Judas Priest touring with Saxon in 2018
George Young passes
Last in Line working on new album
Helloween’s “Pumpkins United” tour US dates
Sweet & Lynch”unified” out November 10th
Stryper getting ready for new album
Europe: Walk the Earth (2017)
KISS: Unmasked (1980)
Six Degrees of Frankie B
5 to 1:
You can find more news, reviews, and discussion at powerchordspodcast.com. You can also hit us up on twitter at twitter.com/powerchordspod, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of my (and I’m sure everyone reading this as well) biggest problems when it comes to ‘super groups’ or musical pairings is the expectations for this particular project to sound like the individual components more familiar work. This can be completely unfair to the performers who may be looking to stretch out or create music as far away from their comfort zone as possible. This thought process really obstructed my enjoyment and acceptance of the first Sweet & Lynch album, ONLY TO RISE. What I wanted was Michael Sweet sings Dokken… and I didn’t get that, because that isn’t what they were trying to do.
When I received a preview copy for the duo’s latest effort, UNIFIED I decided right away that I would judge it on the music and overall presentation, not the members pedigree. In case you didn’t knows Michael Sweet (vocals and guitar) is from Stryper and George Lynch (guitar) is from Dokken, Lynch Mob and the progressive KXM. Supporting the guys is an incredible rhythm section made up of bassist James LoMenzo (Megadeth and White Lion) and drummer Brian Tichy who has spent a little time with everyone cool… Billy Idol, Glenn Hughes and Vinnie Moore just to name a few.
Now for the music! UNIFIED kicks off with serious fury called Promised Land and gives the listener the signal that anything goes here. From style to style and song to song, UNIFIED has the things we love about the performers from Lynch’s explosive leads and heavy riffing to Sweet’s amazing vocals that color everything with emotion and heart. If you want traditional melodic rockers there is Heart On Fire and Find Your Way, two songs that deliver a sonic punch. But this album isn't just about the rock... there are some great moments in here where everyone gets a chance to shine. Walk is a song that at times sounds like classic Stryper, then shifts into almost a Queen like texture, especially in the chorus. The title track, Unified is another completely satisfying song that has a psychedelic feel to it with a sing along chorus and more perfect playing. My file contained an acoustic version of the song that I like slightly better than the regular one that will be part of the Japanese release.
As far as favorite moments I have been able to narrow it down to two of them. Tried & True is a track that really seems to be a bit out of everyone's comfort zone with its bluesy feel and the lower register that Sweet sings in, but this song really works. My favorite on the album is the in your face Better Man. Here we get macho posing, thumping bass and one of the best Lynch solo's ever. The song just oozes cool!
As a production, Michael Sweet does a fantastic job giving that extra jump to the songs, especially the drums. You don’t just hear Tichy’s kit… you feel it, every snare drum and every crash cymbal. Sweet may not be as known for his production skills but he should be.
For me, an album's cover is as important as the music inside and UNIFIED has a very timely message; the world being put together piece by piece. In a time when division and unrest are the order of the day, this cover gives me hope. it also has a bit of a nod (at least I think so) to Stryper's THE YELLOW AND BLACK ATTACK.
Overall, UNIFIED is a complete listen that has something to offer everyone, young or old. The songs are well crafted, the performances are near perfect and the vibe created is pleasant and full of life. If you follow Sweet and Lynch's most recent releases; Stryper's FALLEN, Lynch Mob's THE BROTHERHOOD, Sweet's ONE SIDED WAR and KMX's SCATTERBRAIN... UNIFIED is another brilliant piece of their musical puzzle.
UNIFIED will be released by Frontiers Music Srl on November 10th on CD, digital downloads and special limited edition vinyl.
Listen for a FULL review on the next episode of 53:5 - The Official Stryper Podcast... coming soon at www.stryper.com
Make Your Mark
Tried & True
Find Your Way
Heart Of Fire
Bridge Of Broken Lies
Live To Die
In January we lost of the most passionate and recognizable voices in music... John Wetton. Personal feelings aside, John's loss musically is a huge hole that will never be filled. Yesterday I was forced back into John's musical legacy with the release of AKUSTIKA II - RETURN TO AMERIKA. Packaged with AKUSTIKA - LIVE IN AMERIKA, both discs represent two very distinct periods in John's career; 1995 as he began to get his solo career going and 2005 as he tried to rebuild his career and reputation.
AKUSTIKA II was recorded in a very intimate ballroom in Springfield, MA in November of 2005. Following a few years of personal struggles, Wetton was looking to regain his reputation at a sci fi show called United Fan Con, John was able to face his demons head on and deliver an incredible show.
Listening to the disc I was instantly draw back to that Friday night so long ago... listening to my favorite performer deliver an acoustic set drawing from his entire history. Shifting from piano and acoustic guitar, the set is a perfect representation of the legacy he left us. Whether it's his early work with King Crimson (The Night Watch, Book Of Saturdays and Starless) and UK (Rendezvous 6:02 and Thirty Years), the commercial success of ASIA or the very personal music from his solo career... Wetton shows here that those songs have his DNA all over them.
As I listen to the album's 15 tracks (as I write this), I can hear the pure passion and excitement in his voice, knowing how nervous he was going into this show, knowing what was riding on this. What you will hear is a performance the way we heard it... raw. I forgot what a great guitarist John was and how witty he would be with an audience. I also forgot how much my daughter Rebekah screamed in between each song and yes... you can hear it here early in the set, because she began to get a little winded as the night progressed.
If you are a fan of John Wetton's music and career, this is a must have for your collection. Not because it is the best representation of each song, but because it is the most honest version of them.
The packaging of the cd is also very special because I was asked to write the liner notes where for two pages I share about my relationship with John; how we met and the events leading up to this particular show. Also there are some insightful thoughts by our friend Kim Dancha and Ed Corbett who share their unique perspectives of that night.
Thank you to Martin Darville, Daniel Earnshaw and everyone at QEDG Management for the opportunity to be a part of this historic release.
1. VOICE OF AMERICA
2. HOLD ME NOW
3. RENDEZVOUS 6:02
5. 30 YEARS
6. ONLY TIME WILL TELL
7. BOOK OF SATURDAY
8. DON’T CRY
9. BATTLE LINES
10. THE SMILE HAD LEFT YOUR EYES
11. HEAT OF THE MOMENT
12. YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE
1. WALKING ON AIR
2. MEET ME AT MIDNIGHT
3. SOLE SURVIVOR
4. BOOK OF SATURDAY
6. DAYS LIKE THESE
7. THIRTY YEARS / HOLD ME NOW
9. RENDEZVOUS 6:02
11. VOICE OF AMERICA
13. THE NIGHT WATCH
14. THE SMILE HAS LEFT YOUR EYES
15. HEAT OF THE MOMENT
Matman Rating - 5 out of 5 tears of joy.
Tom Petty passes
Saxon done Mixing Thunderbolt
Scorpions, House of Lords and Yes cancel tours
Def Leppard--Hyesteria (1987)
Sex Pistols--Never Mind the Bollocks (1977)
Six Degrees of Frankie B
Comin Atcha Live:
9/29- Saxon and UFO
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As someone who has spent over 30 years in the world of UFO, there is still an excitement and anticipation when each new album is released. Last Friday was a trifecta of UFO-ness for me; the release of my book, UFO - YOUR FAVORITE BAND'S FAVORITE BAND, seeing the band live in Worcester, MA (with Saxon) and the new album from UFO... THE SALENTINO CUTS!
For some reason, not that there needs to be a reason, UFO decided this would be the time to release a covers album. For me, covers albums can be a lot of fun if done right. You can learn a lot from a band by the songs they choose and how they pull them off. A great cover has to have two criteria... 1. the song MUST be recognizable and 2. the song has to be in the style of the band performing it, not a cookie cover version. On THE SALENTINO CUTS, UFO does both!!!
To be completely honest, I didn't quite like the disc on my first few listens. There were only a handful of songs that i liked and the rest made me scratch my head. But if I know one thing about UFO it's they do what THEY want and its that attitude that made me listen again and again until I began to appreciate the songs.
The track listing is very eclectic with songs from all over the place including 'Break On Through' by The Doors, 'Heartful Of Soul' by the Yardbirds and the real odd one for me, 'Paper In Fire' by John Cougar Mellencamp. So weird, but it really works.
1. Heartful Of Soul - The Yardbirds
2. Break On Through (To The Other Side) - The Doors
3. River Of Deceit - Mad Season
4. The Pusher - Steppenwolf
5. Paper In Fire - John Cougar Mellencamp
6. Rock Candy - Montrose
7. Mississippi Queen - Mountain
8. Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
9. Honey-Bee - Tom Petty
10. Too Rolling Stoned - Robin Trower
11. Just Got Paid - ZZ Top
12. It's My Life - The Animals
UFO is Phil Mogg (vocals), Andy Parker (drums), Paul Raymond (keyboards and guitar), Vinnie Moore (guitar) and Rob De Luca (bass).
THE SALENTINO CUTS was released last week on Cleopatra Records and is available on CD and vinyl.
See UFO on tour with Saxon!
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.