MANTRA – MEDIUM (FINISTERIAN DEAD END)

It is a joy to see that progressive music is alive and well and there are bands like Mantra that are pushing the progressive boundaries rather than settling for rehashing the past. Let me start with a very minor gripe: the band’s name. Spotify identifies 35 bands/artists with this name and that’s excluding dozens of..

STEELWINGS – BACK (SLIPTRICK RECORDS)

If you like an hour of good honest rock and roll then you won’t go wrong listening to this one. It really is extraordinary how Sweden seems to be churning out quality rock bands like hot cakes these days. Here is yet another one although they are not actually that new. Back in the late..

GIANT DWARF (SOUND EFFECT RECORDS)

This band could go a long long way.... Giant Dwarf are a new band from Perth, Australia, and this their eponymous debut album is an absolute gem. Musically, they plant their flag firmly in stoner territory with the stars of that genre (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age) being a visible influence along with the..

BYWATER CALL – Bywater Call (Gypsy Soul Records)

The whole band manage to tread that razor's edge between sounding tight and well rehearsed yet still liable to start a bar-room brawl at any moment You know what? One of the great things about writing about albums on a regular basis like this is being reminded every now and again that you really can't..

THE GARDENING CLUB – Boy On A Bike (Gonzo Multimedia)

The six and half minute title track ... evokes the laid-back effortless cool of prime Steely Dan If the name The Gardening Club is unfamiliar to you, you surely won’t be alone. But banish any thoughts of Alan Titchmarsh or Percy Thrower, because this particular Gardening Club is a prog project courtesy of UK-born Toronto..

Haunt – Mind Freeze (Shadow Kingdom Records)

Trevor Church (Haunt’s leader and frontman/guitar player) is one busy man. For a period of two and a half years, his band Haunt has already (including this forthcoming album on January 10th) released three full-length albums, two EPs, one single and two split singles. When you obviously love what you do, this is not as..

SPIRIT – Two Sides Of A Rainbow (Esoteric)

When the Rainbow encores finally come to the last song, California proceeds to invite the entire audience along to a party afterward in the lobby of their hotel! Remember Spirit? You should. Emerging in the 1960s playing an eclectic mix of acid-flavoured rock, the band were led by Randy California, a young and mercurial guitar..