Perfect Plan - ALL RISE (Frontiers Music) - release date April 20, 2018
I have been excited about this album since I heard the first single, In And Out Of Love. Perfect Plan are a band out of Sweded who have a sound that is very European with a healthy mix of melodic rock like Journey, Foreigner, Guiffria and one of my favorites, Tyketto. ALL RISE contains 11 songs that will not only impress you but move you with the amazing melodies. The band; Ken Hilli (vocals), Rolf Nordstrom (guitar), P-O Sedin (bass), Fredrik Forsberg (drums) and Leif Ehlin (keyboards) play like seasoned vets who have been together for years. Perfect Plan wear the 80's on their sleeves but there is more to them than just making music influenced by the greatest decade ever. There is some amazing music coming out of Sweden... and with the release of ALL RISE, it just got better. The standout tracks Too Late, Gone Too Far, Never Surrender and of course, In And Out Of Love make this one an easy candidate for best album of 2018.
Shadowkeep - SHADOWKEEP (Pure Steel Records) - release date March 30, 2018
Remember the first time you ever heard Queensryche's debut EP? Listening to the latest release from Shadowkeep brought me right back to that magic moment. The songs here are E-P-I-C and full of color, story and rock! Floating between the 'ryche and Iron Maiden on songs like Guardians Of The Sea, Never Forgotten and Flight Against The Sand, Shadowkeep provide more than just an awesome listening experience, they make you think a little bit. Vocalist James Rivera, guitarist Chris Allen & Nikki Robson, bassist Stony Grantham and drummer Omar Hayes may have taken ten years to make another album, but it is well worth the wait! This one soooo rocks in all the right places.
James Christian - CRAVING (Frontiers Music) - release date April 20, 2018
I'm old enough to remember when James Christian was in the Connecticut based band, Eyes and I have been a fan of his voice since then. Since the late 80's, Christian has been the vocalist for House Of Lords, one of my favorite bands ever! On CRAVING, the singer steps away from the epic sounds of HOL and gives us a more stripped down album, showing us a different side of his ability. The thing that I love about this release is the flow the songs have into each other. So far my favorite songs on CRAVING is Jesus Wept with its thoughtful and expressive lyrics and cool drum sound. The other that jumps out is Black Isn't Black, featuring Christian's House of Lords guitarist, Jimi Bell. In all honesty, I loved the song before I realized my buddy played on it.
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.