“Close to the Sun” is the fourth album from Place Vendome, the project fronted by former Helloween singer Michael Kiske, and it was released via Frontiers Records on 24th February. Once again it sees Kiske collaborating with a wide range of song-writers and artists and delivering some great AOR / Melodic Rock tracks. The title track was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 3rd March.

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Former Sister Sin front-woman Liv Sin releases her first solo album in April. After a successful thirteen-year career, Sister Sin called it a day in 2015. Undeterred, front woman and musical force of nature Liv Sin formed a new band and began work on her debut solo album. ‘Follow Me’ is the stunning result! The first single from the album, called “Let Me Out”, was released in January and it is followed now by the second single “Killing Ourselves To Live” which features Schmier from Destruction.

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There are two NI Rocks Shows each week on Rock Radio NI. These are the playlists for those shows for the month of February – all of which are still available from the On Demand Player. There are tracks by over 100 different artists on the Shows this month. Playlists for January were published previously and these Shows are also available via the On Demand Player – http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/news/rrni-updates/3055-ni-rocks-playlists-for-january-2017.html

 

Last Updated (Friday, 03 March 2017 22:44)

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Armored Saint released a live album called “Carpe Noctum” via Metal Blade Records on 24th February; just a month ahead of playing gigs in Dublin on 20th March and Belfast on 21st March before moving on to HammerFest in Wales. The album features recordings from 2015 when the band toured to support the release of the album “Win Hands Down”. I played “March of the Saint” from the album on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 27th January.

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Supernova Plasmajets are a band from Germany and they released their debut, self-titled album through AOR Heaven on 24th February. The female fronted band have a distinctly 80’s glam rock look – quite possibly tongue-in-cheek! There is certainly a big glam rock influence in their sound as well. The band aren’t just an 80’s throw-back however, and there is a modern, contemporary rock vibe throughout – probably best evidenced in the vocals of Jennifer Crush. No matter how you try and analyse it, ultimately there is just something very catchy and addictive to the band’s music. The track “Hold You Close” is included on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 3rd March.

 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 28 February 2017 22:51)

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Pennsylvania native Stefanie Johnson released her debut album, “Stefanie”, through Escape Music on 24th February. This is one of those albums that crosses a lot of genres, from rock to pop and country, and had it not been marketed by Escape Music there is a good chance that I wouldn’t have checked it out. I’m glad I did though! Whilst some of the tracks are a bit outside my usual listening range, Stefanie is an extremely talented singer / song-writer and there is certainly enough to warrant a recommendation on the Rock Radio NI website. I played the track "All I Know" on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 24th February.

 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 28 February 2017 21:49)

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Swedish band Ages of Reflection released their debut album “In The Heat of the Night” through AOR Heaven on 24th February. The album though is actually the outcome of many years of planning, with the founding members of the band having worked together in other bands for some time. The opportunity to work together on the AOR inspired tracks came in 2013 and over the past couple of years they have working to deliver their vision. I played the opening track “Borderline” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 13th January.

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Mike Tramp releases his latest album entitled “Maybe Tomorrow” via Target  Records on 24th February. He’ll be following that up with a UK tour that once again sees him return to the Diamond Rock Club in Ahoghill on 18th March. It will be almost exactly 18 months since his last appearance there, promoting his previous album “Nomad”. That album had been seen as the final part of a trilogy that commenced with “Cobblestone Street” and “Museum”. Thankfully, any perception that there might be some “down-time” from Mike Tramp following the trilogy has proven to be wrong and he is back with another great album.  I played the lead-off single “Coming Home” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 20th January and the track “Rust and Dust” on the Show on 24th February.

 

Last Updated (Friday, 24 February 2017 18:57)

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Three reasons to recommend “Wild At Heart” by The Wild which was released via Steamhammer / SPV on 17th February – (1) It’s a great album. (2) They’re Canadian – and who doesn’t love the Canadians! (3) I get to write about guys called Dylan Villain, The Kid, Boozus and Reese Lightning – awesome!!

I played the track “Livin Free” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 27th January and “White Devil” on the Show on 24th February.

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American Idol finalist James Durbin and Quiet Riot guitarist Alex Grossi have been working on a collaboration entitled Maps To The Hollywood Scars.  Their first 5 song EP Volume One was released worldwide via New Ocean Media on 17th February.   It can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon and all digital and streaming outlets. The first single from the EP is the song “Till Death” which will feature on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 24th February.

 

Last Updated (Monday, 20 March 2017 22:21)

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Burnt Out Wreck is a new band that was formed by former Heavy Pettin drummer Gary Moat in 2016. They released their debut album “Swallow” via TRHRC on 10th February. This is one of those albums that anyone who says they love the “classic rock” sound needs to check out. I was always a big Heavy Pettin fan back in the 80’s - after seeing them support Kiss in Edinburgh, so I didn’t need much encouragement to check out the new album. I played the single “Swallow” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 6th January and the self titled track “Burnt Out Wreck” on the Show on 27th January.

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