Black Star Riders, Liv Sin, Iggy Pop, Status Quo
Here are some of the new releases that come out today:
Black Star Riders – Another State Of Grace
This is the fourth album by the band, their first with new guitarist Christian Martucci, who is best known for his work in Stone Sour. He replaces Damon Johnson who was a big part of writing the band’s first three albums.
If you were to believe the band, they feel that this is the strongest the band has ever been, and as a result their strongest album to date. Let’s be honest, they aren’t going to say “Damon was much better, and this album is rubbish!”
So as much as it seems that they’re throwing Damon under the bus in interviews, I don’t think done out of spite, it’s just a sales ploy. I had a cousin that would say “keep talking bad about your horse and see how you sell it”, same deal.
Damon is still part of Thin Lizzy which also features Ricky Warwick and Scott Gorham. So I have to believe this is them propping up Christian and the new album more than anything else.
This album also marks Chad Szeliga first album with the band, after Jimmy DeGrasso jumped ship in 2017 to join Ratt, yikes! Needless to say, that was short-lived, but hey, maybe it was just his time to move on from BSR?
The band has always charted well in the UK, with each release placing higher on their charts. Reviews have also been very positive, some even going as far as saying this is the band’s best release.
Liv Sin – Burning Sermons
As most probably already know, Liv Sin features former Sister Sin lead singer Liv Jagrell. There aren’t too many musicians that get a second chance, especially when they decide to take things in a slightly different direction.
Sure you can say Ronnie James Dio or Sammy Hagar, but they made lateral moves, where a jump from Rainbow to Black Sabbath wasn’t that far-fetched. While Sister Sin continuously displayed their influences on their sleeves per se, never veering far from the Motorhead or AC/DC blueprint, Liv Sin is definitely a heavier more modern sounding band.
So this is like going from AC/DC to In Flames. While other bands just decide to modernize their sound to get on mainstream radio, this band combines the best of both worlds, without compromising. Liv still has that same snarl she’s always been known for, while the production is just right without being too shiny and uber radio-friendly.
Transport League – A Million Volt Scream
Looking for some infectious riffs that take unexpecting twists and turns, while mixing melodies that will easily get stuck in your head? Well, then this album might be exactly what you’re looking for. The band is proud to say that they’re a big fan of the Texas boogie, not only calling their 2013 release Boogie From Hell but also offering up elements to their albums that just make you want to get up and move.
Think ZZ Top influence, but heavier than Queens Of the Stone Age, mixed with some Black Sabbath, and some of the more boogieing aspects of AC/DC. Sounds kind of weird when you describe it, but it all makes sense once you listen to it.
The New Death Cult – Zeitgeist
The Norwegian band borrows elements from a few different places, The Cult had previously used the name Southern Death Cult, and Death Cult, while this band is The New Southern Death Cult. They use the same Greek names that that fellow Scandinavian band Ghost uses for their Ghouls, plus the band is masked, although they look more like Brujeria than they do Ghost. But their message, in the end, is straight-up rock, and their lyrics are much more political than The Cult or Ghost.
Status Quo – Backbone
This band deserves to be mentioned because of all they’ve done over the years, granted they’ve never been huge in the US outside of this little old song called “Picture Of Matchstick Men”. I say that sarcastically because that song was huge.
But that was back in the 60, and they’ve had a ton of hits all over the world like “In The Army Now”, “Rockin’ All Over The World”, “Caroline” or “Whatever You Want”. They’ve literally had 32 songs that have charted all over the world.
And let’s be honest a lot of people thought “what’s the band going to do now that Rick Parfitt has died”, but Francis Rossi has been there from the start, this was and always will be his band. They aren’t inventing anything new with the album, but are letting people know that Quo is still around in 2019 and they’re still rocking with the best of them.
Iggy Pop – Free
So anyone at this point saying that Iggy Pop is experimenting really hasn’t followed his career. He’s been just as much a chameleon as his late friend David Bowie, from the Raw Power of The Stooges, to “Lust For Life”, “The Passenger”, “Real Wild Child (Wild One)” or “Candy”, just to name some of his bigger hits, he’s always been all over the place.
Free is yet again totally different from anything in his catalog, perhaps his most mellow release to date. The album features his collaborations with guitarist/composer Sarah Lipstate, a.k.a. Noveller, and Jazz trumpeter Leron Thomas, their input drives this album in directions where Iggy has not gone before.
So rather than using the word experimenting, I would rather point out the fact that Iggy is just continuously paving his own path, regardless of how others want to pigeonhole him. He continues to zig while others think he’s going to zag, and just like the late Roddy Piper, continues to change the questions when people think they have all the answers.
Here are some other releases from today:
Sleeping With Sirens – How It Feels To Be Lost
Sonata Arctica – Talviyö
Year Of The Goat – Novis Orbis Terrarum Ordinis
Chrissie Hynde – Valve Bone Woe
Death Cab For Cutie – The Blue EP
Ringworm/Child Bite – Split Hits The Fans 5 EP
Type O Negative – None More Negative
Senses Fail – From The Depths Of Dreams Reissue
Black Sabbath – The Vinyl Collection 1970 – 1978 Vinyl
Death – Live Vinyl
Ministry – Filth Pig Vinyl