Tag Archives: West London

Four Wheel Drive – High Roller – Album Review

Four Wheel Drive

High Roller

With their catchy head banging compulsive choruses, sweet as honey-trap guitar licks, and piping hot lead guitar breaks with vocals that gasp for air due to their hi-octane dependency – Four Wheel Drive put on one hell of a live show.  So I expected nothing less from their new album “High Roller” –  produced by Misha Nikolic at Monster Track. (Half Ton Records). And I was not disappointed.  With production as slick as the suntan oil found on the damp smooth parts of a Texan sports-illustrated swim-wear model, this exuberant offering is drenched in tequila, whiffs of marlboro smoke and is as taut and as tempting as a showgirls G-string.

From the first track, ‘White Lines’ (for me the stand-out track on this recording) with its backdrop of crisp ‘n crunchy rhythms and croaking charcoal vocals, this album springs to life with the kind of vitality you thought was lost back in 1980.

These boys seem to have time travelled here from the Bon Scott era – but that is no bad thing.  ‘Cos back then we got treble the excitement, a pressure cooker of rock n roll antics and music as hot as a hookers hosiery. It is about time we reinvested some of our latent energy into supporting and backing this kinda pure and simple rock and roll.

‘Blood on the Walls’ is another wheezing rasping romp from the feelgood southernmost-point of the 4WD catalogue of rock. This song is a hot-tub of hoochie-coochie tension and you call feel the warm Dixieland sun smiling through each high-note. ‘High Roller’ encompasses startling cascades of percussion from Will and some shrieking vocals from Jamie – that are stretched as tight and as dangerous as a nervous holdup man’s stocking mask. This is one of their many AC/DC sounding tracks – a real motoring, hammering song that rivets home its message deep into your skull.

‘The Visions Gone’ was created with short brisk brush-strokes and has those bar-room blackjack stubbly lyrics and swaggering sneering cocksure vocals you’d expect in that kinda low-down dirty dive.  ‘The Game’ has the trills and juicy jolts of jostling guitar chords enlightened by lyrical lead guitar, and  also  embracing  some  embroidered work by rhythm guitar and percussion.
This is the first of a few Stonesy tracks from the 1970’s.

‘Six Foot Poster’ is old style rock n roll with a boogie sounding cheese-board of bite sized flavoursome bits n pieces. ‘Big Fat and Ugly’ has an enduring bass led background, rumpy dumpy thumpy bass-lines and some powerfully expressive moments. ‘ Rough around the Edges ‘ also sounds like Rolling Stones (circa ‘Tumbling Dice’ era) with counterpoints of puncturing sweet high notes against a compelling backdrop of thrumming chords.

‘Take a Drag’ takes you further back into rock n roll history with some dog-eared Eddie Cochranesque old-time rock n roll including some gee-tar licks that even Chuck Berry would approve of.

‘Time to Go’ is another of my favourites. Tight as a Vegas strippers garter this one, with luminous lead, timely harmonic twists, and  even a harmonica break. And this song incorporates a classy twin guitar tournament. This is one helluva tune . “Roll up ladies and gentlemen it is time to go… ” and tickets for this rock n roll groove train are up for grabs.

If I had any criticisms of the album they would be few.  This is an exuberant offering and at times the execution is tantalising.  Perhaps there is nothing crucial here. Furthermore, it could do with a few big fat slabs of chiming guitar in places and some even more memorable riffs. And, alas, that fine rumbling-tumbling percussion heard on the ‘High Roller’ track is not found elsewhere.

But HIGH ROLLER  is feelgood, red-flamed, hot-blooded unashamed rock n roll. And about as good as it gets.

© Neil_Mach
February 2010
Download the High Roller Album now for just £6:99

——————-

Tracks:

White Lines
Blood On The Walls
High Roller
The Vision’s Gone
The Game
Six Foot Poster
Big Fat and Ugly
Rough Around The Edges
Take A Drag
Time to go

Produced by: Misha Nikolic
Half Ton records 2009

All compositions: Lailey /  Austwick

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/4wdtheband

http://www.fourwheeldriverock.com/

http://www.monstertraxstudio.com/

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES




Feedburn This

Advertisements

Raw Glory – Hard Rock Hell III – Prestatyn

Raw Glory was formed in 2006 as a vehicle for the accomplished professional musicians, drummer Mick Underwood and guitarist
Cosmo (along with their ‘old bassist’ Johhny Heywood) to keep the rhythm rocking.

The combined talent and  the significant antecedent histories of these three notable rockers (Cosmo and Mick were playing professionally back in the 1960s) together with their new bass player Andy Hodge and their flamboyant frontman Paul Manzi, easily earn them a place in the ‘Rock Royalty’ section of the lexicon of popular music  With these credentials, they really should be sipping margueritas on a sunny tropical shore somewhere.

But it is not enough to rest on your laurels, especially if you wanna live a rock n ‘roll lifestyle to the extreme … these guys are still out working every week – making  new music and recreating their old fire and magic at local venues around West London.

These guys still rock.  They still perform out-and-out guts and glory assaults on the tender eardrums of unsuspecting punters any given Saturday night.

Big dirty tunes like ‘Bad Girl’ are overblown heavy metal anthems stylistically blasted through with bombastic beats and heavy riffs. These songs crash out of the Raw Glory speakers in waves and waves of sound, drowning the audience, and making ‘em gasp for air.

I am at that ‘dangerous age’.  So, when I had my first “sound attack”, inflicted upon me by Raw Glory, I clutched my heaving chest.  My arms went stiff like a starfish, but at the same time, my legs turned to jelly. Then my ears started to drum, hiss and crackle intermittently and, finally, a shooting star whooshed up the left side of my brain and fired out of my pineal gland like a flame blasting from a blow torch.  I thought that I would never recover.  Wow – this is potent stuff.  If heavy metal was illegal then Raw Glory would be ‘class A’ – and this stuff they are still pedalling would be the equivalent of 100% pure Colombian.

The rest of the audience at Hard Rock Hell also suffered severe  “Sound Attacks”.  We even had a taste of the kinda magic that drummer Mick Underwood could still evoke on the skins. It seems unlikely that there was a better, faster, fatter performance on the drums over the entire three days of the festival.  And guitarist Cosmo also cranked up the angst and let fly with furious laments, banshee cries, whispers, whelps and raining chords.  It was all there in the sound attacks that he performed for the crowd at Prestatyn.

But it was the singer who stole the show from his distinguished colleagues and turned a modest pub sized gig into a major tour de force suitable for a stadium-sized sell-out.  The tail of the peacock, the enlarged claw of a male fiddler crab and the overblown curly mop of hair upon the head of wild rock singer such as Paul Manzi or Robert Plant are all sure-fire signs of male virility. Here was an alpha-male strutting the territory of his stage in glorious dominance. The truest definition of all that is, and ever was, so macho. He said that he owed everything to Led Zep.  And the band’s startling rendition of ‘Whole Lotta Love’, to round off their set, proved this to be true.

Like the rest of the eager audience I was swept away by the sheer vibrancy of the Raw Glory act – and my favourite number “White Lies” was still ringing in my ears several hours later. Raw Glory is the sum of all that is noble and  strong in the world of heavy metal and rock n’ roll.

And they prove that you don’t have to be youthful to be vital.

I wish them many, many more years of rocking.  Good Health!

© Neil_Mach

December 2009

http://www.rawglory.co.uk/

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES




Feedburn This

The James Warner Prophecies – Hob Staines

the James Warner PropheciesThe quixotic charm of The James Warner Prophecies is that their music contains a myriad of styles, oeuvres and impressions – much like J-Rock –  but theirs is less disposable pop in style and more harmonic indie in ambition. Thus we get thick slices of American Punk (i.e. think ‘Bad Religion’) laced generously with Brit indie folk sound reminiscent of ‘The Magic Numbers’.

So with The James Warner Prophecies you get melodic singing together with hardcore drum beats and haunting flute.  Yeah, I know it shouldn’t work. But it does.  Just.  Sometimes you feel poised on the edge of something a little too grand and opulent to be really honest …  but then the twinkle-in-the-eye  gentle humour of the band shines through,  and the result is an agreeable love fest of sound and virtue.

Benign Rasputin-like figure Joe Brown is the mighty front-man power-house lead singer/guitar of the band. Striding about the stage looking like a kindly ginger version of Edward Teach (the notorious pirate) – with an enormous burning red beard and a savage glint in his cruel eye. Instead of cutlass and sword, though, we get electric mandolin & guitar – but the results are similarly battle hardened with an abundance of inventive fireworks from the fret-boards and vindictive encounters with the spiteful strings of the mandolin.

Bringing some calm and beauty to the proceedings, Kate Rounding plays a mournful flute on many songs, plus the haunting chords on Korg. I understand Kate also adds violin to the mix – but we didn’t see her fiddle at The Hob. Lanky long-haired hippy Matt Anthony adds some low inventive and, ultimately, reassuring bass to the songs and the ‘Noel Fielding’ look-alike Dan Williams in assured and competent on drums.

The band moved ruthlessly from song-to-song keeping up the pressure and starting with an appropriately named tune ‘Braincell Piracy’ before launching into ‘King of The Killers’, then onto ‘Judas Stone’ and ‘The Itch’. The big end to the show was their ‘Set The World on Fire’ track (the unimaginatively named) ‘Mandolin Song’. This song has some fierce fretting from Joe (on mandolin) with audacious flares of light and fire from Kate and plenty of pounding crashing percussion from Dan and Matt. A truly exciting and heart pummelling joy of a song.

From my own point of view, I would prefer something a bit more languid and soulfully helpful from Kate (at times it seemed like her contributions were repetitive and almost go through-the-motions routine in content) and I would also like a little less sympathy from the band for the folk-country traditions of their home county (Derbyshire) and a little more hard driving rock from the ensemble … but that is just my personal taste.

Overall, though, the band makes a positive contribution to the Rock / Folk Rock scene. The band members are a jolly hardworking crew with a capable and naturally talented energy. I Strongly recommend that you see their live show soon.

© Neil_Mach
October 2009

Link:

http://www.myspace.com/thejameswarnerprophecies

Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES




Feedburn This

Purge

STAINES  HOBGOBLIN
Thursday 18th September 2008

Purge at Staines - Hob Neil_Mach Sept 2008

Raise your hands for Purge Noise

“Heavy Rock mob from West London…”


The Purge noise is bass heavy with song structures that deftly incorporate low-to-mid tempos (with some well crafted tempo changes)- reminiscent of something from the Welsh stoner metal band ‘Acrimony’ (and so,in turn, their music also doffs a
respectful cap towards Black Sabbath especially Sabbath 4 era.)

But the Purge sounds faster and more energetic than those stoner rock influenced blues- you get the feeling that these guys get up before 3pm and don’t “need some space to, like, trip- man” because they all do proper jobs, live in proper brick-built homes and they probably go to the gym and drink pro-biotic yoghurts too.

But the band also has a rap  metalcore edge (with its corporate roots in the sounds of ‘The Clash’ and its corporate head firmly ‘up there’ in the sounds of ‘Rage Against the Machine’) with a singer who not-quite yells a bunch of slogans but, to be more accurate, entices and invigorates the listener with a bunch of slogans. But there are definitely some blues-rock influences in there too and most people recognise some hefty chunks of ‘Led Zep’ in the Purge-Noise.

Supreme long-haired guitarist Kinghorn Mills is the powerhouse of the outfit and he takes your breath away with such ferocity and energising spirit. Distortion and atonality being the norm his guitar-work is, however, airbrushed against a backdrop of ‘proper’ riff based blues rock. But don’t overlook the bass player Stanley whose technically inspired bassline structures provide the architectural backbone for all the purge numbers.

Some of the lyrics are as ripe as a 10-day old Camembert oozing with fluid nuances, never unpleasant or excessive, but raw, acidic and often bitter enough to raise awareness and knock some kinda sense into you. There is a resonance and depth in these songs and the sound is like ripped fuel lines dragging in the gravel behind a runaway truck. I noticed a definite Bowie-esque sound to some of the vocals circa Suffragette City. Give ‘Dirty Dog’ a listen and you will hear what I mean.

Purge play all-out rock with the clutch disengaged, but with the type of clutch that allows you to adjust your senses and take away with you the tools of change. Full of gravel, gravitas and a sense of rock jamais vou. Purge deliver a knockout out shot of dopamine motivating and rewarding the listener, instantaneously, with increased heart rate, itchy feet and shattered ear-drums.

© Neil_Mach
Sep 2008

Purge are:

Burgon
(Vocals)

Kinghorn Mills
(Guitar)

Stanley
(Bass, Vocals)

Rogers
(Drums)

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/purgeuk

Catch ’em in Staines next at:

Oct 31 2008      8:00P The Hobgoblin     Staines


Keep checking AdPontes-Staines for news, reviews, articles and gig-guide




Feedburn This

AdPontes-Staines

Google Groups
Thames Live Music
Join this group