Album Review : New Wave Of Classic Rock – Volume One

Review by Peter Coates –

Released – 23rd July 2021

The NWOCR group was set up in Oct 2017 by a bunch of like-minded music lovers in the UK who felt at the time there were many new bands coming through playing new music influenced by the classic rock bands of the 70’s, 80’s,90’s and noughties, and many of them deserved a wider audience.   

The timeline for bands to be featured in the group is that they have not released anything before 2010. 

The objective was to provide a platform where fans could come together and share videos photos and recommendations from this great new scene.  Loads of the bands involved have members in this group and are very active and welcomed the chance to be involved, share music and information, and maybe sell some Merch.   I have found the whole breadth of support from the NWOCR team to be fully on the side of the bands and the fans, and seeking to bring as many of these often-unheard and excellent rock bands to as many new fans as possible.

This review is not simply going to run through every one of the 42 tracks on offer – it will be way better for you to go and hunt the CD down for pre-order and enjoy it yourself – not too many chances to experience 42 new rock tracks and artists for less than A$40 plus postage – and all profits go back into the NWOCR band community, and to the artists themselves.

Lancashire rock band Massive Wagons has teamed up with NWOCR for this initiative with a mission of raising funds to help the bands get back on their feet and back on the road as we move towards normality.  The band brings us a feel-good rendition of their defiant sing-along anthem Tokyo, as the CD opener, featuring a few special guests.  Filmed and reworked entirely remotely, this is a true memento of what has been a turbulent year for all of the bands involved and the UK music industry in general.

There is a belter of a modern melodic rocker from Mason Hill in DNA which will just force me to hunt down more of there stuff to see if there are more riffs of that quality around.  Hollowstar are in much the same vein with All I Gotta Say, as are the impressive Empyre with New Republic – great voice and drums.  Everyday Heroes have a very distinctive edge to their sound, and Tomorrow Is Lost, Ryder’s Creed and The Dust Coda I already rate really highly having reviewed their recent releases, all of which have power and a hard edge to the sound.  

South of Salem are another powerful band who cross over the modern rock line slightly, and Dead Hearts Don’t Break motors along well.  Ashen Reach released an immense slab of riffage in their recent album, and Fighting For My Life is a superb track from that record.

Gorilla Riot give us a bit of a Black Stone Cherry vibe in Still Doing Time, which is just one side of their excellent sound, and close behind in the same vein are Doomsday Outlaw with Turn Me Loose (more cowbell!), and there is a Fall Out Boy feel to Twister’s Call To Arms which is a highlight of their excellent album.

There are some great bluesy rock tracks from Gin Annie, These Wicked Rivers, Dead Man’s Whiskey and Sons of Liberty, while the superb Elles Bailey provides a real mood-change with the sultry blues and organ of Woman Like MeWolf Jaw throw us a new one with the funky I Ain’t Ready, and the excellent Collateral share the excellent melodic hard rock of Merry Go Round (front man Angelo has recently played Steve Tyler in a screen piece).  Final track on CD2 comes from Blackwater Conspiracy who close the show in style with the pacey melodic blues rock of Revolutionaries.

Bad Touch have more of a retro rock groove, and I Get High is a great example of their best sound, while Jack J Hutchinson is a gritty blues rock guitarist with a terrific repertoire, including a monstrous version of War Pigs that is worth tracking down – but World On Fire gives you the picture.

Straight up rock’n’roll is delivered by Swiss lads Daxx & Roxane, The New Roses from Germany, and the ladies of The Hot Damn (featuring our own Josie O’Toole from Tequila Mockingbyrd) show the boys a thing or two with the upbeat Dance Around, as do the glorious Haxan with Killing Time, for all you Halestorm fans.  More Aussie connections with our very own Massive delivering a blistering Rise as the first track of their upcoming fourth album – 230BPM of Oz Rock power!  This is pretty well matched by the ladies of Thundermother with Driving In Style, which is just so catchy, and Revival Black I have covered in LMM before, and opening up CD 2 are the mighty Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons who carry on the Lemmy legacy in style with Son Of A Gun which is a cracker.

Some bands I have not discovered before also impress, with Anchor Lane and Dig Lazarus both having a bit of a punky edge, which is taken to another level by Takeaway Thieves with the trashy This Is Rock’n’Roll and Scarlet Rebels are a commercially slick sounding rock band with power and harmony in spades.  SKAM have been kicking goals for a while and Iron Cross has punch and quirky harmonies.  Bootyard Bandits have a slightly gritty C&W rock persona but Hoedown Showdown is a quality catchy melodic rocker with some tongue in cheek lyrics.

Shape of Water are another new one for me, moody and slightly grungy before the power kicks in from guitars and vocals with The World Is Calling Me, while King Creature provide the intense Captives.  The impressive Shauna Tohill fronts Rews whose We’re Warriors really stood up and made me listen, with its dynamics and the monster chorus, and the equally powerful Caroline Eve Kenyon does much the same with Bastette and their modern rocker Talk About It.   There is a hint of MCR in the sound of Ward XVI with another female frontperson, and their very different Broken Toys and I think these are worth tracking down for the theatre of their live shows.

So – 42 tracks, of which most fans of rock music past and present will probably think that at least 30 are good enough to go hunting for more from the bands – and if everyone who buys this package goes and buys 5 more CDs or downloads from the bands, then the whole concept has done wonders for the NWOCR universe in a really difficult time for musicians.

The toughest job must now be for the NWOCR team to come up with Volume 2!!

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T Shirts and other merch is available for sale from the shop, with the NWOCR logo designed by Admin Neil Barrell, who owns all the rights to the logo.

A whole host of the artists featured on this album have also seen their most recent albums reviewed on so feel free to trawl back through the Review archives to check them out.