MOONSHINE: Self-titled: CD

With the release of this debut ten song LP, MOONSHINE play southern rock with a vengeance. The band consists of Derek Davis (lead singer for BABYLON A.D.) on vocals, Creg De Falco on guitar, Buzzy James on slide guitar, Mike Malone on piano and harmonica, Mike Norton on bass, and Brian Fox on drums. The album was recorded at Eddie Van Halen’s 5150 studio and produced by Michael Anthony, who also adds background vocals, as well as Jane Child on piano, and background vocals.

Opening with Mississippi Delta Blues,” the sinewy slide guitar, and the gritty vocals from Derek Davis recalls Aerosmith’s great older songs. “Warm Beer, Catfish Stew” is a great dusty blues song with a sharp groove and great harmonica. The melodic “The Devil’s Road” which recalls the Black Crowes with Derek’s impassioned vocals and the fantastic playing. A cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” shows that they can do the classic tune justice with their great version. “The Last Song” has memorable guitar playing, incredible piano and a great vocal. “Mama’s Kitchen Brew” is a rocking song with some boogie mixed in, the guitar playing kicks ass, and the song will leave you with a grin on your face as well as singing along to the chorus. “Southern Blood” has James’ awesome slide guitar, and has the feel of Bon Jovi’s “Dead Or Alive,” but still manages to stand up on its own. “Turn Me Around” has that great slide guitar on this whiskey-soaked rocker with its blistering riffs, and thrilling chorus. “Fade Away” is a piano led ballad with a tight groove and emotive vocals. “The American Train” ends the album on a high note with its rocking groove that will get your head bobbing and make you break out your air guitar to join in on the buzzing riffs and solo.

MOONSHINE has come together mixing a heavy dose of slide guitar, piano, and harmonica with classic vocals and bluesy lead guitars, to finally give us a southern rock band worthy of the tradition of the greats. If you like Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 SPECIAL, and old AEROSMITH, and your rock southern fried and bluesy, this is the band for you! Excuse me while I put this in the car and crank it up.

BABYLON A.D.: The Lost Sessions, Fresno CA 93: CD

After a long hiatus, the band has re-grouped with all of their original members. They have released a four song E.P which includes the songs, “While America Sleeps,” Love Blind,” “Love is a Mystery,” and a new version of their number one hit song “Bang Go The Bells.”

These songs were lost until recently when a demo tape titled “Fresno 93” was found in an old memorabilia chest that Derek Davis had kept over the years. After a good listen it was obvious to the band that they had to get the songs out to their dedicated fans. Lucky for us, they made the right decision because these songs are too good to have been lost to the mists of time. “Love Blind,” and “While America Sleeps” are straight forward hard rocking songs that show the band’s ability to mix hard rock with a ton of melody and hooks.”Love Is A Mystery” is a power ballad that starts out acoustically then guitars get plugged in and makes it a nice lighters in the air song. The new version of “Bang Go The Bells” isn’t that much different from the original, but it is a little crisper sounding and still rocks hard.

SCREAM MAKER: Livin’ In The Past: CD

This band from Warsaw, Poland has released their EP We Are Not The Same in 2012, and now they have released their debut album Livin In The Past. The cover artwork was created by Rosław Szaybo, a Polish artist, and designer of Judas Priest’s British Steel album cover.

The album starts off with an instrumental intro, and then suddenly the band explodes into the song “In The Nest Of Serpents,” and the riff machine is off and running. “Glory For The Fools” comes right after it and keeps the pace of excellent guitar playing and the Dio-like vocals hit those high notes. Both songs feature excellent guitar work and vocals. The title track slows things down a bit, but keeps your interest with the pure power of the track. “Fever” is a very cool melodic track that will sound awesome in a live setting with its fantastic guitar solo. Other highlights include: “All My Life,” “Spacestone,”  “Never Say Never,” “Confessions,” and “Metalheads.” Band members Sebastian Stodolak (vocals), Ajronmajk (lead guitar), Marek Stanisz (rhythm guitar), Adam “Radził” Radziłowski (bass), and Tomasz Nachyła (drums) do an excellent job playing on this album, you can feel the emotion and energy that these cats put out on the songs.

A band that has a ton of potential and talent, they just need to be heard by a large group of people…go out and get this album! Metal for people who want something with balls and nothing so over the top or wimpy, just good metal.

LANEY’S LEGION: Self-titled: CD

Laney’s legion have released their debut album of eleven kick-ass tracks that bring to mind the glory days of Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. I was looking forward to this album, hoping that the old school sounds that I love would be there, and I was blessed with what I heard. This Swedish quartet plays the old-school ’80s metal music the way it was meant to be played.

It’s great to hear veterans play something with such energy and love, just check out the band, it consists of Chris Laney (RANDY PIPER’S ANIMAL, ZAN CLAN) on vocals and rhythm guitar, Rob Marcello (DANGER DANGER, HOUSE OF LORDS, MARCELLO/VESTRY) on lead guitar, Mats Vassfjord (GRAND DESIGN, IMPERA) on bass, and Patrik Jansson (HELSINGLAND UNDERGROUND) on drums. Nice group with a ton of talent and experience.

Starting off with “On And On,” It has a tight riff, melodic vocals, and the guitar solo blazes. “Poptastic” is a very commercial song with an incredible chorus and it was a great song to showcase the album as a video and single. “Bleed Within” is a ballad that had a few country influences mixed in that worked really well. “Let’s Get It On” is a tight rocker that has a fantastic chorus. “Hollow” carries on in a similar vein and keeps the high standard going. “Assassin Of Our Love” is a great melodic rock song that gets a vote for one of the highlights on an album full of highlights. “No One Can Stop Us” has an amazing chorus and has the feel of a track that could have been a huge hit in 1985. “Legion” wraps up a fantastic album with a crunchy hard rock song that has a mind-blowing guitar solo.

If the world was right, this would be a million seller, getting play everywhere and people wearing the band shirts, sadly, the world is fucked and this won’t be everywhere, but at least we know it’s there, and with that, we are a chosen group who shun the trash and love this.