Reviews roundup – Glenn Hughes vs. Aynsley Lister vs. Sixtynine vs. Planistry vs. Ducs
Well you certainly can’t argue with the title as this first solo outing from Glenn Hughes in eight years is certainly heavy. It’s got a honking beast of a guitar riff powering it along while Shug howls over the top in fine style.
I’m always amazed at the power of his voice especially as he reached OAP status last month a few weeks before his old mucker Sir David Coverdale. As an introduction to his forthcoming solo album ‘Resonate’ it certainly does the business even if it might scare off a few of his funkified fans.
It’s one of the two tracks Chad Smith drums on continuing a collaboratoin going back to 2003 and ‘Songs In The Key Of Rock’. Add in a forthcoming UK and European tour with Living Colour and 2016 is shaping up to a very fine year for Glenn Hughes. Check out the video at the foot of the page.
Eyes Wide Open
Straight Talkin’ Records
Studio album number eight from Aynsley Lister. Which seems an odd thing to type as I still think of him as a young, up and coming bluesman. But add in three live albums and he’s almost approaching veteran status.
‘Eyes Wide Open’ sees him continuing in his melodic blues rock styling with some fine songs which show what a good writer and guitarist he is. When he hits peak form as he does on the likes of “Everything I Have To Give”, “Il Grande Mafioso” and “Right As Rain” then its as enjoyable a set of blues rock as you’re likely to hear.
Granted not everything works but his vocals are improving with each album, there are some delightful arrangements and horn parts, and the keyboard playing of Bennett Holland adds variety and flavour throughout. It’s another good album from Mr Lister and one that his fans will appreciate mightily.
You Are Me
Off to Slovenia now for some clasic hard meets melodic rock. And Sixtynine are pretty good at what they do.
And what they do is slightly retro hard rock which owes a lot to the eighties as well as having a few pop / rock influences. Singer Tomaz Klepac is a particularly fine find who can hit the highs and the lows with ease, something best demonstrated on the lighter in the air ballad “Still Dreaming”.
That tune would have got them a few US support slots back in the day and elsewhere the album will appeal to fans of the more melodic side of things on songs such as “Don’t Give Up” and “Believe”. An enjoyable release.
Pros & Cons
Finland now for some more melodic rock and to the town of Lappeenranta on the shore of the Lake Saimaa. They’re a realtively new band, forming back in 2014, but JP Suomalainen (vocals), Tarmo Tikkinen (lead guitar), Anssi Lohko (bass), Juho Krouvi (drums) and Atte Alanen (guitar) have certainly got the chops to make a wee name for themselves.
Again it is slightly retro but that’s what melodic rock fans like, so they’ll certainly get a kick out of this. It’s their debut following on from a short run EP which came out last year but on songs like “Bring Me Trust”, “Join The Show” and “Mile After Mile” there is more than enough promise to keep you wanting to hear more.
It’ll be a tricky one, though, breaking out into a market which values age over youth, but if they can get some support slots further afield we may hear more of Planistry.
Some German melodic grunge now. It surprises me how many young bands are hankering after the days of grunge considering how much I hated it at the time. But I’m old so predate the whiny self-obsessed wastrels that typified that genre.
But over in Hanover, the oddly named Ducs (nee Down Under City Surfers) are more than happy to look back to the days when Staind had actual hit singles. Now I can barely conceive the fact that “It’s Been Awhile” got in the actual Top Twenty but it’s the sort of tune that obviously made an impact.
This is another debut album, with the preceding EP, ‘Ductape’ in 2013 and the German trio certainly know how to play. As you would expect there are political songs, world weary songs and a couple of ballads which would have got acres of airplay back in the day. If you do still wear a non-ironic flannel shirt then this could be for you.