Reviews roundup – Kissin’ Dynamite vs. Beyond The Shade vs. Ritchie David Porter vs. Midway Still vs. Dawnless
Here she come, here she come, eatin’ up the thrill, sugarcane sugarcane, dressin’ up to kill. Yes indeed folks. It’s time for a new album from Kissin’ Dynamite. Now I thought that ‘Megalomania’ was a step backwards from the fabulous ‘Money, Sex & Power’ into the world of mainstream modern rock, but am delighted to report that ‘Generation Goodbye’ sees them hitting the melodic rock bullseye.
Yup, album number five from the German rockers sees them fine tuning their music to the nth degree and taking a long, hard look at the modern world. They’ve also taken a couple of left field turns with ‘If Clocks Were Running Backwards’ and ‘Utopia’ turning up the gloom-ometer setting to high.
But when they rock, they rawk, and songs like “Hashtag Your Life”, “Operation Supernova” and “Running Free” are as good, if not better, than anything that has gone before, with the always impressive Hannes Braun in amazing voice. The album also sounds great, so taking production duties into their own hands really seems to have paid off. Add in a hefty swathe of proper eighties metal guitar solos, and you’re left with a winner.
9th Story Records
A couple of months back we visited glorious downtown Airdrie for our first encounter with Louise Connell, who plies her musical trade under the name of Reverieme. Now it’s a long time since I took the 211 from Carnwath to Airdrie, but it seems an unlikely environ for something this intimate and reverential.
She’s had a few EPs out already, but this is her debut album (which was crowdfunded through Pledge Music). And it’s a combination of alt-folk, stripped back electronics and eighties sci-fi soundtracks which shouldn’t really work. But it does, although bearing in mind my hairy rock antecedents I’m probably not the target market!
From the opening ‘Fairy Stories’ through ‘Nocturnal Babe’ and into ‘One For Sorrow’, there is an openness and lack of guile which really draws you in, even if there are some thorny words behind the rose-hued music. There aren’t many upbeat moments, so if you’ve heard the single ‘Golem’, then this might not be what you were expecting. Regardless, this is a record worth exploring.
RITCHIE DAVE PORTER
Working Class Bluesman
Hottish on the heels of last years ‘Acoustic Blues EP’, here comes Brummie blues mand Ritchie Dave Porter with his latest release. And as with the acoustic EP and the preceding ‘Rocking The Blues’, I quite like this.
See, he is a cracking guitarist, whether it’s electric, slide or acoustic, and he has a real feel for the blues, so when he turns on some Chicago acoustic blues, as on the title track, then it’s a real treat. There’s a few of those here, and they’re all good. And when he plugs in on ‘No More Hell’, it’s just as vital. Probably the best of the bunch is ‘The Storm She Was A Woman’, which goes all Delta on you, with just about every blues guitar trick in the book thrown at you.
However, as I’ve said in previous reviews, he’s a better guitarist than he is a singer, so gird yourself going in. But put that to one side, and you’ll hear one of the finest blues guitarists out there today.
Go Team No Hope
Bitter And Twisted Records
What? Really? Midway Still? From page 37 of the New Musical Express in 1992? Well, apparently so.
And little has changed in the last quarter century if memory serves me right. They were a second division side (that’s the Championship for people under 35) in the grunge meets pop / punk world, with their Talking Head guitar lines and squally riffs. Jailbait John Peel liked them which is really all you need to know. But I’ve got another paragraph to write, so on we go.
It’s their sixth album overall, and their third since reforming at the start of the decade, and I’m delighted that time hasn’t turned them into a bunch of jazzbo musos, as they’re still clattering about like a bunch of teens on speed and White Lightning. They’ve sneaked a few good tunes in as well, and the likes of ‘Don’t Walk Away’ and ‘Do One Day’ would surprise many an old school rawker. As would the appearance of “Fast” Eddie Clarke. Talking, not playing. Yes, really.
Beyond The Shade
Finally, for today, we’re off to Switzerland for some melodic metal. The Swiss have got some form in the world of rawk and roll, with the likes of Krokus and Gotthard having made international waves over the last few decades, so how will Dawnless fare?
Well, they’ve been on the go since 2003, when the original lineup got together to play some eighties / Gothenburg inspired melodic metal. They put out a couple of albums in the shape of “A Way of Escape” and “While Hope Remains”, which saw them gigging and playing festivals. Then nothing.
Until 2014 saw them working on this, their third album, one that has taken a couple of years to bring to fruition. And Bertrand Ecoffey – vocals, guitars, David Ecoffey – drums, Samuel Michaud – bass, Hervé Michaud – death vocals, guitars and Lionel May – backing vocals, keyboards have done a decent job on hard edged songs like ‘Self-Destruction’, ‘Civilization’ and ‘Judge Not’. Whether it’s good enough to see them break out is up for discussion, but it’s certainly worth a spin.