Reviews roundup – Bloodbound vs. Alexander Wolfe vs. Lester Greenowski vs. Diet Evil
Lets’s see. A Swedish band, with big guitars and long hair singing about Game Of Thrones on a CD portraying Satan spreading his wings. I wonder if they’re a power metal band? [spins CD]. Yup, 100% power metal. Which is fine by me.
Anyway, seems that Bloodbound have been on the go for 10 years or so now, but this is my first encounter with them. Now, for a band with only a handful of records to their name, they’ve managed to get on to their fourth vocalist, so that may be one of the things that has hindered them. Because musically, they’re pretty damn good.
For sure, it sticks rigidly to the power metal template, but that’s exactly what fans of the genre want. And in vocalist number four, Patrik Johansson, they’ve got a real winner. And no, he isn’t the Astral Doors fella. There are some nice symphonic keyboards and on songs like ‘Iron Throne’, ‘When The Kingdom Will Fall’ and ‘Made Of Steel’ they rock big time. And that’s before they throw a childrens choir in beside the kitchen sink.
Very enjoyable, and hopefully they can stay together long enough to capitalise on it.
From The Shadows
Blimey. The hippies doon the Whynot? cafe will be wetting themselves if they ever lend an ear to this. Yes, it’s a folky singer songwriter bleating on about life and love. And he’s struggled for his art, so it’s all the more real. After all, in ored to fund his debut album, “Morning Brings A Flood”, Mr Wolfe had to sell a Rembrandt lithograph print that his grandfather left him. Now that’s struggle. That’s pain.
He’s now on to his third album and this one sees him channeling the whole Nick Drake thing through some jazzy folk. On the plus side, he’s got a very listenable voice. And there are a couple of really good songs in the shape of ‘Into The Deep’ and ‘Still Life’, with the former a really excellent ballad that someone off of the X Factor could take to number one come Christmas.
‘Into The Deep’, on the other hand, is epicus folkus (with added xylophone), which shows an experimental edge he really ought to try more of.
It’s Nothing Serious, Just Life
Seems that Mr Greenowski has spent a fair amount of time in a band called the Landslide Ladies (nope, me neither), an Italian band who apparently mix up glam rock, punk rock and power pop.
This solo album is more of the same, although I would hesitate to use the phrase glam rock. It’s really the kind of scuzzy lo-fi punk sounds that Johnny Thunders used to drag round every shithole in Europe, inbetween pissing blood and passing out. Although at least Mr Greenowski can blow his own trumpet (saxophone, actually) about a couple of good tunes.
That would be ‘Little Lovechild’ and ‘Pussy Galore’. The former is the best of the poppy tunes, the latter the best of the punky ones. There are the requisite Dead Boys and Ramones influences hither and thither, and it’s the kind of thing I heard a thousand time in the late eighties and early nineties when I inhabited scuzzy bars like La Sorbonne and the Cas Rock. Having said that, there are worse things to be in life, and Lester and his supporting cast certainly seem to be having a blast.
Just Do It
So they’re not full fat Evil, merely Diet Evil. Good to know.
And if anyone out there likes the sound of the above Lester Greenowski album, then they’d probably like some Diet Evil to the side. Because it too is a punk rock hybrid, which looks back to the eighties rather than the seventies for their influences.
Unlike our Italian friends above, Diet Evil come from the Canadian colonies in Vancouver and comprise Johnny-O on guitar and vocals alongside Jamie (The Menace) on bass and Darrin Evil on drums. I’m guessing that none of these chaps are using their real names, but they rattle through their punk rock hybrid sounds in a manner that suggests they’re rushing for the last bus.
Best of the bunch are the delightfully titled ‘Pukestank’, followed closely by ‘No Way Out’ and ‘Run Kitty’. An extra point for remembering that the best songs don’t need to go over the three minute mark.