Reviews roundup – Pinetop Perkins & Jimmy Rogers vs. Herald vs. Sunspot vs. Zoner

PINETOP PERKINS & JIMMY ROGERS with Little Mike & The Tornadoes Genuine Blues LegendsPINETOP PERKINS & JIMMY ROGERS with Little Mike & The Tornadoes
Genuine Blues Legends
Little Mike

We’re heading back to 1988 on this new release, and into the archives of Little Mike (of The Tornadoes) to the Grand Auditorium in Ellsworth, Maine when his band were backing the two blues legends of the title, namely Pinetop Perkins and Jimmy Rogers.

Someone pushed play and the set was recorded, before disappearing into the shed for a few decades. But here it is in all its raw glory, with Pinetop Perkins on piano & vocals (tracks 1-4 & 8-10), and Jimmy Rogers on guitar (4-10) and vocals (5-8).  Little Mike was even littler back then, so his band are particularly eager to please as they head off into some classic cuts like ‘Big Boss Man’ and ‘When I Lost My Baby’.

The sound is really bootleg quality, but decent enough, and it’s great to hear the two wise old men give the young bucks a good run out.  If you can put up with the Muddy (hah!) sound, you’ll get a bit of a blues education here.



Trad power metal with Iron Maiden vibes from Estonia.

They’ve been on the go for about 15 years or so, and have had plenty of time ro develop those galloping riffs that sound so good.  MInd you, I have no idea what Sven Varkel – vocals, Egert Vandel – guitars, backing vocals, Tauno Nava – guitars, backing vocals, Endla Favorite – bass guitar, backing vocals and Jan Liinat – drums, percussion are going on about, because it’s all in Estonian.

But they make a good racket on this, their third album, and if you’re looking to take a left turn for some heavy metal, then checking out the likes of ‘Meister’, ‘Võõras omade seas’ and ‘Tühised teooriad’ will do your studded wristband a power of good.


Weirdest Hits

Here’s a band that don’t like to be pigeonholed.  Not when there is psychedelic, power punk, alt rock, shoegazing, harmony pop and roll to be played.

Seems that Sunspot (consist of Mike Huberty (Vocals/bass/keys), Wendy Lynn Staats (Drums/vocals/violin) and Ben Jaeger (Guitars/vocals/piano)) do some sort of podcast thing, whatever that is, and this album is a compilation of songs from said podthing.

They’ve been out across an assortment of EP’s, but this puts them all in one place for your listening pleasure.  And it’s an oddball selection, which I would defy anyone to like in its entirety. But there are some good tunes here, from wherever on the spectrum above you happen to be, with ‘Messiah Complex’ my favourite of the 18 (count ’em) songs on offer.


ZONER Auralsonic NavigationZONER
Auralsonic Navigation

Zoner is a Cypriot one man band comprising Antonis Demetriou and this, his third album, sees him working in a sphere that would be recognisable to fans of Devin Townsend and his ilk.  Namely, slightly wonky and spaced out rock meets metal.

It’s a short album, but he manages to pack a lot of ideas into a thirty minute slot, so fair play to him for being adventurous on the likes of ‘S.O.S. (Same Old Shit)’ and ‘Back Into Metal’.

It also manages to sound a bit retro, with the metal influences hailing from the eighties, but people like me, like that sort of thing.  Now I don’t know whether it’s deliberate or not, but it actually sounds as though it was on an indie label in the eighties as well.  Very Mausoleum in production.  As he’s done it all himself, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.  An interesting release.