Reviews roundup – Never Train vs. Morganway vs. Mark Duda vs. Mayburn vs. Mollyanna
Finlandia! And to a band who really, really like their scuzzy eighties rock. And that would be the oddly named Never Train with their oddly named EP DNAR.
They bill themselves as “street rock” and point to Guns N’ Roses, AC/DC, Hanoi Rocks, Aerosmith, Sentenced and Marilyn Manson as their influences but to my ears Kimmo Nieminen (vocals), Rauli Hämäläinen (lead guitar), Juuso Kekkonen (guitar), Jukka Siltala (bass), and Jari Ala-Kahrakuusi (drums) are basically a scuzzy biker meets sleaze rock band.
And I’m happy with that having flowered during the glory years of hair metal. They’re probably just a wee bit too punky for my personal ears but they do make a mighty fine racket on this, their second EP. There are only three tracks which flash by in a fury of riffs and attitude but once they’re done you’ll be hitting repeat play. Good work.
The Hurricane EP
To Norfolk! Not quite the same ring as Finlandia but if you’re looking for some top notch British country music then the wide open plains of Norfolk are the place to be.
Morganway are the band in question, named after the Morgan twins, Callum on acoustic guitar and Kieran on lead guitar, who along with Yve Mary on vocals have come up with a mighty fine EP.
Their first release ‘No Tomorrows’ came out last year and passed me by but on the basis of this, that was my loss. Granted they do veer a bit to the alt for my taste but there is enough good roots music here to keep me listening. The opening “Devils Canyon” is the highlighr despite not being a cover of the Outlaws song, but it has a verve about it that is quite captivating.
The other tunes don’t quite match it in intensity but will appeal to the youngsters out there who like to like country which isn’t really country. And that’s fair enough. I’m an old man and they’re not after me!
Month Of Sundays
I thought I didn’t know who Mark Duda was until I remembered hearing ‘Sons of Downton’ from his band The Handful back in 2015. I quite liked that. It was old fashioned seventies guitar rock with guest appearances from the likes of Bobby Rondinelli (Blue Oyster Cult, Rainbow, Black Sabbath), Jimi K. Bones on guitar (Joan Jett, Blondie) and Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys).
This, however, is a solo release of seventies guitar rock with guest appearances from the likes of Bobby Rondinelli (Blue Oyster Cult, Rainbow, Black Sabbath), Jimi K. Bones on guitar (Joan Jett, Blondie) and Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys). Plus ca change.
But why mess with something that works and this EP (yes, three in a row) is enjoyable. The half a dozen tracks on offer are well written and played with the opening “Month Of Sundays” getting things underway in fine fettle. The brass enhanced “Standoff Love” is a real highlight and with only “Worse For Wear” failing to score on the repeat-omoter it’s a win for Mr Duda.
Mainstream modern rock now and for that we’re off to Austria to have a listen to the second albun from Mayburn.
A relatively new band they formed back in 2013 before coming to wider attention via touring and a second place at the Local Heroes Contest 2015. That all lead to their debut album “When Worlds Collide” which helped raise the profile of their post grunge meets Foo Fighters sound.
There are hints of Incubus around some of the songs like ‘Rising Tide’ and ‘Hear Me Calling (Let It Fade), the guitar work is very strong and there is and plenty for fans of modern rock to enjoy.
I thought the name was a bit familiar and after some rooting around I realised that Mollyanna are the band formerly known as the Molly Anna Band. Or TBFKATMAB for short.
I quite liked their ‘Ghosts’ EP and found it a bit redolent of early nineties goth pop. Which is a good thing in case you were wondering. Well now they’ve shortened their name, toughened their sound and punted out a new single.
And it’s good. Not as good as the EP was but that’s because I miss the slightly fey thing they had going for them. Instead “Louder” as the name suggests is louder. The guitars are turned up and even the synths have a touch of distortion. So now it’s more late nineties Evanescence instead of early nineties All About Eve. One for goths in an even worse mood than usual.