notice. There is a similar attack and structure to the opener on this song with only a more intent inspection showing its diversities. This is probably the one issue if you really wanted to raise one against Fire & Damnation, the similarity across a lot of the tracks though against that one has to say that beneath the surface wave of sonic intrusion that vocally and musically the band brings a varied mesh of ideas and sounds, they just make you work for them.

The songs come thick and rapid upon the ear with all giving a deeply welcome and rewarding experience. The likes of The Weakest Limb and Crushing Point leave their recipients battered under the intense blanket of razor sharp and aggression fuelled aural consumption whilst the new reworkings of Fallen Saint and I Dare You from their first and second albums respectively, have a fresh and distinct sound that earns them a positive  place amongst the newer songs.

The groove infested A New Morality and Waking The Fire along with the title song hit home the deepest and with the greatest infection o the album, though every track is a gem to feast upon continually, each an impressive result of each and every member leaving nothing in their musical locker to excite the senses to the deepest satisfaction.

     Fire & Damnation is Exumer back hungry, fresh and making rock n roll that offers no more than pure unadulterated thrash pleasure.

RingMaster 02/04/2012

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Trucker Diablo: The Devil Rhythm

The album title might be The Devil Rhythm but whether the horned one could handle this juggernaut of a release from Irish rock band Trucker Diablo is very debateable. The release is an unrelenting brake off, throttle down, explosion of rock n roll. It twists, turns and writhes through every essential rock sound and ideal to emerge a fully accomplished and most of all a deeply exciting pulse racing slab of joy.

Trucker Diablo started laying down sizzling rubber from its formation in 2008, the band simply four friends coming together to make the music they loved. Of course the fact the members had already made a mark and gained strong experience with previous bands Joyrider and TILTED could only have gone to add something extra to their new band, an extra that helped grab local attention and acclaim immediately and soon further afield. The band also leap to the attention of the likes of Ricky Warwick (The Almighty/Thin Lizzy) who also features on one track on the album, and Joe Elliot (Def Leppard) to name two, with their infectiously catchy and robust rock sounds.  Now with the re-release of The Devil Rhythm through Ripple Music, the album initially a self release in 2010, there is an over powering air and belief that this is their time.

The quartet of guitarist/vocalists Tom Harte and Simon Haddock, bassist Glenn Harrison, and drummer Terry Crawford, create a strap it on and get down type of rock n roll, their sounds an irrepressible and potent thick mass of eager hungry riffs and courting seductive melodies all wrapped in to an infectious and captivating bundle of essential sound. As they march through the ear with arms open the songs are like long time buddies that you already know and love but each offering something new and stirring every time you welcome them in, the opening track Drink Beer, Destroy, an immediate evidence. The track waves from afar at first with an eager distant riff before driving and rumbling forward with a parade of powerful riffs and hearty forceful rhythms fuelled by an insatiable energy, and already The Devil Rhythm sounds like an album with the biggest enthused heart heard in a long time. With a delicious snarling bass line and guitars that whip one into a frenzy the song is sheer musical gold, a treasure one never wishes to leave alone.

Juggernaut continues the powerful onslaught with a fusion of thunderous riffs and vibrant melodic enterprise. Featuring Warwick, the song teases with more guzzling riffs and rumble strip shaking rhythms whilst the melodic sing-a-long chorus sweeps up all into appliance and in joining in. The song as with a lot of the album does not offer anything blindingly new but it is hard to think without a very long and probably fruitless deliberation of many bands that bring it on as brilliantly as Trucker Diablo.

Every song goes straight for the heart with little resistance before them. From the southern tinged Big Truck, through the punk rock flavoured Stand Up and Fight, on to the Buckcherry come eighties feeling Dirty Love, and the Seetherish sounding When Angels Die though that band has never sounded this mighty, songs never fail to engage fully and gloriously. Trucker Diablo is a hard rock band as a base but they add so much to send their sound up to heights and power most bands can only dream of. The key of course is that for all the power the band generates and energy they consume the ear with their craft and insightful use of melodies and textures is second to none and adds a depth to their music and songs like Rattlehead and Never Too Late To Sin (featuring Matt Fitzsimons) to name two more that sets them apart.

The Devil Rhythm is simply one of the most gratifying pleasures heard in a long time and proof that well written and enthusiastically driven rock n roll takes second place to nothing. Trucker Diablo will be massive, no question, it is just a matter of if it is this month or the next…

RingMaster 02/04/2012

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