Category Archives: Album reviews

Mat Partridge

Solo Album ‘Parts Per Million’.

For many a year, I’ve been a firm fan of the vocal competence of Mat Partridge – mainly through the music of the rather exceptional rock band Soley Mourning but this, his first solo album ‘Parts Per Million‘, introduces yet another side of Mat’s song writing ability that really is something quite special to behold.

Comprising of ten outstanding tracks, ‘Parts Per Million‘ plays through like chapters in a story book, as each song has it’s own unique purpose and beautifully brings the music and life of Mat Partridge together, in perfect harmony.

The opening track ‘Kick The Brakes Off (Now We’re Rollin’) lavishes the listener with a hearty dose of that wonderful feel good factor and if the brass section combined with the pulsating drum rhythm doesn’t get your soul boogieing even just a little bit to this one, then there really is no hope for you.

Watch Mat Partridge – Kick the Brakes Off (Now We’re Rollin’) – Official music video_0!

Track 1 really does set the scene well for what follows on, as ‘Respects To The Renegade‘ and ‘Same Old Same Old‘ embed these factors further and for those fans of everyday real life rhythm and blues, these two tracks will get a thumbs up for sure.

The big surprise of this album was Track 4, ‘Psychology Song‘ as it takes a turn in a slightly different direction and one that I never would have expected. Sitting within an authentic Latin vibe, it transports you musically, far far away from the West Midlands, where it was created and if you love a bit of easy on the ear piano jazz as I do, then this song is a must to check out.

Having come to the half way point of ‘Parts Per Million‘, I had already reached the conclusion that one of the most compelling things about this album were the song lyrics and the fact that not only has Mat proved himself as being a great story teller, but he also has the presence to reflect upon and capture the emotions behind the situations that day to day living can place us in and ‘Any Road Home‘, ‘This Thing We Got Ain’t Lovin‘, ‘Amateur Dreamers‘ and ‘Gonna Get Up Now‘ are all beautiful examples of this. It is well worth checking out Mat’s Facebook page and reading through his posts, as you will find that he has shared his inspiration for some of these songs there.

The second to last song on the album is ‘The Sugarblues‘ and this is an absolute corker of a track with its tongue in cheek capture of life’s ups and downs and the consequences of putting things off to do another day. The video that accompanies this track is worthy of a BAFTA and will ring hilariously true for those of us that rely heavily on ‘Post Its‘, just to get through the day!

Based upon the experience of this album so far, the closing track was destined to be one of a kind and that is exactly what ‘Valuables‘ is. This is a song of love that touches the soul and I’m sure that the words will ring true with many a parent – it is also a beautiful and perfect ending to this outstanding album.

Track Listing:

1.Kick The Brakes Off (Now We’re Rollin’)
2.Respects To The Renegade
3.Same Old Same Old
4.Psychology Song
5.Any Road Home
6.This Thing We Got Ain’t Lovin’
7.Amateur Dreamers
8.The Sugarblues
9.Gonna Get Up Now


Review by Sue Wardle.

Falling Red

‘Lost Souls’ release date 18th of March 2018.

Today I was sent a couple of new albums in the post, both of which are soon to be released onto the world, courtesy of Central Press. Whilst having an unusually quite evening as the sprog went to bed fairly early, I thought I’d dust off the stereo and have a listen but which one do I start with! As I flicked through the nicely cellophane wrapped CD’s, Falling Red’s new album, ‘Lost Souls’ caught my eye, with its nicely decorated front cover consisting of post apocalyptic, flesh eating zombies, hell, I thought, this looks fun!

I’m familiar with the band, I’ve even spoken to them at a music conference a couple of years back. Nice blokes, polite, well dressed, in a gothic bar sort of way, you know, your typical hard rock band from Cumbria, up there in the north!

Sadly, I’ve never seen these guys play live before but after reading their bio for this review, they sound intriguing and could be a lot of fun in a live environment. I’m certainly going to try my best to get to a live show in the future! Having toured with the likes of Skid Row, Steel Panther and other glam bands, they admit they ain’t your stereo-typical glam band, if they’re honest. They look more like an emo/post/nu-metal gothic band but the reality is they play a combination of hard rock and metal, with a splash of sleaze thrown in for good measure.

So looks can be deceiving then!

The band consists of four members, Andrew Rose (lead vocals and guitar) Dave Sanders (drums and backing vocals) Mikey Lawless (bass and backing vocals) and Shane Kirk (guitar and backing vocals)

However, the two main members who have continued to drive this band forward since their inception back in 2006, are Rozey and Dave, according to them, sorry to the other two if this isn’t the case! They admit they are not a band that likes to take themselves too seriously and hope this shows in their chosen lyrical style for their music! These guys are about good times and having fun, because lets face it, life is mostly full of shit!

Prior to this new offering, Spotify tells me they’ve released three EP’s and two previous full length albums to date. ‘Lost Souls’ will make it three full length albums, so there’s quite a healthy back catalogue for you to discover, if this review wets your appetite enough to make you curious and you want to check these guys out!

To record this album, the band have taken a different approach in its production from that of previous works. This time, they opted for a more hands on approach, with Dave recording drums with Mark Broughton and Dean Thompson at Blast Studios, in Newcastle. Guitars and vocals were recorded by James Stephenson, at Stymphalian Productions in York. It would appear, working with these two entities, the band admit, they have managed to step up the quality of their music which makes them happy. I’m pleased to confirm that, this album does indeed sound very well recorded!

Sleaze features heavily, throughout this album, which is no bad thing, with the odd acoustic track thrown in.

Personally, I love the track ‘My Town, My City’ which got released as a single, along with a music video three months ago! I love the honesty in the lyrics, which probably started off as a bit of a joke, yet the band quickly realised they were onto something and this track may end up becoming their swan song? They’ve been clever not to be too specific with the lyrics, so people can apply their own home town and can instantly relate to the words! Check it out!!

Another notable track for me is, ‘Hell In My Eyes’ simply because it’s got that feel good factor, along with a very catchy melody! I can see this track being added to many a rock show playlist on some of your larger rock radio stations, around the country hell, even the world!

The album, in it’s entirety, is a well produced body of work, totaling thirteen tracks, which lasts a swift forty four minutes, yet every minute has been used to it’s full potential, filled with high octane, balls to the wall ROCK!

Track listing:

1.The Darkest Day (Intro)
2.The Day I Lose My Soul
3.Digital Disguise
5.My Town, My City
7.Hell In My Eyes
8.War In The Sky
9. Enemies
10.Beautiful Lie
11. Haunted
12.In My Head
13. A Song For The Haters

A sterling effort 7.5/10!

Review by Jay Hawkins.

Vicious Nature

‘VII’ – Date of Release (Pending)

The imminent release of ‘VII‘ has been quite a talking point for many Midland metallers, as this EP/Album has been a work in progress since May of last year. Comprising of six mind bending tracks, VII pronounced Seven, see the Vicious Nature guys push their music through to a new level, whilst still maintaining that full on in your face ministry that Vicious Nature are renowned to deliver.

The opening track and intro ‘The Calm Before The Storm‘ is an instrumental entity that captures the atmospheric flow of Andy Southwell’s guitar and Mark Culley’s bass and came as a totally unexpected surprise but one that really got me thinking about the potential of this previously unheard side of Vicious Nature. Does it work – hell, yes it does and this track left me hoping that this grows into something bigger!

The second track of the album ‘Rise Up‘ sees the band hurtling full throttle down that metal highway with a rousing call to arms and having seen the band perform this song live with their unmistakable angst, nothing has been lost in it’s recording. The melody of this track leads Andy Pykes vocals smack bang into the eye of this storm and ultimately creates one hurricane of a track.

For me, the third track of VII ‘Devil Calls‘ is an absolute gem as it steps the pace up yet again with a hefty dose of mind bending psychosis. With a cacophony of venom, this track morphs its way through the realms of madness and if Edgar Allan Poe had ever tried his hand at writing metal, then this is what it would have sounded like so for those of a nervous disposition, be sure to lock your doors and windows and put all the lights on when you listen to this!

Twisted Psychotic‘ is the perfect choice to follow on with as this track doesn’t mince its words or hold anything back musically either – you really can feel the rasping hate emanate from this song through its mighty vengeful pulse courtesy of JB on drums.

VII’s penultimate track comes in the guise of ‘The Silence That Kills‘ which is fast becoming yet another live anthemic track for the band. This track is built for speed and combines just about everything that you could want through it’s tireless intensity of power which is guaranteed to send blood and adrenaline coursing through your veins .

As we approach the end of ‘VII’, Vicious Nature’s parting gift is a flash back to their set at Wizz Fest 2015 and takes on the form of a live recording for ‘System Of Disorder‘. Andy Southwell’s guitar licks hold the listeners attention throughout with his note perfect precision whilst the fury in Andy Pyke’s vocals takes the atmosphere to a whole new level and he just about sums this track and ‘VII’ up with his final statement “Fucking brilliant“!

Overall, VII is a must have experience and WELL worth the wait. It delivers everything it promises and I wholeheartedly recommend grabbing a copy of it as soon as you can.

Band Line up:

Andy Pyke – Vocals
Andy Southwell – Guitar
Mark Culley – Bass
JB – Drums/Hellfire & Brimstone

Track Listing:

1.The Calm Before The Storm
2.Rise Up
3.Devil Calls
4.Twisted Psychotic
5.The Silence That Kills
6.System Of Disorder – recorded at Wizz Fest 2015 (Bonus Live Track).

Review by Sue Wardle.