Category Archives: Album Review

Album Review: HARDY – The Mockingbird & The Crow

Review by Peter Coates –

The Mockingbird & The Crow
Released – Jan 20th 2023
Universal Music – Big Loud Records

Philadelphia Singer-songwriter (Michael) HARDY made a name for himself in 2020 with his debut album A ROCK, which showcased his genre-blending ability.  In this new era of HARDY music, HARDY continues to prove why he is one of the best songwriters in the country music genre and one of the most entertaining performers.  While Sold Out set the stage, Wait In The Truck (feat. Lainey Wilson) further proved that the singer-songwriter has what it takes to go the distance.  

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Music Review: Cody Parks & The Dirty South – Thunder Cash 69

Review by Peter Coates –

Thunder Cash 69
Released – 20th Jan 2023

This is a raucous mash-up of White Zombie’s Thunder Kiss 65 and Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues, which on any regular analysis of current musical trends, should not work at all.

Cody Parks & The Dirty South style themselves as a “country metal” band from Nashville, that literally blends both genres in their music. Sometimes they like to do unique versions of cover songs for their live set, and Cody told me that he’s always played Folsom, but one day when they were rehearsing it, they figured we needed to make it more unique, because everyone plays the same ol’ version of that song. One of the guys started playing the Zombie riff and the rest was history.  It started poppin’ at shows and on the socials, so they figured what the hell…let’s record it!

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Album Review: Jared James Nichols- JJN

Review by Peter Coates –

Released – 13th Jan 2022
Black Hill Records

Singer, guitarist, songwriter and Gibson Guitars brand ambassador Jared James Nichols has announced his self-titled new album will be released on January 13th via Black Hill Records. Jared James Nichols, his third full-length offering, features the new single Down The Drain as well as the previously released Hard Wired. The collection showcases every side of the Nashville-based multi-talent and the various genres he grew up listening to, whether it was grunge or blues, that have influenced his authentic sound.

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Review by Peter Coates –

Heroes & Monsters
Released – 20th Jan 2023
Frontiers Music

There is a significant volume of hard and melodic rock released under the Frontiers label, and a fair share of it leaves me unmoved, lacking any real spark of originality, and often seeing inter-changeable players and producers involved.

However, I am in no position to criticise the intent and dedication to releasing music, so can only comment on what resonates with me.

Every so often, something pops up that appears outside the normal Frontiers genre and the Heroes and Monsters project, formed by three rock n’ roll lifers and friends, bassist/vocalist Todd Kerns, guitarist Stef Burns, and drummer Will Hunt, seems to be one of these gems.

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Album Review : TEN – Something Wicked This Way Comes

Review by Peter Coates –

Released – Jan 20th 2023
Frontiers Music

British hard rockers TEN have an outstanding history of releases in their lengthy back-catalogue. Starting out as a solo project built around singer and songwriter Gary Hughes, TEN found their audience playing a hard rock sound influenced by such classic / prog rock giants as UFO, Thin Lizzy, Magnum, Giant, and Whitesnake, in a time when playing this particular sound was considered commercial suicide. 

The band’s early records such as The Name Of The Rose, The Robe, Spellbound, and Babylon established the band as mainstays in the melodic hard rock genre, which has continued throughout their now 26 year career.

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Album Review : Troy Redfern – The Wings of Salvation

Review by Peter Coates –

Wings of Salvation
Released – September 23rd

Blues-rock guitarist, singer- songwriter and dubbed Britain’s “King of Slide Guitar” Troy Redfern has followed up the excellent 2021 release The Fire Cosmic with a new record in The Wings of Salvation.  This record was crowd-funded through a Kickstarter campaign, and I am happy to say I added my name to the supporting cast for this.

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Album Review : Dead City Ruins – Shockwave

Review by Peter Coates –

Released – Sept 16th
AFM Records

Melbourne hard rockers Dead City Ruins had developed a reputation in that City in particular as a full-on, flat-out, classic rock band in the Casanovas / Airbourne / AC/DC mould, and released their first album in 2011 which had more of an Ozzy / DIO-era Sabbath feel to it, and instantly broadened their appeal!

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EP Review: Wayward Sons – Score Settled

by Peter Coates –

Released – 17th June 2022
Frontiers Music

UK rockers Wayward Sons have announced the release of a special new EP, Score Settled. The EP follows the release of their latest studio album, Even Up The Score which came out in October 2021. The EP features three new, unreleased songs that were recorded during the sessions for Even Up The Score as well as three tracks that were previously only released on a physical format, and a live studio version of a track previously released as a studio bonus track in Japan. 

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Album Review : Simon McBride – The Fighter

by Peter Coates –

Released – 27th May 2022

Northern Ireland native, Simon McBride is currently on the road with Deep Purple filling in for Steve Morse and has released what he is calling his debut solo album The Fighter, via EarMusic. There were three prior albums released, the last of them 10 years ago, so this is a fresh start in recording terms at least.

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Album Review : Fozzy – Boombox

by Peter Coates –

FOZZY – Boombox
Released – 6th May 2022
Mascot Records / Mascot Label Group

This is the first studio album in 5 years for Fozzy, the powerhouse rock band fronted by the larger than life Chris Jericho, one-time professional wrestler and vocalist for the band for over 20 years now.

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Album Review : Casey Barnes – Light It Up

Review by Peter Coates –

Light It Up
Released – Feb 25th 2022

Casey Barnes has been around for more than 15 years now since appearing on Australian Idol in 2009, after releasing his debut album in 2007.  Spending the next 10 years as a hard-working journeyman, recording EPs 3 more studio albums, he released Live As One in 2017 which spawned a couple of solid singles in Just Like Magic and The Way We Ride, as well as the video for the title track.

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Album Review : Lee Kernaghan – Live At Deni Ute Muster

Review by David Jackson

Goulburn Valley Country Music Festival 2022

Released on April 15, 2022, to coincide with his birthday. Lee Kernaghan has provided his thousands of country fans with an opportunity to cruise the highway listening to his past thirty years of hits and memories.

Recorded Live in 2019 at, the Deni Ute Muster live is a compilation of Kernahans greatest hits recorded in one of the unique places on the planet. 

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Album Review : THUNDER – Dopamine

Review by Peter Coates –

THUNDER – Dopamine  
Double LP 
Released – April 29th 2022 via BMG

Thunder may be the band who will just never give up – having been a fan from the earliest Terraplane days in the late 1980’s, and having been lucky enough to be present at the 10th Anniversary “farewell” tour in 1999, and the 20 Years & Out show at Hammersmith Odeon in 2009 (despite moving to Australia in 1998) and even getting to shoot the sold-out Hammersmith Apollo show in March 2015, we felt thrilled to get the band to Australia in 2017 for some intimate, but very raucous club shows.

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Album Review : FM – Thirteen

Review by Peter Coates –

Released March 18th 2022
Frontiers Records

It is always a joy to get to hear a new FM album…….from the very first listen to that first FM record Indiscreet in 1986, having been a fan of Wildlife before then, and seeing them as the ultimate AOR support band over the next couple of years, including the epic Astoria show in 1987 with White Sister as the opening act.

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Album Review : Kris Barras Band – Death Valley Paradise

Review by Pete Coates –

Mascot Records
Release Date 4th March 2022

Steamrolling out of the end of 2021, the Kris Barras Band have announced their brand-new album, Death Valley Paradise, along with their most anthemic, call-to-arms song to date, My Parade.  The new album produced this time by Dean Weller (Enter Shikari, Bury Tomorrow, SiKth) will be released on 4th March 2022 via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group (Black Stone Cherry, Fozzy, Crobot).

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