Morpheus Rising

With support from Fahran.

The Robin2, Bilston, 13th July 2014.

Morpheus Rising play a great set of old school heavy rock, loaded with hints from The New Wave of British Heavy Metal era, but sounding bang up to date. Following a suitably epic intro, the combined twin guitar work of Pete Harwood and Damien James Sweeting was an awesome sight, jumping from the melodic to heavy in an instant.

Pete Harwood and Damien Sweeting - Morpheus Rising

Raw powerful vocals from Si Wright were backed up with a thumping bass line from Andy Smith. Resident drummer Nigel Durham was out of action for tonight due to injury, but former drummer Paul Gibbons stepped in to provide an excellent service.

Simon Wright - Morpheus Rising

The great anthem ‘Fighting Man’ led the encore from one of the finest heavy rock groups to come out of the City of York. Although the night was competing with a well known football cup final, I was glad to be in the company of other like minded lovers of great music for a superb night’s entertainment of the best calibre.

Pete Harwood - Morpheus Rising

Eximius Humanus (Latin for Super Human) is the title of Morpheus Rising’s latest album offering, full of endless echoing and atmospheric riffs. A must for all serious rock fans.

Morpheus Rising

Support band Fahran are a great live rock act and were a superb warm-up for tonight’s show. Non-stop heavy rock from start to finish. Plenty of axe grinding guitars and flailing hair.

Fahran.

I don’t think they stopped running around the stage once, even during their token ballad! Together with a full-on animated drummer, Fahran impressed me so much I bought both of their CD’s on the night !

Fahran

For more photographs on the night, follow the link HERE

Words and photography by Stephen Turner.

Beerache’s Summer Party

The Maze Nottingham 12th July 2014.

Firstly, how’s your summer going music fans? Ours has been pretty quite, due to the fact all the major festivals have rejected our media accreditation requests, so we’ve not really had much to talk about. Tonight, however, we was given access to a very special summer event. The legendary independent record label, that is Earache Records, held a summer party, like no other. Primarily, tonight was to honour the release of a very special beer, brewed by those lovely folk over at Castle Rock Brewery, who are producing guest ales to honour those from Nottingham, one such hero is, non other than the founder of Earache, Digby Pearson.

On arrival, at The Maze music venue, which is legendary in its own right, the first thing to strike you was the heat. Being summer, this is to be expected, however, tonight has to be the hottest night this summer, so a drink was needed! Seeing as tonight was in honour of Pearson ale, It would have been rude not to sample it! If you like your ale, it is a 4.2% American-style red ale with ‘New World’ hops from New Zealand, which are known for their intense fruit and citrus flavours.” right, it tastes great!

I can honestly say, after my first pint, I was suitably merry and raring for tonights entertainment! In all honestly, the first pint blew my socks off, but I managed at least 3 more pints before the end of the night and could still walk, so not a complete obliteration, but a very nice ale, indeed!

Being at the Maze, I knew tonight would be an intimate affair, which isn’t something you usually get at a larger festival, so thats a plus. To help the party atmosphere, most in attendance made the effort to buy a new Hawaiian shirt, I say buy, as this is a metal gig and I very much doubt this kind of attire is a regular feature in a metal heads wardrobe! For our efforts, fans were awarded free gifts from Earache, during an intermission, for the best dressed. Several awards were well deserved, but the fat bloke that dropped his pants to reveal “his” ladies leopard print thong shall remain nameless, for obvious reasons, we were robbed!

Tickets were a mere £3, with all proceeds going to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, so naturally we paid for the privilege to be here tonight, we aint free loaders! A total of 4 acts featured tonight, one more and slightly different to that billed, but all of tonights acts were well suited and each knows how to get the party started!

First up, Dick Venom and the Terrortones, which has to be one of the best band names going! On the side lines, before going on stage, I could see Dick waiting, with only a towel around his waist, I asked if that was how he was going on stage, to which he replied “You’ll see” and see we did, all of us! Whoosh, off came the towel, to reveal a fetching pair of blue speedo swimming trunks! At first I thought, this man is smart, its hotter than hell in here, his lack of clothing will help keep him cool, but it turns out, this is his usual on stage dress code! Primarily a punk band, these guys are as insane as the genre suggests. With some odd shapes being pulled by Dick, tonight surely was a spectacle, one I couldn’t watch for long, there is only so long I can watch a man in underwear! The funniest moment of the set has to be watching a punter rubbing baby over Dick’s back, while he sang, you could say lubing him up, so he could slide along the dance floor, on his back!

Dick Venom And The Terrortones

It’s worth mentioning, punk is having a bit of a resurgence of late, thanks to the likes of Lawnmower Deth, who feature later on in the night, well, sort of!

After a quick breath of fresh air, it was the turn of the Savage Messiah to entertain us. These guys were recently nominated for Best New Band at the Metal Hammer Awards, this year and its no secrete that I love this bands energy and full throttle metal sound, but live these guys are amazing and tonight was no exception. Being a bit of a sexy mofo, Joff Bailey treated the lady folk in the crowd to a bit of a striptease, which saw him take his t-shirt off, making most of the female contingency weak at the knees and a little more moist than they already were! Thankfully, no mankini this time!

Joff Bailey - Savage Messiah

Savage Messiah have just released details of a new tour in the autumn, so be sure to check out their shinny new website http://www.savagemessiahofficial.com for more info. Being an intimate show, I managed to talk to the band at length, backstage, which was very revealing! The bands latest album “The Fateful Dark” was only released in May-ish this year, however the band have already started writing material for their next album, how exciting, we look forward to hearing how that develops!

Dave Silver - Savage Messiah

By now, The Maze is more a swamp party than a summer party, but spirits were still high, as Evil:Deth were up next……..Who, I hear you cry, well, Pete couldn’t make tonights show, but the rest of the band asked legendary front man, Dr. Hell (of Evil Scarecrow) if he’d like to step in for tonight, only, which thankfully he agreed to do and do he did well! This is a first, for the bands, to my knowledge, which, lets face it, is pretty limited, but certainly provided us with a very entertaining set!

Dr Hell - Evil Deth

All the usual Lawnmower Deth favourites featured in tonight, notable tracks were Devils Trampoline, where a member of the crowd got to get up on stage and jumped around, as if on a trampoline, very entertaining! Another who we shall call “Skinner” actually got to, um, sing, mumble, shout out the lyrics, (loosely translated) “did you spill my pint?” all 51 seconds of it, which he decided to capture in its entirety by strapping a gopro camera to his head. Personally I thought this was a great idea and I can see this catching on! Skinner gave such a great rendition of the track, I’m pretty sure both Pete and Dr. Hell wont be needed for the next Lawnmower gig (I speculate)!

Ms Bardill

Being an Earache party and the brainchild of Ms Bardill, it was only fair that she too took to the stage, for a track. It was decided she would help sing “Kids in America” having little time to prepare, she managed to write the lyrics down on a piece of paper, which she had to use while on stage to get her through the track, but she did a sterling job, considering! As did Dr Hell, who apparently only had 2 practice sessions before tonight’s show, it was noticed he managed to make less mistakes than Pete, so watch out Pete, if Evil Scarecrow ever let their front man go, he’ll be going for your job!

Dr Rabid Hell - Evil Scarecrow

If having Dr Hell fronting Lawnmower Deth wasn’t enough, Evil Scarecrow decided to gatecrash the party and managed to commandeer their frontman back, to give us a grand finally, in true ES style, mayhem! These guys have the honour of opening the main stage on Saturday, at Bloodstock, this year too. After talking to band members, I can honestly say, its going to be worth getting up early to watch, if you’ve seen an Evil Scarecrow gig before, this will be 10 times better, if you haven’t seen these guys play yet, then what the hells wrong with you?

Brother Dimitri Pain - Evil Scarecrow

By far one of the best shows of 2014, at The Maze as well, who’d of thunk it!

Until next time, music fans, have a great summer!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

Massive

Album Review – ‘Full Throttle’.

Massive

Before I begin, lets get one thing straight, I don’t usually do album reviews, because I don’t feel I have enough technical knowledge about how albums are produced and don’t want to under-value an artists work and for that reason, I will be approaching this review from a music fans perspective.

music224.com are proud to review a new hard rock album, from a band called Massive, its title “Full Throttle” lets hope it lives up to it’s name! First though, who are Massive, as they are a new band to us too, but they seem to be making waves in the music industry of late!

Massive are from Melbourne Australia and apparently, after reading their blurb, they formed back in 2012, by joining body parts together, to create what we have before us today, an 8 legged music machine that’s ready to rock hard and get the party started, even if that means they have to drive across a dessert to do it! The quartet (yes that makes up 8 legs) consists of Brad Marr – vocals, Ben Laguda – Backing vocals & lead guitar, Aidan Mcgarrigle – Backing vocals & Bass and Jarrod Medwin – Backing vocals & Drums.

Before me I hold a promo CD, the front cover is black and white and has a picture of a 1933 Ford Coupe, similar to that on ZZ Top’s legendary album “Eliminator”. The original number plate has been masked out and now spells out the album’s title “Full Throttle”. Over the top of the car, in large, capital letters, we have the band’s name “MASSIVE” which is in bright pink and black letters, which helps to make the cover stand out! There is a cautionary note at the bottom, with reads “Extremely flammable, high-octane rock n roll” which helps to get the curiosity going.

On the reverse of the cover, we are greeted by 4 cool dudes (the band) wearing aviator sun glasses and clothes, of course! Lead singer, Brad is giving us the obligatory rock/metal salute made famous by Ronnie James Dio during his time as lead vocalist for Black Sabbath.

The album has been released here in the UK by the legendary, Nottingham based, independent record label “Earache Records” and hit the ground running on the 21st of May 2014. The album is available in digital format via Itunes, CD format via Amazon and for all us vinyl junkies, you have the option of getting your mitts on 1 of 4 coloured, double gatefold albums, ghost white (only 100 copies) hot rod red/yellow (only 200 copies), MASSIVE pink (only 300 copies) and boring black (only 400 copies) lovely! These albums will be collectors items one day, trust me, grab one while you can.

Now I think its time we put our pedal to the metal and talked about the musical content on this album! There are a total of 11 tracks, which gives you a total playing time of 47 minuets. On my first couple of plays, i’ve come to the conclusion that Massive are an amalgamation of the following, Aerosmith, Buckcherry, Velvet Revolver and the band “The Treatment”, which leads me on nicely to the fact that “Massive” have just announced they will be supporting “The Treatment” along with Buffalo Summer in October for a leg of UK shows, you don’t wanna miss that one! Check their website.

Track 1 – Burn the Sun (4:34)
Right from the start of the CD, this track helps to set the tone of the album, a fast paced rock and roll ballad thats oozing with cool and guitar riffs are a plenty.

Track 2 – Hollywood (3:09)
This is a cheeky track, lyrically, about life in Hollywood. Its short and sweet, which i’m assuming is how it should be if you every get the chance to visit LA, California.

Track 3 – Bring Down the City (4:03)
Heavy guitar grooves and drum beats kicks this one off nicely, it also features a rather catchy chorus, which helps to demonstrate Brad’s vocal abilities. Mid way through this track we get an awesome guitar solo, which i’m sure will feature in a live show. I like this track, very catchy.
Track 4 – One by One (3.56)
This is the official single off of this album and it’s easy to see why. If you’re going to make a statement with your music, in this ever increasing market place, you’re going to want to put out a track that packs a mighty punch and i’m pleased to say this rock anthem doesn’t disappoint. Like the chorus say’s “do it again” so I did, several times, play the track that is! This track is for all the air drummers and guitarists out there, I include myself here!

Track 5 – Big Trend Setter (3:53)
This tracks is probably a jib at all the hipsters in the world (I hope i’m not seen as a hipster for writing this review??) the track is at a slower pace than the previous tracks, but still has that great guitar groove, which leads to an ear bleeding solo, all be it a short one!

Track 6 – Lacey (4:04)
COW BELLS….I love cow bells, groovy! Same format here, catchy lyrics, grooving guitar sound, which builds to a solo mid way through the track, settles down again, only to build towards a larger guitar solo to finish.

Track 7. Dancefloor (3.18)
As you’d expect from any modern dance floor, the bass is thumpin at the start of this track and remains throughout. I reckon this track is a real crowd pleaser at a live show and certainly has that infectious rabble-rousing chorus they talk about!

Track 8 – Ghost (6.01)
Being one of the longest tracks on the album, this track speaks of soul searching and finding your way in the world. Its probably the closest you’ll get to a love ballad from these Aussie hell raisers! This is a really nice track to listen too and helps to stir up emotions. Vocals also feature a little of Steve Tyler on this one!

Track 9 – Now or Never (3:58)
Like the title, for this band “It’s now or never” they’ve got nothing to lose, but everything to gain. Given the quality of the music on this album, I think they’re going to be a big hit, question is, who’s gonna have the balls to give this great music air play?

Track 10 – Best of Both Worlds (6.14)
The longest track on this album, yet it’s delivery continues in the same vain as the rest of the album, a fast pace rock anthem! I’m sure this track will get the crowd pumping their fists in the air, at a live show. I can see it now, fans will be singing along at the top of their voices, I hope to be there, in the crowd in October, hint hint!

Track 11 – Full Throttle (3.52)
Also the title of this album, the riff that starts this track off is brutal and is pleasing my ears muchly. This track helps to end the album in a blaze of glory and sure is full throttle. I can imagine driving extremely fast down the highway, with this as the soundtrack!

All in all, this album is fast, fun and has been a joy to listen too, but I feel its the live shows where these guys are really going to shine, can’t wait!

Review by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)