Sandness – Higher & Higher

We cannot say that seventies/eighties metal and hard rock are flavours which light our fires too often but it is fair to say that Higher & Higher, the new album from Italian outfit Sandness ticked many boxes of enjoyment whilst embracing exactly those styles. It is a release which initially struggled to spark the imagination but song by song, listen by listen, grew to be a thoroughly engaging and pleasurable affair; not without flaws but inciting an appetite to hear more from and follow the band as they realise the open potential within the release ahead.

Hailing from Rovereto in southern Trento, Sandness started out in 2008; formed by teenage friends, bassist/vocalist Mark Denkley and drummer/vocalist Metyou ToMeatyou. Inspired by the likes of Mötley Crüe, Crashdiet, Poison, Hanoi Rocks, W.A.S.P., The Ramones, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and the likes, the band soon honed its eighties toned sound. A few line-up changes ensued before the current line-up was secured with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Robby Luckets in 2009. Subsequent years has seen the trio support the likes of Adam Bomb, L.A. Guns, and Tygers Of Pan Tang, play across their homeland as well as undertake several European tours and take the stage at the renowned Glam Fest in France. Two demos, Return To Decadence in 2010 and especially Life Without Control the following year, lured strong attention though it was debut album Like An Addiction in 2013 which really sparked a more global awareness of their sound. Now Higher & Higher, released as its predecessor by Sleaszy Rider Records, is stoking up a new wave of fans and though we might not be leading the surge, reasons are readily apparent as to why its fresh success in persuasion .

The album opens with You Gotta Lose, a track which failed to tempt the first time and still labours trying to convince. Opening with a blast of group vocals and predictable eighties riffery, the song soon reveals a snarl which grabs attention but one as quickly tempered by the again familiar harmonic wash of voices.  It is hard to pin down exactly what is lacking within the track other than it just does not appeal to personal tastes but it is a decent start swiftly left sounding pale as the album takes off starting with next up Street Animals. The second song similarly offers a recognisable melodic welcome but is soon spinning its own web of hooks and twists; some unique some familiar but a great fusion creating flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll. Without reading the influences on Sandness, they are easy to guess from this song alone and as suggested eagerly employed by the band in their blossoming character of sound.

The individual prowess of each member is just as open in the track and equally next up Hollywood. Prowling ears initially, it soon whips out some Billy Idol spiced hooks and other moments which are vaguely System Of A Down like in nature. As the album, it is a song which grows and seduces more and more with every listen, its increasingly imaginative nature richly engaging before the melodic croon of Promises in turn captivates. With an increasing fire in its belly inciting a great bass grumble, the song quickly establishes itself as a major highlight of the release, musically and vocally hitting a high.

Through the vocally unstable but ultimately enjoyable Sunny Again and the boisterous hard rock of One Life there is little not too like even if neither can live up to their predecessor while the short poetic instrumental of Light In The Dark captivates before Heat lives up to its name with some quite irresistible fiery grooves against another great grouchy mix of bass and drums, the former the persistent provider of potent bait across the whole of Higher & Higher. With its blues scented flames, the song is another peak in the album as too the power pop rock romp of its successor Perfect Machine. There are no major surprises but a stream of hooks and flirtatious tempting which has body and voice quickly involved and enjoying every second.

The album is at its best by this point, Monster Inside Me backing up the previous two with its own tenacious glam/heavy metal stomp and mix of imaginative features and matched in potency by the groove woven Play With Fire, its prime lures striking as the band revels in its eighties inspirations once again.

Closing with the hearty and increasingly volatile balladry of Will You Ever, a song like the opener it was hard to connect with personally, Higher & Higher provides an increasingly compelling proposition easy to suggest fans of eighties metal and rock especially take a close look at. Sandness is never going to be the first thought when choosing the soundtrack for our day but with Higher & Higher they are going to be considered more than many others bands, for others they will be a long term involvement.

Higher & Higher is available now through Sleaszy Rider Records @ and other online stores.

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2017

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The DeRellas : Stick It To The Man Single

If you ever had the misguided belief that the heart and spirit of classic 1977 punk rock had dissipated and been lost over the years than stand by to be reminded and shown by the eager and mischievous new single from  UK rockers The DeRellas that it is alive and bristling to kick your butt. London based with members coming in from Brighton and Portland, The DeRellas do not take you back to the time when attitude and music raised its middle finger and stirred up more than just dust but bring it forth as if it had never laid dormant.

The two tracks that make up the Stick It To the Man single released through Dirty Water Records/Crushworld Records, badgers the heart and inspires urges of mischief with two varied songs reaped from and oozing UK and New York punk, dirty, belligerent and out for a good time any way they can. There is no pretence or attempts to be anything more than they are, just honest, irrepressible rock n roll. With a fine live reputation from playing with the likes of Hanoi Rocks and The Germs the band translate it into a rampant energy that fuels their recorded sound.

First song Stick It To The Man hijacks the ear with boisterous beats and gang chants before opening up the pace with stirring guitars and the baiting vocals of rhythms guitarist Robbie DeRella, who alongside lead guitarist Luca DeRella tease and taunt the essences with uncomplicated and sleazy melodies. It is the incessant bold rhythms of Alex Skinny DeRella alongside the moody bass of Timmy DeRella which capture and ignite the imagination with their glam rock open wantonness. Imagine Sweet or The Glitter Band in a booze addled union with The Dead Boys or The Flys and you have Stick It To The Man. The gang chants and rock n roll spine recalls the height of the great sounds heard at CBGB’s as it brings New York punk and 70’s sleaze/glam elements together to great effect.

Coupling the lead song is the excellent Go Go DeRellas, a scuzzy electrified Ramones homage/garage punk infection. A tongue in cheek instantaneous pleasure the track is simplicity at its best, easily accessible and an irresistible invitation to join in. The sound is equally powered with unrestrained rhythms and inciteful riffs that brings the original New York punks into a party blitzkrieg with Johnny Thunders, The Vibrators, and Suburban Studs.

The DeRellas wear their influences on their sleeve without an ounce of predictability or venturing into dullsville. Yes you can pick recognisable parts out and know their inspiration but it is brought with a flair and energy that sets the band as one of the most refreshing punk bands around and a band which is not only keeping the original sounds and intent alive but living and breathing it.

RingMaster 08/05/2012 Registered & Protected

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Wasted Sinners – Unleashed And Dangerous

Suffering from a lack of straight from the heart sleazy rock ‘n’ roll? Then fret no longer as UK rockers Wasted Sinners are here to fill the gap with their deeply infectious sounds and attitude derived from influences like Hanoi Rocks and Motley Crue. There is also a strong tinge of Guns ‘N’ Roses to the band’s music but not wanting to give any negativity (though I am sure the band will welcome the comparison) to what is an impressive debut mini-album from Wasted Sinners, that is the last we will mention them.

Unleashed And Dangerous is an extravaganza of honest and exuberant rock music with harder tones in all the right places. It riles up and excites with six tracks that show the strong and varied range of the band from out and out rockers to more defined melodic rock ballads, all destined to please and satisfy all classic and hard rock fans everywhere. To be fair the album does not explode with anything distinctly brand new to add to the genre but instead uses the band’s obvious influences to create a release that pulsates, throbs, and triggers off the juices.

London based Wasted Sinners began in 2008 when long time friends Dude Rock and Pete Sin, bass and drums respectively began rehearsing together. This inspired the realisation that they had to form a band as they began adding lyrics and melodies to their rhythms. After a while vocalist Roxx Hydi linked up and things began to really gel. After going through a few guitarists the talents of Gary Dainty (Dainty Rockstar) was found and added to put everything in place to start their quest to inspire the world with their rock sounds.  The end of 2009 saw the band record Unleashed And Dangerous with producer Bill Gautier and this December 12th sees the unveiling of its irrepressible and addictive sounds. The time between its recording and the album’s release was marked by the departure of Pete Sin in 2010 and his welcome return early this year to bring the original line-up back in force. With work already happening on new songs for imminent recordings Unleashed And Dangerous will pave the way for what one suspects is an unbridled wave of further enthused anticipation and following. 

If you are looking for ear bashing and senses pummelling sounds this is not the release for you, the songs from the opener  ‘Fakeness’ right through to the album’s last note, simply tease and toy with classic rock sounds to eagerly devour. With an added glam rock sensibility and hard rock power every song no matter its form of attack is an exceedingly rewarding experience. Starting on a rampant drum roll the track and its scorching guitars, leap into the ear with a stylish swagger matched by the great bragging tones of Hydi. It is also the first indication of the great throbbing bass from Dude Rock, his skilful lines and play even more prominent on the subsequent songs.

The great start to Unleashed And Dangerous is raised further by the direct and uncompromising ‘One Night’, uncompromising in the fact it just mercilessly leaps into and captures the ear then boastfully parades its trophy around on unrepentant contagious riffs and hypnotic concise guitar strikes. Two rock ballads ‘Questions’ and ‘I’m Fallin’ sandwich the release’s best track in ‘I Want More’, the first an emotive and powerful song that displays the certain writing skills of Wasted Sinners and the band’s ability to slow down their energy without losing its effect. The second of the two is a heavily G’N’R’ (damn that slipped out) flavoured song and maybe explains why though it is a strong and solid song it did not grab as deeply as the others.

As mentioned ‘I Want More’ is the standout song, though closely challenged by ‘One Night’. Making its presence known upon a glorious rumbling bassline soon followed by cutting chugging guitars the song is an instantaneous web of catchy hooks and anthemic chorus. It is the simplest song on offer but it is impossible to find any resistance to the melodic contagion it comes with.

Closing with ‘Drugs And Angels’ and its straightforward heartfelt blast of rock ‘n’ roll, Unleashed And Dangerous is a complete joy which the more one give it access to their ears the deeper it ingrains its charms, even to the point of waking with the chorus and basslines of its best track ringing around the head. There is only one thing to say, go check out Wasted Sinners, now!

RingMaster 29/11/2011 Registered & Protected


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