Moore:Music ®

Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

CD round-up: Music I grabbed at Leyendas del Rock this summer!

Screen shot 2013-11-14 at 16.24.38

I’ve been meaning to do a short piece about this for ages, but time seemed to slip away, and the Leyendas festival is all but a distant memory. However, the three albums I bought while wandering the stalls on the perimeter are still all getting plenty of play here at Moore Music towers. I wanted to share them with you. Firstly, we have a lovingly packaged Sentenced album, in a nicely illustrated cardboard slipcase, containing not one but two of their albums on one CD. Hailing from Finland, theirs is a tale that ultimately ended in a tragedy. They began as a melodic death metal outfit, morphing more into heavy metal later on.  The band hold some interest for me for many reasons, one of which is the fact that I spent a month in their hometown of Oulu many years ago, while touring with a band up around the Arctic circle. The main album on here, ‘Amok’, recorded in ’95, is widely considered to be their breakthrough album, and it is paired here with ‘Love & Death’, which features songs recorded around the same time as Amok, and a curious cover of Billy Idol’s White Wedding’. Probably because the songs were all recorded around the same time, the two albums go well together here, and the band’s musicality is well to the fore – it’s a great listen.

The band finally split in 2005 and a mere four years later, Guitarist and founding member Miika Tenkula died, on February 19, 2009. He apparently had succumbed to a genetic heart condition. As a footnote, some months after Miika’s death, Sentenced released a box set of 16 CDs and 2 DVDs chronicling their entire career in a coffin-shaped box. The box-set also included rare and previously unreleased tracks.

Mystic Prophecy (Deu) - Savage Souls

Next on the list was Savage Souls from German band Mystic Prophecy. This version came as a ‘book’ CD – the album being in the front, and a bonus DVD in the back, featuring a live appearance at The Matrix in Bochum. The DVD’s a nice bonus, but it’s the studio album that really shines. formed in Bad Gronenbach in 2000, this release dates from 2006. they seem to have a lot of personnel changes, but the vocals and guitar work on this album are great. They’re like a cross between U.S. and European power metal. A nice surprise, this.

ACCEPT

Finally, I had to invest in Accept’s latest release ‘Stalingrad’ after they delivered a blistering set at Leyendas. I really like Marc Tornillo’s vocals , shades of Brian Johnson- and a great fit for the band. Produced by Andy Sneap, Stalingrad is an album that shows a band still at the top of their game. There’s so many standout tracks on here. Not only that, i picked up the special edition, which includes a live DVD featuring performances from Bang your Head and Monsters of rock festivals in 2011 and 2010 respectively , and the music videos for ‘Teutonic Terror’ (one of my favourite Accept tracks) and the (dare I say, infectious?) ‘Pandemic’.

So, three beauties, and a great festival to boot!

Kev Moore

Advertisements

November 14, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

RETRO REVIEW: Mother’s Finest’s ‘Meta-Funk’n-Physical’ (2003)

Meta-Funk'n Physical

As Mother’s Finest’s kick-starter campaign to enlist their fanbase in being a part of their first new album for 10 years heads into its final week, I thought it a good opportunity to tale a look back at their 2003 release ‘Meta-Funk’n-Physical’..

I remember the first time I listened to this track. I was anxious to get it home and put it on the player. ‘Funk-a-Wild‘ promises much and delivers even more. An insidious synth sequence starts a stealth-like groove, lulling you into a false sense of security before the riff hits you, dripping with the funk, the staccato bass…Baby Jean’s wonderfully provocative lyrics draw you in and suddenly you’re into the killer chorus. Your head’s banging, your foot’s tapping, and you’re still only on track one. Oh yeah, this is gonna get Meta-funk’n physical!

On ‘Bring it’ Mother’s Finest display their innate ability to throw damn near everything in the cooking pot and make it taste good….rapping over Moses Mo’s almost eastern trippy guitar lines, Glenn Murdock and Joyce Kennedy lead us into a growling hard rock chorus, and it all fits like a glove.

I involuntarily break into a smile when I hear Wyzzard’s wicked popping bass syncopated with Moses’ sledgehammer chops underpinning Baby Jean’s chorus on ‘I Believe’. These guys make the groove sound effortless…and in reality it is. Because you cannot learn the groove. You got it, or you ain’t. And Mother’s Finest OWN the groove.

The rest of the album is just as eclectic – beautifully performed ballads such as ‘Don’t take your love’, the quirky funk of ‘What happens when we die?’ and the inspired guest-laden take of Hendrix’s  ‘If 6 were 9’.

‘Flat on my back’ drifts lazily into the detuned stomp of ‘The N-Groove’ a 21st century re-boot of their very own back catalogue, reinventing ‘Like a Negro’ and ‘Niggiz cant sang Rock’n’Roll’.

The final two tracks on the album illustrate Mother’s Finest’s joyous schizophrenia perfectly. ‘Set me Free’, a beautifully rendered classic ballad showcasing Joyce Kennedy’s excellent vocal, followed by ‘Hard time’, a soliloquy  that she delivers in spoken word over a slick syncopated groove, dropping in and out of gospel influenced chorus with ease, then punching you in the face with a full-on rock guitar solo. They do that a lot, Mother’s Finest. They Surprise you. Because they can.

Donate to their Kickstarter campaign. I have, because, 10 years on,  I wanna get surprised all over again.

To Donate, Click on the Image below:

MF

Kev Moore

September 15, 2013 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How cool is this? – The Mother’s Finest kickstarter project – 10 days to go!

Mother’s Finest, the legendary funk rock band from Atlanta Georgia, are asking YOU to participate in their bid to fund their first new album in 10 years. Visit their KICKSTARTER page to get involved!

Today, their guitarist Moses Mo released a video, detailing a brand new perk added to the bidding menu – the one-of-a-kind Mother’s Finest ‘shield’ guitar, built by Jordan guitars! Check out Moses’ video below and head over to the KICKSTARTER site to make your pledge.

BE PART OF FUNKIN’ HISTORY!

Kev Moore

September 12, 2013 Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Video, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Okay….so for a brief shining period, WE were a Power Trio!

Scan 3_2

Further to my recent post about the resurgence of power trios, it was pointed out to me that my old band, TUBELESS HEARTS, was exactly that, particularly around the time we released our 1994 album ‘Three’ – still somewhat sought after by collectors. True, we expanded the remit somewhat when we recorded, utilizing keyboards on some songs, and guitar overdubs, but live we were a much more raw proposition, juxtaposing tracks from the album with hard-hitting rock standards such as ‘Won’t get fooled again’.

Fos Foster - Guitars

Fos Foster – Guitars

           I discovered these pics while tidying the studio this morning, so I thought I’d dust them off and scan them.

Yours truly: Bass/Lead Vocals & Keys

Yours truly: Bass/Lead Vocals & Keys
Simon Kay - Drums/Vocals

Simon Kay – Drums/Vocals

It was a very creative time for me personally, and Fos and I wrote well together, and until I started working with Mike Koch on the new Witch Cross material, the only time I’ve had a good writing partnership.  You can hear one of the tracks below, a funk-rock workout called ‘The Pimp’.

I thought I’d take a moment to remember what a great unit this was. I count myself lucky to still be able to play with these guys, as we get together on occasion as three-quarters of the group CHRISTIE, fronted by multi-million selling hitmaker Jeff Christie.

Here’s the album we made together:

threecover

Kev Moore

September 8, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Touring, Writing | | 5 Comments

The Return of the Power Trio

It’s been a long time coming…but the power trio is back with a vengeance. That ‘perfect’ line-up of guitar, bass and drums is a staple of our rock history, just think Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Budgie, Rush, Trapeze, ZZ Top etc.  The flag was flown briefly in later years by the likes of the very wonderful Kings X of course, but in recent years there have been too few of what, to this writer, is the perfect line-up.

There was a hint of what could be on the recent ‘Machine Head’ tribute, when the stellar line-up of Chad Smith, Steve Vai and Glenn Hughes did the unthinkable and blew the already wonderful ‘Highway star’ out of the water. (okay there’s some keys on there but whose counting!) I still nurse a dream that this might become a longer term association, but then…

…I recently bought the superb album by The Winery Dogs, another amazing line up with Mike Portnoy (more gigs than Dave Grohl, anyone?) Billy (I’m going to give up playing bass now) Sheehan and Ritchie (he can sing AND play like a mother!) Kotzen. So often though, the sum of the parts is not greater, but this album is superb, chiefly because (as with Black Country Communion) the songs are SO good. A three piece rock band is an exciting thing to listen to, and to play in, I can attest to that from personal experience, because there is nowhere to hide and you have to be on your game, and it’s probably why these virtuosos are gravitating towards this particular band configuration, because it stretches them and gives them room to shine. So, all this was enough to get me salivating, but then, courtesy of my good Metal buddy Stone over at METAL ODYSSEY  I’ve also been turned onto Pinnick Gales Pridgen, yet another amazing line up of ex-Kings X, Lauryn Hill and Mars Volta musicians that channel Cream and Hendrix and serve it up fresh, new and damn hot. Check out these three videos and tell me the Power Trio isn’t on the rise!!!!

Kev Moore

September 6, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Video, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mother’s Finest – The Kickstarter campaign

MF

I’ve always been drawn to that bastard offspring of music – Funk Rock. Ever since a guy at my student’s union going by the unlikely name of Andy Starbuck took me aside and played me ‘Hot Wire’ by Trapeze. That led me to explore damn near everything Glenn Hughes had recorded, and in the late 70’s when I became a professional bassist and singer and went to tour for several years in Scandinavia, I discovered Mother’s Finest. Perhaps it’s the bassist in me that loves my riffs hot heavy and funky – but whatever the reason, I loved their mix of rock funk and blues, Baby Jean’s vocal screaming out over Mo’s sledgehammer riffs. When Brian Adams got Tina to sing on ‘It’s Only Love’, I was like “MF have been there and done that a decade before you dude!”.

Mother’s Finest are a pioneering, historically important band. And against all the odds, they are still out there doing it today. They haven’t released any new music for a decade, but all that’s about to change. In conjunction with the fundraising site Kickstarter, they have launched a campaign to create a brand new album with the help of their loyal fanbase. If you haven’t heard this band, you need to check them out. They have inspired so many bands that followed them. Extreme, the Dan Reed Network, and don’t tell me Prince never had them on his turntable!

It’s a niche music, because traditional metalheads shy away from it, and funk purists too, for different reasons, but for me, damn! Funk rock is greater than the sum of its parts, and nobody delivers it like Mother’s Finest. Check them out , and then head to the pledge site at the link below the video and sign up. Be a part of it and help them make their next killer album!

THE MOTHER’S FINEST KICKSTARTER PROJECT- DONATE NOW!

Kev Moore

August 27, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Tale of Two Festivals – Part Four: The Cazorla Blues Festival

CIMG3569Lock & Load: Cooling off: Spanish-Style!

By the Friday, the whole town was in on the Party, beneath the unforgiving sun, the blues fans boogied, shimmied, got drunk, and availed themselves of the spring water that flowed freely all over town, almost as freely as the beer!  The variety of acts was great, even though I has some misgivings about the inclusion on the Thursday night of Fito and Fitipaldis (or Emerson and the Fitipaldis as I couldn’t resist christening them) -who were plainly a Spanish ‘chart’ band, and an undeniably big draw. A commercial decision? Certainly. The right decision? I’m not so sure.

CIMG3613The Blues is Thirsty work….

The Friday night saw the likes of Little Mike and the Tornadoes – a fast talking New Yorker who delivered a powerful set…then we were assailed by Janiva Magness, a woman who, if the bio in the programme was to be believed, had suffered immeasurable hardships in her life. Her considered portrait alongside however, did not prepare us for the behemoth of bad taste that tottered onto the stage in impossibly high heels. The woman can sing, and sing well….but I can’t help feeling she needs direction, both in choice of material, and dress sense. But that’s just my opinion. I’d so wanted to see UK blues stalwarts Nine below Zero, but their inexplicable time slot of 3.30am meant that realistically wasn’t going to happen.

CIMG3584Suzzete Moncrief

Saturday afternoon saw Suzzete Moncrief accompanied by guitarist Lito Fernandez on the stage in the old square. She did a great job, and had the sweltering crowd with her, particularly on ‘Dock of the Bay’ where the whole crowd attempted to whistle the solo!

CIMG3597Chino & The Big Bet

Next up, Chino and the Big Bet, one of my favourites of the festival. A resonator guitar, half a drumset and an upright bass, this Spanish trio from Barcelona proved to be excellent exponents of Blues and Swing, having come 2nd in the European Blues Challenge. Although the seemed a little ill-at-ease out of the confines of their more normal club-sized gigs, they nevertheless delivered an endearing set with great style and feel.

los-coronasLos Coronas

The Saturday night of course, we headed to the Plaza del Toros for George Thorogood, but we were blown away by the band that took to the stage before him. the band of the festival for me. Los Coronas were simply magnificent. Imagine being thrown into a dream where you were at a rock concert that kept morphing between surf city, a Quentin Tarantino movie, and a Spaghetti Western, and you might get an idea what Los Coronas are all about. Their set, devoid of all vocals save “Poison Ivy” sung by their drummer, who does the whole set standing up (some of the most magnificent snare work I’ve ever witnessed, by the way) – is a journey, cinematic in scope, on the wings of blistering, glorious twanging guitars, channeling Duane Eddie, The Surfaris, and Ennio Morricone.  Many years ago, in a covers band, we would play ‘Wipe Out’ as a filler, a throwaway number….when these guys exploded into it about three-quarters of the way through their set, it was pure joy. If anyone had told me I could not just sit through a 90-minute instrumental set, but wildly enjoy it, I would have said they were crazy. All wearing White cowboy hats and shades, and possessed of a trumpeter extraordinaire, surrealistically hailing from the Ukraine, they exuded style, cool, top-drawer musicianship and self-deprecating wit – they were one of the best live acts I have ever seen.

GeorgeThorogoodGeorge Thorogood

It is to George Thorogood’s credit that he was able to follow that, it would have killed most bands. his open statement “Somebody’s got to go to jail for rock’n’roll, it might as well be me!” set the tone for the evening, and he  and the tornadoes delivered a blistering set that had to of course, feature his take on John Lee Hooker’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer”, and the classic “Bad to the Bone”, where he wrings ever last drop of blues out of the slide that attacks his hollowbody guitar.

Cazorla Blues – you have some festival here. Love the town, love the people love the vibe, but keep your eyes on what’s real. Don’t let pop insinuate itself. Keep this festival BLUES.

Kev Moore

July 24, 2013 Posted by | Blue Odyssey CD, blues, Music, Recording, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Tale of Two Festivals – Part Three: Cazorla Blues Festival continued….

CIMG4840“..It fell down…so I built another!”

The festival not yet upon us, we continued to explore the town of Cazorla and surrounding areas, discovering the amazing story of the ‘open air’ church that would form the back drop for one of the blues stages. The history of the creation of this building reads like a Monty Python sketch, the architect designing and building it adjacent to the mountain, and on top of a river. The mountain promptly collapsed upon it, the church in turn collapsed into the river, then the rains came, the river had nowhere to go because of the rocks and church debris blocking its course, so it promptly rose up and washed everything about twenty kilometers away. This sort of thing happened often. Personally I think God was trying to tell them something, but well, the Catholics were clearly a stubborn bunch. It stands today as I believe, the only church with a river actually running underneath it!

CIMG3515The River even God couldn’t stop…

It was fascinating to walk beneath the town square and the church, and wonder at the sheer bloody-mindedness that religious zealotry can provoke. There was supposed to be a statue of the virgin Mary in the alcove on the outer wall, but she didn’t make it. Probably too busy manifesting herself at the chapel high up on the ridge in order to put another collection-gathering scheme in operation. Pity, as I would have loved to see her presiding over the blues gig wearing a set of ray-bans and cradling a resonator guitar….

CIMG4685Finally make it to the outskirts of La Iruela-but a long way to go yet!

We finally made it to the Chapel high on the ridge via a punishing and circuitous route that also took in La Iruela and the amazing Castle there. Yes, they’ve got castles and watchtowers coming out of their ears round here, it’s almost reminiscent of that beacon-lighting scene in Lord of the Rings.

CIMG3380The Magnificent Castle at La Iruela

After finding the Castle, we trekked ever higher, and began to double back along the high ridge towards the chapel that we had seen from Cazorla. It turned out, like so many places around here, to have a) a wonderful supply of natural springwater and b) an unlikely legend. call me a cynic, but I’m constantly amazed at the amount of places that magically seem to be the site of some kind of ‘vision’, which then gives rise to some celebration, money, etc, etc…SO lucky, don’t you think?  Judging by the amount of places I’ve visited where Mary’s supposed have rocked up, she was certainly a busy woman, probably on a European tour. Apparently, in this instance, a bolt of lighting struck a rock, cracked it in two, and a shepherd fell down and whacked his head on it. When he came to, the Virgin was looking down on him…mmm…that’s not a miracle mate, that’s concussion.

CIMG3415View from the Chapel on the ridge.

Anyway, we made our way downhill, unconverted, in readiness for the following day, when Walking Stick Man would be the first act to take the stage at one in the afternoon. Unless we had a visit from the Virgin Mary of course.

CIMG4965Watching Walking Stick Man

CIMG4940Chilling in the Old Square

there was a fabulous atmosphere in the square that first afternoon as the sun beat down, the beer and tinto flowed, and everybody immersed themselves in the acts performing. Later that evening, the action transferred to two other stages, including the old bullring where Brazilian blues harp player and singer Flavio Guimaeres and his band with an English Guitarist really impressed.

CIMG4853Plaza del Toros

The old bull rings of Spain make superb concert venues, turning ‘Death in the Afternoon’ into ‘Music in the Evening’, and cultural differences aside, it’s a fair exchange.

CIMG3546The People gather…..

The shows are relentless at these Spanish festivals, particularly this one, acts begin on the first of three stages at on in the afternoon, and wind up finishing in the Bull Ring around five in the morning! The first day was amazing, and there was so much more to see….but that’s in Part 4!

Kev Moore

July 21, 2013 Posted by | blues, Music, Recording, Thoughts, Writing | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Witch Cross in Conversation

Myself and Guitarist Mike Koch talk about the band reforming, touring, and the new album ‘Axe to Grind’ – out now on Hells Headbangers Records as  a CD, on itunes or as a 12″ LP in a choice of blue or black vinyl. Just click on the album image below the video to visit Hell’s Headbangers’ shop.

Witch Cross - axe to grind

Kev Moore

July 18, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Video, Witch Cross | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Axe to Grind from Witch Cross – now streaming live for a limited time!!

Today, reunited Danish heavy metal cult WITCH CROSS stream the entirety of their comeback album, Axe to Grind, at tastemaking web-portal InvisibleOranges.com. Released this week by HELLS HEADBANGERS on both CD and LP formats, WITCH CROSS’ Axe to Grind is the band’s first full-length of all-new material since 1984’s heavy metal classic Fit for Fight, reissued to widespread acclaim last year by HELLS HEADBANGERS. Picking up where they left off in the glorious ’80s, WITCH CROSS nevertheless inject their trademark power & glory with a newfound urgency and grit that never betrays their roots in the ancient ways of heavy metal mayhem. Neither “old school” nor “new school,” WITCH CROSS prove that the masters are back – and school’s in session! Hear the proof for yourself, as the entire album is streamed for a limited time courtesy of InvisibleOranges.com: http://www.invisibleoranges.com/2013/07/album-stream-witch-cross-axe-to-grind/
 
<br />Witch Cross - Axe to Grind 
Tracklisting for WITCH CROSS’ Axe to Grind
1. March of the Vikings
2. Demon in the Mirror
3. Ride With the Wind
4. Metal Nation
5. Awakening-Pandoras Box
6. Axe to Grind
7. Bird of Prey
8. Lost Without Warning
9. Parl of the Machine
10. Chelsea 100
11. Beyond the Veil
 
Says guitarist Mike Kock, “WITCH CROSS are thrilled to be working with HELLS HEADBANGERS on the new album Axe to Grind. We were blown away with the work that HELLS HEADBANGERS did with the re-release of Fit for Fight and the boxsets etc. We couldn’t ask for a better and more supportive label!
 
In preparation for this monumental comeback album, WITCH CROSS unleashed a flurry of teasers for Axe to Grind. The first video from the album, “Demon in the Mirror,” can be viewed in its entirety here: http://youtu.be/66eycbDlm-Y. Additionally, a teaser link for the album can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu_MX6z7wtI, and the full track for “Demon in the Mirror” be heard here: http://hellsheadbangers.bandcamp.com/album/axe-to-grind.
 
WITCH CROSS will be playing shows all across Europe this summer in promotion of Axe to Grind. For more info, consult the official WITCH CROSS website at www.witchcross.dk.
 
“When you need metal, go to hell!”

July 10, 2013 Posted by | Metal, Music, Recording, Rock, Witch Cross | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments