Monday, May 12, 2014

Hello (Back In Your Life For A Spell)

Hope everybody is doing all right.

I'm still here doing routine maintenance from time to time, checking out the stats and replacing dead pictures (ones that don't show up on top tens) with more recent or not obsolete pictures.  For a archives site, Record World is doing amazing well, in fact better than last month. Maybe a return to over 2,000 views?  Anything is possible I guess.

The Consortium, I managed to do the new Johnny Cash album review and got a reply from somebody I never heard from, basically telling me of their favorite country station WIRK,
So it goes.

From time to time if I get a hankering for doing new reviews and tell you of the musical happenings I'll post it, but most of the time I'm fighting the constant computer dragging and basically in need of faster computers since they're now much cheaper and faster than the old warhorse that has been going steady for 10 plus years. Unheard of actually.  While this flew under the radar, Alan Wills, the founder of Deltasonic Records (home of The Coral and the Zutons) was killed in a bicycling accident at age 52.  Deltasonic was distributed by Sony Music and The Dead 60s made their 2005 debut via the dreaded rootkit virus from those copy protected CDs that marked the downfall of the CD.  I'm sure Wills knew nothing of that. The main purpose was the get exposure of The Coral, whose S/T album remains an underrated 2000's classic.

That said, things around here have been hectic.  The usual water in basement issues has prompted me to forgo the Arizona Vacation this year in favor of waterproofing and that will probably take effect next month.  Not that I have been in the mood to bargain hunt, health issues have actually prompted me to stay closer to home and actually try to sort out the undesirables so that they can get a new lease on life from future bargain hunters.  No shortage of new music.  The new Black Stone Cherry album Magic Mountain is a return to their earlier sound after their last album was a blatant attempt for radio airplay and failed. BSC knows a good southern rock riff and they know their Soundgarden too.  But they don't do ballads very well and writing a song with Bro Country hacks The Warren Brothers is a play for the Bro Country crowd, after Florida Georgia Line covered their song Stay.   I still think Black Stone Cherry remains one of the best newer acts of rock today (although they're veterans since they been around since 2006) and Magic Mountain is a fine listen.  Their second album remains their best though.

UFO Hot N Live is part of the new Chrysalis deal via Rhino Records and you get two cds of The Michael Schneaker years and the other Paul Chapman, when he took over lead guitar from the departed Schneaker. And it's a nice primer of how UFO became a force on the live stage, earliest shows goes back to 1974 when they played to a handful at The Electric Ballroom to over ten of thousands in the late 70s and early 80s. Originally a drugged out space rock band, they took off when Schenker replaced Mick Bolton and started going for a more boogie blues sound.  Even the long departed Danny Peyronel can be heard on 4 tracks from a 1976 Roundhouse show, including his rolling Highway Lady one of the stand outs from No Heavy Petting. A rough mix of Rock Bottom (a more polished mix made it to their classic Strangers In The Night LP) is thrown in good measure.

But it is the second CD, The Paul Chapman years is the more valuable and shows why I think Chapman remains one of the better unknown leads. Not as flashy as the other guy, Chapman has his own style and shows it on Lettin Go and No Place To Run, two songs off NPTR, which ranks as one of their all time best albums ever.  However, Love To Love and Only You Can Rock Me sound more at home when Schenker plays them himself and Love To Love is somewhat lackluster, more of an afterthought.  But the songs which Chapman wrote do come out better in the live setting.  And the band remains very tight despite Way leaving in 1983, replaced by Paul Gray of Eddie And The Hot Rods fame and can be heard on the last three tracks.

That said, the liner notes suck. Although it's nice to have Pete Way's quotes and comments, Hugh Gilmour blows it elsewhere and even misspells Kenosha Wisconsin.  (Kenogha?,  Did anybody from Rhino bother to proofread the notes?). Sometimes informative, but most of the time Gilmour's droll humor doesn't translate very well.  Another nadir:  A fade out in When The Night Comes?  On a live album? That's another a dock of the grade.  Overlook the half assed liner notes and the fade out and Hot N Live is a good overview of two eras although the definite UFO Live album remains Strangers In The Night.  But we are spared of the hair metal parody of Missdemeanor when Tommy McClendon replaced Chapman and the wheels fell off.

As always, keep those cards and letters coming in.  I don't intend to revive the top ten or playlist anytime soon, but might throw up a Archives blog when the situation is right.  But I will continue to hang around this site and perhaps in your blog to see what's going on.  And if there's something worth telling you about, I'll do that as well.

Ta! for now.

More new stuff

Saliva-Rise Up

Losing their lead singer the band drafted Bobby Amaru into the fold and hasn't missed a beat although Island dumped them after the underachieving Under Your Skin and Jonesy Scott saying bye bye.  But on a new label and a new attitude Rise Up is what they say is a return to the arena rock (you can't call it nu metal anymore since Saliva gave up the rap rock of the early years) with XBOX potential battle hymms like In It To Win It and the title track.  Redneck Freakshow would probably find itself at home on a FGL album for the future as well.  With that said, Rise Up takes its cue from latter day Alice In Chains and some Linkin Park (mostly for Amaru's vocals who sighs and grunts after every lyric) with the usual hard rock riffs at the beginning and after the chorus and then the usual minor key bridge and repeat when necessary.  On Rise Up, the band feels like they have a new lease on life and Rise Up is actually better than the last Alice In Chains album. Modern rock that fits the format.  Welcome back guys.

Grade B+

 Petula Clark-Lost In You

Of course you never knew that  Pet Clark put out a album last year since no record store had it but she did.  But anyway....

The record is a nice surprise and of course it helps when John Williams (Proclaimers, Love Sculpture) helps produce this.  For being 80 years young, Clark's vocals really haven't aged that much since the glory days of Downtown which is slowed down for the new version  and Cut Copy Me might be mistaken for Beth Gibbons, kinda reminds me when Loretta Lynn got pared with Jack White for her Van Leer Rose album of ten years ago.  And she manages to cover Gnarls Barkley one hit wonder Crazy as well.  Certainly the nostalgic comes around on side 2, especially on Love Me Tender (the Elvis ballad) and Imagine (the John Lennon song, which Pet Clark sings with a bit of irony) and the original Downtown still wins out.  But overall, Lost In You is a very nice comeback for a legendary singer who never went away.  In fact, if she decided to make an alt country album I'd buy that.  Her own Never Enough would make a nice Nashville hit for Miranda or Martina.

Grade B+  

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