Sammy Hagar & The Circle – Space Between

The Red Rocker is back with yet another band and album. Many are the different projects Hagar has been involved with since his early Montrose days which resulted in him branching out on a solo career after only two albums with Montrose where the debut is a true Rock classic. His solo career, that started in 1976, became very successful with a bunch of platinum records under his belt. After one album with a side-project with Neal Schon called HSAS in 1984, Hagar joined Van Halen after David Lee Roth’s exit in 1985 and until he left/got fired in 1996, Van Halen were even more successful than in the DLR days. It was then that Hagar got involved with a whole lot of different projects such as Chickenfoot with Joe Satirani, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith. He also continued to release albums with constellations like Sammy Hagar & The Waboritas (also called The Wabos on some records), Sammy Hagar & Friends and lately his new combo Sammy Hagar & The Circle.

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Prins Svart – Inte Här för att Stanna

It was less than a year ago when Swedish Classic Rock band Prins Svart (Prince Black) released their self-titled debut album. As a guy who has issues with music sung in Swedish, I had no language problems after only one spin of said album – I was completely floored. Not that Prins Svart are revolutionary by any means, their brand of 70’s smelling Hard Rock in the vein of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Whitesnake and Rainbow has been done on numerous occasions before. But the songs, those songs were in the highest of quality and the members are all world-class musicians which makes originality secondary. Fact is, that these guys use Swedish lyrics makes them stand out from all the other 70’s retro acts out there so said lyrics actually works to the band’s benefit. And it must be pointed out that Prins Svart do have their own identity.

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Whitesnake – Flesh & Blood

To write an introduction about Whitesnake is a waste of time and space. If you’re clueless about this band, then google because if you are, you probably have been – and still are – living under a rock somewhere. When Whitesnake now releases a new record, the first one with all originals featuring guitarist Joel Hoeckstra (Night Ranger, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Cher), the question isn’t whether they have recorded the best album of their career, equaling classics like Come An’ Get It (1981), Slide It In (1984) or even 1987 because let’s face it, that’s never gonna happen, no the question is how it will stand up to later releases after the come back, like Bad To Be Good (2008) and Forevermore (2011). I don’t even count the Deep Purple covers album The Purple Album (2015) debacle. No matter which era of Whitesnake you prefer, I think all Whitensake fans are at least a bit interested in how relevant Whitesnake are in 2019 – especially when you consider David Coverdale’s reduced vocal abilities of the last decade or so.

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The Quireboys – Amazing Disgrace

To give The Quireboys a bashing because they keep on playing the same style of music album after album is like bashing bands like AC/DC and Iron Maiden because of the same thing. You’re very well entitled to do just that but I kind of think it’s a bit unjust and unfair. Some bands have their brand and they go for that whole-heartedly. To rewrite the same songs time after time is a whole other matter and I don’t think The Quireboys do that, even though I have heard some people clain that they do. I do not agree one bit. That said, the quality of their albums has been a bit up and down since their reformation back in 2001. To expect them to come up with another masterpiece like their debut A Bit Of What You Fancy (1990) or even the underrated follow-up Bitter Sweet And Twisted (1993) would probably be to ask a bit too much, but the the fact is, the Quireboys has released some damn fine records since then. Hopefully, their brand new one will be one of those.

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The Treatment – Power Crazy

This is The Treatment’s fourth album since they started back in 2008 – and with the album comes singer number three. Original singer Matt Jones left the band in 2015 and his replacement Mitchell Emms followed him two years later, after only one album with the band. The new guy on the block’s name is Tom Rampton and it is with him as a frontman the band hopes their big break will come. Speaking of big breaks, despite opening slots for bands such as Alice Cooper, Thin Lizzy, Slash, W.A.S.P., Steel Panther and the Kiss/Mötley Crüe combo-tour, it has never shown up. Without sounding like a complete dick, I suspect that what’s missing is the songs that kills. I have given their records my best effort and nothing has ever stuck – and I don’t know one single person that has ever raved about the band either. I don’t think they suck, it’s just that I find them too impersonal and their songs too middle-of-the road. But with new blood in the band, maybe it’s this album that will take the band to the top.

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Rival Sons – Feral Roots

Here’s a band that don’t need any introduction. Much have been said about the Rival Sons, from them being geniuses to complete rip-offs, but no matter what you think, it’s hard to overlook the fact that the band have been building a big following throughout the years. Me, I was somewhat obstinate when Rival Sons first came into the spotlight but when I gave in, I really did gave in. Even though Rival Sons have existed since 2009 –  ten years – they feel like a new band to me, a new band that plays old music but in truth, they’re almost veterans by now. Prior to this new record, five albums have been released, albums I truly love and to this day, I haven’t heard one bad track by them. Their last album Hollow Bones (2016) got some critique for being repetitive and no taking the band forward but I beg to differ, I think Rival Sons take steps with each album.

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Inglorious – Ride to Nowhere

After two brilliant albums with lots of great reviews by both media and fans – they were even hailed as the great new hope of Rock – the shit hit fan big time. The band that Brian May of Queen said to be new Deep Purple fell apart in the blink of an eye. Inglorious had just finished recording their third album – this one – and even had a video-single out when three members – guitarists Andreas Z Eriksson and Drew Lowe and bassist Colin Parkinson – quit the band right on the spot. The confusion was total as no real explanation was given at the time. Voices said that singer Nathan James’ big ego and dictatorship was the reason, something that was fuelled when a replacement for Eriksson came the day after his leaving, a young guy named Danny Dela Cruz, but nothing could really confirm that James was the bad guy here. Very little has been said of the matter more than some fans’ outbursts on social media. What stands clear though is that Inglorious have/had a lot bigger following than I knew of and that the break-up hardly was beneficial for the band.

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Electric Boys – The Ghost Ward Diaries

I have an imaginary file that I call “Reunited bands that kick their past’s butt”. There’s a few acts in there – Europe, Winger and Stryper to mention a few – but it’s far from being full. Many bands that reunites are really good but few manages to better their glory days. Here’s another such band – the Electric Boys. I have been a big Electric Boys fan ever since I saw singer/lead guitarist Conny Bloom and bass player Andy Christell perform “All Lips And Hips” playback as a duo in 1988 (guitarist Franco Santunione and drummer Niclas Sigevall joined up shortly after) on a Swedish music show and I loved every album back in the day. Electric Boys split up in the mid 90’s clearly affected by the Grunge movement after their 1994 album Freewheelin’ bombed. Except for Bloom, who released a solo album and one album with a new outfit – Titanic Truth, it was deadly quiet from the rest of the band until Conny and Andy showed up in Hanoi Rocks in 2004.

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Greta Van Fleet – Anthem of the Peaceful Army

Once in every while a big hype comes along, a hype so big that if you’re just a little too late picking it up it’s easy to get obstinate and refuse to even give the artist a break. At least I work like that. Rival Sons are the first to come to mind. When they showed up they were everywhere and everybody and their mother seemed to simply adore them as soon as they even laid a fart. So I became obstinate. But when I finally couldn’t resist checking them out, I also totally got why the hype was so big. So they didn’t reinvent the wheel and they wore their influences on their sleeves but they were so good at what they were doing and they had a treasure chest full of brilliant songs so who the hell gives a crap? I’m a huge Rival Sons fan now. This time they hype is called Greta Van Fleet, a band made of three brothers and a buddy of theirs, from Frankenmuth, Michigan, USA.

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Ace Frehley – Spaceman

Ace is back and he told you so! And since he left Kiss for the last (?) time back in 2001 to get sober once and for all and to get the second coming of his solo career off the ground, it sure seems like good ole Ace really is back because in later years he really has proven to be one creative dude. His first album since Trouble Walkin’ (1989), Anomaly (2009) turned out to be a bit on the uneven side but it was good enough and showed us that he meant business this time. Today, Ace has been sober for almost 12 years and at the age of 67, Ace feels more creative than ever before. 2014’s Space Invader proved that Ace had a lot left to give, a brilliant album that nailed everything that is Ace Frehley and in my book his best effort since awesome as his 1978 solo debut. Hell, the guy even managed to record a great cover album, something that’s pretty unusual. With his life in order and his career back on track, it’s time for Ace to prove that his last album wasn’t just a lucky shot and that he’s relevant in 2018 with a brand new album.

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