Mick White – ‘Somethings Got To Give’ Review

Are you ready to Rock? Then get your arse into gear and support British Rock.

Back in the day, Mick White was a teenage singer for Samson (who incidentally the first professional band I saw live, supporting Whitesnake on the Paints & Thinners Tour in Dec 82). After leaving Samson he formed his own band, First Strike, but grunge buggered that up like it did with a lot of bands at that time. This led White to session work for the next five years, before becoming disillusioned at the end of the Millenium, (98 to be precise). This lead to a long period of inactivity until 2019 where White was approached by Steelheart Records to finally get a release of the First Strike album. Whilst guesting on a song written by Marty Punch in 2019 called ‘Better Be Strong’. White was approached by the drummer Carsten Enghardt on that song and Carsten knew White was the right singer for his own band Endfield.

Fast forward a bit to 2020 and like many others, Covid meant a period of songwriting for a solo album, which brought in Enghardt and guitarist Luke Hatton. Included on this album are a song co-written with Paul Samson back in 1988, called ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’, a reworking of a First Strike song ‘Hold Tight’ and a new version of ‘Better Be Strong’. Which leads us sweetly into this review.

‘SGTG’ starts off with a bang on ‘Burning In The Night’, as it moves through the gears fast, with Hatton and White in the driver and passenger seat. Title track ‘Somethings Got To Give’ is a step to the side but is equally enjoyable as the opener. Hatton again gives his talent and fingers an airing on the solo. ‘Without You’ shows MWB can mix it up a bit, as its a moodier song, and adds a burning desire to the song. ‘Emergency On Planet Earth’ shows how White can deliver a melodic rock song with aplomb as its very catchy indeed. It sees Mick singing to a younger version of himself, now older and wiser and telling his younger self of the issues that lie ahead.

‘Ordinary Girl’ is as you would expect, a ballad, with feet planted firmly in the 1980s. Not one of those soppy ones, as it builds to a nice crescendo. ‘Alter Of Desire’ is a snappy, up-tempo rocker. ‘Hold Tight’ is broody, but has a very melodic bridge and chorus, that would have been a staple on many a 80s album (in fact it was, it just didn’t get released until 2019!). ‘Sometime Superman’ was the 2nd video to be released and rightly so, as this and ‘Emergency…’ show the band in fine form and at their prime best on these melodic numbers.

‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ is Samson through and through. It’s a shot of adrenaline to the ears. Mick screams the title just like Don Dokken (when Don could sing). ‘Better Be Strong’ closes on a (well, er…strong) note, and it is a definite highlight.

I’ve not come across Mick White before (oo-er!), and probably hadn’t had I not been contacted by Ian Edwards who is MWs Bassist. (Note – Ian only works with ex-Samson vocalists – Peter Scallan ‘Moritz’ and now Mick White. If this were the 80s, next up would be Mammoth – now there’s one for the over 50s!).

Mick White is a very decent singer of gravelly velvet voice and a definite ear for decent tune. I can’t wait to see where this goes next. Its definitely for fans who like their rock music with lashings of leg warmers, bleached jeans and built on the foundations of NWOBHM. Are you ready to rock? Then get your arse into gear and buy this album.

7.5 /10

Tracklisting –

Burning In The Night
Somethings Got To Give
Without You
Emergency On Planet Earth
Ordinary Girl
Alter of Desire
Sometime Superman
Hold Tight
You Poisoned My Love
Don’t Close Your Eyes
Better Be Strong

Groundbreaker – ‘Soul To Soul’ Album review

If you liked the debut, you’ll absolutely love ‘Soul To Soul’. Quality AOR from Groundbreaker and Overland

Buy here – https://www.frontiers.shop/search?sSearch=groundbreaker

By Paul Chesworth

Unless you’re a fan of melodic rock/AOR, then you won’t be aware of one of the hardest working men in British rock music, one Steve Overland. Outside of FM, he has a CV that few can muster – The Ladder, Shadowman, Ozone, Lonerider, and his own project, simply called Overland. Not including all the albums he has guest appeared on, sings with The Staz Band, and has done shed loads of tribute songs, AND sang the theme to Galaxy Rangers! Phew. Known to his bandmates and supporters of FM as ‘the voice’ its a title that is very aptly bestowed, given we are in a world where platitudes are handed out like sweets.

‘Soul To Soul’ is a grand title for Overlands blues/soul vocal stylings. The debut included Robert Sall (Work Of Art) and Alessandro Del Vecchio (production). Sall has gone, joining this time on the songwriting side and is Stefano Lionetti (Lionville), Pete Alpenborg (Arctic Rain), Jan Akesson (Infinite & Devine), and Kristian Fyhr (Seventh Crystal). The line up includes Sven Larsson (ex-Street Talk) on guitars, Nalley Pahlsson (Therion) on bass, Herman Furin (Work Of Art) on drums, and Alessandro Del Vecchio on keyboards.

On to the stuff that matters. The music. The appetite was well and truly whetted back in August when the video for ‘Standing On The Edge Of A Broken Dream’ dropped. Its massive slice of pure and polished AOR. Its somewhat akin to FMs debut and the more recent efforts by bands like W.E.T, WOA, and Perfect Plan. An opener wouldn’t be an Overland special without the obligatory ‘whoa-ohs’™️. ‘Soul To Soul’ opens with a lovely parpy keyboard, and sees Overland hitting notes that I didn’t think possible from him. Its also worth mentioning Sven Larsson’s sterling guitar work. There’s a couple of obligatory ballads in ‘Captain Of Our Love’ and ‘Fighting For Our Love’ and because of Overland they are elevated and could appear corny had anyone else tackled them, such is the gravitas he brings to the table.

It’s on the polished, and punchy numbers that Groundbreaker truly shine. ‘Evermore’ picks up the tempo and has a good chorus. Its as close to FM as Groundbreaker gets. Overland himself gets to shine by playing lead guitar on Wild World. It borders into fm-radio territory and that’s not a bad thing to say by any means. ‘Carrie’ (not that one, or the other one) ups the ante, and Larsson wrings the neck off of his guitar. It’s a cracking little song. ‘It Don’t Get Better Than This’ has great harmonies and reminds me of The Storm. ‘Theres No Tomorrow’ keyboard sound is straight out of the iSPY book of Michael Bolton songs (that’s a reference few will get unless you’re over 50!). It’s a great song and my fave of the bunch. ‘When Lightning Strikes’ has a great melody and nice layered harmonies with now obligatory searing Larsson guitar solo. Its formulaic, but it’s one hell of a formula. ‘’Til The End Of Time’ is solid enough, but it’s on the final song ‘Leap Of Faith’ where it is a prime example of Overlands ‘cream on top of the milk’ analogy. It’s a fine song to end a mighty fine album.

If you love your pure AOR in bands like Signal, Bad English, Alias, LeRoux and Unruly Child, then look no further than ‘Soul To Soul’ It may not break into many peoples top 10s but it certainly will do on mine come December

Anything Michael Bolton can do, so can Overland, only sometimes a lot better but without Bolton’s bank balance. The man should be a household name. Well you are in our house son.

I liked the debut, but this one comes with knobs on!

9/10

Tracklisting –
Standing On The Edge Of A Broken Dream
Soul To Soul
Captain Of Our Love
Evermore
Wild World
Carrie
Fighting For Love
It Don’t Get Better Than This
There’s No Tomorrow
When Lightning Strikes
Til The End Of Time
Leap Of Faith

Myles Kennedy – ‘The Ides Of March’ review

belting sophomore solo album from Kennedy ticks all the right boxes. Its the album I’ve been waiting for.

I read an interview with Myles Kennedy in the latest Classic Rock mag and he states ‘I’m not a household name’. Well fella, I can assure you that you are in the Chesworth household and have been since 2004 when we were listening to rock radio stations whilst on holiday in Florida. Thankfully these stations only play about 15 different songs a week, so it got us all firmly embedded into Alter Bridge in the Summer of ’04.

I was fortunate to interview Brian Marshall back in 2011 and he said Myles had a solo album ready to roll. It was a long time coming. His debut album in 2018 was a tribute to his late father (who passed when Myles was a young child) and was an emotional album and I suspect a very cathartic one for Myles to do. Roll on another 3 years and we have The Ides Of March, which would be even better had it been released in March! Its the kind of album I was expecting  (and hoping for) from him.

‘Get Along’ is a guitar riffin’ foot stompin’ call to arms where he wails ‘I thought we left this shit behind, don’t tell me I don’t belong,….the answer never was black or white’ and typifies the feelings of many in the World today. It certainly rings true with my feelings over the past 14 months. A similar theme continues into ‘A Thousand Words’, where he sings, ‘because in times like these we must live and learn’, his mantra is simple and he comes across as a genuinely caring bloke. The chorus is instantly memorable and encompasses some blisteringly hot guitar work. The slide guitar of ‘In Stride’ shows that its not a straight up rock album, and paints a picture of a survivalist preparing for an impending zombie apocalypse (much nearer than we think considering the events of the past year!) And was inspired by the first lockdown in which people hoarded bog roll and other invaluable items and ingredients. The title track is the big number, and switches between gentle verses, and heavier chorus where Kennedy gives his larynx a decent work out. Its as much a vehicle for his guitar soloing as it is for his vocal dexterity. Were it not bordering on eight minutes, its a perfect title and song for the next Bond movie. If Sheena Easton can get the Bond gig, then Myles is a deserving candidate. 

Both ‘Wake Me When It’s Over’ and ‘Sifting Through The Fire’ border on fillers, only because Kennedy set himself a high bar. ‘Sifting…’reminded me a bit of the Allman Bros ‘Jessica’. But its on ‘Love Rain Down’ is a mainly acoustic ballad where ‘the voice’ is vulnerable and soul searching. Its a beautiful song. ‘Tell It Like It Is’ is the good feel song of the album, with a hand clap, and foot stomping anthem for the masses. I can’t wait, this will be huge played live.  ‘Moonshot’ has one foot planted in the Blues camp, and ‘Wanderlust Begins’ errs on the side of country. Both are cool, with Wanderlust being a companion to Year Of Tiger is tone and style. ‘Worried Mind’ is the most straight up blues song on ‘TIOM’. If you think that its standard fare, that is quickly dispelled thanks to some shred-tactic guitar playing and tonsel tickling vocal histrionics. Thats how you finish the album off. Fantastic.

As I said at the top, TIOM is the album I wanted it to be, and more. ‘Year Of The Tiger’ had to grow on me because there was little variance in the style, but this one gave me more of an instant ‘fix’. Theres more than enough light and shade and variety to keep even the most pessimistic  fan occupied. As an ardent fan, its a little belter.

9/10

Tracklisting

Get Along

A Thousand Words

In Stride

The Ides Of March

Wake Me When Its Over

Love Rain Down

Tell It Like It Is

Moonshot

Wanderlust Begins

Sifting Through The Fire

Worried Mind

Myles Kennedy – Vocals, Guitar

Tim Tournier – Bass

Zia Uddin – Drums

Out May 14th https://smarturl.it/MK-TheIdesOfMarch