I was always a big fan of Scottish vocalist Fin Muir and his albums with Waysted so when we received an e-mail from our friends at Rock n Growl about a new album from an American band that featured Fin on vocals it certainly caught my attention. That band is Cattail Brew and the album is called “It’s a Bit Difficult Really”. It was released on 23rd March by Cargo Records. I’ve included the track “Side By Side” on the Friday NI Rocks Show this week.

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Salty Dog were one of those LA bands from the late 80’s / early 90’s that looked like they could be set for great things, only to disappear virtually overnight. The only album to be released at the time was “Every Dog Has It’s Day”, and this was re-released recently. Salty Dog’s planned second album was recorded but never released; although it has previously made available by the band as a free download. With the band having reformed to play gigs a few years ago, the decision has been taken to release that album – entitled “Lost Treasure”. It was released on 23rd March by Escape Music. I’ve included the track “Damned If I Do” on the Friday NI Rocks Show this week (30th March).

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“Turbulent Waters” is the second album from German band Slears and it was released on 23rd March through MusicBuyMail / Enghardt Media. The band formed in Bavaria in 2007 and released their debut album in 2014. However, this is my encounter with them and it’s a very favourable one! “Turbulent Waters” is an excellent heavy rock album with loads of great tunes, soaring vocals and powerful guitars throughout. There are a few slower tracks, but they’re well worth checking out too. I included the track “Haven” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 23rd March.

 

Last Updated (Thursday, 29 March 2018 01:29)

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Stevie R Pearce and The Hooligans initially released their self-titled debut album in September 2017, but it was re-released through Cargo Records on 23rd March. The band is fronted by Stevie R Pearce who, since 2015, has been playing guitar for Kory Clarke of Warrior Soul and Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate. The album is a great mix of rock and blues with an underlying punk vibe – rock with attitude! I included the single “Bad Day” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 2nd March.

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When a band waits 35 years to release their debut album it really needs to be worth waiting for. Local rockers No Hot Ashes have definitely ticked that box with the release of their self-titled debut through Frontiers Music on 23rd March. The band had been active between 1983 and 1990 but never got an album released. The decision to reform in 2013, initially for a one-off show, has finally resulted in the release of this album. I’ve been playing a couple of the tracks (“Boulders” and “Glow”) from the album that had been sent to me by the band for over a year now and I can now add more to the playlist. Lead singer Eamon Nancarrow recorded an interview with my colleague Balatty and myself a few weeks ago and you can find this on the Rock Radio NI website – http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/3318-rrni-interview-with-eamon-nancarrow-from-no-hot-ashes.html . It featured on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 9th March along with 4 tracks from the album.

 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 April 2018 23:12)

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“Mind Over Matter” is the latest album from Swiss band Felskinn and it was released by Rock of Angels Records (ROAR) on 16th March. This is the first album released since the band went back to the original name Felskinn, having released the previous album as Download and two earlier albums as Felskinn. The band may not be as well-known as other Swiss rock bands such as Krokus, Gotthard or Shakra, but “Mind Over Matter” is definitely an album you’ll want to check out if you’re a fan of any of those bands. The track “Close Your Eyes” was included on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 2nd March.

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Finnish band Shiraz Lane recently released their second album, “Carnival Days” through Frontiers Music. The band features Hannes Kelt on vocals, Jani Laine on lead guitar, Miki Kalske on rhythm guitar, Joel Alex on bass and Ana Willman on drums. I’d posted a recommendation for the band’s first album back in April 2016 and the second album is definitely worth checking out – http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/back-stage/music-reviews/3317-ni-rocks-recommends-qcarnival-daysq-by-shiraz-lane.html . To find out a little more about the band and the album I arranged to get some questions answered via e-mail. My thanks to Ana for taking the time to respond and to Gary for organising things.

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Frontiers Music has an excellent reputation for releasing albums from some of the big names of rock from the 80’s and 90’s. However, they also have an ever growing collection of great young bands on their roster. One of those bands is Animal Drive from Croatia. The band released their debut album “Bite!” through Frontiers on 23rd February and I posted a recommendation for it recently – http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/back-stage/music-reviews/3315-ni-rocks-recommends-qbiteq-by-animal-drive.html . The lead singer of the band is Dino Jelusic, a former Junior Eurovision Song Contest winner who recently joined the ranks of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I was really impressed with the band’s debut album, and as I didn’t know too much about them, I arranged an interview with Dino via e-mail to answer a few questions and find out more about him and the band. These questions and answers can be read below.

 

Last Updated (Sunday, 25 March 2018 14:30)

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Blaze Bayley was my guest on the Friday NI Rocks Show in March 2017 when he talked in depth about the album “Endure and Survive”; the second part of the “Infinite Entanglement” trilogy - http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/3074-ni-rocks-interview-with-blaze-bayley.html . A year later, the final part of that trilogy, “The Redemption of William Black”, was released through Blaze’s own label on 2nd March. Once again, Blaze will be touring to support the release of his new album and he’ll be returning to the Diamond Rock Club in Ahoghill on 29th September. I included the track “Are You Here” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 16th March.

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“Ain’t Always Easy” is the second album from English band Stone Broken and it was released on 2nd March by Spinefarm Records. This is their first album with Spinefarm as “All In Time” was self-released back in January 2016. Since then the band has been on the rise and I’m looking forward to seeing them supporting Buckcherry in Belfast in June. Ahead of the release of the album, I played the single “Worth Fighting For” on the Friday NI Rocks Show on 10th November and “Heartbeat Away” on the Show on 19th January and 9th February. The track “I Believe” is included on the Show this week.

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“Viva La Rock” is the excellent new solo album from Marco Mendoza, currently the bass player for The Dead Daisies and previously associated with some of the biggest names in rock. Marco was my guest on the Friday NI Rocks Show back in January, when we talked at length about the new album and much more – http://www.rockradioni.co.uk/interviews/3279-ni-rocks-interview-with-marco-mendoza.html . He subsequently put on a great show with his band in Voodoo, Belfast on 18th February, ahead of the release of “Viva La Rock” through Mighty Music on 2nd March. In addition to playing 3 tracks on the Show on 12th January, I played “Chinatown” on 16th February.

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