The V – Now or Never

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The V is the solo project of Veronica Freeman, and Now or Never (Frontiers Music) is her debut album. Freeman has been storming her way through the music scene for ten years with Benedictum, and now brings forth a Hard-Rock album supported by a lot of big names in the scene. Not the least of these is Tony Martin, formerly of Black Sabbath, who appears in the duet ‘King for a Day’.

Unlike Benedictum, this album falls in the Hard Rock or Hair Metal categories, and as it turns out, these work very well with Freeman’s very strong vocals. The subjects vary from empowerment to love, and in the absence of love, sex. Musically, the album opens and closes with a very classic hard-rock sound, while everything in between has the same modern quality and feeling as Jorn Lande puts into his album. However, it has even more clichéd riffs and far more clichéd lyrics.

Of the more classical songs ‘Now or Never’ is probably the most exciting, with funky guitars and bass and that same unapologetic rock-vibe that Gotthard excels in. Of the more modern songs ‘Line in the Sand’ is the catchiest, although the modulation gives a certain cheesy quality to the thing. The real highlight of the album is ‘Kiss My Lips’, which has a lot of variation in vocals and music, but keeps it all together. The mysteriously soft pre-chorus contrasts nicely with the heavy and driving chorus.

Although the album is very enjoyable in places, the overuse of echo and somewhat unoriginal lyrics and music in some places is a bit of a let-down. It is certainly not a bad debut, but hopefully the focus on the next album will be a bit more on the writing of the songs and a bit less on the production value.

 

6.0/10

 

LORRAINE LYSEN

Whitesnake – The Purple Album

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“I’m sixty-three years old, booking a world tour, the tickets are flying out the door… Why the fuck should I give a fuck?!” was David Coverdale’s rather eloquent response to criticisms of the concept of Whitesnake’s The Purple Album (Frontiers), an album that does exactly what it says on the tin (and then some), revisiting The Cov’s years as frontman of Deep Purple and Whitesnake-ing up a selection of his favourite tunes.

And, the guy has a point (so to speak – as the millions… and millions… of The Cov’s female fans would testify), for not only did he co-write all of these magnificent  and timeless rock songs in the first place, but The Purple Album is a rather fine run through of them that will please both ‘snake and Purple fans alike, as tracks from the 70’s are electrified by the guitar talents of former Winger six-stringer Reb Beach and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Joel Hoekstra.

It needs to be said, these are not “better” versions of the originals, but new, different versions, presented in vibrant aural technicolour – a thoroughly enjoyable run through of a selection of songs that do benefit from the modern, ballsy rock (but oh-so-slick) production, provided by Coverdale, Beach and Michael McIntyre. It also needs to be acknowledged that this is no bog-standard re-record. What we have here is one of Rock music’s most iconic and distinctive vocalists laying down versions of some truly seminal tracks – ‘Burn’, for example, an instantly identifiable riff and powerful chorus that inspired many . All through, The Cov is on absolute fire, effortlessly wrapping his larynx, like thick, oozing melted chocolate undulating down and over a fulsome breast, around ‘Love Child’, playful and powerful on a driving version of ‘Lady Double Dealer’ that sounds like it could have been on 1987 (EMI/Geffen) or soulful and with gravitas on ‘Soldier of Fortune’. While predominantly a Rock album,  ‘Holy Man’ and ‘Sail Away’ are sensitively delivered by the distinctive, legendary tones of Lord David Coverdale.

What we have is a celebration of Coverdale’s career that sees him taking classic songs from the very beginning of it and peppering them with the condiments of his band, Whitesnake. The only real mis-step is ‘Mistreated’, because despite all the skill and best will in the universe no one can play that song and make those notes sing and emote like Ritchie Blackmore, but it is the only time things don’t quite hit the mark. For when all is said and done, all The Purple Album is, is a(n excellent) selection of Deep Purple songs played by Whitesnake. And a very good thing that is too.

8.5/10

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STEVE TOVEY

The Hotelier Supporting La Dispute and Title Fight On Upcoming Shows

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The Hotelier from Worcester, MA is releasing the physical version of their first proper physical release titled It Never Goes Out in Spring 2015 via Tiny Engines, after the digital versions was released in February 2014. Stream the album here.

Before they made a splash in 2014 with their sophomore release, Home, Like Noplace Is There, the band (as The Hotel Year) quietly released their cult classic debut full-length, It Never Goes Out, in 2011. The album was unfortunately kept in label limbo in regards to a proper physical release but the time has finally come to right that wrong. Tiny Engines will release It Never Goes Out on LP/CD with all new artwork in the Spring of 2015. A year after Home, Like Noplace Is There cemented the band, revisit where it all started with It Never Goes Out.

The Hotelier will be heading out in the US with Title Fight and La Dispute in March and will head to Europe in May with festival appearances scheduled at Groezrock & Primavera Sound. The band continues to support their critically-acclaimed sophomore LP, Home, Like Noplace Is There.

Feb 28: SUNY Purchase – New York, NY (w/ 100%, Adult Mom, + more)
Mar 15: The Champ – Lemoyne, PA (w/ Hurry)
Mar 16: Double Happiness – Columbus, OH (w/ Dead Leaves)
Mar 17: The New Vintage – Louisville, KY (w/ Frontier(s))
Mar 18: The Odditorium – Asheville, NC (w/ Muscle & Bone)
Mar 19: Spring Street Firehouse – Birmingham, AL
Mar 20: Heffe’s Saloon – Lafayette, LA

Dates w/ La Dispute, Title Fight
Mar 21: Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
Mar 23: The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
Mar 24: Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC
Mar 25: The Howard Theatre – Washington, DC
Mar 26: Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA
Mar 27: Webster Hall – New York, NY
Mar 29: Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA
Mar 31: The Alter Bar – Pittsburgh, PA
Apr 01: Phoenix Concert Theatre – Toronto, ON
Apr 03: The Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, MI
Apr 05: The Metro – Chicago, IL

European Dates
Apr 30: Uncle M Fest @ Skaters Palace – Münster, BE
May 01: Groezrock – Meerhout, BE
May 03: B58 – Braunschweig, DE (w/ Make Do And Mend)
May 04: Gebaude 9 – Cologne, DE (w/ Knapsack, Beach Slang
Pirate Satellite Festival w/ Samiam, Make Do And Mend, Smith St Band, Joyce Manor + more)
May 06: Markthalle – Hamburg, DE
May 07: Astra – Berlin, DE
May 08: Schlachthof – Wiesbaden, DE
May 09: LKA – Stuttgart, DE
May 10: Backstage – Munich, DE

Dates w/ Emperor X
May 11: l’Espace B – Paris, FR
May 13: Clwb Ifor Bach – Cardiff, UK
May 14: Fighting Cocks – Kingston, UK
May 15: Joiners – Southampton, UK
May 17: The Owl Sanctuary – Norwich, UK
May 18: Think Tank – Newcastle, UK
May 19: Bloc – Glasgow, UK
May 20: The Key Club – Leeds, UK
May 21: The Borderline – London, UK
May 22: Dot To Dot – Manchester, UK
May 23: Dot To Dot – Bristol, UK
May 24: Dot To Dot – Nottingham, UK
May 29: Primavera Sound – Barcelona, ES
May 30: Primavera Sound – Barcelona, ES